We are a group of educators, activists, and environmentalists who work to proactively assist the Maasai community. Many of our efforts are focused on projects that will help educate and economically empower the Maasai community in these areas. We are also concerned with the current human-wildlife conflict and the downward trajectory of wildlife populations, diversity, and cultural heritage globally. We are working with our Maasai partners, other organizations, universities, and the local Government to develop projects that will help to address these issues locally.


Alan Whitehead,  Founder and Executive Director

Alan Founded BCI in 2009 after working with this community in 2005, & conducting an independent study in 2007 which lead to the Amboseli Guide School (AGS). Alan has a BA, Prescott College, Environmental studies with an emphasis in Conservation Biology, Minor in Indigenous Cultural Studies, 2009. Alan is a dedicated Conservation Biologist and has worked as a Wolf Management Technician, Ecoguide Instructor, Wrangler, Sea Kayaking Instructor, Adventure Trip Leader, and Martial Arts Instructor. His professional qualifications include African Guiding, Wilderness First Responder, Desert Survival, Scuba, and Emergency Management. He has field experience in the United States, Mexico, Tanzania, South Africa, & Kenya.

.“My passions & interests lie in addressing the current biodiversity & cultural diversity crisis by collaborating with indigenous communities throughout the world on conservation, human-wildlife conflict & threatened species issues. I believe that one of the most sustainable ways to conserve biocultural ecosystems is by empowering local communities through education, conservation & ecotourism.”

  Rafaelle Abramovitz,    Board member   Rafaelle is currently the Executive Director of the Naretoi charity formed this year (2018). Rafaelle became involved with the Maasai as an instructor for the Guide School in 2007 and 2011, and has been a member of BCI since 2011.  Along with Maasai partners, Rafaelle founded the Naretoi Women's Expedition, the Maasai Girl's Education Project and NAWI, a Maasai women's beading co-operative.  Rafaelle is a professional outdoor educator and guide and has been working and teaching in the field for 14 years. Currently, she instructs wilderness courses for Outward Bound California and Prescott College in Arizona. She graduated from Prescott College in 2007 with a B.A. in Adventure-based Environmental Studies.

Rafaelle Abramovitz,  Board member

Rafaelle is currently the Executive Director of the Naretoi charity formed this year (2018). Rafaelle became involved with the Maasai as an instructor for the Guide School in 2007 and 2011, and has been a member of BCI since 2011.  Along with Maasai partners, Rafaelle founded the Naretoi Women's Expedition, the Maasai Girl's Education Project and NAWI, a Maasai women's beading co-operative.  Rafaelle is a professional outdoor educator and guide and has been working and teaching in the field for 14 years. Currently, she instructs wilderness courses for Outward Bound California and Prescott College in Arizona. She graduated from Prescott College in 2007 with a B.A. in Adventure-based Environmental Studies.

  Joseph Logela Melita  ,   Co-founder   and  Manager of Operations   Joseph Logela Melita is BCI's in country coordinator for the; Twiga Trackers, Maasai Girls Education Project, Naretoi Women Initiative C.B.O (NAWI), as well as the Naretoi Women's Expedition. He attended the East African University in Kitengela while pursuing a diploma in Project Planning & Management.  He gained knowledge & skills to enable him run the projects already at hand more effectively & efficiently.  He is also the manager for the Rocky Hill Limited Campsite and the Chairman of the Eluai community school in Olgulului Kenya.  He was born & brought up in a small village known as Eluai, situated in Olgulului/Ololarrashi group ranch near Namanga, Kenya. He joined elementary school at Olgulului Primary School. He later attended Kiluani NewLife Secondary School which he completed in 2003. He has taught at Eluai Nursery School before he was employed as a tourist camp manager in 2004. Logela met Alan in 2005 at the Community campsite where he was employed & became friends. They were reunited in 2007 when he attended the Maasai Field Guide Training Program in the Mara, designed & implemented by Alan as an independent study through his college. Logela graduated & joined the Amboseli guide school as an instructor in 2010.  He is always passionate about progress in his entire community, especially for girl's child education and women's empowerment. 

Joseph Logela Melita, Co-founder  and Manager of Operations

Joseph Logela Melita is BCI's in country coordinator for the; Twiga Trackers, Maasai Girls Education Project, Naretoi Women Initiative C.B.O (NAWI), as well as the Naretoi Women's Expedition. He attended the East African University in Kitengela while pursuing a diploma in Project Planning & Management.  He gained knowledge & skills to enable him run the projects already at hand more effectively & efficiently.  He is also the manager for the Rocky Hill Limited Campsite and the Chairman of the Eluai community school in Olgulului Kenya.

He was born & brought up in a small village known as Eluai, situated in Olgulului/Ololarrashi group ranch near Namanga, Kenya. He joined elementary school at Olgulului Primary School. He later attended Kiluani NewLife Secondary School which he completed in 2003. He has taught at Eluai Nursery School before he was employed as a tourist camp manager in 2004. Logela met Alan in 2005 at the Community campsite where he was employed & became friends. They were reunited in 2007 when he attended the Maasai Field Guide Training Program in the Mara, designed & implemented by Alan as an independent study through his college. Logela graduated & joined the Amboseli guide school as an instructor in 2010.  He is always passionate about progress in his entire community, especially for girl's child education and women's empowerment. 

  Walt Anderson, Chairperson of the Board   PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Resource  Ecology,1976; MS, University of Arizona, Wildlife Biology, 1974; BS With Highest Honors, Washington State University, Wildlife Biology, 1968.   Walt has been referred to as “the naturalist of old cast in modern times, the next generation of a proud and ancient lineage.”  His field experience spans the globe: East Africa, Madagascar, Brazil, Ecuador (including Galapagos), Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Alaska, the American West, and beyond.  Walt teaches and advises on natural history, ecology, wildlife management, wetland ecology and management, interpreting nature through art & photography, ecotourism, and field biology. His writings, illustrations, and photos grace his latest book,  Inland Island: the Sutter Buttes .  His articles, reviews, chapters, photographs, and drawings appear in hundreds of publications,  including  Co-existing with Urban Wildlife, California’s Wild Gardens, Wonders of the World: Madagascar, Natl. Audubon Soc. Field Guide to SW States, NAS Guide to African Wildlife, Ecology, J. of Wildlife Management, Condor, American Birds, Desert Plants, New York Times, National Wildlife

Walt Anderson, Chairperson of the Board

PhD Candidate, University of Michigan, Resource  Ecology,1976; MS, University of Arizona, Wildlife Biology, 1974; BS With Highest Honors, Washington State University, Wildlife Biology, 1968.   Walt has been referred to as “the naturalist of old cast in modern times, the next generation of a proud and ancient lineage.”  His field experience spans the globe: East Africa, Madagascar, Brazil, Ecuador (including Galapagos), Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Alaska, the American West, and beyond.  Walt teaches and advises on natural history, ecology, wildlife management, wetland ecology and management, interpreting nature through art & photography, ecotourism, and field biology. His writings, illustrations, and photos grace his latest book, Inland Island: the Sutter Buttes.  His articles, reviews, chapters, photographs, and drawings appear in hundreds of publications,  including Co-existing with Urban Wildlife, California’s Wild Gardens, Wonders of the World: Madagascar, Natl. Audubon Soc. Field Guide to SW States, NAS Guide to African Wildlife, Ecology, J. of Wildlife Management, Condor, American Birds, Desert Plants, New York Times, National Wildlife

  Katie Sugarman, past Board member current volunteer   Katie has worked in commercial film and photography production since 2007. She works as a freelance wardrobe Stylist. Katie has a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College where she majored in Photography. She is primarily focused on the Maasai Girl's Education Project.   During college, Katie studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania where she studied Swahili, Politics, Biology, Marine Biology and Ornithology. She lived with a Maasai family then, and jumped at the opportunity to go back and be a part of the BCI Naretoi women’s trip to Mt. Kenya. She joined BCI shortly after that trip. Katie has spent a significant part of her life in the great outdoors and traveled extensively getting to know people around the world. She truly understands the importance of conservation, education and what it means to collaborate with local communities based on their needs.

Katie Sugarman, past Board member current volunteer

Katie has worked in commercial film and photography production since 2007. She works as a freelance wardrobe Stylist. Katie has a B.A. from Lewis and Clark College where she majored in Photography. She is primarily focused on the Maasai Girl's Education Project. 

During college, Katie studied abroad in Kenya and Tanzania where she studied Swahili, Politics, Biology, Marine Biology and Ornithology. She lived with a Maasai family then, and jumped at the opportunity to go back and be a part of the BCI Naretoi women’s trip to Mt. Kenya. She joined BCI shortly after that trip. Katie has spent a significant part of her life in the great outdoors and traveled extensively getting to know people around the world. She truly understands the importance of conservation, education and what it means to collaborate with local communities based on their needs.

  Josh Stratman, Member of the Board   Josh Stratman is the Director of the Health and Human Performance Center at San Juan College.  Bachelor of Science from the University of Wyoming in Parks and Recreation Administration. Master’s of Science degree from the University of Idaho in Facility Management and Outdoor Recreation.  Josh has had over ten years of experience managing outdoor programs for colleges and universities.  During this time, Josh worked as the Coordinator of Outdoor Leadership where he coordinated the Associate of Arts degree program in Outdoor Leadership for San Juan College.  Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director of the Outdoor Program at Illinois State University.  Josh is a certified AMGA Top Rope Site Manager, ACA Raft, Sea Kayak, and Whitewater Kayak Instructor, Wilderness First Responder Instructor, Leave-No-Trace Master Educator, and an Emergency Medical Service Instructor for the State of New Mexico.   

Josh Stratman, Member of the Board

Josh Stratman is the Director of the Health and Human Performance Center at San Juan College.  Bachelor of Science from the University of Wyoming in Parks and Recreation Administration. Master’s of Science degree from the University of Idaho in Facility Management and Outdoor Recreation.  Josh has had over ten years of experience managing outdoor programs for colleges and universities.  During this time, Josh worked as the Coordinator of Outdoor Leadership where he coordinated the Associate of Arts degree program in Outdoor Leadership for San Juan College.  Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director of the Outdoor Program at Illinois State University.  Josh is a certified AMGA Top Rope Site Manager, ACA Raft, Sea Kayak, and Whitewater Kayak Instructor, Wilderness First Responder Instructor, Leave-No-Trace Master Educator, and an Emergency Medical Service Instructor for the State of New Mexico.