Speakers 2011

Ian Cheney

Discussing the film The City Dark on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00pm

Ian Cheney grew up in New England and received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He co-created and starred in the feature documentary KING CORN, and directed the feature documentary THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE. Most recently, Ian directed and produced a feature documentary about light pollution entitled THE CITY DARK, and a short film on urban agriculture entitled TRUCK FARM. With longtime collaborator Curt Ellis, Ian runs Wicked Delicate, a documentary and advocacy project in Brooklyn, NY. Wicked Delicate maintains a 1/1000th acre farm in the back of a 1986 Dodge pickup truck, and is part of a planning process to develop FoodCorps, a national school garden and Farm to School program.


Sir Peter Crane

Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean of the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Professor of Botany.
Discussing the film Queen of the Sun on Sunday, April 3, 6:00pm

Dean Crane’s work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999 he was director of the Field Museum in Chicago with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. During this time he established the Office of Environmental and Conservation Programs and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, which today make up the Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo). From 1999 to 2006 he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, one of the largest and most influential botanical gardens in the world. His tenure at Kew saw strengthening and expansion of the gardens’ scientific, conservation, and public programs. Dean Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted in the U.K. for services to horticulture and conservation in 2004. Dean Crane currently serves on the Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas, and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation.


Bob Crelin

Discussing the film The City Dark on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00pm

Author and inventor Bob Crelin has shapedlight pollution legislation in Connecticut at the state and local level. Bob is the co-founder of Lighting by Branford, which manufactures the GlareBuster—an an award-winning "dark sky" floodlight. He has also written two children's books, "There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars," and “Faces of the Moon,” in an effort to educate the next generation about the beauty of the night sky.In 2004, Bob was honored with the Astronomical League’s Walter Scott Houston Award for his years of devotion to working to preserve the night sky for our children.


Sam Cullman

Discussing the film If A Tree Falls on Thursday, March 31, 7:00pm

Sam Cullman is currently producing and shooting a documentary about the War on Drugs in America, directed by Eugene Jarecki, and is starting post-production on BLACK CHEROKEE, a short he co-directed with Benjamin Rosen about a self-taught New York City street artist. Cullman's camera credits have included Eugene Jarecki's WHY WE FIGHT (2005), which won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in documentary; director Rob Van Alkemade and producer Morgan Spurlock's WHAT WOULD JESUS BUY? (2007); directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin's KAMP KATRINA (2007); Jonathan Stack's LOCKUP: INSIDE ANGOLA (2008) and THE FARM: 10 DOWN (2009), both follow-ups to Stacks' THE FARM: ANGOLA, USA (1998). His cinematography on KING CORN (2006), a Peabody award-winning documentary for ITVS, was noted for its "handsome lensing" by Dennis Harvey (Variety) and was dubbed "visually arresting" by Ann Hornaday (The Washington Post). Cullman has also produced and directed a number of short films in collaboration with non-profits and governmental agencies like the New York City Housing Authority and the Ford Foundation. His 2008 doc for the National Center for Children Exposed to Violence and the Yale Child Study Center explored partnerships between police departments and mental health clinicians in cities across the US. Cullman graduated from Brown University with honors (1999), where he majored in Urban Studies and the Visual Arts, and founded Yellow Cake Films in 2006. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


Marshall Curry

Discussing the film If A Tree Falls on Thursday, March 31, 7:00pm

Marshall Curry got his start shooting, directing, and editing the documentary STREET FIGHT, which followed Cory Booker's first run for mayor of Newark, NJ. The film went on to be nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy. STREET FIGHT won the Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Festival. It also received the Jury Prize for Best International Documentary at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writer's Guild of America (WGA) Award. After STREET FIGHT, Curry was the Director and Producer, as well as one of the Cinematographers and Editors of the feature documentary, RACING DREAMS, called "The best movie of the year," by Scott Feinberg of the L.A. Times. Dreamworks is currently adapting it for a fictional remake. Prior to filmmaking, Marshall taught English in Guanajuato, Mexico, worked in public radio, and taught government in Washington DC. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College where he studied Comparative Religion and was a Eugene Lang Scholar. He was also a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, where he wrote about the history, philosophy, and economics of non-profits.


Mark Dixon

Discussing the film YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip on Saturday, April 2, 7:00pm

Mark is a Producer/Director of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip. Mark attended Stanford University and graduated in 1997 with a BS in Industrial Engineering. While familiarizing himself with web and media technologies during a 10 year career in Silicon Valley, Mark discovered that our planet Earth was having a tough time accommodating her most dominant species. He also realized that a sound retirement plan would optimally include a stable planet. In an attempt to address these concerns (not to mention an itch to see the country), he went on to launch YERT in 2006 with his college buddy, Ben Evans. Now, approximately 54 months later, he is thrilled to see the world premiere of the YERT feature film at EFFY. This is his first feature film.


Matthew Eckelman

Discussing the film YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip on Saturday, April 2, 7:00pm

Matthew Eckelman is a lecturer and postdoc at Yale University in the Schools of Engineering and Forestry & Environmental Studies and collaborates there with the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering and the Center for Industrial Ecology.  His research covers life cycle assessment, industrial environmental management, and environmental and sustainability strategy.  He is also part of a green engineering firm that consults with a range of businesses, organizations, and governments.  Prior to this, Matthew worked with the Massachusetts State Executive Office of Environmental Affairs and Design that Matters, a non-profit product design company, and was a Peace Corps science instructor in southern Nepal for several years. He holds a PhD in environmental engineering from Yale.


Ben Evans

Discussing the film YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip on Saturday, April 2, 7:00pm

Ben is a Director/Producer of YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip. Ben graduated from Stanford University in 1994 with a BS in Science, Technology, and Society...at least that's what he tells his family. After working as an actor for a decade in LA and NYC, Ben found himself looking for a way to marry his creative urges with his abiding passion for the environment and a growing concern about the future. Looking for adventure and a sense of greater purpose, Ben launched YERT in 2006 with his college buddy, Mark Dixon, and convinced his exceedingly understanding wife, Julie, to join him. After far too much time in an editing cave and well aware that one good four letter word deserves another, he is elated to be premiering YERT at EFFY. This is his first feature film.


Michael Faison

Director of Yale University’s Leitner Family Observatory and Planetarium.
Discussing the film The City Dark on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00pm

Michael teaches several astronomy courses at Yale and holds series of public lectures on topics such as astrophysics, the history of astronomy, cultural astronomy, and observational astronomy (stargazing).  His research interests include Archaeoastronomy, Interstellar Medium structure and dynamics, Very Long Baseline Interferometry, and using small telescopes and digital planetarium systems for undergraduate education.


Dan Imhoff

Discussing the film Bag It on Friday, April 1, 7:00pm

Dan Imhoff is a researcher, author, and independent publisher who has concentrated for nearly 20 years on issues related to farming, the environment, and design. He is the president and co-founder of Watershed Media, a non-profit publishing house based in Northern California. Dan has appeared on hundreds of national and regional radio and television programs, including CBS Sunday Morning, Science Friday, and West Coast Live. His books have gained national attention with coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle, Newsweek, the San Jose Mercury News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has testified before Congress and spoken at numerous conferences, corporate and government offices, and college campuses, including Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the University of California at Berkeley, and the Vermont Law School.


Martin Medina

Discussing the film Waste Land on Monday, March 28, 7:00pm

Martin Medina is originally from Mexico. He received his Ph.D. form Yale in 1997. He has collaborated with international organizations and academic institutions on waste management issues in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Has received numerous awards and grants, including four consecutive awards from the Global Development Network, the world's largest competition in development research. Author of over 45 publications, including a book, "The World's Scavengers: Salvaging for Sustainable Consumption and Production." Currently Sr. International Relations Specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and Advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative project on the informal recycling sector in developing countries.


Liz Milwe

Discussing the film Bag It on Friday, April 1, 7:00pm

Liz Milwe is currently a member of the Westport Connecticut Representative Town Meeting (RTM). In 2008, she and three of her colleagues were able to enact an ordinance that banned plastic bags from Westport's shopping sector,  the first such ban in Connecticut. This work led to two intense years of research on the health and environmental risks of the plastic bag industry, the culmination of which is her internationally recognized artistic collaboration called "In The Bag." The "In The Bag" installation was just on display at the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) Conference in Nairobi, and is now on display at the Darien Nature Center in Darien Connecticut. Liz is also one of the founders of the Green Village Initiative,  a volunteer-based grass roots organization established in Fall 2008 to support citizens passionate about making environmental and community change through local action.


Nancy Moran

Discussing the film Queen of the Sun on Sunday, April 3, 6:00pm

Nancy A. Moran is the William H. Fleming Professor in Biology at the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department. Dr. Moran’s research involves the evolution of bacterial genomes and of symbiotic associations. She also works on general principles involving the evolution of genomes in bacteria. From 1986 to 2010, she served on the faculty of the University of Arizona, where she was a Regents’ Professor. In 2010, she won the International Prize for Biology. Dr. Moran was also awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 1997, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004, the American Academy of Microbiology in 2004, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2007. Dr. Moran holds a B.A. from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Michigan.


Paulo Moreira

Discussing the film Waste Land on Monday, March 28, 7:00pm

Paulo Moreira is Assistant Professor of Spanish & Portuguese at Yale. He has published scholarly articles and reviews on Octavio Paz and Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Mario de Andrade and Jean Toomer. He has also published a poetry volume called Quatro Partes and his poems and short stories appeared in Brazilian literary magazines and journals. Currently he is working on the translation of a collection of Faulkner’s short stories to Portuguese and working on a book about the short stories of William Faulkner, João Guimarães Rosa, and Juan Rulfo.


Tiffany Shlain

Discussing the film Connected on Tuesday, March 29, 7:00pm

Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” Tiffany Shlain is a filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards, co-founder of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and a Henry Crown Fellow of The Aspen Institute. Her films have been selected by over 100 film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, and Rotterdam, won 20 awards including Audience and Grand Jury Prizes, been translated into 8 languages and been shown at museums including LACMA, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art and the Guggenheim. A celebrated thinker and speaker, she has advised Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is on the advisory board of M.I.T.'s Geospatial Lab and presented the 2010 Commencement Address at UC Berkeley.


Taggart Siegel

Discussing the film Queen of the Sun on Sunday, April 3, 6:00pm

Taggart Siegel has been directing award-winning documentaries and dramas for 25 years that reflect cultural diversity with absorbing style. From spiritual elders struggling to preserve traditions in alien environments to marginalized youth surviving hostile streets, the subjects of his films present vital perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media. THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN won 31 International Film Festivals awards and is currently being released theatrically around the world. Siegel’s films bring compelling voices and visions to a global audience. Siegel is the co-founder of Collective Eye, Inc., a non-profit media organization based in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon.


Richard Stevens

Discussing the film The City Dark on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00pm

Richard Stevens received a B.S. in Genetics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the University of Washington in Seattle.  He has been working for a long time trying to help figure out why people get cancer.  A perplexing challenge which Stevens began to engage in the late 1970s is the confounding mystery of why breast cancer risk rises so dramatically as societies industrialize.  He proposed in 1987 a radical new theory that use of electric lighting, resulting in lighted nights, might produce ‘circadian disruption’ causing changes in the hormones relevant to breast cancer risk, and thereby play an important role in breast cancer causation worldwide.  Accumulating evidence has generally supported the theory.  Stevens teaches medical/dental students, graduate students in the PhD program, and MPH students at UConn Health Center.


Tiaõ (Sebastiao Carlos dos Santos)

Discussing the film Waste Land on Monday, March 328, 7:00pm

Tiaõ is the young, charismatic President of ACAMJG (the Association of Recycling Pickers of Jardim Gramacho), a co-operative to improve the lives of his fellow catadores, featured in the film Waste Land. Inspired by the political texts he found in the waste, Tiaõ had to convince his co-workers that organizing could make a difference. Tiaõ has been picking since he was 11 years old.


Mary Evelyn Tucker

Discussing the film Connected on Tuesday, March 29, 7:00pm
Discussing the film Journey of the Universe on Friday, March 25, 7:00pm & Saturday March 26, 5:30pm

Mary Evelyn Tucker is a Senior Lecturer and Senior Scholar at Yale University where she has appointments in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies as well as the Divinity School and the Department of Religious Studies. She is a co-founder and co-director with John Grim of the Forum on Religion and Ecology. Together they organized a series of ten conferences on World Religions and Ecology at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School. They are series editors for the ten volumes from the conferences distributed by Harvard University Press. She is also Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard. She is the author of Worldly Wonder: Religions Enter Their Ecological Phase (Open Court Press, 2003), Moral and Spiritual Cultivation in Japanese Neo-Confucianism (SUNY, 1989) and The Philosophy of Qi (Columbia University Press, 2007). She co-edited Worldviews and Ecology (Orbis, 1994), Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard, 1997), Confucianism and Ecology (Harvard, 1998), and Hinduism and Ecology (Harvard, 2000) and When Worlds Converge (Open Court, 2002). With Tu Weiming she edited two volumes on Confucian Spirituality (Crossroad, 2004). She also co-edited a Daedalus volume titled Religion and Ecology: Can the Climate Change? (2001). She edited several of Thomas Berry’s books: Evening Thoughts (Sierra Club Books and University of California Press, 2006), The Sacred Universe (Columbia University Press, 2009), Christian Future and the Fate of Earth (Orbis Book, 2009). She is a member of the Interfaith Partnership for the Environment at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She served on the International Earth Charter Drafting Committee from 1997-2000 and is a member of the Earth Charter International Council. B.A. Trinity College, M.A. SUNY Fredonia, M.A. Fordham University, PhD Columbia University.


John Wargo

Discussing the film Bag It on Friday, April 1, 7:00pm

John Wargo is a Professor of Risk Analysis, Environmental Policy, and Political Science, and Chair of the Yale College Environmental Studies Major and Program. He has just written Green Intelligence Creating Environments that Protect Human Health published by Yale Press. The book won the Independent Publishers Award of Gold Medal in the field of “environment, ecology, and nature” for 2010. It also won the 2010 Connecticut Book Award in non-fiction. It was chosen as one of Scientific American’s favorite books for 2009. Professor Wargo also wrote Our Children’s Toxic Legacy: How Science and Law Fail to Protect Us from Pesticides, published by Yale University Press in 1998, presenting a history of law and science governing pesticides with special attention to the vulnerability of infants and children. The book won the American Association of Publishers award as the Best Scholarly & Professional Book in Government and Political Science in 1998. He is also co-author of Ecosystems: Science and Management published by Springer-Verlag in 1998. Wargo participated in several National Academy of Sciences committees, analyzing children’s exposure to toxic substances. He also has testified before both Senate and House Committees, and been an advisor to the White House, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture organization, the EPA, USDA, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on environmental threats to children’s health. He has participated in the design of federal and state laws and regulations intended to reduce human exposures to air pollution, pesticides, plastics, mercury, and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.


Robert Zinn

Discussing the film The City Dark on Wednesday, March 30, 7:00pm

Robert Zinn is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Yale's Department of Astronomy. He has researched the structure and evolution of the Milky Way for more than 30 years. His fascination with astronomy began as a teenager in West Hartford, CT when he built his own telescope to view the night sky from the backyard of his parents' house. Although the sky is much brighter now is suburbia, he still explores the Universe with his own telescope.


Click here to see the speakers at this year's festival.

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