In the late 1980’s, Running-Grass led a group of educators, cultural and community activists in creating Three Circles Center for Multicultural Environmental Education to help shift environmental education towards a broader, more authentic and inclusive, community-based approach to environmental learning. Three Circles Center introduces, encourages and cultivates multicultural perspectives and values in environmental and outdoor education, recreation and interpretation.  In 1991 he joined colleagues as one of the 300 delegates to the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit. The Summit launched the Environmental Justice movement onto the national stage.  In the 1990’s Running-Grass and his colleagues published the Journal of Culture, Ecology and Community, held workshops, training sessions, and policy discussions.

Since the late 1990’s he has worked on Environmental Justice issues in communities and at various levels of government including federal, state and local with a focus of identifying and addressing these issues at the grassroots level.

Tem Blessed

Recording Artist, Speaker, Performer

Tem Blessed is a multi-talented keynote speaker who astounds audiences with his unique blend of poetry, hip-hop music, and relevant social messages. From large audiences at city-wide earth day festivals, to more intimate settings including classrooms and school assemblies, Tem has been inspiring people, particularly youth, with powerful messages focused on personal transformation, critical thinking, global responsibility and how students can use their voices to be leaders in their communities.

Tem Blessed has spoken at many prestigious universities including Harvard University, Brown University and UMass Amherst and he has shared the stage with national recording artist Common, KRS-1, and Ludacris.

Amy Larkin

Author of Environmental Debt - The Hidden Costs of the Changing Global Economy

Amy Larkin, founder of Nature Means Business and Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change, is one of the first to make the direct connections between our global environmental and financial crises—both causes and solutions. An award-winning entrepreneur, producer, and environmental activist, Amy has launched cultural institutions, co-founded one of the first affinity marketing businesses, and worked with Greenpeace for 30 years as a volunteer, board member, advisor, and (from 2005 to early 2012) as Director of Greenpeace Solutions.

She currently co-leads Energy Shift, a collaborative effort that crosses industrial and scientific sectors, the partisan aisle, and environmental NGOs to help create the transition to the low-carbon economy. Through her consulting business, Amy has worked with the OECD, the Agricultural Sustainability Institute of UC/Davis, the Consumer Goods Forum, and Greenpeace International, and is a strategic partner at Resolve. She has forged partnerships between disparate groups across the globe, helping traditionally opposing interests work together toward lasting, positive change. She works to inform and empower citizens, corporations, and policy-makers to take bold steps toward long-term financial and ecological resilience.

Forrest McCarthy

“Whether by foot, rope, ski, mountain bike, packraft, camera or pen, my passion is the exploration, conservation, and celebration of big wild landscapes.”

Exploration inspires Forrest McCarthy. A geographer by education, he seeks big adventures in remote, wild landscapes. Forrest advocates for and has worked to protect the wild places in which we play through Winter Wildlands Alliance and the American Packraft Association, among others. Additionally, he has spent over 20 years working for the United States Antarctic Program and continues to take part in climate research in the polar regions.

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Ian Cheney

Ian Cheney is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker currently based in Maine. He grew up in New England and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University. After graduate school, Ian co-created, co-produced and starred in the feature documentary KING CORN, which was released theatrically in 60 cities and awarded a George Foster Peabody Award. Ian subsequently directed the feature documentary THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE, which aired on The Sundance Channel and was featured in The New Yorker; TRUCK FARM, the story of urban agriculture in New York City, which aired on PBS; THE CITY DARK, a feature documentary about light pollution and the disappearing night, released theatrically and on PBS’ POV; THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO, a feature documentary about American Chinese food now available on Netflix; and BLUESPACE, which explores the terraforming of Mars and the waterways of New York City. His most recent film, THE SMOG OF THE SEA, is a collaboration with musician Jack Johnson. He is a co-founder of FoodCorps, a nationwide public service organization. In 2011 he and longtime collaborator Curt Ellis were awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for their work in sustainability. In 2014-2015, Ian was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT. A visiting professor at the Università degli Studi di Science Gastronomic and a lecturer at Yale College, Ian travels frequently to show his films, lead workshops, and give talks about the human relationship to the natural world.

Dr. Mamie Parker

Dr. Mamie Parker, retired from the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service in 2008 after nearly 30 years of service. While she last served as the Assistant Director, Fisheries and Habitat Conservation from 2003-2007, Dr. Parker has plied her trade at a number of service facilities, starting as a fish health practitioner at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin.

From there she went to the New London National Fish Hatchery and then a stint at the Green Bay Ecological Services Field Office before returning to the National Fish Hatchery at Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Never one to shy from something new, Dr. Parker worked in the Section 404 Program and the Partners for Wildlife Program out of Columbia, Missouri, helping private landowners improve wildlife habitat. The north had its pull again on this native southerner; she eventually became the Regional Division Chief of Habitat Conservation and the ecosystem and NEPA coordinator for the Great Lakes—Big Rivers Regional Office in Minneapolis. Opportunity knocked to return south in 1996 to the Southeast Regional Office in Atlanta, where Dr. Parker served as the Deputy Geographic Assistant Regional Director, and Deputy Assistant Regional Director—Fisheries where she supervised Ecological Services, Fisheries offices and National Wildlife Refuges in Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. The road to leadership eventually wended its way to Washington DC in 1998. Dr. Parker served the Director’s Office as the Special Assistant, providing expert advice and analysis on national policies. In 1999, she became the Deputy Regional Director and eventually the Regional Director for the 13-state Northeast Region, in Hadley, Massachusetts, where she proved to be a strong advocate for employee development. Dr. Parker’s successes were recognized by her home state; where Governor Mike Huckabee inducted her into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. She also received the Service’s distinguished Ira Gabrielson Award given to one outstanding leader in the Service each year, and the Department of Interior Silver Award presented by the Secretary. Dr. Parker is a member of The Links, Incorporated; Rotary International; and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. Relevant experiences pre-date Dr. Parker’s Service career. She is the youngest in a family of 11 children, and no matter how high she may rise, she will always look up to her employees and also her older siblings. It was only natural then that she should make mentoring a significant part of her management methods. Dr. Parker owes the greatest debt of gratitude to her favorite mentor, her mother Cora, the avid angler.

Robert Watson

CEO & Chief Scientist, ECON Group

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Rob Watson is a market transformation expert, international leader in the green building movement, and CEO and Chief Scientist of The ECON Group. He founded the LEED Green Building Rating System of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1993 and was its Founding Chairman until 2006. Since 2008, Watson has also been the Executive Editor of where he blogs about “the state of green.”

After helping to pioneer the green building concept as the "Father of LEED," Watson founded the EcoTech International Group (ETI) to meet the fast-growing demand for green building technologies and services in China, Russia, India and the United States. His work on green buildings in China and green technology in general has been featured in numerous publications, including Fortune Magazine and The Economist. It has been referenced on multiple occasions by New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman. In Thomas Friedman's 2008 book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Watson is described as "one of the best environmental minds in America."

Watson is also a former Senior Scientist and Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's International Energy and Green Building programs, he has over 25 years of experience on five continents improving the environmental performance of buildings, utilities and transportation through energy and building policy and program development, integrated design solutions, and clean building technologies.

In 2002, he was named as the first recipient of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership Award For Lifetime Achievement for his work with the organization. Watson was the only foreigner to have been honored by Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People's Republic of China with its first Green Innovation Award in Beijing in 2005.

Coming of Age at the End of Nature - Panel

This is a panel of the 2 editors and 2 of the contributors of the book. Coming of Age at the End of Nature explores a new kind of environmental writing. This powerful anthology gathers the passionate voices of young writers who have grown up in an environmentally damaged and compromised world. Each contributor has come of age since Bill McKibben foretold the doom of humanity’s ancient relationship with a pristine earth in his prescient 1988 warning of climate change, The End of Nature.

Editor: Susan Cohen
Susan A. Cohen is a professor of English and coordinator of creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. She is the editor of Shorewords: A Collection of American Women’s Coastal Writings and coeditor of Wildbranch: An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-Based Writing, and she is a founding member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. She lives in Arnold, Maryland.

Editor: Julie Dunlap
Julie Dunlap is a writer and researcher who teaches and develops environmental science and sustainability courses for the University of Maryland University College. She is a longtime board member of the Audubon Society of Central Maryland and the coeditor of Companions in Wonder: Reflections on Children and Adults Exploring Outdoors Together. Her doctoral research at Yale University focused on children’s attitudes and beliefs about wildlife, and her postdoctoral work at Yale examined environmental education at zoos and aquariums. She is the author of the children's books John Muir and Stickeen: An Icy Adventure with a No-Good Dog, Louisa May and Mr. Thoreau’s Flute, and Parks for the People: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted, among others. She lives in Columbia, Maryland.

Essay Contributors: Lisa Hupp & CJ Goulding