Skip to content

Testimonials

“If you are looking to partner with someone for a truly unique experience that will expand the way you work, live, and lead, you are in the right place. Maureen draws from deep pools of knowledge, experience, and expertise in diverse themes. Somehow she integrates learning across disciplines while staying curious, open, and holding complexity. The result is a rich and transformative experience that advances the work at hand, elevates those involved, celebrates varied ways of knowing, and bypasses traditional boundaries. One of Maureen's many strengths is her ability to see at many levels. With this wide and flexible view, new ways of working are possible - ways that respect the process, pace, and contributions of all - including nature. Maureen is creating new paths forward, ways that I believe the world is hungry for.”

- Christina Imrich, Program Manager, Learning & Leadership for Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society

“Maureen's deep knowledge of ecology and the creative process, along with her intuitive ability to listen and understand others add up to a powerful antidote to the stale approaches to science and conservation. Her ability to facilitate and draw out the (sometimes deeply buried) creative side of analytically-minded scientists results in new ways and patterns of thinking that persist long after she has worked her magic.”

- Amanda Kissel, PhD, Biologist, US Geological Survey

 

“I worked with Maureen at a time when I felt that my career was stagnating and I was running out of ideas and motivation. Maureen changed it inside out. Through a meticulous process and drawing from a deep knowledge pool, Maureen helped me reflect on my career, understand my aspirations and goals, and plan for upcoming challenges. Partnering with Maureen helped me assess the situation objectively, and make the best use of opportunities at hand. Now a year on, I feel that I have been able to make step gains in my career and work satisfaction. I have been able to expand my horizon of ideas and feel motivated. Some of the new ideas that I was able to develop with Maureen's help have also helped my team and the overall outlook that we have toward our work.”

- Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, PhD, Director, India program of the Snow Leopard Trust; Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation; Fellow, Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies

“Maureen Ryan possesses a unique and multi-disciplinary skillset, such that she can take an offhand idea ("what about a workshop at the intersection of science-art-leadership?”) and co-create a meaningful, transformative and restorative experience with our Program’s early-career conservation researchers. Maureen is a keen listener, integrating and tailoring an agenda to each group’s needs and creative interests while able to pivot in the moment should the group head in an unanticipated direction. There is no one I trust more as a facilitator to hold space that is perceptive/receptive and supports every participant. The Program consistently receives feedback requesting Maureen’s perpetual presence at future retreats.”

- Shonda Gilliland, Program Director, David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program

 

“Maureen brings such great depth to everything she does - a depth of knowledge, creativity, curiosity, and compassion. She is patient and wise in her work, always asking 'what more can we learn here?' and 'what more might we see from another perspective.' She brings a kind and inviting approach to challenging comfort zones, and creates a safe container for everyone she works with to explore and grow. She is uniquely skilled and thoughtful in bringing playful yet real constructive disruption to spaces and practices confined by structure and convention. She balances her capacity for depth work with ever-present humor, wonder, and optimism. Maureen's skills, intelligences, and experiences are diverse and complementary, spanning science, art, and psychology. I know of no one who is equipped to do this work the way she does. She is truly a rare and extraordinary creature.”

- Meredith McClure, PhD, Ecologist and Seamstress

“Tuve el privilegio de encontrarme con Maureen (Mo) tres veces en los últimos diez años. Desde nuestro primer encuentro, en mis inicios como conservacionista al día de la fecha, cada charla que hemos tenido ha sido memorable. Destaco la increíble empatía Mo sobre todas las cosas y que a pesar de las barreras idiomáticas, hemos tenido charlas muy gratificantes y de mucho apoyo sobre temas tan diversos como motivaciones, miedos, y proyectos. Es increíble que independientemente del tiempo que transcurrió entre cada uno de nuestros encuentros, en cada ocasión continuamos nuestra última charla como si nos conocieramos de toda la vida. En el último curso que hice con Mo de liderazgo y mentoreo me resultó de gran ayuda para entender cual es mi role en mi nueva etapa como líder en conservación y a cómo conciliar los opuestos de mi carrera como conservacionista y científico.”

“I had the privilege of meeting with Maureen (Mo) three times over the last ten years. From our first meeting, in my very early days as a conservationist to date, every talk we've had has been memorable. I highlight Mo's incredible empathy above all things and that despite language barriers, we have had very gratifying and very supportive talks on topics as diverse as motivations, fears, and projects. It's incredible that regardless of the time that elapsed between encounters, each time we continued our last talk as if we had known each other forever. The last leadership and mentoring course I did with Mo helped me a lot to understand my role in my new stage as conservation leader and how to reconcile the opposites of my career as scientist and conservationist.”

- Mauricio Akmentins, PhD, Conservationist, Researcher of the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas of Argentina

 

“Maureen is everything a great group facilitator could be. She's knowledgeable, direct, humble, and kind. The passion and creativity she brings to her work leads to a rewarding experience that will give enduring insight.”

- Jesse Anderson, Geospatial Data Scientist

 

“Maureen Ryan is a rare talent. Few people have right and left brain mastery, and even fewer can integrate them seamlessly. Equal parts accomplished scientist, conservation leader, transformational artist, facilitator, and strategic leader; Maureen is comfortable and skillful both in dominant culture spaces and alternative spaces where new systems and creative endeavors are being incubated. No matter who she is working with, her core values remain present. Maureen exhibits rigor in all that she does. She also has a rock-solid integrity, deep humility, and an unwavering commitment to high-quality work. In any task she undertakes, Mo will seek to understand the issue and ecosystem inside and out and then help it innovate and transform from within. While Mo works at the edges of abstraction and systems change, she can translate that into practical application and clear steps that inspire people to work with her. All of her work is always in service to greater social good. Examples where I have witnessed Maureen's mastery over the last 15 years include: as a university professor reworking conventional science curricula to ensure radical inclusion of students and different world views; as a leadership program facilitator and advisor, designing and running international programs that rigorously account for the full breadth of each person's analytical and creative selves; as an organizational leader and board member, skillfully using power in conventional environmental and conservation contexts to invite productive disruption of systems and methods to make them more equitable and more creative. Just as artists use negative space as thoughtfully as positive space, Mo can masterfully occupy space when needed, or use her quiet presence when that will best serve the group. Finally, people simply like Maureen. They enjoy working with her and she puts people at ease. This is a welcoming trait and it is essential in her work as a teacher and guide.”

- Christine Ageton, Principal, Christine Ageton Consulting; Faculty in Masters of Environment, Colorado University Boulder

“Mo and her team facilitated a fun, welcoming, and inspiring session with our group. I do not regularly practice creating visual art, but this workshop allowed me to shed insecurities and practice something I forgot that I loved - it truly awakened something in me, and it has changed my life for the better!”

- Ann Marie Gawel, PhD, 2022 David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow

“For nearly a decade, I have had the joy of knowing Maureen and embarking on countless writing and storytelling ventures together. We recently co-facilitated art, science, and leadership workshops together, and the experience was extraordinary. Maureen is a deep listener, a compassionate leader, a collaborative mentor, and an innovative teacher. Her ability to understand and empathize with others is inspiring, and it shines through in everything she does. I admire Maureen's unwavering commitment to carrying out her work through a deep equity and justice lens. She possesses a unique gift for creating spaciousness in her work and meeting people where they are, inspiring them to explore their own paths. Maureen has a gift for seamlessly integrating various interdisciplinary practices into her work, offering eye-opening and transformative teachings!”

- Saida Bulhan, Writer and Activist

“I am honoured to have had the privilege of being mentored by Maureen. Maureen's unique approach to mentorship truly touched my creative mind and had a profound impact on both my professional and personal growth. One of the most remarkable aspects of Maureen's mentorship was her ability to connect with me through art painting, something we're both passionate about. At a time when I was struggling to find balance between life and work, Maureen skillfully guided me through transcendent experiences with her expertise in interdisciplinary facilitation. During our one-on-one session, she created a safe space for me to explore my thoughts and emotions, enabling me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and the challenges I was facing. Maureen's skills have not only broadened my horizons but have also transformed the way I approach various aspects of my work. Her remarkable ability to navigate complex subjects with ease and create meaningful connections across disciplines has been nothing short of inspiring. She has not only imparted invaluable knowledge and insights but has also instilled in me a sense of curiosity and openness to explore new ideas. Beyond the professional realm, Maureen's mentorship has had a profound impact on my personal life. Her guidance and support have helped me find a sense of equilibrium, allowing me to better integrate my passions and responsibilities. Her compassion, wisdom, and genuine interest in my well-being have made her an invaluable presence in my journey. I am immensely grateful to Maureen for her transformative influence on my professional growth and personal development. Her mentorship has not only nurtured my creativity but has also empowered me to overcome obstacles and embrace new possibilities. I wholeheartedly recommend Maureen to anyone seeking a mentor who can bring about positive change, foster interdisciplinary thinking, and inspire personal and professional growth.”

- Chima Iheaturu, Doctoral fellow and Geospatial Scientist, University of Bern, Conservation Leadership Program's Creative Leadership 2021 cohort

“Maureen is a skillful and present facilitator and collaborator. She brings an open heart and deep awareness of cultural context to all of her offerings. As a co-facilitator she listens with care and shares openly. Her confident and compassionate presence inspires creativity and bravery in her partnerships. The meditations I have experienced with her feel authentic and are nuanced by her profound connection to the natural world.”

- Heather Lilly, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Yoga Village

Close up photograph of an Ensatina Salamander by Maureen Ryan