Changing Environments, Changing Societies

Speaker Biographies

 Kate DempseyKate Dempsey, Senior Policy Advisor for Federal Affair, The Nature Conservancy
Kate graduate from Bowdoin College (1988) and received an M.A. from Tufts University Department of Urban and Environmental Policy (1992).  Kate served as a VISTA volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, worked for The Friends Committee on National Legislation and led public health campaigns in Massachusetts before becoming a congressional staff member. From 1994-2000, Kate was on the staff of U.S. Representative Marty Meehan and from 2000-2003 for U.S. Rep. Tom Allen where she led appropriations and economic development work in these offices. She joined the Nature Conservancy in Maine and lobbies on conservation policy facing the United States including climate change, transportation, ecosystem restoration and federal conservation funding. She lives in Phippsburg, Maine with her family.

Anne Henshaw, Program Officer, Arctic Marine Conservation, Oak Foundation
Before joining Oak, Anne was a visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College from 1996-2007, and director of Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center from 2000-2007.  Anne holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A., magma cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire in anthropology. Anne brings a unique perspective to marine and climate change issues developed through her community-based research activities in Arctic Canada which link Inuit experiential knowledge and land use with western science using Geographic Information Systems. Anne has been a fellow with the National Institute for Global and Environmental Change at Indiana University and with the American Association of University Women. The results of her work have been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals and international venues including the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and the International Panel on Climate Change. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and locally serves as a board member with the Friends of Casco Bay.

Dr. Lani Graham, Family Practice Physician (MD), Degrees in Public Health and Tropical Medicine (MPH & TM).  
GrahamLani is a Maine native and currently works as an independent public health consultant in addition to providing direct patient care services on a part-time basis.   She has special interest in environmental health, integrating mental and physical health, and increasing access to health care for all Maine people.  She is the former Director of the Maine Centers For Disease Control and Prevention and has served on many Maine boards and commissions in various areas of public health. In the environmental arena, she led early efforts to reduce childhood exposure to lead-based paint and other lead products.  She was the medical representative on Maine's environmental priorities project. She was the chief public health officer when Maine became the first state in country to issue a statewide warning on mercury in fresh-water fish.  Dr. Graham chaired Citizens for a Healthy Portland, the coalition responsible for the ban on smoking in Portland restaurants, leading to a statewide ban.  In the last several years she has worked with the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine to reduce the exposure of children to toxic chemical in the environment.   Currently she serves on the Board of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and is Co-President of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Maine Chapter.  Climate Change is a priority issue for both of these organizations.   She is on the Public Health Committee of the Maine Medical Association and is Vice-Chair of Governor Baldacci's Advisory Council for Health Systems Development, doing on-going work on a State Health Plan for Maine. 

Dr. Joan Kagwanja, Program Officer, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
KagwanjaJoan is from Kenya, and holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia (USA), and brings 15 years of experience to AGRA. Dr Kagwanja joined AGRA from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), where she was instrumental in designing, fund raising and building partnerships for a multi-stakeholder process that saw the development of the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa. This Framework was endorsed in April 2009 by the African Union (AU) Meeting of African Ministers of Agriculture and Land. A Declaration on Land Policy in Africa, resulting from the same work, is due to be adopted by the AU Summit of African Heads of States and Government in July 2009. While at ECA, where she served for eight years, Dr Kagwanja provided technical input into CAADP processes beginning in 2001 and continuously advocated for gender issues in agriculture, as well as a value chain approach to the development of African agriculture and markets.

David Littell, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection
LittellDavid has championed and implemented innovative model environmental programs at Maine's D.E.P.  The most significant initiatives during his tenure range from combating global warming and protecting our vanishing high-value wildlife areas to reducing toxics and protecting Maine's outstanding water and air resources.  He has also emphasized DEP streamlining to lower costs while increasing environmental protection and public accountability.  He represents Maine on the regional and national levels as chair of the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Environment Committee, chair of the Mid-Atlantic Northeast Visibility Union representing 14 states and Indian tribes' coordinated effort to reduce visibility impairing pollutants under the Clean Air Act; vice-chair of RGGI Inc. which is coordinating the first greenhouse gas regulatory system in the U.S., and chair of the Cross Media committee of the Environmental Council of the States.  With family ties to five generations of Aroostook County farmers where he spent summers on a farm with his grandparents and uncle, David practiced law at Maine's largest firm where he left as a partner in 2003 to join the Baldacci Administration.  He is a graduate of Princeton College and Harvard Law School.

Jonathan T. Lockman, Planning Director, Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission
Jonathan (JT) Lockman AICP, has been the Planning Director of the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission since 1999.  He has a Master of Regional Planning Degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Education from Cornell University.  He has worked extensively on coastal issues from Old Orchard Beach to Kittery, and acts as consulting town planner for Ogunquit and Kennebunkport on a regular basis.  Prior to his position at SMRPC, JT was the town planner for both Bar Harbor and Wells.  Recently, JT has completed ten Shoreland Zoning projects for communities in the SMRPC district, and is the lead planner for the Coastal Hazard Resiliency Tools Project, funded by the Maine Coastal Program.  His agency has also received a Maine State Planning Office Regional Challenge Grant to create a new "Sea Level Adaptation Working Group," for the municipalities of Saco Bay.

Evans Mwangi, Mellon Global Scholar in Environmental Studies, Bowdoin College 
MwangiEvans teaches conservation biology at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He is also an environment and natural resources expert specializing in the conservation and management of biological diversity, human-ecosystem dynamics and climate change. His work experience spans academic, scientific, international development, governments and intergovernmental bodies. Previous work engagements include as adjunct faculty for St Lawrence University; regional advisor in the UN-Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; program officer at the United Nations Environment Program and; senior scientist for Kenya Wildlife Service. Dr Mwangi holds Ph.D and M.Sc and B.Sc from the University of Nairobi, and is currently the Melon Global Scholar in environmental studies at Bowdoin College. He is teaching a course on biodiversity conservation in Africa during the Fall 2009 semester.

Michael Orbach, Duke University, Nicholas School, Professor of the Practise of Marine Affairs and Policy
obrachMichael Orbach has performed research and has been involved in coastal and marine policy on all coasts of the U.S. and in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Alaska and the Pacific, and has published widely on social science and policy in coastal and marine environments. He has worked as a Cultural Anthropologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and has held several Governor's appointments to environmental Boards and Commissions as well as appointments to National Academy of Sciences Boards and Committees. He has been the President of The Coastal Society, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation.

Bill Raynor, Director, Consevation Programs, Asia-Pacific Region, The Nature Conservancy
RaynorBill is a professionally trained agroforester who has lived and worked in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, for 25 years.  Since joining the Conservancy in 1992, Bill has earned the reputation as a leader in innovative, community-based conservation and one of the best practitioners in the field.  He is a recognized expert on Pohnpei's upland forest and has an in-depth knowledge of the environmental, political, cultural, and economic context of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.  Bill is fluent in Pohnpeian and the "high language" reserved for high chiefs.  As the former Director of the Conservancy's Micronesia Program, Bill focused on helping to develop national biodiversity conservation strategies with Micronesian political entities, including the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and Guam.  He now serves as the Director of Conservation Programs for the entire Asia-Pacific Region.  

Shuang Zhang, Director, North Asia Conservation Region, The Nature Conservancy
zhangAfter completing an internship in geographic information systems with The Nature Conservancy's (TNC's) China Program in 2001, Xingseng served as a consultant on various TNC projects, including alternative energy, conservation measures and climate change.  In 2004, he officially joined the China Program to lead its climate change efforts.  In that role, he helped develop the first certified carbon sequestration project in Yunnan to meet the CCB gold standard, integrated "biodiversity criteria" into China's national CDM aforestation/reforestation strategy and initiated the China Green Carbon Fund with the State Forest Administration.  In 2006, Xingseng led the pilot phase of China's blueprint project, which was focused on the upper Yangtze River basin and was carried out in conjunction with China's State Environmental Protection Agency and other partners using TNC's Conservation by Design approach.  Prior to joining the Conservancy he was the Executive Director of China Minhua Corp -- a marketing and research company with an international clientele. He graduated from Nanjing University with a major in natural resource management and earned an MS in computer science with a concentration in Geographic Information Systems from James Madison University.  

Nicole Silk is Co-leader of The Nature Conservancy's Global Freshwater Team
silkNicole's role is to motivate and provide direction to staff, help the team support a few critical strategies that have the greatest chance of global impact, guide local to global alignment critical to the team's success, manage the team's budget as well as support donor cultivation and fundraising, and help the Conservancy fulfill its role as a leading global freshwater conservation organization. This team is working on solutions that help redefine water management for the 21st Century and create a healthy water future. Efforts include recognizing best practices through certification, promoting greener hydropower, integrating ecological health into water policies, and pioneering finance mechanisms in collaboration with people, governments and the business community.  Nicole has over 24 years experience in conservation with positions in wildlife ecology, environmental education, natural resource law, environmental consulting and as a professional river guide.  She has been with the Conservancy for 15 years and is a Sawhill Fellow.  Nicole developed A Practitioner's Guide to Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation published by Island Press in 2005 and has written and contributed to several scholarly scientific and legal papers.  She holds a J.D. in Law from the University of California (Davis) (1992) and a B.A. in Economics and Ecology from the University of California (Santa Cruz) (1986). She live outside of Boulder, Colorado where she enjoys lots of outdoor activities with her husband, two young children, and a dog. 

Colin Lawson, Watershed Ecologist

colinColin's research in watershed dynamics focuses on the connection between community development and ecological preservation.  With twenty years experience as a former director of two Vermont Nordic ski areas, Colin believes in working with the business community to help them make informed decisions based on sound ecological research.  He views this collaboration between business and scientific research as the vital link in the long term stability of the environment.   Colin's current ecological research examines the interface between natural and developed systems.  He worked with the NH Department of Fish and Game to study salt marsh mosquitoes in coastal wetlands, with the aim of minimizing the application of pesticides on extremely sensitive coastal nurseries.  Colin has also collaborated with MHS & Associates to examine large-scale landscape impacts of stormwater runoff.  This project studied the effects of increasing impervious surfaces and rising levels of precipitation due to climate change on stormwater discharge volumes.  Colin is currently analyzing how increased runoff might ultimately compromise community infrastructure, such as culverts.  He is also working with the Piscataqua Region Estuarine Partnership to assess water quality regulations in several towns in the Piscataqua watershed.