Earth Ethics means to treat the surrounding environment with moral behavior and to include actions within your life that reflect this behavior. As a 501 c3 nonprofit organization we spread the practice of Earth Ethics on a community level by education, outreach, and promoting environmental improvement. With Earth Ethics we hope to improve the quality of interaction between humans and their surrounding environment.
Initially created to address issues along the Gulf Coast specific to Northwest Florida, our reach has expanded beyond Northwest Florida to a larger geographical area including the State, Gulf of Mexico region, U.S. and Globe. The majority of our projects are funded through grants or donations.
Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director
Ms. Gutierrez was an intern with American Environmental Network as wet chemist analyst while obtaining her Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science. Ms. Gutierrez has an A.S. in Environmental Sampling and Analysis and Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Community Development. More recently, Ms. Gutierrez has received a Certification in Public Health with an emphasis on Environmental Health.
She has worked as an environmental chemist at Law Engineering and Environmental Services and Severn Trent Laboratories. Prior to working as an Environmental Planner at the West Florida Regional Planning Council, Ms. Gutierrez worked for the Department of Environmental Protection’s (FDEP) Wetland Resource Program and the Department’s Air Resource Management Program. She has over 20-years of experience as an environmental professional. She created Earth Ethics, a 501(c)3, in 2008 and Earth Action, a 501(c)4, in 2013.
On a more personal note, Ms. Gutierrez is an ordained minister and a published poet.
- Florida Jaycees Congress of Outstanding Young Floridians-Outstanding Young Environmentalist-2005.
- Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals (ANREP) Award – National winner, “Team Award” for Grasses in Classes program, 2010.
- Gulf of Mexico Program – Gulf Guardian Awards Program – Certificate of Appreciation, 2013.
- League of Women Voters – Dedicated Service & Outstanding Leadership Award, 2015.
- 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) Designated Contact Point for the U.S. Climate Action Network, 2015.
- Environmental Professional of the year 2015 – Northwest Chapter of Environmental Professionals.
- Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women 2019 Women of Honor, 2019.
- Bright Star Award, Solar United Neighbors, 2020.
Board of Directors
Laura Jolley, Biologist and LPN
Laura Jolley has over 12 years of experience as an environmental professional. She earned her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and entered the environmental field while working as a graduate student researcher when attending the University of West Florida. Ms. Jolley has worked for public and private agencies, and she has significant experience in environmental permitting and construction compliance. Fieldwork is her main focus, including wetland delineations and threatened and endangered species surveys. Laura is currently working as a Nurse.
Gina Cooke, Graphic Designer and Realtor
Gina Cooke has been a visual artist for 20 years. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Arts and a minor in Advertising. She has worked in Publishing for Homes & Land Magazine doing page layout as well as Production Manager for Maximum Press. She is familiar with Adobe programs and PC and Mac platforms. She is also a licensed Florida Realtor. Her strengths are multitasking, planning, and being task-oriented. Currently, she works at Neptune Realty. She loves spending time outdoors and is actively involved in protecting our environment and natural resources.
Marsha King, Community and Environmental Advocate
Having grown up in Mobile County, Marsha witnessed firsthand the degradation of water quality after oil rigs began appearing on the horizon off Dauphin Island in the 70’s. This spurred Marsha’s interest in environmental advocacy and prompted her to volunteer for various environmental advocacy groups over the years. Marsha earned her degree in Environmental Studies at the University of West Florida in 1993. She has worked at the U.S. Census Bureau as a field interviewer since 1997. She continues to be engaged in local and statewide environmental issues.
Elizabeth has a background in education and religion. She has taught English in the public school system in Texas and currently works for Columbia Southern University as an instructional designer. She also has a Master of Divinity and has served as a chaplain, youth minister, and the communications coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast. Elizabeth has been passionate about the environment for years. She has taught the importance of taking care of the Earth to youth, and with her husband, Elizabeth has adopted many homesteading practices. She is the founder of the Facebook page 52 Ways to Save the Planet, where she encourages followers to take on a new challenge each week to live a greener life.
Christine Thompson, Biologist and RN
Christine moved from Ste. Genevieve, Missouri in 1997 and instantly fell in love with the beauty of Northwest Florida from the people to the beaches. She attended the University of West Florida & received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies in 2002. In the past she has worked for the Department of Environmental Protection permitting & enforcing wetland protection. She enjoys field work and continues to work towards the preservation of Northwest Florida’s environmental resources.
Christine currently works at Sacred Heart Hospital as a Registered Nurse. She is also pursuing her advanced degree as a Nurse Practioner for Women’s Health.
Earth Ethics is committed to leaving the earth a better place, to speaking for and protecting those who cannot do it for themselves, and to peacefully and respectfully share the earth with all that inhabits it.