Conservation Remix Speakers, Emcees, and Hosts



What Is a Smart Building?

David Allen, executive vice president of the engineering, construction and energy services firm, McKinstry, designs super-efficient buildings that “know” when to consume, shift, store—and even generate their own energy. Watch the talk >>


Ecological Time Machine

Chris Bartley, a robotics software engineer at Carnegie Mellon University, is part of the team behind GigaPan, an extraordinary set of technologies for generating and visualizing billion-pixel images, allowing viewers to virtually zoom deep into a landscape, travel backward and forward in time, and explore data in ways never before possible. Watch the talk >>


A More Verdant Tax Code

Yoram Bauman, a University of Washington economist and standup comedian, thinks we’ve got the tax system upside down and backwards. We tax things we want more of, such as paychecks and enterprise, not things we want less of, such as pollution and resource depletion. Doing the opposite would yield double dividends: cleaner air and flusher bank accounts. Watch the talk >>


Cementing the Future

Brent Constantz, an entrepreneurial marine geologist from Stanford, believes that by mimicking the way marine organisms create shells, he can manufacture concrete in a way that traps carbon rather than spews it. Watch the talk >>


Indoor Urban Agriculture

John Edel, a Chicago entrepreneur, has transformed an 87-year-old abandoned meatpacking facility into the nation’s first vertical farm. His goal is to bring large-scale, net-zero-waste food production right into the middle of the city. Watch the talk >>


Green Roof Renaissance

Dusty Gedge, president of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations, is on a mission to create wild, new urban canopies for wildlife habitat, for growing food—and for staying cool. Watch the talk >>


Saving Daylight

Joel Loveland, director of the Integrated Design Lab at the University of Washington, designs healthy, energy efficient buildings that dramatically reduce artificial lighting and blur the boundary between inside and out. Watch the talk >>


A New Twist on Capitalism

Susan Mac Cormac, a corporate lawyer with Morrison & Foerster, helped launch a novel corporate form – a kind of hybrid between a nonprofit and a corporation that has the flexibility to pursue both profits and stewardship. Watch the talk >>


Energy Efficiency as a Resource

Brendan O’Donnell, an analyst at the Rocky Mountain Institute, wants to market energy efficiency as a valuable and abundant grid resource that can be “mined” in place of coal and oil. Watch the talk >>


Nature-Inspired Design

Sherry Ritter, research and education specialist with the Biomimicry 3.8 Institute, teams biologists with engineers, architects, designers, chemists, and others to design super-efficient, ecofriendly technology based on nature’s time-tested strategies. Watch the talk >>


Invasive Species Cuisine

Joe Roman, a biologist at University of Vermont, believes we can best tackle outbreaks of non-native species by serving them up—for dinner. Watch the talk >>


Genetically Modified Conservation

Pamela Ronald wants to use modern genetic techniques to create a new brand of agriculture that slashes insecticide use, increases yield, and thrives in a warmer, wetter world. Watch the talk >>


Masters of Ceremonies


David Malakoff

A veteran science journalist, David is a former Editor-At-Large for Conservation Magazine. He is now on the news staff of Science in Washington DC, where he covers the politics of science and research discoveries. He has also worked as a science editor and correspondent for NPR, and a freelancer for many print and online outlets. He helped create and edit NPR’s year-long Climate Connections series, which won numerous awards. He is a graduate of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine.


John Nielsen

An award-winning science writer and author, John writes the “Conversations” column for Conservation magazine. From 1989 until 2008 he was an Environment Correspondent for National Public Radio; from 2009 until 2011 he was the Journalist in Residence at the World Wildlife Fund. He has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and Outside Magazine. His book, “Condor: To the Brink and Back/The Life and Times of One Giant Bird,” won the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History in 2006.



The hosts of Conservation Remix 2012 were Gordon Orians and Estella Leopold. Professors Emeriti at the University of Washington, both Orians and Leopold are distinguished scientists and committed conservationists.


Gordon Orians

Gordon H. Orians received a PhD in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960, then joined the Department of Zoology at UW, where he spent his entire professional career. His most intensive research has been in behavioral ecology, focusing on habitat and mate selection, the relationships between ecology and animal social organization, and population dynamics. He served as Director of UW’s Institute for Environmental Studies from 1976 to 1986. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990. Orians is an honorary director of the World Wildlife Fund, and he served as chair of the National Academy of Sciences committee that produced the report on cumulative effects of oil and gas activities on the North Slope of Alaska.


Estella Leopold

Estella Leopold earned a PhD in botany from Yale University in 1955 and joined the faculty of UW in 1976. She pioneered the use of fossilized pollen and spores to understand how plants and ecosystems respond to environmental and climatic changes. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1974 and to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. In her conservation efforts, she helped establish the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado, worked to halt oil shale development in Colorado, and served on the national boards of The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon, and the Environmental Defense Fund. In 2010, she received the International Cosmos Prize for Achievement in Conservation.

Leave a Comment