Conference Speaker Bios
Dr. A. Karim Ahmed | Adjunct Professor, Occupational Environmental Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, GCSE Co-Founder (USA)
A. Karim Ahmed, Ph.D., is the secretary-treasurer of the GCSE Board of Directors and an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Previously, Ahmed was senior fellow and deputy director of the Program on Health, Environment, and Development at the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, D.C. On behalf of WRI, Ahmed helped launch the 1998 – 1999 World Resources Report (WRR) at a press briefing in New Delhi, India, in July 1998, and gave a major public address on the impact of climate change on human health at the first Indian National Conference on Environment and Health. (The WRR is a bi-annual joint publication of WRI, United Nations Environment Programme, United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank.). Read more.
Dr. Sally Archibald | Associate Professor, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (South Africa)
Sally Archibald is currently working as Associate professor of School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences at University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Her work integrates field ecological data, remote sensing, modelling, and biogeochemistry. Involved in collaborative research projects with Yale University, Edinburgh University and the University of Liverpool among others which variously work on fire-grazer interactions, inter-continental savanna comparisons, the importance of land-atmosphere feedbacks, and pursuing a global theory of fire. Closely linked with research projects at the Global Change and Ecosystems group at the CSIR where she holds an affiliate position.
Dr. Angela Bednarek | Project Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts (USA)
Angela Bednarek directs the evidence project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, working to identify and promote promising innovations in increasing the usefulness, inclusivity, and use of research and evidence across policy sectors. She co-created and co-leads the Transforming Evidence Funders Network, a group of funders around the world and across policy sectors dedicated to transforming how research and other forms of evidence are generated, mobilized, and used. For more than a decade at Pew, she developed and communicated scientific research to inform policy and advance solutions to environmental challenges. Prior to Pew, she served in the Office of Environmental Policy at the U.S. Department of State. She serves on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice, as vice-chair of the board of the Global Council for Science and the Environment, and on the Research Advisory Council for the Partnership for Public Service. Bednarek holds a doctorate in biology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Prof. Jim Buizer | Founding Director, Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies, University of Arizona (USA)
James (Jim) Buizer serves as Founding Director of the Arizona Institute for Resilient Environments and Societies where he is responsible for its implementation and management. He is professor of Climate Adaptation and International Development in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, as Research Scientist in the Arid Lands, Water, and People Program, and as Faculty Affiliate to the Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in Global Change. His research focuses on mechanisms to incorporate scientifically-based findings of projected impacts of climate variability and change into development decisions, and has worked in 20 countries across the globe over his career. From 2003-2011 Jim served as Senior Advisor for Institutional Transformation to the president at Arizona State University (ASU), where he led the design and establishment of the Global Institute of Sustainability and its degree-granting School of Sustainability. Read more.
Dr. Sharon K. Collinge | Professor, Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado-Boulder (USA)
Dr. Sharon Collinge's research program centers on the role of landscape change in shaping ecological processes, including responses of individual organisms, populations, and communities to spatial variation in landscape structure. Her work integrates theories and methods of conservation biology, restoration ecology, and landscape ecology to examine ecological consequences of spatial structure in landscapes under varying degrees of human influence. In the laboratory, her team primarily conducts independent and integrated research related to two major projects: 1) spatial aspects of vernal pool ecology and restoration, and 2) landscape change and disease dynamics in grassland ecosystems. Dr. Collinge formerly served as the Chief Scientist and Observatory Director for the NSF-funded National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), and as the Vice President for Public Affairs for the Ecological Society of America. Dr. Collinge currently serves as an instructor and mentor to graduate students in the Masters of the Environment program in ENVS.
Dr. Aisha Dasgupta
Population Affairs, United Nations Population Division. Aisha Dasgupta is a demographer and works on fertility and family planning at the United Nations Population Division. Her research interests include metrics, the relationship between contraception and fertility, and the population-environment nexus. She has worked for Marie Stopes International and the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Aisha earned her MSc and Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Sir Partha Dasgupta | Economics of Biodiversity Author, Emeritus Professor/Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge
Dasgupta is Frank Ramsey Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and Professorial Research Fellow at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. He taught at the London School of Economics during 1971-1984 and moved to the University of Cambridge in 1985 as Professor of Economics, where he served as Chairman of the Faculty of Economics in 1997-2001. During 1989-92 he was also Professor of Economics, Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Program in Ethics in Society at Stanford University; and during 1991-97 he was Chairman of the (Scientific Advisory) Board of the Beijer International Institute of Ecological Economics, Stockholm. Since 1999 he has been a Founder Member of the Management and Advisory Committee of the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Kathmandu. Read more.
Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai | Territories Coordinator for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE)
Uyunkar Domingo Peas Nampichkai is a long time leader from the Achuar Nation of the Ecuadorian Amazon serving the country's indigenous movement for nearly 3 decades. Currently Domingo is the territories coordinator for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative for the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (CONFENIAE). CONFENIAE represents 11 indigenous nationalities from the Ecuadorian Amazon region. Domingo has been a key force in uniting the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and Peru in forming the Sacred Headwaters Initiative to permanently protect 35 million hectares in the headwaters of the Amazon. Previously Domingo served as the director of communication for the Achuar indigenous Nation of Ecuador (NAE) from 2000-2003. He is also the founder of the Achuar indigenous community tourism project of Sharamentsa, and served as the Vice President of the CONFENIAE from 1993-1996. Domingo has also served as the Vice-President and later President of CODENPE (Council of Nationalities and Peoples of Ecuador) and previously served as a representative of the German Foundation Indio-HILFE. Domingo is also revered by his family and friends for using Amazonian plants to make powerful healing remedies.
Dr. Paul Ehrlich | President, Center for Conservation Biology, Stanford University (USA)
President, Standford Center for Conservation Biology, Bing Professor of Population Studies. Paul R. Ehrlich received his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. Co-founder with Peter H. Raven of the field of coevolution, he has pursued long-term studies of the structure, dynamics, and genetics of natural butterfly populations. He has also been a pioneer in alerting the public to the problems of overpopulation, and in raising issues of population, resources, and the environment as matters of public policy. Professor Ehrlich's research group covers several areas. It continues to study the dynamics and genetics of natural populations of checkerspot butterflies (Euphydryas). This research has applications to such problems as the control of insect pests and optimum designs for nature reserves. Read more.
Chad Frischmann | Global Solutions Alliance (USA)
Chad Frischmann is the co-author, lead researcher and principal architect of the Drawdown Solutions Framework behind the New York Times best-seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (Penguin, 2017), the Drawdown Review (February, 2020), and all communications and engagement efforts at Project Drawdown, a leading resource for climate solutions. Leading a global team of researchers, Chad designed integrated global tools to assess the world’s most effective climate solutions and determine if, when, and how the world can reach “drawdown,” the point in time when the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases begins to decline on a year-to-year basis. As head of Drawdown Solutions since Project Drawdown’s inception, Chad is a key spokesperson and coalition-builder dedicated to sharing the message and model of the Drawdown Framework to the world.
Dr. Gretchen Goldman | Assistant Director for Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy & Justice White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (USA)
Dr. Gretchen Goldman is currently serving at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as the Assistant Director for Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy, and Justice. Previously, Dr Goldman was the research director for the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. For more than a decade, Dr. Goldman has led research and advocacy efforts at the nexus of science and policy on topics including federal scientific integrity, fossil energy production, climate change, and environmental justice. Dr. Goldman has testified before Congress and sat on the board of the nonprofit 500 Women Scientists. Her words and voice have appeared in Science, Nature, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, and the BBC, among other outlets. Dr. Goldman holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in environmental engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in atmospheric science from Cornell University.
Lynda Hopkins | Supervisor, Fifth District of Sonoma County (USA)
Supervisor Lynda Hopkins is in her second term representing the geographically vast and economically diverse Fifth District of Sonoma County, which includes the entire Sonoma County coastline, the lower Russian River, many small rural villages, the city of Sebastopol, and the Southwestern portion of the city of Santa Rosa. Additionally, Lynda holds the role of Chair of the Climate Funding Committee for the Regional Climate Protection Authority and Chair of Sonoma Water. She also serves as a director on a variety of regional governance boards, including Sonoma Clean Power, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District, Sonoma County Transportation Authority, Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, First Five Commission, Russian River Watershed Association, North Coast Resource Partnership, Community Development Commission, and Local Agency Formation Commission. Lynda’s interest in public policy and land use began while attending Stanford University, where she studied interdisciplinary environmental sciences through the Earth Systems (BS, MS) Program. Her course of study included research on mass transit, coral bleaching, and how to more effectively communicate scientific principles to the broader public. She is a passionate advocate for data-driven climate policy, wildfire resilience, coastal climate adaptation, affordable housing, social justice, and early childhood education.
Saleemul Huq OBE | International Centre for Climate Change and Development (Bangladesh)
Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh, and is an expert on the links between climate change and sustainable development, particularly from the perspective of developing countries. He was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Mitigation in the IPCC's fourth assessment report. His current focus is on supporting the engagement of the Least Developed Countries in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is researching the least developed countries' vulnerability to climate change and the impact of adaptation measures. Prior to becoming a senior associate, Saleem was a senior fellow with IIED, and was also previously director of the Climate Change research group.
Wahleah Johns | Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs (USA)
Wahleah Johns is the Director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs. She is responsible for upholding and advancing the Office of Indian Energy’s mission to maximize the development and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Johns is a member of the Navajo (Dine) tribe and comes from northeastern Arizona. Her background is in renewable energy and community organizing, having co-founded Native Renewables, a nonprofit that builds renewable energy tribal capacity while addressing energy access. Her work with the Black Mesa Water Coalition and Navajo Green Economy Coalition has led to groundbreaking legislative victories for groundwater protection, green jobs, and environmental justice. In 2019, she was awarded the Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Valerie Luzadis | GCSE Board Chair, Interim Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York (USA)
Valerie Luzadis, Ph.D., is Chair, GCSE Board of Directors and a professor of Social-Ecological Systems and Ecological Economics at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Her teaching and research focus on systems approaches to social-ecological foundations for conservation and sustainability. Luzadis’ scholarly work also includes the study and practice of collaborative interdisciplinary science and efforts to bring science into policy. Her teaching and research focus on systems approaches to social-ecological foundations for conservation and sustainability. Luzadis’ scholarly work also includes the study and practice of collaborative interdisciplinary science and efforts to bring science into policy.
Julia is an expert in environment and sustainability and is the former Director General of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Prior positions have included Rector of the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE); Executive Director of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) International and Executive Director of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Julia has given hundreds of speeches throughout her career, written articles, op-ed pieces and contributed to several books. In addition to chairing the Board of Trustees of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, she is the chair of the Executive Committee for the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement; of the Donor Council of the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) and the Strategic Advisory Board of IDDRI (the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations). Read more.
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema | Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
Elizabeth Maruma Mrema was the Director of the Law Division and has worked with UNEP for over two decades. Prior to joining the Law Division in June 2014, she was the Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division, in charge of coordination, operations and programme delivery from 2012 and for one year, also serviced as Acting Director to the same Division. In 2018, in addition to her role as the Law Division Director, she was also the Acting Director of the Corporate Services Division where she led the management of the human resources, financial operations and management and other administrative functions for the entire Organization. In 2009 she had been appointed as the Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Acting Executive Secretary of the UNEP/ASCOBANS and Interim Executive Secretary of the UNEP/Gorilla Agreement, all based in Bonn, Germany and held that position until 2012 and thereafter she joined the Ecosystems Division in Nairobi, Kenya. Read more.
Dr. Pablo A. Marquet | Ecologist, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Chile)
Professor, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Pablo Marquet is a Chilean Ecologist, recognized for his contributions in the fields of macroecology, theoretical ecology, conservation, and global change. He is known for his work on the scaling of abundance in communities, the evolution of body size on landmasses; connecting body size to area, evolution, and fitness, the development of metapopulation models in dynamic landscapes, the emergence of power laws in ecology and, the emergence of social complexity, and the impact of climate change upon biodiversity.
Dr. Rita Mesquita | Ecology Department, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (Brazil)
Rita Mesquita has a degree in Biological Sciences from UFMG, a master's degree in Ecology from INPA and a PhD in Ecosystem Ecology from the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia, USA. She works as an adjunct researcher at INPA and is executive secretary of the Executive Coordination team for the creation of the Museum of the Amazon in Manaus. Between 2004 and 2008, she coordinated an assistant secretariat to the Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development of the State of Amazonas, being responsible for formulating policies in the area of conservation of natural resources and for the implementation of state conservation units. She participates in several Councils of organizations that work in the Amazon and has published several academic works.
Sherri Mitchell, Esq. | Founding Director, Land Peace Foundation (USA)
Sherri was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek). She speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. Her broad base of knowledge allows her to synthesize many subjects into a cohesive whole, weaving together a multitude of complex issues and articulating them in a way that both satisfies the mind and heals the heart. Sherri received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. She is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. Read more.
Dr. Carlos Nobre | National Institute for Amazonian Research (Brazil)
Carlos A. Nobre is an Earth System scientist from Brazil. He graduated in Electronics Engineering from the Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA), Brazil, in 1974 and obtained a PhD in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, in 1983. He dedicated his scientific carrier mostly to Amazonian and climate science at Brazil’s National Institutes of Amazonian Research (INPA) and Space Research (INPE). He proposed almost 30 years ago the hypothesis of Amazon ‘savannization’ in response to deforestation. He was Program Scientist of the Large-Scale Biosphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA). He is a former National Secretary of R&D of Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil and former President of the Federal Agency for Post-Graduate Education (CAPES). Read more.
Dr. Steward Pickett | Ecologist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (USA)
Steward Pickett is an expert in the ecology of plants, landscapes, and urban ecosystems. Recipient of the Ecological Society of America's 2021 Eminent Ecologist Award, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the founding director of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (1997-2016), Pickett also co-directed the Urban Sustainability Research Coordination Network. This project established lasting, interdisciplinary connections between urban designers, policymakers, and managers; the National Science Foundation deemed the project a model for research coordination networks. Read more.
Clara Rowe | Chief Executive Officer, Restor (Switzerland)
Clara Rowe is a sustainability leader with a decade of experience in natural resource management, international development, and responsible commodity supply chains. Clara has expertise in bridging the gap between global sustainability solutions and on-the-ground challenges to ensure interventions are impactful and strategic.
Dr. José Sarukhán | Emeritus Professor, National University of Mexico, and National Coordinator of Mexico’s National Commission of Biodiversity (CONABIO) (Mexico)
José Sarukhán Kermez has spent a lifetime not just leading students, fellow researchers and politicians to a greater understanding of biological diversity and its value – he has pioneered ways to translate that insight into action. Sarukhán, 76, persuaded the Mexican government to establish a permanent top-level commission on biodiversity. The commission has bridged the traditional barriers between academic disciplines, government departments and social interest groups. That was back in 1992, when the UN’s Earth Summit in Rio was crystallizing concern that our global development track was unsustainable. Today, the approach developed by Sarukhán is essential for the world to correct its course. Read more.
Dr. Christopher Schell | Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley (USA)
Dr. Chris Schell studies the intersections of society, ecology, and evolution to understand how wildlife (mainly mammalian carnivores) are rapidly adapting to life in cities. The work of the Schell lab combines behavioral, physiological, and genomic approaches to demonstrate the myriad consequences of historical and contemporary inequites on organismal, population, and community-level dynamics of wildlife. In addition, Dr. Schell and his lab leverage human dimensions and community-engaged data streams to decipher how wildlife adaptation and human perceptions create landscapes of risk that contribute to human-carnivore conflict. This interdisciplinary work requires integrating principles from the natural sciences with urban studies to address how systemic racism and oppression affect urban ecosystems, while simultaneously highlighting the need to environmental justice, civil rights, and equity as the bedrock of biological conservation and our fight against the climate crisis.
Simran Sethi | Journalist and Emcee Lead for Content Synthesis at GCSE 2022 (USA)
Simran Sethi (she/her) is a multimedia journalist, academic and consultant who’s endlessly curious about science, sustainability, food, and the people and places that nourish us. Named one of the “50 Most Influential Global Indians” by Vogue India and the “environmental messenger” by Vanity Fair, Simran has written for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Guernica and The Guardian. She was designated one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire, and is the author of Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love—named one of the best food books of 2016 by Smithsonian—about the loss of biodiversity in food and agriculture told through bread, wine, chocolate, coffee and beer. She is the contributing author of Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy, winner of a 2008 Axiom Award for Best Business Ethics Book. Read more.
Atossa Soltani | Founder and President, Amazon Watch (Brazil) (invited)
Atossa Soltani is the director of global strategy for the Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, an alliance of 30 indigenous nations in Ecuador and Peru working to permanently protect 86 million acres of rainforests in one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth. She is also the founder and board president of Amazon Watch and served as the organization’s first executive director for 18 years. In response to the Amazon fires in 2019, Atossa helped co-found Artists for Amazonia to catalyze global action for the Amazon. In recognition for her life’s work as rainforests and indigenous rights campaigner, Atossa was named the Hillary Institute’s 2013 Global Laureate for Climate Leadership. Atossa is also a member and contributing author to the Science Panel for the Amazon.
U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) (USA)
Melanie Stansbury is a proud New Mexican who has spent her career working to protect our lands and waters and address the critical issues facing our communities. As someone who grew up in a working family in Albuquerque, Melanie knows what it means to struggle to make ends meet and knows the urgency of bringing real solutions to help our families. Serving in the New Mexico House of Representatives (2019-2021), Melanie was a leader in tackling the pandemic, food and hunger issues, climate change, growing our economy and meaningful jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and protecting our natural resources.
Dr. Raman Sukumar | Professor, Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (India)
Indian ecologist best known for his work on the behaviour of Asian elephants and how their presence has affected both human and natural environments. In an effort to provide a safe habitat for elephants, Sukumar carried out surveys and tried to establish protected corridors so that elephant herds could move from one reserve to another. He experimented with various forms of fences around village perimeters to keep the animals away from crops and human habitation. Sukumar also helped design the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the first of its kind in India, which was established in 1986. There he conducted research on climate change, tropical forests, and wildlife conservation. In 1993 Sukumar became a member of the Project Elephant Steering Committee, which provided technical support and advice on matters of elephant conservation to the Indian government. Read more.
Limbi Blessing Tata | Founder and Executive Director, Ecological Balance Cameroon (Cameroon)
Limbi is a Botanist and Conservationist with an extensive experience of forest management. She works with planting native tree species, aiming to plant thousands of them to rebuild Cameroon’s forests. She is also a social visionary, environment/climate activist, advocate for women/girl's rights and youth mentor. She is trained in plant and environmental sciences, and is a forestpreneur and non-wood forest and agricultural products value chain expert.
Ibrahim Thiaw | Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) (Mauritania)
Ibrahim Thiaw was appointed as Under Secretary General of the United Nations and UNCCD Executive Secretary on 31 January 2019. The Mauritanian brings 40 years of experience in sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management. Thanks to his extensive experience Thiaw is well-poised to lead the global effort on land restoration, build drought resilience; and improve food security, gender equality and land rights for vulnerable populations. Before joining UNCCD, he was Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the Sahel, where he supported the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) and the development of a UN Support Plan for the Sahel. Read more.
Alexandria Villaseñor | Founder, Earth Uprising (USA)
Alexandria Villaseñor is a 17 year old climate activist from the USA and founder of Earth Uprising. Alexandria began her own solo weekly school strike for climate in front of United Nations Headquarters on December 14, 2018 inspired by Greta Thunberg. Alexandria has been on strike ever since. Soon after she began striking, Alexandria became a national and international Fridays for Future organizer for the global climate strikes that have occurred in the past year. For her activism, Alexandria was awarded the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival Disruptor, the 2019 Rachel Carson Award for Environmental Service and Politico identified her as one of the top 100 people influential in climate policy. Alexandria continued her activism, on September 23rd, Alexandria, alongside Greta Thunberg and 14 other children from all around the world, filed an international complaint with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child alleging that the largest polluting nations on the planet are violating the human rights of children everywhere. Alexandria will continue her activism until she sees efficient action on the climate crisis.
Harrison Watson | Princeton University (USA)
Harrison is currently a PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from all over the broader southeast region of the US (the dirty dirty). He graduated from Jackson State University in 2019 with a BSc in Marine Biology where he studied mitochondrial genomics using species of crustaceans native to the northern Gulf of Mexico. He’s broadly interested in how climate change influences terrestrial carbon cycling and hopes to apply this knowledge in helping at risk communities curate sustainable development plans for the 21st century.
Sachem Wushouwunan Kesikbesek Maxé Rua (Sanchem HawkStorm) | Hereditary sachem (chief) of the Schaghticoke People
Sachem HawkStorm, hereditary sachem (chief) of the Schaghticoke People, is a fierce advocate for the rights of his people as well as other indigenous peoples in the New York region and beyond. His work focuses on cultural heritage, education, and tribal sovereignty. Sachem HawkStorm has participated in the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, focusing on economic and social development, cultural preservation, water and food sovereignty, self-determination, human rights and environmental justice. He has worked in close partnership with the United Confederation of Taino People, Ramapough Lenape Tribal Nation of New Jersey, and the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe to strengthen unity among East Coast indigenous relations. In 2018, he attended the International Indian Treaty Conference in Bear Butte, South Dakota. Sachem HawkStorm is an advocate for environmental justice and the preservation of indigenous land and waters. He helped lead People's Climate marches in 2014 and 2017 as well as the Native Nations Rise March in 2017.
Michelle Wyman | GCSE Executive Director (USA)
Michelle Wyman serves as the executive director of the Global Council for Science and the Environment, an international nonprofit that spans the boundaries between science, decision-making, and the environment. She has worked on clean energy, climate, and environmental policy with all levels of government for over two decades, developing strategic and tactical solutions to implement energy, climate, and sustainability strategies and solutions.
Nawashahu Yawanawa-Bergin (Sara) | Caceque (Chief), Aldeia Shukuvana Yawanawa
Sara Nawashahu Yawanawa-Bergin of the Yawanawa Peoples in the Amazon Rainforest Acre, Brazil. She is a young Woman Caceque (chief) of Shukuvena Village, working on sustainable AgroForestry, women empowerment through sustainable crafts and leadership. More recently Nawashahu became an indigenous delegate to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for her Yawanawa Peoples. Through her work she aims to restore the balance and our place on our Earth Mother.
Flash Talk and Concurrent Session Speakers
Susan Alvarez, PE, CFM | Assistant Director, City of Dallas (USA)
Ms. Alvarez serves as the Assistant Director of the City of Dallas Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability. She has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with a minor in geology from Rice University, and postgraduate work in water resources. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and 5 other western states, and is a Certified Floodplain Manager, and Master Naturalist in Texas. She is currently focused on implementing the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan, the Comprehensive Food & Urban Agriculture Plan, the City Business Climate Alliance and other related efforts.
Isabel Alvarez | Programme Officer, Stockholm International Water Institute (Sweden)
Isabel Alvarez Murillo is an Environmental Engineer and PMP certified with seven years of experience in designing, managing, and coordinating international development projects in WASH, food security, and water management. She has worked for intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, and the private and academic sectors based in Canada, Ecuador, Italy, and Sweden. She is currently involved in the development of technical notes on WASH response to COVID-19, Climate Resilient WASH, regional governance studies on SDG6, remote support for the implementation of WASH response to COVID-19, support for the design of Integrity Assessment Tool, and integrity indicators for regulators in the monitoring and evaluation of WASH service providers.
Dr. Adriana Bankston | Chief Executive Officer & Managing Publisher, Journal of Science Policy & Governance (USA)
Adriana Bankston is a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California Office of Federal Governmental Relations in Washington, DC, where she serves as an advocate for the university with Congress, the Administration and federal agencies. Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at the Society for Neuroscience, where she provided staff support for special and on-going projects, including the society’s annual lobby event and the annual meeting. In addition to working at UC, Adriana is the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Publisher of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, a Fellow with Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), and a Biomedical Workforce & Policy Research Investigator at the STEM Advocacy Institute. Finally, Adriana is a member of the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Coalition Steering Committee. Adriana earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University. Adriana is on Twitter at @AdrianaBankston.
Sean Bath | Program Specialist, NOAA (USA)
Sean C. Bath (he/they) is a Scientist / Program Manager of the NOAA Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program. They started their career doing participatory planning approaches as a Sea Grant/RISA intern and found their way into NOAA to facilitate that kind of work full-time. Originally from Charleston, SC, they now reside on the ancestral lands of the Nacotchtank & Piscataway people (Silver Spring, MD). Sean is passionate about people-centric science and governance.
Dr. Nirupama Bhattacharya | Lead Data Scientist, MITRE (USA)
Nirupama (Pam) Bhattacharya is a Lead Data Scientist at MITRE, where she leverages her expertise in data analytics, machine learning, and other computational modeling approaches, for a variety of projects spanning areas such as computer vision, epidemiology, and causal analysis in public health applications. Prior to MITRE, Pam was a postdoctoral scholar at UC San Diego, working in computational biology. She earned her B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from UC San Diego, where her research focused on computational neuroscience.
Dr. Yaw Agyeman Boafo | Senior Research Fellow Climate change and Sustainability, University of Ghana (Ghana)
Dr. Yaw Agyeman Boafo is a social ecologist with a PhD in Sustainability Science from the at United Nations University Institute for Advanced Study of Sustainability, Japan, a master's degree in Environmental Science and a degree in Geography and Resource Development all from the University of Ghana. With his interdisciplinary orientation and an interest in combining social and ecological perspectives, Yaw has been working in the fields of climate and ecosystem change assessment, vulnerability and resilience in socio-ecological systems, food security, and disaster risk for sustainable development. From 2009 to 2018 Yaw was a researcher on several transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary projects including Anticipatory Learning on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience (ALCCAR) (2009-2011), Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach (CECAR Africa) (2011-2016) and Food Security Impacts of Industrial Crop Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa (FICESSA’ (2015-2018). Yaw has been actively involved in global biodiversity and ecosystem research network and serving as a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ (IPBES) Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Deliverable 2c). Throughout his research career, Yaw has focused on using participatory methodologies to work with diverse stakeholders’ including local communities, development practitioners and policymakers to identify, understand,advance and apply, place-based and resilient solutions to sustainable development challenges.
Dr. Maria Boccalandro | Dean of Special Academic Programs, Dallas College (USA)
Dr. Maria V. Boccalandro, is a sustainable urban planner with a master's degree in urban transportation and a Ph.D. in political science. She is serving as Dallas College’s Dean of Special Academic Programs. She was formerly the Director of Sustainability and Programs in the Office of Advancement of Cedar Valley campus (CV) of the Dallas College (DC) and also worked for the DC Sustainability Team. She was in charge of planning, developing, coordinating, and administrating the sustainability awareness projects and fundraising initiatives with internal and external stakeholders. She led a multi-stakeholder sustainable economic development planning process, creating opportunities for DC and Yale University students to participate in high impact practices to increase college retention and completion, that won the CV 2017-2018 Innovation of the Year award. She loves volunteering and is now serving on the Environment and Sustainability Committee of the City of Dallas, in charge of implementing the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP).
Dr. Priscila Carvalho | Research Fellow Environment Law & Sustainability, UCL (United Kingdom)
Dr. Priscila Carvalho is Research Fellow in Environmental law and Sustainability under the UCL Islands Laboratory. Her previous experience in legal consultancy on regulated sectors and environmental law combined with her interdisciplinary research skills makes her a unique scholar seeking a deep and real-world awareness of justice, equity and fairness which provide the foundation of robust governance systems and alleviation of vulnerability to advance equitable disaster risk reduction and resilience.
Dr. Joan Casey | Assistant Professor, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health (USA)
Joan A. Casey received her doctoral degree from the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2014. Dr. Casey is an environmental epidemiologist who focuses on environmental health, environmental justice, and sustainability. Her research uses electronic health records and spatial statistics to study the relationship between emerging environmental exposures and population health. She also considers vulnerable populations and the implications of health disparities, particularly in an era of climate change.
Dr. Bruce Cook | Physical Scientist, Biospheric Sciences Lab, NASA (USA)
Dr. Cook is a Physical Scientist who studies ecosystem form and function in uplands and wetlands using lidar and multi-sensor/temporal remote sensing. His research interests include forest inventory; forest health monitoring and protection; photosynthesis and plant production; disturbance and plant succession; nutrient cycling; and ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CO2, CH4, heat and water vapor. He is Deputy Project Scientist for Landsat 9 (https://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/), and Principal Investigator of NASA Goddard’s Lidar, Hyperspectral, and Thermal (G-LiHT) airborne imager (http://gliht.gsfc.nasa.gov/).
Robert Cormia | Chemistry Faculty, Foothill College (USA)
Robert Cormia is full-time faculty at Foothill College, where he teaches chemistry, and assists the FHDA College District with analysis of energy use, estimation of greenhouse gases, and modelling of future energy systems. His research interests include modelling real-world energy systems for decarbonization, eliminating natural gas from HVAC, and electrification of transportation. Robert also supports curriculum development and mentoring of students in carbon capture and is a technical advisor to a Direct Air Capture (DAC) start-up in Silicon Valley.
Drew Cutright | Program and Portfolio Manager, Strategic Consulting, Georgia Institute of Technology (USA)
Drew Cutright (she/her) is a Program & Portfolio Manager in Georgia Institute of Technology’s office of Strategic Consulting, with a focus on international initiatives and sustainability. She is also the program administrator for the University Global Coalition, a global network of higher education institutions working to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Drew held roles as a sustainable building consultant, environmental planner, and environmental educator. Drew has a Master in Environmental Planning and Design and a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature.
Dr. George De Feis | Professor, Stockton University (USA)
Dr. George L. De Feis is an Assistant Professor of Business Studies in the Stockton University School of Business. His expertise includes strategy, management and sustainability/ESG, and his work appears in well-respected, peer-reviewed journals and book publications. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Business and Applied Sciences Academy of North America (BAASANA) in 2016, Board of AirSoilWater – sustainability not-for-profit organization in Pennsylvania in 2015, and in 2019 invited as a Board Member of "Science Progress" (Sage Publications). De Feis has over 25 years of worldly professional and academic experience, covering the fields of strategic management, global affairs, and sustainable development, and he has consulted to the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds. Dr. De Feis can be viewed at https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-de-feis-0911046/
Kelley Dennings | Campaigner, Center for Biological Diversity (USA)
Kelley Dennings is a campaigner with the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity where she develops and executes projects that address the connections between reproductive health, gender equity, consumption and the climate and extinction crises. Prior to the Center, she worked in waste management and forest conservation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in natural resources from N.C. State and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida.
Dr. Jason Ens | Executive Director, Academic Policy, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, Concordia University (Canada)
Jason Ens is Executive Director, Academic Policy, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives at Concordia University. Jason is responsible for conducting strategic visioning and planning exercises at the university, and helping to develop and lead strategic initiatives stemming from these exercises. In recent years, Jason has been heavily involved in the introduction of cluster hiring, the creation of the SHIFT Centre for Social Transformation, the formation of the Future Skills Innovation Network, the development of the Next-Generation Cities Institute, and the institutional commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Jason holds a PhD in English from the University of Washington.
Dr. Leila Farhadi | Associate Professor, George Washington University
Leila Farhadi received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on Hydrology and Water Resources from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) In 2012. She received her B.Sc and M.Sc degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran. Upon receiving her PhD, she worked as a research scientist at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office of NASA, Goddard before joining the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the George Washington University (GWU) in 2013. She is currently an Associate Professor of Engineering at GWU. Dr. Farhadi’s research is focused on understanding and modeling land surface and land-atmosphere interaction and exchange processes by utilizing innovative remote sensing, optimization and numerical modeling techniques. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) 2019 Early Career Faculty (CAREER) Award and the 2017 New (Early Career) Investigator award in Earth Sciences from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Stephanie Feldstein | Director, Center for Biological Diversity (USA)
Stephanie Feldstein is the Population and Sustainability Director at the Center for Biological Diversity, where she leads the Center's work to highlight and address threats to endangered species and wild places from human population growth and overconsumption. Previously Stephanie worked for Change.org, where she helped hundreds of people start and win online campaigns to protect wildlife. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan and is the author of The Animal Lover’s Guide to Changing the World.
Dr. Alex Godoy-Faúndez | Director, Sustainability Research Center, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile)
Director of Sustainability Research Center & Strategic Resource Management, School of Engineering at Universidad del Desarrollo. Head of Waste to Energy Research & Technology - Chile at WTERT Council and Research Associate at Earth Engineering Center at Columbia University and current mentor for the HBA Sustainability Certificate for Centre for Building Sustainable Value at Ivey Business School, Canada. In 2019 was awarded as Doctor Honoris Causa - Doctor of Laws at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay to contribute to the creation of public policies and innovations in the private sector on sustainability issues.
Dr. Adelheid Herrmann | Postdoctoral Fellow, Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (USA)
Adelheid Herrmann was born and raised in the Bristol Bay area in southwest Alaska. She is Dena’ina Athabascan and is a shareholder of Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Adelheid has worked various jobs over the years such as in administration, working in the fishing and seafood industry, assisting in workforce development programs, and serving in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1983-1989. She is currently doing post doctoral research on workforce development as it relates to climate adaptation and is a co-investigator for the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy (ACCAP) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Several ACCAP projects she is working on are the Small Grants Program, a NOAA project titled: Assessing Fiscal Pathways for Meeting the Climate Adaptation Needs of Rural Tribes and examining Geotourism as a potential economic driver for rural Alaska communities.
Marcel Howard | Policy Analyst, Upstream Solutions (USA)
Marcel Howard is a policy analyst & coordinator with the nonprofit Upstream, where he develops and executes projects that address the connections between source reduction, consumption, reuse / refill, environmental justice and the climate crisis. Prior to Upstream, Marcel worked in a variety of positions centered around climate change and environmental justice. Marcel holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Lesley University, and a master's degree in environmental policy and sustainability management from The New School.
Jordan King | PhD Candidate, Arizona State University (USA)
Jordan King is a PhD Candidate at Arizona State University in the School of Sustainability and the College of Global Futures. His work focuses on sustainability education in higher education, specifically how to design innovative ways to assess learning outcomes. Beyond this emphasis, Jordan engages in transdisciplinary sustainability endeavors, working with stakeholders such as community members, teachers, and youth. Jordan is also a Graduate Student Fellow of GCSE, supporting the Sustainability Education Community of Practice.
Dr. Kirsten Lackstrom | Research Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina (USA)
Kirsten Lackstrom is a Research Assistant Professor with the University of South Carolina Department of Geography. She has been a member of the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA) team since 2010, where she conducts research to support the integration of climate information into decision making. She works with partners to improve climate communications with diverse audiences, primarily in CISA’ programmatic areas related to water resources and drought.
Dr. Rachel Lamb | University of Maryland College Park (USA)
Dr. Rachel Lamb leads Maryland Department of Environment's natural carbon sequestration science, policy, and regulatory initiatives. In this role, Rachel supports carbon assessments and accounting for Maryland's natural and working lands, and works to advance supportive policy for strategic carbon sequestration activities relative to the state's Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act and broader participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Rachel earned her PhD in Geographical Sciences at the University of Maryland College Park (UMD) where her research centered on the applications of NASA Carbon Monitoring System science to advance strategic reforestation with co-benefits for biodiversity and human livelihoods.
Dr. Mi Lin | postdoctoral researcher, Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age/ Young Professional, World Bank Group (Canada)
Mi holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resource Sciences from McGill University with a focus on the issue of groundwater depletion and the promotion of resilient water-secure systems. Mi was a postdoc for Future Earth leading the development of biodiversity pathways for sustainability in Canada. Mi also served for the United Nations Development Programme relating to ecosystem and biodiversity. Mi Lin is currently a Young Professional working at the intersection of water, climate, and development in Environment, Natural resources, and Blue Economy Global Practice at the World Bank Group (WBG).
Dr. Zhong Lu | Professor, Southern Methodist University (USA)
Zhong Lu is the Shuler-Foscue professor of geophysics at Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA. His research interests include technique developments of interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) processing and their applications to the study of natural and human-induced geohazards. He is a member of NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Science Team, Editor-in-Chief of journal GeoHazards and Associate Editor of journal Remote Sensing.
Dr. Amber Mace | Executive Director, California Council on Science and Technology (USA)
Amber Mace, PhD is the Chief Executive Officer of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), a nonpartisan, nonprofit corporation established in 1988 to advise the state of California on matters of science and technology. A strategic thinker and pragmatic problem solver, Mace brings to CCST more than two decades of leadership experience working at the nexus of science and policy, drawing on her extensive background in environmental policy and marine ecology. She has served as an appointee in the Schwarzenegger and Brown administration and as a Knauss Fellow and a CA Sea Grant Fellow.Mace holds a BA in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis and the Bodega Marine Laboratory, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Damon Matthews | Scientific Co-Director, Sustainability in the Digital Age (Canada)
Damon Matthews is the Scientific Co-Director of Sustainability in the Digital Age and a Tier 1 Concordia University Research Chair in Climate Science and Sustainability. Damon is a member of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada and a Review Editor for the upcoming Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has published more than one hundred research papers on topics ranging from quantifying the remaining carbon budget to assessing equitable approaches to allocate emission allowances to individual countries. His research aims to understand better the many possible interactions between human activities, natural ecosystems, and future climate change.
Dr. Paul Brice May | University of Maryland (USA)
Dr. May received his PhD in Statistics from South Dakota State University in 2021. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, working with the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) Science Team. His interests include leveraging remote sensing data with spatial statistics for ecological and environmental modeling.
Dr. Alexander More | Member of the Board of Directors, Daniels Family Sustainable Energy Foundation (USA)
Alexander More is an associate professor of environmental health at LIU in NYC, associate research professor at the climate change institute (Umaine) and group leader for climate and health at SoHP at Harvard. He is an award-winning scientist, leading the search for solutions to climate change’s impact on global and ecosystem health as a member of the board of directors of the Daniels Family Sustainable Energy Foundation.
Sindhu Nathan | PhD Candidate, Stanford University (USA)
Sindhu Nathan (she/her/hers) recently received her PhD in chemical engineering from Stanford University. Her doctoral research focused on studying nanoparticle materials for sustainable fuel and chemical production and her chosen focus is grounded in her passion for advancing an equitable and zero-carbon energy system. At Stanford, she served as the President of the Stanford Science Policy Group and as a Shultz Energy Fellow at the California Energy Commission in the Office of Commissioner Patty Monahan, where she supported efforts to expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure access in California. She is also a 2021 Clean Energy Leadership Institute Fellow and serves on the leadership council of the National Science Policy Network.
Dr. Manta Nowbuth | Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, University of Mauritius (Mauritius)
Dr Manta Devi Nowbuth is an Associate Professor and Head of the Civil Engineering Department at the Faculty of Engineering, at the University of Mauritius. She is a Civil Engineer by training and graduated with an MSc in Hydrology and Environmental Management from Imperial College, University of London. She completed her PhD in the field of Hydrogeology and undertook a Postdoctorate research study at the USGS, San Diego in the field of Contaminant Transport. She research has focused on the water sector with climate related disaster such as flood and drought being part of the local problems she has been researching upon. She has a good local network with institutions concerned with the problems of flood and drought in the country. She also has an extensive network in Africa, with WaterNet, WARFSA/SANWATCHE – University of Stellenbosh, South Africa, and the Global Water Partnership, Southern Africa. She was involved in the regional SADC project on Monitoring of the Environment for Security in Africa (MESA) and has since included training on flood modelling and remote sensing at undergraduate level.
Dr. Gigi Owen | Assistant Staff Scientist, University of Arizona (USA)
Gigi Owen is a social scientist at the Climate Assessment for the Southwest program, a NOAA-funded research program housed at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She is trained in geography and political ecology, and my research interests broadly focus on the interplay between humans and their social, political, and ecological environments. Ms Owen's current portfolio includes building equitable and resilient local food systems, assessing the impact of climate adaptation strategies, and evaluating how interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research supports a thriving Southwest region.
Robert Rak | Professor and Environmental Science and Technology Coordinator, Bristol Community College (USA)
Robert Rak received his Bachelor Degree in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and his Master’s Degree in Marine Biology from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth (Southeastern Massachusetts University at the time). He worked as a Biological Aide and Research Assistant at NOAA’s Northeast Marine Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, and as a Whale Watch naturalist for the Princess Cruise Lines in Plymouth, MA. He then worked for 11 ½ years as the Laboratory Director at the Fall River Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility followed by a part-time position as a computer instructor at Dominican Academy in Fall River, MA. He began his career at Bristol Community College as a part-time Coordinator of the Environmental Technology Program in 1996 and was hired to the faculty full-time in 1997. He has worked on numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, Massachusetts Environmental Trust, and the Bristol Community College Foundation. He holds a Massachusetts Grade 7 Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator’s License and a Massachusetts Grade 3 Drinking Water Treatment Plant Operator License.
Jesse Rosenbluth | Director of Business Development - Green Infrastructure, Omni Ecosystems (USA)
Jesse Rosenbluth is the Director of Business Development and Green Infrastructure Technical Services at Omni Ecosystems, a vertically integrated green infrastructure supplier, design, and construction firm. In this role Jesse works with designers, end users, community partners, installers, and municipal authorities to get high performing green infrastructure projects built around the country. Through these efforts he’s developed a pipeline of green infrastructure projects in new markets across the country and internationally through partnerships with the public and private sectors with emphasis on delivering triple bottom line services to communities. Previous work has included the management and oversight of project teams as a construction superintendent on green infrastructure projects nationwide, running organic market farm operations and environmental education/riparian restoration on behalf of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and working as wetlands field research technician.An associate member of the Boston Climate Resiliency Committee and contributor to the ULI Boston/New England report, Living with Heat, which focuses on the consequences of climate change in the Greater Boston area—specifically, extreme heat and its ancillary issues.
Dr. Peter M. Rudberg | Researcher, GeoViable (Sweden)
Peter works at GeoViable with a main theoretical emphasis on environmental policy implementation and learning in water governance. His expertise includes climate change impacts and adaption with a focus on the water and wastewater sector, and the interaction between the energy and environmental regulatory regimes in relation to renewable electricity production. His primary empirical focus is on hydropower production and change in a Swedish, EU and North American setting.
Santiago Ramirez Said | Project Manager, Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age (Canada)
Santiago Ramirez Said is a botanist and a National Geographic Explorer with an M.Sc. in Natural Resource Management. Santiago has over four years of experience working with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) in Canada, Colombia, and Panama. Together with IPLC, they advance Indigenous-centered cultural and ethnobotanical conservation initiatives while co-creating Nature-based Solutions projects tightly based on Indigenous knowledge, social justice, and biodiversity health. Parallel to his work in Latin America, Santiago is also a project Manager for Future Earth and Sustainability in the Digital Age, exploring the current landscape of Nature-based Solutions in Canada, understanding the gaps and opportunities in this space.
Katalina Salas | PhD Candidate, University of Texas at El Paso (USA)
Katalina Salas is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Environmental Science and Engineering Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. Her current work focuses on understanding how individuals learn, understand, and make decisions about water resources in the El Paso Region. She often works at the crossroads of science, education, policy, and community engagement, leading to decision-making.
Dr. Catalina Spataru | Professor of Global Energy and Resources, UCL (United Kingdom)
Dr Catalina Spataru is a Professor in Global Energy and Resources, The Head and Scientific Director of Islands Research Laboratory at UCL. Her expertise range from theoretical investigations to implementation research and practice in energy, environment, resource nexus (water-energy-land-food-materials), risk assessment and resilience, people behaviour and response. She published over 100 papers in leading international conferences and journals. One of her papers received the award. She has written or edited 5 books on energy and resources, delivered several talks, interviewed for media. As the Head of Islands Laboratory she coordinates a team of 11 researchers who studies innovative solutions for islands towards a circular economy and assess trade-offs between resource use under different climatic conditions. She participated to the drafting of the EU Legislative framework for Safety and Resilience, contributed to decision makers for energy and resource use through use of scenario analysis and policy studies in Europe, West Africa, Asia, South America. She has been serving as a chair and co-chair of several international conferences and has served as Program Committee for several conferences.
Meghna Tare | Chief Sustainability Officer, University Of Texas - Arlington (USA)
As UT Arlington’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Meghna works collaboratively to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments at UT Arlington, and to address opportunities to promote sustainability in several areas such as energy efficiency, waste management, transportation, education, outreach, community engagement, and interdisciplinary and sustainability-focused curriculum. She has spearheaded launching a Regional Center of Expertise for Education in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in North Texas, a program of the United Nations University, and the North Texas Food Policy Alliance. She serves and represents UTA on several Advisory Boards including the National Academy of Science Board on Higher Education and Workforce Development—Policy and Global Affairs, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), and on the Board of Directors for International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI USA). She was awarded Women of the Decade in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Women Economic Forum, and 2020 Women in Sustainability-Transformational Leader by Wells Fargo/Envision Charlotte. She graduated with an MBA in Sustainable Management, MS in Environmental Science, and MS in Chemistry.
Jacob Taylor | Fellow - Global Economy and Development, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings (USA)
Jacob Taylor is a fellow in the Center for Sustainable Development. He is a core secretariat member of the 17 Rooms initiative, a new approach to catalyzing action for the Sustainable Development Goals. His research focuses on mechanisms for advancing collaboration and collective intelligence for global-scale sustainable development challenges across disciplines, sectors, and geographies. Jacob is a cognitive anthropologist by training with a research background in collective intelligence and social cohesion in human systems and high-performing teams. Within the 17 Rooms initiative, he is responsible for codification of insights and innovations across both the global flagship process and the bottom-up 17 Rooms-X community of practice. Before joining Brookings, he conducted applied research in several contexts, including most recently as a research fellow at the Asian Bureau of Economic Research at the Australian National University, and as a consulting scientist to a DARPA research program for developing technology for team intelligence and performance. Jacob has a regional research focus on China, having spent several years studying, working, and conducting ethnographic research in Beijing with the local Chinese sports community. He himself has a background in professional team sport, representing his native country of Australia in Rugby 7s, 2009-2013. He received a B.A. (Honors) from the University of Sydney and an M.Sc. in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology and D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in anthropology from the University of Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
Dr. Sarah Trainor | Associate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks (USA)
Sarah Trainor is Associate Professor of Sustainability Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Co-director of the Alaska RISA, the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy, and Director of the Alaska Fire Science Consortium. Her work focuses on building capacity for climate adaptation in Alaska Native communities, including analysis of boundary spanning, knowledge co-production, and Indigenous evaluation. She holds a PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California Berkeley.
Dr. Sandra Venghaus | Assistant Professor, RWTH Aachen University/Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany)
Sandra Venghaus is assistant professor for decision analysis and socio-economic assessment at RWTH Aachen University in Germany. After studying environmental science and public policy at Harvard University from 2000 to 2004, she received her PhD in economics from Leibniz University Hannover, Germany, focusing on complex system innovations. She then worked as a post-doc with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and most recently has founded and led the research group on "Ethics, Sustainability, and the Resource Nexus" at the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE) at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. She is Coordinator of the BioSC Competence Platform "Transform2Bio: Integrated Transformation Processes and their Regional Implementations: Structural Change from Fossil Economy to Bioeconomy". Her current research focuses on the quantitative modeling of complex socio-ecological systems, with a special interest in the impacts of political regulation and decision dynamics on social, economic, and ecological parameters.
Dr. Robyn Wilson | Professor, School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University (USA)
Dr. Wilson is a behavioral decision scientist studying individual decisions under risk. She is also interested in the development of strategic communication efforts, as well as the design of decision support tools that assist individuals in making more informed choices. Her current research focus is on adaptation to climate-exacerbated hazards, and what motivates and constrains different land use and land management decisions on private and public lands.
Dr. Grace Wu | Assistant Professor, UC Santa Barbara (USA)
Grace Wu is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara. Before joining UCSB, Grace was a Smith Conservation Fellow at The Nature Conservancy and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. She was also a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis. She was trained in systems thinking and interdisciplinary approaches in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Caroline Zimm | Researcher, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria)
Caroline Zimm is a research scholar jointly associated with the Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS) Research Group of the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program and the Equity and Justice (EQU) Research Group of the Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) Program. She currently works on the international research initiatives of the Earth Commission of the Global Commons Alliance, and leads the IIASA Strategic Initiative, Just Transitions to Net-zero Carbon Emissions for All (JustTrans4ALL). Her research is concerned with the diffusion of technologies and policies for sustainable development, inequalities across countries, and transformative development pathways for humanity within a stable Earth system.
Dr. Cinzia Zuffada | Associate Chief Scientist, NASA JPL (USA)
Dr. Cinzia Zuffada joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena in 1992 and is currently the Deputy Chief Scientist, playing a key role in the development of institutional programs and in managing internal R&D investments. In particular, she oversees a number of programs supporting research collaborations between JPL and the academic community. For over twenty years, she has led the pioneering Global Navigation Satellite Systems reflectometry (GNSS-R) technology development at JPL and has played a role in demonstrating the feasibility of the technique for ocean altimetry and land hydrology remote sensing. She is the Principal Investigator of two NASA ROSES awards based on the application of the data from the NASA CYGNSS constellation and is a member of its competed science team. She has been active internationally in the development of the GNSS-R community and is currently a member of the SRB of HydroGNSS, an ESA Scout mission. Dr. Zuffada has a Doctorate of Engineering degree from the University of Pavia, Italy, where she was a Research Faculty in Electromagnetic Fields Theory before moving to the US. She received the Theresian Medal from the University of Pavia in 2002 and is a member of its academic senate. She is the recipient of the 2014 JPL Magellan Award and the 2015 NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal. In 2016 she received the Knighthood of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and the Ghislieri Prize in 2019 in recognition of her career. Dr. Zuffada is active in outreach activities, with particular focus on strengthening collaborations/cooperation between the US and Italy in research and has been a Science Fellow at the US Embassy in Rome in 2019. She serves (as a volunteer) as the president of the Italian Scientists and Scholars in North America Foundation (ISSNAF), a non-profit network of researchers who endeavor to foster transatlantic synergies in research and innovation.
Dr. Ariela Zycherman | Social Scientist, NOAA (USA)
Dr. Ariela Zycherman is a Social Scientist and Program Manager in NOAA’s Climate Program Office in the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program (RISA). She is an Environmental Anthropologist with expertise in food and agricultural systems, household and community livelihoods, and natural resource management. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Social Science Coordinating Committee. Prior to NOAA, Ariela supported multidisciplinary and applied team science projects and workforce development initiatives as a National Program Leader at USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and as the National Coordinator of the USDA Climate Hubs.