A huge thank you to those who are lending us their expertise to make the Kids Climate Summit a rewarding experience.
Roster Of Experts
Please contact Rhonda Stern if you would like to be in contact with one of our experts. If you are looking for expertise in a specific area, Rhonda should also be able to help you.
We are just starting to collect bios from climate experts, so check back again soon! If you are interested in serving as a client expert, please click above - we'd love to add you to our roster!
After graduating from the University of Illinois and spending several years working at a marketing agency, Kyle realized that he wanted to devote his career to fighting climate change and building a more sustainable energy grid. Currently, he works on the Multi-Family energy efficiency programs for Illinois gas and electric utilities, helping consumers to save money on their bills, use fewer natural resources, and lower the demand for fossil fuel consumption.Aside from sitting on the 350 Chicago board, Kyle created a website devoted to sustainability education and civic engagement (www.DoGood4Chi.com) that he hopes will help other people on their journey to a greener lifestyle. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering, playing intramural sports, bike riding, boxing, and seeing live stand up comedy.
Julie Moller is currently chair of the River Forest Sustainability Commission which she co-founded in 2015. She implemented River Forest’s curbside compositing program. Other sustainability work in River Forest includes: creating the River Forest Schools Sustainability group, Green4Good in 2009 and the creating and running the River Forest Recycling Extravaganza for the past 7 years. Julie represented River Forest and District 90 on the PlanItGreen Core Team from 2012-until recently and volunteers with the One Earth Film Festival. Most recently she completed Climate Reality Leadership training in Minneapolis.
She also participates in fundraising for Beyond Hunger, Y.E.M.B.A. and the Oak Park not for profit, Women’s Global Education Project.
Julie is here to share her experience of researching micro plastics in Indonesia as an Ambassador for the 5 Gyres Institute which empowers action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure.
Rowland Davis is a retired pension consultant. During his professional career, Rowland helped pension funds decide how much investment risk would be appropriate for their investment policy decisions, using mathematical simulation models involving actuarial science and future scenarios for economic and investment outcomes. Since retiring two years ago, Rowland has dedicated himself to an active role in the climate crisis movement. That meant learning as much as possible about all aspects of climate change issues, participating with organizations such as 350.org and doing research on the investment risks related to the transition to a low carbon economy. He has three grandchildren, and he wants their future lives to be spared the worst consequences of climate change!
Ross Powell has been a professor of geosciences at Northern Illinois University since 1980. He earned a BSc and MSc from Victoria University, New Zealand, and a PhD from The Ohio State University.
His primary concerns from a scientific and social perspective are assessing how human activity through global warming, is changing Earth’s environments relative to natural changes.
He and his undergraduate and graduate students have conducted geoscientific research on every continent. However, his primary research focus has been studying past and present climate change in the Arctic (32 seasons) and Antarctic (16 seasons) regions, where current effects are being amplified. The research projects have also incorporated high school students and grade school and high school teachers.
He has published over 160 research papers in scientific journals (including “Nature”) and chapters in books, and has earned over $60 million in research funding, primarily through the National Science Foundation. He also has been on numerous national and international scientific advising and planning committees.
Alisa Singer is a self-taught artist who lives and works in the Chicago area.
Since retiring from the practice of law in 2013, Singer has worked to create art to bring attention to and support meaningful causes. Her process is to begin with a graphic depiction of a key fact (a chart, graph, map, word or number) and translate it into colorful, seemingly abstract, contemporary art. The underlying message is made more impactful by the interaction between the art and the data. Her greatest efforts have been directed towards creating art to enhance climate change awareness and education.
In late 2014 Singer began the series of digital paintings, Environmental Graphiti – the Art of Climate Change, which uses contemporary art to enhance awareness and understanding of this critical issue. The Environmental Graphiti collection has been extensively exhibited, both in the US and internationally, at universities, science museums, galleries, conferences and other venues.
Peg Steffen has been a science educator at the middle, high school and college levels in all sciences. She was a program manager for NASA Education and served as the education coordinator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service where she led a development team that provided web-based products and professional development for educators. She has been a climate educator for many years in the United States and served with the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam to promote climate education. Peg is currently a curriculum writer for the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy.
In 2013, I walked out of my classroom to work on environmental issues. I wanted to make sure that my Kindergartners would have potable water in ten years. I perform outreach and advocacy work, mostly with 350 Chicago. Our work has involved collecting signatures, pre-writing a resolution for Chicago to divest its operating funds from fossil fuels, and meeting individually with Chicago aldermen and other officials to secure the council backing needed to pass the resolution.
In addition to this work, I have represented 350 Chicago at various educational events. Among various climate crisis areas, I am most versed in fracking, social justice, veganism, and carbon sequestration via regenerative soil practices. I also have an interest in caring for the environment as a commandment present in all major faiths. After I left my own classroom, I did take college courses in the environment, but much of my environmental education comes from personal reading and research.
My academic background includes three degrees and a magazine publishing certificate. The degrees are in music composition and elementary education, with approvals for ESL and bilingual Spanish, and certification to teach middle school music, German, and both general and physical science. I have taught a range of subjects to students ages 4–60 in private, classroom, university, and professional settings.