Watershed Media co-founders Dan Imhoff and Roberto Carra sat down to discuss why they got started, how they design books, and what they've learned about advocacy communication campaigns.
The Guide to Tree-free, Recycled and Certified Papers. This book was all about making it easy and attractive to buy recycled, tree-free and chlorine-free papers for your printing needs. Designed in a traditional swatchbook format, it contained 20 different paper samples, and designed and was distributed free-of-charge to 8,000 graphic designers on the day of publication.
Watershed Media becomes a 510c3 public charity.
Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood. This book searched for the best ways to limit the impact of residential buildings on the forests and other natural resources. Complete with dozens of case studies and beautiful photographs, it was distributed to members of the US Green Building Council and other building and architectural associations around the country.
Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches This book presented a bold new vision for agriculture, one in which farmers and ranchers work with wild nature, rather than against it. Three years in the making, with dozens of case studies from around the country (and the world), the book helped launch the Wild Farm Alliance, a national NGO that promotes farming systems that protect wild nature.
Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World This was the first comprehensive book about packaging materials—from forest resources to fossil fuel-based disposable plastics—complete with case studies and recommendations for packaging solutions. Paper or Plastic prompted the San Francisco Office of Environment to ban single-use disposable shopping bags and was a key inspiration for the documentary “Bag It.”
Farming and the Fate of Wild Nature: Essays in Conservation-based Agriculture This essay collection compiles the underlying philosophy behind Farming with the Wild, from philosophy to conservation biology to government policy and dietary behavior. It was distributed to hundreds of agricultural professors by the Wild Farm Alliance. Essayists included Wendell Berry, Reed Noss, Aldo Leopold, Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver, Becky Weed and many others.
Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Food and Farm Bill This was the first book to translate the US Farm Bill for the interested public. Using dozens of charts and illustrations, Food Fight reduced the complexities of farm subsidies, nutrition assistance, and conservation incentives into concise chapters and helped inspire a public movement for a more responsible food and farm policy.
Smart By Nature: Educating for Sustainability This joint publication with the Center for Ecoliteracy was the first of our Contemporary Issues Series. Designed to help educators and parents green campuses, plant school gardens, adopt healthy lunch programs, and create environmental curriculum for K-12 education. It features case studies from around the country as well as check lists for direct action
The Post Carbon Reader A co-publishing venture with the Post Carbon Institute, this book offered policy prescriptions for our increasingly overheated and resource stressed planet. It has become a popular college text for courses in sustainability, environmental sciences, as well as a primer for the Resilience and Transition movements around the world.
CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal FactoriesThe most powerful condemnation of the industrial animal factory farming system ever published, CAFO is a coffee table size book with over 450 color images and 40 essays. With its top-notch reporting and graphic photographs, this book serves activists around the country (and the world) that work to right the wrongs of industrial meat, dairy and egg production.
Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill Completely rewritten for the 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization, Food Fight is highly regarded as the best available primer on US farm and nutrition assistance legislation. This highly readable book offers a concise history of the Farm Bill as well as numerous chapters explaining conservation programs, Food Stamps, subsidies, and other topics along with plenty of infographics.
Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth A co-publishing venture with the Foundation for Deep Ecology and the Post Carbon Institute, this coffee table size book details the slippery slope of providing endless energy to a rapidly expanding and consuming global population. Unfortunately, all sources of energy have negative impacts, so the book’s message of conservation strikes a dramatic chord
Daniel Imhoff, Co-founder, director, and publisher. Dan Imhoff is an author, musician, and artisan food producer who has written for 25 years on topics related to ecological sustainability. He has written numerous articles, essays, and books including Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill; Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World; Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches; and Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood. He served as the editor of CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories and co-editor with Jo Ann Baumgartner on Farming and the Fate of Wild Nature.
Dan lectures regularly on a variety of topics, and has appeared on hundreds of national and regional radio and television programs, including Food Forward, Bag It, CBS Sunday Morning, Science Friday, and Living on Earth. His essays and excerpts have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, and Atlantic Monthly (online).
Dan is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media as well as president and a co-founder of the Wild Farm Alliance, a national organization that works to promote agriculture systems that support and accommodate wild nature.
Between 1990 and 1995, Dan worked at Esprit International, where he was communications director for a team at the forefront of environmental product design. He received a B.A. in International Relations from Allegheny College and an M.A. in International Affairs from the Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
He lives on a small homestead farm in Northern California.
Roberto Carra, Co-founder, vice-president and art director. An internationally renowned photographer, graphic designer and art director born in Parma, Italy, Roberto Carra's still-life images significantly influenced commercial communication throughout the 1980s. Carra began his collaborations with Dan Imhoff in early 1990 at the design studio of Esprit International, where they worked on a unique project to incorporate social and environmental issues into product design.
Carra, a classically trained graphic artist, works in a broad range of visual communication media, but concentrates primarily on photography and graphic design. In addition to art directing an increasing number of broadly distributed environmental publications, his layouts and images have appeared in dozens of books and magazines, including Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World; Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West; Fatal Harvest: The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture; Farming with the Wild: Enhancing Biodiversity on Farms and Ranches; Building with Vision: Optimizing and Finding Alternatives to Wood;
101 Vegetable Faces; Esprit: The Comprehensive Design Principle; and The Neon Clock Book.
He lives and works in northern California.
Board of Directors
Daniel Imhoff, Board President, Executive Director
Roberto Carra, Board Vice President, Art Director
Jon Harvey, Conservation activist. After retiring in 2000 as an engineer from the computer industry, Harvey turned his focus to conservation and sustainable land use planning. Since that time, he has served on various government and non-government boards in the San Francisco Bay Area including a city Planning Commission, county Board of Zoning Adjustments, and a county land trust. Harvey is an active member of The Sierra Club both locally and at the national level where he chairs the club's National Agriculture Committee.
Greg Hendrickson, Attorney: Law Offices of Gregory D Hendrickson. Hendrickson's practice includes advising individuals, businesses, and tax-exempt organizations on conservation approaches for real property. He is particularly experienced in negotiating conservation easements for managed landscapes, including forests, farmlands and rangelands. Hendrickson has participated in the preparation of transactional contracts for environmentally based commodities, advised on legislative proposals for reforming national nature resource tax policy, and developed and implemented litigation strategy defending transferred conservation assets.
Diana Donlon, Board Secretary, Cool Foods Campaign Director at the Center for Food Safety. Diana brings two decades of experience in philanthropy and grassroots environmental activism to our board. As a program executive at the Goldman Environmental Prize, she helped to elevate the critical and often unrecognized campaigns of grassroots activists around the world. As one of the founders of the foundation collaborative, the Roots of Change Fund, she has helped set California on its path to be the world leader in sustainable agriculture. Currently directing CFS’ Cool Foods Campaign, she is working to educate, empower and engage the public to understand the connection between food choices and climate change.
Kaye Jones, Ecological Design Consultant. Kaye has an interdisciplinary background in sustainability, education and agriculture. Kaye has her MS from Schumacher College where her work was on ecological design with a focus on small-scale agriculture. She farmed vegetables in the city of Portland for 47th Avenue Farm, and previously worked in ecological education and outdoor leadership. Recently focusing on helping individuals with agricultural R & D in the Bay Area, Kaye has traveled far and wide on a land/farm search, where she has had opportunity to walk the land with many great characters still around in Northern California, farmers and foresters, hearing their stories. Kaye is a founding board member of the Westwind Stewardship Group, a non-profit promoting conservation, education and sustainability at Westwind, a wild 536-acre peninsula where the Salmon River meets the Pacific Ocean.
Watershed Media produces action-oriented, visually dynamic communication resources to influence the transition to a sustainable society.
Watershed Media-initiated projects are concise, yet informative, visually fresh, with a clear communication goal (i.e. establish mainstream awareness of a single topic, such as tree-free paper, wood reduction, habitat connectivity with farmlands, etc.)
Watershed Media creates alliances with leading activist organizations and practitioners working on select issues to add expertise, credibility, and to more carefully assess best practices and frame long-term goals. Our projects are targeted to a specific audience that can benefit from and act upon the book’s information and resources.