Public Symposium Speakers
See Speakers by Day:
Mr. Charles Fishman
In the last four years, author and investigative reporter Charles Fishman has become one of the most forceful, challenging and inspiring public voices on water issues, speaking everywhere from MIT and UCLA, to Hershey chocolate and the U.S. State Department. Fishman’s book, “The Big Thirst: The secret life & turbulent future of water,” is the best-selling water book in a generation, and is changing how people think about water, and how they manage it. “The Big Thirst” does something few water books do — it restores a sense of wonder about water, along with a sense of urgency. Fishman is a former reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman’s work has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism. Fishman is the author of two other New York Times bestsellers, “The Wal-Mart Effect,” about Wal-Mart’s impact on how we live; and the #1 NYT bestseller, “A Curious Mind,” about the power of curiosity, with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer. Fishman grew up in Miami, Florida, and graduated from Harvard. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, also a journalist, two teenagers, and two Labradors.
Dr. Debra Furr-Holden
Dr. Debra Furr-Holden is an epidemiologist with expertise in drug and alcohol dependence epidemiology, prevention science and environmental strategies and structural intervention for violence, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. In the last decade her work has focused in large part on developing environmental strategies and structural interventions for violence, alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention in high-risk and urban settings. She currently PI’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grant Alcohol Policies to Prevent and Reduce Youth Violence Exposure and the co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence.
Dr. Kent Key
Kent D. Key, PhD, MPH, BBA, has an extensive background in community engaged research that spans over the past fifteen years in the city of Flint. His research interests include both racial and ethnic health disparities research, and clinical and translational research. During the past ten years, Dr. Key has worked to create culturally effective approaches to engage urban youth into public health research and careers in public health. Since 2013, Dr. Key has focused his research efforts to explore Community Engaged Research as it relates to the Flint Water Crisis. Dr. Key is the Director of the Office of Community Scholars and Partnerships at the Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine-Public Health Division. In his community role, Dr. Key serves as Executive Deputy Director of the Community Based Organization Partners (CBOP), where he advocates for Community Based Participatory Research and equitable community-academic partnerships. He is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Fellow in the Culture of Health Leaders Program. Dr. Key is the 2017 Chair of the Community Based Public Health Caucus (CBPHC) of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Dr. Key was a 2016 Community Engaged Research Fellow at the Michigan Institute for Clinical Health Research. Dr. Key has served the public health landscape in many national capacities such as: the National Collaboration /Engagement Domain Taskforce for the CTSAs, and the PCORI National Patient Stakeholder Council. Dr. Key has served as Past President of the National Community Based Organization Network (NCBON), and Past Chair of the Community Board for the Prevention Research Center (PRC) of MI (University of Michigan).
Dr. Michael Mascarenhas
Dr. Michael Mascarenhas is Associate Professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a sociologist with scholarly interests in the fields of Post-colonial and Development Studies, Environmental Justice and Racism, and Science and Technology Studies. His research examines the political, social, and environmental tensions and controversies surrounding recent transnational changes in the governance of water regimes.
Dr. Susan Masten
Professor Masten's research involves the use of chemical oxidants for the remediation of soils, water, and leachates contaminated with hazardous organic chemicals. Her research is presently focused on the in-situ use of gaseous ozone to oxidize residual contaminant in saturated soils using ozone sparging and in unsaturated soils using soil venting. Dr. Masten is also very interested in evaluating the toxicity of the by-products of chemical oxidation processes as measured by gap junction intercellular communication. Work has focused on the ozonation and chlorination of several pesticides, including atrazine, alachlor, and lindane and on the PAHs, especially pyrene. Current work is being conducted to identify the by-products formed opon the ozonation of several PAHs and to assess their toxicity.
Dr. Lyla Mehta
Professor Lyla Mehta is a Professorial Research Fellow at IDS and a Visiting Professor at Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She trained as a sociologist (University of Vienna) and has a Ph.d. in Development Studies (University of Sussex).
Her work focuses on water and sanitation, forced displacement and resistance, scarcity, rights and access, resource grabbing and the politics of environment/ development and sustainability. More recently, her projects have addressed peri urban dynamics, the politics of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Africa and uncertainty and climate change from below in India. She has extensive field research in India studying the politics of water scarcity, the linkages between gender, displacement and resistance, access to water in peri urban areas and climate change and uncertainty.
Additionally, she has worked on water management issues in southern Africa and studied the cultural and institutional aspects of sanitation in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia and the scaling of community-led total sanitation. Her work uses the case of water to explore conceptual and empirical questions concerning scarcity, power, politics, uncertainty, rights and access to resources, the contested nature of the 'public' and 'private' and the cultural politics of development. She is currently the water and sanitation domain convenor of the STEPS centre.
Sen. Lana Pollack
Lana Pollack was elected three times to the Michigan Senate and spent 12 years as President of the Michigan Environmental Council. Currently Pollack, appointed by President Obama, is United States Section Chair of the International Joint Commission. This bi-national treaty organization helps prevent and resolve disputes and advises Canada and the United States governments on their shared boundary waters. Pollack was also a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, taught at the University of Michigan, was elected a trustee of the Ann Arbor Board of Education, ran for the U.S. House and Senate, co-directed a school in Zambia and served on several educational, non-profit and corporate boards.
Dr. Joan Rose
Dr. Joan Rose is the Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research at Michigan State University Dr. Rose is an international expert in water microbiology, water quality and public health safety, publishing more than 250 manuscripts. She has been involved in the investigation of numerous waterborne outbreaks world-wide. Her work has examined new molecular methods for waterborne pathogens and zoonotic agents such as Cryptosporidium and enteric viruses and source tracking techniques. She has been involved in the study of water supplies, water used for food production, and coastal environments as well as drinking water treatment, wastewater treatment and reclaimed water.
Dr. Shahzeen Attari
Dr. Shahzeen Attari, member of Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs faculty since 2011, focuses on human behavior and resource use. Dr. Attari and her lab work on a range of research topics that span perceptions, motivations, and biases of how people understand complex systems and use natural resources.
Dr. Jennifer Carrera
Jennifer Carrera is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of Sociology and the Environmental Science and Policy Program. She is also a core affiliated faculty member for the Gender, Justice and Environmental Change program within the Center for Gender in Global Context. Dr. Carrera's work uses citizen science and community based participatory research (CBPR) methods to explore access to affordable and clean water in low-income and minority communities. Her current projects include water quality affordability and shutoffs in Detroit, Michigan, failing septic systems in Lowndes County, Alabama, and the relationship between the politics of water governance and health in Flint, Michigan. Her research focuses on the relationship between water governance and power and how everyday practices of governance produce and reproduce environmental injustices.
Dr. Rainer Horn
Dr. Rainer Horn is Professor for Soil Science at the Christian-Albrechts University at Kiel. Dr. Horn is Chair of the Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science and President of the International Union of Soil Sciences. His research interests include soil mechanics, stress strain effects in structured soils, soil structure effects, chemical as well as hydraulic processes in structured soils, couples processes in structured unsaturated soils, waste deposit management capping system, soil tillage effects on soil properties and functions, chemical and biological aspects of soil aggregates, and carbon sequestration.
Dr. Megan Konar
Dr. Megan Konar is assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she conducts policy-relevant research that focuses on the intersection of water, food, and trade. Her research is interdisciplinary, drawing from hydrology, environmental science, and economics.
Vincent Tidwell is a Principle Member of the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. He has 18 years experience conducting and managing research on basic and applied projects in water resource management, nuclear and hazardous waste storage/remediation, and petroleum recovery. Most recently efforts have focused on establishing a multi-agency, multi-university center devoted to the creation and application of computer-aided decision support tools and stakeholder mediated decision processes. Focus of this effort is on water resource management and planning. These models adopt a system dynamics framework for integrating the broad physical and social processes important to water planning. Additionally, these system level models are directly linked to a variety of other tools, providing an integrated basis for analysis, visualization and decision support.
Dr. Sergio Villamayor-Tomas
Sergio Villamayor-Tomas is Marie Curie research fellow at the Institute of Science and Technology (ICTA, Autonomous University of Barcelona) since September 2016. Previously, he spent three years as lecturer and research associate at Humboldt University and 4 years as PhD student at the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis (Indiana University, Bloomington). Sergio’s work is motivated by an interest in the theory of the commons and a concern about the interplay between individual and community-based adaptations, the management of large scale water socio-ecological systems, environmental justice movements and the water-energy-food nexus. He has carried fieldwork research in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Switzerland and currently also in Brazil.
Dr. David Zilberman
Dr. David Zilberman has been a professor in the Agricultural and Resource Economics Department at UC Berkeley since 1979. His research has covered a range of fields including the economics of production technology and risk in agriculture, agricultural and environmental policy, marketing and more recently the economics of climate change, biofuel and biotechnology.