Everyone's Earth: Sharing Experiences on a Restless Planet

Conference Speakers


FEATURED SPEAKERS:


See concurrent session speakers.

Sumudu Atapattu

Sumudu Atapattu

Sumudu Anopama Atapattu, is the Director of Research Centers and a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she teaches international environmental law. She is the author of Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law, published in 2006, and she is currently working on a book titled Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities, which will be published by Routledge. Atapattu holds an LL.M. (Public International Law) and a Ph.D. (International Environmental Law) from the University of Cambridge, and is an attorney-at-law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. She is affiliated with UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Center for South Asia and was a visiting professor at Doshisha University Law School, Japan, in summer 2014.

Atapattu has received numerous awards and scholarships for academic excellence, including a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship and a Benefactor Studentship awarded by St. John's College, Cambridge. In 1986 she was awarded the best student prize and the Sir Lalitha Rajapakse Memorial Prize by the Sri Lanka Law College, Colombo, where she graduated at the top of her class. In 2000 she was awarded a Senior Fulbright scholarship and carried out research on "Environmental Rights and Human Rights" at the New York University Law School and the George Washington University Law School as a visiting scholar. From 2002-2006 she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Legal Studies at UW Law School and was part of the adjunct faculty during that time.

She has also been an associate professor of law at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and has worked as a senior research consultant to the Law & Society Trust, a human rights non-governmental organization in Sri Lanka. She was the editor of Sri Lanka: State of Human Rights 2002; serves as the lead counsel for human rights at the Center for International Sustainable Development Law in Montreal; and is on the advisory board of the McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy.

Atapattu has worked on several projects as an independent consultant, and in 2001 she served on a panel of experts on liability and compensation issues for the World Health Organization's proposed Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. She has many publications in the fields of international environmental law, environmental rights and international sustainable development law.

Back to Top

Kimberly Blaeser

Kimberly Blaeser

Poet, photographer, and scholar, Kimberly Blaeser, is the current Wisconsin Poet Laureate. Blaeser is a Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee where she teaches Creative Writing, Native American Literature, and American Nature Writing. Her publications include three books of poetry: Trailing You, Absentee Indians and Other Poems, and Apprenticed to Justice. Included in volumes whose titles are as varied as Sing, Women on Hunting and Reinventing the Enemy's Language, her poetry, essays, and short fiction are widely anthologized and selections of her poetry have been translated into several languages including Spanish, Norwegian, Indonesian, French, and Hungarian. Blaeser has performed her poetry at over 200 different venues around the globe, from Bahrain to Spain, and identifies the two most memorial sites for readings as the Borobudur Temple in Indonesia and a Fire-Ceremony at the Borderlands Museum Grounds in arctic Norway. She been the recipient of awards for both writing and speaking, among these a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship in Poetry, the Diane Decorah first book award from the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas, and three Pushcart Nominations.

Of Anishinaabe ancestry and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, Blaeser grew up on the White Earth Reservation in northwestern Minnesota. Her current creative project features "Picto-Poems" and brings her nature and wildlife photography together with poetry to explore intersecting ideas about Native place, nature, preservation, and spiritual sustenance. She lives in the woods and wetlands of rural Lyons Township Wisconsin and spends part of each year at a water access cabin adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota chasing poems, photos, and river otters—sometimes all at once.

Back to Top

Lynn Broaddus

Lynn Broaddus

Lynn Broaddus (Wauwatosa, Wis.) is the Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. She also chairs the board of the River Network in Portland, Oregon, is a trustee for the Water Environment Federation, is President of Broadview Collaborative, Inc., her first private sector endeavor, and serves as a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institute. Prior to launching her own firm in 2014, Lynn was Director of the Environment Program for The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread in Racine, Wisconsin. In that role, she was responsible for shaping the Johnson Foundation's environmental programming, which placed an emphasis on the freshwater crisis facing the United States. Lynn has also held leadership roles with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, The Nature Conservancy, and NatureServe. She earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia, her Ph.D. from Duke University, and an M.B.A. from UW-Milwaukee. Lynn has two sons, both of whom are currently enrolled at UW-Madison; one pursuing a law degree and the other pursuing an undergraduate degree focusing on environmental studies.

Back to Top

Carolyn Finney

Carolyn Finney

Carolyn Finney, Ph.D. is a writer, performer and cultural geographer. As a professor in Geography at the University of Kentucky, she is deeply interested in issues related to identity, difference, creativity, and resilience. In particular, she explores how issues of difference impacts participation in decision-making processes designed to address environmental issues. More broadly she likes to trouble our theoretical and methodological edges that shape knowledge production and determine whose knowledge counts. Carolyn is grounded in both artistic and intellectual ways of knowing - she pursed an acting career for eleven years, but a backpacking trip around the world and living in Nepal changed the course of her life. Motivated by these experiences, she returned to school after a 15-year absence to complete a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. The aim of her work is to develop greater cultural competency within environmental organizations and institutions, challenge media outlets on their representation of difference, and increase awareness of how privilege shapes who gets to speak to environmental issues and determine policy and action. Carolyn has appeared on the Tavis Smiley show, MSNBC, NPR and has been interviewed for numerous newspapers and magazines. Most recently an interview with Carolyn in the Boston Globe was cited as one of the top ten ideas/stories of 2014. Along with public speaking, writing and consulting, she serves on the U.S. National Parks Advisory Board that is working to assist the National Park Service in engaging in relations of reciprocity with diverse communities. Her first book, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors was released in 2014 (UNC Press).

Back to Top

Tia Nelson

Tia Nelson

Tia Nelson is internationally recognized for her work on climate change. She served 17 years with The Nature Conservancy, including serving as the first director of its global Climate Change Initiative. For her work, she received the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Protection Award in 2000. She then served 11 years as executive secretary of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, Wisconsin's oldest state agency, which included a gubernatorial appointment in 2007 as co‐chair of Wisconsin's Task Force on Global Warming.

Back to Top

Jonathan Patz

Jonathan Patz

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, is a Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He Co-chaired the health expert panel of the US National Assessment on Climate Change and was a Convening Lead Author for the United Nations/World Bank Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. For over 15 years, Dr. Patz has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC) – the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.

He is Founding President of the International Association for Ecology and Health and a past co-editor of the association's journal EcoHealth. He has written over 90 peer-reviewed papers, a textbook, and co-edited a 5-volume Encyclopedia of Environmental Health addressing the health effects of global environmental change. He has been invited to brief both houses of Congress, served on several scientific committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and served on science advisory boards for both CDC and EPA. In addition to his sharing in the 2007 Nobel Prize, Dr. Patz received an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows Award in 2005, shared the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in 2006, and earned the distinction of becoming a UW-Madison Romnes Faculty Fellow in 2009.

He has earned medical board certification in both Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree (1992) from Johns Hopkins University.

Back to Top

David Quammen

David Quammen

David Quammen is a science journalist, nonfiction author, and (former) novelist who has spent most of his life in Montana. He travels on assignment for various magazines, usually to jungles, deserts, or swamps. His accustomed beat is the world of field biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation, though he also occasionally writes about travel, history, and outdoor sports.

His book, "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin," is an intimate portrait of the scientist. 2009 marked the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, "On the Origin of Species." According to The Los Angeles Times Book Review, "Quammen brilliantly and powerfully re-creates the 19th century naturalist's intellectual and spiritual journey."

His work has appeared in Harper's, National Geographic, The Atlantic, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, The New York Times Book Review, and in The Best American Science Writing 2005 along with several other such collections. He has three times received the National Magazine Award for essays and other work. His fifteen books include "The Song of the Dodo," "Monster of God," "The Soul of Viktor Tronko" (a spy novel), "The Reluctant Mr. Darwin", "Natural Acts", "Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus", "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic", " The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged from an African Forest".

He currently holds the positions of Contributing Writer for National Geographic Magazine. Quammen lives in Bozeman, Montana with his wife (Betsy Gaines, a conservationist), two rescue-case dogs, and a low-maintenance cat.

Back to Top

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin

Andrew Revkin is a science and environmental writer who has written on a wide range of subjects, including deforestation, climate change, and the intersection of science and politics. Revkin was a reporter for The New York Times from 1995 to 2009. He currently writes the "Dot Earth" environmental blog for The Times' opinion pages, examining efforts to balance human affairs with the planet's limits. He is also the Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies at Pace University, and an accomplished songwriter and musician.

Back to Top

Paul Robbins

Paul Robbins

Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he oversees the institute's mission of serving as a world leader in addressing environmental change. He is leading a variety of initiatives in educational innovation, including the recent establishment of a new professional master's degree in Environmental Conservation.

Robbins' research focuses on human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management, addressing questions spanning conservation conflicts, urban ecology, and environment-health interactions. His research experience includes extensive fieldwork in rural India and national studies of consumer chemical risk behaviors in America, as well as engagement with stakeholders, planners, communities and health departments in the US West.

He is author of the foundational textbook Political Ecology and of research articles in venues addressing conservation science, social science, and the humanities. His award-winning book Lawn People is widely recognized as one of the most accessible books on the environmental politics of daily life. He has taught topics ranging from environmental studies and natural resource policy to social theory.

Robbins previously led the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, which he helped establish and served for two years as director. A UW-Madison alumnus with a bachelor's degree in anthropology, Paul Robbins also holds a master's degree and doctorate in geography, both from Clark University.

Back to Top

Michael Shellenberger

Michael Shellenberger

Michael Shellenberger is a leading global thinker on energy and the environment. He is cofounder of Breakthrough Institute, and coauthor of An Ecomodernist Manifesto. His book Break Through: From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility, coauthored with Ted Nordhaus, was called "the best thing to happen to environmentalism since Silent Spring" by Wired. In 2008, he was named a TIME magazine "Hero of the Environment."You can find him on twitter @MichaelBTI

Back to Top



CONCURRENT SESSION SPEAKERS:


David Abel

David Abel

David Abel is pursuing a joint M.S. degree in Environment & Resources and Mechanical Engineering. His research interests center on analyzing problems at the intersection of energy and the environment which explains focusing his studies through the Energy Analysis and Policy certificate program where he is also a student representative. David's other interests include athletics, outdoor recreation and cooking.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Riley Balikian

Riley Balikian

Riley Balikian is a master's of science student in the Environment & Resources program at the Nelson Institute, and recent graduate from the UW-Madison's department of Urban and Regional Planning. He is from San Diego, California, where he is focusing his graduate research. He enjoys playing basketball, riding his bike, and since he has been in Wisconsin has been learning to enjoy winter sports.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Carol Barford

Carol Barford

Carol Barford is the Director of the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). Her work centers on agriculture and biofuels, especially on the potential of biomass production to improve environmental quality, increase farm profits and reduce risk. This work is supported by two research grants from Wisconsin's Focus on Energy Program.

The first project, "Wisconsin Farm Biomass Production and the Emerging Carbon Economy," uses the State of Wisconsin as a case study of the feasibility of farm-based bioheat and power production. This case study incorporates physical, ecological, agronomic and economic factors to determine feasibility. Graduate students Mitch Myhre and Keith Cronin have worked on this project. The second project, "Farm-based Bioenergy Infrastructure for Wisconsin: Too Big, Too Little, or Just Right," investigates the optimal scale of bioenergy development in Wisconsin. The optimal scale is being determined in terms of net greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel replacement, efficient use of farmland, and economic feasibility. Graduate student Ash Anandanarayanan works on this project. Collaborators include Gary Radloff of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, Prof. Doug Reinemann of Biological Systems Engineering (UW-Madison), and Bob Gollnik of the Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education (UW-Madison), as well as several colleagues at SAGE.

Barford spent most of the 2010-2011 academic year as a Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University (UK). There she continued and developed her Wisconsin projects and collaborations with British scientists, including Dr. Drew Purves and his Computational Ecology and Environmental Science Group at Microsoft Research, Cambridge. These collaborations are based on Barford's current research, and on continuing interests in environmental decision support, and data-constrained minimal models.

Prior to joining SAGE, Dr. Barford studied forest carbon cycling. Her synthesis of biometric and atmospheric methods of measuring forest carbon balance appeared in the journal Science (23 November, 2001). For her Ph.D. thesis, Barford measured nitrogen stable isotope effects of denitrification and applied the results to track N2O production in agriculture and wastewater.

Barford is a native of central Illinois. She completed her B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Ecology at Boston University, and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Barford held a post-doctoral position in Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard before joining SAGE.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Michael Braus

Michael Braus

Michael Braus is finishing his master's degree in Environment & Resources at the Nelson Institute and collaborates with the Botany Department's Graham Lab, the Department of Bacteriology, and the Center for Limnology. He studies the methane-oxidizing bacteria that grow on green filamentous algae, and his work has shown that although algae are often labeled a "nuisance" in lakes in rivers, these organisms could be providing important ecosystem services to humans.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Chris Brockel

Chris Brockel

Chris Brockel co-founded Healthy Food for All Dane County, in the spring of 2015. The project focuses on collecting local produce donations and cleaning and aggregating it for direct distribution to low income households and to food pantries. In the fall of 2015 Healthy Food for All started a second project - collecting bulk prepared food donations from area cafeterias and repackaging those into household size containers and distributing the products through food pantries. Prior to being recovered by Healthy Food for All this perfectly good food was headed for the landfill. Chris is also the Operations Coordinator for FEED Kitchens a shared commercial kitchen focused on developing and supporting local food enterprises on Madison's Northside.

Chris has a Master's Degree in Continuing and Vocational Education from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit work and management. Chris started his career as an instructor at the Dane County Jail, worked on a demonstration project helping support parents of Head Start Families, developed high school completion and vocational training programs at the Dane County Job Center, worked as the Food and Gardens Division Manager at Community Action Coalition, and was the Executive Director of FairShare CSA Coalition. In 2013, under contract with United Way of Dane County, Chris led a year long delegation process to write a 10 year plan to improve healthy food access for low income children in Dane County.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Joanie Buckley

Joanie Buckley

Joanie Buckley is a Division Director for services with the Oneida Nation, a Native American Tribe located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. She provides the leadership for various departments that include Management Information System, Tourism/Events/Multimedia, Employee Advocacy, the tribal newspaper, Print & Mail Center, the Organic Farm and Cannery, and OCIFS.

Through her work with the Integrated Food System, she has championed several agricultural initiatives including a Community Food Center concept, the Youth Entrepreneur in Agriculture, a Farm to School initiative for an aquaponics project, and the Value-Added project for the white heirloom corn.

Joanie brings strong business planning background to assess market conditions across a wide range of landscapes. Prior to her work with the Oneida Nation, she worked with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe in Southwest Colorado, providing the leadership to their enterprises including their agricultural practice, construction, pottery, and hotel/gaming. She has worked in various industries including architecture, banking, manufacturing, and aviation – both in the U.S. and in Latin America.

Joanie holds a Masters in International Business from Saint Louis University, and a BA in Spanish from University of Missouri-St. Louis, and is presently working on a doctoral program.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Amy Callis

Amy Callis

Amy Callis is the County Conservationist for the Land Conservation Division in the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department. She has spent the past ten years promoting soil and water conservation practices in Wisconsin at the state and local levels. She has a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Geography from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, gardening and spending time in the outdoors with her family.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Dantrell Cotton

Dantrell Cotton

Dantrell Cotton is a Chicago native and second-year Masters candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He also completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, double-majoring in Community and Environmental Sociology, and Environmental Studies. Under the mentorship and leadership of his advisor, Dr. Monica White, Dantrell research interests include food justice, urban ethnography, and methodological approaches to addressing food access issues. Currently, Dantrell serves as the Health Equity Project Intern on a Ford Sustainability grant, in collaboration with University Health Services (UHS), Slow Food UW South Madison, Growing Power and community partners, to research and increase food access in South Madison. He is also the New York 5 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Mentor with the Posse Program, located in the Red Gym.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Jeff Crawford

Jeff Crawford

Jeff Crawford has worked for the Forest county Potawatomi Coummunity as an attorney since 1997. He has been the Attorney General for the Forest County Potawatomi Community since 1999. He handles a wide variety of matters, including Indian law, business, regulatory, compact counsel, governmental affairs, project development, contracts, environmental issues, complex negotiations and litigation management. Mr. Crawford served on the boards of Governor Doyle's Global Warming Task Force and the Menomonee Valley Partners. He is a current member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the Gathering Waters Conservancy. He is also the President of the FCPC Renewable Generation LLC.

He has been honored with the Milwaukee Business Journal's Best Corporate Counsel-Private Company Award and the National Tribal Environmental Council's (NTEC) Michael A. Frost Award for leadership in tribal environmental issues. Mr. Crawford received his undergraduate degree in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1988. Crawford, a member of the Forest County Potawatomi tribe, is married and has three children.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Aimee Crittendon

Aimee Crittenson

Aimee Crittendon is a Master's student in the Water Resources Management program at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Her research focuses on the multifaceted barriers and approaches to improving trout habitat in agricultural drainage ditches in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin. Her interests include watershed ecology, wildlife ecology and human-wildlife conflict.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Regan Dohm

regan Dohm

Regan Dohm is a master's student in the Environment & Resources program through the Nelson Institute working with David Drake in the Forestry & Wildlife Ecology Department. Her research explores the impact of wind farms on raptor abundance and behavior. Where the majority of research has endeavored to understand the fatal interactions between wind turbines and raptors, Regan's thesis approaches this conflict from a novel perspective by evaluating the displacement of raptors from a wind farm in southeastern Wisconsin.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

David Drake

David Drake

David Drake is an extension wildlife specialist and associate professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his Ph.D. in Forestry at North Carolina State University, received a Master's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biology from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. David's research and extension interests include urban/suburban wildlife management.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Sara Drescher

Sara Drescher

Sara M. Drescher is the Forest County Potawatomi Community's in-house environmental and energy attorney working out of the Tribe's Milwaukee office. Ms. Drescher's energy related work for the Tribe includes a range of issues related to the Tribe's green energy initiatives including development of green energy, implementing green energy projects, and commenting on energy policy. Ms. Drescher is involved in the Tribe's Class I air program and all other matters related to the Tribe's environmental and energy programs. Prior to joining the Forest County Potawatomi Community Legal Department Ms. Drescher worked in the Milwaukee offices of two national law firms representing a variety of clients in the areas of environmental and energy law. Ms. Drescher has a BA and JD from Marquette University and is working to complete her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Sonnet Edmonds

Sonnet Edmonds

Sonnet Edmonds (Atlanta, GA) is an attorney at Southern Power Company. She was previously an attorney at Taylor English Duma LLP, practicing in the field of energy law. From 1998 until early 2011, Edmonds was a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Mirant Corporation (which was renamed GenOn Energy, Inc. as of December 2010). In that role, she was responsible for providing transactional, environmental, and other legal support to the company's electric generating assets across the United States. Prior to Mirant, she was an Attorney at law firms in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C. Sonnet received her B.A. (1989) and J.D. (1993) from UW-Madison and is involved with several energy and legal professional associations. She is the past Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Tom Eggert

Tom Eggert

Tom Eggert is a senior lecturer in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He taught the first class on sustainable development on campus in 1994, and currently teaches classes on sustainability, corporate social responsibility and systems thinking. He was involved in the development, and served as the director of, the School of Business' Business, Environment & Social Responsibility graduate certificate program before moving to the Nelson Institute to teach classes for the sustainability certificate.

His interests lie at the intersection of business, sustainability and people. He has been recognized for his commitment to teaching with awards at the University and national levels.

As part of his work with students, he creates opportunities for students to work on projects with area businesses related to sustainability. He also maintains an active alumni network of students who have taken his classes that are drawn back into the classroom as guest lecturers.

Tom created and serves as the President of the Board for Wisconsin Microfinance, an organization that raises money for micro-loans to people in Haiti and the Philippines. He also founded and serves as the Executive Director of the WI Sustainable Business Council. The Council runs the Green Masters Program, the state's largest sustainable business recognition and reward program.

Tom serves on the program committee for the Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development Program (now Environmental Conservation) and has served as an advisor for both graduate students and PhD candidates.

Tom holds a B.S. (1981) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; a Masters in Public Administration (1991) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. (Law) (1987) from George Washington University.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

John Francis

John Francis

John Francis, Ph.D., is known the world over as the Planetwalker. In 1971, Dr. Francis witnessed an oil spill in San Francisco Bay. The effects of the spill compelled him to stop using motorized vehicles. Several months later, to stop the arguments about the power of one person's actions, he took a vow of silence. His non-motorized lifestyle lasted twenty-two years, and his silence seventeen. During that time Dr. Francis walked across the United States earning a B.A at Southern Oregon State College, an M.S. in Environmental Studies at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. in land resources at the University of Wisconsin. He later sailed and walked through the Caribbean and then walked the length of South America. He is an education fellow at the National Geographic Society, and currently a visiting associate professor of environmental studies at the UW-Madison Nelson Institute and is the author of: Planetwalker. 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence. and The Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Ruichi Gakhar

Ruchi Gakhar is a Postdoctoral research associate at UW Madison in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. She received her PhD in materials Science from University of Nevada, Reno in Decemeber 2015. She also holds an undergraduate and master's degree in chemistry and an additional master's in nanotechnology. During her PhD, she worked on designing of new, affordable materials to harness solar energy for clean energy production. She has published 15 journal articles and a book chapter so far.

Ruchi has received several awards for academic excellence, including 2016 Nevada Regents' Scholar Award. At UW Madison, she is involved in investigating materials aspects of advanced nuclear reactor design – Fluoride salt cooled high temperature reactor (FHR).

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Joseph Gates

Joseph Gates

Joseph Gates, is the Enterprise Catastrophe Management Director for the American Family Insurance Group. In this role he is responsible for the definition, execution, and governance of an enterprise-wide catastrophe risk strategy. He is a proven leader with expertise in global commercial and personal insurance-based portfolio management.

Prior to joining American Family, Joseph was the Vice President of Catastrophe Management at Homesite Insurance Group (a member of the American Family Enterprise since early 2014) in Boston, MA. At Homesite, he developed corporate reporting and accumulation management strategies related to catastrophe risk, and redefined the catastrophe management role for key reinsurance and catastrophe response activities. He was also responsible for the day to day operation and oversight of the catastrophe management function.

Preceding his move to Homesite, Joseph was the Head of Global Modeling at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty in Chicago, IL and Munich, Germany. At Allianz, he managed global portfolio analytics and corporate reporting for purposes of measuring, monitoring and mitigating corporate catastrophe exposures.

Joseph has a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Saint John's University in Collegeville, MN.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Bob Gough

Bob Gough

Bob Gough is an attorney and cultural ecologist of Irish, English, French and Lenape descent, with 40 years experience in tribal natural and cultural resource issues. As founding secretary in 1992 of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy (COUP), Gough has advocated for indigenous rights and resource relations with interest in building sustainable, efficient and renewable energy-based reservation economies. Gough and COUP President Patrick Spears were the recipients of the Inaugural World Clean Energy Award, Special Award for Courage, from Facktor Four, Basel, Switzerland (2007) for the Tribal Wind, Federal Hydropower plan they developed for harnessing the renewable energy of the northern Great Plains. They also co-chaired and steered the Native Peoples/Native Homelands workshops (1998 and 2009). Gough contracted with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Wind Powering Native America program (2000-2009), receiving the DOE Wind Energy Program Outstanding Technology Acceptance Award (2004). He was lead author for the national climate assessment's Indigenous Peoples, Lands and Resources chapter (2014), co-founded the Rising Voices gatherings at UCAR/NCAR and is a member of Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) IKE Hui.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Dadit Hidayat

Dadit Hidayat

Dadit Hidayat is a dissertator in the Nelson Institute. His research is focused on the nexus between environmental sustainability and civic engagement. A four-time recipient of the Nelson Institute's Charlotte Zieve Teaching Fellowship, he has collaborated with advanced undergraduates, providing technical assistance to grassroots organizations on sustainability movements. For this work, Dadit received the Morgridge Center for Public Service's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Graduate Student Award in 2012. Currently, he is a Principal Investigator for a community-based initiative in the south side of Madison, linking a reentry services program with urban agriculture to promote an equally and socially just food system.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Alysa Hinde

Alysa Hinde

Alysa Hinde is pursuing a P.h.D. in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at UW-Madison with a minor through the Nelson Institute's Energy Analysis and Policy program. Her current research involves hydrogen sulfide removal from biogas streams using various anaerobic microbes. Alysa's other interests include triathlon, nordic skiing, gardening, and cooking.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Elizabeth Hennessy

Elizabeth Hennessy

Elizabeth Hennessy is Assistant Professor of World Environmental History in the History Department and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is also affiliated with the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies program (LACIS). Trained as a geographer, she works at the intersection of political ecology, science and technologies studies, animal studies, and environmental history. Her main research project focuses on the most iconic species of the Galápagos Islands, giant tortoises, to trace intertwined transnational histories of capitalist development, evolutionary science, and conservation in the archipelago. She teaches courses on both global and Latin American environmental history as well as the role of animals in world history.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Tracey Holloway

Tracey Holloway

Tracey Holloway is a Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and leads an air quality research program in the Nelson Institute Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). Holloway's research employs computer models and satellite data to understand links between regional air quality, energy, and climate. Holloway has joint appointments in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (AOS), and Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), and advises students in the Nelson Institute, AOS, and CEE. Holloway earned her Ph.D. in AOS from Princeton University in 2001, and completed a certificate in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Her undergraduate degree (Sc.B.) is from Brown University in Applied Mathematics, and her post-doctoral work was done at Columbia University's Earth Institute.

Prof. Holloway is deputy director of the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team and a 2011 Leopold Fellow, with research supported by NASA, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Depart of Transportation through the National Center for Freight Infrastructure Research and Education (CFIRE). Holloway served as SAGE Director from 2008-2011, and is currently on the editorial board of Environmental Research Letters, and is a founding board member of the Earth Science Women's Network (ESWN), which was awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation in 2009. Through her work with ESWN, Holloway helps manage the Earth Science Jobs Network (to join, click here) – the Earth Science Jobs Network is a free, public listserve for job announcements in the environmental sciences, maintained by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). In 2012, Holloway was honored as the first ever recipient of the MIT C3E (Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Awards) award in Education and Mentoring, and the Council on Undergraduate Research in the Geosciences (GeoCUR) Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Tyler Huebner

Tyler Huebner

Tyler Huebner is the Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization that leads and accelerates the transformation to Wisconsin's renewable energy future through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Prior to joining RENEW Wisconsin, he worked at the State of Wisconsin's Division of Energy Services, the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy division, and ICF International as a consultant to utility energy efficiency initiatives and the national ENERGY STAR program. He holds a Master's degree from Stanford University and Bachelor's in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Alix Jacobson

Alix Jacobson

Alix Jacobson graduated from Duke University in 2012 with a degree in biology and a minor in environmental science. After graduation she worked at the Duke Marine Lab studying the population genetics of deep-sea hydrothermal vent invertebrates. Currently she is a dual degree student at UW-Madison, earning a J.D. and an M.S. in Water Resources Management. This summer, she will be working as a law clerk at Earthjustice in Washington, DC.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Arlyne Johnson

Arelene Johnson

Arlyne Johnson, Ph.D. is with Foundations of Success, leading training programs for organizations in the U.S., Asia and Africa to better design, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their biodiversity conservation projects. She led wildlife research and conservation programs in Amazonian Ecuador, the Papua New Guinea Highlands and in Lao PDR for over 20 years for the Wildlife Conservation Society. In Lao PDR, this included initiatives to reduce conflict between local communities and large carnivores and Asian elephant. Arlyne is an Honorary Fellow and Senior Lecturer with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin where she teaches Conservation Planning in the Environmental Conservation Professional Master's Program. She holds a M.Sc. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from the Nelson Institute.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Amy Kesling

Amy Kesling

Amy Kesling graduated from UW-Madison in 2009 with a B.A. in Sociology and Geography with a certificate in Environmental Studies. Amy's commitment for environmental and social sustainability led her to Sustain Dane in 2010. Amy has influenced and ensured the success of many of Sustain Dane's programs, most notably the Step Up: Equity Matters initiative and the Badger Bioneers Conference. Through Sustain Dane's networks, Amy has connected with business professionals, advocates, and entrepreneurs with similar goals of making Madison a sustainable, great place to live for everyone. Amy serves on the Executive Committee on the board of directors of Community Shares of Wisconsin and the Downtown Madison Inc. Bicycling Subcommittee.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Katie Laushman

Katie Laushman

Katie Laushman is a Master's student in the Environment & Resources program in the Nelson Institute, working with Sara Hotchkiss in the Botany Department. Her research is focused on an invasive earthworm in the UW Arboretum and the vegetation community in areas of forest where it has recently invaded. Laushman went to Earlham College for her undergraduate degree, and her main interests are in ecology and conservation work.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

James Mills

James Mills

James Mills is a 2014 Fellow of the Mountain & Wilderness Writing Program of the Banff Centre in Alberta Canada. As a freelance journalist and an independent media producer in a career that spans more than 20 years he specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving and practices of sustainable living. Working in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer and photographer his experience includes a broad range of expeditions that include mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing and kayaking.

James has written for several publications that include The Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Region Business Journal, Madison Magazine, Madison Sports Monthly and Wisconsin Trails. He currently is a contributor to several outdoor focused print and online publications that include National Geographic Adventure, Rock & Ice, Alpinist, SUP Magazine, Paddle Sports Business, Sporting Goods Business, Elevation Outdoors, Women's Adventure, WEND Magazine, The Clymb, High Country News, Park Advocate Magazine, Land + People and Sierra Magazine.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Maria del Carmen Moreno

Maria del Carmen Moreno

Maria del Carmen Moreno, Ph.D., UW-Madison, Cultural Anthropology. Maria joined Earth Partnership as the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator in 2012. In addition to assisting with teacher professional development in restoration education, she manages the Indigenous Arts and Sciences (IAS) program that reaches out to Native American communities in Wisconsin with the goal of building the next generation of land and water stewards. Maria also manages the Latino Earth Partnership (LEP) program in Madison that works with schools and community centers to engage young people in ecological restoration and water stewardship in their backyards. Maria designs and coordinates service-learning courses as well as international internships on environmental education for college students. In her work with environmental education, Maria brings her passion for STEM learning, engaging diverse communities, and creating learning experiences for college students domestically and internationally that allow them to grow and move beyond their comfort zones. She is experienced in diversity and cross-cultural issues, having grown up in a Dominican family in New York City, served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and lived in Europe, South America, and the Caribbean.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

John Nelson

John Nelson

John Nelson (Madison, Wis.) is Chief Technical Officer of Global Infrastructure Asset Management LLC, a member of the Board of Directors of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, and the former Chair of the Nelson Institute Board of Visitors. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the UW Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. John has formerly provided service to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a variety of other capacities, including membership on the Development Team for the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery and as member and chair of the College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board. Nelson received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UW-Madison and is the former CEO of an engineering firm. In April 2014, to thank him for his years of dedicated service to and on behalf of the Nelson Institute, John was awarded the title of Emeritus Board Member by Nelson Institute Director Paul Robbins. John is the second person to hold this honorific title in the Institute.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Clay Nesler

Clay Nesler

Clay Nesler is the Vice President for Global Energy and Sustainability at Johnson Controls, where he is esponsible for energy and sustainability strategy, policy, innovation and the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency. Nesler serves on the company's global environmental sustainability council. He has held senior leadership positions in research, product development, marketing and strategy in both the United States and Europe.

Nester was an invited speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, the US-India Energy Partnership Summit, the World Climate Summit in Cancun, the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the UN Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the UN General Assembly.

He currently serves on the board of the World Environment Center, the advisory board of the NRDC Center for Market Innovation, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of International Studies and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Anne Pearce

Anne Pearce

Anne Pearce is a second year WRM student from Duluth, MN. She completed her undergrad at UW-Madison, with Soil Science and Biology majors and an Environmental Studies certificate. With the WRM practicum, she enjoyed exploring the issues surrounding habitat improvement in agricultural drainage ditches in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin. Some of her interests include natural resources management, ecological restoration, and environmental education.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Vera Pfeiffer

vera pfeiffer

Vera Pfeiffer is a Ph.D. student in the Environment & Resources program in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Her research is focused on how land use affects habitat structure important to various groups of bees and how landscape structure affects the distribution of pollinators across the landscape. In one study, she is assessing how landscape factors contribute to urban bee assemblages in Madison. A second study focuses in on how various types of urban and ex-urban land use areas provide foraging resources to bumble bees through a systematic survey of neighborhoods across Madison.

Pfeiffer began studying pollination during her MS at Oregon State University. There, she worked on a project focused on plant-pollinator networks in Cascades mountain meadow systems within and near the H. J. Andrews LTER forest. This system provided a simplified meadow and forest system where habitat could be more easily defined than in a more complex, urban landscape.

She is currently a teaching assistant for the introductory ecology course taught in the Nelson Institute, as well as a graduate student mentor for BioHouse, and a student representative for Environment & Resources. Before graduate school, she worked for a decentralized urban farm in San Francisco, comprised by 200+ small backyard farms, operating as neighborhood CSAs. In her free time she enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing, travelling, and riding her bike.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Robert Pierce

Robert Pierce

Robert Pierce is the market manager for the South Madison Farmers Market. He was born and raised on Madison's South side. As the owner of "Half the 40 Acres" organic farm, he has been growing and selling produce for over 20 years. Robert started as a vendor at the South Madison Farmers Market in 2002 and has been the market manager since 2003. He is a community leader and advocate in the development of sustainable locally grown food systems.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Stephanie Prellwitz

Stephanie Prellwitz

Stephanie Prellwitz is the Executive Director of the Green Lake Association for Big Green Lake, Wisconsin. She holds a Master of Science in Biological Systems Engineering from UW-Madison and a Bachelor of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering from the University of Kentucky. Her background includes water resources engineering, academic wetland research, field data collection, environmental education materials design, outreach development and nonprofit management.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Gary Radloff

Gary Radloff

Gary Radloff is a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Director of Midwest Energy Policy Analysis for the Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI). He is an Honorary Associate/Fellow with the Nelson Institute, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). Radloff has also served as the Interim Director with the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative at the University of Wisconsin.

He is the lead author or co-author of the following reports: Policy Strategies to Catalyze the Energy Technology Innovation System in Wisconsin and the United States (2015); Transforming the Grid from the Distribution System Out (2014); How to Keep Wisconsin and the U.S. Competitive in a Changing Energy World (2013); Wisconsin Strategic Bioenergy Feedstock Assessment (2012); The Biogas Opportunity in Wisconsin (2011); and the Guidelines for Sustainable Planting and Harvest of Nonforest Biomass in Wisconsin (2012).

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Olivia Sanderfoot

Olivia Sanderfoot

Olivia Sanderfoot is a first-year graduate student at the Nelson Institute. She graduated from UW–Madison in May of 2015 with a B.S. degree in biology, Spanish, and environmental studies and is now a pursuing an M.S. degree in Environment & Resources. Olivia is currently studying how birds are impacted by air pollution at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, where she is a member of Dr. Tracey Holloway's research group. Olivia's research is funded by the NASA Air Quality Applied Sciences Team (AQAST). Olivia also works as communications coordinator for NASA AQAST. In addition to her work with AQAST, Olivia also serves as the outreach assistant for the Energy Analysis & Policy program at the Nelson Institute. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys bird watching, ultimate frisbee, playing piano, and baking.

Back to Top

Elisabeth Schlaudt

Elisabeth Schlaudt

Elisabeth Schlaudt is a graduate student at UW-Madison currently working on two masters degrees in Geoscience and Water Resources Management. She intends to pursue a career in hydrogeology or watershed management involving aspects of both policy and direct research. Her goal is to use her education and the experience gained through her career to bridge the communication gap between science and policy-making, while contributing to innovative solutions for managing Earth's most precious resource.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Nathan Schulfer

Nathan Schulfer

Nathan Schulfer is the Assistant Director for International and Professional Programs at the University of Wisconsin - Madison's, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Nathan also co-manages the Nelson's MS Program in Environmental Conservation.

Nathan's work at Nelson largely focuses on recruitment and mentorship of emerging environmental leaders through the Professional MS, while leading the Institute's efforts to strengthen networks with NGO's and government units on a global scale. Prior to joining the UW-Madison Nathan worked 10-years for the US National Park Service, in Glacier National Park, Montana, as a Legislative staffer on the Montana House of Representative's Natural Resources, Business and Labor, and Judiciary committees, and in China advising NGO's and government units on protected area management.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Diane Schwartz

Diane Schwartz

Diane Schwartz is passionate about the transformative power of nature. She is the founder of Get Kids Outside, a blog where she writes about her adventures with getting children outside. From 2008-2012, Schwartz organized outdoor experiences for hundreds of diverse children in grades K-5 at the Goodman Community Center including hiking, biking and cross country skiing. In 2012, she met Rev. Everett Mitchell and started leading trips from his largely African American Church. This experience opened her eyes to social justice issues and strengthened her resolve to provide culturally relevant outdoor experiences for African-American youth and their families, and to use nature as a healing force in a city wrought with economic and education disparities. That led to the formation of her new business, Outdoors 123. Outdoors 123 provides events that heal our hearts and minds and remind us that we are more alike than different. The kick-off event is a Community Firefly Hike on July 9, 2016. She holds a M.S. Land Resources, a B.S. Education and a B.S. Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Karen Sexton

Karen Sexton

Karen Sexton has been a wildlife biologist for the Ho-Chunk Nation Division of Natural Resources for 8 years. Her work focuses on monitoring and enhancing habitat for native species on the Nation's lands, with an emphasis on culturally significant species. Sexton is responsible for conducting outreach and education programs for tribal members and family and community youth. She arrived at the Nation with a variety of work experience, including work as a technician for a tribal natural resource program in Michigan.

Through her initial involvement and exposure to tribal programs, Sexton began to learn of the value and strength of tribal natural resource management. Her interests and professional development includes learning Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and the strength of its application; understanding the principles of successful tribal collaborations and how to share that knowledge/experience; and providing families outdoor experiences that ignite a passion.

Sexton earned a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State University. When she's not working, she is busy exploring the world with her hammock, pedaling to and from, doggy-time, being Super-Auntie, sharing outdoor experiences with friends and family, and much more.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Raj Shukla

Raj Shukla

Raj Shukla serves as the Director of Programs for Cool Choices, a Madison non-profit that shows people how to make sustainable choices at home, at work and in their communities using a simple online game. Working with corporate and civic partners, Shukla designs and executes programs that encourage people to take real sustainable actions that drive real environmental benefits. Throughout his career he has applied program design, development and management expertise in a variety of collaborative and creative venues spanning everything from public policy to the world of professional sports.

Shukla became Chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee, a group that exists to advise policymakers on how to ensure that the health and wealth of residents in preserved through smart, progressive policy around energy, transportation and natural resources, in 2013. He is a UW-Madison alumni, graduated in 1998 with a BA in Political Science.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Karen B. Strier

Karen Strier

Karen B. Strier is Vilas Research Professor and Irven DeVore Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1980, she received her MA in 1981 and her PhD in 1986 in Anthropology from Harvard University. She is an international authority on the endangered northern muriqui monkey, which she has been studying in the Brazilian Atlantic forest since 1982. Her pioneering, long-term field research has been critical to conservation efforts on behalf of this species, and has been influential in broadening comparative perspectives on primate behavioral and ecological diversity. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was elected to membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She received an Honorary Degree (Doctorate of Science) from the University of Chicago, and Distinguished Primatologist Awards from the American Primatological Society and the Midwestern Primate Interest Group. She has been awarded various research, teaching, and service awards from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has also been honored with Lifetime Honorary Memberships from the Brazilian Primatological Society and the Latin American Primatological Society, and with Honorary Citizenship of the city of Caratinga, in Minas Gerais, Brazil. She has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications, in addition to various co-authored and edited volumes and two single-authored books, Faces in the Forest: The Endangered Muriqui Monkeys of Brazil and Primate Behavioral Ecology.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson is an environmental communicator and project leader. He is the founder of Helix River Media, a digital media agency, and Sustnrs, an initiative to educate people on practical solutions to the climate crisis and simple changes individuals can make to live more sustainably. In 2013, he completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corp Training with Al Gore in Chicago.

In order to expand his impact in these endeavors, he began the Environmental Conservation professional master's program at UW-Madison. Through this program, he has gained a deeper understanding of environmental science, sustainable development, leadership, and communication.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Vaishnavi Tripuraneni

Vaishnavi Tripuraneni

Vaishnavi Tripuraneni is a Ph.D student in the Environment & Resources program of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on the impact of technology on small farmer livelihoods, especially the role of new crops (hybrids and GM) and irrigation technology on farmer indebtedness in India. Vaishnavi is advised by Dr. Paul Robbins.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Jason Vargo

Jason Vargo

Jason Vargo, PhD, MPH, MCRP, has a background in urban environmental planning and public health. His focus is the impacts of urban form and planning decisions on the environment and human health. His publications cover topics such as the health effects of climate change in urban areas and the influence of urban design on routine physical activity. Jason's contributions to the field also include calls to increase the consideration of cities in environmental studies. Vargo's work and ideas have appeared in peer-reviewed publications, books and in popular media including Huffington Post, Scientific American, TEDx, and Smithsonian Magazine.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Daniel Vimont

Dnaiel Vimont

Daniel Vimont is an Associate Professor in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He sits in the Nelson Institute's Center for Climatic Research, holds the Bryson Distinguished Professorship in Climate, People, and the Environment, and serves as co-director of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI).

Vimont joined the faculty in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2003. He has a broad set of research interests that generally focus on understanding mechanisms of climate variability and climate change, interactions between weather and climate, and global and regional impacts of climate change. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2002 under the direction of David Battisti and Ed Sarachik. After a brief post-doctoral appointment at the Joint Institute for Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) and the Columbia University Earth Institute, Vimont came to UW-Madison where he joined the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and the Nelson Institute's Center for Climatic Research. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011. At UW-Madison, he has developed both an independent research program and a number of collaborative efforts with scientists in and outside of Madison.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

John (Jack) Williams

John (Jack) Williams

John (Jack) Williams is the Director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research and Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Williams' research focuses on the responses of plant species and communities to past and future climate change, with an emphasis on novel climates, novel ecosystems, and the communities and climates of the last deglaciation as a model system for understanding 21st-century climate change. Awards include the Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America, the Phil Certain Distinguished Faculty Award and a Romnes Faculty Fellowship from the University of Wisconsin, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. More information can be found at www.geography.wisc.edu/faculty/williams/lab/ or via Twitter.

Back to Concurrent Speakers

Lydia Zepeda, Ph.D

Lydia Zepeda, Ph.D

Lydia Zepeda, Ph.D is a professor of consumer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a faculty affiliate of the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Latin American, Caribbean & Iberian Studies, the Center for European Studies, Development Studies, and Gender & Women's Studies. Her PhD, Masters, and undergraduate degree are in agricultural economics. She has been the faculty advisor for UW Slow Food since its inception in 2007. Her research on food production, consumption and access is motivated by her family history. The loss of land and life, relatives who were agricultural workers and the prevalence of type II diabetes have inspired her to investigate agricultural technological change and policy, land access, family farm labor, food access, and consumer food choices. She is particularly interested in changes in our food system that are linked to access to healthier, more sustainable and more socially just food. She employs a variety of quantitative and qualitative tools using behavioral economic models to investigate consumer food choices, and their relationships with food skills and knowledge, attitudes, policy and the food environment. She teaches courses on methods, food, and sustainable & socially just consumption.

Back to Concurrent Speakers