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Conference Speakers

Eric Klinenberg, PhD
"Heat Waves"

Eric Klinenberg is Professor of Sociology, Public Policy, and Media, Culture and Communications at New York University. He is the author of three acclaimed books: Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago; Fighting for Air: The Battle to Control America's Media; and Going Solo. In Heat Wave, Klinenberg lays out how social breakdown, unresponsive government, and poorly equipped public services led to the disastrous mortality figures in Chicago's weeklong 1995 heat wave. In addition to his books and scholarly articles, he has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, Fortune, Time Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian and the radio program This American Life.

Jonathan Rothschild
Mayor of Tucson

A graduate of Kenyon College and the University of New Mexico Law School, the Mayor served as a law clerk for United States District Court Judge Alfredo Marquez. He then joined the law firm of Mesch, Clark & Rothschild, where he served as managing partner from 2001 to 2011. In addition to his own law practice helping businesses and individuals, he was responsible for the day-to-day management of a 21-attorney firm. Mayor Rothschil has served in various capacities, including Board President of Casa de los Niños, Handmaker Jewish Services for the Aging, and Temple Emanu-El. He also served on the Boards of the Tucson Medical Center Foundation, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, Friends of the University Libraries, University of Arizona and the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona. He was a member of the Tucson Parks & Recreation Commission and Chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Adjunct Professor, James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona and Chair, Committee on Examinations, State Bar of Arizona.

Kristie L. Ebi, PhD
"Human Health Risks of a Changing Climate"
Consulting Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Stanford U; Independent Consultant climate change impacts and adaptation

Kristie L. Ebi is a Consulting Professor in the Department of Medicine, Stanford University.  In addition, she is an independent consultant conducting research on the impacts of and adaptation to climate change, including on extreme events, thermal stress, foodborne safety and security, and vectorborne diseases.  She has worked with WHO, UNDP, USAID, and others on implementing adaptation measures in low-income countries.  She facilitated adaptation assessments for the health sector for the states of Maryland and Alaska.  She was a coordinating lead author or lead author in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development, and two US national assessments.  She has edited fours books on aspects of climate change and has more than 100 publications.  Dr. Ebi’s scientific training includes an M.S. in toxicology and a Ph.D. and a Masters of Public Health in epidemiology, and two years of postgraduate research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Gregg Garfin, PhD
"Overview of Climate Change Impacts on the Southwest Region"
Assistant Professor, University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and the Environment

Gregg Garfin is Assistant Professor and Assistant Extension Specialist in Climate, Natural Resources and Policy, in the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment.  He is also Deputy Director for Science Translation and Outreach in the University’s Institute of the Environment. He has worked for the last 13 years to bridge the science-society interface, through collaborative projects between scientists and decision-makers. His research focuses on climate variability and change, drought, and adaptation to a changing climate. He is lead editor and an author for Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States, a technical contribution to the 2014 National Climate Assessment. He is also co-Convening Lead Author on the National Climate Assessment’s Chapter 20: Southwest.

Heidi E. Brown, PhD, MPH
"Climate Change Related Health Risks in Arizona and the Southwest"
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, University of Arizona

Heidi E. Brown, PhD, MPH, has a research focus on the epidemiology and control of vector-borne and zoonotic diseases. Her goal is to identify human disease risk by modeling vector, host and pathogen distributions. The complex nature of the systems she works on diseases requires her to blend field collecting, ecological assessment, laboratory experiments, epidemiological analysis, spatial statistics, remote sensing, geographic information systems, and computer-based modeling in order to develop a more comprehensive view of disease dynamics. Current research areas include: West Nile virus, dengue, canine heartworm, valley fever, spatial epidemiology, and climate change.

George E. Luber, PhD
"Climate Adaptation Planning for the Southwest Using the 'BRACE' Framework"
Associate Director for Climate Change, Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects, National Center for Environmental Health,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Dr. George Luber is an epidemiologist and the Associate Director for Climate Change in the Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects at the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Since receiving his PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Georgia, and joining CDC in 2002, Dr. Luber has served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer and staff epidemiologist at the National Center for Environmental Health.   His research interests in Environmental Health are broad and include the health impacts of environmental change and biodiversity loss, harmful algal blooms, and the health effects of climate change.  Most recently, his work has focused on the epidemiology and prevention of heat-related illness and death, the application of remote sensing techniques to modeling vulnerability to heat stress in urban environments, and Climate Change adaptation planning. 

In addition to managing the Climate Change Program at CDC, Dr. Luber is a Co-Chair of the Climate Change and Human Health Interagency Workgroup at the US Global Change Research Program, a Convening Lead Author and member of the Federal Advisory Committee (ex-officio) for the US National Climate Assessment, a member of the American Anthropological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Climate Change, and a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Report.

Margaret Wilder, Ph.D.
Dr. Margaret Wilder is an associate professor in the School of Geography and Development and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. She also holds a research appointment in environmental policy with the UA’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy.  She earned a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Arizona and holds a master’s degree in public policy studies from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in government and international studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Wilder’s research focuses on the political ecology of water and development, water equity and governance in Mexico and Latin America. Her recent research examines climate, poverty, and health in the Southwestern U.S., and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Wilder has published widely regarding climate, water and society in the U.S.-Mexico border region and northern Mexico and is the principal investigator (or co-PI) on several research projects. Prior to joining the University of Arizona faculty, Wilder was a senior urban planner and an aide to the mayor in the city of Tucson, Arizona, and from 1991 to 2002 was associate dean of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. 

Irasema Coronado, PhD

Dr. Coronado is the Executive Director of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation  (CEC)

The (CEC) facilitates collaboration and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment for the benefit of present and future generations, in the context of increasing economic, trade, and social links among Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Irasema Coronado, PhD, is presently on academic leave from the  Department of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Coronado is also an affiliated faculty member in the Environmental Science and Engineering PhD program. At the university, she has served as an associate provost (2008-2012), associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts (2006-2008), chair of the Political Science Department (2005-2006), and assistant professor of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (1999-2003). Dr. Coronado was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez in Mexico (2004-2005. 

Dr. Coronado is currently a member of the boards of Frontera Women's Foundation, the Coalition Against Violence Toward Women and Children on the Border, FEMAP (Mexican Federation of Private Associations. Dr. Coronado holds a BA from the University of South Florida and an MA and PhD from the University of Arizona. Hispanic Business Magazine named her one of top 100 influential Hispanics in the United States in October of 2010.

Francisco Lara-Valencia, PhD
Associate Professor, School of Transborder Studies

Francisco Lara-Valencia, is an Associate Professor of the School of Transborder Studies and Southwest Borderland Scholar at ASU. He is also a faculty affiliated to ASU's North American Center for Transborder Studies (NACTS) and the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU. He received his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and did graduate and undergraduate work in Mexico. He has lectured in Mexico and the United States where he has taught courses on urban land use planning, urban economics, environmental planning, and research methods for planners.

Francisco's major areas of inquiry include socio-environmental vulnerability, urban health, regional development, binational planning, and the role of community networks on sustainable development. His policy research focuses on issues of equity and efficiency of policy making and planning along the US-Mexico border.

Rolando Diaz, PhD
PSR Border Panel 

Dr. Rolando Díaz is a professor at El Colegio de Sonora in the Center for Studies in Health and Society. He earned a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Arizona and holds a master’s degree in social sciences from El Colegio de Sonora.  He has studied the human-environment interaction focusing on how livelihoods of small farmers have been negatively affected by environmental conditions. He has also worked in Chihuahua as a professor of geographic information systems and environmental planning.

Currently, Dr. Díaz has undertaken new research concerning public health risk due to climate hazards. In particular, he is studying the social determinants of health risk related to high temperatures in Sonora.  His work aims to assess the determinants of risk: hazard, exposure and vulnerability in the Sonoran case.

Kacey Ernst, PhD

Dr. Ernst is an assistant professor of Epidemiology at the University of Arizona. Her research interests lie in understanding how humans shape their environment to influence vector-borne disease transmission. Currently she is working with collaborators across the University of Arizona and El Colegio de Sonora to investigate if climate influences the emergence of dengue in the Sonora desert region. This information will  be used to project the potential for emergence under climate change scenarios.




Rose Braz
"Inspiring Us to Political Action"
Center for Biological Diversity

Rose Braz is the Climate Campaign Director at the Center for Biological Diversity.  She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law and has worked both in private practice and at the United Nations International Commission of Jurists in Geneva, Switzerland.  Prior to coming to the Center, Rose helped found and was the campaign and media director for Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization working to end society's reliance on prisons as an answer to social problems. She directs the Center’s organizing around climate change and fracking.

Will Gartshore
"Inspiring Us to Political Action"
Senior Program Officer, U.S. Government Relations Program

Will Gartshore works in WWF's U.S. Government Relations department as a Program Officer for climate change and international species issues.  He works with Congress, U.S. Government agencies, and partner NGOs to promote policies and secure funding to help conserve international species and to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation policies.

Will works closely with the U.S. Climate Change team to promote WWF priorities for domestic climate change legislation and to advocate for U.S. policymakers to play a constructive role in creating a new international climate treaty. Prior to joining WWF, Will worked as a writer for the Energy Future Coalition, communications director for Independent Action PAC and Managing Editor of the Greener Business Guide to Washington, DC.  Will has also spent over 10 years as a professional actor, working in theaters in New York, DC, and around the United States.

Raúl Grijalva
"Inspiring Us to Political Action"
U.S. Congressman

Congressman Raúl Grijalva is a member of the Committee on Natural Resources, where he has been appointed Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations. The Subcommittee oversees 600 million acres of federal land. As Chairman of the Subcommittee in the 111th Congress, Raúl played the leading role in creating a permanent National Landscape Conservation System within the Department of the Interior and fought successfully to address the maintenance funding shortfall of American public lands. As Ranking Member, his main priorities will be to protect wilderness areas and endangered species, advance the National Parks Service Centennial Initiative, protect the Grand Canyon from the threat of expanded uranium mining, advance ecological restoration on federal lands, and address the need for a budget fix for wildland fire suppression funding. He will also work with the full committee to pursue overdue reforms of the General Mining Law of 1872, new wilderness protections around the West, effective oversight of oil and gas drilling, and improved operations throughout our national parks, forests and public lands systems.

Raúl has shown his commitment to a clean environment through his leadership in several key Congressional caucuses, including his ongoing service as Co-Chair of the CPC, Co-Chair of the National Landscape Conservation System Caucus, and his membership in the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. He is a supporter of the Green Scissors plan to cut $200 billion in government subsidies to industries such as coal, oil, gas and timber.

Richard Elías

Richard Elías has represented District Five on the Pima County Board of Supervisors for more than eleven years. He has been a strong proponent of environmental protection and restoration during his tenure in office. He has led fights to strengthen and enforce the county’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, to preserve the rugged and saguaro-studded Painted Hills, to maintain full Clean Water Act protection for the Santa Cruz River and its tributaries, and to block destructive new open-pit mines in the county. A fifth-generation Tucsonan whose family roots run deep in Southern Arizona, Richard is a lifelong Democrat, a former union steward, and a University of Arizona graduate.

Page Updated January 30, 2014