Bios for Session Leaders
For more information on the sessions visit the description page and train schedule page.
Carl Anthony, architect, author and urban / suburban / regional design strategist, is co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, responsible for the Foundation's world wide programs in fields of Environment and Development, and Community Development. He was Founder and, for 12 years Executive Director, of the Urban Habitat Program in the San Francisco Bay Area.
River Beck is a queer/trans/faggot identified human of Euro-white descent in the third decade of life. A lover of animals, motorcycles, and direct communication. River is a volunteer trainer with the Ruckus Society, Trans and/or Women's Action Camp (TWAC), and various other direct action/solidarity support groups.
Shannon Biggs is the Director of the Community Rights program at Global Exchange. She is the co-author of two books, Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grass Roots and The Rights of Nature. Her current work focuses on assisting communities confronted by corporate harms to enact binding laws that place the rights of communities and nature above the claimed legal “rights” of corporations.
Ayya Santussika Bhikkhuni raised her two children and was a software designer before becoming a Buddhist nun in 2005. She lives at Karuna Buddhist Vihara in Mountain View, California, which she co-founded in 2012. She teaches Dharma as it applies to life experience with an emphasis on climate change and is a member of the board of directors for Buddhist Global Relief.
Ayya Santacittā Bhikkhuni was born in Austria and has practiced meditation since 1988. She has trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993 and is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women near Placerville, CA. In 2011 she received bhikkhuni ordination.
Trish Clifford has been a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 1999. She has taught at health clubs, senior centers and in the corporate environment. She maintains a private practice in Richmond California teaching Feldenkrais lessons as well as Bones for Life®, the Feldenkrais-based approach to maintaining healthy bones.
James D'Albora is an energy professional with 7+ years experience conducting and managing the audits of several hundred institutional energy efficiency projects and over 1000 solar PV projects. He has a master's degree in Environmental Studies where he studied renewable energy policy design and building sustainability. James currently works for a start up energy efficiency consulting firm in San Francisco.
Craig Dunkerley is the San Jose Coordinator for California Clean Money Campaign and has worked since 2004 to bring public financing of campaigns and more contribution disclosure to California elections. He's also serves on the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, and as President of the Santa Clara County Democratic Club. Prior to his recent retirement he was a site analyst for Clean Solar, a top rated local contractor which designs and installs residential & commercial solar systems. As a California credentialed adult education instructor he teaches human communications and conflict resolution.
Alison Ehara-Brown - My Mohawk name is Iakonhnhi:io. I live in Richmond and have lived her for over thirty years now. I am a Mohawk woman, with Palatine German and Scottish ancestry as well. I spend most summers in Mohawk immersion (language, ways of life) and teach Mohawk language to a small group of Haudenosaunee heritage people in the east bay during the year. I work as a counselor and healer with younger people and families, have taught peer counseling for decades, and work with native people on healing from the hurts of genocide. I have been active in Idle No More and have worked hard this last year on the Refinery Corridor Healing Walks/Journeys with others from the refinery corridor towns and our allies. We do this as part of a long indigenous tradition of healing walks that come from our deep love of and connection to Iethi'nistenha Ohontsia, our mother earth. I am honored and happy to be alive and part of this movement at this time in history and be on the Climate Train!
Howard Ehrman, MD, MPH is a retired Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois (UIC) in Chicago who has researched and taught courses on the relationship of climate change to the global economic and health crisis at UIC, DePaul University and Knox College for two decades. He was a co-founder of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) in Chicago, a student of Professor Barry Commoner at Washington University, and a Labor Union Organizer.
Katie Falkenberg: Currently in Boulder, CO, I sit on the board of 350 Colorado and volunteer as a local organizer with 350 Boulder County. About two years ago I was living and working in New York as a freelance designer and Occupy Wall Street organizer. I've also worked with CODEPINK Women for Peace on many anti-war issues, most importantly drone warfare. Since relocating to Boulder I have chosen to tackle the biggest issue we face as a community: oil and gas development and climate change.
John Foran works as a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara where he teaches courses called “Activism,” “Radical Social Change,” “Earth in Crisis,” and “Climate Justice.” He is co-director of the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory (www.iicat.org) and a member of the Climate Justice Project (www.climatejusticeproject.com). He is a member of System Change Not Climate Change, Santa Barbara 350, and the Green Party.
Bing Gong, 75 years old, is a radio journalist/programmer with KWMR Post Carbon Radio in Point Reyes Station, practicing Chi Gung and Tai Chi Chuan for over 40 years. He will be documenting the train trip and NYC Peoples Climate March. A long-time anti-globalization and climate activist, and a board member of the International Forum on Globalization. For more info: wmpostcarbon.com and ifg.org
Stephanie Hervey comes from a diverse background influenced by art and technology, woven together in the context of social justice. While studying Real Estate and International Business at Georgia State University she taught Master Certification classes as an Oracle instructor and developed curriculum exercises that facilitated learning in a variety of styles. Now she uses these skills to develop program frameworks for grassroots organizations who create high impact in the communities they serve. Stephanie’s work is delivered through The Artisan Hub a non-profit collaborative of professionals who provide support services for artisans and cooperatives utilizing creative principles to build resiliency.
Kelsi Himmel promotes stewardship of our planet through numerous venues including her classroom where she teaches chemistry, biology and environmental sciences. She is the author of the very first University approved green chemistry course in the state of California for high schools. She also holds a board of directors position for Foothill Conservancy which promotes sustainability and conservation in the Sierra Nevada foothill region.
Valerie Love works with Center for Biological Diversity as the No Tar Sands Campaigner. She is passionate about stopping tar sands expansion everywhere, and works towards a safe, livable planet for all. She also worked with Generation Waking Up, engaging and training young people as social change leaders; managed campaigns at Clean Water Action; and coordinated Buy Fresh Buy Local programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College, where she studied environmental, international and intercultural issues.
Lisa Marcus enjoys being a community organizer with 350 Seattle and Backbone Campaign, working mainly to help people engage and become empowered to rise up and join together to stop the NW fossil fuel corridor and it's huge impact on global warming. She doors art builds and trainings for Backbone Campaign and facilitates the artful activism workgroup in 350 Seattle which supports all 350 Seattle events with imagery, and does public outreach of various kinds including large public art builds, street theater, educational events, collaborations with other groups, and which spawned a comprehensive regional climate calendar. She also loves other aspects of her life including being a mother, singer, artist, outdoor enthusiast, and nationally certified massage therapist and teacher.
John Murlow works on making the circular economy happen in the Chicago area. He is an engineer at the Prairie Research Institute, serves on the Board of Directors at SCARCE and Plant Chicago, and writes forwww.ontheneweconomy.com. He worked on the Fossil Free Stanford campaign that resulted in a commitment to remove all coal investments from the Stanford endowment portfolio.
Clayton Norman is the Online Organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. He helps develop the Center’s social media presence and engage supporters and online activists to take action. Previously he worked as an environmental reporter in Costa Rica. He brings with him a wide range of experience as a writer, editor, photographer and teacher; he earned his master’s degree from the University of Arizona School of Journalism after spending several years as a teacher and reporting in China. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from Southwestern University.
John Pappan is a member of Omaha-Pawnee tribes of Nebraska, born and raised in Omaha NE. He currently serve as coordinator chair of Indigenous Council of NE, a grassroots organization serving intertribal people in Nebraska with treaties as foundation basis for rights and concerns.
M. Paloma Pavel. PhD., M.Div., is an author, ecopsychologist, and visiting faculty at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. She is currently launching a global climate justice and community resilience project with the 20th anniversary edition of Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, featuring artist Mayumi Oda and a foreword by Desmond Tutu. Recent publications include Breakthrough Communities, Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis (MIT Press) and Climate Justice: Frontline Stories from Groundbreaking Coalitions in California.
Pennie Opal Plant, Yaqui/Choctaw/Cherokee, has been activist for over 30 years on anti-nuclear, environmental and indigenous rights. She has been a lecturer with the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, is a founding member of Idle No More San Francisco Bay, is a member of the Bay Area Rights of Nature Alliance and is involved in promoting the Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth.
Ann Puntch grew up strategically positioned near Washington, D.C. to participate in demonstrations starting with civil rights and the Vietnam War protests.A psychologist by training, has worked as an organizer, funder, organic farmer, small business owner, feminist, health practitioner, and community organizer. Making a living as a freelance translator and recently returned from Brazil, she was propelled by the P66 propane project proposal in Rodeo, California to learn about local government and join in the Connect the Dots Refinery Corridor Healing Walks led by Idle No More; is now based in Rodeo as a community activist on the issue of our lives – climate justice.
Thanissara is Anglo-Irish originally from London. She was a Buddhist nun in the Forest School of Thailand for 12 years. She has an MA in Mindfulness Psychotherapy Practice, and leads meditation retreats internationally the last 25 years. Thanissara is co-founder of Dharmagiri Hermitage on the border of Lesotho and South Africa and Dharmagiri International. She is resident between the USA and South Africa, and is currently honing her life to Climate Activism.
Matthew McHale is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist (UU) Ministry, and is currently working for UU Ministry for Earth to promote Ecological/Environmental Justice. Matthew is also passionate about Food Justice, Resilience, and Anti-racism work.
Isaace Riviera - I am a graduate student in geography with a strong passion for service learning and citizen science via geospatial technologies. With my academic background in political geography and political ecology, I seek to integrate critical theory with GIS technologies as a means to greater understand the vast complexities of geospatial discourse. In particular, I am very interested in using cultural, historical, and geographic knowledge to greater democratize the use and practice of geospatial technologies. I currently serve as a Board member of 350 Colorado.
Kimberley Schroder - Current focus and passion: Sustainable Menstrual Practices! Drawing from the best of traditional wisdom/knowledge and modern science/technology while working at the intersection of environmental activism, gender, social justice, and body empowerment, Kimberley's social enterprise (Natural Flow) supports a world where everyone has access to the information, options, and community necessary to make healthy decisions for their specific body, values, and lifestyle. She wants you to know that sustainable menstrual options exist! And you can spread the word :D Also, #BloodHappens.
Moses Seenarine is parent, activist, educator, and founder of Climate Change 911 (CC911.net), an organization focused on education and linking issues like justice, women, and animals to climate change.
Bunker Seyfert is a documentary cinematographer who has focused on the climate change movement for over five years. Starting with the annual United Nations climate change conferences in Mexico and South Africa, he has traveled globally to support the movement.
Tony Sirna is a volunteer with Citizens' Climate Lobby which is building the political will to pass federal legislation for a revenue neutral carbon tax. Tony has been working in sustainability for 20 years and is a founder and member of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri.
Rev. Marina A. Skinner, a former Deputy Field Organizer for President Obama’s first campaign, is the newly appointed Climate Justice Chair for the CO/MT/WY NAACP State Conference and is a member of the Colorado Springs Branch of the NAACP. She is an ordained Baptist minister and serves as associate minister at Emmanuel Baptist Church located in Colorado Springs, under Pastor Cleveland A. Thompson. Rev. Skinner participated in the Moral Monday Movement started in NC by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, president of the NC NAACP State Conference. Rev. Skinner served as 3rd Vice President of the Minister’s Conference of Winston-Salem & Vicinity, one of the most active and respected ministerial alliances in the country. Rev. Skinner is no stranger to the fight for social justice and civil rights having worked for almost a decade in NC.
Sonya Sukalski has used Nonviolent Communication in her life and work since 1999. She is minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Tuolumne County in Sonora, and has worked with people ages 18-35 on principled engagement with the social and environmental issues of our time.
Lara Lwin Treadaway I foster, facilitate and teach practices that promote inner and outer peacemaking by awakening and deepening our connection with ourselves, each other and the natural world. My work, offered through sessions, circles and workshops, draws on my training in healing, empathic and peacemaking practices, experiential group work and circle-keeping and has its foundation in the principles and practice of nonviolence.
Chelsea Tu is a Staff Attorney with Center for Biological Diversity, working on limiting land development and preserving freshwater resources for the public and endangered species. She received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law with a focus on environmental law and holds a bachelor of science in environmental sciences from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining the Center she interned at the Environmental Protection Agency Office of General Counsel and the Environmental Law Institute and worked as a research assistant at Blue Earth Consultants LLC for more than two years.
Lauren Wood is a Utah native and Climate Justice organizer working on a myriad of efforts trying to prevent further extraction on the Colorado Plateau from Tar Sands, Oil Shale, Fracking and any other extraction project threatening waterways. As a 3rd generation river raft guide, she has spent her life in tune with the Colorado River System and what vital ecosystems those ancient tributaries support. Lauren will be fighting for desert life until the day the rivers dry up or the day she dies.