Alan J. Hesse

Freelance Conservationist, environmental educator and author-illustrator, AJH Education Comics & Cartoons

About Alan J. Hesse

My conservation career started in 1992 when I helped set up and joined a University expedition to the Bolivian Amazon. What started out as a 3-month experience ended up being a life-changing inflection point that set my professional and personal course to the present day. My conservation experience was built bottom-up and hands-on, and includes field data collection and logistics, grassroots organization leadership and project management, community engagement and capacity building, M&E, training and behavior change, and lately climate education through authorship of graphic novels and other resources. 

Which category below best describes the type of organisation you currently work for/or run?

Consultancy

Areas of expertise

Land/Water Management Species Management Behaviour change campaigns Research Education & training Communication and marketing Project/programme management Monitoring and evaluation Other

Would you be willing to be approached and share your lessons learned in your area(s) of expertise with our community?

Yes

Influencer Of

Popular Content

Recent Conversations

Recent Comments

Comment on Hey! I'm Sofiya
May 13, 2022
Replying to Alan J. Hesse

Hi Sofiya, I just discovered your profile and would love to connect! We seem to share a passion for combining art with science, specifically conservation and related communication. My approach is mainly via educational graphic novels mostly about climate change, but also starting to expand that out to other forms of climate / nature education products and services. 

See you out there! 

Great to be connected Sofiya and thanks for your reply! Hopefully we can e-meet at one of the WH socials, they are a good place to get to know other members. 

Comment on Hey! I'm Sofiya
May 11, 2022

Hi Sofiya, I just discovered your profile and would love to connect! We seem to share a passion for combining art with science, specifically conservation and related communication. My approach is mainly via educational graphic novels mostly about climate change, but also starting to expand that out to other forms of climate / nature education products and services. 

See you out there! 

Apr 21, 2022
Replying to Alan J. Hesse

Hi Nafeesa, 

I'm very pleased to see your post about climate education because this is now my main area of interest. I haven't yet developed any curriculum myself, but I do know of a number of resources for learning about climate change, which I could point you to. In terms of actual contributions I author educational graphic novels about Climate Change, and these and associated projects and products make up my line of action in this regard. I don't have anything specific to sub-saharan Africa but happy to have a chat anyway if you would like to. 

Hi Nafeesa. There is an increasing amount of websites that offer teaching aids and resources for climate change, but it may be a challenge to find anything geared to your region specifically. Having said that, a lot can be drawn from them anyway because of the global nature of climate change. Here are some examples:

https://globalgoalscentre.org/resource-hub/

https://www.worldwildlife.org/teaching-resources 

https://ecomedialiteracy.org/teaching-resources/resources-for-teachers/ 

https://www.globalteachinginsights.org/channel/Climate+Action/212779523 this one is useful to see what others are doing around the world

Good luck and keep us informed! 

Alan

Apr 19, 2022

Hi Nafeesa, 

I'm very pleased to see your post about climate education because this is now my main area of interest. I haven't yet developed any curriculum myself, but I do know of a number of resources for learning about climate change, which I could point you to. In terms of actual contributions I author educational graphic novels about Climate Change, and these and associated projects and products make up my line of action in this regard. I don't have anything specific to sub-saharan Africa but happy to have a chat anyway if you would like to. 

Apr 06, 2022

Thanks Ussi for bringing your article to life! It was a pleasure working with you and I look forward to doing more. 

Mar 14, 2022
Replying to Rebecca Hansell

It's so interesting to hear about your work and the insights you have provided here! It's so great to have video content as an option here on WildHub - thanks so much for sharing! :) 

Thanks Rebecca! 

Jan 11, 2022
Replying to Thirza Loffeld

Hi Alan, thanks for sharing this piece. Could you perhaps elaborate on the ideas that Claudia and her campaign teams brought to this situation, i.e. which opportunities were presented to Don Cristobal in this situation of natural disaster? Thanks! 

Forgot to mention that the second pillar supporting all this work was what the project did with the people downstream consuming the water running from upstream. As in all the other projects, the idea was to create a water fund whereby water users would effectively subsidize water conservation upstream. Claudia also achieved this with her municipal allies; they created a municipal water fund and got local water-consuming companies to bolster the fund to finance the conservation work benefits upstream. In Colombia it's illegal to charge a water tax, so the fund's income from domestic users was voluntary and therefore limited, albeit boosted by the social marketing campaign targeting that audience. That tends to work for the first couple of years, but once the campaign dies down there is inevitably a regression of behaviour and people stop paying the voluntary tax. This is why its crucial to also engage companies, leveraging their sustainability policies and public image. Claudia achieved all this with her small team of volunteers, quite a feat! Like her fellows in the programme, after 2 years she graduated with a Masters degree in Communications from the University of Texas at El Paso, one of the benefits offered by the Rare programme at that time. Myself and my colleagues were the mentors and instructors. 

Jan 11, 2022
Replying to Thirza Loffeld

Hi Alan, thanks for sharing this piece. Could you perhaps elaborate on the ideas that Claudia and her campaign teams brought to this situation, i.e. which opportunities were presented to Don Cristobal in this situation of natural disaster? Thanks! 

Thanks for your comment and question Thirza! Claudia was one of my star students in fact. This was one of a cohort of projects seeking to protect water sources in biodiversity-rich cloud forest in the Andes, and the main strategy for achieving this, given the agricultural land use in all watersheds, was to achieve conservation-friendly behaviour change, i..e adoption of sustainable farming practices by upstream farmers such as Don Cristobal. Claudia was one of the few leaders who actually achieved this: in the Las Cruces watershed the video shows her project successfully established sustainable farming practices in 100% of farms. These practices not only serve to protect gallery forest, water quality and biodiversity, but also provided extra resilience measures to the farmers in the face of the ever existing threat of further landslides, drought, flooding etc. Farmers also increased their livelihoods, so this was quite a rare case study of success. Claudia continued her work years after I or the organisation I worked for were involved and she even replicated the project to neighbouring watersheds. I had to move on to other projects so I lost touch but for all I know she is still working the methodology!