Mark Plotkin was born and raised in New Orleans. LA. He received college aid from JCRS and was educated at Harvard, Yale and Tufts. In 1995, Plotkin and prominent Costa Rican conservationist Liliana Madrigal formed the Amazon Conservation Team to protect the rainforest in partnership with local indigenous peoples. His bestselling book, Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, is an account of the author’s work in the Amazon rainforest tracking shamans’ knowledge of curative powers of plants.