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2017 Annual Public Lecture Series Bios

Annual Public Lecture Series

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence: Bringing Science to the Conversation

Polsenberg - head shot_lowres
Johanna Polsenberg is senior director of Governance and Policy in the Center for Oceans at Conservation International, where she works to develop frameworks, processes and tools needed to influence decision makers on conserving and managing healthy oceans. Her professional background spans the private, public and non-profit sectors, synthesizing and communicating information across business, government and social spheres. Polsenberg is deeply committed to finding ways forward to environmental and social sustainability through the intersection of environmental protection and resource use. She has worked in Africa, Australia, Indonesia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and the U.S. in the United States Congress, alternative energy start-ups, Alaskan fishing boats and underwater on oil platforms, coral reefs, in kelp forests and alongside humpback whales. She holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University, and a B.S. in biochemistry and chemistry from the University of Vermont

Dan Kahan_Fotor

Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law & Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School. His primary research interests are risk perception and science communication. He is a member of the Cultural Cognition Project, an interdisciplinary team of scholars who use empirical methods to examine the impact of group values on perceptions of risk and related facts. In studies funded by the National Science Foundation, his research has investigated public disagreement over climate change, public reactions to emerging technologies, and conflicting public impressions of scientific consensus. Articles featuring the Project’s studies have appeared in a variety of peer-reviewed scholarly journals including the Journal of Risk Research, Judgment and Decision Making, Nature Climate Change, Science, and Nature. He is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Dr. Shreeram Inamdar is a Professor and founding Director of the interdisciplinary Water Science & Policy program at the University Delaware. He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BS), Agricultural Engineering (MS) and Biological Systems Engineering (PhD). His research interests are in – extreme climate event impacts on water quality, landuse legacy and watershed health, and biogeochemical and ecological processes in watersheds. His work has been funded by numerous agencies including the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Agriculture.

Cynthia Giles served as the Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance for the entire Obama Presidency. As the head of enforcement she focused on tough civil and criminal enforcement for violations that threaten communities and the environment and also innovations to achieve greater compliance and reduce pollution using advanced monitoring and information technologies, called Next Generation Compliance. Cynthia has more than 30 years of service in the public, private and non-profit sectors. As Assistant United States Attorney in Philadelphia, she prosecuted civil violators of environmental laws. She led the water protection program for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, served as the Director of Enforcement Coordination for EPA Region 3, and was the Director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Advocacy Center in Rhode Island, where she advanced laws and policies to combat climate change and promote clean energy. Cynthia has a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University, a Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Public Administration from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.

David Baron

David Baron is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster who has worked as a science correspondent for NPR and science editor for PRI’s “The World.” An avid umbraphile, David has witnessed five total solar eclipses in such disparate locales as Australia, Indonesia, and the Faroe Islands. Baron was a physics major at Yale University. He is a former member of Metcalf Insitute’s Advisory Board and currently serves as an emeritus advisor.

View Previous Lectures:
|2016| 2015 |2014 | 2013 | 2013 Peter Lord Seminar Lecture2012 | 2011 |2010 | 2009 | 2008
2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 |2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

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