CEC Greater Houston Environmental Summit 2018 Featured Speakers

Annually, CEC hosts the Greater Houston Environmental Summit, a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.

Exploring Hurricane Harvey impacts on our environment and communities – especially in surprising, unexpected ways.

Friday, August 10, 2018
8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Learn more & register

Featured Speakers:

  • Staying Resilient – Recovery of Attwater’s Prairie Chickens post-Harvey,
    Jennifer Romero, Asst. Refuge Manager, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR &
    Hannah Bailey, Curator of Birds, Houston Zoo
  • How Unusual Was Harvey, and Will It Stay That Way?
    John W Nielsen-Gammon, PhD, Texas A&M & Texas State Climatologist
  • A Green Shield: Using Nature to Rebuild a More Resilient Houston for People and Wildlife,
    Jaime González, Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager, The Nature Conservancy
  • Soil – We Treat It Like Dirt,
    Glen Miracle, Local Farmer & Practitioner of Regenerative Agriculture, Laughing Frog Farm
  • The “Whys” of Water Conservation After Harvey,
    Paula Paciorek, Water Resources Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation,
  • Resiliency Planning in Houston: Understanding Chronic Health Issues from Harvey, Elena Craft, PhD, Sr Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Rebuilding a Resilient Houston
    April Ward, AIA Assoc., LEED GCP, Executive Director, Living Paradigm CDC
  • How to Push Back on the Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Hazards Faced by Vulnerable Communities in Houston, Amy Dinn, Managing Attorney, Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Summarizing Hurricane Harvey’s Environmental Impacts – the Harvey Map, Stephanie Glenn, PhD, Program Director, Hydrology & Watersheds, HARC

In addition to giving a brief talk, each featured speaker will answer questions at a Table Talk immediately following their presentation.

Speaker Bios:

April Ward, AIA Assoc., LEED GCP, Executive Director, Living Paradigm CDC
April Ward is a Professor of Architecture, at Prairie View A&M University (HBCU), currently pursuing her architecture license in Texas. She received a Master in Architecture from Arizona State University and is pursuing a PhD in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy with an environmental justice focus at Texas Southern University. Ms. Ward currently serves as the Executive Director of Living Paradigm CDC rebuilding homes that were flooded during hurricane Harvey.

Elena Craft, PhD, Sr Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Dr. Elena Craft is a Senior Health Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund in the Office of Chief Scientist. For a decade, she has strategized to identify, monitor, and mitigate risk from environmental pollution from the industrial sector as well as from within the transportation sector, most specifically around port areas and freight corridors. In addition, she has facilitated development of demonstration projects for new technologies. Dr. Craft’s scientific research focuses on health disparities associated with living in pollution hotspots. She holds a B.S. degree in biology from UNC Chapel Hill, a M.S. degree in toxicology from NC State University, and a Ph.D. from Duke University. She also holds an adjunct assistant professorship at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center.

Paula Paciorek, Water Resources Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation
Paula joined Galveston Bay Foundation in 2015. Paula works through the Texas Living Waters Project to increase public awareness of the importance of freshwater inflows to the health of Galveston Bay. Paula has experience in water management and policy, program development, stakeholder engagement and outreach. She received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Applied Geography with concentration in water resources management from the University of Louisville in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Paula’s experience and expertise are in water resources management, policy, outreach and program development.

Glen Miracle, Local Farmer & Practitioner of Regenerative Agriculture, Laughing Frog Farm
Glen Miracle owns Laughing Frog Farm in Hempstead, Tx where he practices permaculture, biodynamics and Holistic Pasture Management. Vegetable crops, sheep and chickens are moved in a planned rotation to mow and fertilize the vegetation.  Natural habitat is provided for wildlife, bees and insects.  The soil receives no synthetic chemicals or mechanical disturbance. Glen spent 35 years in Houston working in theatre and art, maintaining a vegetable garden in his front yard much of the time and casually studying soil and organic management.  In 2001 he and his wife, Kenan Rote, purchased 21 acres in northern Waller county where he began putting that research to work.

Jaime González, Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager, The Nature Conservancy
Jaime González serves as the Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager for The Nature Conservancy in Texas (TNC). His work at TNC involves building partnerships, and creating and managing projects, to help make Houston a more resilient, biodiverse, cooler, healthier, and better-connected city. He is one of growing corps of 25 Nature Conservancy city leads working to create Healthier Cities using nature-based solutions throughout the North America. Prior to TNC, Jaime served as the Community Conservation Director at Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) where he worked to further prairie conservation efforts through ecological restoration, environmental education, collaboration, and digital storytelling. He is also as the Vice President and Co-founder of the Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP), a nonprofit working to strengthen the local prairie conservation movement by uniting NGOs, government agencies, and private citizens to take collaborative conservation and education action. Jaime has won numerous awards for his work including the Elizabeth Hull Abernathy Award from the Garden Club of America for his leadership in environmental education, a Catalyst Award from Houston Tomorrow, and the Alban-Heiser Award from the Houston Zoo for his role in saving Texas wildlife. Jaime holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in Science Education and a B.S. in Biology – both from the University of Houston. Jaime also holds a Certificate in Environmental Communication from the Nicholas School for the Environment at Duke University.

John W Nielsen-Gammon, PhD, Texas A&M & Texas State Climatologist
John Nielsen-Gammon is a Regents Professor at Texas A&M University and is the Texas State Climatologist.  Dr. Nielsen-Gammon received an S.B. in Earth and Planetary Sciences (1984), an S.M. in Meteorology (1987), and a Ph.D. in Meteorology (1990), all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Nielsen-Gammon joined the faculty of Texas A&M University in 1991 and was appointed Texas State Climatologist by then-Governor George W. Bush in 2000.  Dr. Nielsen-Gammon conducts research on large-scale and local-scale weather, climate, and air pollution.  He teaches courses in weather analysis and forecasting, climate, climate change, and computer modeling.  He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Jennifer Romero, Asst. Refuge Manager, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR
Jennifer Romero works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and currently serves as the assistant manager at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech University with an undergraduate degree in natural resource management, and she is currently pursuing her Master’s of Natural Resource Development at Texas A&M University. Her research project is focused on analyzing the effect that stochastic weather events such as flooding have on the endangered Attwater’s prairie-chicken population, and an increased frequency of these weather events could pose a major threat to the species in the future.

Hannah Bailey, Curator of Birds, Houston Zoo
After earning a degree in Mathematics from Texas A & M University and a short career in banking; Hannah Bailey became a volunteer in the Houston Zoo’s bird department.  As a child, she came up with varied and interesting ways to care for and trap birds of various species for study, so this new career interest seemed appropriate. She began her zoo career as a keeper in 1997, was promoted to a Senior Keeper in 2000 and became the Curator of Birds in 2006.  Through her work at the zoo, she has worked with over 200 species of birds and traveled to the South Pacific, Africa and Far-eastern Russia. Currently, she coordinates the captive breeding of the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken; a local endangered prairie species and assists with bird translocations in the South Pacific each April.

Amy Dinn, Managing Attorney, Lone Star Legal Aid
Amy Dinn is the Managing Attorney of the Environmental Justice Team at Lone Star Legal Aid’s Equitable Development Initiative in Houston, Texas. Since 1948, Lone Star Legal Aid has provided legal services to underserved populations in 72 counties in Texas, and has now expanded into representing individuals and civic organizations in fighting environmental hazards in their communities. Amy also serves on the board of directors of multiple community-oriented organizations and is the current president of her neighborhood civic club and the joint council for Super Neighborhood 64 & 88.

Stephanie Glenn, PhD, Program Director, Hydrology & Watersheds, HARC
Stephanie Glenn is a Senior Research Scientist at HARC specializing in ecology and hydrology. She is responsible for the development and supervision of projects to improve the sustainable management of water and ecological resources. Current research includes coastal groundwater quality & quantity, watershed protection & surface water quality, and developing ecological tools for management. Stephanie started with HARC in January of 2003 after graduating with a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Previous degrees include a M.S. in Environmental Science from Indiana University and a B.A. in Mathematics from Northwestern University. She previously worked for the Department of Energy in Defense Programs as a specialist in information management and technical writing. She has also worked for The National Park Service as an ecological scientist.