Meet the UPROAR Fund Ambassadors


Erin Ranney


Alaska and Washington

Erin is one part Alaska fisherwoman and wild salmon advocate, and one part camerawoman who spends her time in the wild documenting amazing wildlife for all the big TV companies, and encouraging young women to join the fight for our beautiful planet. Trained in Wildlife Ecology, she found her passion in wildlife filmmaking after a trip to Madagascar. From there she became a wildlife filmmaker working with scientists, conservationists and big film studios such as PBS, BBC, National Geographic and the Smithsonian, to bring her love of wildlife to the screen. She believes that if people love nature and wildlife, they will fight to protect it and film is a great way to inspire and show people the amazing world we live in.


Francis Aurich Rodriguez



Francis started building her conservation career at the age of 15 while volunteering with the Spectacled Bear Conservation Society in her hometown. Since then she has been passionate about the conservation of the spectacled bear and its habitat, as well as helping her local community to learn about the importance of the conservation of spectacled bears in the area. Currently, she is working on her Masters degree at UBC, analyzing the effect of free-range cattle on the distribution of spectacled bears in northern Peru. 


Yvonne Chong


Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia

Yvonne is a Sun Bear crew member from the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC). A lover of animals and wildlife, she rescues stray animals alongside her work at BSBCC and loves wildlife photography. She recounts that people always ask her: Why do you want to work at BSBCC? Her response,"From the first day until today, my answer is still the same - All animals have the right to be respected and protected, that's why I'm here!" This drive to protect animals is why she is our Sun Bear Ambassador, as she simply explains “why be a Sun Bear Ambassador? Because I can do more for them!".


Natasha Klappstein


Edmonton, Canada

Natasha is a MSc in Ecology student at the University of Alberta. She is currently researching polar bear movement energetics in the declining Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation. She expresses her passion for polar bear ecology in many ways: at her desk, she uses statistical models to aid in conservation; in the field, she assists in deploying GPS collars to collect movement data; and in the classroom, she hopes to inspire children and youth to care for our Arctic. Although polar bears are her main study species (and she loves them!), she cares deeply for the Arctic ecosystem as a whole and loves working to protect it. 


Wes Larson


Salt Lake City, UTAH

A childhood spent exploring the woods and waterways of Montana planted a wildlife conservation seed in Wes that has grown into a career in wildlife biology with an emphasis on bear conservation. While the bulk of his research has been conducted on black bears in Utah, he also worked on a polar bear project in northern Alaska for the better part of a decade. While research is something he is extremely passionate about, Wes also has a great interest in outreach and education, and has both hosted and coordinated several different documentary projects focusing on wildlife and wildlife biologists including being the host of the Great Big Story’s Mission Wild. This work has led him everywhere from the swamps of Florida to the savannas of Africa, and he sees incredible value in bringing the stories of wildlife biologists to the public.