Presidential Inauguration
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Speakers and Panelists September 10-13, 2014

Keynote Speaker

Thomas Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy is an innovative and accomplished conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity”. He serves as Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. In 2010 he was elected University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He served as President of the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment from 2002-2008 and was the Biodiversity Chair of the Center from 2008-2013. Before assuming this position, Lovejoy was the World Bank’s Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for Environment for Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation. Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are Lovejoy’s seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. In 1980 he produced the first projection of global extinctions for the Global 2000 Report to the President. Lovejoy also developed the now ubiquitous “debt-for-nature” swap programs and led the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project. With two co-edited books (1992 and 2005), he is credited with founding the field of climate change biology. He and Lee Hannah are working on the Second Edition of Climate Change and Biodiversity. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2009 he was the winner of BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2009 he was appointed Conservation Fellow by the National Geographic. In 2012 he was recognized by the Blue Planet Prize. Lovejoy holds B.S. and Ph.D (biology) degrees from Yale University.


Tara D. Sonenshine

Tara D. Sonenshine is an adjunct faculty member and former Distinguished Fellow at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. She is the former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the Department of State and previously served as the Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Prior to joining USIP, she was a strategic communications adviser to many international organizations including USIP, the International Crisis Group, Internews, CARE, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. Ms. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton Administration, including Transition Director, Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications. Prior to serving in the Clinton Administration, Ms. Sonenshine was an Editorial Producer of ABC News’ Nightline, where she worked for more than a decade. She was also an off-air reporter at the Pentagon for ABC’s World News Tonight and is the recipient of 10 News Emmy Awards for coverage of international affairs. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University.

Guest Speakers / Panelists

Emanuel Carter

Dr. Emanuel Carter is an associate professor and Co-Director of the landscape architecture department at SUNY ESF who has been teaching at the college level for nearly 40 years. Outside of academics, Emanuel Carter has over 25 years of experience in planning and urban design. His notable projects include the Onondaga Botanical Garden and Arboretum, the Onondaga Creek Master plans, Syracuse’s Near Southside, and others. Carter has also been named Fulbright Senior Specialist.

David M. Driesen

Prof. David M. Driesen, University Professor at the College of Law, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at SUNY-ESF, researches and has taught environmental law, law and economics, and constitutional law. He is known primarily as a critic of efficiency-based law and economics and as a proponent of an alternative approach based on institutional economics and emphasizing stimulation of innovation. Professor Driesen’s first book, The Economic Dynamics of Environmental Law, won the Lynton Keith Caldwell Award, a prize offered by The American Political Science Association annually for the best book published in science, technology and environmental studies. He has published numerous articles with leading journals, such Cornell Law Review, Fordham Law Review, Ecology Law Quarterly, Harvard Environmental Law Review, and the Virginia Journal of International Law, and several book chapters. Professor Driesen also plays trumpet with the Excelsior Cornet Band and the Syracuse University Brass Ensemble.

  • profile (Syracuse University College of Law)

Robin Kimmerer

Dr. Robin Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY ESF. Robin is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at ESF, and co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America. She holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of numerous scientific papers. Her writings incorporate both traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific perspectives. Robin was awarded the 2014 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for her latest book, “Braiding Sweetgrass”, and was previously awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005 for her book “Gathering Moss”. Her literary essays appear in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies.

Mark Lichtenstein

Mr. Mark Lichtenstein has nearly 30 years of experience as an environmental steward and champion of sustainability. He is executive director of both the Syracuse University Center for Sustainable Community Solutions and Environmental Finance Center. Lichtenstein is a grandfather, faculty associate in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse’s Maxwell School, and an alum and visiting scholar and instructor at ESF. He is serving a seventh term as president and CEO of the National Recycling Coalition, Inc. He facilitates the US EPA-formed Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Recycling Partnerships, and is an active member and co-facilitator of the Vieques Sustainability Task Force (a strategy of President Obama's Task Force on Puerto Rico). He is engaged with efforts throughout the US, and in Belize, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nepal, and Trinidad & Tobago focused on sustainability issues. He has a Master of Arts in Public Administration, and a Graduate Certificate of Advanced Studies in Conflict Resolution, both from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from SUNY-ESF.

  • profile (Syracuse Center of Excellence)

Henry Lickers

Henry Lickers has been Director of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne Department of the Environment for the past 29 years. Mr. Lickers has served as Co-Chair of the COSEWIC Aboriginal Subcommittee, Scientific Co-Chair with the Haudenosaunee Environmental Taskforce, Vice President and Board Director of the St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences and the Eastern Ontario Model Forest. He has also served as member of Environment Canada's Science and Technology Advisory Council, the International Joint Commission Science Advisory Board and the Panel on Ecological Integrity of Canada's National Parks.

 Karin Limburg

Dr. Karin Limburg is a professor in the environmental and forest biology department at SUNY ESF. Throughout her career, Limburg has authored or co-authored over 80 refereed journal articles, 16 book chapters, and written a wide variety of reports and book reviews on topics including “Big Picture” ecology, ecosystem services, and ecological economics. She has also been President of the U.S. Society for Ecological Economics, the recipient of several grant awards from institutions such as the National Science Foundation, the Hudson River Foundation, and USGS.

David Newman

Dr. David Newman is the Chair of the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management and a Professor of Resource Economics and Policy at SUNY ESF. His primary research areas have been the economics of public policy related to timber supply and land use change. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 refereed journal articles, two books, and two edited volumes. He has consulted on various forestry projects with organizations such as the World Bank, the USDA Forest Service, the World Wildlife Fund, the Agency for International Development, the US EPA, and others. Since 2010, he has written the Forestry Foundations column for the New York Forester. He has given lectures or served as a visiting scholar at several international institutions.

Laura Rickard

Dr. Laura Rickard is an assistant professor in the environmental studies department at SUNY ESF. Her current research focuses on attribution of responsibility for public safety in national parks, communicating about the intersection of ecological, human, and animal health in natural areas, and strategic communication about global climate change. She has authored or co-authored a dozen articles in a variety of peer-reviewed journals.

Kevin Stack

Kevin Stack is an ecological builder, building scientist, Ecoliteracy educator, Biomimicry Speakers Guild member, BaDT, and USGBC Faculty™ who Builds, Designs and Teaches in Nature’s Image. He teaches as visiting faculty at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and OCC, educating students about Building in Nature’s Image™, Ecological Performance Standards, Building Science, and Sustainability Science & Ecoliteracy in the human-­-built environment. Kevin lectures, internationally, about Biomimicry as a member of Biomimicry Speakers Guild. Kevin serves as USGBC Faculty™ , chairs the LEED for Homes 2012 Working Group, and provides LEED Coordination, Technical Support & Rating services to a variety of projects.

Alex Trembath<

Alex Trembath is a policy analyst in the Energy and Climate Program at the Breakthrough Institute, a California-based think-tank committed to modernizing environmentalism for the 21st century and founded by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger. At Breakthrough, Alex has focused on renewable energy technologies, American federal energy policy, and the history of public investments in technological innovation. His research and analysis have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Forbes, E&E News, CNN, and other major media outlets.

Niki Vermeulen

Niki Vermeulen is currently employed at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester.
She holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Maastricht University. She specialises in science and innovation policy and the organisation of research, with an emphasis on scientific collaboration in the life sciences. As a Wellcome research fellow she looks into the emergence of systems biology, focussing on ways of collaborating on local, national and international levels.

Lilith Wyatt

Lilith Wyatt is the Coordinator for A2A, the Algonquin to Adirondacks Collaborative. A2A's mission is to connect lands and people across the Algonquin to Adirondacks region, which as a pinch point in a fragmented landscape, is a critical link for biodiversity and resilience in eastern North America. Lilith's passion is co-creating change by building community around a shared vision for a better future. This interest, explored through both her B.Sc. and M.A., has taken her from coast to coast in Canada, and as far as Antarctica, with Students on Ice. Previous to A2A, Lilith worked in McGill University's Office of Sustainability, coordinating the Sustainability Projects Fund to kick-start faculty, student, and staff-led projects; leading a community-based strategic planning process; and learning experientially about the process of social change. She loves canoeing, travel, trees, food, and Duke Ellington.

  • A2A website

  • Symposium Organizing Committee

    Valerie Luzadis (Chair), Julia Allis, Matt Bethurem, Paul Hirsch, Mark Lichtenstein, Daniela Manuschevich, Alex Poisson, Laura Rickard, Emily Thiel