Guest Speakers

April 2022 Plenary Speakers

Jade Hamister

Jade Hameisteris a record-breaking skier and explorer, who at the age of 16 became the youngest person in the world to complete the Polar Hat Trick. Jade’s quest began in 2016, when aged just 14, she became the youngest person in history to ski to the North Pole from anywhere outside the Last Degree. Then in 2017 she made history again by traversing the Greenland icecap unsupported and unassisted, making her the youngest woman ever to do so. In January 2018 Jade fulfilled her long-held Polar hat trick dream when she became the youngest person to ski from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole unsupported and unassisted. The epic journey in which she covered 1,300 km on skis dragging a heavy sled in freezing conditions also saw her become the first woman to set a new route from the Coast of Antarctica to the South Pole. And if that’s not enough, amongst other firsts, Jade holds the record of being the youngest person to ski to both Poles. Jade is passionate about raising awareness of the impact of climate change on the Earth’s beautiful and fragile polar wilderness which was captured in a 2018 feature-length movie by National Geographic Channel that documented her journeys and brought to light issues around global warming. Her message has since been heard across the world via TEDx, SOLVE and even at the Vatican, where she served as the Oceania Youth Representative. In 2019, she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for service to Polar exploration and has twice been named Young Adventurer of the Year by the Australian Geographic Society. Her message to women and youth is to focus on what their bodies and minds can do, to value bravery over perfection and to dare to be adventurous.

Lauren Eastwood

Lauren Eastwoodis Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York, College at Plattsburgh. She is currently on leave from her position at SUNY and living in Duisburg, Germany where she is Senior Researcher at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research (KHK/GCR21). There, she also heads up the “Global Governance of Climate Change and Sustainability” policy field. Her primary research areas include civil society participation in policy making through the United Nations, the shifting politics of fracking and other forms of energy extraction, and the increasing criminalization of anti-fossil fuel activism. The research she does through the United Nations is ethnographic and participatory, in the sense that she attends meetings associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (among others) in order to investigate how it is that policy is actually negotiated within the context of UN-based deliberations. In these areas, she pays particular attention to the ways in which non-governmental and indigenous peoples attempt to influence policy processes. In her other research, she investigates the changing legal terrain of activism as people contest fossil-fuel based infrastructure.

Stacey Sublett Halliday

Stacey Sublett Hallidayis a Principal with the environmental law firm of Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., where she advises corporate clients on a range of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. Through her work at Beveridge & Diamond, Stacey provides an array of corporate social responsibility and sustainability services to help clients meet requirements and demand for ethical, sustainable practices clients—including circular economy, supply chain, and environmental justice (EJ) initiatives. Stacey previously held a political appointment as Special Counsel in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of General Counsel (OGC), where she worked directly with the General Counsel to coordinate OGC’s internal activities, in addition to serving as OGC’s primary liaison for external federal, state and private sector stakeholder engagement. Stacey also served as a senior member of the EPA oversight response team, where she provided legal and strategic guidance on congressional investigation and hearing preparation (including for the EPA Administrator and Deputy Administrator), White House and interagency coordination, and crisis management and strategic communications. She currently holds leadership roles with the American Bar Association (Chair, SEER Membership Diversity Enhancement Program; Vice Chair of Environmental Justice, Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Ecosystems Committee), and the Environmental Law Institute (Board Member; Steering Committee Chair, Emerging Leaders Initiative).

Dr Valerie Small

Dr Valerie Small is the National Program Director at the conservation non-profit Trees, Water & People. Dr Small focuses upon partnership building with Indigenous based non-profits and Tribal governments to increase capacity, facilitate funding for Tribal designed, led and managed natural resource projects that included rangelands, riparian and forest ecosystems within reservation boundaries and ancestral lands adjacent to Tribal lands. The primary focus on partnership building was to Indigenize our approach in building trust, within a community-based development framework. Dr Small developed new programs to include forest regeneration that increased the diversity mix of tree species to include culturally significant species such as plains cottonwoods (Populus delotides) chokecherry, buffalo berry and wild plum to empower tribal food sovereignty programs.

December 2021 Speakers

Dr. Richard J. Koubek, Session 1 Plenary

Professor Richard J. Koubek became Michigan Technological University’s 10th president in July 2018, bringing 30 years of higher education experience to the role. In 2015, he was named executive vice president and provost of Louisiana State University (LSU) after serving as dean of the LSU College of Engineering since 2009. Previously, Koubek served as head of Pennsylvania State University’s Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering at Wright State University; and associate dean of research and graduate studies in Wright State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Scott Ferraro, Session 1 Plenary

Scott Ferraro is a leader in net zero-emission strategy development and implementation, with a deep understanding of the opportunities to reduce emissions across the energy, transport and buildings sectors. Currently, Scott and his team are focused on transitioning Monash’s Australian operations to net zero emissions by 2030. The program aims to find translatable solutions to enable the broader transition to net-zero emissions required under the Paris Agreement.

Dr. Diana Wall, Session 1 Plenary

Professor Diana Wall served as President of the Ecological Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the Society of Nematologists. Diana received the 2017 Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America, the 2019 President’s Medal and 2016 Honorary Member award from the British Ecological Society, the 2015 Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin, the 2012 SCAR President’s Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the 2013 Soil Science Society of America Presidential Award. Wall Valley, Antarctica was named in 2004 to recognize her research. She is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the Society of Nematologists and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Diana is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the 2013 Laureate of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Diana is currently Science Chair, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. She is the Inaugural Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Diana earned a B.A. in biology and Ph.D. in plant pathology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Dr. Brandon Jones, Session 3 Plenary

Dr Brandon Jones is the Program Director for education and broadening participation efforts in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences. At NSF, he oversees programs that focus on undergraduate and graduate workforce preparation for the Geosciences and supports initiatives related to increasing diversity and enhancing inclusion and belonging in STEM. Brandon received a BA in biology from The Lincoln University (PA) and his graduate degrees in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He taught five years of high school science in the interim between his MS and PhD matriculation. Brandon is a recent board member of the American Geophysical Union and a current board member for the Environmental Leadership Program. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He continues to be an active mentor for early career STEM scholars who are members of historically excluded communities.

Jeanne Beacham, Session 3 Plenary

Jeanne Beacham is President and CEO of Delphon Industries LLC., a materials manufacturing company to the Semiconductor, Aerospace and Medical Industries. Jeanne was awarded the Diamond Leadership Award and East Bay Women of Distinction Award. Jeanne also received awards from the San Jose Business Journal as one of the most influential women in business in Silicon Valley and Woman of Distinction in Technology. Delphon was named by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top Women Owned business in the Bay Area. She is an active member of SEMI, and sat on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management’s Master of Management and Manufacturing Program. Jeanne is a Past President of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and a founding member of Semiconductor Women’s Alliance Network, a member of SEMI and an active member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board and the C200 organization.

Terence Jeyaretnam, Session 3 Plenary

Terence Jeyaretnam is an environmental engineer and Partner at EY in the Climate Change and Sustainability practice, based in Melbourne, Australia. He is EY’s national leader for indigenous reconciliation, as well as the D&I leader for EY. He has been an integral part of EY’s cultural diversity efforts over the past two years.Prior to joining EY, Terence founded Net Balance in 2006. Before it was acquired by EY in 2014, he succeeded in growing the firm to Australia’s largest standalone sustainability and climate change advisory service. Net Balance was twice rated by BRW as one of the Fast 100 growth companies in Australia. Terence is on the Boards of Knowledge Media, Food Frontier and Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, and is an Adjunct Professor at University of Southern Queensland. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia.

April 2021 Speakers

Dr. Martin Frick, Opening Plenary

Dr. Frick is currently the Deputy to the Special Envoy for the UN Food Systems Summit 2021 at the United Nations. He formally was the Director of the Climate, Energy, and Tenure Division at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He previously served as the Representative of Germany to the International Organizations in-country, including the Secretariats of the UN Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Prior to this assignment, he led E3G’s -- Third Generation Environmentalists, a leading climate change think tank -- Programme Leader for climate diplomacy from November 2010 to June 2012. Dr. Frick has been a German diplomat since 1996. He served as the German representative for human rights and humanitarian affairs at the UN General Assembly from 2005 to 2007. In 2007, during the German EU presidency, Dr. Frick was the EU negotiator on resolutions on the right to development and on the human rights situation in Darfur. From 1999 to 2002, he served as Consul and as Deputy Ambassador in post-crisis Albania. From 2002 to 2005, he was the Cabinet Affairs Advisor to German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. 2007 to 2010, Dr. Frick defined the Global Humanitarian Forum’s (set up by former UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan) work on the human face of climate change and on climate justice. Dr. Frick has a PhD in Law from Regensburg University and a diploma in International Relations from Science Po Strasbourg. He was a senior fellow at Demos, New York as well as a guest lecturer at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Dr. Monica Romo, Opening Plenary

Dr. Romo has more than 30 years of experience designing projects, methodologies, strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of conservation and sustainable development projects in the Amazon. At present she is an Amazon environmental specialist at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Romo has worked for NGOs such as Conservation Interactional, Amazon Conservation Association and Peruvian Association for Conservation. She has been part of the Rapid Assessment Program that contributed to the creation of Bahuaja Sonene and Otishi National Park, the Ashaninka and Machiguenga Communal Reserves, as well as mammal inventories in the Abiseo River and Manu National Parks in Peru. She has taught courses at the University of Missouri, University of Turku, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina and Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She has a doctoral degree in Ecology from the University of Turku (Finland), Master of Science from the University of Missouri-SL. (USA) and is a biologist from the San Marcos University (Perú).

Dr. Stuart Pimm, Opening Plenary

Dr. Stuart Pimm, Professor of Conservation at Duke University, is an internationally recognized global leader in the study of biodiversity, especially present-day extinctions and what the world can do to prevent them. His message that we can all make a difference in our planet’s survival, inspires a wide audience. Pimm’s commitment to the science—policy interface has led to his regular testimony to both House and Senate Committees of the U.S. Congress. In addition to his conservation efforts in Africa, Pimm has worked in the forests of Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. In the last decade, he has been active in training Chinese conservation professionals and spends a month each year in China. Pimm directs Saving Nature a non-profit that uses donations for carbon emissions offsets to fund conservation groups in areas of exceptional tropical biodiversity to restore their degraded lands. Pimm is the author of over 350 scientific papers and five books, including the highly acclaimed assessment of the human impact to the planet: The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth. Pimm was awarded the 2019 International Cosmos Prize, one of the most prestigious honours presented in the environmental field. It recognizes ground-breaking research on endangered species and his work at Saving Nature, to promote practical approaches to reverse species’ declines by protecting and restoring their shrinking habitats. His international honours also include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), and the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). Pimm received his BSc degree from Oxford University in 1971 and his Ph.D from New Mexico State University in 1974.

Dr. Gary Machlis, Closing Plenary

Dr. Gary E. Machlis is University Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University, and served as Science Advisor to the Director, U.S. National Park Service (NPS) during both terms of the Obama administration. Dr. Machlis received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his Ph.D. in human ecology from Yale. He has written numerous books and scientific papers on issues of conservation, human ecology, and sustainability, including The State of the World's Parks (1985 and re-issued in 2021), the first systematic study of threats to protected areas around the world. His most recent books (co-authored) are The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water (2018) and American Covenant: National Parks and Our Nation’s Future (2021). His research has been published in journals as varied as Bioscience, Climatic Change, Conservation Biology, Society and Natural Resources, and Science. Dr. Machlis has been a leader in collaborative higher education. He served on the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) National Committee on Opportunities for Women and Minorities in Science for over a decade. He was instrumental in the creation of the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units (CESU) Network and served as its National Coordinator from 1998-2006. Dr. Machlis is active in international conservation. He has worked in China on the Giant Panda Project for the World Wildlife Fund, and has worked in the Galápagos Islands, the national parks of Kenya, Haiti after its devastating earthquake, Cuba, and in Eastern Europe. Dr. Machlis helped establish and directed the National Parks Science Scholars Program, with over $8 million in scholarships to students from Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the countries of Latin America. In 2010 Dr. Machlis was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Lavell Merritt, Closing Plenary

Dr. Lavell Merritt is a National Park Service Legislative Affairs Specialist (Bevinetto). He is detailed to the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, where the Chairman is Rep. Joe Neguse of Colorado 2nd District. Dr. Merritt has been a National Park Ranger since 1998. He was the manager of the Intermountain Region ProRanger Law Enforcement Recruitment Program from 2009 – 2020. He has worked in several parks around the country including Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site, National Capital Parks-East, and Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historic Park. He was the Co-Chair of the Employee Empowerment Collective (EEC). The EEC is an African American Employee Resource Group within the National Park Service. He has also worked in the Washington Area Servicing Office in Youth Programs as the Recruitment Program Manager. Dr. Merritt was awarded the Clemson University Institute for Parks’ Robert G. Stanton Award recognizing his sustained and innovative achievement in promoting racial and ethnic diversity in the management of North America’s natural, historic, and cultural heritage. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia in 1996 and 1997. Dr. Merritt earned his PhD in Recreation, Park and Tourism Science from Texas A&M University in 2009.

Dr. Alice Madden, Closing Plenary

Following a career dedicated to implementing forward-leaning policies in myriad areas, including equal rights, quality education, the environment and sustainability, Alice became the Executive Director of Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado in 2016. A proud Colorado Law alum, Alice practiced law for a decade before running for the Colorado House of Representatives in 2000. She is considered the architect of the 2004 progressive resurgence and as Majority Leader, Alice led the passage of an historic agenda -- particularly around clean energy. She went on to become Gov. Bill Ritter's Climate Change Advisor and was a Climate Fellow at the Center for American Progress in DC. She then held the Timothy E. Wirth Chair in Sustainable Development at the University of Colorado's School of Public Affairs. In 2013, she accepted a high-level appointment in the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Energy. Alice has always believed in giving back to her community and has served on multiple boards and professional associations. In everything she has done, she has incorporated efforts to ensure equitable and inclusive support of women and other under-represented populations.

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December 2020 Guest Speakers

Dr. Joyeeta Gupta, Opening Plenary

Dr. Joyeeta Gupta is co-chair of UNEP's Global Environment Outlook-6 (2016-2019), published by Cambridge University Press, which was presented to governments participating in the United Nations Environment Assembly in 2019 and also won the Association of American Publishers PROSE award for Environmental Science. She has been nominated as co-chair of the Earth Commission (2019-2021) set up by Future Earth, together with Johan Rockström and Dahe Qin. She is a full professor of environment and development in the global south at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research of the University of Amsterdam and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. She is also the Faculty Professor on Sustainability (2019-2024). She leads the program group on Governance and Inclusive Development. She was the lead author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which won the Zaved Second Prize. She has successfully supervised 18 PhDs and is currently supervising 24 PhD students in the areas of climate change, forest, food/fish, water and disaster governance, as well as in development challenges, such as food governance and child marriage. She has been on the scientific steering committees of international and national scientific programmes.

Dr. William Sutherland, Opening Plenary

Dr. William Sutherland is the Miriam Rothschild Professor in Conservation Biology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Cambridge. His research area is Population and Community Ecology, and he also has wide interests in conservation biology. He is especially interested in predicting the impacts of environmental change, particularly on bird populations. Some of this work combines field data and models while other work is purely based on field work. While much of his work has been in the UK, he has been involved in many projects elsewhere in the world. Another major theme of his research is using evidence-based conservation to collate experience of the effectiveness of interventions (he initiated and runs and then use this evidence to advise practice. He hopes that this will eventually revolutionize global conservation practices.

Mark Boulet, Closing Plenary

Mark Boulet completed Masters of Environmental Science at Monash University and his undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University. He is currently a part-time PhD candidate looking at issues of household food waste and consumer behavior. Mark's background is in environmental sustainability and education. He has worked as an environmental educator in Thailand, developed recycling and green purchasing systems for universities, and engaged householders in sustainable living initiatives. He is particularly proud of the six years he spent managing and growing the multi-award-winning Green Steps training program for university students at the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. In 2011, Mark was awarded an Australian Leadership Award by the prestigious Australian Davos Connection Forum. As a BWA Research Fellow, he has worked on a range of projects involving the design of behavioural change interventions to tackle issues such as food waste, noise pollution, sustainable transport, stormwater pollution and wildlife management. Mark is also coordinator of Understanding human behaviour to influence climate change within Monash's Master of Environment and Sustainability. This has been recognised three times as being amongst the top 7% of all Monash subjects based on outstanding student feedback. Mark tries hard not to bore people with endless tales of trail running, camping, hiking and outdoor gear. Sadly, he is not always successful.

Dr. Enrique Flores, Closing Plenary

Dr. Enrique Flores Mariazza is the Rector of the National Agrarian University, La Molina, Peru. He is an agricultural engineer with a MA and Ph.D in Rangeland Science from the Utah State University College of Natural Resources, USA. He served as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Agronomy and Rangeland Science at the University of California, Davis, USA. He is currently a Principal Professor and Principal Investigator in the Laboratory of Rangeland Utilization at the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering of the National Agrarian University, La Molina, Peru. His research is related to the branch of grassland ecology and management, with the aim of providing basic and applied knowledge and tools that meet the needs of management and conservation of the country's forage resources and promote the conservation and improvement of the ecological and economic status of grasslands.

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