About Us

Environmental Research Advocates (ERA), founded in 2009 by Terry and Denise Avchen, is a global, non-profit foundation.  Each and every day environmental researchers see glimmers of hope in their research.  However, many of these promising ideas and projects are unable to flourish because of lack of funding.  It is this knowledge that propelled the Avchens to take action.  ERA Science's goal is to bring financing and worldwide recognition to noteworthy projects that will sustain the environment. 

To meet this goal ERA Science is launching two programs:

  • Annually, two exceptional projects will receive a monetary prize based upon the ERA Advisory Board's recommendations. 
  • The ERA Science Advisory Board will select an annual "Global Top 50" projects. These 50 projects will be highlighted on the website, touted through ERA social media and other marketing efforts. On the ERA Science website, each project will have a succinct description along with a link to the scientists/researchers work.

Venture capitalists, private equity funds, major corporations and other foundations have a strong desire to invest in “green” projects.  ERA Science will provide information about projects that have been vetted by some of the world’s top scientists.

ERA's Science Advisory Board is comprised of some of the most highly regarded scientists and policy makers from around the world.  This Advisory Board is solely responsible for selecting the “Global Top 50” from worldwide submissions, providing the selected work the credit that it so richly deserves.  ERA Science is providing access to ideas and projects that may not have otherwise had an opportunity for worldwide recognition.

The Avchens hope that this endeavor will ultimately provide recognition and funding to the most innovative environmental science.  Environmental Research Advocates is investing in our planet’s future.


Terry Avchen, Chairman and Co-Founder

Terry D. Avchen has three decades of experience and expertise in almost every aspect of environmental and energy law. Founding Partner and Chair of Environmental and Energy Department at the LA based law firm Glaser, Weil, Fink Jacobs, Howard, Avchen and Shapiro, he has represented companies across the environmental and alternative energy spectrum.

Under Mr. Avchen’s leadership, his law firm’s Environmental and Energy Department was recognized as “Tier 1” in the categories of Energy Law, Environmental Law and Natural Resources Law within the Los Angeles market by U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms 2011-2012.”

The Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory has awarded Mr. Avchen an “AV Preeminent” rating, and he has been recognized on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers since 2004. He is a 2013 “Top Rated Lawyer” in Energy, Environmental and Natural Resources, according to ALM, and he has recently been asked to join the Corporate Counsel Summit composed of the most successful legal and general counsel in the practice area.   

Tired of seeing potentially viable projects "dead on arrival" because of lack of funding, Mr. Avchen, in conjunction with his wife, Denise, was at the forefront of the founding and development of Environmental Research Advocates.

Learn more about Terry Avchen on his blog.

Denise Avchen, Co-Founder and Vice Chair

Denise Avchen has served on the board of directors of numerous established as well as start up non-profit organizations. To mention a few, Ms. Avchen was founding chair of National Parkinson Foundation in Los Angeles. She served on the board of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) and collaborated with School on Wheels to create a tutoring center at PATH which enables children who have been homeless to reenter the school system at grade level.  While serving as a Governor of American Film Institute Associates Denise’s passion for education led to her work as chair of the Youth Outreach Program.  She has served on the board of West Side Childrens Center and also worked with Colors United, a non-profit organization designed to rehabilitate high school aged ex-gang members through the arts. Denise continues her concern for children as a board member of The Brent Shapiro Foundation.

Ms. Avchen has received numerous awards and honors for her commitment to helping others.


Terry and Denise share a mutual concern for the environment; combining Terry’s extensive experience in environmental law with Denise’s expertise in the non-profit world, they co-founded Environmental Research Advocates. By providing worthy environmental research with recognition and funds, ERA allows innovative science to flourish, creating a sustainable future for the Earth, its resources and the Human race.