Alannah Hurley has worked extensively in community development and environmental justice and is dedicated to helping make self-determination a reality for Alaska’s indigenous people.
She is the executive director of United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a tribally chartered consortium of 15 federally recognized tribes opposed to the Pebble Mine in Alaska, and can provide insight on the environmental and Alaska Native opposition to the project.
The proposed mine has long been controversial due to its location in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. Opponents say the massive gold and copper complex will likely pollute the bay and harm the salmon runs.
The Obama administration agreed, and blocked the project, but the Trump administration reversed course — last month’s environmental review said it would pose no major harm.
Hurley is Yup’ik, and was born, raised and currently lives in the Bristol Bay Region. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Native American studies and a minor in political science.
Location: Dillingham, AK
Expertise Field: Alaska Native opposition to the Pebble Mine, environmental conservation and activism
Emma Robbins is the director of the Navajo Water Project, which provides infrastructure for Navajo families to access running water in New Mexico, Utah and Arizona. The project is a part of the water nonprofit DigDeep.
Native American households face barriers to accessing running water. About 30% of families on the Navajo reservation don’t have running water, according to the project. Robbins joined the project after growing up in an area with a high concentration of water poverty. She is a Diné artist, and uses her work to raise awareness about the need for clean water across all Native American nations. She is also an Aspen Institute Health Communities Fellow.
Kiho Kim is a professor of Environmental Science at American University. His work focuses on how environmental drivers, such as climate change and nutrient pollution, impact coastal ecosystem health.
At the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Kim has examined the origins and spreading of diseases. He has worked with the British Council in promoting international networking for young scientists, and was an advisor to the Coral Disease Working Group of the World Bank.
Kim is a member of the Environmental Literacy Committee of the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, Washington D.C.
He completed two terms as a member of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies (USA) and as an officer of the International Society for Reef Studies.
Areas of Expertise: Environmental Science, Biology, Marine Conservation
Christopher Smith is the Baker Institute Advisory Board Fellow in Energy Studies at Rice University and previously served as the assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. During his time at the DOE, Chris oversaw the department’s fossil energy research and development program (coal, oil and natural gas), the National Energy Technology Laboratory, and the natural gas regulatory process.
He writes about carbon markets and energy transitions and how policy can address concerns of local communities adversely affected by shifts in energy-use patterns.
Baker Institute Advisory Board Fellow in Energy Studies, Rice University Managing Partner, Paladin Equity, LLC.
Areas of Expertise: Energy Studies, Fossil Energy, Coal, Natural Gas, Energy Use, Energy Policy
Shuyi Chen is a professor of meteorology in the University of Washington’s School of Atmospheric Sciences. Her research interests involve observation of how the atmosphere and ocean interact with hurricanes and typhoons in tropical areas and use of mathematical models to predict weather patterns. During the 2005 hurricane season Chen monitored hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Wilma aboard Doppler-equipped aircraft to help create stronger hurricane prediction models.
Prior to joining the University of Washington, Chen was a professor of meteorology and physical oceanography in the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. While there she led a research group that developed a new wave-ocean model designed to research and predict hurricane patterns. Dr. Chen has served on a panel of experts for the congressional briefing on the National Hurricane Initiative in 2007. In 2006 she received NASA’s Group Award on Tropical Convection.
Professor of Meteorology, University of Washington
Location: Seattle, WA
Areas of Expertise: Meteorology, tropical weather patterns, environmental changes, hurricanes and typhoons, hurricane prediction, atmospheric science, ocean systems
Phone: (305) 479-6551
Mustafa Santiago Ali is the senior vice president of Climate, Environmental Justice & Community Revitalization for the Hip-Hop Caucus., a national non-profit and non-partisan organization that connects the Hip-Hop community to the civic process to build power and create positive change.
He previously served for 24 years at high-levels within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has worked with over 500 domestic and international communities to secure environmental, health and economic justice reforms. At the EPA, he served as the Assistant Associate Administrator for Environmental Justice and Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community Revitalization. Ali has been a guest lecturer at Yale University and George Washington University, to name a few. He is also a former instructor at West Virginia University and Stanford University in Washington.
Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy, Texas Southern University
Areas of Expertise: Climate, Environment, Community Revitalization, Environmental, Health, and Economic Justice
Nicole Hernandez Hammer is a sea-level researcher who works for the Union of Concerned Scientists as their Southeast Climate Advocate. Her work focuses on the mobilization of the Latino community to better understand and address climate change. Hammer has studied the effects of climate change in different environments, particularly among Hispanic populations that reside near coastal shore lines and are vulnerable to flooding because of rising sea levels. She has co-authored several papers on the impact of rising sea levels in South Florida and has been featured in The New York Times, Al Jazeera America, and The Washington Post among other media outlets. She can be heard on this Morning Edition story discussing the usage of the term “climate change.”
Sea-level researcher, Southeast Climate Advocate for the Union of Concerned Scientists
Areas of expertise: Climate Change, Climate Change Advocacy Among Latino Populations
Erika Zavaleta is an expert in Environmental Science. She is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research concentrates on conservation, biodiversity, and climate change. Erika Zavaleta serves on the boards of EcoAdapt, The Tropical Forest Group, and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund. She works in Telluride, Colorado from fall to winter, and Santa Cruz, California from spring to summer.
Lisa Alvarez-Cohen is a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley. She also serves as the vice provost for the Division of Academic Planning at UC Berkeley. Her expertise is in environmental microbiology, environmental engineering and bioremediation – a waste management technique that uses organisms to remove contaminants. Alvarez-Cohen is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and has co-authored an undergraduate textbook titled Environmental Engineering Science. She is a dynamic speaker as you can see in one of her lectures, here.
Professor of Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley
Areas of Expertise: Environmental Engineering, Environmental Microbiology, Bio-remediation, Molecular and Isotopic Techniques for Studying Environmental Microbial Communities
Ben Chou analyzes policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council’s water program in Santa Monica, CA, where he works on issues relating to climate change and water resources as part of the water and climate team. Chou’s work has focused on how local and state governments and the federal government are preparing for the water-related impacts of climate change.
Prior to joining NRDC in 2011, he spent three years working on drinking water regulatory issues at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. He also has worked previously at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University and with the Climate and Air Program at the Environmental Defense Fund.
Chou graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2005 and received his master’s degree from Columbia University in 2007.
Water Policy Analyst of the Water Program at Natural Resources Defense Council
Areas of Expertise: Water Infrastructure and Climate Change Resiliency, Urban Water Efficiency for Drought Management, Importance of Soil Health for Agricultural Climate Resiliency