Our Team


Michael Benanav – Founder, Director, Writer, Photographer 

As an author and photojournalist, Michael has spent years covering stories about traditional cultures around the world. His work includes articles and photo essays for national and international publications, as well as his acclaimed book, Men Of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, which documents a 1000-mile journey with one of the world's last working camel caravans along the ancient trade routes north of Timbuktu. For more information, see his website at www.michaelbenanav.com.


Dr. David Barton – Director 

David is director of interdisciplinary studies at Northern New Mexico University and Associate Professor of Humanities. He regularly writes about myth and Depth Psychology, and is Secretary of the International Association of Jungian Studies. In the 1990s, he founded a small national magazine, The Salt Journal, which covered the intersections between psychology, culture, and religion.


Linda Rice - Director

After graduating from Kenyon College with a degree in Fine Art and Cultural Anthropology, Linda moved to New Mexico and became certified in permaculture design. She founded and runs a landscaping company that specializes in creating sustainable outdoor spaces using native plants and rockwork. 


Dr. Sonal Pandya - Advisor

Sonal is the Head of the Department of Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations at Gujarat University, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.  A Gandhian at heart, her passion is Development Communication. Her work focuses on issues that affect marginalized communities, including lower castes and tribal peoples. As a teacher, she aims to inspire a sense of integrity and humanity in her students, so they can make a positive difference in the world. 


Benjamin Raßbach - Writer

Benjamin has an undergraduate degree in Religion and Comparative Anthropology from Philipps University, in Marburg, Germany, and a Masters in the Science of Religion from Leipzig University. Along the way, he's studied Arabic, Farsi, and Turkish. He's particularly interested in the politics of religion, all things Kurdish, and nomadic peoples - and he has worked as a shepherd himself. His writings about his documentary expeditions in Iran and Turkey have appeared in several German publications.   


Dr. Jessica Duncan - Advisor, Researcher

Jessica is lecturer in Rural Sociology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). She holds a PhD in Food Policy from City University, London and is author of Global Food Security Governance: Civil Society Engagement in the Reformed Committee on World Food Security. Her research areas include: food policy; food security; global governance; participation; and environmental policy. She shares some of her research and thinking at www.foodgovernance.com.


Phil Satlof - Cartographic and Technical Advisor

As a Geographer, Phil's specialty is telling stories with maps. He has long experience in Cartography/GIS, Web and IT Management and product/software development. He currently manages all aspects of web application, GIS development, and system architecture at a boutique consulting firm in Washington, DC. His background includes field data collection and geocoding projects, and GIS tools development and deployment. Phil holds a degree in Geography from George Washington University.