Earth Week 2019 Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios

Samantha WilderGreen Cleaning Workshop
Ms. Wilder has been in the sustainability and resource conservation field for over twenty years. She is an environmental graduate from Penn State University. She has worked for Student Conservation Association, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Hawk Watch International, Bureau of Land Management and Pacific Science Center in a range of positions from wetlands education, hawk banding to a van waste prevention school visiting program. She works with residents, businesses, property managers and schools on a variety of waste reduction and sustainability topics. She has given over 1,000 presentations to school classes, school assemblies, neighborhood associations, residents and businesses. She has assisted over 1,200 businesses with eco improvements. She has been published in a variety of publications and books, and has presented at local and national conferences. In June, 2017 she completed Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership program. Today she is representing City of Bellevue’s Green Cleaning program. She works for the City on a variety of projects as part of the team that helps the City of Bellevue reach their sustainability goals.
Marva HolmesTrash to Treasure: Junk Journaling WorkshopMarva is the Education Director for Seattle ReCreative. Her creative reuse obssesion began with paper mache 40 years ago. She started teaching for Seattle Children's Theater in 1991. Since then she has taught at The Children's Museum in Seattle, MoPOP, Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture garden and various libraries around King County. She is an approved STARS trainer with 15 years of experience teaching the arts 3 to 5 year olds.

Seattle ReCreative's mission is to promote creativity, community, and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and arts education. For more information about us see our website at
Mike LufkinKing County Local Food InitiativeMike Lufkin is the Local Food Economy Manager for King County, and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of King County Executive Constantine’s Local Food Initiative, which seeks to strengthen the local food economy and increase access to healthy, affordable food.
Towards that end, Mike works with food and farm stakeholders across the county to develop and implement projects and actions that help achieve the goals of the Initiative. Mike is an attorney by training with more than 15 years of experience helping public and private sector organizations solve complex land and natural resource challenges, and has a long track record of developing and managing complex projects to successful completion.
Wendy WeikerPSE is Going GreenIn her professional life, Wendy has over 20 years of public relations experience facilitating and leading community engagement programs for private companies and nonprofit organizations. Her ten year career at Puget Sound Energy has included the areas of business administration, government affairs, corporate social responsibility and now energy efficiency and community outreach. As a Community Outreach Manager for PSE, Wendy spends most of her days talking to a variety of PSE customers about saving energy (& money) in their homes and businesses. She also tells people how to be safe around PSE infrastructure, what PSE is doing to care for our environment and local economy, what programs are available to help customers pay their bills, and how people can be better prepared for emergencies. Wendy holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the UW Evans School of Public Policy and completed the 2-year Leadership Eastside program in 2015. She also volunteers for several nonprofits including Eastside Pathways, EarthShare Washington, and the City of Mercer Island.
David SteinerRestoring Traditional Lands of the Snoqualmie PeopleDavid has over 20 years of experience in Puget Sound salmon recovery, natural resource management, ecological assessment and habitat restoration while working for two different Puget Sound Coast Salish Tribes and two environmental non-profit organizations. He has an extensive background developing and implementing in-stream and riparian habitat restoration projects on public and private land in multiple watersheds throughout the Central Puget Sound Region. Since joining the Snoqualmie Tribe in 2012, David has been managing the ENR Habitat Restoration and Monitoring Program that works towards restoring fish and wildlife habitat, culturally significant native plant communities and maintaining areas in the Snoqualmie and Sammamish River watersheds s that are important to the Tribe.
Barnes , AIA,
Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by NatureJennifer is an architect and sustainability consultant with over 20 years of project experience. She splits her professional life between her own sustainability consulting company, 55-5 Consulting, and her work on the Urban Greenprint, a project that applies biomimicry at a city scale. Jennifer is a co-founder of Biomimicry Puget Sound and is active in the Northwest green building community. She speaks frequently at conferences on various sustainability topics including regenerative development, biomimicry, and water issues. Jennifer has a BA in Architecture from Princeton University and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Washington.
David SpataroEnvironmental Racism WorkshopDavid Spataro teaches Political Science and Geography at BC. He is also the co-chair of the Sustainability Curriculum Committee.
Russ PayneClimate Change vs. NihilismRuss is chair of the philosophy department at BC. He's been teaching at BC for almost 20 years. Russ has been a bit of a climate and energy nerd since the late eighties, one who somehow thought studying philosophy might be a good way to be helpful. Along with wanting to live an active and interesting life, concern about climate and humanity more broadly has lead Russ to become an avid gardener, homemaker, cyclist and advocate all things that sustain flourishing life on Earth.
Rick GloverGame On Gameshow
Nicole ArroyoCombating Diseases in a Warming WorldNicole is an adjunct instructor in the Molecular Biosciences department at BC. She is also finishing her PhD in immunology at the University of Washington studying the development of long-lasting immune responses to malaria infection.
Peter PrescottBackpacking 101Peter Prescott has been teaching Physical Education, Wilderness Skills and Allied Health classes at Bellevue College for over 15 years. During this time he has been the program manager and guide for all Wilderness Skills Adventures and seemingly countless Wellness Center adventures. Peter received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington, and his Masters in Sports and Exercise Leadership with a focus on Education from Seattle Pacific University. Certified affiliation with Wilderness Medical Institute, American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, Leave No trace Master Educator and a member of the Washington State Wellness Advisory Board. Peter grew up locally on Vashon Island and sees the northwest as his dream playground; skiing, surfing, backpacking, biking, running and 2 young daughters to share the adventures with.
Rachel LoweYoga and MeditationRachel Lowe MPA has been teaching at Bellevue College since 2005 in the Health and Physical Education department. She is the lead instructor for the Yoga Instructor Certification Program. When not teaching she enjoys rock climbing, rollerblading, biking and being a Girl Scouts leader.
Michael HansonPlant ID Walking TourDr. Michael Hanson obtained a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska, a Ph.D. in Botany from Claremont Graduate University and Post-Doctoral research positions at the University of Minnesota and Cornell University. His specific interests are in cooperative speciation and symbiotic interactions, specially domestication of humans by plants, bacteria and animals and vice versa. Applying these interests, he has taught numerous interdisciplinary courses in sustainability practices at Elmira College, SUNY-Empire State College and Bellevue College utilizing the learning community model. Michael is an itinerant vacilando and is not a self-made man: he benefits from the waste products of photosynthetic organisms and the storage products and bodies of plants, protists, animals and fungi, encourages alimentary bacterial growth and eyebrow mite habitation, and derives pleasure from the assistance and friendship of other life forms, including humans.
Sapan ParekhCrafting for People Experiencing Homelessness
Ellen E MooreLearning at the Edge of the Apocalypse: Understanding and Addressing Uncomfortable Emotions around Climate ChangeEllen Moore is a senior lecturer at the University of Washington Tacoma whose research, teaching and practice revolve around the interconnection of media and the environment. Part of her pedagogy involves actively challenging students to consider their environmental impact in a consumption-focused society. To date, she and her students have participated in the "Plastic Free" challenge, where she and her students chose to go without any disposable plastic for a month; the "Carbon Challenge," where students tried to lose 5,000 pounds of carbon weight in a quarter; and (this quarter) she and her great students are joining the Buy Nothing New movement, where they will buy nothing new for the next eight weeks. She and her students also have worked with two universities in Vietnam to address the global issue of plastic pollution in our oceans through aCollaborative Online International Learning (COIL) class. Ellen's teaching and research also focus on environmental justice. Her latest book ("Journalism, Politics, and the Dakota Access Pipeline") reveals her work with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, including their perspectives, thoughts, and beliefs on the Dakota Access Pipeline and on the mainstream media. Currently she is teaching her new course "Ecology, Inequality, and Popular Culture." She lives in Tacoma with her husband Paul and their two Marvel dogs Loki and Groot.
Brandae GreinExploring Sustainability Through Virtual RealityBrandae Grein is an XR Lab assistant at the XR Lab in the Bellevue College Library, working to bring virtual reality to the rest of the campus. Outside of her work in Bellevue College's XR Lab, she is a full-time student for Bellevue College's Computer Science Bachelor's program, as well as the president of Virtual Reality Club on campus.

Prior to becoming a student, Brandae was a teacher herself in various early education roles. During this time, Brandae worked as a presenter for the Woodland Park Zoo for four years, teaching the public about the benefits of conservation and environmentalism in daily life.

Last Updated April 8, 2019