Half-Earth Day 2019 Speaker Profiles

Getting to Half

Opening Plenary

9:00–9:50 am, Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • Paula J. Ehrlich, President & CEO, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Paula J. Ehrlich, DVM, PhD, is the President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, where she oversees the Foundation’s broad activities to foster a knowing stewardship of our world through biodiversity research and education initiatives that promote and inform worldwide protection of biodiversity.

    Dr. Ehrlich leads the Half-Earth Project, which is driving the research needed to better understand and care for our world, providing leadership to guide conservation efforts, and engaging people to participate broadly in the goal to conserve half the Earth and protect 85% or more of species, including ourselves. Dr. Ehrlich has more than 25 years of strategic scientific management and research expertise, and diverse academic, non-profit, and corporate leadership experience. She was formerly President & CEO of the Drug Discovery Center of Innovation in Research Triangle Park, NC, Senior Director of Scientific Affairs at Ansaris (formerly Locus Pharmaceuticals), and Preclinical Oncology Imaging Lead & Associate Franchise Director at Merck Research Laboratories in West Point, PA. At Merck she led initiatives to establish imaging biomarkers and proof-of-concept for over 12 lead compounds, which are currently in clinical trials. She has held research, clinical, and teaching positions at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Atlantic Veterinary College, and the Royal Veterinary College. Dr. Ehrlich has a B.S. in Zoology from Duke University, a Masters degree in Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia, a DVM from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, and a PhD in Bone Physiology from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. She has Six Sigma Green Belt training and is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

  • Walter Jetz, Yale University; Scientific Chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Walter Jetz is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Forestry and the Environment at Yale University. He is Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the lead scientist for the Half-Earth Project Map. Dr. Jetz is Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, which links scientists, students and practitioners engaged in the environment, biological, infomatics, policy or health aspects and implications of global biodiversity change. He also leads the Map of Life, which consolidates global biodiversity distribution data sources into a single asset to provide the best possible species range information and species lists for any geographic area worldwide. Dr. Jetz’ work addresses patterns and mechanisms of changing biodiversity distribution and the resulting implications on conservation and environmental management. His research combines remote sensing, phylogenetic, functional, and spatiotemporal biodiversity data with new modeling approaches and informatics tools. Dr. Jetz is particularly interested in how environmental, ecological, and macroevolutionary mechanisms combine to determine the co-occurrence of species and the structure of species assemblages. Dr. Jetz has chaired the IPBES Task Group on Biodiversity Indicators and is Co-Lead of the GEO BON Working Group on Species Distributions. Dr. Jetz was previously a professor of biological sciences at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Jetz earned his MSc ins Integrative Bioscience and DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford.

  • Craig Mills, CEO, Vizzuality

    Craig Mills is the CEO of Vizzuality. He provides strategic oversight for the mapping core of the Half-Earth Project, which brings to life the species distribution data and analytics that will guide us towards the best opportunities for protecting the most species.

  • Piotr Naskrecki, Associate Director, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory, Gorongosa National Park

    Dr. Piotr Naskrecki is an entomologist, conservation biologist, author, and photographer, based at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He currently directs the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique where he trains a new cadre of Mozambican biologists and conservationists, and helps rebuild the park, which suffered during the recent civil war in that country. His scientific interests focus on the evolution of communication and sound production in insects and other animals, and the phylogenetic reconstruction of insect relationships. He is the author of over 50 scientific, peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.

    Piotr’s work focuses on projects that include invertebrate animals in conservation practices and he strives to promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation of “non-charismatic” animals. In his popular writing and photography he tries to capture both their beauty and roles as vital, often critically important members of the planet’s ecosystems. He is one of the founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and his photographs and nature writing have been published in a number of national and international publications, including The Smithsonian Magazine, Natural History, National Wildlife, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, BBC Knowledge, Terre Sauvage, Time magazine, Ranger Rick, and many others. His books illustrate a multitude of threats faced by invertebrate animals and other organisms (“The Smaller Majority”, “A Window on Eternity”), explore ancient organisms and ecosystems of the globe (“Relics”), and his most recent title (“Hidden Kingdom”) showcases the diverse insect fauna of Costa Rica.

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Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassador Institute

10:00–11:50 am, Conference Center: Warring Wilkinson (Room 204)

  • Dennis W. Liu, VP of Education,
    E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Dennis Liu is Vice President of Education at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation. A nationally recognized expert in science education, Dennis Liu directed the production of educational media at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and before that with Videodiscovery, and Microsoft designing multimedia science education programs. His signature programs with EOWBF include the Half-Earth Project Educator Ambassadors Program and the Half-Earth Project Chairs and Scholars Program.

  • Amanda Briody, Science Teacher, Baltimore Public Schools, Teach For America alumnus

    Amanda Briody is a freelance educational resource developer based in Baltimore, MD. For 10 years, she taught secondary science in the Baltimore City Public Schools System. Amanda began her teaching career as a member of the 2009 Teach for America cohort. Her passion for science and helping her students better understand scientific processes and thinking drove her to seek creative approaches to teaching and learning. Amanda has classroom experience teaching a variety of sciences courses such as Biology, AP Biology, Environmental Science, Anatomy and Physiology, and Forensic Science. She has developed and implemented NGSS-aligned curriculum for each of these science courses. Amanda loves to share her work by designing and facilitating professional learning courses and workshops for Baltimore City Public Schools Science Teachers. Additionally, she has presented at regional conferences such as the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) and the Maryland Association of Science Teachers (MAST), and national conferences such as the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Amanda provides professional development opportunities for secondary science teachers at both the district, regional and national level and can be reached at amandabriody@gmail.com.

  • Jim Clark, Next Generation Science Standards and California standards expert

    Jim taught biology, AP biology and honors anatomy at Arroyo High School in the San Lorenzo Unified School District for 33 years. He founded and directed the Academy of Health and Medicine, a small learning community at Arroyo. He recently retired after serving as the TK-12 district science coordinator, overseeing implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for the last 3 years of his career. Among many achievements, Jim is on the writing committee for the California NGSS statewide roll-outs, working on integrating environmental principles and concepts with science instruction. He also works with HHMI on curriculum and professional development nationwide. He served on the board for the California Institute for Biodiversity, coordinating curriculum and professional development around getting kids outside during science classes. Jim received international recognition for his work around growth mindset and classroom ethos through KQED Mindshift, and transformative teaching through AAAS and UC Berkeley. He was Alameda County’s 2008 Teacher of the Year, and serves on the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education board. Jim also co-founded Next Generation Science Innovations (NGSI) a partnership the provides professional development to schools and districts as they move toward full implementation of the NGSS. He also regularly presents at local and national conferences.

  • D. Scott Rinnan, Conservation Priority Science, Half-Earth Project and Map of Life

    Scott Rinnan is a Post-Doctoral Associate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University with a Ph.D. in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management from the University of Washington. Scott’s research uses conservation prioritization to identify areas of conservation importance, while incorporating global patterns of biodiversity, human pressures, and currently protected areas. His work provides spatially-explicit conservation objectives that facilitate the protection of all species, one of the primary goals of Half-Earth.

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Companies for a Half-Earth Future

10:00–10:50 am, Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • Sven-Olof Lindblad, President & CEO, Lindblad Expeditions

    Sven-Olof Lindblad, founder of Lindblad Expeditions, was born in Switzerland. He traveled extensively with his father, renowned adventure-travel pioneer Lars-Eric Lindblad, who led the first non-scientific groups of travelers to Antarctica (1966). In 1979 he launched Special Expeditions, the adventure travel company that became Lindblad Expeditions. In 2004, Lindblad formed a strategic alliance with National Geographic that combines the strengths of two pioneers in global exploration, with the goal of inspiring people to explore and care about the planet.

    Lindblad’s personal experience led to a commitment to environmentally responsible travel, which has resulted in numerous travel and environmental awards. He received international recognition for his innovative and successful model of tourism, receiving the “Commandeur de Notre Ordre de Merite Civil et Militaire d’Adolphe de Nassau” from Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg at the Grand-Ducal Place. He also had a newly discovered endemic species of moth in the Galapagos Islands, Undulambia lindbladi, named in honor of his conservation work.

    Sven is an honorary member of the General Assembly of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands. He serves on the Board of The Safina Center, and on the Board of Trustees of Rare; is a founding Ocean Elder of the non-profit organization, Ocean Elders, which brings together global leaders to pursue the protection of the ocean’s habitat and wildlife, and serves on the Board of Advisors for Pristine Seas.

  • Andrés Gluski, President and CEO, AES

    Andrés Gluski has served as President and CEO since 2011, after serving as COO for five years. Previously he served as CEO of AES businesses in South America. Before joining AES in 2000, Andrés held senior positions in banking, telecom, the IMF and the public sector.

    Under his leadership, AES has become a world leader in implementing clean technologies, including energy storage and renewables. Navigant Research has consistently ranked Fluence—AES’ joint venture with Siemens—as the #1 grid-scale energy storage integrator in the world. Andrés also established sustainability and corporate social responsibility goals that resulted in AES’ inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America and designation as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere® Institute. In 2018 the company established aggressive carbon reduction goals and became the first publicly-traded power company to issue a climate report that complies with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures.

    He is a member of the Boards of Waste Management, Fluence and the Edison Electric Institute. He is also Chairman of AS/COA and serves on the US-Brazil and US-India CEO Forums and served on President Obama’s Export Council. Andrés earned his MA and PhD in economics from the University of Virginia.

  • Jonathan Webb, Founder & CEO, AppHarvest

    Kentucky native Jonathan Webb is turning his dream of a high-tech farming hub in Appalachia into reality with AppHarvest. The company is building some of the largest indoor farms in the world, combining conventional agricultural techniques with today’s technology to grow non-GMO, chemical-free produce.

    The company’s first greenhouse will span 2.76 million square feet and open in 2020 in Morehead, Ky. The facility will use 90% less water than a typical farm, thanks to an on-site 10-acre rainwater retention pond. The company is also less than a day’s drive to more than two-thirds of the U.S. population. That lowers diesel costs by 80%, allowing AppHarvest’s fresher produce to better compete against low-cost foreign imports.

    Why Appalachia? Like every Kentuckian, Jonathan grew up knowing of the devastating job losses in the region. He strives to work alongside the hard-working men and women of Eastern Kentucky and build an inclusive economy for the future.

  • Eva Karlsson, CEO, Houdini


    Eva Karlsson is the CEO of Houdini Sportswear, a progressive and rapidly growing Swedish outdoor brand and a trailblazer in corporate responsibility. Since 2001, Eva together with a team of likeminded, have been redesigning business to become a force for good – providing state-of-the-art circular products, offering product-as-a-service solutions and building a co-creative community for open-source innovation, sharing knowledge and inspiring to reconnect to nature.

    With the ambition of understanding its entire impact on the earth system and setting strategies for how to improve, Houdini pioneered impact assessments using the Planetary Boundaries framework in 2015. The science-based assessments continue, currently by exploring the impacts of lifestyle and the potential benefits of offering attractive and regenerative lifestyle solutions at a broader scale.

    Rather than focusing on Houdini’s outstanding track record in sustainable development, Eva emphasizes on the journey ahead. She believes Houdini can and must eventually move beyond zero and become a positive and regenerative force in society and for the planet. Companies face a clear choice, to participate in the ongoing destruction of the living world or to manifest the intrinsic value of nature and celebrate its beauty and the myriad of life it sustains.

  • Jeffrey Ubben, Founder & CEO, ValueAct Capital

    Jeffrey W. Ubben is a Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of ValueAct Capital where he is Co-Portfolio Manager of the ValueAct Spring Fund. Mr. Ubben is the former Chief Investment Officer of ValueAct Capital and is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Mr. Ubben is a director of The AES Corporation, where he is a member of the Compensation and Financial Audit Committees, and of AppHarvest. He is the former chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and a former director of Catalina Marketing Corp., Gartner Group, Inc., Mentor Corporation, Misys plc, Sara Lee Corp., Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Willis Towers Watson plc, and several other public and private companies. Prior to founding ValueAct Capital in 2000, Mr. Ubben was a Managing Partner at Blum Capital Partners for more than five years. In addition, Mr. Ubben serves on the boards of Duke University, Northwestern University and the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, is a contributing member to the World Economic Forum, and formerly served as chair of the national board of the Posse Foundation for nine years. He has a B.A. from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

  • Trevor Milton, CEO, Nikola Motor Company

    Nikola is led by its founder and serial entrepreneur, Trevor Milton. Mr. Milton oversees the day-to-day operations of the Company as its CEO. Prior to starting Nikola Motor Company, Trevor was the CEO of dHybrid Systems, LLC a natural gas storage technology company that was acquired by one of America’s largest steel providers, Worthington Industries, Inc. Trevor Milton has spent the last 7 years in the class 8 truck industry, focusing on recalibration of diesel engines and emissions, then moving into storage of high pressure natural gas & hydrogen. Trevor is also the author of several patents and has helped advance green technologies through his years of industry experience.

    Mr. Milton holds a controlling interest in the Company and has directed research, development and prototype assembly of the Nikola portfolio. Trevor has also assisted in design of nearly every part of the Nikola One truck; rotor / stator, inverters, controllers, DC to DC, motor gearbox, thermal management, battery and ESS, infotainment and much more. Mr. Milton is a proven leader with a passion for sustainable energy projects through disruptive technologies.

    Mr. Milton is fluent in English, Portuguese and is semi-fluent in Spanish having lived in Puerto Rico and Brazil. Mr. Milton has led Nikola Motor Company from startup to over 14 billion dollars in pre-order reservations for the Nikola Hydrogen Electric Truck.

  • Dennis Pamlin, Entrepreneur and Founder of 21st Century Frontiers

    Dennis Pamlin is an entrepreneur and founder of 21st Century Frontiers. His background is in engineering, industrial economy and marketing.

    He is a senior advisor at RISE, senior associate at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, visiting research fellow at the Research Center of Journalism and Social Development at Renmin university, advisor to Centre for Sustainable Development at Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), and accelerator of digital sustainability/net-positive at Cybercom.

    He is currently leading Mission Innovation 1.5C compatible solution initative with the Avoided Emissions Framework and a Trend Scanning project with UNDP and UNFCC.

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Global & Regional Conservation Priorities in Oceans and on Land

10:00–11:50 am, Building 10: Garden Room & Patio

  • D. Scott Rinnan, Post-Doctoral Associate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University

    Scott Rinnan is a Post-Doctoral Associate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University with a Ph.D. in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management from the University of Washington. Scott’s research uses conservation prioritization to identify areas of conservation importance, while incorporating global patterns of biodiversity, human pressures, and currently protected areas. His work provides spatially-explicit conservation objectives that facilitate the protection of all species, one of the primary goals of Half-Earth.

  • Jennifer McGowan, Spatial Planning Technical Coordinator, The Nature Conservancy

    Jennifer is a decision scientist currently acting as the Spatial Planning Technical Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy where she develops strategies and frameworks to support spatial action planning and conservation prioritization for a variety of TNC’s innovative projects. These projects include government debt conversions to fund conservation in Small Island Developing States, payments for ecosystem services through water funds in Africa, ecosystem-based adaptation in the Caribbean and protected area planning across the globe.

    Jennifer has spent the last five years helping countries and NGOs integrate decision-support tools into their biodiversity and conservation strategies. She has worked on a diverse range of government-led marine spatial planning projects from the highly contested waters of the Adriatic Sea to the remote seascapes of Papua New Guinea.

    She also invests significant time into teaching spatial planning theory and advancing the technical capacity of conservation practitioners. She has trained over 600 scientists and policy-makers across 15 countries in the world’s leading spatial planning decision-support tool, Marxan.

    Jennifer received her PhD in spatial conservation prioritization and decision science from the University of Queensland, Australia. She also holds an MA from San Francisco State University in Environmental Planning and Resource Management.

  • William Cheung, Director, Changing Ocean Research Unit, University of British Columbia

    Dr. William Cheung is a Professor and a Canada Research Chair (Ocean Sustainability and Global Change) at the Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, the University of British Columbia (UBC). He serves as the Director (Science) of the Nippon Foundation-UBC Nereus Program. His main research areas include understanding the responses and vulnerabilities of marine ecosystems and fisheries to global change, and the use of models and scenarios to explore pathways for marine conservation and sustainable ocean development. His works cut across multiple disciplines, from oceanography to ecology, economics and social sciences, and range from local to global scales. William is also actively involved in international and regional initiatives that bridge science and policy such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). William obtained his BSc in Biology and M.Phil. from the University of Hong Kong, and his Ph.D. in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at UBC. From 2009 to 2011, he was Lecturer in Marine Ecosystem Services in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia. He received the Prix’d Excellence Award of the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas in 2017 and the Ehor Boyanowsky Academic of the Year Award in 2018 from the Confederation of University Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC). He is inducted as a member of Royal Society of Canada College of New Scholars, Scientists and Artists in 2018.

  • Gabriel Reygondeau, Post-Doctoral Associate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at Yale University

    Gabriel Reygondeau is a Research Scientist in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University, and a Research Associate in the Changing Ocean Research Unit (CORU) at the Institute for Ocean and Fisheries, University of British Columbia. Gabriel’s research in identifying and tracking the spatial distribution of marine organisms, communities and ecosystems provides important insights in marine biodiversity at regional and global scales. His work is featured on the Half-Earth Map.

  • Holly Doremus

  • Walter Jetz, Yale University; Scientific Chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Walter Jetz is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Forestry and the Environment at Yale University. He is Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the lead scientist for the Half-Earth Project Map. Dr. Jetz is Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, which links scientists, students and practitioners engaged in the environment, biological, infomatics, policy or health aspects and implications of global biodiversity change. He also leads the Map of Life, which consolidates global biodiversity distribution data sources into a single asset to provide the best possible species range information and species lists for any geographic area worldwide. Dr. Jetz’ work addresses patterns and mechanisms of changing biodiversity distribution and the resulting implications on conservation and environmental management. His research combines remote sensing, phylogenetic, functional, and spatiotemporal biodiversity data with new modeling approaches and informatics tools. Dr. Jetz is particularly interested in how environmental, ecological, and macroevolutionary mechanisms combine to determine the co-occurrence of species and the structure of species assemblages. Dr. Jetz has chaired the IPBES Task Group on Biodiversity Indicators and is Co-Lead of the GEO BON Working Group on Species Distributions. Dr. Jetz was previously a professor of biological sciences at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Jetz earned his MSc ins Integrative Bioscience and DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford.

  • Roger Sayre, U.S. Geological Survey

    Dr. Roger Sayre is an ecosystems geographer at the U.S. Geological Survey. He is a Task Leader for an intergovernmental effort to produce standardized, robust, and practical global ecosystem classifications and maps for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments. In that capacity, he works with Esri scientists and international experts to develop high spatial resolution, first-of-their-kind maps of global ecosystems. The maps are intended to be useful for conservation priority setting, ecosystem accounting, and other applications.

  • Adina Merenlender, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Berkeley

    Adina Merenlender is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. She is a conservation biologist with over 100 scientific research articles on the forces that influence biodiversity loss. Her work in environmental problem solving includes the use of spatially-explicit decision support systems for conservation planning. Adina started the UC California Naturalist program and is now helping to build UC Climate Stewards to increase environmental literacy and help citizens take an active role in conservation and climate action. She is also the co-author of “Corridor Ecology” and “The California Naturalist Handbook” See more at http://ucanr.org/sites/merenlender

  • Ben Halpern, Executive Director, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, University of Santa Barbara

    Dr. Ben Halpern is the Executive Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) and Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in marine ecology in 2003 from UCSB and then held a joint post-doctoral fellowship at NCEAS and the Smith Fellowship Program. He was a Research Associate at NCEAS the following decade until joining the faculty at the Bren School.

    Dr. Halpern focuses his research at the interface between marine ecology and conservation planning. He has led several key synthetic research initiatives that have advanced our understanding of the state and conservation of the world’s oceans. In particular he has led the development and mapping of cumulative impact assessments at global and regional scales and has been the lead scientist for the Ocean Health Index project since inception. In the past 15 years Dr. Halpern has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and was recently named one of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds by Thompson-Reuters. In 2016 he was awarded the A.G Huntsman Award for Excellence in Marine Science by the Royal Society of Canada, in 2017 the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Science and inducted into the California Academy of Sciences, and in 2018 the Ocean Award in Science.

  • Claire Kremen, Professor and President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity, University of British Columbia

    Professor Claire Kremen is President’s Excellence Chair In Biodiversity with joint appointments in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability and the Department of Zoology at University of British Columbia. She is an ecologist and conservation biologist whose work characterizes the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and utilizes this information to develop conservation and sustainable management plans, considering both protected areas and the working lands matrix around them. She held prior faculty appointments at Princeton University and at University of California, Berkeley, where she was also Founding Faculty Director for the Center for Diversified Farming Systems and the Berkeley Food Institute. Before those appointments, she worked for over a decade for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Xerces Society, designing protected area networks and conducting biodiversity research in Madagascar. She has won numerous honors, including the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Ecological Society of America Sustainability Science Award, and a California Academy of Sciences Fellowship. She is Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers, and has been a Thomson-Reuter/Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher annually since 2014.

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Conservation in Zoos, Aquariums, and China

11:00–11:50 am, Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • Daniel Ashe, President & CEO, Association of Zoos & Aquariums

    Dan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of our organization of 236 aquariums, zoos and science centers and more than 7,000 individual members. With his team of staff members and over 400 committee member volunteers, Dan is charged with advancing AZA’s vision, mission and strategic priorities.

    A lifelong animal conservationist, Dan joined AZA in January 2017 after serving as the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly six years, successfully leading the agency, and its thousands of employees, during a period of great challenges. Following a 13-year career as a professional staff member of the former Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dan held positions of increasing responsibility at the Service. They include Assistant Director for External Affairs, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Science Advisor to the Director and Deputy Director.

    Dan earned a bachelor degree in Biological Science from Florida State University, and graduate degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, where he studied under a fellowship from the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. His master’s thesis, on estuarine wetland mitigation, was published in the Coastal Zone Management Journal, in 1982.

    Dan’s journey to the greater D.C. area was made possible by the National Sea Grant College Program. He was awarded a National Sea Grant Congressional Fellowship in 1982.

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Business, Sustainability & Conservation

11:00–11:50 am, Conference Center: Sargent Johnson (Room 203)

  • Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Associate Director, Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business

    Seren Pendleton-Knoll is the Associate Director at the Berkeley-Haas Center for Responsible Business. Her work is primarily focused on sustainable innovation, and how companies are utilizing open innovation and systems thinking in regards to sustainability. Her content expertise has been key in authoring CRB case studies tackling pressing sustainability challenges for leading companies in partnership with the Berkeley-Haas Case Series, with topics ranging from regenerative organic agriculture, to flexible plastic film packaging. In 2015 she developed the Patagonia Case competition, which has become the leading sustainability case competition globally where graduate students from across the US tackle the interconnected business and sustainability aspects of a current, real-life issue facing Patagonia. Prior to the CRB, Seren worked in social services and youth empowerment throughout the Bay Area. She received her MS in Development Practice from the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley, and her BA with honors in Clinical Psychology and Applied Theater from Whitman College.

  • Lynelle Cameron, Vice President, Sustainability, Autodesk, and CEO Autodesk Foundation

    Lynelle Cameron has over 20 years of experience helping companies capitalize on market opportunities related to sustainability and climate change.

    A cultural anthropologist by training, Cameron spent the early part of her career working at the intersection of conservation and economic development with World Wildlife Fund, The Mountain Institute and NOLS.

    Today Cameron is Vice President of Sustainability at Autodesk and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation. She leads a team transforming the design, manufacturing and construction industries to capitalize on the business opportunities of a low-carbon economy.

    Under her leadership, Autodesk has won awards for sustainability, climate leadership and philanthropy. Through the Autodesk Foundation, she has invested over $15 million in entrepreneurs and innovators designing a sustainable world. Cameron is proving that companies can do well by doing good – in ways that strengthen brand reputation, recruit and retain employees, and deliver financial results.

    Cameron has served on a number of Boards including Innovators International, CEH, UC Berkeley CRB, Biomimicry 3.8, and Net Impact.

    Lynelle was recognized as one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the SFBT and is a recipient of the YWCA’s Tribute to Women Awards. She has an MBA from UC Berkeley, MS from U of Michigan, and a BA from Middlebury College.

  • Jason Kibbey, CEO, Higg Co

    Jason Kibbey is the CEO of Higg Co. Higg Co is a technology company that delivers, implements,
    and supports the Higg Index for consumer goods industries. Developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, the Higg Index is a suite of tools that enables brands, retailers, and facilities to measure and score company or product sustainability. Jason was the first employee and CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, an industry-wide group of leading apparel and footwear brands, retailers, manufacturers, non-governmental organizations, and academic experts working to reduce the environmental and social impacts of apparel and footwear. He was the CEO and co-founder of PACT, an apparel company combining design, sustainability, and philanthropy. He served as Co-Founder and interim Executive Director of Freedom to Roam, a non-profit initiative that brings together people, organizations and businesses to enhance and protect wildlife corridors and landscape connectivity in North America. He developed Freedom to Roam while working on environmental campaigns for Patagonia. He started his career as an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company. Jason graduated from University of California (UC) Berkeley with a BS Environmental Economics and Policy and BA in Religious Studies. He received his MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

  • Nick Wobbrock, Co-Founder, Blue Forest Conservation

    Nick Wobbrock is a co-founder of Blue Forest Conservation (BFC), a non profit using innovative finance to solve environmental challenges. Blue Forest developed the Forest Resilience Bond, a public-private financing vehicle to bring resources to protect our forests, cultural, and water resources from the challenges of climate change and large damaging fires. He has been dedicated to environmental conservation, sustainability, and public health since studying environmental engineering in college. From 2007 to 2009 he was a water and sanitation volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in La Paz, Honduras where he designed and constructed drinking water, sanitation, and watershed protection projects. He later worked for Doctors Without Borders in Malawi as a logistics manager to support the sanitation infrastructure for rural HIV clinics. Nick is a licensed professional civil engineer and is on the board of the EOS International, an NGO working in Honduras and Nicaragua. Previously, he worked as a consulting engineer for Brown & Caldwell and worked on infrastructure projects for utilities in the U.S. Nick earned an MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, and a BS in Biological and Environmental Engineering with honors from Cornell University.

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The Future of Conservation

Afternoon Plenary

Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • José González, Founder and Emeritus President, Latino Outdoors

    José G. González is the Founder of Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. He is also an illustrator and science communicator.

    His commentary on diversity and environmental/outdoor equity has been featured by High Country News, Outside Magazine, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, and he engaged in collaborations with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Park Service during the Obama Administration. He also represented Latino Outdoors in several coalitions including the Latino Conservation Alliance, the Next 100 Coalition, and California Parks Now. He has been recognized with several honors, including the National Wildlife Federation Environmental Educator Award, Grist Magazine “Grist 50”, and The Murie Center Spirit of the Muries, among others. You may have also seen him in various outdoor spaces or read his poetic musings.

    He received his B.A at the University of California, Davis, and his M.S at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment. You can connect with him on social media @JoseBilingue.

  • Olivia Lomasi VanDamme, Coastal Access Activist & Surfer

    Olivia VanDamme is a Latina, mixed race woman who is passionate about connecting people to the outdoors especially in the ocean. She loves rock climbing, and surfing along the California coast. She graduated from CSU Chico with a BA in Geography and Latin American Studies, was an NHRE intern at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, has volunteered or worked for over 8 non-profits in the Bay Area. Her most recent role was as the Program Director for City Surf Project in San Francisco. She is an alumni of the Youth Outside Rising Leaders Fellowship, member of Environmental Educators of Color group, and has spoken at the This Way to Sustainability, Institute for Women Surfers, SDSU Surf Conference and PGMONE conference. She is also a contributor to the Brown Environmentalist Media Co. Through advocacy, she hopes to continue to make the California coast more accessible to ALL Californians.

  • Amanda Machado, Writer and Facilitator

    Amanda Machado is a writer, educator, and facilitator who is passionate about exploring the intersection between storytelling, social justice and the outdoors. She realized her love for natural spaces when she embarked on a fifteen-month trip around the world that took her hiking in the Andes and the Himalayas, skiing in the Alps, and hitchhiking across Patagonia. Since then, she’s committed to writing stories that increase the representation of communities of color in nature.

    Amanda has been published in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Vox, Quartz, REI Co-Op Journal, Business Insider, and others, and has worked as a social justice editor for Matador Network, the world’s largest independent travel magazine. She also develops writing content and strategy, and facilitates workshops on equity and inclusion for organizations around the world.

    Amanda has a degree in Nonfiction Writing from Brown University and currently lives in Oakland, California.

  • Jennifer Adams, Regional Coordinator, Latino Outdoors

    Jennifer Adams is a Regional Coordinator at Latino Outdoors in the SF Bay Area. She works with numerous partners to help provide outdoor and culture experiences to her local community. She’s a recent graduate from the University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in Ecology Evolutionary Biology. She wants to bridge conservation, and stewardship within her community.

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Engaging Next-Generation Stewards

2:00–2:50 pm, Building 10: Garden Room & Patio

  • Kirk Anne Taylor, Director of Community Engagement, Ten Strands

    Kirk Anne Taylor is a collaborative leader with more than 18 years experience in nonprofit and educational institutions. As Director of Community Engagement for Ten Strands, Kirk Anne leads policy initiatives, manages communications, and supports strategic partnerships to advance environmental literacy for all of California’s 6.2 million K–12 students. Prior to joining Ten Strands, Kirk Anne was the inaugural Executive Director of ChangeScale, a partnership of organizations working together to equitably expand environmental learning in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas. Kirk Anne also served as the Urban Conservation Manager for The Field Museum in Chicago, developing environmental education programming, facilitating teacher professional development, and supporting student-led, conservation-action projects.

  • Alison Young, Co-Director of Citizen Science, California Academy of Sciences

    Alison is the Co-Director of Citizen Science at the California Academy of Sciences, where she builds communities of the public, scientists, and resource managers through learning about, discovering, and documenting biodiversity. Alison is one of the two lead organizers of the annual City Nature Challenge, an international event that engages people around the world in a 4-day bioblitz to find and document the nature in their cities; in 2019 more than 150 cities participated, with over 35,000 people sharing almost 1 million observations of nature in the four days of the challenge, making it one of the largest citizen science events in the world. Alison and her co-director also run Snapshot Cal Coast, an annual citizen science campaign funded by the State of California to mobilize the public to document species along the California coastline. Alison sits on the Board of Directors for the Citizen Science Association and in 2017, she and her co-director were awarded the Bay Nature Institute’s “Local Hero for Environmental Education” award. Alison’s background is in marine biology, she holds a Masters in Biology from Humboldt State University for research focused on the potential effects of climate change on rocky intertidal communities along the California coast.

  • Joe Grabowski, Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, National Geographic Fellow

    Joe Grabowski is a science communicator working to inspire the next generation of scientists and explorers. He is the founder of the non-profit Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants, which brings science, exploration, adventure, and conservation into classrooms across North America through virtual speakers and field trips. Since 2015, he’s hosted well over 1,000 live events connecting hundreds of thousands of students with leading scientists and explorers from over 70 countries. Joe is using technology to open the most remote corners of the planet to classrooms, sending textbook-sized satellite units into the field with explorers so they can live broadcast into classrooms from the most remote regions on the planet. In 2017, he was selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and shortly after became National Geographic’s first Education Fellow. Joe is a Top 50 Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize, and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Explorers Club. An avid scuba diver for the past decade, he has had an incredible series of experiences exploring the ocean around the world.

  • Laura Rodriguez, Director of Programs, Youth Outside

    Laura Rodriguez is driven by a commitment to access, inclusion and community power. For over 14 years, Laura’s career has centered on supporting communities in gaining access to healthcare, social services, education, and most recently access to the outdoors. As Director of Programs for Youth Outside, Laura is guided by her values of racial justice and inclusion, which inform all aspects of her work, including the programs she leads, the conversations she facilitates, and the support she provides to the broader sector in understanding its role in advancing equity. Her passion for the outdoors is matched by her desire to affect change within the outdoor field; and to this end, she approaches the work of equity, inclusion and cultural relevancy with resolve, authenticity, and empathy.

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California as a Case Study for Conservation in a Changing World

2:00–3:50 pm, Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • Walter Jetz, Yale University; Scientific Chair, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Walter Jetz is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Forestry and the Environment at Yale University. He is Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the lead scientist for the Half-Earth Project Map. Dr. Jetz is Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, which links scientists, students and practitioners engaged in the environment, biological, infomatics, policy or health aspects and implications of global biodiversity change. He also leads the Map of Life, which consolidates global biodiversity distribution data sources into a single asset to provide the best possible species range information and species lists for any geographic area worldwide. Dr. Jetz’ work addresses patterns and mechanisms of changing biodiversity distribution and the resulting implications on conservation and environmental management. His research combines remote sensing, phylogenetic, functional, and spatiotemporal biodiversity data with new modeling approaches and informatics tools. Dr. Jetz is particularly interested in how environmental, ecological, and macroevolutionary mechanisms combine to determine the co-occurrence of species and the structure of species assemblages. Dr. Jetz has chaired the IPBES Task Group on Biodiversity Indicators and is Co-Lead of the GEO BON Working Group on Species Distributions. Dr. Jetz was previously a professor of biological sciences at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Jetz earned his MSc ins Integrative Bioscience and DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford.

  • Matthew Kling, PhD Student, UC Berkeley Department of Integrative Biology

    Matthew Kling is a PhD student in Integrative Biology at Berkeley. His research focuses on understanding what shapes spatial biodiversity patterns and how we can predict and prevent the erosion of biodiversity under global environmental change. A conservation biologist and macroecologist, Matthew is also passionate about data visualization and open science. He is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a Berkeley Fellow, and an NSF NRT Fellow in Data Science.

  • Steve Beissinger, Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology; UC Berkeley Department of Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, and Museum of Vertebrate Zoology

    Steve Beissinger is Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology at UC Berkeley, where he held the A. Starker Leopold Chair in Wildlife Biology (2003-13), is a research associate of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and is the co-Director of the Berkeley Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity. Professor Beissinger’s current research centers on wildlife responses to global change and species’ extinctions – with recent fieldwork carried out in protected areas and working landscapes in California and Latin America. Steve directs the Grinnell Resurvey Project – a 15 year effort to revisit locations throughout California first surveyed by Joseph Grinnell in the early 1900’s in order to quantify the impacts of a century of climate and land-use change on the birds and mammals of California. Steve has authored over 200 scientific publications and is senior editor of three books. He served on the editorial boards of Ecology Letters, Ecology, Conservation Biology, Studies in Avian Biology, and Climate Change Responses. Steve is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Ecological Society of America, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and American Ornithological Society, which awarded him the William Brewster Memorial Award in 2010 for his research on Western Hemisphere birds.

  • Chuck Bonham, Director, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

    Charlton “Chuck” Bonham is the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (previously the Department of Fish and Game). Bonham was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in August 2011. His eight years of service makes Bonham one of the longest standing Directors in recent history.

    Prior to his appointment, Bonham served in a number of roles for Trout Unlimited (TU) for over ten years, including as the organization’s California Director and as a Senior Attorney. He was responsible for developing, managing, and implementing TU’s programs in California.

    Bonham has also served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Board of Directors of the Delta Conservancy. Bonham received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa.

  • Dan Gluesenkamp, Executive Director, The California Native Plant Society

    Daniel works to protect, understand, and celebrate California’s native flora. Dan earned his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley studying the ecology of thistles and their insect communities, and previously worked as Executive Director of The Calflora Database, where he led development of exciting new tools for conservation and research, and as Director of Habitat Protection and Restoration for Audubon Canyon Ranch’s 30 preserves. His history with California plant conservation and research includes on-the-ground experience restoring native habitat, and experimental research on invasive turkey impacts, nitrogen deposition, and sierra meadows. Dan is a founder of the California Invasive Plant Council, and the Bay Area Early Detection Network, and in 2009 discovered a presumed-extinct Franciscan manzanita plant growing on a traffic island at the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Justin Brashares, Professor and G.R. & W.M. Goertz Chair

    Justin Brashares is the G.R. & W.M. Goertz Professor of Wildlife Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and director of Berkeley’s Biodiversity, Health and Livelihoods Initiative. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the National Geographic Society and on the board of the Benioff Ocean Initiative. In his research, Brashares combines traditional ecology with interdisciplinary science to study how human activities are impacting ecosystems, and to highlight and communicate the everyday consequences of these impacts for society. Through these efforts, Brashares’ work combines biodiversity conservation with economics, anthropology, public health, nutrition, environmental justice and journalism.

  • Wade Crowfoot, Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency

    Wade Crowfoot was appointed California Secretary for Natural Resources by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019. Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees charged with protecting and managing California’s diverse resources. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.

    Crowfoot brings over two decades of public policy and environmental leadership to the office, with expertise in water, fisheries, climate and sustainability issues. He most recently served as chief executive officer of the Water Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that builds shared water solutions for communities, economy, and the environment across the American West.

    Prior to joining the foundation, Crowfoot served in Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to the Governor. In that role he led the administration’s drought response efforts and spearheaded several of the Governor’s priority initiatives to build California’s resilience to climate change.

    Crowfoot received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1996 and earned a master’s degree in public policy from the London School of Economics in 2004, where he graduated with honors.

  • Daniel Ashe, President & CEO, Association of Zoos & Aquariums

    Dan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of our organization of 236 aquariums, zoos and science centers and more than 7,000 individual members. With his team of staff members and over 400 committee member volunteers, Dan is charged with advancing AZA’s vision, mission and strategic priorities.

    A lifelong animal conservationist, Dan joined AZA in January 2017 after serving as the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly six years, successfully leading the agency, and its thousands of employees, during a period of great challenges. Following a 13-year career as a professional staff member of the former Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries in the U.S. House of Representatives, Dan held positions of increasing responsibility at the Service. They include Assistant Director for External Affairs, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System, Science Advisor to the Director and Deputy Director.

    Dan earned a bachelor degree in Biological Science from Florida State University, and graduate degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, where he studied under a fellowship from the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. His master’s thesis, on estuarine wetland mitigation, was published in the Coastal Zone Management Journal, in 1982.

    Dan’s journey to the greater D.C. area was made possible by the National Sea Grant College Program. He was awarded a National Sea Grant Congressional Fellowship in 1982.

  • Sam Young, Important Plant Areas Program Manager, The California Native Plant Society

    Sam Young is developing the Important Plant Areas (IPA) Program at the California Native Plant Society (CNPS), which seeks to model and map the most important areas for conserving California’s unique botanical biodiversity. The CNPS IPA Program aims to bridge the gap between existing research and on-the-ground conservation action by bringing together regional experts representing a wide range of perspectives, from academics and activists to land managers and regulators. By collaboratively engaging such stakeholders throughout the modelling process, the IPA program aspires to engender a sense of ownership and buy-in to using mapped IPAs for prioritizing conservation activities in California. Prior to joining CNPS, Sam earned his master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management, specializing in Conservation Planning, from the Bren School at UC Santa Barbara. He brings a unique perspective to CNPS having previously worked in private environmental consulting preparing environmental impact assessments, the United States Forest Service, and international NGOs. His areas of expertise include spatial modelling, floristic surveys, terrestrial vertebrate surveys, and conflict management. When he is not mapping IPAs, Sam enjoys backpacking, surfing, craft beers, and volunteering at the California Academy of Sciences.

  • Adina Merenlender, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Berkeley

    Adina Merenlender is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. She is a conservation biologist with over 100 scientific research articles on the forces that influence biodiversity loss. Her work in environmental problem solving includes the use of spatially-explicit decision support systems for conservation planning. Adina started the UC California Naturalist program and is now helping to build UC Climate Stewards to increase environmental literacy and help citizens take an active role in conservation and climate action. She is also the co-author of “Corridor Ecology” and “The California Naturalist Handbook” See more at http://ucanr.org/sites/merenlender

  • Lauren Ponisio, Assistant Professor of Entomology, UC Riverside

    Lauren Ponisio is an Assistant Professor and the University of California Riverside. She is an ecologist and conservation biologist working on understanding the mechanisms by which species interactions maintain species diversity, and how we can harness these processes to manage and restore diversity in human-modified systems. As a native of the Central Valley of CA, she also has a personal connection to issues concerning agriculture sustainability. She has investigated strategies for designing agricultural systems to promote biodiversity conservation and the links between conservation strategies and improving livelihoods.

  • David Ackerly, Dean of the College of Natural Resources (CNR) and Professor, UC Berkeley

    David Ackerly is the Dean of the College of Natural Resources and has a joint appointment in the departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California Berkeley. His research group studies plant ecology and evolution, with an emphasis on the native plants of California. Current work examines drought tolerance of native tree species, potential impacts of climate change on plant communities, and post-fire forest dynamics at sites that burned in the 2017 northern California wildfires. His research is used to inform strategies of biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change, with a focus on California parks and open space. Ackerly is a recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, a Senior Fellow with the Berkeley Institute of Data Sciences, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He received his B.A. in Biological Sciences from Yale University in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 1993. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2005.

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Behind the Half-Earth Map: Wireframes, alpha-diversity and slugs

2:00–2:50 pm, Conference Center: Sargent Johnson (Room 203)

  • Greta Carrete Vega, Scientist, Vizzuality

    Greta is a Scientist at Vizzuality with a PhD in Conservation of Natural Resources. She provides scientific context to the biodiversity and conservation data and works with the designer and developer teams to visualize and code the Half-Earth Map.

  • Simão Belchior, Project Manager, Vizzuality

    Simão Belchior is a Project Manager at Vizzuality with a Masters In Software Engineering. Simão manages and coordinates Vizzuality’s contribution to the Half-Earth project; the design and development of the Half-Earth Maps that bring species distribution data to life.

  • Estefanía Casal, Designer, Vizzuality

    Estefanía is a Designer at Vizzuality with a Masters in Art Direction. Estefanía designs the maps you can explore at half-earthproject.org, which aim to spark curiosity and engagement with the Half-Earth mission and make information easier to understand and take action with.

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Biodiversity Inventory in Gorongosa

2:00–2:50 pm, Conference Center: Warring Wilkinson (Room 204)

  • Piotr Naskrecki, Associate Director, E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory, Gorongosa National Park

    Dr. Piotr Naskrecki is an entomologist, conservation biologist, author, and photographer, based at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. He currently directs the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory at Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique where he trains a new cadre of Mozambican biologists and conservationists, and helps rebuild the park, which suffered during the recent civil war in that country. His scientific interests focus on the evolution of communication and sound production in insects and other animals, and the phylogenetic reconstruction of insect relationships. He is the author of over 50 scientific, peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.

    Piotr’s work focuses on projects that include invertebrate animals in conservation practices and he strives to promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation of “non-charismatic” animals. In his popular writing and photography he tries to capture both their beauty and roles as vital, often critically important members of the planet’s ecosystems. He is one of the founding members of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and his photographs and nature writing have been published in a number of national and international publications, including The Smithsonian Magazine, Natural History, National Wildlife, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife Magazine, BBC Knowledge, Terre Sauvage, Time magazine, Ranger Rick, and many others. His books illustrate a multitude of threats faced by invertebrate animals and other organisms (“The Smaller Majority”, “A Window on Eternity”), explore ancient organisms and ecosystems of the globe (“Relics”), and his most recent title (“Hidden Kingdom”) showcases the diverse insect fauna of Costa Rica.

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Environmental Literacy and Envisioning Half-Earth in Schools and Communities

3:00–3:50 pm, Building 10: Garden Room & Patio

  • Amity Sandage, Environmental Literacy Coordinator Santa Cruz County Office of Education

    Amity Sandage serves as Environmental Literacy Coordinator for Santa Cruz County Office of Education, leading a strategic countywide effort to build environmental literacy of all students in the public education system. Ms. Sandage works to increase K-12 student access to powerful outdoor learning experiences and to support teachers in using local environmental connections to increase relevancy of core instruction across content areas as well as to create opportunities for civic action.Ms. Sandage served as a Regional Coordinator for California Department of Education’s California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network; director of the BioSITE (Students Investigating Their Environment), a nationally recognized watershed monitoring and cross-age teaching program in San Jose, CA serving youth underrepresented in STEM fields; and Program Coordinator for the Pitizer College Experience in Nepal Program. As a graduate of Pitzer College and the CILS (Center for Informal Learning and Schools) Program, she focused on environmental studies, anthropology, inquiry-based science program development and the integration of school and community-based education programs.

  • Karen Cowe, Chief Executive Officer, Ten Strands

    Karen is the CEO of Ten Strands, a California-based nonprofit whose mission is to build and strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s 6.2 million K–12 students. In this role, she combines her deep personal interest in environmental stewardship and place-based education with her extensive experience in sales, marketing, professional development, business development, and operations. Karen is also the Project Director of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI)—a statewide public-private partnership focused on implementing California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. Prior to leading Ten Strands and CAELI, Karen was President and CEO at Key Curriculum Press.

  • Craig Strang, Associate Director for Learning and Teaching, Lawrence Hall of Science

    Craig directs the Learning and Teaching Group which designs and carries out professional learning programs around the country and internationally for leaders in schools, science centers, aquariums, museums, colleges and universities, and delivers science programs for school groups throughout the Bay Area. He is founding Director of MARE: Marine Activities, Resources & Education, an award-winning, K-8 professional learning and curriculum development program. He was Principle Investigator of the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence—California from 2002-2014. He has received multiple awards for his national and international work to promote Ocean Literacy. Craig is currently the Director of BaySci that improves school districts’ capacity to ensure high quality science and environmental literacy in the NGSS/Common Core era. He is PI of the BEETLES Project which designs research-based professional learning tools and student activities for outdoor science programs. Craig is on the Steering Committee of ChangeScale, the San Francisco Bay Area environmental education collaborative. He co-chaired the Environmental Literacy Task Force that developed the California Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, and now is co-chair of the California Environmental Literacy Initiative, implementing the Blueprint. Previously, he did research on marine mammals, and led ecotours in East Africa, the Sea of Cortez and Galapagos Islands.

  • Katie Kriscunas, Assistant Principal, Aptos High School

    Kathryn “Katie” Kriscunas is a newly appointed Assistant Principal at Aptos High School (AHS), and a former Environmental Science teacher at AHS. Mrs. Kriscunas has been serving students in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District since 2015 as a science teacher, Tech Liaison, School Site Council Member, Instructional Rounds leader and WASC Coordinator. Prior to PVUSD, Katie was a teacher at North Monterey County High School, where she worked with the Elkhorn Slough Foundation and Moss Landing Marine Laboratories to obtain a grant through NOAA to educate students in the community on wetland ecology and conservation. Mrs. Kriscunas has collaborated with university professors and graduate students to develop curriculum for the Next Generation Science Standards with the Great American Biotic Research Experience for Teachers at the University of Florida. As well, she was a Teacher Fellow at COSMOS for the University of Santa Cruz, and a contributor on KQED’s In the Classroom. Among her many awards, Mrs. Kriscunas was a County Science Initiative Teacher leader, Mariner of the Year at Aptos High School, Dragon Slayer Awardee and Rookie of the Year in North Monterey County. At San Jose State University, she obtained a teaching credential and was named a Dean’s Scholar while earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences in Conservation and Organismal Biology.

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Half-Earth Project + Esri: How GIS Elevates Biodiversity Understanding and Action

3:00–3:50 pm, Conference Center: Sargent Johnson (Room 203)

  • Dawn Wright, Chief Scientist, Esri

    Dr. Dawn Wright is Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka Esri), a world-leading geographic information system (GIS) software and data science company. Core to Esri’s mission is to inspire and enable people to positively impact their future by connecting them with the geoanalytic knowledge needed to make the critical decisions shaping the planet. Hence, Esri believes that geography is at the heart of a more resilient and sustainable future.

    As Chief Scientist, Dawn is responsible for strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while representing Esri to the scientific community. As such, she has served on many advisory boards including the NOAA and EPA Science Advisory Boards, the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board, and the Science Advisory Boards of Conservation International, COMPASS Science Communication, and the Ocean Discovery XPRIZE. Dawn is also a Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, and the California Academy of Sciences, as well as Stanford University’s Leopold Environmental Leadership Program. She enjoys road cycling, 18th-century pirates, her dog Riley, and SpongeBob Squarepants. Follow her on Twitter @deepseadawn.

  • Kevin Butler, Spatial Statistics Product Engineer, Esri

    Kevin Butler is a Product Engineer on Esri ‘s Analysis and Geoprocessing Team working as a liaison to the science community. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Kent State University. Over the past decade he has worked on strategic projects, partnering with customers and other members of the science community to assist in the development of large ecological information products such as the ecological land units, ecological marine units and ecological coastal units. His research interests include a thematic focus on spatial statistical analytical worliflows, a methodological focus on spatial clustering techniques and a geographic focus on Puerto Rico and midwestern cities.

  • Sean Beyer, ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World Program Manager, Esri

    Sean Breyer is the Living Atlas of the World Program Manager for the Esri. He and his team manage a massive collection of cloud-based ready-to-use content made available to the GIS community. Sean has been in the GIS industry for over 25 years, working in the federal space at Sandia National Labs, in state government as GIS Manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce, and the commercial industry as GIS/IT Director at Rand McNally before moving to Esri. Sean is a strong advocate for GIS in the K-12 and supports many global conservation projects ranging from ecosystems mapping, climate change, flood prediction mapping, and the Half-Earth Project.

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Protecting Pollinators

3:00–3:50 pm, Conference Center: Warring Wilkinson (Room 204)

  • Paula Alexander, Director, Sustainable Business & Innovation, Burt’s Bees & President, Burt’s Bees Foundation

    Paula Alexander is Director, Sustainable Business & Innovation for Burt’s Bees. Since 2006, Paula has served in leadership roles in Brand Development, Marketing and Global Insights. She has served on the Burt’s Bees Leadership Team since 2012 and has played an important role in influencing sustainability strategy at The Clorox Company, Burt’s Bees’ parent company.

    Paula’s source-to-disposal sustainability approach ensures that Burt’s Bees prioritizes sustainability in all business functions at all levels. Serving as President of The Burt’s Bees Foundation, she drives the foundation mission to protect biodiversity and reconnect people to nature. Paula is also Business Unit Director of the Burt’s Bees Natural Launchpad, a grant program and ecosystem for women-led companies in the natural products
    space.

    Paula began her career in consumer packaged goods at Unilever and was brand manager on Dove during the Campaign for Real Beauty launch.
    Paula holds a BBA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She is a frequent marketing and sustainability guest speaker at leading US business schools and industry conferences. Paula was named one of the Triangle Business Journal 2018 C􀄙Suite Award Winners and received the 2013 Duke Fuqua Leader of Consequence Award.

  • Gordon Frankie, Professor and Research Entomologist at the University of California, Berkeley

    Gordon W. Frankie is a professor and research entomologist at the University of California, Berkeley. His specialty is behavioral ecology of solitary bees in wildland, agricultural, and urban environments of California and Costa Rica, and he is particularly involved with questions of how people relate to bees and their plants in these environments, and how to raise human awareness about bee-plant relationships. Dr. Frankie also teaches conservation and environmental problem solving at UC Berkeley. More information on his projects can be found at www.helpabee.org.

  • Gretchen Le Buhn, Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University and Director, Great Sunflower Project

    Gretchen Le Buhn is a professor of Biology at San Francisco State University and the Director of the Great Sunflower Project. Her research spans the fields of ecology, biodiversity and conservation biology. She has worked on understanding and conserving plant and pollinator systems from the mountains of Ecuador and California to the canyons of urban San Francisco. She has published three books on pollinators and pollinator conservation FAO and was a lead author on the Intragovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. In other work, Dr. Le Buhn has developed standardized, cost-effective methods for monitoring biodiversity for species including spotted owls, prairie falcons, and bat, plant and bee communities. She is a former Fulbright Scholar and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.

  • Laurie Davies Adams, President and CEO, Pollinator Partnership

    Laurie Davies Adams is President and CEO of the Pollinator Partnership (P2), (www.pollinator.org) and has presided over the growth of P2’s signature initiatives, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC – www.nappc.org), Global Pollinator Week, and Eco-regional Planting Guides for the U.S. and Canada providing lists of plants for pollinators in gardens, farms, and corporate landscapes.

    NAPPC has 170 major organizations representing all pollinator stakeholders including pollinator science, industry, government agencies, conservation groups, and academia in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. She signed pollinator conservation agreements for P2 with U.S. federal agencies that influence over 1.5 billion acres of US land.

    Adams was a major contributor to the 2017 Presidential Memorandum on Pollinators which led to the Federal Strategy to Support the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, each introduced at or around the annual Pollinator Week in June. From 2015 to 2019, every governor in the United States has signed a state proclamation for Pollinator Week at the behest of Pollinator Partnership. She was one of the co-founders of the National Pollinator Garden Network which instituted and completed the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a highly successful campaign introduced at the White House by First Lady Michelle Obama.

  • Peter Nelson, The Pollinators Documentary

    The Pollinators documentary follows migratory beekeepers around the country looking at our food system and the importance of honey bees to agriculture. The Pollinators is Peter’s debut feature film as a director and is screening widely at film festivals and will be in theaters this fall. His short film, Dance of the Honey Bee had its broadcast premiere on Moyers & Company on PBS.

    For over 27 years Peter’s signature naturalistic style of cinematography has taken him around the world to capture life as it happens for documentaries, feature films and commercials. Peter has done domestic and international cinematography work for PBS, HBO, National Geographic and the BBC. Commercial work includes campaigns for IBM, Google, SNHU, Black Rock, ESPN/NASCAR, Dunkin Donuts, Volvo and many others. Peter received a BFA in Film and Television from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

    Peter lives in in the Hudson Valley of New York where he’s been an enthusiastic backyard beekeeper for over 30 years and serves on the board of the Rondout-Esopus Land Conservancy. A passion for nature and documentaries keeps leading him back to explore the intersection between people and the natural world around us.

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Nature, Science and the Humanities: We All Have a Role in Half-Earth

Plenary featuring E.O. Wilson

4:00–5:00 pm, Conference Center: Krutch Theatre

  • E.O. Wilson, Biologist and Naturalist

    Edward O. Wilson is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Chairman of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Board of Advisors, and Chairman of the Half-Earth Council. He is generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world. He is also recognized as one of the foremost naturalists in both science and literature, as well as a synthesizer in works stretching from pure biology across to the social sciences and humanities. Wilson is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies, and consilience), and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life). Among more than one hundred awards he has received worldwide are the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in non-fiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy and COSMOS Prize of Japan. For his work in conservation, he has received the Gold Medal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Audubon Medal of the Audubon Society.

  • Jack Dangermond, Founder & President, Esri

    A landscape architect by training, Jack Dangermond founded Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) in 1969 with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help us design a better future. Under Dangermond’s leadership, that vision has continued to guide Esri in creating cutting-edge GIS and Geodesign technologies used in every industry to make a difference worldwide.

    Dangermond fostered the growth of Esri from a small research group to an organization recognized as the world leader in GIS software development. Esri employs more than 4,000 people worldwide.; many who shared his passion for GIS in the early days are still with the company and remain dedicated to helping our users be successful.

  • David Miller, President, Island Press

    David Miller is the president and publisher of Island Press, based in Washington, DC. Island Press is the world’s leading publisher on raising awareness of environment issues and helping people more effectively solve them. Island Press authors and experts inform and inspire change by reaching out to millions of people through their books, articles, webinars, podcasts, in the classroom, and in person.

    In his more than thirty-five years in the industry, David has published a number of bestselling authors and among his many award-winning books are several National Book Award finalists and Pulitzer Prize winners. David has served on the executive board of the trade division and the international division of the Association of American Publishers. He has extensive experience in international publishing, and has been actively involved in developing educational and trade publishing globally, and in establishing companies and publishing programs in countries around the world. He is a long-standing instructor at the Columbia Publishing Course in New York and at Oxford University.

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Half-Earth: How to Save the Natural World

Evening Lectureship

7:00–9:00 pm, Zellerbach Hall

  • E.O. Wilson, Biologist and Naturalist

    Edward O. Wilson is currently Honorary Curator in Entomology and University Research Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Chairman of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation Board of Advisors, and Chairman of the Half-Earth Council. He is generally recognized as one of the leading scientists in the world. He is also recognized as one of the foremost naturalists in both science and literature, as well as a synthesizer in works stretching from pure biology across to the social sciences and humanities. Wilson is acknowledged as the creator of two scientific disciplines (island biogeography and sociobiology), three unifying concepts for science and the humanities jointly (biophilia, biodiversity studies, and consilience), and one major technological advance in the study of global biodiversity (the Encyclopedia of Life). Among more than one hundred awards he has received worldwide are the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Crafoord Prize (equivalent of the Nobel, for ecology) of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the International Prize of Biology of Japan; and in letters, two Pulitzer Prizes in non-fiction, the Nonino and Serono Prizes of Italy and COSMOS Prize of Japan. For his work in conservation, he has received the Gold Medal of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and the Audubon Medal of the Audubon Society.

  • Sally Jewell, Interim CEO for The Nature Conservancy


    Sally Jewell is the Interim Chief Executive Officer for The Nature Conservancy.

    Previously, Jewell was U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 2013 to 2017. During her tenure, she was recognized for using a science-based, landscape-level, collaborative approach to natural resources management. Her work included championing the importance of science and sharing data to better understand the earth’s systems, encouraging investments for more sustainable use of water in the West, deepening relationships with indigenous communities and long-term conservation of the nation’s most vulnerable and irreplaceable natural, cultural and historic treasures. She demonstrated a commitment to connecting people to nature, particularly youth, with efforts to encourage tens of millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work on public lands.

    Jewell was previously President and CEO of REI, a $2.6 billion retailer dedicated to facilitating outdoor adventures. Earlier in her career, she served for 19 years in commercial banking across a wide range of industries and began her career as an engineer in the energy sector. She has been active in governance and board leadership for corporations and nonprofit organizations, including serving as a Regent of the University of Washington where she is currently a Distinguished Fellow in the College of the Environment.

  • Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost for the UC Berkeley campus


    A celebrated chemist, accomplished administrator, and longtime member of the Berkeley community, Paul Alivisatos assumed the role of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) for the UC Berkeley campus on July 1, 2017. As EVCP, Alivisatos works in close partnership with Chancellor Carol Christ, and plays a critical role in developing and implementing her vision and priorities for the Berkeley campus. He also has responsibility for the planning, development, implementation, assessment, and improvement of all campus academic programs, policies, and supporting infrastructure.
    In addition to his role as EVCP, Alivisatos is the Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, the founding Director of the Kavli Energy Nanoscience Institute, and Director Emeritus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), where he remains a senior faculty scientist. He also holds professorships in UC Berkeley’s departments of chemistry and materials science.

    Alivisatos received his Bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1981 from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. in chemistry from Berkeley in 1986. He joined the campus as a faculty member in 1988. Alivisatos is a founder of two prominent nanotechnology companies, Nanosys and Quantum Dot Corp, now a part of Thermo Fisher. He is also the founding editor of Nano Letters, a publication of the American Chemical Society, and formerly served on the senior editorial board of Science magazine, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  • Stephen H. Lockhart, Chief Medical Officer at Sutter Health

    Stephen H. Lockhart, MD, PhD, is Chief Medical Officer for Sutter Health, a not for profit integrated system of hospitals, physician organizations and research institutions in Northern California. A Rhodes Scholar, he obtained his Masters degree in Economics from Oxford University, and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. As Chief Medical Officer, he has responsibility for quality, patient safety, research and education.

    An avid climber and backpacker, he has a passion for environmental protection and providing equitable access to public lands. He has worked extensively to promote environmental science education and to introduce the outdoors to an increasingly diverse population. Dr. Lockhart has served on the Boards of NatureBridge (emeritus), the National Parks Conservation Association, REI, Land Trust Alliance, Parks California, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. He was previously a member of the National Parks Second Century Commission, an independent group of respected leaders and experts who convened to articulate a vision for the second century of the National Park Service and whose recommendations to Congress, the Administration, and the American people were published in September, 2009. He also served as a member of California’s Parks Forward Commission, designed to provide strategic support for California State Parks.

  • Walter Jetz, Yale University, Scientific Chair for the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation

    Walter Jetz is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and of Forestry and the Environment at Yale University. He is Scientific Chair of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation and the lead scientist for the Half-Earth Project Map. Dr. Jetz is Director of the Yale Center for Biodiversity and Global Change, which links scientists, students and practitioners engaged in the environment, biological, infomatics, policy or health aspects and implications of global biodiversity change. He also leads the Map of Life, which consolidates global biodiversity distribution data sources into a single asset to provide the best possible species range information and species lists for any geographic area worldwide. Dr. Jetz’ work addresses patterns and mechanisms of changing biodiversity distribution and the resulting implications on conservation and environmental management. His research combines remote sensing, phylogenetic, functional, and spatiotemporal biodiversity data with new modeling approaches and informatics tools. Dr. Jetz is particularly interested in how environmental, ecological, and macroevolutionary mechanisms combine to determine the co-occurrence of species and the structure of species assemblages. Dr. Jetz has chaired the IPBES Task Group on Biodiversity Indicators and is Co-Lead of the GEO BON Working Group on Species Distributions. Dr. Jetz was previously a professor of biological sciences at the University of California San Diego. Dr. Jetz earned his MSc ins Integrative Bioscience and DPhil in Zoology from the University of Oxford.


Full Half-Earth Day Schedule

Download the full day’s schedule here.