Edward Osborne Wilson
Honorary Curator in Entomology, University Research Professor Emeritus
Harvard University

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

David Ackerly
Professor of Integrative Biology
UC Berkeley

David Ackerly's research group studies plant ecology and evolution, with an emphasis on the native plants of California. Current work examines potential impacts of climate change on plant communities and the implications for biodiversity conservation and land management, with a focus on open space conservation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ackerly co-leads the Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Initiative (tbc3.org), a group focused on climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in the Bay Area. TBC3 brings together hydrologists, conservation planners, geographers, and biologists to develop downscaled future climate layers, apply them to model climate change impacts on biodiversity, and develop recommendations for land managers on interpretation and application of current science. One of the major emphases of this work is the importance of topographic heterogeneity for maintenance of biodiversity and as a buffer to mediate responses to climate change. Ackerly recently initiated a long-term study of oak woodland community dynamics in Sonoma Co. Future research will focus on transient dynamics of plant communities in response to a changing climate, including the role of major disturbances such as fire.Ackerly received his PhD from Harvard University and taught at Stanford before moving to UC Berkeley. His past research has focused on tropical tree ecophysiology, ecology and evolution of chaparral shrubs and vernal pool annuals, and the integration of phylogenetics and ecology. At UC Berkeley, Ackerly is on the steering committee of the Berkeley Initiative for Global Change Biology, and teaches courses in ecology, evolution and climate change biology.

Jill S. Baron
Ecosystem Ecologist, Senior Research Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado State University

Dr. Jill Baron currently works with the USGS, and was previously a research scientist with the National Park Service. She applies ecosystem concepts to management of human-dominated regions and studies the effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition to mountain ecosystems. She founded and Co-Directs the John Wesley Powell Center for Earth System Science Analysis and Synthesis. Baron was 2014 President of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). Baron has contributed to all National Climate Assessments, was Lead Author on Climate Change Adaptation Options for National Parks, has given testimony to Congress on western acid rain and climate change issues, and was Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Ecology, an ESA publication for non-scientists from 2009-2012. She has guided the Loch Vale Watershed long-term monitoring and research program in Rocky Mountain National Park since 1983. 

Steven R. Beissinger
Professor of Conservation Biology
University of California, Berkeley

Steve Beissinger is a Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he held the A. Starker Leopold Chair in Wildlife Biology from 2003-2013 and is a research associate of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology. Professor Beissinger’s professional career has been devoted to producing ecological knowledge that can be used to both conserve biodiversity and to uncover basic processes in behavioral and population ecology that govern how nature works. His current research centers on two of the biggest challenges facing wildlife conservation and society ñ wildlife responses to global change and species extinctions ñ with work carried out in national parks and working landscapes in California and Latin America. In 2010 Steve received the William Brewster Memorial Award Union for his studies of birds of the Western Hemisphere from the American Ornithologists’ Union, and became President-elect of this scientific society in 2014.

Joel Berger
Professor of Wildlife Conservation, Senior Scientist
University of Montana, Wildlife Conservation Society

Joel Berger is a conservation biologist, and serves currently as the John J. Craighead Chair of Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana and as a senior scientist at the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society.  Joel has worked primarily with mammals larger than a bread box including moose, caribou, muskoxen, bison, pronghorn and elk in more than a dozen American national parks; he has also studied black rhinos in Africa as well as elusive takin, chiru, wild yak, and saiga in central Asia.  Using conservation and science as diplomacy, Joel has built bridges between protected area management by uniting fieldwork in USA parks with those in Bhutan, on the Tibetan Plateau, and in the Russian Arctic (Beringia).  Long-distance migration, climate impacts, and predator-prey relationships are never far from his thoughts.  Most centrally, however, Joel notes that conservation improvements cannot be done in the absence of remembering that people must play a role.  Joel has been the recipient of several Guggenheim awards, is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, and has received lifetime achievement awards from the Society of Conservation Biology and American Society of Mammalogists.  He has written five books.  

Edwin Bernbaum
Senior Fellow, Co-Chair
The Mountain Institute, IUCN Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas

Edwin Bernbaum is an author and scholar of comparative religion and mythology whose work focuses on the relationship between culture and the environment. His book Sacred Mountains of the World won the Commonwealth Club of California's gold medal for best work of nonfiction and was the basis for an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution. As Director of the Sacred Mountains Program at The Mountain Institute, he initiated and directed projects to develop interpretive materials with National Parks such as Mount Rainier, Yosemite, and Hawai'i Volcanoes based on the cultural and spiritual significance of different features of mountain environments in American and other cultures around the world. He also started a project that used the cultural values of sacred sites in Central Asia as a basis for developing conservation programs and sustainable livelihoods in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. More recently, he has worked with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) on a project to nominate Mount Kailas in Tibet, the most sacred mountain in the world for over a billion people, along with ancient pilgrimage routes leading to it from India and Nepal as a trans-boundary UNESCO World Heritage Site. He is currently working on an IUCN project to integrate the cultural and spiritual significance of nature into protected area management and governance. He leads seminars and lectures widely on mountains, leadership, culture, and the environment for organizations and audiences such as the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wharton School, and the American Museum of Natural History. He holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley with additional graduate work in Social Psychology and Anthropology at Harvard University.

Justin Brashares
G.R. & W.M. Goertz Professor of Wildlife Ecology
University of California, Berkeley

Justin Brashares has studied the population, community and behavioral ecology of wildlife in North America and Africa since 1990. His research extends beyond traditional ecology and conservation to consider the economic, political and cultural factors that drive and, in turn, are driven by, changes in wildlife abundance and diversity. This interdisciplinary perspective led to the creation of Berkeley's Biodiversity, Health and Livelihoods initiative in 2011.  Recent work has focused on the challenges of biodiversity conservation within and around protected areas, and the economic and social consequences of biodiversity loss.

Stephanie Carlson
Associate Professor of Freshwater Fish Ecology
UC Berkeley

Stephanie is an Associate Professor of Freshwater Fish Ecology at the University of California, Berkeley, where she runs the inland fishes laboratory. Stephanie's primary research interest is in understanding the dynamics of freshwater fish populations, particularly the factors that shape these populations and influence their persistence. Her group's research is field-based and incorporates elements of behavioral, population, and community ecology. Her group combines various techniques including the tagging and tracking of individually-marked fish, experimental manipulations in the field, direct observations, comparative studies, and modeling. 

Stephanie's recent research has focused on the inland fishes of California, while past work has emphasized stream fish ecology in Massachusetts and Alaska as well as abroad (Canada, Norway, and the UK). In 2010, Stephanie received the Young Investigator's Award from the American Society of Naturalists and in 2011 she received the Rising Star Distinguished Ecologist Award from Colorado State University. She serves on the Editorial Boards of Ecology of Freshwater Fishes and PLoS ONE.
Professor Carlson earned a B.S. (1999) from UC-Davis, a M.S. (2002) from UMass Amherst, and a Ph.D. (2006) from the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. Carlson joined the faculty at Berkeley in 2008 after spending 1.5 years as an NSF postdoctoral fellow at UC-Santa Cruz.

Jamais Cascio
Writer and Futurist
Institute for the Future

Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of their Top 100 Global Thinkers, Jamais Cascio explores the intersection of environmental dilemmas, emerging technologies, and cultural evolution, specializing in plausible scenarios of the future. His work focuses on the importance of long-term, systemic thinking, emphasizing the power of openness, transparency and flexibility as catalysts for building a more resilient society. Cascio has worked in the field of scenario development for nearly two decades, and in 2010 was named a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future.

Cascio's written work has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and Foreign Policy, among many others. He has been featured in multiple documentaries discussing social and environmental futures, including National Geographic Television's SIX DEGREES, its 2008 program on the effects of global warming, the 2010 Canadian Broadcasting Company feature, SURVIVING THE FUTURE, and the 2013 independent film FIXED: THE SCIENCE/FICTION OF HUMAN AUGMENTATION. He has also been featured in several science-oriented television documentary series.

Cascio speaks about future possibilities around the world. Recent appearances include the first Global Climate Engineering Conference in Berlin, the 2012 National Geographic Aspen Environmental Forum, and Futuro e Sostanabilita in Rome. He was a featured speaker at the TED 2006 conference, "The Future We Will Create," in Monterey, California, and at the 2014 TEDx Marin event.  In early 2009, he released his first book, Hacking the Earth: Understanding the Consequences of Geoengineering. The subsequent year, he was invited to present on the subject at the National Academies of Sciences in Washington, DC. In 2003, he co-founded WorldChanging.com, the award-winning website dedicated to finding and calling attention to models, tools and ideas for building a "bright green" future. In March, 2006, he started OpenTheFuture.com as his online home.

Ruth Defries
Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development
Columbia University

Ruth DeFries' research investigates the relationships among human transformation of the land surface and the biogeochemical and ecological processes that regulate the Earth's habitability. Her research uses satellite imagery as a lens to examine changes in the land surface over large areas. The overall thrust of the research is to develop underlying science for balancing the needs of human society to transform the landscape for food production, settlements, and other requirements while maintaining long-term habitability of the planet.  She has conducted research in the Amazon and India among other places in the tropics. Ruth DeFries holds a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. summa cum laude from Washington University. She is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "genius" award, and fellow of the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, and American Academy for Arts and Sciences. She co-directs the undergraduate program in Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

Thomas Dietz
Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, Professor of Sociology and Animal Studies
Michigan State University

Thomas Dietz is Professor in Environmental Science and Policy (ESPP), Sociology and Animal Studies at Michigan State University, where he was founding Director of ESPP, is Co-Director of the Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments Center, and a member of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.  He holds a B.G.S. from Kent State University and a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.  His research interests include environmental decision making, linking science and values in policy processes, the relationship between ecosystems and human well-being, and structural human ecology.  He has published 13 books and over 130 papers and book chapters. In the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment he served on both the Conceptual Framework and Synthesis teams.  Dietz is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been awarded the Sustainability Science Award of the Ecological Society of America. 

Josh Donlan
Founder and Director
Advanced Conservation Strategies

Josh Donlan leads the organization Advanced Conservation Strategies by building interdisciplinary teams to tackle problems in novel ways. ACS's foundation is science, yet it works and collaborates outside of science to innovate and implement new solutions and ventures for environmental and sustainability challenges. ACS integrates behavioral economics, finance, human-centered design, markets, science, and technology for organizations trying to solve problems.

Trained as a scientist, Josh has worked on a variety of environmental and social issues in over a dozen countries, including the management of invasive species, environmental restoration, environmental markets, and developing financial and incentive instruments for environmental conservation and poverty alleviation. He has held fellowships with the Fulbright Commission, Guggenheim Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, and the Copeland Fellowship in Global Sustainability at Amherst College. He was also selected as a finalist in the Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development Competition sponsored by the Gates Foundation, World Bank, and the French Development Agency. Josh was highlighted in New York Times Magazine's Big Ideas of 2005. Josh is a Technical Expert for the United Nations Environment ProgrammeóConvention on Migratory Species Secretariat, and co-chaired the committee for recommendations for the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity from the UNESCO International Year of Biodiversity Science Policy Conference in 2010. Josh served as the Chief Scientist for Project Isabela in Gal·pagos Islands, the world's largest island restoration project. He also played a pivotal role in building the NGO Island Conservation, whose mission is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands, from a five-person operation to a multi-million dollar organization that now works in over a dozen countries. Josh is a visiting fellow at Cornell University and University of South Paris. His efforts currently focus on innovation, environmental entrepreneurship, behavioral incentives, and human-centered design approaches to environmental problem solving.

Holly Doremus 
James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation, Co-Director, Director
Center for Law, Energy & the Environment; Environmental Law Program - UC Berkeley Law School

Holly Doremus is a Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform and serves on the Board of Directors of Defenders of Wildlife. She received her B.S. in biology from Trinity College (Hartford, CT), Ph.D. in plant physiology from Cornell University, and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school, she clerked for Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law in Corvallis, Oregon. She began her teaching career at the UC Davis School of Law, where she taught for 13 years before moving to UC Berkeley. Doremus has written extensively about environmental and natural resources law; the primary focal points of her research work are biodiversity protection, the intersection between property rights and environmental regulation, and the interrelationship of environmental law and science.

John Francis
Vice President for Research, Conservation, and Exploration
National Geographic Society

John Francis directs funding of research, conservation and exploration through the Committee for Research and Exploration, the Conservation Trust, and the Expeditions Council, Young Explorers and Waitt Grants programs. His professional career is rooted in wildlife biology and a deep commitment to communication of the potent ties between humans and the rest of the natural world. He has fashioned his interests and expertise into successful turns as a scientist, wildlife filmmaker, and current leader in support of the Society's storied research and exploration arm. 

He began his professional career as a behavioral ecologist at age 19 and over the next fifteen years, studied more than half of the seal and sea lion species living today.  During this time he earned a B.S. from the University of Washington (Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and spent five years as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at the Smithsonian Institution.  His research took him around the world to Australia, Canada, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Hawaii, California, Alaska, and Argentina.  This period also saw Dr. Francis receive two research grants from the National Geographic Society that allowed him to study the little-known Juan Fernandez fur seal on the islands where the Robinson Crusoe tale was born.  This work led to a film on the subject which captured the interest of National Geographic and opened the door to filmmaking. 

Outside of his National Geographic Society responsibilities, Francis serves or has served on boards and committees for the US National Park System, the Commission for Education and Communications of the IUCN, and the US National Commission for UNESCO.  Through these and other roles Dr. Francis is uniquely positioned to ensure that the knowledge gleaned from the Society's research and expeditions grants and the perspectives of other organizations he serves are shared with the public through the vast reach of National Geographic.

Denis P. Galvin 
Retired Deputy Director
U.S. National Park Service

After serving in the first Peace Corps group in Tanganyika, Mr. Galvin joined the National Park Service at Sequoia National Park in 1963 as a Civil Engineer. In a 38 year career he served in parks, regional offices, training centers, and service centers and concluded his career with 16 years in the Washington office. For nine of those years he was Deputy Director, serving in the Reagan, Clinton and Bush administrations. As the highest ranking career official he represented the National Park Service in over 200 Congressional hearings. In 1991 he was awarded the Pugsley medal for outstanding service to parks and conservation. In 2001 he was given the Presidential Rank Award for exceptional achievement in the career senior executive service. Since retiring in 2002 Mr. Galvin has continued in the conservation field. He served as a member of the Second Century Commission co chaired by Senators Howard Baker and Bennett Johnson. He was a consultant on the Ken Burns' film ëThe National Parks: America's Best Idea'. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administrators. In 2013 he received the George Melendez Wright award for his, ëdistinguished lifetime record...on behalf of America's national parks'. Currently he serves on the Board of the National Parks Conservation Association and is an Advisor to the Coalition of National Park Service retirees.    

David Graber
Retired Ecologist and Science Manager
U.S. National Park Service

David worked for the National Park Service for more than 30 years until his retirement in 2014. He most recently served as the Chief Scientist for the Pacific West Region of NPS, which includes the 6 western-most states south of Alaska. He was based at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, in the Sierra Nevada of California. During much of his career, David was a field research biologist with NPS as well as USGS, studying species-habitat relationships and exploring the use of extensive field inventories combined with GIS for improved environmental analyses. In more recent years, his efforts were concentrated on better informing park and reserve conservation and management, as well as the management of broader mixed-use landscapes, through science. This has included the management of plant and animal populations, wilderness stewardship, biotic inventories, and environmental monitoring. In recent years, a large portion of Graber's efforts were devoted to the problem of climate change effects, and how parks can adapt to those changes. Over the years, David served on a variety of Congressional, agency, and NGO advisory panels, including the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project; Giant Sequoia National Monument Science Advisory Committee; National Wilderness Steering Committee; Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment Science Panel; Trust for Public Land Science Advisory Panel. He has also serves on several endangered species recovery teams. He was awarded the U.S. Department of Interior Meritorious Service medal in 2000. David graduated from the University of California with a B.A, in Political Science (1970). After several years of work and adventure, he returned to Berkeley's College of Natural Resources to obtain an M.S. (1976) and then Ph.D. (1981) in Wildland Resources Science. His graduate dissertation was Ecology and management of black bears in Yosemite National Park.

Frances Roberts Gregory
PhD Student, Environmental Science, Policy and Management
UC Berkeley 

Frances Roberts-Gregory is a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. As an undergraduate student, Frances worked with a participatory, mixed method, and interdisciplinary community geography team at Georgia State University to explore barriers to urban park usage and accessibility in Atlanta, GA. Frances also studied the rise of vegetarianism and food justice amongst Black folk in the United States and indigenous articulations of sovereignty to combat toxic pollution, land loss and climate injustice within Gulf Coast Louisiana. Her current research interests include environmental justice, ethnobotany, environmental trauma and Black feminist anthropological ventures into environmental sociology. She received her BA from Spelman College in Sociology and Anthropology with a minor in environmental science. In addition to receiving support from the Ford Foundation and the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Frances is a Berkeley Chancellor's Fellow and Bill Gates Millennium Scholar. She is a former Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS) protègè and a Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science (MS PHD) mentee.  

Ernesto C. Enkerlin Hoeflich
Chair, Professor
IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Monterrey Tech

Ernesto is a prominent Mexican conservationist, environmentalist and researcher. He is specialized in  parrot ecology, environmental policy, sustainability and biodiversity stewardship. His efforts at the National Commission on Protected areas of Mexico (CONANP), which he presided from 2001 to 2010, resulted in an expansion of 50% in protected areas coverage. Mexico became the world leader in designations under international conventions and in establishing the first wilderness area in Latin America. His philosophy of conservation "with, for and by people" is strong on community involvement. Currently, Professor Enkerlin is leader of Legacy for Sustainability and Director for Natural Solutions at Monterrey Tech, Mexico; Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA-IUCN); and serves on several boards.

Cyril Kormos
Vice President for Policy
The Wild Foundation

Cyril conducts research and advocacy on issues including wilderness law and policy, conservation finance and forest policy. Cyril also coordinates "IntAct, International Action for Primary Forests", an NGO coalition promoting the protection of primary forests globally.  In addition, Cyril serves as Vice-Chair for World Heritage for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). He chairs the IUCN-WCPA World Heritage Specialist Group, is a member of IUCN's World Heritage Panel, which advises UNESCO onWorld Heritage nominations, and attends UN World Heritage Committee meetings with IUCN's delegation. Cyril is also an associate editor for theInternational Journal of Wilderness and an editorial board member for IUCN-WCPA's Parks journal and has published extensively. Cyril holds a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.Sc. in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.

Laurel Larsen
Assistant Professor of Earth Systems Science
UC Berkeley

Laurel is an Assistant Professor of Earth Systems Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she runs the Environmental Systems Dynamics Laboratory. Previously she was a Research Ecologist and Research Hydrologist with the USGS in Reston, VA. Laurel's research is aimed at understanding how the flow of water through the environment influences landscapes and ecosystems. Water interacts with physical (e.g., sediment) and biological (e.g., plants) components of the environment in highly nonlinear ways, leading to dynamics characterized by thresholds, sudden shifts between alternate stable states, or chaotic behavior. Her group uses diverse types of tools to understand these nonlinear interactions so that anticipatory planning and restoration efforts can be made more effective and efficient. Her work has influenced restoration efforts in in the Everglades, with ongoing work focusing on the Chesapeake Bay and the Wax Lake Delta, part of the greater Mississippi River delta complex. She remains committed to using a variety of tools, from field and laboratory work, to simulation modeling, to data-driven analysis, to understand environmental processes. Laurel earned her PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder and also trained at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Christine Lehnertz
Regional Director Pacific West Region
National Park Service

Chris Lehnertz serves as Regional Director in the Pacific West Region, overseeing 60 national parks and multiple program areas in eight western states, Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa. The diversity of parks includes desert, coastal, and high alpine ecosystems and reflects a variety of stories of inspiration, courage, and our nation's diverse heritage. Pacific West parks are vistited by nearly 60 million people every year.

Previously, she was deputy superintendent at Yellowstone National Park and also spent 16 years working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chris grew up in Colorado where she hiked, camped, and fished her way around the Rockies, and received her bachelor's degree in environmental biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

Jane Lubchenco
Distinguished University Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies
Oregon State University

Dr. Lubchenco is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist with expertise in oceans, biodiversity, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being.  She served as Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 2009-2013 after being nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his "Science Dream Team." She received her B.A. in biology from Colorado College, M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University. Her academic career as a professor began at Harvard (1975-1977) and continued at Oregon State University until her appointment as NOAA administrator. Jane is one of the "most highly cited" ecologists in the world; eight of her publications are recognized as "Science Citation Classics"; she is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.  She has served as president of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), and on the Pew Oceans Commission, the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative, the Aspen Institute Arctic Commission, Council of Advisors for Google Ocean and the Blue Ribbon Panel for the World Bank's Global Partnership for Oceans. Dr. Lubchenco has received numerous awards including a MacArthur "genius" award, 19 honorary doctorates, the Heinz Award for the Environment, and the Blue Planet Prize. She was named "2010 Newsmaker of the Year" by the scientific journal Nature.  She promotes the concept of ëa social contract for scientists' in which scientists pursue and share knowledge that is relevant to society's most pressing problems, and do so with transparency, honesty and humility. She co-founded three organizations that enhance communication of scientific knowledge to the public, policy makers, media and industry: The Leopold Leadership Program, the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea (COMPASS), and Climate Central, and she co-founded a research consortium, PISCO that focuses on understanding the near-shore along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California.

Gary Machlis
Science Advisor, Professor of Sustainability
National Park Service, Clemson University

Dr. Gary Machlis is Professor of Environmental Sustainability at Clemson University, and Science Advisor to the Director, U.S. National Park Service (NPS). He is the first scientist appointed to this position within the NPS, and advises the director on a range of science policy issues and programs. Dr. Machlis also serves as co-Leader of the U.S. Department of the Interior's Strategic Sciences Group, which conducts scientific assessments during major environmental crises. Dr. Machlis previously served as Professor of Conservation and Interim Associate Vice President for Research at the University of Idaho, and been a visiting professor at Nanjing Technological College in China and at Yale University.  Dr. Machlis received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington in Seattle, and his Ph.D. in human ecology from Yale. He has written numerous books and scientific papers on issues of conservation and sustainability, including The State of the World's Parks (1985), the first systematic study of threats to protected areas around the world. His most recent book, Warfare Ecology: A New Synthesis for Peace and Security, was published by Springer in 2011. His research has been published in journals as varied as Bioscience, Climatic Change, Conservation Biology, Society and Natural Resources, and Science.  

George Miller
California 11th District

Congressman George Miller is the Senior Democrat on the House Education and Workforce Committee and a leading advocate in Congress on education, labor, the economy, and the environment. First elected in 1975, he now represents the 11th District of California in the East Bay of San Francisco, including the majority of Contra Costa County. A principal author of major laws affecting America's education system, labor and health policy, and the protection of natural resources, Miller announced in January this year that he will not seek a 21st term in the House this fall. Miller is among the 50th consecutive longest serving members of Congress in history, out of more than 10,000 members.

Miller's expansive congressional career has been marked by a tenacious pursuit of a quality education for children from all backgrounds and economic opportunity for the working poor and middle class. He has served as chairman of three committees: the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families (1983-1992), the Committee on Natural Resources (1992-1994), the Committee on Education and Labor (2007-2010), and is the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, a leadership position. He has used each of these positions to advance his policy priorities and highlight inequities in the federal budget. Miller's top priorities in Congress involve education and economic growth. He has long worked to ensure that all students have access to the skills, supports and knowledge to succeed in our economy and our society. And he is fighting to grow and strengthen America's middle class, including stimulating economic growth that creates good American jobs. This congress, he has been working to forge a bi-partisan compromise to reauthorize federal k-12 education law, ensure that the historic Affordable Care Act that he co-wrote is fully implemented, raise the minimum wage, and provide meaningful student aid programs to every eligible student.

Miller has fought to maintain the purchasing power of the minimum wage throughout his career. In the 2006 elections, Democrats ran on a platform of six priorities that Miller helped to craft, including a hike in the minimum wage that had not been increased for nearly ten years. Miller wrote the bill and led its passage along with Sen. Kennedy (D-MA), to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $7.25 per hour in three steps. A Democratic Congress passed the bill and President Bush signed it into law. Miller is now leading legislation, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), to raise the wage to $10.10 an hour, again in three steps. The legislation would also index the minimum wage for the first time, to ensure it keeps pace with inflation, and it would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers for the first time since 1991.

An aggressive and unapologetic investigator in defense of taxpayers and the health and safety of children and workers, Miller has successfully challenged asbestos executives, for-profit colleges, subsidized agribusiness, mining corporations, oil companies, boot camps for troubled youth, and Administration officials of both parties. He is well known for sticking with issues over the long haul and engaging directly with the people most affected by the policies under consideration, such as mineworker families, fishermen, teachers and children, garment workers, seniors, and experts from across the country in the fields of education, labor and the environment. The Nation magazine recently named Miller the 2013 Most Valuable Member of the House for his work on the minimum wage, food stamps, garment worker safety, and fair trade policy.

Miller was born in Richmond, CA, on May 17, 1945 and lives in Martinez. He graduated from Diablo Valley Community College, San Francisco State University, and earned his law degree from the University of California, Davis, Law School. He served on the staff of then-State Senate Majority Leader George Moscone in Sacramento. He is married to Cynthia Caccavo Miller, a life-long resident of Contra Costa County. They have two sons, George and Stephen, and six grandchildren.

Hugh Possingham
Professor of Mathematics, Professor of Ecology
The University of Queensland

Aside from his day job, Hugh has a variety of broader public roles advising policy makers and managers by sitting on 9 committees and boards outside the University including: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists (founding member), Founding Editor of Conservation Letters (an international scientific journal), Council of the Australian Academy of Science (recently stepped down), and several Environmental NGO scientific advisory committees. He and Dr Barry Traill wrote "The Brigalow Declaration", used by Premier Beattie to stop land clearing in Queensland thereby securing at least 2 billion tons of CO2 and saving an area the size of Portugal from conversion into farmland.  However with a new Queensland government this success is under threat.

The Possingham lab developed the most widely used conservation planning software in the world.  Marxan (www.ecology.uq.edu.au/marxan.htm) was used to underpin the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef and is currently used in over 100 countries by over 3000 users ñ from the UK and USA to Madagascar and Brazil ñ to build the world's marine and terrestrial landscape plans.  Most recently Marxan was used to develop the biggest marine reserve system in the world ñ Australia's federal marine reserve system.  Hugh coauthored two scientific consensus statements that supported Australia's new marine reserve system that is a quarter the size of Europe.  Many governments and ENGOs use his lab's work for the allocation of funding to threatened species recovery and solving other conservation conundrums. 

Possingham has coauthored 396 refereed publications covered by the Web of Science (26 in Science, Nature or PNAS) and has more than 12,000 Web of Science citations.  A Google Scholar profile can be found here. He currently directs two research centers, each of about $15 million, and he has supervised (or is supervising) 53 PhD students and 42 postdoctoral fellows.

He has one psychological disorder, a compulsive desire to watch birds.

Nina S. Roberts
Professor in Dept. of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism
San Francisco State University

Dr. Roberts is a Fulbright Scholar and experiential educator whose social science research in cultural diversity and parks has been vital to both public land managers and community partners.  Dr. Roberts, also director of the Pacific Leadership Institute, is well-known in her field; her enthusiasm and advanced knowledge of public lands is highly regarded in communities of color, as well as in the academic and non-profit sectors, and among policymakers. A native New Yorker, Nina Roberts grew up with multiculturalism as part of her DNA. Her parents were interracially married in the 1950s when this was illegal and forbidden in many states across the country. Dr. Roberts takes pride in her unique ethnic mix and travels coast-to-coast speaking about cultural diversity in relation to parks and protected areas. Dr. Roberts has received a variety of distinguished honors and awards for her work and research; and her perspectives on diversity, national parks and the use/non-use of public lands have been widely shared through interviews with CNN.com, Boston Globe, L.A. Times, NBC News Bay Area, New America Media, The New York Times, and Public Radio International. She is featured in the landmark book Black and Brown Faces in America's Wild Places and is well published, including numerous journal articles and book chapters about social and environmental justice, women & girls outdoors, and youth leadership. Her work provides leaders, park managers, and partners with ideas and resources needed to respond more effectively to changing demographics and social trends across the U.S.

Rebecca Shaw
Associate Vice President, Senior Lead Scientist
Environmental Defense Fund

Rebecca oversees the development and implementation of major market and policy initiatives to:

  • Increase U.S. agricultural productivity in ways that benefit farmers and improve the environment,
  • Secure water resources and restore rivers,
  • Restore habitat and biodiversity, and
  • Restore coastal ecosystems to protect communities from rising sea level and storm surges.

Prior to EDF, Rebecca directed land, water and marine conservation strategies for The Nature Conservancy in California and served as chief scientist on the ambitious Santa Cruz Island Restoration Project, widely seen as an innovative model for successful conservation. She also lead TNC's Climate Change adaptation research and project development.
Rebecca joined EDF in 2011.

Daniel Simberloff
Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Science
University of Tennessee

Daniel Simberloff studied and collaborated with E. O. Wilson to assess the theory of island biogeography. Together they won the Mercer Award in 1971. Simberloff has served on the Board of Governors of the Nature Conservancy, the federal Invasive Species Advisory Committee, and the editorial boards of Biodiversity and Conservation, Oecologia, Biological Invasions, BioScience and Ecology. Simberloff was a faculty member at Florida State University from 1968-1997 before relocating to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he is currently a distinguished professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. At present, Simberloff has a long-term project in Patagonia on the invasion of conifer trees, involving introduced deer, boar, and fungi. Simberloff has over 350 publications, and he is currently working on a book and several papers on invasive biology.

Monica G. Turner
Professor of Ecology in the Dept. of Zoology
University of Wisconsin-Madison

A native New Yorker, Dr. Monica Turner received her B.S. in biology from Fordham University and spent a summer in Yellowstone as a Student Conservation Association ranger-naturalist stationed at Old Faithful. She earned her Ph.D. in ecology at the University of Georgia (UGA) and conducted research with the National Park Service through the Man and the Biosphere Program and in the Virgin Islands and Cumberland Island National Parks. After a postdoc at UGA, Turner spent seven years as a research scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and joined the UW-Madison faculty in 1994. Her research emphasizes causes and consequences of spatial heterogeneity in ecological systems, focusing primarily on forest ecosystem and landscape ecology. She has conducted research on disturbance regimes, vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, and climate change in Greater Yellowstone for over 25 years, including long-term studies of the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. She has published over 200 scientific papers; authored or edited six books, including Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice, and is co-editor in chief of Ecosystems. Turner was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and she received both the ECI Prize in Terrestrial Ecology and the Ecological Society of America's Robert H. MacArthur Award in 2008. She begins serving as President-elect of the Ecological Society of America in 2014. For more information, please visit http://landscape.zoology.wisc.edu

Jennifer Wolch
Dean of the College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley

Jennifer Wolch is William W. Wurster Dean of the College of Environmental Design and Professor of City & Regional Planning at University of California, Berkeley. Her past research includes studies of attitudes toward wildlife among urban national recreational area visitors, race and urban park space, and the distribution of urban park funding. Her recent research focuses on environmental justice and access to urban parks and recreational programs, multi-benefit metropolitan open space development planning, and connections between city form, physical activity, and public health. Wolch served as a member of the National Park System Advisory Board's Planning Committee from 2010-13, and is currently a member of Board's Urban Committee.