[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

[X] CLOSEIN THIS SECTION

photo

Organic Neighborhoods

List of Speakers

Speakers are listed in alphabetical order. This list is preliminary; please check back as the list is continually updatee.

Rella Abernathy, PhD, is the Integrated Pest Management Coordinator for the City of Boulder, Colorado. Boulder was one of the first cities to adopt an IPM policy and neighbor notification ordinance for pesticide applications. Boulder has nearly 100 urban parks and more than 47,000 acres of open space land. The city has reduced pesticide use substantially since its 1993 adoption of its first IPM policy, with the goal of reduction and elimination of pesticide use whenever possible. Rella became the IPM Coordinator for the City of Boulder in 2009. With a background in entomology, she worked at the EPA's pesticide program on sustainable agriculture and pesticide reduction policy.

Back to the Top

Josie Connell is the Deputy Park Manager for The Battery Conservancy, where she helps oversee general park operations and manages all programming in The Battery. In 2013, after many years of organic farming in Maryland, Josie started as Lead Farmer for The Battery Conservancy’s Battery Urban Farm. Since then, she's developed a passion for sustainably-managed public space and overseen the growing programs which now serve over 6700 NYC school students and hundreds of volunteers and community members every year. Programs teach about sustainability, resilience, and wellness using the park's many organically-managed resources, including perennial gardens designed by Piet Oudolf, vegetable and forest farms, and lawns.

Back to the Top

Andrew Cote runs Silvermine Apiary, LLC, home of Andrew’s Honey. He and his family maintain beehives not only in Connecticut and New York states, but also in four of the five boroughs of New York City, including atop landmark buildings in Manhattan. Like any active beehives, Silvermine Apiary is a family affair today, with Andrew’s brother Mike and nephew Patrick helping with the hives, Norm building equipment, working bees and selling at the markets, and Andrew’s mother Polly taking care of the books.
 
Back to the Top
 
Mitchel Cohen coordinates the No Spray Coalition in New York City, which successfully sued the City government over its indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides. In 1997, he organized the campaign to rid NYC public schools of milk from cows injected with genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, and in 2001, he ran for Mayor of NYC as one of five NYC Green Party candidates. He was editor of the national newspaper Green Politix, and of the NY State Green Party newspaper. Mitchel edited Red Balloon, the journal of the Red Balloon Collective that he cofounded at SUNY Stony Brook, and chaired WBAI radio’s Local Board. His writings include: The Social Construction of Neurosis, and numerous other pamphlets; What is Direct Action?, a book that draws on personal experiences as well as lessons from Occupy Wall Street; An American in Revolutionary Nicaragua; and two books of poetry, One-Eyed Cat Takes Flight and The Permanent Carnival.
 
Back to the Top
 

Caroline Cox is research director at the Center for Environmental Health in Oakland, California. Previously she served as staff scientist at the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. Prior to working at NCAP, she had nearly 10 years' experience as a senior research assistant at Oregon State University, where she conducted research on the biological control of agricultural weeds. Caroline serves as a public interest representative to EPA's Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Beyond Pesticides, and writes and speaks regularly as a national expert on the toxicity of, and alternatives to, pesticides.

Back to the Top

Peter Del Tredici, PhD, is an American botanist and author. He is a former senior research scientist at Arnold Arboretum for 35 years and a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Dr. Tredici is the winner of the 1999 Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal and Award presented by the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College and in 2013 the Veitch Gold Medal presented by The Royal Horticultural Society (England) “in recognition of services given in the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture.” Since 2004, his work has focused on urban ecology which resulted in the publication of the widely acclaimed Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide (Cornell University Press, 2010). His other interests include climate change impacts to plant phenology and the history and ecology of invasive species. He lectures widely in North America and Europe and is the author of more than 130 scientific and popular articles.

Back to the Top

Jay Feldman is a cofounder of Beyond Pesticides and has served as its director since 1981. Jay dedicated himself to finding solutions to pesticide problems after working with farmworkers and small farmers through a 1978 EPA grant to the national advocacy organization Rural America (1977–1981). Since then, Jay has helped to build Beyond Pesticides' capacity to assist local groups and to impact national pesticide policy. He has tracked specific chemical effects, regulatory actions, and pesticide law. He is very familiar with local groups working on pesticides and has helped develop successful strategies for reform in local communities. His work with media has fostered broader public understanding of the hazards of pesticides. Jay has a Master's degree in urban and regional planning with a focus on health policy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1977), and a BA from Grinnell College (1975) in political science. In September 2009, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed Jay to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), where he completed a five-year term in January 2015. 

Back to the Top

Andrea J. Filippone, focuses on landscape design for F2 Environmental Design, bringing together the finest elements of design with ecologically sound scientific practice. Ms Filippone is a former professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principle in the Firm Tendenze Design, which focuses on Architecture and Interiors. Ms Filippone’s career has been centered on design and how it can enhance the health and beauty of the environment. This is evidenced by her offices which include a five acre boxwood nursery containing more than 50 cultivars, including a closed loop composting system, and glass greenhouses powered by solar voltaic and thermal panels.

Back to the Top

Eric T. Fleisher focuses on horticulture and soil science for F2 Environmental Design. Mr Fleisher is a national leader in the field of sustainable horticulture, and was the former director of horticulture at Battery Park City Parks Conservancy (BPCPC) in lower Manhattan. Fleisher brought this 37-acre oasis of parkland on the Hudson River to the forefront as the only public garden space in New York City to be maintained completely organically. A 2008 Loeb Fellow at Harvard University, Fleisher is continuing to develop protocols to help landscapes recover from the 20th century's chemical interventions. He is a frequent lecturer on sustainable practices and serves as a consultant for some of the top institutions in the country.

Back to the Top

Joan Dye Gussow, EdD, is a nutritionist, educator, writer, and gardener. She was one of the first experts to advocate, as early as the 1970's, that we "eat locally, think globally." Gussow is a leading thinker not just about food, but also about how consumerism damages the planet. By 1971, the year after she published her first book on the relationship between nutrition and children's performance in school, Gussow was invited to testify before Congress about Saturday morning cereal commercials and the confusing, harmful messages they send to children and families about food.  In 2010, her garden, where she grows seasonal produce for her own consumption, was flooded by Superstorm Sandy and destroyed. However, Gussow insists that's no reason to give up.In her book, The Feeding Web, Gussow explains why gardening matters: "Food comes from the land. We have forgotten that. If we do not learn it again, we will die. ...Are we not, in fact, more helpless than any people before us, less able to fend for ourselves, more cut off from sources of nourishment? What would we do if we could not get to the supermarket?"
 

Back to the Top

Melinda Hemmelgarn, MS, RD, is a Registered Dietitian, investigative nutritionist, and advocate for social and environmental justice in the food system. She believes in using the power of art and media to influence public opinion, change public policy, and improve quality of life. She is a freelance writer, speaker, and host of nationally syndicated Food Sleuth Radio. Her mission: help people "think beyond their plates"; connect the dots between food, health and agriculture; and promote critical thinking and food system literacy.

Back to the Top

Andrea Mata is the Director of Health Initiatives at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) where she is responsible for advancing internal and external collaboration to build health into NYCHA’s work to create safe, clean and connected communities.  The nation’s largest public housing authority, NYCHA operates a public housing portfolio of 2,418 buildings and is home to approximately 400,000 low and moderate-income New Yorkers.  The Health Initiatives team leads and supports partnership strategies that connect residents to preventive health resources, create healthier indoor environments and cultivate resident leadership in health.  Andrea is responsible for a diverse set of projects that includes NYCHA’s partnership in the Farms at NYCHA urban agriculture initiative, smoke-free housing policy implementation, efforts to establish pathways connecting public housing residents to community health worker careers, and engagement and partnerships related to comprehensive mold prevention and integrated pest management. 

Back to the Top

Charles E. (“Chip”) Osborne Jr. is a nationally renowned organic turfgrass expert and a professional horticulturist with 35 years' experience in greenhouse production (as the former owner and operator of Osborne Florist & Greenhouse in Marblehead, Massachusetts). Founder and president of Osborne Organics, also in Marblehead, he has 10+ years' experience in creating safe, sustainable, and healthy athletic fields and landscapes, and 35 years' experience as a professional horticulturist. As a wholesale and retail nurseryman he has firsthand experience with the pesticides routinely used in the landscape industry. Personal experience led him to believe there must be a safer way to grow plants. His personal investigation, study of conventional and organic soil science practices, and hands-on experimentation led him to become one of the country's leading experts on growing organic turf. Chip is a Beyond Pesticides board member.

Back to the Top

Jeff Pettis, PhD, former research leader of the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory in Beltsville, MD and now an independent consultant, Dr. Pettis has focused on improving colony health by limiting the impact of pests, diseases and pesticides on honey bees.  His research areas include; IPM techniques to reduce the impacts of parasitic mites and disease, effects of pesticides and pathogens on queen health and longevity, host-parasite relationships and bee behavior. Dr. Pettis serves on several international committees including the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and is current President of the Bee Health Commission of Apimondia.  With more than 35 years of research experience conducted in more than 15 countries; he is frequently interviewed by the media for his opinions on worldwide pollinator declines and honey bee health. Dr. Pettis received undergraduate and MS degrees from the University of Georgia and his doctoral degree in Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Back to the Top

Warren Porter, PhD, is a professor of Zoology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Porter's research has shown that combinations of commonly used agricultural chemicals in concentrations that mirror levels found in groundwater can significantly influence immune and endocrine systems, as well as neurological health in animals. His recent research links pesticide exposure in utero to impaired learning, changes in brain function, and altered thyroid levels. His lab has also shown that lawn chemical mixtures at low levels increase abortion rates in lab animals. Dr. Porter is a Beyond Pesticides board member.

Back to the Top

Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D. is Chief Science Advisor to the Grace Communications Foundation where she works on a wide range of communication and messaging initiatives on sustainable food issues.Urvashi is a national spokesperson and advocate on a wide range of food safety risks - pathogens, pesticides, antibiotic resistance, arsenic and other carcinogens – as well as sustainable solutions, product choices and meaningful labels.Urvashi is particularly interested in evidence based narratives that can influence marketplace and policy change.  She has won several awards in investigative journalism and communications, participated in a number of public debates on food systems, testified to Congress and other agencies, as well as served as a member of the FDA Food Advisory Committee. In addition to her current role at Grace Communications Foundation, she also consults to foundations and public interest groups.  She received her PhD in Environmental Health Sciences in from Johns Hopkins University, School of Public Health.

Back to the Top

Virginia Rauh, ScD, has been a member of Columbia's faculty since 1984 and is Deputy Director of the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health. Her work focuses on the adverse impact of exposure to air pollutants, including second hand smoke and pesticides on pregnancy and child health, and the susceptibility of individuals and systemically underserved populations to environmental hazards. She has been principal investigator on numerous major research projects, including studies of the impact of organophosphorus insecticides. Dr. Rauh serves on numerous national committees, including advisory groups at NIEHS, NICHD, and the Scientific Advisory Board for the Environmental Protection Agency.
 
Back to the Top
 

Routt Reigart, MD, is professor of Pediatrics at Medical University of South Carolina and has conducted university affiliated clinical trials since 1971. Routt is one of the nation’s top pediatric expert on pesticides. His research interests include children's environmental health issues, general pediatrics, and toxicology. Routt has been Chair of EPA’s Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee, a member of EPA/USDA/Tolerance Reassessment Advisory Committee and the FIFRA Science Advisory Panel, and CDC Chair for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Advisory Committee. He is also co-editor of EPA's Recognition and Management of Pesticide Poisonings.

Back to the Top

Kim Richman is the founding member of The Richman Law Group. Mr. Richman is an accomplished trial attorney in both state and federal courts, with experience litigating dozens of trials to verdict in New York City, as well as negotiating class action settlements across the nation. Mr. Richman is dedicated to using the class action device in a creative and activist manner, seeking meaningful change for consumers, non-profits, and ethical businesses alike. Mr. Richman's work is inspired by the principles of Tikkun Olam, "to repair the world." His cases address law and policy issues ranging from public health and sustainability to protecting animal rights and civil liberties. He also focuses on keeping our food systems unadulterated, protecting our privacy online, and defending our environment against corporate interests. Most recently, Mr. Richman is targeting pesticides, including neonicitinoids, in everyday consumer products such as oatmeal and applesauce.

Back to the Top

Peggy Shepard is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT for Environmental Justice and has a long history of organizing and engaging Northern Manhattan residents in community-based planning and campaigns to address environmental protection and environmental health policy locally and nationally. She has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy, and environmental health community-based participatory research to become a national leader in advancing environmental policy and the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities — to ensure that the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment extends to all. Her work has received broad recognition: the Jane Jacobs Medal from the Rockefeller Foundation for Lifetime Achievement, the 10th Annual Heinz Award For the Environment, the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Honorary Doctorates from Smith College and Lawrence University. 

Back to the Top

Ling Tan, steering committee member, Safe Grow Montgomery, an active member of Safe Grow Montgomery, an all-volunteer coalition that advocates for safer communities through healthy, pesticide-free lawns. Safe Grow Montgomery championed Healthy Lawns Act in Montgomery County, Maryland, the first county with over one million residents to pass legislation that would stop the use of harmful lawn pesticides on public and private properties. She is also the Co-Chair of Sierra Club Maryland Chapter, working with a coalition on a state bill that aims to restrict harmful neonicotinoid use.

Back to the Top
 
Paul Wagner, certified Master Arborist, Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional, and president of Greener Pastures Organics, a property care company located in Southampton, N.Y. With over 15 years of experience in science-based organic tree, shrub and lawn care, he has an extensive roster of clients on Long Island. Originally from Babylon, N.Y., he is a Board Certified Master Arborist, as well as a NYS Certified Nursery Professional with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture.
 
Back to the Top
 
Patricia (Patti) Wood is founder and executive director of Grassroots Environmental Education,  a not-for-profit environmental health organization. The organization uses science-driven arguments for clean air, clean water and a safe food supply and advocates for stricter regulation of non-ionizing radiation and chemical toxins. A Visiting Scholar at Adelphi University, Ms. Wood lectures on the environment and related health issues in the College of Nursing and Public Health. Ms. Wood is the co-producer of the documentary film "Our Children at Risk," which explores the latest scientific research linking environmental toxins to children's health problems. She is also the author of "The ChildSafe School," a program which promotes and provides a framework for a comprehensive approach to reducing environmental toxins in schools and "Helping to Heal," a book for parents of children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
 
Back to the Top
 

Videos from the 35th National Pesticide Forum last year in Minneapolis, Minnesota are available to watch on our YouTube Channel.

THANK YOU! The generosity of our sponsors helps make for a great event year after year. The sponsors listed below are current contributers to the 36th National Pesticide Forum scholarship fund, making it possible for people from around the country to participate in one of the most important grassroots pesticide meetings of the year. Learn more about becoming a sponsor for this year's forum. Click on the logos for more information.

Andrea Mata is the Director of Health Initiatives at the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) where she is responsible for advancing internal and external collaboration to build health into NYCHA’s work to create safe, clean and connected communities.  The nation’s largest public housing authority, NYCHA operates a public housing portfolio of 2,418 buildings and is home to approximately 400,000 low and moderate-income New Yorkers.  The Health Initiatives team leads and supports partnership strategies that connect residents to preventive health resources, create healthier indoor environments and cultivate resident leadership in health.  Andrea is responsible for a diverse set of projects that includes NYCHA’s partnership in the Farms at NYCHA urban agriculture initiative, smoke-free housing policy implementation, efforts to establish pathways connecting public housing residents to community health worker careers, and engagement and partnerships related to comprehensive mold prevention and integrated pest management.