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Trees From Above

our story

Meet Chance and Sarah Kathryn Ruder, the dynamic duo behind Conservation Connection! As a husband and wife team they navigate all aspects of running the show, from researching stories and booking guests to managing equipment and polishing audio.


On the air Chance plays the role of science enthusiast, bringing his lifelong love of science and research to the table and diving into the technical aspects of our guest’s stories. Sarah Kathryn brings some much needed balance to the storytelling, asking the questions that are on everyone’s mind and keeping our feet on the ground! Together they create engaging stories that bring YOU into the conversation.

meet the team

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From the time that I was five years old, the only job I wanted was to become a dolphin trainer. My grandmother would take me to the beach to learn about sea turtles, or to the aquarium to see the dolphins, and suddenly all I cared about was the ocean, and the animals in it. Through hard work and persistence, I was able to achieve my dream and work with marine mammals across the country and around the world! 


I realized that I was in a fortunate position not only to work with the animals I loved so dearly, but to teach others to love them as well! Creating these opportunities for others to care for the environment was fulfilling, but I soon realized that I was only reaching a small portion of the people who needed to hear the environmental message. Not everyone can travel to far off places (or even the closest ocean) to have the experience of interacting with nature in the way I did growing up. I wanted to find a way to show everyone how amazing our planet is, and why it’s important to protect it!


With a degree in Psychology from Auburn, a background in informal education, and experience with scientific research, I was in a unique position to co-create Conservation Connection with Chance. Together we’ve created a space where we can share our knowledge with anyone who wants to learn about the planet and how to care for it!

sarah kathryn ruder

Co-Founder & CEO
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I usually say that I was born loving animals. I was 5 years old when I first stood in front of a crowd, hoping that my passion for the planet would inspire others to take action as well. All through high school, college, and my early career I found opportunities to learn from the Earth and put those lessons into the hands of the people who needed to hear it. Whether it was through casual conversations among friends or by standing in front of thousands, I saw that my best chance to make a positive impact was by getting others to see nature the way that I did. 


I knew that I would spend my life teaching in one way or another, so I completed a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Theatre from Davidson College. I honed my skills as a scientist and as a communicator, broadening my understanding of science and learning how to effectively convey it. 


I was working in the Florida Keys when I met Sarah Kathryn: a peer with a fiery passion for our planet and the ambition to protect it. Within weeks of meeting we hatched a plan for a nonprofit that eventually became Conservation Connection - even before we began dating! I knew that I had found my life partner, and side-by-side we’re spending our lives raising awareness and inspiring action on behalf of the environments we care so deeply about.

chance ruder

Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer

board members


kate ruder

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kala hunter

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matthew hart


stephanie castillo

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megan kennedy

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