January 27, 2010 Caitlin Higgins, Executive Director of the Alaska Conservation Alliance (ACA) Location: ACA Conference Room (810 North Suite #203) Caitlin moved to Alaska in 2005 to join the Alaska Conservation Alliance (ACA). She is a Green Corps graduate and has worked on environmental campaigns across the country, ranging from cruise ship pollution to mecury contamination and nuclear waste storage in Yucca Mountain. Prior to joining ACA, Caitlin worked on the November 2004 elections with MoveOn Political Action Committee in Iowa. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 2003 with a BA is Biology and Environmental Studies. Caitlin completed her Master's in Public Administration at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
Speaker: Cindy Palmatier, Director of Avian Care at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center, a wild bird rehabilitation and education center in Anchorage.
Cindy Palmatier was born in Missouri, just outside Kansas City in Independence. Her family raised all sorts of animals when she was growing up, but it was mostly for food purposes.
After graduating from high school she attended college at Northeast Missouri State (Now Truman State University) majoring in Animal Science. Her focus was farm animal production, feed lot science, and diet formulation.
After moving to Alaska, and taking a job with Dr. Scott at his veterinary clinic, Cindy began to develop a deeper appreciation for animals & the environment that surrounds us. Through years of study under teachers such as Dr. Scott, seminars taken across the country and actual hands-on experience with animals and the environment, her appreciation has deepened even farther, leading Cindy to do what she does today as the Director of Avian Care for Bird TLC.
Speaker: Martha Levensaler, founder of the Alaska Women's Environmental Network.
Martha Levensaler is the Staff Board Effectiveness Director for League of Conservation Voters. Martha came to Alaska to help clean up the Exxon Valdez oil spill, thinking that she would stay for three months. But she fell in love and has kicked around the Alaska environmental scene for 20 years. She worked at the National Wildlife Federation for 12 years on both issues work and capacity building for the environmental community.
While at NWF, Martha founded the Alaska Women's Environmental Network which provided networking and training for women in Alaska to become more effective advocates to protect the environment.
Speaker: Paula Williams, Sustainability Director at University of Alaska, Anchorage
In January 2009, Paula became the Sustainability Director at UAA while completing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. through the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Paula's academic work has focused on the interaction between humans and their environment, specifically on what influences human perception of change, and their willingness to adapt. Paula recently completed her Ph.D. dissertation titled “The Role of Social Paradigm in Human Perception and Response to Environmental Change.” Her dissertation deals with interactions between the biophysical environment and human social systems, as does sustainability.
Speaker: Margaret Williams, Managing Director of World Wildlife Fund’s Kamchatka-Bering Sea ecoregion program
Margaret Williams is in her 11th year with WWF. From the WWF office in Alaska, she coordinates an international team in Russia and the US whose efforts center on climate change, shipping safety, offshore oil and gas development and fisheries. Ms. Williams has focused much of her efforts on Russian conservation issues for the last fifteen years. Before joining WWF in 1997, she lived in Russia; founded *Russian Conservation News,* a quarterly journal on biodiversity conservation in Eurasia; and worked as a consultant to the World Bank on biodiversity projects in Russia and Central Asia. She graduated from Smith College and received a master's degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Speaker: Shawna Lawson Carmen, Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Shawna was hired in 2000 by Alaska Community Action on Toxics to work as an organizer, then Environmental Justice Coordinator, and in 2005 Shawna became the Environmental Justice Program Director. She works with the Executive Director to set the direction of all of ACAT’s projects. Shawna has helped establish an international reputation for ACAT and has established programs in Alaska hospitals and clinics for safe disposal of medical waste. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Pesticide Action Network of North America in San Francisco, and on the steering committee for the Western Mining Action Network in Billings, Montana.