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Flash Talk Speaker Bios

Adaptive Capacity to Shift Absorptive Capacity: A Framework of Water Reallocation in Highly Modified Rivers


Dr. Peter M. Rudberg | Researcher, GeoViable (Sweden)

Climate and Health: Modeling the Impacts of Air Pollution on Population Health Outcomes


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.

Climate and Resilience in Midwestern Food-Energy-Water Systems


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.

Elena Irwin | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)


Kai Zhou | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)


Allan Randall | Professor, The Ohio State University (USA)

Dallas Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan (CECAP): Academic Stakeholders and Policy Makers Working Together

Dr. Maria Boccalandro | Dean of Special Academic Programs, Dallas College (USA)


Susan Alvarez | 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.

Meghna Tare | Chief Sustainability Officer, University Of Texas - Arlington (USA)


Dr. Chris Dowdy | Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Paul Quinn College (USA)


Dr. Eva Szalkai Csaky | Executive Director of the Hunt Institute for Engineering & Humanity, South Methodist University (USA)

Keeping Clean Water Flowing


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.

Transformative Adaptation to Increase the Community Aqueducts Resilience in Puerto Rico Post-Disasters

Victor Ruiz-Aviles | PhD Student, Arizona State University (USA)


A Story Needs to be Heard: Racialized Coastal Experiences during the Global Pandemic in Bangladesh


Dr. Saleh Ahmed | Assistant Professor, Boise State University (USA)

Dr. Saleh Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Environmental Studies in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. His research interests include human dimensions of global environmental change, rural livelihoods analysis, and land use change.

Driving the Clean Energy Future through Strategic Agricultural Subsidies

Aaron Cohen | Senior Food System Manager, Farm Sanctuary (USA)


Sally Lee | Deputy Director of Rural Partnerships, Food Integrity Campaign (USA)


Donna Chavis | Founder of Red Tail Hawk Collective, Friends of the Earth (USA)

Extreme Climate Events: Relation Between Water Scarcity and Governance's Instability

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.

Diego Rivera | Research Associate, Sustainability Research Center, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad del Desarrollo (Chile)


Human Well-Being Focused Transitions to Net-Zero Carbon Emissions


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.


LEED for Heat Equity: Research and Case Studies

Jesse Rosenbluth | Director of Business Development - Green Infrastructure, Omni Ecosystems (USA)


Dr. Ronnen Levinson | Staff Scientist, Heat Island Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (USA)


Sarah Schneider | Deputy Director, Cool Roof Rating Council (USA)


Karema Seliem | LEED Specialist, U.S. Green Building Council (USA)


Business Youth for Engaged Sustainability to Achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


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/.

Ana Aramburu | Junior, Researcher, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain)

Technological Pathways for Carbon Sequestration


SDGs in the Hospitality Industry: Some Financial Implications


The SDGs and the Wikipedia Ecosystem: Lots of Opportunities for the GCSE Community to Engage (Not confirmed)

Daniel Mietchen | Senior Researcher, Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Germany)


Developing an Actionable Knowledge Framework Facilitating Broader Impacts and Societal Outcomes From Environmental Research


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.


Heat Abatement Technology: a Rapid Solution to Reduce Energy Demand and Mitigate Climate Change


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.


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.


Holly Buck | Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo (USA)


Preston Jordan | Principal Scientific Engineering Associate, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)


Gurav Sant | Professor, University of California, Los Angeles (USA)


Sally Benson | Professor, Stanford University (USA)