Amanda Shepherd

Chapter Director

I grew up on a country road surrounded by cornfields. Life was pretty simple as a child: playing in our large yard; getting together with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents weekly; enjoying the creek that ran out back of my grandpa’s farm; mushrooming in the surrounding woods; or just playing basketball from dawn to dusk with friends in the tiny town where my aunt took care of my sister and I every day during the summer.

After graduating high school, I earned my B.S. and M.S. in Geology from Indiana State University, where I graduated with honors. While at ISU, I had the opportunity to participate as a student researcher aboard the R/V Roger Revelle during a scientific research cruise in the Gulf of Alaska.  During this trip, I had the opportunity to work with Jason II, the cousin to the Jason Jr. ROV, best known for the exploration of the Titanic.  My research focus while at ISU was in paleoclimatology and paleoceanography, opening the door to my lifelong passion for climate change awareness and advocacy. I taught in public schools for 5 years and then left teaching in 2011 for a job in industry in hopes of eventually finding work in the environmental field. I had the privilege of attending the Climate Reality Project’s Leadership Training in San Francisco in 2012 and subsequently became actively involved in numerous nonprofit advocacy groups. After serving as a volunteer for Sustainable Indiana 2016 and Earth Charter Indiana, I was hired by the Hoosier Environmental Council, where I served as an organizer and outreach manager for almost seven years.

Many years have passed since my childhood in the woods and fields of west-central Indiana and I've grown in many ways, but most of my core traits remain. Life may not be so simple anymore, but I am still a nerd at heart. I love to laugh and I love long, intellectual conversations. I love spending time with my family, which now includes my husband and our three amazing daughters.  And I have held tightly to my love of nature. I feel most at home out in the woods, walking among the trees and listening to the chirping of birds and the rustle of small animals in the underbrush. I have always cherished my memories of camping when we were younger: hiking, swimming, and biking during the day and then gathering around the fire at night. That love has sprung up into a lifelong passion for advocacy in a fight that I intend to spend the rest of my life waging…a fight for a more promising and sustainable future for my daughters and all the children to come after them.

Unless we share our feelings, our fears, our hopes;
Unless we begin by taking that first step;
Unless we talk to those who think differently than us;
Unless we find a way to keep our faith, our hope, and our resolve;
Unless we put our resolve into action;
We will fail.
For it is only by all of us, together, rising up that we can meet the greatest challenges of our time.