Protecting the planet is what drives Jupiter residents David Vogel and Thais Lopez Vogel. The couple launched the VoLo Foundation in 2014 to find a solution to Earth’s ever-growing climate issue. David, a data scientist with international recognition for predictive modeling accuracy, and Thais, a former attorney from Venezuela, work together to ensure future generations have a safe place to live.
Aside from hurricane threats, the Vogels say they have been following Florida’s water quality and the effects of red tide and toxic blue-green algae, all contributing to a higher rate of respiratory issues. They cite that “one out of 10 kids suffer from respiratory disease in Florida due to air pollution.” Thais, a mother of six, says, “The future of my kids is very important to me, and the quality of life for future generations is what we want to preserve.”
So far, VoLo has supported 93 projects and counting worldwide. For instance, they partnered with the World Wildlife Fund in 2016 to protect 40 million acres of forestland in Colombia. Locally, they work with the Cleo Institute in Miami and the Environmental Defense Fund to tackle growing concerns. “We’re 70 percent climate-
focused, but the other 30 percent is about building schools in Nicaragua and focusing on education and health,” says Thais.
This year, they are hosting a South Florida iteration of Florida Climate Week, April 19-24, inspired by the annual event in New York. The event will promote conversation and raise awareness. “We’re positive about climate change because we know we have the technology and science behind it to solve the problem,” says Thais.