About Us

Catalyzing Everyone To Make a Difference for the Environment

Jumpstart Nature’s Mission

Jumpstart Nature leverages technology, behavioral science, and communications best practices to empower people and organizations to make a difference.

Jumpstart Nature serves as a catalyzer and connector for everyone who wants to do something for the environment. And while we may not reach “everyone” on day one, every program and product we create will have scalability and measurability in mind.

Learn About Jumpstart Nature

When Michael Hawk founded Jumpstart Nature, he noticed an unfortunate theme: many people he knew felt defeated by the enormity of the biodiversity crisis and climate change. They wondered “What can I do? I’m just one person”, or “How do I even start? There is so much conflicting and misleading information.” Michael wanted to do something about this.

But Michael didn’t want to create yet another environmental organization unless there was a reason to. After careful analysis and speaking with people in the community, he recognized that many organizations were doing great work, but either lacked the scale, the visibility, the technological background, or willingness to break through to the next level of impact.

As a result, Jumpstart Nature is designed to scale by leveraging best practices learned from the top tech companies. Jumpstart Nature will be multi-disciplinary, partnering with experts in environmental social sciences so that we can help empower those who want to help the environment. Jumpstart Nature will continually educate and reach new audiences through our content creation initiatives. And of course, we don’t want to “re-create the wheel”, so we intend to promote and amplify the great work being done by so many other organization.

About Our Founder

NOTE: Jumpstart Nature is actively seeking a co-founder. Inquire with Michael if you like the vision and approach – especially if you have ideas on how to improve it!

Founder Michael Hawk knew that he wanted to take his Silicon Valley technology know-how and do something for the environment. He’d witnessed first-hand the steady decline of the natural places he loved, as well as a disconnect from nature among his friends and colleagues.

In 2017, Michael decided to make a 5 year plan, allowing him to exit his Silicon Valley engineering management job and devote his efforts to the environment. This plan included college courses, volunteering with numerous organizations, starting Nature’s Archive podcast, and developing and honing those transferrable skills from his workplace.

In 2022, Michael made the jump, leaving his job at Google to start Jumpstart Nature. At the start of 2023, we have a team of volunteers, and are actively seeking a co-founder.

About Our Advisors and Affiliates

Brand Builders

They’re not just creating content, they’re building a movement! Our talented Brand Builders team is dedicated to applying our mission to help you!

Tracy AppersonSocial Media Coordinator

Tracy Apperson is a NAI Certified Interpretive Guide, Advanced Indiana Master Naturalist, herbalist, writer, teacher, and scientist. She lives in Indiana with her husband Ryan, where they teach wilderness and bushcraft skills. Tracy is a contributing writer for “Backwoods Survival Guide” and “Prepper Survival Guide” magazines. She is passionate about nature and the environment. She spends her free time volunteering for environmental agencies and programs which help people connect with and appreciate nature.

Laura SchareMedia Content Coordinator

Laura Schare (she/her) is a certified California Naturalist and Catalina Island Naturalist. She lives in the greater Los Angeles area with her husband and two dogs where she spends her time volunteering with the National Park Service, Heal the Bay Aquarium, and doing MPA Watch surveys. Laura’s hobbies include expanding her native plant garden, swimming, hiking, birding, tidepooling, making daily iNaturalist observations (over 1,000 days and counting), exchanging vegetarian recipes with her sons, and baking chocolate truffles.

Volunteering allows me to engage with folks from all over and introduce them to the wonders of nature, even right here in Los Angeles, a place that people visualize as a concrete jungle full of cars. Through educational field trips and interpretive programs, we open many eyes to the vast beauty and biodiversity of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and our beautiful coast.

Jacob BorgesonWebsite and Marketing

Jacob is an experienced builder and marketer of new technologies and also a lover of nature. Jacob brings his skills and experience in business to serve the environment with Jumpstart.

For the second half of my career, I want to work on the most important problem facing humanity and the most rewarding.

Podcasting Team

They’re not just podcasters, they’re audio alchemists! Our talented Podcasting Team blends creativity, technology, and storytelling to produce engaging content that leaves a lasting impact.

Michelle BalderstonMedia Editing and Production

Michelle is an experienced radio broadcaster and freelance podcast editor based in Montréal, Canada. She is eager to seek new opportunities that combine her media production skills with her passion for the planet. Thus, she is thrilled to contribute to Jumpstart Nature’s podcasting team. Michelle enjoys learning new languages, and in her free time, she can be found reading, trying her hand at vegan baking, and volunteering for various environmental organizations.

Griff GriffithAffiliated Media Creator and Edutainer

Griff’s lifelong commitment to wildlife and people includes stints as a field biologist, wildland firefighter, ecological restorationist, commercial fisherman, Animal Planet show host, author, and a seventeen-year career as a supervisor in a youth development program called the California Conservation Corps, where he led groups of young adult to restore natural areas and wildlife populations in a process he calls “rewilding.” Griff is currently a natural and cultural resource interpreter for the state of California and a continuous advocate to get everyone connected to the outdoors.”

Jessica Hasenplaugh

Jessica is a 13 year startup veteran and performance marketing leader who cares deeply about our climate. She currently lives in Orange County with her two spaniels and her father, but loves moving around and has lived in 3 states and 2 countries so far. Jessica’s hobbies include gardening, studying and practicing permaculture, regenerative agriculture, reading about the latest climate related tech advances and making a delicious cup of coffee.

Emily SmithMedia Editing and Production

Emily Smith is a recent graduate of Santa Clara University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. Emily’s path to environmental studies began seven years ago when Emily decided to switch to a vegan diet for ethical reasons. She received backlash for this decision, which sparked her interest in learning about and teaching others about the impact that a plant based diet can have on our health, our relationship with animals, and the environment. Emily furthered her education on sustainability throughout her four years in college through classes, volunteering, and various on-campus activities. Emily lives in San Francisco and spends her free time teaching yoga, creating art, hiking, and cooking new vegan meals!

Mobile App Team

Our future mobile app is core to Jumpstart Nature’s vision. Our Mobile App team is charting the path for our app to be the most impactful and fun way YOU can help the environment.

Some Inspiration

It’s not just an education issue, but a connection issue. People need to connect the importance of the environment to something they care about.


There is so much diversity in nature that by spending time in nature, you are guaranteed to find your meaning reflected back towards you.

Adapted from Soulcraft, by Bill Plotkin, PhD

Let curiosity prevail over fear.

Michael Hawk

Let’s build something together.