Conference Speakers

Teresa Arrate

Teresa (Olson) Arrate is a Masters student in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, a PA for the Climate Knowledge Project, and a Nelson Institute Graduate Student Representative. She is interested in the connection between women's empowerment and conservation. Her Masters work focuses on community outreach, using environmental education for women as a form of community engagement. Teresa is developing outreach program ideas for the new Regional Museum of Science and Technology in Autlán de Navarro, Jalisco, Mexico by connecting local needs, assets and interests to the museum's biodiversity and sustainable natural resource use themes. Teresa is also passionate about climate change awareness, education, and activism.

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Brenda Baker

Brenda Baker is an artist, mother and educator. Her sculpture, drawings, paintings and installations have been shown throughout the US, Europe and South America, including major solo shows at the Museum of the Republic in Rio de Janeiro and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Brenda’s work as an artist and as Director of Exhibits at Madison Children’s Museum, where she has worked for 23 years, is at the very intersection of art and sustainability. Brenda’s art routinely references the natural world and ecological/cultural issues through use of materials, content, placement or imagery. Her pioneering work at Madison Children’s Museum has helped transform the organization and building into a nationally acclaimed hotbed of local culture, processes, materials, art and ideas that push the boundaries of what sustainability, art and education can look like.

Brenda has an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, a BA from DePauw University, and studied at both the Austro-American Institute in Vienna, Austria and Karl Marx University of Economics in Budapest, Hungary. She is the recipient of an NEA grant in sculpture, an Arts Midwest fellowship, Wisconsin Arts Board, Citiarts and Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission grants, and others in the sustainability fields, including the Sustainability Visionary of the Year Award in 2011 from In Business Magazine, and a Badger Bioneers Award the same year.

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David Baum

David Baum is a leading figure in Chicago’s real estate development and retail leasing communities. Since co-founding Baum Development, LLC in 1989 and Baum Realty Group, Inc. in 1991, David has cultivated the business from a start-up company into an award-winning commercial and residential development firm and Chicago’s leading retail brokerage firm.

Baum Development (, a triple bottom line development company, has received eight Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Awards and a Preservation Excellence Award from the City of Chicago for work in adaptive reuse and historic preservation. In 2012, Baum Development won the Bruce Abrams Award (Development of the Year) from the Chicago Association of Realtors and the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards For Profit “Best Of The Best” for their Green Exchange Project; the project was also certified LEED Platinum by the US Green Building Council. David has successfully led Baum in the development of more than 90 residential, retail, office and mixed-use developments throughout the Chicago area and the Western United States.

Chicago-based Baum Realty Group (BRG, is one of the nation’s premier retail brokerage firms. For more than 20 years, the award-winning company has provided comprehensive real estate services for a diversified clientele of top property owners as well as national, regional and local retailers such as Starbucks Coffee, FedEx Office, US Bank, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry and many others.

David is often a featured speaker for real estate and business groups, Universities and forums and was named one of Crain’s Chicago Business’ “40 Under 40” leaders and was featured in Real Estate Chicago’s “40 Under 40” edition as well.

In 2014, Baum Development was selected by the City of Madison to work on the development of the Madison Sustainability Center, a project based on the Green Exchange in Chicago.

David is an advisor for the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), a non-profit organization serving underdeveloped communities. He serves as a mentor for students at DePaul University’s School of Real Estate, of which Baum Realty Group is a founding sponsor. David is a contributor to Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s Beige Book and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, The Economic Club of Chicago and the U.S. Green Business Council. In addition, he coaches AYSO soccer teams.

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Val Bennington

Val Bennington is an Assistant Scientist at the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. She studies the importance of climate variability and change on the physics and nutrient cycles of the global ocean and Great Lakes.

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Victor Castro

Victor Castro is a Mexican artist working in social sculpture. His work focuses on questions/issues of sustainability, the environment, educational strategies, and social networks. His community-generated projects are made from thousands of repurposed, often discarded everyday objects that are gathered by people from all walks of life. Castro’s work has been shown in Mexico, Spain, Peru and the United States.

He is currently living and working in Madison WI, where he is developing the Meadowridge Art Project, a site-specific piece for the new Meadowridge Library, funded by a Public Arts Project grant from the Madison Arts Commission and in collaboration with patrons and staff of the Madison Public Library. Community members are also welcome to submit their vision for the design of the piece that will incorporate the gathered materials.

One of the central aims of Castro's work is to challenge the perception that packaging and other materials are just trash or recyclables. His process gives participants an opportunity to re-imagine the possibilities and potential of these materials in art, construction and science.

Castro coordinate the USgathering Project, a collective that organizes the social sculptures and workshops that accompany the larger projects. USgathering is currently collaborating with some Madison Schools, the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, the Dane County Detention Center, and the New Green Challenge Project. Learn more about the projects and visit Victor's website.

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Marcia Caton Campbell

Marcia Caton Campbell, MCRP, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Center for Resilient Cities. A 501c3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1996 with offices in Madison and Milwaukee, the Center for Resilient Cities builds robust and thriving urban communities that are healthy, just, economically viable and environmentally sound. In February 2011, Marcia published Urban Agriculture: Growing Healthy, Sustainable Communities, Planning Advisory Service Report No. 563, coauthored with Kimberly Hodgson and Martin Bailkey (Chicago, IL: American Planning Association).

Marcia is a member of the American Planning Association Food Interest Group’s Steering Committee and co-chaired the Food Systems Committee of the Mayor’s Green Team for the 2013 ReFresh Milwaukee sustainability plan. She has previously served on numerous boards of directors including Growing Power, the Community Food Security Coalition, and the Friends of Troy Gardens (now Community GroundWorks).

Prior to joining the Center for Resilient Cities in 2006, Marcia was a faculty member in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and affiliate faculty at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. There, her research and teaching focused on consensus building and community-based planning with diverse publics and on increasing inner-city residents’ access to healthy, nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food through community food systems planning.

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Tyson Cook

Tyson Cook manages the Science Department of Clean Wisconsin. In this role, he serves as the scientific and technical lead for analysis of environmental issues and policies, in order to inform advocacy and action advancing Clean Wisconsin’s environmental priorities. Mr. Cook also works to build the research base of Clean Wisconsin, expand the use of science in environmental decision-making throughout the state, and maintain Clean Wisconsin’s position as an expert resource for environmental science.

Prior to joining Clean Wisconsin, Mr. Cook worked as a consultant on energy efficiency, emerging energy efficient technologies, and solar power. Mr. Cook also served as a Resident Engineer for Engineers without Borders in Tanzania, and was a founding member of the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project. Mr. Cook holds a Master of Science degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Atmosphere/ Energy group at Stanford University. He has also studied environmental health science at the University of Michigan, and physics at Kalamazoo College. He has conducted research in fields including climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and public health.

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Francis Eanes

Francis Eanes is a PhD candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. His research broadly focuses on bioregions, which are geographic areas which contain unique assemblages of plant and animal/human communities. Specifically, he studies how several Wisconsin human communities identify and create a "sense of place" in the bioregions where they live, with the intent of better understanding the social processes by which these communities are able to more sustainably inhabit and interact with their surrounding bioregions. Though he is a Madison transplant, he has fallen in love with the lakes, and can be found out in a sailboat or taking long runs along the Lakeshore path on any given summer evening. He is advised by Dr. Janet Silbernagel and Dr. Patrick Robinson.

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Jane Elder

Jane Elder is executive director of the Wisconsin Academy. She brings to the Wisconsin Academy a strong background in public policy leadership, nonprofit management, and involvement in Wisconsin arts. Her career has focused on environmental policy and communications, while personal interests include theater, modern dance and painting. Jane was the founding director of the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes program, and led the organization’s Midwest Office for many years, spearheading advances in water quality, air quality, and public lands protection in the region. She was the first recipient of Sierra Club’s Michael McCloskey Award, which honors “a distinguished record of achievement in national or international conservation causes.”

Jane was also the founding director of the Biodiversity Project, a nationwide initiative to raise public awareness about the value of Earth’s diverse species, habitats, and ecosystems, and to promote responsive action to stem the tide of loss. This work included a project to explore the ethical and theological reasons for protecting biodiversity, and a groundbreaking communications handbook: Ethics for a Small Planet. In 2002 she received the Bay and Paul Foundations’ Biodiversity Leadership Award which recognizes and rewards efforts to protect biodiversity by researchers, scholars, and advocates.

During her years at Biodiversity Project, she was an active participant in the Wisconsin Academy’s landmark Leopold Legacy Conference and Waters of Wisconsin Conference. She also served as advisor to U.S. In the World, an initiative of the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation to build a broad, bipartisan constituency for pragmatic, principled, effective, and cooperative U.S. global engagement, and has served as a lead writer-researcher for the Presidential Climate Action Plan (under the auspices of the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs) and several projects related to advancing the goals of the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

An active supporter of and participant in Wisconsin arts, Jane served as an early member of the Friends of American Player’s Theater—a group that banded together to prevent the Theater’s closure in the 1980s. More recently she served as the founding board president for Forward Theater Company in Madison, and continues to serve on its board.

Jane holds a BA in Communications from Michigan State University, and a MS in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin. She and her family have lived in Madison for more than thirty years.

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Erle Ellis

Erle Ellis is an environmental scientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a leading theorist of what scientists increasingly describe as the Anthropocene, the age of humans. Ellis has described the extent of humankind's impact on the planet, from extinctions and massive landscape changes caused by hunter-gatherers to the trend of growing agricultural productivity in response to population pressures. Ellis' early work focused on long-term ecological changes across China's village landscapes caused by the transition from traditional to industrially-based agricultural systems. Ellis has recently theorized the concept of "anthromes," as an alternative concept to "biomes," focusing specifically on human management and stewardship of hybrid human-natural systems.

For a list of Ellis' scientific publications, click here.

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Sagan Friant

Sagan Friant is a PhD candidate in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and a Kohler Fellow at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. Sagan studies the ecology, evolution and epidemiology of emerging environmental health threats through her research on human and non-human primates in Nigeria. Through her background in primatology and conservation, she has developed a unique understanding of how threats to primate conservation also negatively impact human health. She is passionate about primate conservation, safeguarding human health and improving education in shared and rapidly changing environments. Sagan is advised by Dr. Tony Goldberg in Department of Pathobiological Sciences at the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Nate Herndon

Chef Nate Herndon is the executive chef/culinary manager at Promega Corporation in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. He assists and oversees in all culinary operations and has built over an acre of land on the company’s campus into a garden which he and his team grow produce that they serve in the company’s cafeterias. The cafeteria and catering menus are driven by the offerings of the garden and the many local farmers that supply the company. Nate is steadfast in his commitment to local farms, local ingredients and sustainability.

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Colin Higgins

Colin Higgins is the Student Leader & Student Program Coordinator at the UW–Madison Office of Sustainability. At the UW, Colin is a junior majoring in geography, history, and environmental studies and has a particular interest in how people interact with their environments, particularly with regard to economic pressures. As such, he has a keen fascination with sustainable and smallholder agriculture and sees this as a potential to achieve positive social and environmental outcomes.  At the UW, Colin has been involved in a plethora of environmental initiatives. He’s served on the board of directors for the student farm, F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture, and helped lead a local food justice nonprofit, Growing Food and Sustainability. He also founded and chaired the student government’s Sustainability Committee and helped to initiate the University’s green fund.

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John Imes

John Imes, a former Chairman of the Board and co-founder of Wisconsin Environmental Initiative (WEI), joined as Executive Director in 1998. WEI works to improve the environment, economy, and quality of Wisconsin through initiatives that promote responsible business practices, sound environmental policy, green building and water stewardship. WEI has held many forums over the years covering diverse topics such as: Wisconsin Green & Growing, Green Tier Advantage, Bio-economy, Green Jobs in the New Europe, Quality Urban Development, Energy Policy, and Profit-Driven Environmental Management. Among WEI’s most successful programs are Green Built Home, Travel Green Wisconsin, and WEI’s newest initiative: Main Street Green.

Previously, John was the Environmental Manager for Quad/Graphics, a company long known for its environmental stewardship and social responsibility, garnering a long list of local, state and national honors.

John currently serves as an elected board trustee for the Village of Shorewood Hills and has served in various appointments and as an advisor to many national, state and local initiatives over the years.

John, an MATC and Carroll College graduate, is also co-owner of Arbor House, a national award-winning inn and model for sustainable tourism located in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Tom Jahns

Tom Jahns is the Grainger Professor of Power Electronics and Electrical Machines and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Jahns’s research interests span the technical fields of distributed energy systems, electrical machines, power electronics, and adjustable-speed drives. He spent 15 years working at GE’s Corporate R&D laboratories before moving into academia at Wisconsin 16 years ago where he is now co-director of a large industry/university consortium with more than 85 industry sponsors. His current microgrid research focuses on the integration of distributed renewable energy sources and energy storage into robust microgrids intended for installation into sustainable buildings.

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Emily Jones

Emily Jones works to develop and implement strategies that improve water quality. In particular, she focuses on advancing watershed-wide projects to reduce polluted runoff. She works with a wide variety of stakeholders across the state, from municipal wastewater dischargers to regulatory agencies to local environmental groups, to identify common goals and challenges. She helps stakeholders understand new and innovative runoff control strategies by creating outreach materials, such as Clean Wisconsin’s adaptive management handbook, and by working directly with affected organizations. Additionally, because Clean Wisconsin is active in runoff management projects across the state, she connects regional projects with information and strategy from experiences elsewhere, providing recommendations and assistance to local groups.

A lifelong Madison resident, she previously worked as a technical writer before joining Clean Wisconsin. She has a Bachelor of Science in life sciences communication and biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Elizabeth Katt-Reinders

Elizabeth Katt-Reinders is the Director of Policy & Communications at the Clean Lakes Alliance. She has worked extensively on environmental and water resource issues for well over a decade in both the public and private sector with experience in research, communications and outreach, advocacy, program development, and policy. She has a Masters of Science from the University of Wisconsin Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and she was a lead author and managing editor of Wisconsin’s Changing Climate, the first report of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts.

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Jeong Eun (Anya) Lim

Jeong Eun (Anya) Lim is a Ph.D student in the Environment and Resources program of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison. Her research focuses on mitigating human-carnivore conflict, especially of tigers and dholes, in Laos and perceptions of local communities toward tiger re-introduction in South Korea. Anya is advised by Dr. Adrian Treves.

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Vijay Limaye

Vijay Limaye is a Joint Ph.D. Candidate in the Environment and Resources/Epidemiology programs at UW-Madison in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Population Health Sciences. His research focuses on the public health implications of climate change in the United States, particularly exposures to extreme heat and air pollution. A Madison native, Vijay is advised by Dr. Jonathan Patz and Dr. Tracey Holloway at the Nelson Institute's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE).

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Kim Marotta

Kim Marotta joined MillerCoors in 2004 and currently serves as Director of Sustainability. In this role, she is responsible for driving, implementing and managing MillerCoors sustainability strategy and responsibility initiatives. To drive performance in these areas, she works closely with MillerCoors parent organizations: SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. For two consecutive years, Molson Coors was recognized as Dow Jones Sustainability Index world beverage sector leader, for which MillerCoors work was a leading contributor.

In 2013, Triple Pundit recognized Kim as one of the “35 Top Female CSR Leaders,” for the work that she led at MillerCoors. In addition to forging a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to further MillerCoors water conservation efforts she currently serves on the organization’s Board of Directors for the State of Wisconsin. She was also elected in 2013 to serve on the board of directors for The Sustainability Consortium. She is a former board member of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation, Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation, U.S. Bank Golf Championship, and Milwaukee World Festivals, among others.

Kim received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wis. Prior to joining MillerCoors, she practiced law for more than 13 years, specializing in criminal defense. She also served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School. Kim currently resides in Mequon, Wisconsin with her four children.

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China Mièville

China Miéville is the author of nine novels, including The City & the City, Embassytown, and Railsea, and of a collection of short stories, Looking for Jake. His non-fiction includes essays and the book Between Equal Rights, a theoretical study of international law. He is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Warwick University, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy, British Science Fiction, and Arthur C Clarke Awards. He lives and works in London.

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Amanda Minks

Amanda Minks currently works as a water resource management specialist within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. She coordinates and implements the water quality trading and adaptive management program throughout Wisconsin. She has severed as the project manager to implement phosphorus and thermal water quality standards, and total maximum daily loads in discharge permits. She also implements various aspects of the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program including permit drafting, limit calculations, rulemaking and guidance development. Additional programs she has been active in include water quality criteria development, triennial standard reviews, and mixing zone demonstrations.

In conjunction with her current position, Amanda has accrued almost ten years of experience in policy development, hydrology, water quality monitoring, permitting, and GIS. Amanda obtained her B.S. (Environmental Science) from the Florida Institute of Technology and M.S. degrees (Water Resources and Soil Science) from the UW-Madison. Amanda's M.S. research improved approaches to implement watershed-scale nutrient reduction strategies and created optimal processes for phosphorous removal and recovery as struvite from wastewater treatment plants. Prior to joining the WDNR, Amanda worked as a research assistant at UW-Madison's Department of Soil Science. At the UW-Madison, Amanda served as the lead researcher to enabled better understanding of phosphorus regimes and how to optimize and improve techniques used in wastewater treatment plants to maximize phosphorus removal from wastewater streams.

The breadth of Amanda's work provides an adaptable approach to water resource management and soils science. Amanda's interests include developing economically viable pollution reduction strategies and water resource and soil science policy.

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Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell is a law professor and a national expert on property issues facing poor and minority communities. In addition to publishing leading scholarly articles, he has done extensive policy and community engagement work to address some of the myriad legal problems poor property owners often face. He was one of ten professors in the United States selected to receive the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award in 2013 in connection with his work in mentoring law students who have then go on to do critically important work as lawyers that has benefited poor and minority property owners in substantial ways.

In terms of public policy, Professor Mitchell served as the Reporter, the person tasked with primary drafting responsibility, for the Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA), a model state statute which was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission in 2010. As background, many poor and minority families have lost both their property as well as the wealth associated with such property as a result of forced, court-ordered sales of so-called heirs’ property, a very prevalent form of common ownership of real property. UPHPA represents the most substantial effort ever to stabilize ownership of such property and it has been enacted into law in four states thus far and is being considered by a number of other states at this time. Professor Mitchell is just the second African-American to have served in the role of Reporter for the Uniform Law Commission on one of its more than 330 uniform act projects (including the Uniform Commercial Code) in the commission’s 123-year history. He is also the incoming chair of the board of directors of Gathering Waters Conservancy.

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Maria 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.

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Rachel Murray

Rachel Murray is a Borlaug Fellow and a graduate student in the Environment and Resources program at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She is currently researching Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems in Nepal and how they are adapting to climate changes and globalization. Her work also focuses on women’s access to resources, information, and decision-making power within these systems. She has conducted her research in both the low desert mountains and the middle hills of Nepal to compare the vulnerabilities and resiliency of these ancient systems. Rachel is a former tribal law attorney, director at a domestic violence council, and ornithologist. She is affiliated with International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

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Claire Nagel

Claire Nagel is the Food Service Administrator at Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. Over the past 8 years, she has implemented the Farm to Cafeteria and Buy Local program. She also initiated the Foodservice Garden and Sustainability practices for the patient meal service and the Mendota Garden Cafe. Claire purchases from wholesale farm auctions, networks with primary food vendors and collaborates with rehabilitation therapy staff to support and promote these programs. She has worked with the Institutional Food Marketing Coalition and is currently an active board member. She is a volunteer leader and board member in Dane County 4-H program. Claire is a mentor to her coworkers and shares her creativity and passion with everyone she encounters.

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Jeff Niesen

Jeff Niesen joined Boldt’s corporate leadership team as Executive Vice President for Human Resources and Risk Management after more than 30 years of successful project leadership experience in wide variety industries including healthcare, research and development, infrastructure and power and higher education. In addition to leading some of Boldt’s most complex projects, Jeff has been a pioneer in implementing and teaching lean techniques to project teams and to students at UW-Madison. Jeff has presented on various lean topics including the Last Planner and Integrated Lean Project Delivery® to organizations like AIA, COAA, LCI as well as various design firms and facilities owners.

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Kevin Noone

Kevin Noone is Director of the Swedish Secretariat for Environmental Earth System Sciences (SSEESS) at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, is Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Applied Environmental Science at Stockholm University, and is affiliated with the Stockholm Resilience Centre. From 2004-2008 he was the Executive Director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP). He has a background in Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Oceanography, Meteorology, and Atmospheric Physics. After receiving his PhD degree from the University of Washington, he has been on the faculty at both Stockholm University in Sweden and the University of Rhode Island in the U.S.

Early research work in Chemical Engineering focused on transparent semiconductors for use as solar cells. His primary research interests at present are in the area of atmospheric chemistry & physics, the effects of aerosols and clouds on air quality and the Earth's climate, and global sustainability. He is an advocate of using holistic approaches to obtaining a solid scientific basis for decisions on environmental and climate issues. He is author/coauthor of more than 120 scientific articles and 13 book chapters.

Kevin has headed up of a number of large international field experiments, and is (or has been) a member of a number of international committees and boards. Most recently he chaired the European Academies Science Advisory Council’s Environment Steering Panel from 2008-2012, and is currently vice-chair of the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA). He is vice-chair of the Transdisciplinary Advisory Board for the European Joint Programming Initiative on Climate and a member of the American Geophysical Union’s Thriving Earth Exchange Advisory Board. Kevin is active in conveying science to stakeholders and the general public. He regularly gives presentations and short courses on climate and sustainability issues for non-science audiences, and briefings for political and private-sector leaders.

He enjoys time with his family, sports involving chasing round objects, pen making and carpentry, and picking up his guitars and trying to remember what he used to do with them.

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Michael Notaro

Michael Notaro is the Associate Director of the Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences from the State University of New York at Albany in 2002. His areas of expertise include global and regional climate modeling, land-atmosphere interactions, lake-effect snowstorms, Great Lakes and climate change, and dust storms. Michael is a member of the Climate Working Group of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts.

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Omar Ohrens

Omar Ohrens is a Ph.D. Student in the Environment and Resources program at UW-Madison in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. As an agronomist native from Chile, he joined the Nelson Institute in 2012 for his master degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development. His research focuses on human-carnivore conflict and conservation, specifically of pumas, in Chile. For his master’s, he led a project in the Altiplano region of Tarapacá (Chile), to develop and implement a puma conservation program and mitigate the conflict related to livestock predation. He is advised by Dr. Adrian Treves.

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Susan Paskewitz

Susan Paskewitz is faculty member in the Department of Entomology, UW-Madison. Her research focuses on reducing the risk of vector-borne disease, including Lyme Disease and malaria. Current projects include ecological studies of Lyme Disease risk across forests in Wisconsin and the role of wildlife and weather in regulating tick populations. Dr. Paskewitz's laboratory also works on mosquito-borne disease, with projects focused on controlling the vectors of West Nile virus and malaria.

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Don Peterson

Don Peterson is the Executive Director of Energy Products and Services at Madison Gas and Electric Company. He is responsible for planning engineering, permitting, and constructing large capital intensive power projects including cogeneration, renewable energy, and backup generation. Also responsible for utility customer program planning and implementation, advising customers about the utilization and conservation of energy, and shared savings customer energy efficiency loan program. He also monitors new energy technologies and design and implement demonstration projects around these technologies.

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Randy Peterson

Randy Peterson is currently the Senior Director of Engineering, Corporate Services and Sustainability at Lands' End Inc. He has been with Lands’ End for over 15 years and has lead a diverse group responsible for corporate wide facilities (planning, design & construction/project management), process/systems engineering, administrative services and company-wide sustainability.

Currently, Randy serves on the executive board of directors for the Clean Lakes Alliance and on the advisory board for the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council.

With over 25 years of increasingly responsible engineering, project management and corporate leadership roles with companies such as Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, and Sperry, Randy brought to Lands' End a variety of experiences, and knowledge of some leading practices in industrial engineering, facilities management and accountable leadership.

Randy possesses a B.S. from the College of Engineering, Arizona State University; an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, Lake Forest, Illinois; and a professional certification from Georgia Institute of Technology in Supply Chain and Logistics.

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Ted Petith

Ted Petith brings a decidedly German focus to issues surrounding renewable energy, sustainable neighborhoods, green city planning and other related areas. He has travelled extensively in Germany and has many sustainability-related connections, especially to Madison’s Sister City of Freiburg. As a globally-recognized leader in the implementation of green technologies and planning, an analysis of policies and projects in Freiburg offers valuable insight into methods for the growth of sustainable infrastructure.

Mr. Petith’s exposure to German sustainability practices dates back to his early days as a child living in Freiburg and Heidelberg and he has used these life-long connections to help build bridges with individuals and groups in the United States. He has planned and taken part in many trade and political delegations, including work for the German-American Chamber of Commerce, the UW-Madison, the City of Madison, WI and many other organizations and institutions. Ted offers a broad-based knowledge of renewable technologies and continues to work on strengthening sustainability-related educational and business connections between the State of Wisconsin and Germany.

Ted is the owner of GreenLink Projects LLC and an Associate Lecturer in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. He has served as a consultant for the USDOE Solar America Cities MadiSUN Program, the City of Madison, Gebhardt Development LLC and many other entities.

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Steven Pullins

Steven Pullins is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Green Energy Corp. Mr. Pullins has more than 35 years of utility industry experience in operations, maintenance, engineering, and renewables project development. He previously led the nation’s Modern Grid Strategy for DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. He has worked with more than 20 utilities in Smart Grid strategies, renewables strategies, power system optimization with Smart Grid technologies, and microgrids. Green Energy Corp designs, builds, and owns microgrids and energy storage solutions. Horizon Energy Group was named a Company to Watch in the book, “Perfect Power” by former Motorola Chairman, Bob Galvin, and former EPRI CEO, Kurt Yeager. Mr. Pullins is listed as one of the “Top 100 Movers and Shakers in the Smart Grid Movement” by GreenTech Media (2009 – 2012).

Mr. Pullins is the Chair of the IEEE PES Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee, a member of the Transactive Energy Association, an Advisor to the Microgrid Institute, and a member of the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy. He has advised several international utility and government organizations on Smart Grid technologies and operations, microgrid development, integrating intelligence, new power generation, and waste to energy issues. He holds a BS and MS in Engineering.

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Satya Rhodes-Conway

Satya Rhodes-Conway is the Managing Director of the Mayors Innovation Project and a senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS). She works with cities across the country to implement innovative policy that promotes environmental and economic sustainability and builds strong, democratically accountable communities. She has researched and written extensively about local policy that promotes sustainability, equity and democracy. Satya served three terms on Madison's City Council, giving her a practical perspective on local government and policy. Before coming to COWS, she analyzed state endangered species programs for Defenders of Wildlife, researched and wrote about progressive environmental policy at the State Environmental Resource Center, and taught undergraduate biology and ecology. She has degrees from Smith College and the University of California - Irvine.

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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.

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Jay Salinas

Jay Salinas is an artist, farmer and educator. In 1995, together with his partner Donna Neuwirth, they started the Neu Erth Wormfarm, a CSA based in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. In 2000 they formed the Wormfarm Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to integrate culture and agriculture. From 2006 to 2009, Jay was the Co-director for Growing Power in Milwaukee. In 2009, he returned to Wormfarm to lead the Re-enchantment of Agriculture exploring the parallels between farming, the humanities and the arts.

In addition to running the CSA and Artist Residency program, Jay’s current Wormfarm projects include Fermentation Fest, the Farm/ Art DTour the DeComposium and Roadside Culture Stands.

Trained in the bronze foundry Jay now characterizes his work as "social sculpture." Jay has taught art in public housing projects and at the university level. He also teaches innovative farming techniques to farmers across the nation and continues to work with growers from diverse backgrounds and abilities to build sustainable food systems.

Born in, and raised near Chicago, Jay holds a BFA from University of Illinois, Champaign/ Urbana and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati.

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Mary Schlaefer

Mary Woolsey Schlaefer is President and CEO of WECC—a mission based nonprofit that designs and implements innovative energy efficiency, renewable energy, and financing programs across the United States. In her tenure as President and CEO, WECC has delivered more than 5.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electric savings and nearly 200 million therms savings for our clients and their customers—the equivalent to removing more than 1 million cars from the road and eliminating 11.2 billion pounds of CO2 emissions.

Ms. Schlaefer has inspired WECC’s creation of holistic approaches and conservation that engage and strengthen communities. She is a committed protector of and enjoyer of our natural resources—serving on the Board of Directors for the River Alliance of Wisconsin, the Dane County Parks Commission, and Wisconsin DNR Green Tier Advisors.

Ms. Schlaefer has a Juris Doctor (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota Law School and a Bachelor of Arts (honors) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining WECC, Mary held top state government and legal positions, including Executive Assistant and Deputy Secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Assistant Attorney General.

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Erin Silva

Dr. Erin Silva is an Assistant Professor in the Plant Pathology Department. Her research and extension program focuses on sustainable and organic cropping systems, including no-till production, cover crop practices, and crop variety trialing in organic systems. Erin currently serves as co-facilitator of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council. As a graduate student, Erin cultivated an organic market garden, selling the produce at a local farmer’s market.

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Kurt Sladky

Kurt K. Sladky received his MS and DVM from the University of Wisconsin, and completed a Residency in Zoological Medicine at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Zoological Medicine, and is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Zoological Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Sladky is an Advisor to the University of Wisconsin Global Health Institute, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. His teaching and fieldwork embrace the One Health approach, and his current research interests include impacts of commonly applied pesticides and herbicides on the health of free-ranging sloths in Costa Rica, noninfectious and infectious diseases of wildlife associated with ecosystem degradation, and analgesia and anesthesia of captive and free-ranging nondomestic species.

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Jeffrey Sledge

Jeffrey Sledge is a Faculty Associate with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Sledge’s research focuses on how built environments affect human health and ways of using those environments to understand, treat, and mitigate the effects of disease. He works with individuals who have a spectrum of metabolic disease and breast cancer. His research centers on designing and testing methods of dynamic individualized assessment and intervention.

Within the Nelson Institute he teaches field research methods and is involved in new program curriculum development. In addition, he has served as Research Director for community engaged interdisciplinary research studies. Prior to returning to the UW, Dr. Sledge spent twenty years in industry creating and leading engineering businesses.

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Claire Strader

Claire Strader is the small-scale and organic produce educator for UW Extension Dane County and the FairShare CSA Coalition. Her work with Extension includes coordinating the Institutional Food Market Coalition (IFM) which is a network of producers, buyers, and distributors bringing local food to the institutional market. Claire’s background is as an organic vegetable producer serving both CSA and wholesale markets, a retail produce buyer for a local natural foods store, and a farmer educator. She is especially interested in working with small-scale producers to build productive and sustainable farm businesses that are the foundation of the local food system.

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Valerie Stull

Valerie Stull is a PhD student advised by Dr. Jonathan Patz in the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program at UW-Madison. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on food security, where she investigates linkages between agricultural practices and health. She is particularly interested in perennial crop alternatives that may be resilient to climate change, as well as alternative sustainable food sources (such as insects) that require less energy intensive inputs. Her true passion lies in social justice, and she hopes to use her research and work in environmental health to support well being globally.

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Chris Swanston

Chris Swanston is a research ecologist at the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, and is director of the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS). Chris also serves as leader of the USDA Midwest Regional Climate Sub-Hub for Northern Forestry, project lead for the Climate Change Response Framework, co-chair of the Climate Change Resource Center, chair of the science steering committee of the International Soil Carbon Network, and is a member of the science steering committee of the North American Carbon Program. Chris’ primary research interest is in the biogeochemical mechanisms of carbon stabilization in soils, but he spends most of his time as director of NIACS engaging in climate change outreach, assessing vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change, and working with land managers to develop approaches to climate adaptation. Chris has a BS in natural resources planning from Humboldt State University in northern California, and a MS and PhD in forest science from Oregon State University.

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Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor is the Director of Ecosystem Services for Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. Dave and his team are leading the first effort in the State of Wisconsin to test the watershed adaptive management option to address phosphorus. This four year pilot project is located just to the northwest of Lake Mendota, in the Yahara Watershed. It is a collaborative effort involving over 30 partners, including towns, villages, cities, industry, environmental groups and agricultural producers. Dave will briefly share experiences to date with the pilot project.

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Jason Vargo

Jason Vargo came to the Nelson Institue Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) from Atlanta, GA. He is a fellow with SAGE and the Global Health Institute, working with Dr. Jonathan Patz on issues related to urbanization and health. Jason’s work has examined the influences of the built environment on healthy behaviors among residents in Bogotá, Colombia and the US. Most recently, he investigated the potential for urban planning and design to manage dangerous thermal exposures during extreme heat events.

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Gary Vaughan

Gary Vaughan is an Instructor in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship (I&E) Interdisciplinary Area at Lawrence University in Appleton WI. He also teaches accounting and finance courses at Lawrence. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the School of Business and Legal Studies for Concordia University of Wisconsin in Mequon, WI. where he has taught in their undergraduate and graduate adult programs for more than 10 years.

“Now is the time, during their collegiate years, for young people to deepen their understanding of how to put their thoughts into actions, by embracing a culture of innovation and creativity as they go forward and consider their future career choices. Whether they go on to become entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, these intelligent young people, our future leaders, will benefit from an Entrepreneurial Mindset.”

Gary Vaughan is founder and president of Guident Business Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in small businesses. Gary works exclusively with owners as a trusted business advisor. Gary also is the executive director for Rivers-As-Bridges, a Wisconsin based non-profit organization, educating youth from around the world in natural resources and the environment.

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Monica White

Monica White earned a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University in Sociology. She is an assistant professor of Environmental Justice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a joint appointment in the Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology and is a former Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Her research engages communities of color and grassroots organizations that are involved in the development of sustainable community food systems as a strategy to respond to issues of hunger and food inaccessibility. Her publications include, “Sisters of the Soil: Urban Gardening as Resistance Among Black Women in Detroit” and “D-Town Farm: African American Resistance to Food Insecurity and the Transformation of Detroit.” She is currently working on her first book, “Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement, 1880-2010,” which contextualizes new forms of contemporary urban agriculture within the historical legacies of African American farmers who fought to acquire and stay on the land. Using historical and contemporary examples, Freedom Farmers examines the development of farmers’ cooperatives as strategies of resistance, and documents the ways that these organizations, in general, and Black farmers specifically, have contributed to the Black Freedom Movement.

As a result of her scholarship and community work, Dr. White has received several grants including a multi-year, multi-million dollar USDA research grant to study food insecurity in Michigan. She has also received several awards including the 2013 Olsen Award for distinguished service to the practice of Sociology from the Michigan Sociological Association and the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award. She was appointed to the Food Justice Task Force sponsored by the Institute for Agricultural Trade Policy (IATP), maintains a highly ranked and reviewed blog (soil2soul) and is highly sought after and has presented her work at many national and international community organizations, colleges and universities.

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Karin Wolf

Karin Wolf is the Arts Program Administrator for the Madison Arts Commission in the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development. She manages the City's arts grants, runs the gallery spaces, stewards the City’s permanent collection of art, and handles the administration of new public art projects. Prior to this position, she worked at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, where she helped create award-winning programs for educators and K-16 students in art, design and technology. She has a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and undergraduate degrees in History, History of Cultures, and Afro-American History. She is a long time supporter of the arts and arts education, and has been involved with many community organizations in establishing exhibitions, creating educational programs, and jurying for exhibitions, film festivals, temporary art, and permanent public sculpture projects.

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Ben Zuckerberg

Dr. Benjamin Zuckerberg is an assistant professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ben has studied birds since his undergraduate years, and went on to receive his Ph.D. from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and later served as a research scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. His research focuses on how climate change and habitat loss impacts wildlife populations. He is a strong advocate for the role of volunteers and the public in data collection. Using the data from these “citizen science” programs, Ben has studied shifts in bird ranges and migration in response to a changing climate.

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