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Plenary Speakers

Morgan Grove
Plenary Session 1
Monday, April 10 - 8:00am to 9:30am
About the Speaker:

Dr. J. Morgan Grove is a Team Leader for the USDA Forest Service's Baltimore Field Station. Dr. Grove has worked in Baltimore since 1989 and was a founding member of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) LTER. Grove leads the social science team for BES, where his research focuses on long-term dynamics of urban forests, environmental quality, human health, property regimes, land management, and watersheds. For 17 years, he has researched the long-term effects of urban vegetation on city ecosystem processes. Morgan has 110 published articles to date that focus on different aspects of human dynamics related to urban forests. He addresses how we can improve watersheds and how the Forest Service can assist with plans to make our cities as green as possible.

Steward T.A. Pickett
Plenary Session 1
Monday, April 10 - 8:00am to 9:30am
About the Speaker:

Dr. Pickett is a distinguished senior scientist and plant ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He directs the Baltimore Ecosystem Long-Term Ecological Research program. Dr. Pickett’s projects relate to the role of spatial heterogeneity in community and landscape structure and dynamics. He has produced books on ecological heterogeneity, humans as components of ecosystems, conservation, bridging ecology and urban design, the philosophy of ecology, and linking ecology and ethics. He is currently working on the Buell-Small Succession Study, a long-term ecological experiment designed to document succession on released agricultural fields; and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a ground-breaking urban ecology project that investigates the ecological, cultural, and economic forces that shape the environmental quality of urbanized areas.

Ann Swanson
Plenary Session 2
Tuesday, April 11 - 8:00am to 9:30am
About the Speaker:

Ann Swanson has served as a leader in the Bay restoration for nearly 35 years, the last 29 as the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tristate legislative authority serving the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. There is hardly a piece of Bay-related policy or legislation that Swanson has not been involved in.   A trained wildlife biologist and forest ecologist, she graduated with honors from the University of Vermont and Yale University. She served on the Board of the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources for 23 years and as its longest-serving Chair.  Her many awards include the Bay region’s highest Conservation Award, Conservationist of the Year (2001), the YMCA Outstanding Women in Industry Twin Award (2011), the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Leadership Award (2013) and Doctor of Laws from the University of Vermont (2014). In 2015, she was recognized as an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay, awarded by Maryland’s governor to those who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, the surrounding landscape, and the life that inhabits them. 

William Dennison
Banquet Keynote
Tuesday, April 11 - 8:00pm to 9:00pm
About the Speaker:

Dr. William Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and the Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network (IAN), a group of scientists committed to solving, not just studying, environmental problems. The IAN team has been developing environmental report cards in iconic locations around the world, training scientists in principles of science communication and pioneering new ways to communicate complex scientific concepts. Dr. Dennison rejoined UMCES in 2002 following a ten-year stint at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. 

Hugh Possingham
Plenary Session 3
Wednesday, April 12 - 8:00am to 9:30am
About the Speaker:

Dr. Possingham is Director of The Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland and Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy (TNC). A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences, Possingham’s groundbreaking research has been published in such leading journals as Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). His lab works on problems to secure the world's biological diversity: efficient nature reserve design, habitat reconstruction, monitoring, optimal management of populations for conservation, cost-effective conservation actions for threatened species, pest control and population harvesting, survey methods for detecting bird decline, bird conservation ecology, environmental accounting and metapopulation dynamics. His team’s Marxan software drove Australia’s rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and is now used in more than 150 countries to change the face of about 5% of the planet’s surface. Throughout his career, Dr. Possingham has used science to elevate the impact and effectiveness of conservation programs. In his position as Chief Scientist of TNC, he leads the work of more than 600 scientists engaged in conservation efforts impacting 69 countries around the world.