Redesigning Our Future - Meet the Summit Leaders

Click the pictures for information on each summit leader.

Dr. Forrest Anderson

Dr. Forrest Anderson

“A FIELD GUIDE TO THE POLITICS AND POETICS OF ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING”: Participants will become invested in the environmental imagination and place-based writing by generating creative nonfiction essays about their interactions with wild and rural landscapes. To avoid the clichés of so-called “nature writing,” participants will spend time reimagining such conventional categories as “nature,” “place,” and “region,” which are at the foreground of literary environmental thinking. In addition, participants will consider the origin and development of environmental writing traditions and discuss how these authors portray the wild.

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Dr. Gary Freeze

Dr. Gary Freeze

“An American Heritage of Sustainability”: This seminar will explore the persistent theme of sustaining and enhancing our nation’s natural resources by examining the philosophies and influences of leading environmentalists of the past, including John Bartram, John Chapman, John Muir, Frederick law Olmstead, and Theodore Roosevelt.

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Dr. Seth Holtzman

Dr. Seth Holtzman

“GO AHEAD: CHANGE YOUR MIND”: This workshop examines the psychology of complexity.  The issue of climate change--and how we need to confront climate change-- is quite complex.  Let’s face it:  it takes effort to grasp the complex—effort in the form of careful reasoning, patience, time,and even doubt.   Unfortunately, people faced with complexity sometimes do not respond constructively but instead respond with anger, denial, confusion, apathy, or frustration.  If we are going to help people understand climate change and what is needed to confront climate change, we will need to understand how people psychologically deal with complexity.

Dr. Holtzman will likely quote Albert Einstein in his class: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." Then he’ll tell you straight out: “To confront our environmental crisis, it is not good enough to ask what political changes need to be made, or what social changes need to be made, or what different actions we need to perform personally.  We also need to ask what way of thinking got us into this mess.” Dr. Holtzman will help you rethink the modern Western world view.  His workshop will set the stage for redesigning the future.

Dr. Linda Kesler

Dr. Linda Kesler

“Exploring Environmental Issues Through Story Circle Process”: Using story circle process techniques originally developed and codified by community organizers, students will develop and present short original theatre pieces reflecting/illustrating their experiences in examining environmental issues.

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Dr. Joe Poston

Joe Poston

“Animals: Near and Far”: What information do we need in order to make informed decisions about wildlife? This project will engage students in hands-on activities designed to gather data on wild vertebrates. We will deploy automated monitoring systems to measure activities of vertebrates in natural settings. We will consider how our data can become part of large-scale solutions to the problems facing wildlife.

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Dr. David Pulliam

Dr. David Pulliam

“Environmental Education Through Theatre”: The goal of the Green Theatre is to transform individual actions and lifestyles into environmentally friendly actions and lifestyles. Participants will clarify environmental issues and values using physical expression, embodiment and other elements of theatre. Participants will be both actors and spectators (or “spect-actors”) in exercises exploring ideas about environmental stewardship. They will use both mind and body in creating and sharing perceptions of environmental issues.

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Dr. Rhonda Truitt

Dr. Rhonda Truitt

“Nature Trails for the 21st Century” -- Participants will learn how to create a nature trail using existing resources such as public greenways, parks, trails, schoolyards, and urban areas.  Common plants and animals, as well as examples of sustainable practices, will be highlighted.  Participants will learn how to create a brochure, develop a virtual tour and make a public presentation. These products can be shared in schools and within communities when students return to their hometowns.

I am looking forward to the Summit and the excitement, energy, and insight the students will bring to it. I am excited to see the students tackle important environmental issues and become agents of change within their schools and communities.

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Dr. John Wear

John Wear

Blurb: More and more we see students who have a desire to use their talents to influence how we steward the earth. While these students may choose a path outside the environmental field, they possess a strong ethic to make the world a better place. Redesigning our Future: A National  Environmental Summit for High School Students, is designed to give these students an opportunity to investigate the ways they can use their talents to make a difference in their communities.

It will also give them a rare opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most innovative thought leaders. Our partner, Rocky Mountain Institute, is an internationally renowned organization which advises businesses, large corporations, the military and governments throughout the world. RMI professionals will introduce Summit participants to ideas and concepts that are destined to change the world for the better. This event has the potential to inspire students who will become the next Amory Lovins or Lester Brown – the thought leaders of the future.

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