2007 EcoHour Speakers

January 2007; Martha Honey

Executive Director; The International Ecotourism Society Center for Ecotourism and Sustainable Development

Martha Honey is Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society and Center for Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (a joint project of the Institute for Policy Studies and Stanford University). She has written and spoken widely on ecotourism as a tool for development and conservation and on certification, including Ecotourism and Certification: Setting Standards in Practice (2002), Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise? (1999), and Protecting Paradise: Certification Programs for Sustainable Tourism and Ecotourism (2001, with Abigail Rome). In 2000, she organized the first ever-international conference on “green” tourism certification that took place at the Mohonk Mountain House in New York. For twenty years she worked as journalist, based first in Tanzania and then in Costa Rica. She holds a Ph.D. in African History from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and is a Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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February 2007; Deb Callahan

Founder; North Star Strategy

Deb Callahan is the founder and president of North Star Strategy, a consulting firm based in the Washington, DC, area that serves progressive non-profits and foundations by providing strategic services in the areas of politics, policy, and philanthropy.

She is the immediate past president of the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), where she served as president for ten years. During that time, LCV ran numerous successful independent campaigns, investing millions in 445 endorsed candidates, with 358 of them winning—a success rate of about 80 percent. Additionally, LCV established effective programs like the Dirty Dozen and Environmental Champions, and strengthened its policy and lobbying advocacy as well as increased recognition of its National Environmental Scorecard and other reports. Under her leadership, the LCV Education Fund directly strengthened the capacity of more than 500 environmental, conservation, and other advocacy organizations in 30 states, and its non- partisan voter education programs have helped mobilize millions of voters to engage in civic environmental causes, successfully using on-the-ground partnerships with allied groups. Prior to her work at LCV, Deb served as the founding executive director for the Brainerd Foundation and was a Program Officer for the W Alton Jones Foundation, both environmental grant-making foundations.

Her other organizational work includes the National Toxics Campaign, and she has worked for numerous electoral campaigns and elected officials, including Al Gore, Senator Kent Conrad and Walter Mondale.

Deb graduated in 1981 from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies.

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March 2007; Kara S. Strong

Senior Project Manager; Sustainable Design Consulting

Ever wondered if there are other housing options in DC than the drafty old rowhouse or the marble-counter-topped high-end condo building? In fact, there are, and our March speaker, Kara Strong, lives in one of the region’s green condo buildings. Kara will discuss green residential projects in DC, her career as a green design consultant, and tips for greening your own living space. She’ll also answer your questions about green design.

Kara S. Strong, AIA, LEED, is a Project Manager at Sustainable Design Consulting, providing green building consulting for a wide variety of project types. She received her B.Arch. degree from the Boston Architectural Center and her M.S.A.S. degree from the University of Florida, researching sustainable design and materials. Prior to joining SDC, Kara accumulated over twelve years experience working as an architect throughout the east coast. She currently lives in a LEED-Silver cohousing community in Silver Spring, Maryland. Kara is an active participant in the AIADC Committee on the Environment and Montgomery County’s Energy and Air Quality Advisory Committee.

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April 2007; Bettina Poirier

Staff Director, Committee on Environment and Public Works; U.S. Senate

Bettina Poirier made history on November 14, 2006, when Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the first woman to chair the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, named Poirier the first woman to serve as its Staff Director and Chief Counsel. Poirier began her service in 2001 as an advisor to California’s junior senator for environmental and agricultural issues. Her time with Boxer, and her nearly two-decade-long career as an environmental lawyer, gives Poirier a deep understanding of environmental and infrastructure issues and the laws that provide the foundation of protection for clean air, clean water, wildlife, and other environmental matters.

Poirier has also served as Minority Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. A graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, and NYU Law School, Poirier was an environmental associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She also served as Deputy Assistant General Counsel for Pollution Control in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the eight years of the Clinton Administration.

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May 2007; Dr. Sara Scherr

President; Ecoagriculture Partners

When much of the world’s biodiversity is found in or around agricultural landscapes, how can we support agricultural production and rural livelihoods while still protecting biodiversity and crucial natural ecosystem services? In 2004 members of the ecoagriculture sector met in Nairobi, Kenya, to develop a strategy to promote and support ecoagriculture development around the world. At this month’s EcoHour, Dr. Sara J. Scherr, a leader in the field, will discuss her career and the ecoagriculture movement.

Sara J. Scherr is an agricultural and natural resource economist specializing in land and forest policy in tropical developing countries. She is President of Ecoagriculture Partners, an NGO that supports agricultural communities who manage landscapes both to increase production and incomes, and to enhance wild biodiversity and ecosystem services. She is a member of the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Agroforestry Centre, The Katoomba Group, and REBRAF-USA.

Dr. Scherr was until recently also the Director of Ecosystem Services of Forest Trends, an NGO that promotes forest conservation through improved markets for forest products and ecosystem services. There she analyzed the development of “payments for ecosystem services” including carbon sequestration, watershed protection, and biodiversity conservation, including their potential benefits and risks for low-income communities. Dr. Scherr’s former positions include: Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, USA; Co-Leader of the CGIAR Gender Program; Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute in Washington, D.C.; and Principal Researcher at the World Agroforestry Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya. She was previously a Fulbright Scholar (1976), and a Rockefeller Social Science Fellow (1985- 87). Dr. Scherr received her B.A. in Economics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, and her M.Sc. and Ph.D. in International Economics and Development at Cornell University in New York.

Dr. Scherr has published over 30 articles in refereed journals and 11 books, including Ecoagriculture: Strategies to Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity (with Jeff McNeely) and A New Agenda for Forest Conservation and Poverty Reduction: Making Markets Work for Low- Income Producers (with Andy White and David Kaimowitz).

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June 2007; Maude Barlow

National Chairperson; Council of Canadians
Author; Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water 

Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of The Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest citizens’ advocacy organization with members and chapters across Canada, as well as the co- founder of the Blue Planet Project which works to stop commodification of the world’s water. She is also a Director with the International Forum on Globalization, a San Francisco based research and education institution opposed to economic globalization. Maude is the recipient of numerous educational awards and has received honorary doctorates from six Canadian universities for her social justice work as well as the recipient of the “2005/2006 Lannan Cultural Freedom Fellowship”.

Most recently she received the prestigious “2005 Right Livelihood Award” given by the Swedish Parliament and widely referred to as “The Alternative Nobel.” She is the best-selling author or co-author of fifteen books. Her most recent publications are Too Close For Comfort: Canada’s Future Within Fortress North America; and Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Water (with Tony Clarke), now published in 47 countries. Currently, Maude is writing a new book on the global fight for the right to water entitled Blue Covenant.

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July 2007; Dr. Jamie K. Reaser

Founder and President, Eco Systems Institute Life Coach; Transformational Counseling

Dr. Jamie K. Reaser is the founder and President of Eco Systems Institute, an organization that builds the capacity of individuals and organizations dedicated to environmental conservation and sustainable development. She also has a private life coaching practice known as Transformational Counseling.

She is a conservation ecologist and ecopsychologist with a passion for the arts and helping people achieve their full potential. Jamie holds a doctorate in Biology from Stanford University and a B.S. in Field Biology from the College of William and Mary, as well as Trainer and Master Practitioner certification in the field of communication psychology known as Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP). In addition, she has studied and teaches traditional knowledge and healing practices with community and indigenous leaders of various cultures. She has more than 15 years of experience in leadership development, and is a graduate of Leadership America, the Center for Creative Leadership, and Outward Bound professional leadership programs.

Jamie has worked around the world as a biologist, international policy negotiator, environmental educator, and trainer. Former employers include the Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Department of State, National Invasive Species Council, and the Global Invasive Species Programme, where she was Executive Director. She serves on the Newsweek Global Leadership and Environment Advisory Committee, Conservation Value Advisory Committee, as well as The World Conservation Union – IUCN’s Species Survival Commission and Commission for Education and Communication. Jamie was awarded science and policy fellowships by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1998 and 2003, and in 2004 she received the NLP World Community Award for her contributions to environmental conservation.

She is the author or editor of more than 100 publications, including Bring Back the Birds: What You Can Do to Save Threatened Species. Her photographs, illustrations, and poems appear in books, magazines, and calendars.

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September 2007; Anja Seebrich-Caldwell

Green Building Program Manager; Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland

Anja S. Caldwell is an architect born and trained in Germany. Since she relocated to the United States in 1997, sustainable design has been her professional focus of choice.

Caldwell established the Green Building Program for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland in 2003 and received the Board of Educations “Distinguished Service to Public Education Award” of 2006, given annually to three of the school systems twenty thousand staff members. She introduced and implemented a plan for high performance design and the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system for school construction at MCPS, and coordinates the greening of the MCPS Architectural Design Guidelines.

Her most recent projects include Maryland’s first LEED certified school, Great Seneca Creek ES in Germantown, which was awarded the Gold rating from the US Green Building Council.

In 2006 Caldwell initiated a national design challenge for a green portable classroom for National School Building Week involving students and the modular building industry.

She is a member of the US Green Building Council’s core committee for LEED for Schools and member of several green building committees in Montgomery County and Washington, DC working on green building legislation. She was appointed to the Green Building Task Force of DC Council Member Jim Graham in 2006 to help draft the DC Green Building Act.

She is also an active member of the Intergovernmental Green Building Group (IGBG) that coordinates green building policies, training and events for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

Anja Caldwell was one of the first five to become accredited as LEED Professionals in Washington DC in 2001 and has applied LEED to all her projects ever since. She has worked as an architect on commercial and institutional projects in Germany and the US for clients like Marriott, Intelsat, Proxicom and the University of Maryland University College (UMUC). She was the project architect for a green addition to the Inn and Conference Center of UMUC, the first LEED certified Marriott in the United States.

In Germany she was editor of the German quarterly architecture magazine “Architektur + Wettbewerbe – AW” and has published a book about efficient starter homes, “Starterhäuser”, in 1998.

Caldwell was trained as an architect in Stuttgart, Germany, and holds a Masters degree from the University of Miami, where she studied traditional neighborhood and urban design under Duany and Plater-Zyberk as a Fulbright scholar. She is a licensed member of the German Institute of Architects (Deutsche Architektenkammer) since 1994.

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October 2007; Jamie Rappaport Clark

Executive Director; Defenders of Wildlife

Jamie Rappaport Clark joined Defenders of Wildlife as executive vice president in February 2004. Jamie oversees a staff of 145 in Washington, D.C. and in field offices across the country and in Mexico and Canada.

Jamie came to Defenders after a 20-year career with the federal government, mostly with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 1997, she was appointed director of the Service by President Bill Clinton, a post she held until 2001. During her tenure as director, Jamie oversaw the addition of two million acres to the National Wildlife Refuge System, including the establishment of 27 new refuges, and presided over the recovery of key endangered species such as the bald eagle, gray wolf, and peregrine falcon.

Jamie’s tenure as director of Fish and Wildlife Service was also marked by the adoption of innovative policies to encourage landowners to voluntarily conserve wildlife, including the safe harbor program and expanded habitat and candidate conservation programs. Also under her leadership, the Fish and Wildlife Service worked with Congress to pass the landmark National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, which established wildlife conservation as the primary purpose of all refuges within the system.

Prior to her appointment as director of the Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamie served the agency as chief of the division of endangered species, southwest deputy assistant regional director, and senior staff biologist.

Jamie Clark holds a B.S. in wildlife biology from Towson State University in Towson, Maryland, where she also did post-graduate work in environmental planning. She holds an M.S. in wildlife ecology from the University of Maryland.

Areas of Expertise: Wildlife biology, endangered species and the Endangered Species Act, land and habitat conservation, national environmental policy.

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November 2007; Jessy Tolkan

Challenge Campaign Director; Energy Action

Jessy is a rock star of youth voting and empowerment. She got her start as a student activist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned her degree in Political Science and African-American Studies. While at UW-Madison her work included organizing student vote coalitions in 2000 and 2002, helping to elect Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to office, and engaging students in local politics through her own bid for the Madison City Council at age 19. After graduation, Jessy worked as the Wisconsin State Director for the New Voters Project, registering over 130,000 18-24 year old voters across the state and helping to produce one of the highest youth voter turnout rates in the country, a historic 11% increase in youth voter turnout in the US, the largest increase since 18 year-olds got the right to vote. Jessy was recently named one of the “Real Hot 100.”

She has just coordinated Energy Action Coalition’s organizing efforts for PowerShift, the first national youth summit to solve the climate crisis. This event brought in over 5,000 youth to the DC area in order to organize and educate congress on the importance of making climate change a priority.

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