1:00pm-1:10pm: Introductions — Mel Bankoff, Executive Director, Partners for Sustainable Schools
1:10-1:20: Keynote — Colt Gill, Director, Oregon Department of Education
1:20-2:10: PANEL #1 — Educational Opportunties
2:20-2:30: Keynote — Ron Wyden, U.S. Senator (Oregon)
2:30-3:20: PANEL #2 — Green Economy
3:25-3:35: Keynote — Sapna Khandwala, CEO/President, Stillwater Sciences
3:35-4:25: PANEL #3 — Green Technology/Natural Resources
4:25-4:30: Closing Remarks — Partners for Sustainable Schools
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES PANEL
This panel is designed to give students a broad overview of some potential educational paths at several of the larger universities in Oregon.
Mary Chuinard, Oregon State University
Mary Chuinard is the Director of Undergraduate Student Services in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) at Oregon State University (OSU). She has advised and worked with undergraduate students pursuing engineering and science degrees at OSU for the past nine years. The most recent of those years has been focused on guiding students pursuing Earth and environmental based degrees (geology, oceanography, geography & geospatial science, environmental sciences, and climate science).
Mary can provide advice on what courses to focus on in your final year(s) of high school, if a STEM degree is of potential interest to you. Additionally, she will discuss the various degree pathways that can lead to a broad array of potential careers – and tips on other important considerations, beyond degree choice, to obtain those careers.
Brenda Cervantes, Lane Community College Energy Management Technician Program
Brenda Cervantes is the Project Manager for the Lane Community College Energy Management Technician Program and the new BOLI Registered Building Energy and Controls Apprenticeship (BECA). She holds a B.S. in Natural Science and an AAS degree in Water Conservation, which is her passion. Brenda has held a variety of positions throughout her career, including Zookeeper! Brenda will discuss the aforementioned programs and the associated career paths possible with a degree in these programs.
Scott Magufffin, Southern Oregon University
Scott is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science, Policy, & Sustainability Department at Southern Oregon University in beautiful Ashland, Oregon. Here, we focus on preparing our students for life beyond their undergraduate degree with practical and theoretical knowledge of environmental systems. In 2016, Scott earned his PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Oregon. After that, he spent a few months as a science policy intern with the American Geophysical Union. Between 2016 and 2019, he conducted his postdoctoral research at Cornell University, investigating the effects of modified irrigation controls on rice paddy arsenic mobility. Scott will discuss the various educational opportunities available within the Environmental Science, Policy, and Sustainability department at SOU.
Sophie Bybee, Environmental Studies Undergraduate Coordinator, University of Oregon
Sophie Bybee comes to the Environmental Studies Program with a background in higher education administrative support and local climate activism. More Info Coming Soon!
Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus, Portland State University
Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus is associate professor of environmental management at Portland State University (PSU), and chair of the Environmental Science and Management Department, where he has been a faculty member for a decade.
Dr. Nielsen-Pincus teaches courses related to environmental and natural resource management and oversees the management of multiple undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with over 600 students majoring, minoring, and pursuing certificates in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Sustainability, and Climate Science and Management, among others. He received his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Idaho, and is an interdisciplinary scientist focusing on the human dimensions of environmental and natural resource management, with an emphasis on community management of wildfire risks.
Max can offer perspective on careers in environmental science, environmental management, and related fields. He can offer advice on pathways for transferring from community college into a 4-year degree program, and how to make the most of your professional preparation while in college.
GREEN ECONOMY PANEL
This panel highlights a variety of common career paths in Oregon, and how people are creating more sustainable paradigms in their chosen fields.
Casey Kulla, Farmer and Yamhill County Commissioner
Casey Kulla grew up in Lincoln City and spent his spare time working for carpenters and plumbers, fixing bikes, running a wilderness camp in British Columbia, and surfing a lot. He worked his way through college in Bellingham Washington as a plumber’s assistant for the college, graduating with a degree in Biochemistry. Casey and his wife helped run a remote community in the North Cascades after college and returned to Bellingham for graduate school, and worked on an organic vegetable farm while in school. Casey earned a Masters in Forest Ecology, then rented land in the Willamette Valley and started an organic vegetable farm in 2006 dedicated to building community and connection to the land while committed to abundance. In 2018, Casey successfully ran for Yamhill County Commissioner with the priorities of addressing climate change locally, supporting trans youth, and rebuilding our county’s bridges. With this range of experiences, from farming to ecology research to community organizing, Casey is currently running for Oregon Labor Commissioner to protect the civil rights of everyone and to expand apprenticeships and other debt-free education.
Teresa Gaddy, EcoTrust Green Workforce Academy Program Manager
As the Program Manager of the Green Workforce Collaborative, Teresa Gaddy envisions empowering young adults to have the access and agency they need to enter the green jobs sector. Theresa will discuss the Green Workforce Academy and how students can engage in the program.
Kim Tham, Public Health Professional, Oregon Health Authority
Kim Tham is a health equity professional whose work centers on strengthening public health protections and community resilience to systemic environmental challenges, like climate change. She manages the Environmental Assessment Unit, which includes the Climate and Health program, at the Oregon Health Authority. Kim has eight years of public health experience working at federal, state, and local public health agencies in advancing inclusive community health policies and programs. Kim served on response teams for the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 wildfires, working with community and agency partners to strengthen disaster resilience across Oregon. She has a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Environmental and Occupational Health and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biosystems Engineering, both from the University of Arizona.
Joshua Proudfoot, Principal, The Good Company
Josh Proudfoot provides his clients research, management, consulting and market development services as a founder and principal of The Good Company. Most of his work is in service of public and private infrastructure including transportation authorities, ports, electric and water, utilities, renewable energy and fuels developers, materials management, and food systems. In his discussion with students, Josh will share where he sees the jobs growth in industries that will be growing or changing in ways that will create opportunities, and the kinds of training and experiences that make you employable when you are ready to work.
Jeremy FiveCrows, Communications Director, Columbia
River Intertribal Fish Commission Jeremy was born and raised on the Nez Perce Indian reservation. He grew up traveling throughout the Nez Perce homeland with his family on hunting, fishing, and berry-picking trips. These travels instilled in him a strong sense of place and a dedication to preserving the environment. This was only increased when he saw the dedication to cherishing and protecting the environment of the people of Norway when he lived there for two years. He decided to study conservation biology in the hopes of doing his part in helping protect and restore the environment. Today, he does this in a roundabout way by combining his understanding of the natural world with his skill with the written word to promote salmon and river protection in the Columbia River Basin. Prior to working for CRITFC, he was the editor of the Nez Perce tribal newspaper Tats Titoqan.
GREEN TECHNOLOGY/NATURAL RESOURCES PANEL
This panel will highlight career opportunities in some of the emerging and existing technologies propelling our world to a more sustainable future.
Roger Ebbage, Energy and Water Efficiency Program Director, Lane Community College
Roger Ebbage holds an inter-disciplinary MA in Environmental Studies/Industrial Arts with a Passive Solar building design emphasis. Roger has been the Energy and Water Efficiency Program Director at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, since 1992 and has made the program a national model for energy and water technician education. Roger is currently the Director of the new Registered Building Energy and Controls Apprenticeship (BECA) program. The BECA program at Lane Community College is the first of its kind in the country, focusing on commercial building energy efficiency combined with building controls systems.
Jamie Duyck, CEO, Equity EV
Jaime is an EV (Electric Vehicle) Charging Station expert who has been an impactful entrepreneur and climate change warrior since 2015. Jaime provides expert guidance on EV charging solutions, installation, and ongoing maintenance for EV Charging stations which is critical to the success of Electric Mobility. Jaime has lead the deployments of more than 2,000 charging stations across the United States, contributing to more than $12M in EV charging projects. She founded EV EQUITY in 2020, a Portland-based consultation and charging station solution provider that makes EV readiness simple during a time when the climate crisis drives us to change the way we travel. ChargerHelp! is a Services, Technology, and Workforce Development company dedicated to EV Charging Station Operations & Maintenance while championing a diverse and inclusive green workforce.
Adrian Arenas, Green Program Manager, LatinoBuilt
Adrian is a professional in the field of Design & Construction and has focused his career in Sustainable Change within the Building Industry. He is originally from Mexico City and identifies as a bicultural professional. His background began in Architecture school working for several architecture design firms focused in BIM Project Development. He then moved towards Green Building Consulting. Adrian holds a LEED AP BD+C credential and has worked on multiple Commercial & Industrial LEED Certified Buildings in the USA and abroad. Adrian is now part of LatinoBuilt, a Nonprofit Organization with the mission of empowering, developing, and advocating for Latino-Owned Construction Businesses. As Green Program Manager, Adrian pursues the missions of Education & Green Business Retrofitting, to ultimately bring the benefits of sustainability to an essential Minority Group (Latino Community) in the field of Construction.
Christy Splitt, Government Relations Coordinator, Oregon
Department of Energy Christy Splitt, will speak to job possibilities as Oregon transitions to a clean energy future. Recently, Oregon has passed legislation requiring 100% clean electricity, among other regulations that will meet our state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. These policies will create job opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation electrification, and public policy that may be of interest to Oregon’s next generation of leaders.
Our keynote speakers have been chosen as examples of how integrating sustainable thinking into education, policy, and industry are all crucial components in creating a greener Oregon.
Keynote #1 (1:10-1:20pm): Colt Gill, Director, Oregon Department of Education
Colt Gill was appointed by Governor Brown as Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction (and as such serves as the Director of the Oregon Department of Education), and he was confirmed by the Senate on February 12, 2018. He served previously as Oregon’s first Education Innovation Officer. In this position, he focused on improving graduation outcomes by working with local communities, school districts, researchers, students, and other stakeholders to identify effective practices across the P-20 continuum and make recommendations to the Governor, state agencies, and the Legislature regarding policies, budget priorities and supports needed to increase the number of students who graduate prepared for their next steps in the work place or college. He has been an Oregon educator since 1989. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon and has served on a number of boards and commissions relating to education and children’s health and wellness initiatives.
Keynote #2 (2:20-2:30pm): U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
In Oregon, Ron Wyden has authored laws extending permanent Wilderness protections to more than 400,000 acres, and has championed the designation of 1,986 miles of Wild and Scenic rivers in Oregon, “more than any other member of Congress, overall, for the contiguous 48 states” helping Oregon secure the most wild and scenic river designations in the lower 48 states. Wyden serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources. He is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Keynote #3 (3:25-3:35pm): Sapna Khandwala, CEO/President, Stillwater Sciences
Sapna Khandwala has been working in the environmental field for over 20 years, with a career that spans field biology, complete with helicopter drop-offs to remote and beautiful locations to monitor frog populations; project management; graphic design and layout, including developing cover art for a peer-reviewed open source scientific journal; and marketing and communications for small and large environmental firms (non-profit and for profit). Sapna became CEO in 2015 and is responsible for the overall strategic, financial, operational, and technical goals of the company. She’s proud to be at the helm of a company where everyone forges their own career path and supports each other’s growth and goals.
Stillwater Sciences specializes in science-based, technical approaches to natural and water resource management. There are approximately 85 staff across 9 offices in the western US: Berkeley (headquarters), Davis, Morro Bay, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Arcata, CA; Portland, OR; Fort Collins and Boulder, CO. The company became 100% employee-owned in 2017, and is majority women-owned.