Mark J. Belton, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources
Secretary Belton has served in a variety of state and local government leadership positions, including Charles County administrator and Queen Anne's County administrator. Secretary Belton served as department's assistant secretary from 2003 to 2005.
A 1983 graduate of the Naval Academy, Belton was on active duty with the Navy for more than seven years and in the Naval Reserve for more than 20 years. He retired with the rank of Rear Admiral in 2014.
As Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, he leads the organization to preserve, protect, enhance and restore Maryland’s natural resources.
Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley
Being a born and raised native of Cambridge and a graduate of Cambridge High School, Victoria Jackson-Stanley is the first African American female elected as Mayor of Cambridge. She is the recipient of the 2015 William Donald Schaefer Award from the Comptroller of Maryland and numerous citations, recognitions, and awards.
She graduated from Salisbury State College, with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. Victoria has a Masters of Social Work degree from Howard University School of Social Work. She retired after more than 40 years with the State of Maryland where she spent her career working with various Departments of Social Services on the Eastern Shore.
It is her belief that civic involvement is the key to a community's success. She is a current or former member of the following organizations: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Chesapeake Bay Girl Scouts, Dorchester County Democratic Club, Maryland Democratic Party-Vice Chair, Maryland Municipal League Legislative Co-Chair, Maryland Mayors Association President, and the NAACP.
The Mayor chairs Municipal Utilities Commission and the Police Board. She regularly attends her Youth Leadership Advisory Committee as well as the Joint City / County Coordinating Committee meetings.
Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church is where she actively serves her Lord & Savior, with roles as a Sunday School Superintendent, President of the Gospel Choir, and Communion Steward.
The Mayor is a married with one daughter and a grandson.
Richard R. Arnold II, NASA Astronaut
Richard R. Arnold II was selected by NASA in May 2004. Before his NASA career, the Maryland native worked in the marine sciences and as a teacher in places like Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. During STS-119, he accumulated more than 12 days in space. The objective of the mission was for the delivery of the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and a truss element for the International Space Station. While onboard, he conducted more than 12 hours of spacewalks. Arnold currently the Assistant to the Chief for EVA and Robotics in the Astronaut Office.
Arnold began working at the United States Naval Academy in 1987 as an Oceanographic Technician. Upon completing his teacher certification program, he accepted a position as a science teacher at John Hanson Middle School in Waldorf, Maryland. During his tenure, he completed a Masters program while conducting research in biostratigraphy utilizing radiometric dating at the Horn Point Environmental Laboratory in Cambridge, Maryland. Upon matriculation, Arnold spent another year working in the Marine Sciences including time at the Cape Cod National Seashore and aboard a sail training/oceanographic vessel headquartered in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In 1993, Arnold joined the faculty at the Casablanca American School in Casablanca, Morocco, teaching college prepatory Biology and Marine Environmental Science. In 1996, he and his family moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he was employed as a middle and high school science teacher and Department Chair at the American International School. In 2001, Arnold was hired by International School Services to teach middle school mathematics and science at the International School of Kuala Kencana in West Papua, Indonesia. In 2003, he accepted a similar teaching position at the American International School of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania.
Born in Cheverly and raised in Bowie, Maryland. Married to Eloise Miller Arnold of Bowie, Maryland. They have two daughters. Enjoys running, fishing, reading, kayaking, bicycling and guitar.
Bachelor of Science from Frostburg State University, Maryland, 1985; University, Maryland, 1988; Master of Science in Marine, Estuarine & Environmental Science, University of Maryland, 1992.
Dr. Donald Boesch, Professor and President Emeritus, University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science
Dr. Donald Boesch is a professor of marine science and, from 1990 to 2017, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. From 2006-2017, he concurrently served as Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability for the University System of Maryland.
Dr. Boesch is one of the nation’s most recognized and experienced experts in the application of science to policies for the protection, sustainable use, and restoration of coastal ecosystems and for adaptation to global climate change.
He has been involved in conducting or facilitating research on the Chesapeake Bay for over 35 years, and he has been an official advisor to federal agencies, the Chesapeake Bay Program, and five Maryland governors. While president, he was a member of the Governor’s Chesapeake Bay Cabinet and the Maryland Commission on Climate Change. In 2015, he was recognized as an “Admiral of the Chesapeake.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, he received a B.S. in biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the College of William and Mary. After a Fulbright post-doctoral fellowship in Australia, he spent eight years as a faculty member at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
Dr. William Dennison, Vice President of Science Applications, University of Maryland Center of Environmental Science
Dr. Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and the Vice President for Science Applications at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). UMCES is one of two research and service institutions in the 13-institution University System of Maryland and is comprised of four laboratories distributed across the watershed of the Chesapeake Bay including the Appalachian Laboratory, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, Horn Point Laboratory and the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology as well as the Maryland Sea Grant College and the Annapolis (MD) Integration and Application Network.
Bill rejoined UMCES in 2002 following a ten year stint at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. While there he developed an active Marine Botany group with strong links to the Healthy Waterways Campaign for Moreton Bay. Bill obtained his academic training from Western Michigan University (B.A., Biology & Environmental Science), the University of Alaska (M.S., Biological Oceanography), the University of Chicago (Ph.D., Biology), and the State University of New York at Stony Brook (Postdoc, Coastal Marine Scholar).
Dr. Dennison has published hundreds of papers and books and has presented at multiple international, national, and regional meetings, and at various universities, research institutions, and government agencies. Bill continues to serve and has served in the capacity of President, Chair, Co-Chair, Deputy Director, Leader and Member on more than three dozen separate environmental councils, committees, groups and societies. He has provided graduate student supervision to numerous "up and coming" scientists through the PhD, Masters and Honors programs at both the UMCES and the University of Queensland.
Joanne M. Throwe, Deputy Secretary, Department of Natural Resources
Joanne Throwe was appointed Deputy Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in October 2015. In this role, she manages the day-to-day operations and executes the direction and vision of the department.
Throwe brings 25 years of environmental and natural resources experience at the state and federal level. Most recently, she served as the director of the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, where she provided technical assistance on financing issues related to environmental protection activities.
Prior to her work at the Environmental Finance Center, Throwe held leadership roles at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Cooperative Research and Extension Services, and the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.
She graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Political Science and holds an M.A. in Public Policy and Private Enterprise from the University of Maryland.
Throwe resides in Anne Arundel County.
Ben H. Grumbles, Secretary, Department of the Environment
Ben Grumbles was confirmed as Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment by the Maryland State Senate on March 6, 2015. He had been nominated by Governor Larry Hogan in January 2015 to lead MDE. Prior to that, he was President of the U.S. Water Alliance, a Washington-based environmental nonprofit organization that educates the public on the value of water and the need for integrated and innovative solutions. Ben has served as the Presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator for Water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as the Senate-confirmed Director of Arizona’s Department of Environmental Quality and as Environmental Counsel and Senior Staff Member on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Science Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ben has broad experience in energy, climate, air, waste and agricultural policy and regulation. He’s a member of the National Academy of Science’s Water Science and Technology Board and a frequent lecturer and analyst on environmental law and policy. He has a master’s degree in environmental law from George Washington University, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law and a bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University. Ben is one of Baltimore's newest residents but he has lived in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, with his wife and children, over the last 30 years.
Tim Purinton, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy, Maryland/DC Chapter
Tim joined the Maryland/DC chapter in 2017. Previously, he worked in Boston as founding director of the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration (DER), a division he co-created in 2009. Prior to being appointed DER director, Tim was the Massachusetts Riverways Program acting director and river restoration planner. Before his twelve years of state service, Tim worked for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, for municipal government and as a wetland restoration contractor.
Tim is on the Sea Run Brook Trout Coalition and is a life-member of Trout Unlimited. He has been recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Trout Unlimited for his significant contributions to habitat restoration, and received a 2017 River Hero Award from the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance.
Tim is a graduate of McGill University and was awarded a Governor Bradford Fellowship for excellence in public administration, which allowed him to attend and receive his MPA from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Tim is married to Julia Purinton, and his four adult kids live in St. Andrews (UK), Portland (OR) and Austin (TX). Julia and Tim live in DC’s Takoma neighborhood and have a home in Vermont’s Mad River Valley.
William Hohenstein, Director, Climate Change Program Office, United States Department of Agriculture
William Hohenstein is the Director of USDA’s Climate Change Program Office, within the Office of the Chief Economist. The Climate Change Program Office provides coordination and policy development support for the Department’s climate change program. It serves as the focal point for the Secretary of Agriculture on the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as strategies for addressing them.
Mr. Hohenstein is also currently serving as the Acting Director of the USDA Office of Environmental Markets and the Acting Director of the Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, which are also within the Office of the Chief Economist. The Office of Environmental Markets (OEM) was established to facilitate the participation of farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in emerging environmental markets. The Office of Energy Policy and New Uses (OEPNU) analyzes and evaluates existing and proposed energy policies and strategies and reviews Departmental energy and energy related programs.
Before arriving at USDA, Mr. Hohenstein served as a Division Director in EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics. Prior to that, Mr. Hohenstein served in the Climate Change Division of EPA’s Office of Policy Planning and Evaluation. He represents the United States at international climate change negotiations and has served as a U.S. representative to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Mr. Hohenstein has a B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cook College, Rutgers University and a M.E.M. in Resource Economics and Policy from Duke University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Stephan Abel, Executive Director, Oyster Recovery Partnership
Stephan Abel has been the Executive Director of the Oyster Recovery Partnership since 2007. Prior to joining the Partnership, he was the Executive Director in the Office of Communications and Marketing at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He enjoyed a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy, has held management positions at Sallie Mae and Careerbuilder, and earned a B.S. from Villanova University, a M.B.A. from George Washington University and is a graduate of the Naval War College. A lifelong sailor on the Chesapeake Bay, he has two children and lives in Stevensville, Maryland.
Jeff Allenby, Director, Conservation Technology, Chesapeake Conservancy
Jeffrey Allenby is the Director of Conservation Technology at the Chesapeake Conservancy. His team explores new methods to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Conservancy’s projects and focuses on developing new ways to empower partner organizations. Before joining the Conservancy, Jeff worked with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, managing a competitive grant program focused on local governments' response to climate change and coastal hazards, and at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, managing the Maryland Canoe environmental education program. Jeff has a Masters of Environmental Management and Certificate in Geospatial Analysis from Duke University and a Bachelors of Science from the University of Richmond.
Brian Ambrette, Director, Strategic Initatives Eastern Shore Land Conservancy
Brian Ambrette joined the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy in 2014 to lead the Coastal Resilience Program. The program assists local governments in preparing for sea level rise, coastal hazards, and climate change impacts. Brian also provides leadership and logistical support to the Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Partnership, a regional climate collaborative with members from eight local governments and more than a dozen state agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations. Brian previously worked with The Nature Conservancy developing conservation and planning tools for coastal resilience in Connecticut and with the Environmental Defense Fund in fundraising and donor engagement. He has also worked on traditional sailing schooners and as a coach and director at a community rowing club. He has a master’s degree from Yale University’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, with a focus on marine and coastal resource management and stakeholder engagement. His undergraduate degree is in physics and geology from Middlebury College in Vermont.
*Kristin Baja, Climate Resilience Officer, Urban Sustainability Network
*bio coming soon
Helen Bailey, Research Associate Professor, Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Helen Bailey is a Research Associate Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She has published 50 journal articles, specializing in marine mammals and sea turtles. She received her B.A. (Hons) in Biological Sciences from the University of Oxford, UK, and her M.Sc. in Oceanography from the University of Southampton, UK. Dr. Bailey was awarded her Ph.D. at the University of Aberdeen (UK) for her work on the habitat use of bottlenose dolphins. She subsequently studied the underwater sound levels and environmental impacts of offshore wind turbines on marine mammals. Dr. Bailey then received a National Research Council postdoctoral award to study migration pathways and hot spots of marine predators at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of the Census of Marine Life’s Tagging of Pacific Predators project. She joined the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in 2010 where her research focuses on studying movement ecology, patterns of habitat use and behavior of marine species, and its application to management and conservation.
Robert Beal, Executive Director, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
Robert E. Beal is the Executive Director of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in Arlington, Virginia. He has worked for ASFMC for more than twenty years, previously serving as Director of the Interstate Fisheries Management Program, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, and Acting Science Director. In his current role as Executive Director, Mr. Beal guides ASMFC’s day-to-day operations such as policy development and implementation as well as providing leadership to all of its programs. He represents ASMFC at the New England, Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Regional Fishery Management Council Meetings and ensures Congressional support for ASMFC and its member states. Mr. Beal also serves on a number of fisheries management bodies including the NOAA’s MRIP Executive Steering Committee and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Fisheries and Water Resources Policy Committee. Mr. Beal received his B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland and went on to receive his M.S. in Coastal Environmental Management from Duke University.
Chris Becraft, Project Manager, Underwood and Associates
From contract award through final construction, Chris supervises and coordinates the planning, design/permit, and construction of all ecosystem restoration projects to ensure they are completed on time and within budget. In particular, Chris works collaboratively with clients, inspectors, client engineers, project partners, and all Underwood & Associate staff to ensure all expectations are met and all deliverables are achieved.
Joe Berg, Systems Ecologist, Biohabitats, Inc.
Joe Berg is a systems ecologist at Biohabitats, Inc., where he is the Practice Lead for Ecological Restoration. He is also the chair of the mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Ecological Restoration. Joe has been working in environmental consulting in the mid-Atlantic for more than 30 years. He has experience in the assessment and analysis of natural resources; the development, preparation, and implementation of restoration plans; and the range of studies, documentation, and permitting experience required. The focus of his efforts have been the conservation and restoration of coastal habitats, streams, wetlands and floodplains with a focus on ecosystem functions as a means to deliver ecosystem services to society, increase natural capital, and integrate local community needs with an appreciation of natural resource values. Over the last 11 years, Joe has been having a great time collaborating with Keith Underwood and others on the development, diversification, and broader adoption of regenerative stream and wetland restoration techniques.
Dr. Mary C. Boatman, Environmental Studies Chief, Office of Renewable Energy Programs, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)
Dr. Mary C. Boatman serves as the Environmental Studies Chief for the Office of Renewable Energy Programs within the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). She has worked at BOEM at both the regional office in New Orleans and in the Headquarters office in Sterling, Virginia on both offshore oil and gas and renewable energy issues. Her area of expertise is Chemical Oceanography, but she has worked in a multi-disciplinary capacity for many years through the Environmental Studies Program at BOEM.
Dr. Kathy Boomer, Watershed Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
Dr. Kathy Boomer is the lead watershed scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Chesapeake Bay Restoration Project. Her doctoral research at Cornell University focused on hydrology and nutrient biogeochemistry of wetlands. As a research ecologist for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, she shifted her focus to watershed modeling and developing applications for high-resolution remote sensing data. Dr. Boomer combines this expertise to develop decision support for water resource management, including mitigating impacts from agriculture and suburban runoff through the strategic restoration of natural wetlands.
Dr. Elliott Campbell, Director, Center for Economic and Social Science, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Dr. Campbell directs the Center for Economic and Social Science within the Chesapeake and Coastal Service at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. His expertise is ecological economics, a field focusing on the interactions between people and the natural environment. His work focuses on developing information on economic benefits from Maryland ecosystems and tools to aide in integrating this information into decision making. Prior to his current position he was a research faculty member at the University of Maryland College Park, where he also received his doctorate.
Paul J. Carroll, Director of Economic Development and Civic Investment, City of Newport, RI
Carroll has 30 years of local, regional, national and global strategic private/public entrepreneurial leadership experience. He develops, implements and manages innovative public/private sustainable economic development initiatives; entrepreneur empowerment/community regeneration/capacity building efforts; streamlining the public sector point of contact for planning/approval processes; foreign market access programs (investments, strategic alliances and market penetration); and, organizational/business creation/change management efforts. He gained this background and a strong global network of public, private and non-profit/academic sector professional associates by working with governments, organizations, locales, small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), multinational corporations and universities (chancellor, vice chancellor, dean and program director levels) in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and India.
His public sector experience includes:
Various global and national consultancy engagements
Director of Civic Investment, City of Newport, Newport, RI
Chief Executive Officer, Plymouth City Development Company, Plymouth, UK
Executive Director, Front Royal-Warren County EDA, Front Royal, VA
China Officer, Massachusetts Port Authority, Boston, MA
Taiwan Desk Officer, US Department of Commerce, Washington, DC and Taipei, Taiwan
Carroll holds 21 doctoral credits from Boston College towards a joint MBA/PhD in statistical analysis/social responsible investment in Asia, an MA in international economics/relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, DC, as well as a BA in international areas studies form the University of Massachusetts. Moreover, he is professionally fluent in Chinese and has studied Russian and German at the university level.
Peter R. Claggett, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey
Mr. Peter R. Claggett is a Research Geographer with the U.S. Geological Survey where he studies and models trends in land cover and land use. He led the development of the Chesapeake Bay Land Change Model which is currently being used to inform Bay restoration plans. Mr. Claggett received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley, and two Master’s degrees from Miami University of Ohio, one in Environmental Science and the other in Geography. He is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Geography and Environmental Systems at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He started his career as an Agroforestry Extension Agent with the US Peace Corps in the Philippines followed by work at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia and the Canaan Valley Institute, based in West Virginia.
*Lee Currey, Director, Water and Science Administration, Department of the Environment
*bio coming soon
Nick Dilks, Managing Partner, Ecosystem Investment Partners
Nick Dilks co-founded EIP in 2006 and has extensive experience in land conservation, finance, private equity fund management and real estate. Prior to EIP, he spent 10 years with The Conservation Fund, most recently as its Vice President for Real Estate. He has a BA in Environmental Science & Policy from Duke University and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Jen Dindinger, Regional Watershed Restoration Specialist, Sea Grant Extension Program
Based in Cambridge and serving four counties on the Eastern Shore, Jennifer is developing a program that builds community and economic development while promoting natural resource protection. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Bard College and a Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology from the University of Delaware. In 2014 she was awarded the Off-Campus Junior Faculty Award for her contribution to the UME 2014-2019 Strategic Plan.
*Patricia Escher, AICP, City Planner and Zoning Official, City of Cambridge
Ms. Escher is a professional land use planner and landscape designer with over twenty years of professional experience working in several jurisdictions across the United States. She has worked in both the private and public sectors as a planner, landscape designer and project manager. She most recently worked in the City of Alexandria, Virginia for ten years as a Principal Planner reviewing large complex development proposals. She currently is the City Planner for Cambridge and is responsible for the review development proposals and manages historic preservation and economic development staff. She is in charge of the creation and implementation of the City’s housing rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization program. She is involved in the City’s Cambridge Creek stream restoration and the adjacent Cannery Park design and implementation. She worked on the City’s Working Waterfront Implementation Plan that was completed this past fall and was made available by the Department of Natural Resources via grant funding from NOAA. She is a member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Taryn Finnessey, Senior Climate Change Specialist, State of Colorado Department of Natural Resources
Taryn works on climate change and natural hazard risk management for the State of Colorado. She coordinates Colorado’s climate change efforts as well as managing the Colorado State drought mitigation and response planning and implementation efforts. She has overseen and provided technical expertise on the development of approaches for quantifying and considering uncertainties and vulnerability in water resource planning & management, and has authored numerous papers and reports. She holds a B.A. in Earth and Environmental Science from Wesleyan University, and a M.A. in Global Environmental Policy from American University.
Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director, Division of Tourism, Film & the Arts, Maryland Department of Commerce
Liz has been a destination marketing professional for more than 20 years where she has effectively communicated to consumers through a variety of marketing platforms, to encourage visitation for the economic benefit of retail entities, Main Streets, and assets state-wide. Liz earned her Bachelor of Science in Radio and TV/Mass Communications from Southern Illinois University. She joined the Maryland Office of Tourism in 1999 as a Public Relations Coordinator, and in 2011 was named Maryland Tourism Person of the Year at the Maryland Travel and Tourism Summit. Liz was raised on Long Island, and lived in Austin, Texas before choosing Maryland as her home, where she and her husband raise their son. Liz previously served as Executive Director of the Office of Tourism Development where she led a team of advertising, communications, tourism development, sales, and interactive services professionals to grow Maryland as a competitive, desirable and successful travel destination. Liz currently serves as Managing Director of the Division of Tourism, Film & the Arts.
Allison Gost, Program Manager, Climate and Health Program, Maryland Department of Health
Allison Gost is the Program Manager for the Climate and Health program at the Maryland Department of Health. She received both her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science in 2012 and her Masters in Public Health - Applied Environmental Health in 2017, from the University of Maryland College Park. Since joining the program in 2016, Allison has been responsible for coordinating the development, implementation and evaluation of the state's approach to climate change and public health as part of the CDC's Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative. She serves as an appointee to the Education, Communication and Outreach Work group of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change as well as an advisory role to additional work groups and commissions aimed at furthering climate adaptation in Maryland.
Leslie Grunden, AICP, Environmental & Facilities Planner, Caroline County, MD Department of Planning and Codes
As a Certified Planner, Leslie has extensive experience in environmental resource and land planning, including the research and development of watershed strategies to protect water quality, natural resources, sensitive areas, and improve quality of life in rural communities. She is the Department lead on watershed planning and implementation for the County’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), its 319(h) Upper Choptank River Watershed Plan, and the Water Resources Element of the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Leslie also coordinates water and wastewater facility planning through the
County’s Comprehensive Water and Sewerage Plan, and works closely with the County’s ten municipalities to develop sustainable funding and technical resources for point source projects that support federal, State and local water quality goals. As a partner with numerous agencies, NGOs, and University of Maryland Sea Grant and Ag Extensions, Leslie helps develop and implement projects that mutually benefit waterways and communities through implementation of point and non-point source best management practices.
*Dr. Anna T. Hamilton, Aquatic Ecologist, Tetra Tech
*bio coming soon
David Herring, Communication, Education and Engagement Division, NOAA's Climate Program Office
David Herring manages the Communication, Education and Engagement Division within NOAA's Climate Program Office, where he also serves as Program Manager of NOAA Climate.gov (www.climate.gov) and the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit (toolkit.climate.gov). In 2015, David was awarded NOAA's Dr. Daniel L. Albritton Outstanding Science Communicator Award. Before joining NOAA in 2008, David worked for 16 years at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he led development of NASA's Earth Observatory (earthobservatory.nasa.gov). David received his Master's Degree in Science and Technical Communication in 1992 from East Carolina University. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
*Shannon Hood, Faculty Research Assistant, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Shannon manages the UMCES HPL Demonstration Oyster Farm which focuses on enhancing Maryland's off-bottom oyster aquaculture industry through increased access to information and resources on commercially relevant aspects of this burgeoning industry. Shannon's research focuses on oyster performance within various culture methods, and on the effects of desiccation on oyster performance.
Brent Jett, Assistant City Engineer, City of Cambridge
Brent Jett, PE is the assistant City Engineer for Cambridge Maryland. A native of the shore, he brings over 20 years of professional experience to the project planning, design, and management segments for implementation of projects. The compete Green Street on Maryland Ave is his design, with construction oversight during installation. After graduating from Virginia Tech Brent worked on the private side for 15 years before altering career paths to bring that experience to the City. He is the stormwater reviewer, floodplain manager, and the City’s representative in the ESCAP and Healthy Waters Group.
Kahlil Kettering, Program Director, Urban Conservation, The Nature Conservancy
As the Urban Conservation Director, Kahlil is developing new conservation strategies in DC centered on implementing projects that elevate the intersection of protecting nature in urban areas and the benefits nature provides to people in cities. He is working to build momentum for the first ever stormwater retention credit trading program in DC. This involves using natural solutions, like rain gardens and bioswales, that absorb stormwater and reduce runoff into the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. In addition to tackling stormwater runoff, Kahlil is also working on strategic tree canopy expansion, and engaging and training young people as environmental advocates for the future. Before moving back to his hometown of Washington, DC and joining the Conservancy in 2015, Kahlil worked as an environmental analyst in Miami, Florida advocating for the protection and restoration of Everglades and Biscayne National Parks. He has a master’s degree in Global Environmental Policy from American University and a master’s degree in Public Management from the University of Maryland.
Bill Kilinski, Charles County Waterman
Born and raised in Cobb Island MD, Bill Kilinski a 2nd generation Commercial Watermen where I have worked the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries and the Potomac River since 1984.
Bill also serves on numerous fisheries management committees and associations, President of the Charles County Watermen’s Association, Executive Board member of Maryland Watermen’s Association, DNR Oyster Advisory Committee and Board of Director Maryland Seafood Cooperative.
When Bill is not on the water providing for his family he finds time for his other passion as a Firemen. 34 years as a Volunteer Firemen for the Cobb Island Fire Department located in Charles County MD and 19 years as an Assistant Fire Chief at the National Institute of Health.
Bill has a loving wife Suzanne and 3 children James, Karlie and Brooklynn.
Dave King, Director of Field Operations, Oyster Recovery Partnership
As the Director of Field Operations, Dave oversees staff and operations at ORP’s shell recycling headquarters in Cambridge, MD. A Kent Island native, Dave grew up on the Chesapeake Bay. His love of the water led him to the Navy, where he became an awarded sailor. After the Navy he served on the State of Maryland buoy tender and ice breaker. It was during that time he discovered diving, eventually graduating from the Diver’s Academy of the Eastern Seaboard. He then went on to work in the Gulf of Mexico before serving in the Army Active Reserve (honorably discharged) as a watercraft operator. Since 2007 he has managed a successful diving business based out of Annapolis. Dave feels very fortunate to be involved in ORP’s mission to improve the health of his beloved Chesapeake Bay. His free time is spent boating, camping and traveling with his wife Brooke, and daughters Taylor, Piper and Sophie. He considers his family to be dining aficionados — enjoying cuisines with Chesapeake seafood being at the top of the list.
Dr. Scott Knoche, Director, Patuxent Environmental & Aquatic Research Laboratory, Morgan State University
Dr. Scott Knoche is the Director of the Morgan State University Patuxent Environmental and Aquatic Research Laboratory (PEARL). Much of his applied economics research has focused on estimating the economic benefits outdoor recreation participants derive from alternative management and restoration strategies that affect the outdoor recreation experience. A current major project involves examining the ecological benefits and economic impacts of large-scale oyster reef restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. As the Director of PEARL, Dr. Knoche oversees a vibrant K-12 education program, a shellfish aquaculture and genetics program, and researchers with expertise in fisheries biology and Chesapeake Bay ecology.
Prior to being named Director, Dr. Knoche was a Senior Research Economist at PEARL. This position followed a post-doctoral research appointment joint with the University of Maryland and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Service. Dr. Knoche also has been employed by the U.S. Coast Guard, leading the adjudication of multi-million dollar natural resource damage claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Daniel Kreeger, Executive Director, Association of Climate Change Officers
Daniel Kreeger is a co-founding board member and executive director of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO) and has a unique familiarity of key climate and sustainability leaders at and efforts by most Fortune 500 companies, higher education institutions and North American government entities. Dan has led ACCO’s programming efforts, as well as establishment of the CCO Certification, the first comprehensive climate change credentialing and training program designed for executives and professionals across sectors. Dan led ACCO’s partnership with the White House Council on Environmental Quality in 2011 and 2012 in co-producing the GreenGov Symposium, was a co-founding steering committee member for the consortium that jointly administered EPA’s Climate Leadership Awards from 2012-2015 and serves on the steering committee for the National Adaptation Forum.
An accomplished business executive with more than 15 years of cross-functional experience in change management and enterprise business strategies within business-to-business, government, and consumer-centric sectors, Dan focuses specifically on the human capital, economic and operational implications of climate change. He serves on the Dean’s Council of Advisors at the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts, and is a frequent keynote speaker and lecturer at industry events and at top sustainability focused graduate and executive education programs.
Dr. Gerhard Kuska, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS)
Dr. Gerhard Kuska is the Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS, or Mid-Atlantic IOOS), a federally-certified regional information association of academic, governmental, and private organizations from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras that power understanding and prediction of the Mid-Atlantic ocean and coasts. He is also the Vice Chair of the Board of the IOOS Association. Dr. Kuska has served over the past 3 decades in a variety of positions and organizations in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. From 2008 until 2010, he served as Senior Advisor to the Government of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and oversaw the successful development of an integrated strategy for their marine and coastal areas, bringing together defense, security, mobility, safety, economic development, and environment and natural resource conservation under a new governance structure. From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Kuska served as Associate Director of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Director of Ocean and Coastal Policy in the Executive Office of the President, where he advised the President on a broad array of ocean, coastal, and maritime issues, and oversaw the implementation of the President’s Ocean Action Plan and several high-profile initiatives, including the largest marine protected area in the world at the time. From 2004 to 2006, he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Senior Policy Analyst for strategic planning and interagency coordination. From 2002 to 2004, he served on the staff of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, where he advised the commissioners on governance issues and contributed to the drafting of the Commission’s landmark report. Prior to this time, Dr. Kuska worked on ocean and coastal issues for U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and William V. Roth, Jr. (R-Delaware). He also advised UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and conducted research in academia and environmental services work in the private sector. During a decade in the cargo logistics industry, Dr. Kuska served as a senior executive with two global logistics corporations, including as Vice President and Deputy Director at the global headquarters in Europe, overseeing operations and marketing in 64 countries. Dr. Kuska completed his undergraduate work in the US and Germany, and received his Ph.D. in Marine Policy from the University of Delaware.
Genevieve Pullis LaRouche, Field Office Supervisor, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Genevieve LaRouche has been the Project Leader for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chesapeake Bay Field Office since 2012. Genevieve started her career on Long Island as a Biological Technician for the Nature Conservancy, protecting piping plovers and least terns. She was hired by Fish and Wildlife Service’s Headquarters as an Economist where she calculated the value of wildlife-related recreation for the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Related Recreation. She later served as a Special Assistant in the Director’s Office in Washington D.C. Genevieve is also one of the founding members of the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition that aims to connect people to greenspaces through equity, discovery, biodiversity, and resilience. Genevieve has an M.S. in Resource Utilization from the University of Maine.
Cheryl Lewis, Town Administrator, Town of Oxford
Ms. Lewis joined the government of Oxford, Maryland as Town Administrator in 2012 after many years of working with Maryland municipalities on the Eastern Shore. She is responsible for oversight and management of the daily operations of the Town’s municipal government on behalf of the Town’s three elected Commissioners and the Town’s residents, along with all the responsibilities that come with managing a Maryland coastal community. Lewis is well versed in municipal government, municipal planning and zoning, floodplain administration, and grant writing. She spent the last 5 years working diligently to increase resiliency for one of Maryland’s oldest port towns, through public outreach, responsible financial management and leveraging of public funds and support to acquire public and private assistance to successfully implement green improvements for the betterment of the Town of Oxford and surrounding waters, thereby assuring Oxford’s place in history for another 300 years.
Matt Liddle, Mid-Atlantic Manager for REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach
Matt Liddle is the Mid-Atlantic Manager for REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach, overseeing outdoor education and recreation programs serving nearly 20,000 registered participants annually in the greater Washington DC area. He leads the team responsible for REI’s events portfolio and philanthropic partnerships for the region. Matt has worked in the outdoor industry since 2001, serving in leadership roles in youth, international, and collegiate programs prior to his role at REI. Matt has a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and a Bachelor’s in Chinese and in Anthropology, both from the University of Pittsburgh. Matt serves on the Board of Directors for City Kids Wilderness Project, the Washington Area Bicyclists Association, and the NoMa Business Improvement District. Matt was recently appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to the newly formed Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission.
Matt lives in Takoma Park with his wife Jill and their two boys. The four of them live for climbing, skiing, cycling, camping, paddling, swimming, running, surfing and anything that keeps them outside.
Dr. Lewis Link, Senior Research Engineer/Research Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland
Dr. Link is a senior research engineer and research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Maryland. He teaches in the Honors College where his area of emphasis is disaster risk and resilience.
Prior to joining the faculty at Maryland, he spent 34 years with the U S Army Corps of Engineers, culminating in the position of Director of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Advisor for the Agency. Previously he served as the Director of the Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, NH and Deputy Chief of the Corps of Engineers Coastal Engineering Research Center in Vicksburg, MS. He has authored over 100 technical papers and reports and is a Certified Professional Hydrologist.
Dr. Link served as Director of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force that conducted the Post Katrina forensic analysis in New Orleans, leading to the immediate repair of the flood defenses and construction of a much enhanced $15B risk reduction system that is now in place. He was also a member of the International Advisory Commission for the Netherlands examining long term adaptation strategies for climate change and sea level rise. This work resulted in a new adaptive strategy for coping with the large uncertainties of climate and sea level changes for the future.
He has been a member on several National Academy of Engineering and American Society of Civil Engineers committees concerning Dam and Levee Safety, Risk and Resilience and Critical Infrastructure. Dr. Link received both the Engineering News Record Award of Excellence and the Army Engineer Association Gold Order of the Defleury Medal and was elected to the National Academy of Construction. He received a BS degree in Geological Engineering from N C State University, a MS in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University and a PhD in Civil Engineering from Penn State University.
David Mandell, Deputy Director, Annapolis Office of Emergency Management
David Mandell is the Deputy Director of the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management, which is part of the Annapolis Fire Department. Dave is responsible for the daily operations of the Office and manages grants, planning, exercises, training, and outreach. He has worked for the Office of Emergency Management in various capacities for the last 8 years. He leads the Annapolis homeland security grants team that is pursuing a $3M FEMA grant in the final stages of review and is expected to fund a flood mitigation project in downtown Annapolis. He also recently supervised the completion of the 2018 update to the City of Annapolis Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. He has a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a law degree from the University of Maryland. Dave believes that a comprehensive approach to mitigation that includes planning, coordination, knowledge of the grants landscape, and persistence, can benefit residents of every community in the face of the increasing number and severity of coastal threat.
Cooper Martin, Program Director, Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities
Cooper Martin is the Program Director for the Sustainable Cities Institute at the National League of Cities. The SCI program provides information, tools, and guidance to strengthen communities and enable them to thrive while facing the challenges presented by a changing climate and uncertain global economy. His areas of expertise include climate resilience, community development, transportation, environmental economics, and emergency management.
Cooper serves on the Steering Committee of STAR Communities and of the WaterNow Alliance. Prior to joining the NLC, he held multiple positions in government and community relations at the American Institute of Architects, and worked one legislative session in the Kansas House of Representatives. Cooper’s educational background includes a BA in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Policy from American University.
*Ben McFarlane, Regional Planner, Hampton Roads Planning Commission
*bio coming soon
Scott McGill, Founder and CEO, Ecotone, Inc.
Scott McGill is the Founder and CEO of Ecotone, Inc. a design-build ecological restoration company with offices in Forest Hill, Columbia, MD, and Charlottesville, VA. Scott has over 27 years of applied experience in both design and construction of ecological restoration projects throughout the United States. His “less is more” approach to design and construction that incorporate conservation biology and adaptive management is widely accepted as an innovative model for sustainable cost-effective ecological restoration.
Stephen R. McHenry, MARBIDCO Executive Director
Steve McHenry has served as the Executive Director of the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) since December 2006. MARBIDCO, as a quasi-public commercial lender and financial intermediary organization, provides development and credit-enhanced financing to beginning and established food and fiber producers and processors, and also helps to facilitate rural land preservation. Prior to this, he held the positions of Executive Director of the Rural Maryland Council and Director of Government Affairs for the Maryland Municipal League. Steve’s professional career was focused for many years on policy development and advocacy for small and rural communities, and more recently on agricultural/forestry/seafood business capital and credit availability and food systems development. Steve has served on numerous local, state, and national boards of directors, commissions, and advisory groups related to sustainable agriculture and forestry, rural economic and community development, and agricultural education/leadership development. Additionally, he is a member of several trade and professional organizations, including the Maryland Economic Development Association, the Maryland Farm Bureau, the Maryland Forests Association, and the Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association. Steve holds undergraduate and graduate degrees (from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and the UMUC Graduate School of Management and Technology, respectively) and was a fellow in the 2000 Class of LEAD Maryland and a member of the 2002 Class of Leadership Maryland.
Stephanie Tobash Alexander, Hatchery Manager, Horn Point Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Stephanie Tobash Alexander has been with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Oyster Hatchery for over 20 years. As the hatchery manager she oversees everything related to oyster production for use in restoration and aquaculture programs. Stephanie organizes the hatchery production schedule, works cooperatively with restoration partners and educates elected officials, school kids, environmental groups and the general public about the importance of oysters to the Chesapeake Bay.
Erik Meyers, Vice President Climate and Water Sustainability, The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, the unique top-rated, national non-profit that balances environmental conservation and economic sustainability across its projects and programs, Erik leads initiatives on climate adaptation and resiliency and urban and coastal water sustainability. He also contributes to the Fund’s mitigation solutions program and serves on the Board of its affiliate, the Natural Capital Investment Fund that provides loans and technical assistance to businesses and other institutions affiliates in economically distressed communities.
Erik serves as co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Climate Resiliency Work Group and the Financing Workgroup of the SAGE Initiative. He is also a corporate officer and board member of the US Water Alliance. He is on the Greater Baltimore Wilderness Coalition’s Steering Committee, National Aquarium’s Conservation Committee and the MD Climate Commission’s Adaptation and Response Working Group.
Prior to joining the Fund’s staff, Erik was general counsel and vice president of the Environmental Law Institute and chaired US EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology and the American National Standards Institute’s EMS Council. A member of NY, DC and VA bars, he has degrees from Fordham University Law School and Georgetown University.
Dr. Clifford Mitchell, Director, Environmental Health Bureau, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Dr. Mitchell is the Director of the Environmental Health Bureau in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH). The Office of Environmental Health and Food Protection organized in July 2009 to oversee the Center for Environmental Health Coordination and the Office of Food Protection and Consumer Health Services. In July 2012, it reorganized as the Environmental Health Bureau. The Bureau oversees the Office of Food Protection and four centers: Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology; Healthy Homes and Community Services; Injury and Sexual Assault Prevention; and Injury Epidemiology. His responsibilities include environmental public health tracking, monitoring hazardous algal blooms, coordination of environmental health activities with other state agencies, and direction of the department’s preventive medicine residency program. Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Mitchell was an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has also done consulting for international, federal, state, and private entities in the fields of occupational health and indoor air quality.
Fredrika Moser, Director, Maryland Sea Grant College
Dr. Fredrika Moser is director of Maryland Sea Grant College, one of 34 university-based programs in coastal and Great Lakes states that support research, education, and public outreach on marine and coastal issues. A marine research leader and policy analyst, Moser has been director since 2012. As Maryland Sea Grant’s research leader from 2001 to 2011, Dr. Moser helped develop several of the program’s signature efforts to assist policy makers and natural resource officials in making management decisions in the Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic regions. One such multi-state project convened scientific workshops to improve understanding and management of aquatic invasive species, including zebra mussels, Chinese mitten crabs, and unwanted “hitchhiker species” spread by the live bait trade. She has also led a long-running NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates and spearheaded innovative programming to increase participation of underrepresented and underserved students in marine science education and careers. Before coming to Maryland Sea Grant in 2001, she served as a marine science policy analyst at the U.S. Department of State while she was a diplomacy fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Earlier, she was a manager for environmental assessment at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection where she oversaw programs to inform policy decisions on dioxin contamination, ocean pollution, dredged sediments, and other environmental problems. She was a consultant to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, focusing on aquatic invasive species and sediment management. The commission advised the President and Congress in 2004 on measures to halt the decline of the nation’s oceans and coasts. She also serves as a board member for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association for Coastal Ocean Observing Systems and the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center. She earned a doctoral degree at the Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University and a master’s degree in geological sciences, also from Rutgers. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in earth sciences and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Contact Info Email : firstname.lastname@example.org (mailto:email@example.com) Office Phone : 301-405-7500 Fax Number : 301-314-5780 Mailing Address : 4321 Hartwick Road, Suite 300 College Park, MD 20740 United States
Jim Motsko, Founder and Lead Organizer, Maryland's While Marlin Open
Jim Motsko is the founder and lead organizer of the White Marlin Open fishing tournament - the world’s largest and richest billfish tournament. The offshore tournament is held annually in Ocean City, Maryland, and the 2018 tournament will mark its 45th year.
Alisha Mulkey, Program Coordinator, Agricultural Watershed Implementation Plan, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Alisha Mulkey has served as the Program Coordinator for the Agricultural Watershed Implementation Plan at the Maryland Department of Agriculture since 2014. In this capacity she is responsible for the coordination of all agricultural conservation-related practices and program data that demonstrate Maryland’s attainment of its Chesapeake Bay water quality goals. She received her B.S. in Soil Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an M.S. in Soil and Watershed Science from the University of Maryland. She is nutrient management certified in Maryland, and is active with the Agronomy Society and Soil and Water Conservation Society.
Siddharth Narayan, Research Scientist in Coastal Adaptation and Nature-based Solutions
3. Kristin Baja
Kristin Baja is the Climate Resilience Officer for the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN). In this role, she is responsible for helping cities identify strategic ways to advance climate resilience planning and implementation, and build capacity to take action. Kristin directly supports cities by facilitating deeper relationships between local governments and other stakeholders while advancing learning, collaboration, and momentum around climate resilience and equity. Kristin focuses 70% of her time directly supporting cities in the Mid-Atlantic region and facilitating stronger regional connectivity.
Kristin has over a decade of experience in climate resilience, climate adaptation, hazard mitigation, floodplain management and equity. Kristin holds a Masters of Urban Planning and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan. In 2016, Kristin was recognized by the Obama Administration as a Champion of Change for her work on climate and equity.
4. Sid Narayan
Siddharth Narayan (Sid) is a Research Scientist in Coastal Adaptation and Nature-based Solutions.
A civil and coastal engineer, hailing from Chennai in southern India, he is based at the University of California Santa Cruz and works with Michael Beck, lead marine scientist at The Nature Conservancy.
Sid’s work focuses on understanding the interactions between human and natural systems, in the context of coastal risk and adaptation, and on using this understanding to develop approaches and tools for sensible, sustainable coastal development. He works closely with partners in the private insurance industry, academia and NGOs to understand the role and economic value of natural ecosystems for reducing coastal risk.
Dan Nees, Senior Research Associate, School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Center for Global Sustainability in the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
In February 2018, Dan Nees was named Senior Research Associate in a joint appointment with the Environmental Finance Center (EFC) in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and the Center for Global Sustainability in the School of Public Policy. He had been Director of the EFC since October 2015, after previously holding this role from 2004-2007. In the time between his tenures as Director, he led environmental market and water quality programs at Forest Trends, a global NGO that seeks to develop market and economic solutions to global environmental problems, and at the World Resources Institute (WRI), an environmental think-tank. Since he began his work at the EFC in 1998 as a graduate intern, Dan has been dedicated to assisting communities throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the Mid-Atlantic region in their efforts to implement and finance environmental and sustainable development initiatives. His work has focused on developing innovative market and performance-based financing systems to reduce the cost of environmental compliance at local, state, and regional levels. His current role provides leadership in developing strategies to promote economic, social and environmental resilience in communities worldwide. Dan earned a B.A. in Economics, a Master of Environmental Policy, and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Lindene E. Patton, Partner, Earth and Water Law, L.L.C.
Lindene E. Patton is a partner at Earth and Water Law, L.L.C. She has over 25 years of progressive executive management experience in global financial services and risk management industry; in-house counsel & business roles. She is a globally recognized expert in risk, resilience, technology and related risk management solutions, insurance policy and other financial services product development. Lindene has served as Global Head of Hazard Products for Corelogic, Chief Climate Product Officer for Zurich Insurance Group, and general counsel for specialty units on Zurich insurance as well as engineering and land fill design companies. Lindene is an attorney licensed in CA and DC and an American Board of Industrial Hygiene-Certified Industrial Hygienist. She holds a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of California, Davis; a Master of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley; and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Janet Peace, Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
Janet Peace is the Senior Vice President of Policy and Business Strategy at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). She manages the center’s Business Environmental Leadership Council (BELC), the largest U.S.-based association of companies devoted to climate-related policy and corporate strategies. The BELC contains mainly Fortune 5 companies with combined revenues of over $2 trillion and more than 3.5 million employees. She also manages the center’s resilience program and its analysis of market-based policy options. Dr. Peace brings more than 20 years and a wide spectrum of experience on environmental issues to her work at C2ES. As a recognized expert on climate policy, she is a member of the Program Advisory Board for American University’s Center for Environmental Policy and a past member of both the National Research Council’s Roundtable on Climate Change Education and the Council of Canadian Academies on oil sands environmental technologies. Prior to C2ES, Dr. Peace worked on climate policy in Alberta and taught environmental and natural resource economics at the University of Calgary. She also worked as a resource specialist with the U.S. General Accounting Office and as a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. She holds a Ph.D. and Master of Science in economics and an undergraduate degree in geology.
Kelley Phillips Cox, Founder and Executive Director, Phillips Wharf Environmental Center
A native of Tilghman Island, Kelley is the founder and executive director of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. A trained marine biologist with a degree from Salisbury University, Kelley is a Certified Instructor of Project WET and has experience in aquaculture and aquarium maintenance, as well as Chesapeake Bay research. Kelley is actively involved with numerous regional organizations, including the Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Educators, Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association, National Marine Educators Association, National Science Teachers Association, and Maryland Oyster Advisory Commission. She is the recipient of the 2014 Robert Finton Maryland Environmental Educator of the Year Award from MAEOE.
Tommy Price, Operations Manager, Shell Recycling Alliance (SRA) and Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) Programs, Oyster Recovery Partnership
Tommy Price is the Operations Manager for the Shell Recycling Alliance (SRA) and Marylanders Grow Oysters (MGO) programs at Oyster Recovery Partnership
Steve Raabe, President, OpinionWorks LLC
Steve Raabe is president of OpinionWorks LLC, an independent research firm based in Annapolis. He founded OpinionWorks in 2001 to apply market research best practices to help foster behavior change in the areas of stewardship, health, and philanthropic giving.
He is a trusted observer of the public’s perceptions and attitudes. Since 2007, Steve has been the public opinion pollster for The Baltimore Sun, and he measures citizens’ needs and preferences for state and local agencies from Delaware to Oregon.
He is the author of numerous studies here in the Chesapeake Bay region, including the Bay Program’s Citizen Stewardship Indicator, which is a model nationally for measuring behavior adoption and potential behavior change on behalf of water restoration.
Previously, Steve served on Capitol Hill in Washington as Public Policy Director for Lutheran Services in America. He graduated cum laude from American University in Washington. In his volunteer life, Steve is founding Board Chair of the Anne Arundel County Watershed Stewards Academy.
Miguel Salinas, Assistant Planning Officer, Talbot County
Miguel Salinas is the Assistant Planning Officer for Talbot County, Maryland where he has overseen the completion of master plans in two historic waterfront villages with the support of the Maryland DNR’s Working Waterfronts Program. A primary objective of the plans is to support the protection and revitalization of Talbot County’s working waterfront communities and the retention of its maritime-related businesses. Miguel is also overseeing a cultural resources and hazard mitigation planning grant awarded by the Maryland Historical Trust. The grant enabled Talbot County to hire two consultant teams, AECOM and Vision and Planning & Consulting, for the completion of building surveys and risk assessments of historic resources located in the water-oriented villages of Neavitt, Newcomb, Royal Oak and Tilghman. The surveys and assessments will help identify mitigation techniques that can enhance the capabilities of the most vulnerable historic resources to withstand the impact of hazards from flooding, sea level rise and storm surge threats. In addition, Miguel is actively involved in NextStep 190; the update to Talbot County's Zoning, Subdivision, and Land Development Ordinance (Chapter 190 of the County Code).
Miguel comes to Talbot County by way of Loudoun County, Virginia where he was a Program Manager in the Department of Planning and more recently Deputy Director for the Department of Economic Development. As Deputy Director, he led the development of the department’s retail strategy which included an analysis of the market to identify: 1) competitive advantages and emerging trends that would impact the attraction and retention of retail, 2) the future demand of retail by submarkets, and 3) site selection criteria and incentives to target specific retail sectors to the County. As Program Manager in the County’s Department of Planning and Zoning, Miguel oversaw a multi-faceted division that emerged as a progressive and innovative implementer for many Board of Supervisor-directed policy, planning and community outreach initiatives, including a multi-year strategic initiative in Loudoun County to accelerate economic development in the Route 28 corridor, anchored by Dulles Airport to the south. The initiative led to the development of hybrid-based zoning districts to implement the plan. Miguel also managed the County’s heritage preservation program and the administration of western Loudoun’s seven historic districts.
Miguel is a community development specialist with a background in urban, rural and regional planning; neighborhood revitalization; and land development. His career has included leading an intensive 6-month design charrette for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico’s planned central business district; developing a Taos County, New Mexico green infrastructure plan that featured a "Historic Walking District", trails master plan and scenic overlook plan; and launching an urban land trust in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that acquired vacant and brownfield parcels in the city for the development and preservation of community gardens and pocket parks. In Milwaukee, Miguel also launched the Food Systems Campaign; a blueprint for community food enterprise and cluster development in Milwaukee’s central city as a basis for neighborhood economic development. The campaign led to the development of a food policy council, feasibility study on a year-round public marketplace and a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Urban Food Systems Institute.
Miguel has a certification in charrette management and facilitation by the National Charrette Institute. Miguel firmly believes that the role of local government is to build the capacity of its citizens, institutions, and businesses to help shape and create their communities.
Greg Sandi, Natural Resources Planner, Maryland Department of the Environment
Greg is a Natural Resources Planner at Maryland Department of the Environment, serving in the Integrated Water Planning Program, working with State and local partners throughout Maryland developing watershed restoration plans, and submitting data, tracking and evaluating the Chesapeake Bay Model. The main focus of Greg's position is to enhance water quality and ecological uplift in the State’s aquatic ecosystems. Greg received his B.S. in Environmental Management from the University of Maryland University College and his Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the John’s Hopkins University.
Ward Slacum, Director of Program Operations, Oyster Recovery Partnership
Ward Slacum, as Director of Program Operations, is responsible for activities within ORP’s core programs in Oyster Restoration, Shell Reclamation, Oyster Aquaculture and Fisheries. Ward has a broad background in marine and estuarine science and has been supporting Bay restoration for the past 20 years through research and cooperative programs with Bay watermen. Prior to joining ORP he was the manager of Versar’s Coastal and Marine Assessment Program. He earned a Master’s degree in Fisheries Science from the University of Maryland MEES Program and a bachelor degree in Environmental Science from the UMD Eastern Shore campus. He was born on the Eastern Shore and lives in Stevensville. In his free time, Ward enjoys being outdoors gardening, boating, fishing, and making furniture in the woodshop.
Kevin Smith, Director, Office of Restoration and Resilience, Department of Natural Resources
Kevin is a graduate of the University of Maryland and has worked as a Natural Resources Manager for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for 33 years. He has spent most of that time implementing ecological restoration practices throughout the state. He is primarily focused on the restoration of hydrologically impaired waters to reestablish floodplains, wetlands and tidal marshes and shorelines. Kevin has also worked as a waterfowl biologist and an “amateur” horticulturalist over the years. Most recently, he has been working on enhancing the resiliency of natural features such as shorelines, dunes and tidal marshes to combat the effects of sea level rise and storm surges.
Richard Starr, Vice President, Ecosystem Planning and Restoration, LLC
Richard Starr leads the Maryland office of Ecosystem Planning and Restoration which focuses on providing restoration and environmental planning services to meet the many water quality challenges that are facing the Chesapeake Bay and the Mid-Atlantic region. Richard has over 25 years of experience specializing in watershed and stream assessment, planning, restoration and compensatory mitigation, and will be overseeing our development and growth in our new Maryland office.
Mary Beth Tung, Director, Maryland Energy Administration
Mary Beth Tung, PhD, Esq., was named by Governor Hogan as the Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) on May 17, 2016.
Previously, Dr. Tung served as Deputy Secretary of Operations at the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). In her role at MDE, she managed, human resources, information technology, the budget and procurement; and oversaw the facilities management functions of the agency. Mary Beth also helped to develop innovative solutions for the department to work more efficiently, and lead the Department in Emergency Preparedness and Radiation Health efforts. She also oversaw the move of MEA to the MDE Baltimore headquarters and helped to coordinate energy programs statewide to assist MDE reach its environmental goals, an effort that is continuing in her new role.
Dr. Tung worked as an attorney practicing business and intellectual property law and assisting clients with government contract disputes. Previously, she was a registered patent agent specializing in biotechnology and was a biotech patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She also was an assistant professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Mary Beth earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Cincinnati, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Wright State University, was a Postdoctoral Associate in pharmacology and virology at the Yale University School of Medicine and received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland bar.
She lives in Clarksville, Maryland and is married with two grown children. She enjoys sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and backpacking on the Appalachian Trail and other trails.
*Keith Underwood, Founder and Principal, Underwood & Associates
*bio coming soon
Dr. Sara Via, Climate Extension Specialist, University of Maryland
Dr. Sara Via, PhD held faculty positions at University of Iowa and Cornell University before moving to the University of Maryland as a Professor in 1997. As a Climate Extension Specialist at UMD College Park, she now teaches Marylanders about climate impacts on agriculture, biodiversity, home landscapes and health. Dr. Via works with farmers to identify and implement ways to minimize climate risk. She also teaches farmers how to build healthy soil, which is one of the best ways to increase on-farm climate resilience. Dr. Via leads UM Extension’s Climate Science for Farmers Extension Team and writes a periodic column for The Delmarva Farmer on how climate change affects agriculture.
Dr. Lisa Wainger, Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Dr. Wainger is a research professor of environmental economics at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. She has over 20 years of experience in integrating ecological and economic analysis tools to evaluate costs, benefits and risks of environmental policies. Her expertise includes measurement of ecosystem service benefits, nutrient (water quality) trading, wetland mitigation, and cost-effective multi-objective policy design. She is recent past chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program and is a frequent economics advisor to government agencies (including the White House Council on Environmental Quality, National Academies of Science) and non-governmental organizations.
Don Webster, Regional Specialist, University of Maryland Extension
Don Webster directs Extension's Oyster Aquaculture Education & Training Program, which provides a series of annual workshops, short courses and support materials for shellfish farmers in Maryland's Chesapeake and coastal bays. He has over forty years experience in commercial fisheries and aquaculture development including both finfish and shellfish production, and serves as the current Chairman of the state's Aquaculture Coordinating Council.
*Matt Whitbeck, Wildlife Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service
*bio coming soon
Bill Wolinski, Environmental Engineer, Talbot County
Bill Wolinski is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Maryland and the State of Washington.
He has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a Master’s Degree in
Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. He was Water Quality Manager for the City of Baltimore for seventeen years from 1974 to 1991. He served as Environmental Engineering Manager for the City of Kent Washington for fourteen years from 1991 to 2005. He is currently serving as an Environmental Engineer for Talbot County Department of Public Works for the past thirteen years. His professional work has been primarily in the area of regional water quality management with an emphasis on living aquatic resources.
Ms. Naomi Young, Director, Center for Regional Analysis, Economic Development Company of Lancaster County
Naomi Young is the Director of the newly-established, Center for Regional Analysis (CRA), where she is focused on applied data analytics to guide economic development in southeastern PA. Prior to joining CRA, Naomi was a Senior Economist at the Environmental Finance Center, University of Maryland. She has nearly 20 years of experience designing and evaluating policy and initiatives – in the United States and Asia Pacific – that employ economic and market principles to conserve, restore and enhance the health of natural assets and protect the environment. Her most recent research has focused on the economics and feasibility of market-driven and collaborative strategies to address stormwater.
Justin Yuen, CEO of FMYI (for my innovation)
Justin Yuen is CEO of FMYI [for my innovation], a visual database Benefit Company. Clients have included Nike, Sony, Aflac, Fox, HBO, Hyatt, Disney, Office Depot, Scholastic, Macy's, the UK National Health Service, the New York City Department of Education, Portland Public Schools, and thousands of other companies, government agencies, universities, and nonprofits. FMYI has been covered by the New York Times, Businessweek, TechCrunch, GigaOM, CMSWire, BNET, Web Worker Daily, Salon.com, The Oregonian, and more. Justin was named to the Portland Business Journal's "40 Under 40" rising stars and the 2011 Pivotal Clean Technology Business Leaders lists. Before launching the company, he was a Senior Manager in Corporate Sustainable Development at Nike, Inc. Prior to that, Justin was Nike's head of Footwear Quality for the Europe/Middle East/Africa region in the Netherlands.
Justin is the Board Chair of The Street Trust and on the Board of Trustees for the National Crittenton Foundation.
Previously, he was Chair of the Board of Directors of the Natural Step Network, the Multnomah County Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation, Co-Chair of the Portland/Multnomah County Sustainable Development Commission, Board Member of the Northwest Earth Institute, the Portland Parks Foundation, Advisory Board of the University of Michigan's Erb Institute For Global Sustainable Business, Portland State University’s Implementing Sustainability Program, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, and a member of the Metro Portland Community Investment Initiative Leadership Council.
Justin has a degree in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University. He has been a speaker at Fortune Brainstorm Green, Greenbiz Innovation Forum, White House's GreenGov, US Army, Pentagon, NASA, Net Impact, and numerous universities and conferences.