2010 Summer Teacher Institute


An Interdisciplinary Examination of the
World’s Most Essential Resource

University of Chicago
International House, Assembly Hall
1414 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Click on each presenter's name for more information about their work.

  • Jamie Bender — Outreach Coordinator, Center for International Studies, University of Chicago

    Jamie Bender received her B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She earned a M.A. in Biology from Boston University, researching Neotropical mammals in the Ecuadorian rainforest, and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Jamie taught Anthropology and Biology at Oak Park and River Forest High School for 5 years before joining CIS as the Outreach Coordinator.

  • Josh Ellis — Associate, Metropolitan Planning Council

    Josh has been an associate with the Metropolitan Planning Council since 2006.  His focus is on advancing MPC’s environmental and economic goals through policy research, advocacy, and community engagement. He manages MPC’s water resources protection initiatives, co-authored Before the Wells Run Dry, and now works with state, regional and local leaders on strategies to sustainably manage Illinois' finite water resources.  Through the Community Building Initiative, he provides technical assistance on transit-oriented development, energy efficiency, water supply, and stormwater.  He co-authored Retail 1-2-3, one of MPC’s guidebooks for local elected officials and staff.  He also manages MPC’s internal GIS for geospatial analysis of emerging environmental, economic and demographic trends.  This work includes investigation into the jobs-housing mismatch, opportunities for transit expansion, and federal investment patterns.

    A New Hampshire native, Josh resides in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, where he spends a lot of time in Lake Michigan and on the lake shore path.  He managed a small school in Japan before his graduate studies in public policy and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago.  His honors thesis, published in Water, Environmental Security and Sustainable Rural Development: Conflict and Cooperation in Central Eurasiacompared the political discourse of marsh restoration in southeastern Iraq with the environmental history of the region.  He spends his evenings teaching English as a Second Language at Poder Learning Center in Chicago’s Pilsen community.

    Josh received his M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy from the University of Chicago.

  • Reuben Keller — Henry Chandler Cowles Lecturer in Environmental Studies, University of Chicago

    Reuben Keller is the Henry Chandler Cowles Lecturer in Environment Studies at the University of Chicago for 2009-2011. He is a community ecologist who focuses on the impacts and management of invasive species. Most of his research deals with the traits of species that make them capable of entering new regions and becoming prolific. This work leads to predictions of those species that are likely to become invasive in the future, which can in turn be used to inform management efforts. Most of this research is applied to freshwater systems, with a concentration on invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Keller collaborates extensively with economists so that the ecological and economic impacts of invasive species can be considered when management efforts are devised and implemented.

    After earning his PhD at the University of Notre Dame, Keller held research positions at the University of Cambridge, and then at the University of Notre Dame where he edited the book Bioeconomics of Invasive Species. He has worked extensively with various management agencies, including the City of Chicago, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the US National Invasive Species Council, to incorporate invasive species science into management programs.

  • Daniele Lantagne — Environmental Engineer at the CDC; PhD student at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

    Daniele Lantagne is an Environmental Engineer (MIT BS ’96, MIT M.Eng. ’01, PE ’03) currently working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and pursuing her PhD at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Upon finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked for five years at the Ipswich River Watershed Association and teaching at the Edgerton Center at MIT. She began working in household water treatment in developing countries during her Master’s and continued teaching in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT and doing private consulting until 2003. She moved full-time to CDC in May 2003. In her 3 years at MIT and 7 years with CDC, she has worked to implement and study chlorination, filtration, and combined treatment household water treatment implementations in over 40 countries. She is a member of the board of directors for Potters for Peace. She counts as hobbies hiking, lindy hop dancing, reading, and highpointing (reaching the highest point in each US state).

  • Pamela Martin — Assistant Professor in Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago

    Pamela Martin’s research focuses broadly on reconstructing changes in deep ocean temperature, chemistry and circulation to understand oceanic controls on climate change. She is interested in the links between ocean cycles, atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change on time scales ranging from that of a human lifetime to hundreds of thousands of years. Her research techniques include measuring the chemical composition of fossils and formulating computer simulations. In 2006, Martin co-authored a study showing how the food that people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive when it comes to creating the greenhouse gas emissions that many scientists have linked to global warming. This study has led Martin to additional work on food production and the environment, including a field-study begun in 2009 to assess the energy efficiency and greenhouse gases associated with food from small-scale, diversified farms.

  • Marty Matlock — Professor of Ecological Engineering in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville, and Area Director, Division of Agriculture for Agricultural and Rural Sustainability

    Marty Matlock investigates the impact of human activities on ecosystem services, with a focus on watershed-level impacts on water resources, nutrient transport, primary production, benthic biodiversity and riparian function. He uses systems models and life cycle analysis to identify causal relationships in complex systems.

    Matlock has degrees in soil chemistry, plant physiology and biosystems engineering. He is a registered professional engineer and a certified senior ecologist. Matlock is technical adviser to the Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, chairs of the technical committee for development of the American National Standards Institute's Standard for Sustainable Agriculture and works with the Stewardship Index for Sustainable Crops. He is the former president of the American Ecological Engineering Society and a negotiator and facilitator of water disputes between the Palestinian, Israeli, and Jordanian governments on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, Matlock is a sustainability strategy adviser for six international companies and an environmental protection commissioner for the Cherokee Nation. Matlock is an author of Swimming Upstream: Collaborative Approaches to Watershed Management (MIT Press, 2005).

  • Philip Micklin — Department of Geography, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

    Philip Micklin has focused on water management issues in the former USSR since the late 1960s, with his major interest in Central Asia for the past quarter century. He was a geography professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo for 30 years before retiring in 1999. He received the University’s highest academic award in 1992, when named Distinguished Faculty Scholar. In 2001-2002 he served as visiting professor of Environmental Studies at Denison University in Ohio. Dr. Micklin is particularly interested in the human induced desiccation of the Aral Sea and its environmental and human consequences as well as the related problems of water sharing and water management in and among the newly independent states of Central Asia. Dr. Micklin has visited and lived in the former USSR and Central Asia many times over the past 43 years: conducting research, participating in conferences and working for the United Nations and U.S. Government. He has collaborated with Dr. Nikolay Aladin of the Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, since 1989 on Aral Sea research. In 2005 he and Dr. Aladin directed a month-long expedition to the Aral Sea funded by the National Geographic Society. They returned in September 2007 for a follow-up visit. Dr. Micklin has written several monographs, edited several books, and published more than 70 articles and chapters in books.

  • Kathy Morrison — Professor of Anthropology and Social Sciences in the College; Director, Center for International Studies, University of Chicago

    Kathleen Morrison earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1992. She is Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College and studies the archaeology and historical anthropology of South Asia with a focus on precolonial and early colonial South India. Her interests include state formation and power relations in South Asia, agricultural intensification as a general historical problem, colonialism and imperialism, landscape history, and the integration of archaeological, historical, and ecological analysis. She was appointed Director of the Center for International Studies in 2003.

  • Thomas O’Keefe — river ecologist

    Dr. Thomas O’Keefe is a river ecologist who has spent his life as a research scientist, restoration ecologist, teacher, policy professional, explorer, and advocate for public enjoyment of rivers.

    Dr. O’Keefe has a B.S. in Ecology from Cornell University and a PhD in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was a research scientist at Tokyo University and participated in the National Science Foundation’s visiting scholars program in China and Taiwan. He was also formerly a research coordinator and lecturer at the University of Washington where his work focused on watershed ecology and specifically the dynamics of large floodplain rivers.

    Dr. O’Keefe’s current work is focused on public policy as it relates to hydropower licensing and federal management of public lands and waters. He represents American Whitewater, a national river conservation organization and serves on the steering committee of the Hydropower Reform Coalition. He spends significant time exploring rivers and in 2003 he completed a final descent of the Three Gorges on China’s Yangtze River just months before filling of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam.

  • Fred Pearce — Freelance author and journalist

    Fred Pearce is a freelance author and journalist based in London, England. He has reported on environment, science and development issues from 64 countries over the past 20 years. Trained as a geographer, he has been environment consultant of New Scientist magazine since 1992. He writes regularly for the Guardian newspaper, including the weekly Greenwash column, and recently published a 12-part investigation of the “climategate” emails affair at the University of East Anglia. He is a frequent lecturer, having spoken on all six continents in the past four years, and is a frequent contributor to US newspapers and magazines. Fred’s books have been translated into at least 14 languages. They include When the Rivers Run Dry, Confessions of an Eco Sinner, Earth: Then and Now, With Speed and Violence (on climate change), and Deep Jungle and The Coming Population Crash, published in April this year.

  • Mandy Poole — Engineering consultant at Baxter & Woodman

    Mandy Poole studied at the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, where she earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering and M.S. in Environmental Engineering. Her studies and research have focused on water/wastewater treatment and renewable energies. As a researcher with the Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (WaterCAMPWS), Mandy focused on the development of point-of-use disinfection systems that rely on local, natural, and widely-available materials for drinking water treatment. During her years in Urbana, she was heavily involved in the student group Engineers Without Borders, an organization that aims to support community-driven development programs through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, as well as the UIUC Biodiesel Initiative and Solar Decathalon. At present, Mandy works as an engineering consultant at Baxter & Woodman, a private Chicago-based engineering firm, where she focuses on wastewater treatment and energy reduction studies for primarily municipal clients. As a life goal, Mandy seeks to assist in the development of a standardized system of enviro-economic valuation of goods and services through a holistic approach to engineering and legislation. She is very pleased to be participating in this year's Summer Teachers Institute.

  • Sandra Ruckstuhl — Senior Social Scientist, Center for Complexity Analysis, Group W Inc. and Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

    Sandra Ruckstuhl is a Senior Social Scientist at the Center for Complexity Analysis (CCA) at Group W Inc. where she conducts research and provides advisory services on development policy and operations in conflict-affected and fragile states for the World Bank, the United Nations and US government. Prior to joining Group W she worked for more than seven years as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations where she provided technical assistance and conducted research on conflict-sensitive approaches to development. She has worked on water, natural resource management and environmental issues in 14 countries across four regions, including fieldwork in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, India and the West Bank and Gaza. Sandra is an Instructor at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) where she has designed and teaches a 15-week graduate seminar entitled “Water and Conflict”. Also a PhD candidate at the Institute, Sandra will defend her dissertation entitled "Enabling Environmental Peacebuilding: An Analysis of Projects and Factors in Four Project Cases" in June 2010. Sandra holds a Master of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in International Relations with a regional studies focus on Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband, Rawhi Afaghani.

  • Jim Shultz — Founder and executive director of The Democracy Center

    Jim Shultz is the founder and executive director of The Democracy Center, based in Bolivia and San Francisco. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard University, Jim is the author and editor of three books, including the award-winning "The Democracy Owners' Manual" (Rutgers University Press, 2002) and "Dignity and Defiance – Stories from Bolivia's Challenge to Globalization" (UC Press 2009). He is also author of a variety of major reports on global public policy issues and his articles on globalization issues have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the US, Canada and Europe. His reporting on the Bolivian Water Revolt was named top story of 2000 by Project Censored.

    As a globally recognized expert in citizen advocacy, Jim has led advocacy training programs for thousands of activists across the US, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. He has also worked as staff to the California Legislature, as an advocate with Common Cause and Consumers Union, and has taught public policy at San Francisco State University.

    Jim lives with his wife and children in Cochabamba, Bolivia where he also served for many years as president of an 80-child orphanage.

  • Prakasam Tata — Executive Director of the Center for Waste Transformation Technology, Wheaton, IL; Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Health in the Department of Community Medicine at the Maharajah Institute of Medical Sciences, Andhra Pradsesh, India

    Dr. Praksaram Tata is the Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Health at the Maharajah Institute of Medical Sciences in Andhra Pradesh, India. He is also the Executive Director of the Center for Waste Transformation Technology in Wheaton, IL. In 2002, Dr. Tata retired as the Head of the Environmental Monitoring and Research Division and managed a group of about 85 including 12 Ph.Ds and many post graduate scientists and engineers. He presented numerous papers at regional, national, and international meetings, and published about 150 papers and reports. He has coauthored four books and received several awards. Although Dr. Tata has been living in the USA for the past 48 years, he visited has India and other developing countries numerous times for projects, advisory missions and lectures on water pollution, water supply, and sanitation.

    Over the course of his career, Dr. Tata has led several projects to improve water quality in Andhra Pradesh in India. Dr. Tata designed a wastewater treatment system to remediate the pollution of a man-made lake of 170 acres located in Vizianagaram and got it built by the local administration. As a Rotarian, he has recently completed a project with the help of The Rotary Clubs of Naperville, Illinois, and Vizianagaram, AP to install a water-sanitation project in a village near Vizianagaram to provide water supply and sanitation facilities on a 24/7 basis to poor residents. He raised money for the project through the Rotary Club of Naperville and other non-profit organizations in which he is active. Dr. Tata will also be working on a project that provides solar lights in homes of the poor in about 40 villages in Madhya Pradesh, India, where these homes are never connected to the electrical grid.

For more information, please contact Jamie Bender at (773) 834-3852 or jbender@uchicago.edu