SEJ's 28th Annual Conference Speakers




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Below are biographies (or links thereto) of speakers for SEJ's 28th Annual Conference, October 3-7, 2018, in Flint, Michigan, as well as the sessions they're participating in. Flint conference home.

Alphabetical Speaker List

(a daily work-in-progress; check back often)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L
M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock



Rhonda Anderson

  • Event: Tour 6, Gasoline, Garbage and Greenery in Detroit, 8:30 a.m.
  • Rhonda Anderson, Detroit-based environmental justice organizer for the Sierra Club, has long been engaged in fighting for the rights of poor and minority communities overburdened with pollution. A commitment to pursuing environmental justice has been at the core of her work for nearly two decades with the Sierra Club. Detroit's 48217 zip code, where the Marathon Petroleum Corp. refinery and other heavily polluting industrial sites are located, has been a focus of her efforts.



George Bullerjahn



Mary Ann Colihan

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Mary Ann Colihan is a freelance journalist from London, Ontario, Canada who has covered the Chemical Valley since she graduated from the Journalism program at Western University in 2003.



Timothy Davis



Marilyn Gladu

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Marilyn Gladu is a long-time Sarnia resident and a professional engineer who worked for Dow Chemical for 21 years, in a variety of roles locally and globally. Gladu was also the director of engineering at Suncor before taking a consultant role at WorleyParsons where she managed a team of over one hundred engineers supporting the Shell refinery. Elected as the Member of Parliament for Sarnia-Lambton as a member of the Conservative Party of Canada in 2015, she serves as the Official Opposition Science Critic, as well as the Chair for the Status of Women. She is the current Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Rail Caucus, in addition to the Vice-Chair of the Aerospace Caucus. More.


Vanessa and Lindsay Gray

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Vanessa and Lindsay Gray, two young sisters in their 20s, have become the next generation of activists on the Aamjiwnaang reserve. In their early years, they started by doing nature surveys. Next, they became experienced protesters fighting the Enbridge Pipeline. Vanessa and Lindsay have been working with community members to bring awareness about environmental racism and health issues resulting from their reserve’s toxic surroundings. They are organizers with Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines. Vanessa is also working with Ecojustice to probe excessive flaring. They are regular guides on the Toxic Tour of the reserve. They have also been involved in a theatrical production called the Chemical Valley Project.



John Jackson

  • Event: Tour 5, Sail the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, 8:00 a.m.
  • John Jackson has worked with citizens' groups for the past 35 years, with a focus on Great Lakes issues, waste management issues, water quality and quantity issues, cleanup of toxics hot spots in the Great Lakes, and public participation and consultation. Since 2014, John has been a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, a chief advisory body to the International Joint Commission (IJC). In this role he has been the leader in the board's investigation of PBDEs in the Great Lakes basin with a focus on policies to address issues with the chemicals. John worked with Great Lakes United (GLU), a coalition of citizens' groups in Canada and the U.S., for 30 years. He is a Canadian adviser to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a member of the GLWQA Annex 2 (Lakewide Management Plans) and Annex 3 (Chemicals of Mutual Concern) Extended Sub-Committees, chair of the Grand River Environmental Network, a board member of the Canadian Environmental Law Association and co-chair of the Toxics Free Great Lakes Network. John is a past board member of Waste Diversion Ontario and of the Recycling Council of Ontario. He teaches waste management at the University of Waterloo.



Ada Lockridge

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Ada Lockridge is a member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, an activist and a long-time client of Ecojustice, which represents Ada in the challenge against the Ontario government's failure to review how it regulates air pollution in a timely manner. Ada is contesting the Ontario government's ongoing approval of air pollution without considering cumulative effects in Sarnia’s Chemical Valley, home to 40 percent of Canada's petrochemical industry. Chemical Valley exposes Ada's community to a range of harmful air pollutants, including cancer-causing benzene and chemicals known to cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems.



Elaine MacDonald

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Elaine MacDonald joined Ecojustice in 1999 and is an environmental engineer who applies her expertise to work related to the Great Lakes, air and water quality and oil sands operations. She leads the Environmental Health team at Ecojustice and challenges all levels of government to protect every Canadian &emdash; especially children &emdash; from illnesses related to harmful chemicals. She has spent many years working on cases in Sarnia to reduce the cumulative effects of toxic chemicals.


Nicholas Mandros

  • Event: Tour 2, Cruisin' Ground Zero: The Western Lake Erie Shoreline, 6:30 a.m.
  • Nick Mandros, a Toledo native, is the Ohio Environmental Council's Regional Director for northwest Ohio. His work crosses each of the OEC's policy issues but has recently been focused on nutrient-laden runoff contributing to toxic harmful algal blooms in western Lake Erie. Prior to working at the OEC, Nick was an executive staffer for the Lucas County Commissioners in Toledo when a toxin in the drinking water caused half a million people to be without access to clean water for three days in 2014. Nick takes a local approach to solving environmental issues and works with business and community leaders to strengthen state and local policies that impact water quality, renewable energy and protections for public lands.


Sandy Marshall

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • A.J. (Sandy) Marshall is a chemical engineer who started his professional career in 1984 with Polysar Inc., a Canadian rubber manufacturer and has spent over 30 years in the chemical and polymers industry. He retired as President for Lanxess Canada and is now Executive Director of Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) and CEO of the Sustainable Chemistry Alliance. At BIC, he has actively recruited new companies in green chemistry, and partnered with industry and government in key alliances to advance the bio-based chemical industry for Canada.


Terry Miller

  • Event: Tour 5, Sail the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay, 8:00 a.m.
  • Terry Miller, a native of Bay County, has a BS and MA from Central Michigan University and an MAT from Saginaw Valley State University. He taught in Saginaw City Public Schools for 30 years, and has taught Western Civilization and Recent American History at Delta College for the past 19 years. In 1978, he and four other residents of Bay City founded the Lone Tree Council, a non-profit environmental group that was formed to oppose the Midland Nuclear Power plant. With the power plant’s cancellation, the group continued to promote cleanup of watershed contamination; defend both coastal and inland wetlands; and, most recently, educate on global climate change. Lone Tree Council’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) first publicized the extent of dioxin contamination in the Tittabawassee River and floodplain, and today he serves on the leadership team of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) that oversees the Dow/U.S. EPA/DEQ cleanup. He is also on the Board of Directors of BaySail, Inc., a Bay City-based non-profit that conducts environmental education on its two schooners, and the Michigan Environmental Council, a state-based coalition of over 70 organizations.



Carrie Rivette

  • Event: Tour 4, The Shape of Water... and Milk and Beer! 7:30 a.m.
  • Carrie Rivette is Stormwater Manager for the City of Grand Rapids. Carrie is a Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Technological University. She has over 20 years of experience in the environmental and water resources field. Currently, she is Chair of the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds.



Dianne Saxe

  • Event: Tour 3, Canada's Chemical Valley: From Toxic to Green? 7:00 a.m.
  • Dr. Dianne Saxe is the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), the province's watchdog over environmental, energy and climate performance. The ECO also acts as the guardian of the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR). Saxe is an environmental lawyer with 40 years of experience litigating Ontario's energy and environmental laws. She established one of Canada's environmental law boutiques and also worked for two major Bay Street law firms.


Zoe Schlanger



Scott Whitcomb

  • Event: Tour 1, The Last Good Country: Lush Forests and "Holy Waters", 5:00 a.m.
  • Scott Whitcomb's earliest memories as a child were of the years spent at a DNR research cabin on High Island in Lake Michigan. Later in life his family lived in nearby Wolverine, Michigan, where he spent time recreating in the Pigeon River Country State Forest growing up. After earning a bachelor's degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and a Master's degree in Wildlife Management from University of Maine, Scott spent five years in the Appalachians of southwest Virginia managing state wildlife areas for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. He returned to Michigan in 1998, beginning work in the DNR as a biologist in Lansing working on special projects before being promoted to the statewide Public Lands Specialist for Wildlife Division. Scott transferred to the DNR's Forest Resources Division and moved back north to manage the Pigeon River County State Forest beginning in December of 2008. He has professional interests in public land administration, conservation biology and integrating recreation and resource management.


Chris Winslow