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Speakers

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Karren Bee-Donohoe

Karren Bee-Donohoe has more than 33 years of experience in the field of facilities management, currently serving as the associate vice chancellor of the Office for Capital Facilities at SUNY System Administration. She has system-wide responsibilities for energy management, energy purchasing, sustainability, environmental health and safety, emergency management, residential and community college capital management, asset management, real estate, Start-UP NY, and capital process and procedures. In 2014, she was awarded the Outstanding Energy Management and Leadership Award at the BuildSmart NY Innovators Summit for her work in guiding SUNY campuses to meet Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 88 goals, calling for 20 percent reduced energy use intensity in state-owned buildings by 2020.


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Scott Blair

Scott Blair has been a member of the ESF staff since 2008 and currently serves as the director for student diversity and inclusion initiatives. He also serves as president of UUP’s ESF Chapter and as head coach of the ESF Mighty Oaks men’s basketball team. He is a member of the National Association of College Personnel Administrators and the National Academic Advising Association.


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Dr. Timothy Carter

Dr. Timothy Carter is president of Second Nature. He began his career as a faculty member at the University of Georgia, where he focused on the intersection between urbanization and environmental management through studies of designer ecosystems, sustainable development, environmental policy and climate change impacts on coastal areas, including visualizing sea level rise on the Georgia coast. He was the founding director of Butler University’s Center for Urban Ecology, which he built into a thriving academic center with over $3M in externally funded initiatives. Through his efforts, the Center became a noted location for the study of ecology and a participant in increasing the sustainability of the city and campus.


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Marc Cohen

Marc Cohen is president of the SUNY Student Assembly and a member of the SUNY Board of Trustees. He recently graduatedsumma cum laudefrom theUniversity at Albany with a B.A. in political science and is pursuing a Master of PublicAdministration from Rockefeller College. He is also a trustee for the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation and an ex-officio member of the Chancellor's Cabinet. He has held several positions with the Student Assembly. He has been involved with numerous governing organizations, including holding boardand committee seats on the University Auxiliary Services Board of Directors, University Senate,Purple and Gold Ambassadors, and the Rockefeller College Dean’s Leadership Council.


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Dr. Klaus Doelle

Dr. Klaus Doelle has more than 26 years combined professional experience in the commercial sector, involving chemical process development, paper manufacturing, materials, design, manufacturing, energy production, waste water treatment and patent management. During his 10 years at ESF, hehas focused on new sustainable ways of papermaking, chemical process development, renewable energy and wastewater treatment.His research efforts have been published in more than 550 publications. His work includes 140 papers, articles, invited papers, presentations, discussion panels, invention disclosures, patent applications and 66 granted patents.


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Dr. Nosa Egiebor

Dr. Nosa Egiebor is provost and executive vice president at ESF. He began his academic career at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, eventually serving as full professor. In 1996, he was named the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Samuel P. Massie Professorial Chair of Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science at Tuskegee University, charged with establishing education and research programs and partnerships between the U.S. DOE national labs and environmental engineering programs in the United States and around the world, with emphasis on engaging major U.S. minority institutions. He received the U.S. DOE Award for Outstanding Research and Educational Accomplishments in 1999. He has secured more than $24 million in extramural funding for his research work over the past 21 years, and has published extensively in international journals.


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Dr. Kristina M. Johnson

Dr. Kristina M. Johnson joined The State University of New York as its 13th chancellor in September 2017. Immediately prior to joining SUNY, Dr. Johnson was co-founder and CEO of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, a clean-energy infrastructure company focused on building and operating hydropower plants in North America. She also previously served as under secretary of energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Johnson served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University from 2007 to 2009, and as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University from 1999 to 2007. After a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, she joined the University of Colorado-Boulder’s faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor and, later, full professor.

Among her many awards and distinctions, Dr. Johnson received the Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics (1993) and the John Fritz Medal (2008), widely considered the highest award in engineering. Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. She holds 118 U.S. and international patents and has five honorary degrees.


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Dr. Robin Kimmerer

Dr. Robin Kimmerer is a plant ecologist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor at ESF. She is the founding director of the ESF Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. Her research interests include the role of traditional ecological knowledge in ecological restoration and the ecology of mosses. She is the co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America and serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. Of European and Anishinaabe ancestry, she is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of “Gathering Moss” which was awarded the prestigious John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005, and “Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants,” which was awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.


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Venetia Lannon

Venetia Lannon is New York state deputy secretary for the environment. She is environmental policy advisor to Governor Cuomo and oversees the operations of the state’s environmental agencies, including the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, the Environmental Facilities Corporation and the Adirondack Park Agency. She previously served as regional director for the DEC, overseeing 200 staff and all aspects of DEC’s work in New York City.She also held several positions working for the City of New York — as a senior vice president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and deputy director of the Recycling Bureau at the New York City Department of Sanitation.


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Mark Lichtenstein

Mark Lichtenstein is chief of staff and chief sustainability officer at ESF, where he also teaches sustainability. He is an associate in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, led Syracuse’s Center for Sustainable Community Solutions and Environmental Finance Center, served as an expert witness to the federal Environmental Finance Advisory Board and is a member of the National Roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution Professionals. He is an honorary board member of the National Recycling Coalition and served eight terms as president/CEO. He led the first national Sustainable Materials Management Summit focused on the Circular Economy and traded the first recyclables through the Chicago Board of Trade. He has been engaged with regenerative efforts throughout the Americas.


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Mary Ellen Mallia

Mary Ellen Mallia is the director of sustainability at the University at Albany. Her office is in charge of coordinating sustainability activities related to curriculum, operations, research and engagement. She began her career in financial management and went on to teach economics at the high school and college level for over 15 years. Since becoming director in January 2008, she has helped develop robust educational and engagement activities to complement the campus’ sustainable operation initiatives.She serves on the steering committees of the New York Coalition for Sustainability in Higher Education and the Farm to Institution New York State group.


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Matthew Marko

Matthew Marko has been the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 7 director since October 2016. He is a New York state licensed professional engineer and an American Academy of Environmental Engineers board-certified environmental engineer. He has traveled extensively domestically and internationally, serving the environmental needs of public and private clients for more than 22 years.In 2008 he was appointed by the New York State governor as trustee for the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, where he continues to serve as chairman of the board. He’s a past president and Fellow of the Syracuse Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is widely known for his presentations and publications on civic infrastructure, specifically green stormwater infrastructure and embracing a style of adaptive management.


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Ryan A. McPherson

In 2011, Ryan A. McPherson was named the University at Buffalo’s first chief sustainability officer. In that role, he connects people across the university with information, innovation and tools to reduce UB’s footprint on the future and enhance quality of life by improving environmental stewardship, increasing economic efficiency and augmenting cultural values and awareness.He works with university partners and employs a campus-wide strategy that leverages operations, curriculum, external engagement and research to further UB’s sustainability efforts. These efforts have resulted in the university being recognized by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership as the top green power user and the U.S. Green Building Council for the best community collaboration. Also, UB submitted a winning proposal under the Reforming the Energy Vision Campus Challenge and earned the Association for the Advancement in Sustainability STARS gold status.


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Thayer Miller

Thayer Miller is president of the ESF Alumni Association and a member of the ESF Class of 1971. She earned a degree in landscape architecture. She continued her education and taught information technology and research in a local school district for 10 years and served more than 12 years as a school administrator. In her retirement, she works as a substitute teacher. She counts at least seven members of her extended family as ESF alumni.


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Dr. Christopher T. Nomura

Dr. Christopher T. Nomura is vice president for research and a professor in the ESF Department of Chemistry, a member of the ESF Center for Applied Microbiology and the Syracuse Biomaterials Institute, and a Chutian Visiting Lecturer at Hubei University in Wuhan, China. From 2001 to 2006, he worked in the internationally recognized Natural Polymer Chemistry laboratory of Dr. Yoshiharu Doi at the RIKEN Institute in Japan. He joined ESF in 2006. He has published and co-authored more than 50 original articles in refereed scientific journals. His multi-disciplinary research group has interests that span the fields of metabolic engineering, protein engineering, microbial physiology, molecular microbiology, biochemistry, synthetic chemistry and polymer chemistry with a focus on producing sustainable materials. He received the ESF Exemplary Researcher Award in 2011 and has received special recognition for his mentorship of student researchers. His research programs have been sponsored by DOE, USDA, NIH, NSF, NYSERDA, and The Research Foundation of SUNY.


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Jeffrey M. Peterson

As senior advisor for entrepreneurship with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Jeffrey M. Peterson’s primary focus has been building the foundation for a customer-focused entrepreneurial ecosystem to catalyze and facilitate the transition of ideas/inventions around the clean energy market into scalable business enterprises. Recently, that focus has been on the design of initiatives to partner with universities to bring to market innovative clean energy technologies and business models. He is a member of the advisory board for the RPI Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Program and a past member of the board of directors of the American Solar Energy Society. He performs peer review of manuscripts submitted to an Elsevier publication — “Energy Policy – International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy.”


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Mark Poupore

Mark Poupore is the president of CSEA Local 647 on the ESF campus. He joined the ESF Office of Physical Plant and Facilities in January 2012 as a cleaner. He was upgraded to a SUNY campus worker a year later to work in the newly opened Gateway Center. He has been a union activist for many years and focuses on building relationships on campus to benefit all members of the campus community. The groups he represents are some of the frontline users of green sustainability products. They use and purchase new green products, and track and monitor recycling expenses.


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DanReed

Dan Reed is the director ofPlanet Forwardat The George Washington University. Aproject of the GW School of Media and Public Affairs, Planet Forwardteaches, celebrates, and rewards environmental storytelling by college students.Engaging a diverse audience from across the country, Planet Forward uses storytelling, media, and educational events to tell the stories of invention and innovation that can sustain our planet.Prior to joiningPlanet Forward,Danhelped successfully launch Face The Facts USA, a multimedia fact-checking initiative and website.Danalso served as a White House intern, assisting the Photo Office in video production.


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Ryan Scheel

Ryan Scheel is the president of the Graduate Student Association at ESF. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Chemistry with a focus in biochemistry. His primary research investigates the production of biodegradable plastics from renewable materials using genetically modified bacteria. His academic interests lie in metabolic engineering and green polymer chemistry.


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Zachary G. B. Smith

Zachary G. B. Smith is a third-generation storyteller from the Adirondack Mountains, bridging the gap between complex environmental issues and the public. He was afinalist in George Washington University's 2017 Planet Forward national StoryFest competition and has remained an active contributor to the project. His experiences range from interviewing world-renowned ecologist Thomas Lovejoy at his researchstation in the Amazon to telling the story of the relationship between Nebraska farmers and their land. His work as a storyteller aims to build a connection relationship between the listener and his stories. Set to graduate in December 2017 from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he plans to continue his storytelling through several multimedia platforms.


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Ben Taylor

Ben Taylor is the president of the Undergraduate Student Association at ESF. He is a senior in the environmental resources engineering major with a minor in management. He has led several initiatives at ESF, including the development of ESFgo (a student app) and the increase of student participation in campus governance. He is passionate about large-scale maple syrup production, spirituality, research and leadership.


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Sean Vormwald

Sean Vormwald is the director of sustainability and environmental health and safety at Onondaga Community College, where he works with campus stakeholders to implement sustainability-related programs throughout the college. His role includes providing leadership on issues related to sustainability, energy management, and environmental health and safety compliance. He serves on the SUNY Energy Buying Group Advising Committee and he earned a LEED AP Building Design + Construction credential while working on two LEED Gold Certified buildings at Onondaga. He volunteers for Sustainable Cortland, where he led an effort to promote residential solar installations in Cortland County as part of the Solarize CNY initiative. He previously provided sustainability consulting services for municipal, non-profit and business clients through his company, Sustainable Transitions Inc.


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Dr. Quentin Wheeler

Dr. Quentin Wheeler is the fourth president of ESF. Previously, he was the Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment at Arizona State University, where he was also senior scientist in the Global Institute of Sustainability, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration, and vice president and dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He was on the faculty of Cornell University for 24 years, keeper and head of entomology in London’s Natural History Museum and director of the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation. He is author of more than 150 scientific publications and seven books, was a columnist for London’s Guardian newspaper, and has named more than 100 species new to science. He is a fellow of the AAAS, Linnean Society of London and Royal Entomological Society. His scientific interests focus on the exploration and conservation of biodiversity and the theory and practice of taxonomy.


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Meghan Zahniser

Meghan Zahniser is executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. She has been with AASHE for eight years, previously serving as director of programs and STARS program manager. Before joining AASHE, she was a sustainability specialist at NELSON and spent more than five years working with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). With USGBC, she developed and managed a local chapter network for building industry professionals and helped create the Emerging Green Builders program that integrates students and young professionals into the green building movement. She also worked as environmental educator for the University at Buffalo Green Office, organizing campus and community education focused on energy conservation, green building and sustainable living.