2023 Conference Keynote Speakers
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the New York Times best-selling illustrated collection of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, which was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Book of the Year and named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize. She also wrote four previous poetry collections including Oceanic. Her most recent chapbook is Lace & Pyrite, a collaboration of epistolary garden poems with the poet Ross Gay.
Satheeshkumar (Kumar) Kumarasingam
Satheeshkumar (Kumar) Kumarasingam leads the Pratt & Whitney Transformation & Strategy organization. Kumar and his team are working to transform and revolutionize how the company does business, reduce complexity, further digital strategy, and leverage technology.
Wednesday, October 18
Equitable and Inclusive Environmental Education: A Journey Towards Justice and Hope for the Next 100 Years
Parker McMullen Bushman
Parker McMullen Bushman is Chief Operating Officer of Inclusive Guide and founder of Ecoinclusive Strategies. She is also the Board President for the National Association for Interpretation. Listed by Outside Magazine in 2022 as one of the 20 Most Influential People in the Outdoor Industry, Parker is a dynamic speaker and facilitator that engages audiences in new thinking around what it means to be a diversity change-agent and create dynamic organizational change.
Marc Berejka has served as REI’s lead for government affairs and philanthropy for over a dozen years. The co-op’s mission is “to connect every person to the power of the outdoors and engage them in the fight to protect it.” In the advocacy realm, Marc has guided the co-op’s engagement in federal, state and local issues. In recent years, he has worked with teammates to expand their coverage, relying not just on their talents but also the collective action of our community (via the co-op’s new grassroots Cooperative Action Network). Marc also has overseen the co-op’s community grants program, which over the past 50 years has reinvested more than $125m in nonprofit partners across the country.
Thursday, October 19
Seeds, Stories, and Spirit: Equipping Children for the Climate Future
Author of seven books, including four prize-winning histories about race and slavery in the American past. Her latest history, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, was a New York Times bestseller that won eleven historical and literary prizes, including the 2021 National Book Award for Nonfiction and the 2022 Cundill History Prize.
Sara St. Antoine
Sara St. Antoine is an author and editor with a longstanding interest in nature, kids, and story. She's written educational materials for World Wildlife Fund, Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, and Conservation International; compiled book lists and family adventuring ideas for the Children and Nature Network; and created the Stories from Where We Live series of "literary field guides" for Milkweed Editions.
Emily Polk, Moderator
Dr. Emily Polk teaches and writes about community-led responses to climate change, the mobilization of social movements, and climate equity as part of the faculty in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at Stanford University. She also directs the Notation in Science Communication—a mini minor that provides students the opportunity to develop their science communication expertise, and she co-directs the university’s Environmental Justice Working Group—an interdisciplinary cross-campus effort devoted to integrating environmental justice into curricula, courses, research, and community engagement.
Friday, October 20
Education for Thriving Not Just Surviving Our Turbulent Century Ahead: Decarbonise, Decolonise, Democratise, Decommodify
John Barry is a father, a recovering politician, and Professor of Green Political Economy in the Centre for Sustainability, Equality and Climate Action at Queens University Belfast. He is also co-chair of the Belfast Climate Commission, a member of the Committee on Climate Change’s Economics Advisory Group on Adaptation and Resilience, and a member of the Sustainable Future Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
Intergenerational Q&A Panelists
Educating for Sustainable Development: Perspectives of U.S. and Global Educators
Dr. Carol O’Donnell is the Senior Executive and Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, dedicated to transforming K–12 Education through Science™ in collaboration with communities across the globe. Carol serves on numerous national and international committees dedicated to STEM education. Carol began her career as a primary school teacher and served as a group leader and program officer at the U.S. Department of Education.