Ana Humphrey created her first environmental education project at age ten after learning how mountaintop removal coal mining devastated mountain ecosystems and community health. She created a website called kidslovemountains.org that taught kids about mountaintop removal and inspired them to take action to protect people and the environment.
As an 8th grader, Ana started Watershed Warriors Initiative. After leading her 7th grade science class wetlands restoration project, Ana wrote a community foundation grant and gathered a team of students to provide immersive wetland educational experiences to others. Now in its third year, Watershed Warriors develops lessons implementing state science standards of learning and engages 5th graders in hands-on experiences growing, caring, and transplanting wetland gardens. Watershed Warriors focuses on serving children in high-poverty and racially and ethnically diverse schools and works with the National Parks Service and local organizations to get students into wetlands to learn science, have fun, increase their environmental knowledge, and serve their communities.
Ana also developed a digital image analysis application that counts E. coli colonies in Coliscan Easygel water quality tests. Her app provides citizen scientists and water quality groups an easier and more consistent counting methodology to monitor waterborne E. coli. She has been working with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to test the app and prepare it for field use.
Ana was a 2014 Discovery 3M Young Scientist Challenge national finalist, a 2016 US Stockholm Junior Water Prize Virginia winner and national finalist, a 2015 and 2016 Northern Virginia Science and Engineering Fair grand prize winner, and a winner of the 2016 Frances and Sydney Lewis Environmental Science Scholarship from the Virginia Environmental Endowment. Ana was elected to the board of Earth Force, a national non-profit organization that empowers students to become active citizens who improve their community and environment. Through Earth Force Ana hopes to reach more students and inspire them to make a difference in their communities.