Peter H. Raven is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and George Engelmann Professor of Botany Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition, Dr. Raven is a Trustee of the National Geographic Society and Chairman of Committee for Research and Exploration (committee member from 1982 onward). For more than 39 years he headed the Missouri Botanical Garden, an international center for botanical research, conservation, education, and horticultural display.
In 2001, Dr. Raven received the National Medal of Science, the highest award for scientific accomplishment in the United States. He served for 12 years as Home Secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, to which he was elected in 1977. He is also a member of the academies of science in a number of other countries, including China, India, Russia, the U.K., Brazil, and Australia. In 2017, at the XIX International Botanical Congress, he was selected as first recipient of the Shenzhen International Award in Plant Sciences, the latest of the numerous prizes and awards he has received over many years.
Dr. Raven served as co-editor of the Flora of China, a joint Chinese- American international project that over 25 years resulted in the production of a 49-volume account of the native and naturalized plants of China, 31,500 species, completed in 2014. He is coauthor of Biology of Plants (with Ray Evert and Susan Eichhorn, W. H. Freeman and Company/Worth Publishers, New York), the internationally best-selling textbook in botany (8 th edition, 2011) and a number of other books and hundreds of scientific and popular articles.
Dr. Raven received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1960 after completing his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He has held both Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships.
Jonathan Baillie is the Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Grants at the National Geographic Society. Baillie leads grant-making in the areas of science and exploration across a variety of disciplines and serves as Vice-Chair of the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.
Baillie joined the Society after 14 years at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), where he served in various capacities, most recently as Conservation Programmes Director. As director, Baillie was responsible for conservation projects focusing on threatened species and their habitats in more than 50 countries. Among his achievements at ZSL, Baillie founded the EDGE of Existence program, which focuses on Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species.
Additionally, he has served as co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) National Red List Working Group and co-chair of the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group. Baillie helped initiate United for Wildlife, led by the Duke of Cambridge, a collaboration of 7 of the most influential conservation organizations working to address illegal wildlife trade at scale. He has also been a Visiting Professor of Zoology at the University of Oxford.
Baillie completed his undergraduate studies at Queen’s University in Canada and received a master’s degree in Conservation Biology at Yale University and a Ph.D. in Biology at Silwood Park, Imperial College London. His extensive fieldwork includes research and monitoring of western lowland gorillas in Gabon; developing ecotourism sites in Central Africa; searching for extremely rare endemic birds in New Guinea; and conducting behavioral studies of desert baboons in Namibia.
Kamal Bawa is a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Founder-President of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), one of India’s top-ranked environmental think tanks based in Bangalore.
Bawa has done extensive work in the Himalayas for a number of years on a wide range of issues from biodiversity conservation to climate change. His latest coffee table book Himalaya: The Mountains of Life, a companion volume to Sahyadri: India’s Western Ghats, was published in 2013. He has authored or edited more than 10 books, and special issues of journals. Bawa has also published more than 200 papers.
Among the many awards he has received are: Bullard Fellowship at Harvard University (1972, 2009) Guggenheim Fellowship (1987), Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment (1992), Giorgio Ruffolo Fellowship at Harvard University (2009), the Gunnerus Prize in Sustainability Science from the Royal Norwegian Society of Letters and Sciences (2012), the international MIDORI Prize in Biodiversity from the Aeon Foundation in Japan (2014), and an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta (2014). He is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society.
Ruth DeFries is a professor of ecology and sustainable development at Columbia University in New York. She uses images from satellites and field surveys to examine how the world’s demands for food and other resources are changing land use throughout the tropics. Her research quantifies how these land use changes affect climate, biodiversity and other ecosystem services, as well as human development.
A particular focus of her work is in the globally-important tiger landscape of central India, with research that underpins management approaches to reconcile needs of both people and wildlife. She has also developed innovate education programs in sustainable development.
DeFries was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s highest scientific honors, received a MacArthur “genius” award, and is the recipient of many other honors for her scientific research.
In addition to over 100 scientific papers, she is committed to communicating the nuances and complexities of sustainable development to popular audiences, most recently through her book “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis.”
Anthony Jackson leads the Center for Global Education at Asia Society which strives to enable all students to graduate from high school prepared for college, work in the global economy, and 21st century global citizenship. The Center is a platform for advancing education and global competence for all youth though empowering professional development of teachers and school heads, systemic change and public engagement.
The Center takes a multi-faceted approach which includes the International Studies Schools Network, a network of over 25 schools around the United States that systematically integrate a global focus within the curriculum; the China Learning Initiative which provides national leadership to support learning of Chinese language and culture; and the Global Cities Education Network, a learning community of high performing Asian and North American urban school districts dedicated to solving common high priority problems of practice and policy.
Trained in both developmental psychology and education, Jackson is one of the nation’s leading experts on secondary school education reform and adolescent development. Jackson directed the Carnegie Corporation’s Task Force on the Education of Young Adolescents which produced the ground breaking report Turning Points: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century, and co-authored the seminal follow-up blueprint Turning Points 2000, considered one of the most influential books on middle school reform.
More recently he co-authored Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World. He holds a B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Victor Caivano is a visual journalist born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied journalism and photography at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1997 he began his career as a photojournalist at The Associated Press. That led him to settle in several countries: United States, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, and Spain.
Caivano has covered everything from small human stories to wars and hurricanes. His experiences include the 3,000-kilometer march of Mexico’s Zapatista guerrillas, a gold rush in the middle of Amazon jungle, the 2012 London Olympic Games, and the Pope's visit to Chile.
In 2014, he was appointed as a multi-format news director for AP's Southern Cone countries, becoming the first photographer in charge of text and television coverage at the agency. He has been invited as a lecturer and jury member in several international photography meetings.
Stephen Palumbi is a Professor of Biology, based at Stanford’s marine lab in Monterey. He has used genetic detective work to identify whales for sale in retail markets, sharks in shark fin soup, where restaurant conch come from, and is genetically mapping corals resistant to climate change.
Palumbi’s work has been used in design of the current network of marine protected areas in California, seafood labelling laws in Japan and the United States, and in numerous TV and film documentaries including the 2017 PBS series Big Pacific.
Recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Palumbi is a board member for several conservation organizations and a Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute of the Environment.
Palumbi’s latest book for non-scientists is about the amazing species in the sea, written with Palumbi’s son and novelist Anthony. The Extreme Life of the Sea tells you about the fastest species in the sea, and hottest, coldest, oldest etc. Steve started the video production company Short Attention Span Science Theatre, and appears in many films and TV series about the sea.
Jeremy A. Sabloff (B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1964; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1969), an archaeologist, is an External Professor and Past President of the Santa Fe Institute and Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Utah, the University of New Mexico, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pennsylvania (where he was the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum from 1994-2004). He also was an Overseas Visiting Fellow at St. John's College, Cambridge, England.
Sabloff is a member of the National Academy of Sciences (elected in 1994) and the American Philosophical Society (elected in 1996), and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected in 1999). He also is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the American Anthropological Association's Distinguished Lecturer in 2010. He received the Society for American Archaeology's inaugural Award for Excellence in Latin American and Caribbean Archeology in 2011 and the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He also received the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 2014 and the Alfred Vincent Kidder Award for Eminence in the Field of American Archaeology from the American Anthropological Association in 2016.
Sabloff is the author/co-author and editor/co-editor of over two dozen books and monographs. His principal scholarly interests include: ancient Maya civilization, the rise of complex societies and cities, the history of archaeology, and the relevance of archaeology in the modern world.
Dr. Eleanor Sterling is Jaffe Chief Conservation Scientist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Building on her interdisciplinary training and over 30 years of field experience in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania, her work focuses on the intersection between biodiversity, culture, and languages; the factors influencing ecological and social resilience; and the development of indicators of wellbeing in biocultural landscapes.
Dr. Sterling is a world authority on the aye-aye, a nocturnal lemur endemic to Madagascar and collaborates on an initiative integrating biology and econometrics across multiple scales for sustainable wildlife trade in Vietnam.
Dr. Sterling is also an expert in strategic planning and in implementation and evaluation of capacity development. She is currently Deputy Vice Chair for the International Union for Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas Core Capacity Development group where she co-leads working groups on Capacity Development Evaluation and on Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.
She co-founded the Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology and the Women in Natural Sciences New York chapter of the Association for Women in Science.
Dr. Sterling is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University, where she served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology for ten years. Dr. Sterling received her B.A. degree from Yale College, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology and forestry and environmental studies from Yale University.
Andrew Revkin is one of America’s most honored and experienced journalists and authors focused on environmental sustainability and an innovator in using new communication tools to foster progress on a finite, fast-forward planet. He has written on global environmental change and risk for more than 30 years, reporting from the North Pole to the White House, the Amazon rain forest to the Vatican.
From 2016 through early 2018, Revkin was the senior reporter for climate change at the nonprofit investigative newsroom ProPublica. From 2010 through 2016 he wrote his award-winning Dot Earth blog for The New York Times Opinion section and was the Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University. There, he developed and taught a graduate course called “Blogging a Better Planet” and co-created an award-winning field course on environmental filmmaking. He was a staff reporter at The Times from 1995 through 2009. In the mid 2000s, he exposed political suppression of climate findings at NASA and editing of federal climate reports by political appointees with ties to the petroleum industry. He made three Arctic reporting trips and was the first Times reporter to file stories, video and photos from the sea ice around the North Pole.
Revkin has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship and Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. He has written acclaimed and award-winning books on the history of humanity’s relationship with weather, global warming, the changing Arctic and the assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication.
Revkin played an early role in the evolution of the hypothesis that humans have triggered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene and he is a co-author on a series of related peer-reviewed papers.
He is also a performing songwriter and leads a Hudson Valley roots band, Breakneck Ridge Revue. He was a longtime accompanist of Pete Seeger and released his first album of original songs in 2013. Two films have been based on his work: “Rock Star” (Warner Brothers, 2001) and “The Burning Season” (HBO, 1994).
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