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MASA Panel Discussion

June 11, 2017

The implications of climate change for science education, public health and sustainability.

Dr. Mark D. Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of Climatology at UWM

Dr. Mark D. Schwartz received his PhD in climatology from the University of Kansas in 1985. His main research interests are plant-climate interactions during the onset of spring and autumn. He studies the cyclic and seasonal phenomena between plants and the climate. Dr. Schwartz can talk to you about how he has observed that climate change is bringing Spring earlier to our area. He has received seven National Science Foundation grants, authored over eighty peer-reviewed publications, and recently edited the 2nd edition of a book entitled Phenology: An Integrative Environmental Science. Dr. Schwartz is also co-founder of the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN)

Melissa Tashjian, Founder at Compost Crusader

Melissa Tashjian is the founder of Kompost Kids, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public, individuals, businesses, and institutions about the benefits of compost and to reclaim organic materials from landfills to create soil for community-based agriculture projects. She is also the founder of Compost Crusader, a compost hauler which aims to divert 50-75% from the landfill waste stream by creating a separate organics recycling channel that gets hauled to a DNR certified compost site. She is the 2013 winner of the US Composting Council’s H. Clark Gregory Award for Community Composting. She is a UW Extension Master Composter Trainer and experienced educator in residential and community composting. Melissa is currently working on an MPS-only post consumer composting pilot.

Hillary Olson, VP of Audience & Community Engagement at Milwaukee Public Museum

Hillary Olson is a science educator and nonprofit leader with over 22 years experience in leadership, strategic action, and educational program development of mission-based, visitor-centric, informal science education organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University in Earth and Space Sciences, and her Masters from Bank Street College of Education in Museum Leadership. She completed a fellowship in 2016 with the Getty Leadership Institute in Executive Education for Museum Leaders. She served as the Director of Education and Programs for the Long Island Children’s Museum from 2003 to 2009, the Director of Integrated Programming at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia from 2011 to 2015, before joining us in Milwaukee.

Dr. Thalia M. Williams, Community Engagement Coordinator at Zilber School of Public Health

Dr. Thalia M. Williams, a former general science, chemistry and biology teacher of 15 years, and is a recent addition to the Zilber School of Public Health at UWM. Her role involves public health engagement and outreach initiatives by seeking and establishing partnerships and collaborations. In 2014, she received her PhD at Walden University in Public Health with a specialty in Epidemiology. Her dissertation studied the longitudinal predictors of STDs with regards to neighborhood safety and depression, among African American adolescents. Currently, she is a member of the Zilber School Community Advisory Board; is the acting research consultant on the Community Centered Health Home Network (CCHHN) project, and works with the City’s Milwaukee Elevate Project to elevate the health and well-being of Milwaukee residents.

Moderated by Brandon Gross, Advocacy Director for the Milwaukee Area Science Advocates

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