Meet the Team
Rick has always led an active outdoor life. He started climbing and backpacking during college mostly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. With NOLs, Rick had the opportunity to journey into Yellowstone National Park during a winter expedition, and then honed his backcountry and climbing skills in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana.
In New Hampshire, Rick has climbed Mt. Washington and Mt. Adams many times mostly in the winter. He has climbed Mt. Whitney in California, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Breithorn, the Munch and Pollux in the Alps. Rick has also climbed in Alaska and most recently Nepal on Lobuche Peak and Mera Peak. Rick is an attorney in Washington, D.C.
Sonam Jangbu Sherpa
Sonam is IMT-Nepal’s Director of Operations. He is from Phortse, a small village in the Khumbu region of Nepal that is home to generations of Sherpa climbers and to more Everest summiteers than anywhere else on earth. Sonam is an experienced high altitude mountain guide with multiple Everest Summits as well as multiple climbs of Island Peak, Mera Peak, Pharchamo Peak, Nirekha Peak. A student of Tibetan Buddhism, Sonam has studied as a monk at the famous Buddhist monastery in Tengboche under the direction of the Tengboche Lama. He has guided climbers for International Mountain Guides, Adventure Consultants and Arun Trekking. He has summited Everest from both the South and North side. Sonam is a certified Wilderness First Responder from the International Mountain Medicine Center. Sonam is a graduate of the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse and a licensed Nepal National Guide. Sonam is also a graduate of the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath, Varanasi, India.
Yehuda is a seasoned filmmaker who is driven to make ideas better by tapping into the emotion surrounding the narrative. He enthusiastically approaches his documentary film projects with a fresh, curious, and open mind.
Yehuda has his hands in everything creative. He draws on his experience of producing, writing, and directing award-winning content from the sea to the sky and to space. Yehuda consistently delivers world-class media, digital activations, and live events — all through maximizing the imaginative strength of collaboration. His diverse career has taken him from producing underwater films with the legendary Jacques Cousteau to filming rocket launches at Cape Canaveral to creating notable television series to interviewing presidents, politicians, military heroes, and Fortune 500 executives. Yehuda is the creative director of Blue Shark Creative, LLC, a full-service multidisciplinary creative agency.
Shiva Devkota, PhD
Shiva Devkota is co-chair of the HCSI Science Advisory Board. He is a research scientist at Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, Nepal, an institute managed by young PhD scholars to boost scientific impact in Nepal. Currently, he is leading a project entitled “Digitization of Mycological Collections in Nepal” funded by Global Biodiversity Information Facility / Biodiversity Information Fund for Asia (GBIF/BIFA). He is also contributing as a research fellow of the IPBES Assessment of Sustainable Use of Wild Species. He received his M.Sc degree in Botany (Major Mycology) and M.A, in Sociology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal and Ph.D. degree in Ecology and Evolution in 2017 from Bern University and Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Switzerland. Apart from his expertise in projects development and multi-pronged national/international partnership, his main research interest is understanding the ecology, sociology and conservation genetics of wild mushrooms, caterpillar fungus, lichens, and plants in the Himalayas.