NCSE 2020 Winter Member Meeting Speakers

2020 Winter Member Meeting Speakers (in order of program)

Monday, January 6, 2020


Marty Matlock, Ph.D.

Marty Matlock photo

Marty Matlock, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center and Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department. Matlock’s research focuses on technologies and processes to increase the resilience of ecosystem services, with a focus on food, water, and community systems. He has coordinated agricultural sustainability initiatives with soybeans, corn, cotton, pulses, dairy, beef, pork, and poultry systems. Matlock works with ecologists, engineers, architects, social and political scientists, agricultural scientists, economists, and business leaders to create new understanding and framing of vexing human challenges. His interdisciplinary work has been recognized by the leading organizations in agriculture, engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, and sustainable design with over 30 national and international awards. Matlock is the Chairman of the Cherokee Nation Environmental Protection Commission and serves as sustainability science advisor for 12 food and agricultural product companies.


Peter Walker, Ph.D.

Peter Walker Photo

Peter Walker, Ph.D. is the Dean of the Falk School of Sustainability and Environment at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA. In this role, he is building a new School, and a new fully sustainable campus at Eden Hall, north of Pittsburgh, using an activist approach to education which starts by engaging students in problem solving in the sustainability field. Prior to coming to Pittsburgh, he spent 12 years as the Director of the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, one of the world’s premier centers for the study of humanitarian crises. Walker joined Tufts from a 25-year career in disaster and humanitarian crisis management around the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.


Robert Franco, Ph.D.

Robert Franco photo

For 35 years, Robert Franco, Ph.D. has been an ecological and demographic anthropologist focusing on contemporary Hawaiian, Samoan, and Pacific Islander educational, employment, health, environmental, climate and cultural issues. Since 2000, he has been director of planning and grants and institutional effectiveness at Kapi'olani Community College, the second largest college in the ten campus University of Hawaiʻi system. He oversees the Kapi'olani Service and Sustainability Learning program. He is a Senior Faculty Fellow for National Campus Compact (, and Leadership Fellow for the NSF program, Science Education for Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) and SENCER Hawai'i.


Valerie Luzadis, Ph.D.

Valerie Luzadis photo

Valerie Luzadis, Ph.D., is Professor of Social-Ecological Systems and Ecological Economics at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), a public, doctoral granting institution. Luzadis has also served as Interim Provost and as the first Executive Vice President of ESF. Luzadis’ scholarly work includes the study and practice of collaborative interdisciplinary science and efforts to bring science into policy. Luzadis also served in National and State level leadership positions in the Society of American Foresters (SAF), including: Chair of the House of Society Delegates at the National level. Luzadis has also consulted with groups such as The Nature Conservancy and The Wildlife Conservation Society to advise and facilitate community-based conservation efforts.


Dan Correa

Dan Correa photo

Daniel Correa is Director of the Day One Project. Prior to starting Day One, Correa served as Assistant Director for Innovation Policy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy where he led development of President Barack Obama’s 2015 innovation strategy. A 15-year veteran of the S&T policy community, he holds law and economics degrees from Yale University.


William E. Easterling, III, Ph.D

Bill Easterling photo

Dr. William E. Easterling, III was appointed Assistant Director of Geosciences at the National Science Foundation on June 1, 2017.  A Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was previously the dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences 2007-2017 and professor of geography and earth system science at Penn State University. He received his bachelors, masters and PhD degrees in geography and climatology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining the Penn State faculty in 1997 as an associate professor of geography and earth system science, he held posts at the Illinois State Water Survey, Resources for the Future, Inc., and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln


Keri Stoever

Keri Stoever photo

Keri Stoever is the Program Officer at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Presents LabX. Prior to joining LabX, she spent five years as a Research Associate working on environmental and toxicological studies. In addition to her time at NAS, Stoever has worked to help the public connect with science through museum education positions with the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center. Currently, she volunteers as an interpreter at the National Zoo’s Amazonia exhibit. Stoever received her B.S. in Marine Biology from Stockton University and her M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.


Gary Geernaert, Ph.D.

Gary Geernaert photo

Gerald (Gary) Geernaert, Ph.D., is Director, Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He oversees and directs basic scientific research at DOE National Laboratories and Universities, involving atmospheric, climate, and environmental sciences. Besides his DOE duties, Geernaert serves as Vice-Chair and/or as DOE principal to four science interagency subcommittees under the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Before joining DOE in 2010, Geernaert was Director, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) during 2002–2010. Geernaert is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Geernaert holds a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Washington


Jack Kaye, Ph.D.

Jack Kaye photo

Jack Kaye, Ph.D., currently serves as Associate Director for Research of the Earth Science Division (ESD) within NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD).  He has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since August, 1999, managing NASA’s Earth Science Research Program. Earlier positions in his more than 35-year career at NASA include being a Space Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center and Manager of the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program at NASA HQ.  His academic training is in chemistry (B.S. Adelphi University, 1976; Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1982). He also held a post-doctoral research associateship at the US Naval Research Laboratory.


Claudia Nierenberg, Ph.D

Claudia Nierenberg photo

Claudia Nierenberg, Ph.D. is the Division Chief, Climate and Societal Interactions (CSI), in NOAA’s Climate Program Office. CSI invests in research and extension networks to advance alignment between science and decision needs. Claudia has worked for the past twenty-five years in global change research design and implementation, focusing on the communication and management of climate risk. t. In recent years, her focus has been on collaborative research networks, and coordination across policy and adaptation. Claudia has co-chaired a number of federal interagency committees along the way.  She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Virginia, and a master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.


Sarah Ryker, Ph.D.


Sarah Ryker, Ph.D. is the Associate Director in the Energy and Minerals Mission Area at the U.S. Geological Survey, where she oversees research and assessments on the location, quantity, and quality of mineral and energy resources. Prior to this role, Ryker has served as the U.S. Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, the Director, Office of North Africa and Arabian Affairs/Middle East Bureau at USAID, the Deputy Associate Director for Ecosystem Services at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and  the USGS Associate Director for Climate and Land Use Change. Ryker has a Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, a Masters’ degree from the University of Washington, and Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.


Maria Uhle, Ph.D.

Maria Uhle photo

Maria Uhle, Ph.D., currently serves as the Program Director for International Activities in the Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation, where she develops mechanisms and agreements to foster international research collaboration through the Belmont Forum, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) and Future Earth. Prior to her appointment at NSF, she served as an International Affairs Officer in the Office of International and Academic Affairs (OIAA) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), where she developed programs to foster research collaboration with NIST’s international partners from countries in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.