USGS US Army Corps of Engineers NRCS University of Florida / IFAS Baltimore Marriott Waterfront NCER 2011 * 4th National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration * Aug 1-5, 2011 * Baltimore, MD

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August 21-25, 2011
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico
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Coffee House Panelist Biographies

Tuesday, August 2, 3:30-5:00 pm
Can Chesapeake Bay Restoration Be Accomplished?

Jeff Corbin is the new senior adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to restore and preserve the Chesapeake Bay. In his new position, Jeff will help coordinate all aspects of the strategic Chesapeake Bay. He will serve as the chief liaison among the Office of the Administrator; federal, state and local government partners; community and nonprofit stakeholders; and our colleagues throughout the EPA. Before joining Region 3 in January 2010, Jeff was appointed assistant secretary of natural resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia by then-Governor Tim Kaine. Earlier, he spent almost a decade with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ultimately serving as its Virginia deputy director and senior scientist. Jeff also worked as an environmental geologist and water quality specialist for the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission during the early 1990s. He has a B.A. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, and a M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. Jeff is a Coast Guard-licensed small vessel captain and a certified scuba diver with 30 years of experience.


Will Baker has dedicated his entire career to saving Chesapeake Bay, and leading the largest non-profit conservation organization dedicated solely to it.

After graduation from Trinity College in 1976, Baker came to work for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as an intern at the request of one of CBF's trustees. Mr. Baker became the President and Chief Executive Officer of CBF in 1982.

CBF has a $22 million annual operating budget and is supported by 200,000 members from every state in the Union and 14 foreign countries. CBF is staffed by 160 full-time employees who operate out of state offices in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, DC as well as 16 separate environmental education centers. CBF's education centers engage approximately 40,000 students and teachers in hands-on field experiences annually.

In recognition of CBF’s environmental education program, the organization received the 1992 Presidential Medal for Environmental Excellence, which is the nation's highest environmental honor.


Ann Pesiri Swanson is known regionally, nationally and internationally as a conservation leader.

Ann serves as Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative advisory authority composed of legislators, cabinet secretaries and citizens from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The Commission is a signatory to the Chesapeake Bay agreements and coordinates Bay restoration activities among the state legislatures and the U.S. Congress. Ann has been a leader in the region for more than twenty years. There is hardly a piece of conservation legislation in the tri-state region that does not have Ann’s mark on it.

Ann has been recognized as the University of Vermont Outstanding Alumni of the Year in 1989, received the Chesapeake Executive Council Salute to Excellence Award in 1992 and again in 1999, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s 2001 Conservationist of the Year, and most recently, the Sierra Club’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2004.

Ann has an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Vermont and a graduate degree in Environmental Science from Yale University, where she graduated with high honors. Ann has chaired the Board of the University of Vermont’s School of Natural Resources Advisory Council for the past 11 years.

She has illustrated several published books on natural history, and is an avid gardener, naturalist, kayaker and crafts artist. She is married and has two boys, ages 16 and 18.


Dr. Robert M. Summers was appointed Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment by Governor Martin O’Malley on April 28, 2011. Summers leads the Department’s planning, regulatory, management, and financing programs to protect public health, ensure a safe and reliable water supply, restore and protect air quality, water quality, wetlands and waterways, clean up contaminated land and ensure proper management of hazardous and solid wastes. Throughout his career, Summers has been a key contributor to the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort. He has served the citizens of Maryland for 27 years in various capacities within Maryland’s progressive and nationally recognized environmental programs.
Summers received his B.A. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining Maryland’s environmental programs, he worked as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins University’s Chesapeake Bay Institute and as a post-doctoral research associate at the State University of New York, Marine Sciences Research Center in Stony Brook, NY.


Tim Wheeler is a reporter covering the Chesapeake Bay and other environmental issues in Maryland and beyond. He is Chief contributor to B'more Green blog. He covers air pollution, algae, endangered species, fisheries, forests, greenhouse gases, green building, solar, wind, and water.

Wheeler is a former president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a current board member. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Virginia and a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.

In his 25 years at The Baltimore Sun, he's also covered growth and development, state and local government, and higher education. Before joining the Sun, he worked for a regional news service in Washingon, D.C., and newspapers in Norfolk and Richmond, Va.


Thursday, August 4, 3:30-5:00 pm
 Effective Communication of the Ecosystem Restoration Challenge

David Fahrenthold is a Houston native who graduated from Harvard University in 2000. A reporter for the Washington Post, he covered regional environmental issues, including the Chesapeake Bay restoration, for several years. He wrote several front page stories on the accuracy of assessment of progress by the Chesapeake Bay Program. His coverage then expanded to include national and international environmental issues, including global climate change, mountaintop mining, and last year’s BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In December, 2010, the Post “elevated” him to become a principal correspondent for coverage of Congress.


Tom Horton worked for five years as an educator at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where he wrote Turning the Tide, a book on solutions to the Chesapeake’s water quality problems.

Horton covered environmental issues for the Baltimore Sun from 1974 until 2006. He is author of several books about Chesapeake Bay and has written for magazines including National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and the Boston Globe.

He teaches writing and environmental studies at Salisbury University, and contributes regularly to Chesapeake Bay Magazine and the Bay Journal News Service. He is currently writing a book on chickens for WW Norton publishers.

He recently paddled his kayak 550 miles around the Delmarva Peninsula and is planning to ride his bike across the U.S. in 2008.


Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at National Public Radio. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Joyce came to NPR in 1993 as a part-time editor while finishing a book about tropical rainforests. For two years, Joyce worked on NPR's national desk and was responsible for NPR's Western coverage.

Joyce's stories on forensic investigations into the massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia were part of NPR's war coverage that won a 1999 Overseas Press Club award. He was also part of the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team that won the 2001 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award and the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Joyce also won the 2001 American Association for the Advancement of Science excellence in journalism award.


Chris Mooney is a free lance writer who focuses on science and politics. Mooney is host of the Point of Inquiry podcast and the author of three books, The Republican War on Science, Storm World, and his most recent publication, Unscientific America. He also writes a science blog called "The Intersection" which was a recipient of Scientific American's 2005 Science and Technology web award. He was recently seen on MSNBC's "The Last Word" discussing "The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science," and recently wrote for The American Prospect magazine about how the reality-based community is moving to the left.

Chris has been featured regularly by the national media. He has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” CSPAN’s Book TV, and NPR’s Fresh Air With Terry Gross and Science Friday.

Mooney’s book The Republican War on Science was named a finalist for the 2005 Los Angeles Times book prize in the category of "Science and Technology." His 2005 feature story about ExxonMobil, conservative think tanks, and climate change was nominated for a National Magazine Award in the "public interest" category.

Mooney graduated from Yale University in 1999. Before becoming a freelance writer, Chris worked for two years at The American Prospect as a writer, staff writer, then online editor.


Terence Smith is an award-winning journalist who has been a political reporter, foreign correspondent, editor and television analyst over the course of a 40-year career. He has written on everything from a Bedouin wedding in the Sinai to firefights in the jungles of Vietnam.

Smith began his career covering local politics at the Stamford (CT) Advocate. He spent 20 years with The New York Times, including eight years abroad in the Middle East and Far East, covering four wars, peace negotiations and the day-to-day lives of people in more than 40 countries. Smith’s coverage earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations and numerous other awards. He won the Times’ Publisher’s Prize for outstanding writing 22 times

In 1985, Smith joined CBS News in Washington, covering the Reagan White House and for nine years, reporting the cover stories for CBS Sunday Morning. He earned two Emmys for his work on the broadcast “48 Hours.”

In 1998, Smith turned to public television, founding and leading the media unit at The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. In the course of seven years, Smith and his unit won 18 national awards and honors for media criticism and analysis. In the fall of 2005, the media unit grant ended, and Smith opted to become a freelance writer and essayist for a number of news organizations.

Smith is a frequent guest host for The Diane Rehm Show on National Public Radio. He speaks, writes, and broadcasts on national politics, international affairs, and environmental issues involving the Chesapeake Bay and ocean policies.

For more information on Terence Smith, visit his website. http://terencefsmith.com/

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