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Program Ideas
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Updated Oct 6, 2013
New Jersey Chapter > Program Ideas (See also Speaker Entry From)
General Speakers | Prominent Environmentalists:
      Area: Clean Energy
TalkTitle: Home Energy Conservation
I will talk about 2 topics related to energy conservation:
how using a green energy supplier provides 10 times the impact of recycling. Selecting supplier is easy and can be done with only 5 minutes on the phone. Discussion will also cover a background on energy deregulation and the fact that every home will eventually need to make a choice.

The second topic will be an explanation of home energy auditing and the fact that each home in NJ is eligible for rebates and low interest loans through the Home Performance With Energy Star program.

      Spkr_name: Bonnie Koch
           Town: North Brunswick, NJ
Travel Distance: 75 miles
 Spkr_telephone: 415-235-4109
            Org: Viridian Energy
      Telephone: 415-235-4109
Entry Date: June, 2013

NY/NJ Baykeeper
Whenever feasible, members of Baykeeper staff are available to speak at your event or program about a variety of topics related to the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, including: water quality, land conservation, oyster restoration, public access, the lower Passaic River, and other topics. Speakers can also discuss the work of the New York/New Jersey Baykeeper in general. Please be sure to indicate your topic(s) of interest and proposed date(s). Please email with your inquiry.
Rutgers Energy Institute
Jed Drolet
Area: Environmental Stewardship
Organization: Duke Farms
Betweeen 2008 and 2010 Duke Farms spent $45 million to transform the 2,700 acre estate into an environmental showcase and learning center, with a number of green initiatives including, The transformation of a farm barn into a LEED Platinum orientation center and a LEED Gold Orchid Greenhouse.
A solar array which puts more electricity back into the grid than they use.
Removal of invasive species and propagation of native plants to attract native wildlife.
See:< and

They also have a number of public educational programs on topics like invasive species, small scale organic farming, Tree ID walks, ...

The second topic will be an explanation of home energy auditing and the fact that each home in NJ is eligible for rebates and low interest loans through the Home Performance With Energy Star program.

          Name: Nora Wagner, Director of Programs
        Location:  1112 Dukes Parkway West, Hillsborough, NJ 08844
 Spkr_telephone: 908-458-6672
            Org: Viridian Energy
Entry Date: October, 2013

Measuring Your Family's Carbon Footprint
Jeff Huppert, Loantaka Group
Karl Anderson,
Field naturalist and author.
Rancocas Nature Center
"Celebrating a quarter-century in the wilds of the Garden State" The Rancocas Nature Center's Karl Anderson is a "self-taught naturalist." - Article at
Tony Geiger
Project Manager, Birding and Wildlife Trails
NJ Audubon Society
Center for Research and Education
600 Rout 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
609-861-0700 X27
Karen O'Neill, Associate Professor
Human Ecology Dept
Rutgers University
Phone 732-932-9153 ext 316
Her book "Rivers by Design: State Power and the Origins of U.S. Flood Control"
Offshore wind power - Kris Ohleth of Bluewater Wind (Hoboken); also Doug Pfeister. Kris has left Bluewater now, I think she's at Deepwater (also in Hoboken).
National Parks: America's Unique Contribution to the World - John Kashwick
Greening Homes and Cutting Costs - Ed Schwartz and Gray Russell of Green Living Solutions (consultants on making homes more sustainable and energy efficient)
Solar projects in Central NJ:
- Lyle Rawlings, President of Advanced Solar Products in Flemington, built the first fully independent home in the northeat US, and helped build an entire community of affordable solar homes in Atlantic City.
- Mike Strizki built one of the very few solar/hydrogen homes in the entire Western Hemisphere. It's located in East Amwell, Hunterdon County.
- The headquarters of Ferreira Construction, located in Branchburg, is the first net-zero electric commercial building in the US.
Alaska - Julia Shaw of Alaska Wilderness League
Community Trees - Pamela Tappen of NJ DEP Community Forestry Program
Local Government and the Environment - Mike Herson
NJ's Endangered Wildlife - Contact the speakers bureau, Endangered Nongame Species Program of DEP. Good program usually.
Living with Black Bears - Lynda Smith of the BEAR Group (I think she no longer does this, maybe the group disbanded). DEP does a bear program too.
Asian Long-Horned Beetle - Carl Schultze of NJ Dept. of Agriculture
Workplace safety and the environment - Jim Young of WEC
Steve Lanset & Ralph Braskett (Transportation)
Zoe Baldwin of Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Doug Bowen of NJ-ARP
(transportation is a tough issue to get people interested in, not high turnouts)
Butterflies ("Fluttering Gems") - Chris Williams of North America Butterfly Association (that was a few years ago)
Night Sky Pollution ("The Vanishing Sky") - Kevin Conod of the Dreyfus Planetarium (this too was a few years ago)
Mountaintop Removal - Larry Gibson of Keeper of the Mountains, WV) - he was in the area.
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge - presentation by a refuge staff member
Caving - Adrian Sira, author of a book on caving (of very little appeal, low turnout)
"The Environmental Ethic and Religious Traditions" - Fletcher Harper of Greenfaith
Wild Utah - Sean Saville of SUWA (he was in the area)
Ocean and marine life programs -
Chris Zeman of Oceana (Chris is no longer works at Oceana)
Robert Cowin of Conserve Our Ocean Legacy (a group that may not longer exist or merged with another or changed its name)
Sustainable energy issues, energy regs - Pam Frank of Partners for Environmental Quality (We did this in 2001). Pam is now with Sun Farm Energy; PEQ is Greenfaith.
Protecting NJ's Water - Jeff Tittel and Bill Wolfe (they did this years ago, part of early fight for the Highlands)
NJ PInelands - Rich Bizub of Pinelands Preservation Alliance
West Nile Virus and Pesticides - Mara Silgalis of NJEF (she lives in Montclair or nearby)
The NJ State Plan - Bill Neil of NJ Audubon; also Candy Ashmun of NJ Pinelands Commission
Hudson River wildlife - Steve Stanne of NYS DEC (he had to drive 90 miles -- too far)
Hiking/Biking in Hudson River Valley - Jeffrey Perls (had a book to promote, he also drove too far)
Protecting the Pequannock - Ross Kushner of Pequannock River Coalition (Kinnelon)
Passaic River Coalition - Ella Filippone
Treasures of the Highlands - Wilma Frey of NJ Highlands Coalition
NJ's Forests / Forestry - Ron Farr of North Jersey District Water Supply Commission (in Wanaque. lives in Passaic I think)
Lower Passaic Restoration Project (dredging) - LIsa Baron of NJ DOT
Managing NJ's Watersheds - with Christine Hirt and Julie Ann Zeleta of NJ DEP's AmeriCorps Program (this was done years ago)
Ramapo watershed - Geoff Welch of Ramapo River Committee (NY State)
Social and Natural History of the Palisades - Eric Nelsen, Director, Kearney House, Palisades Interstate Park
Palisades Fora and Fauna - Nancy Slowik of Greenbrook Sanctuary. They now charge for her to speak.
Pesticides - Howard Horowitz, professor at Ramapo College
Controlling Diesel Pollution ("Kids Clean Air Zones") - Kim Gaddy of NJEF. Kim had to cancel at the last minute so we never heard her in the end. I think this is best suit for urban areas. It's an environmental justice issue.
Saving the Selva Maya - based on a book by Jerry Barrack, Doug Goodell (photographer) and Jim Wright, all of Ridgewood area. I think they now charge $200 or $300 for any of their presentations.
Eco-tourism in the Hackensack Watershed - Linda Gangi of NJ Audubon (with Hugh Carola of Hack
Riverkeeper). NJ Audubon has been putting out new trail guides for various areas in the state. They had just released one for the Meadowlands and Hackesnack watershed.
Anti--nuclear power, Indian Point programs -
Kyle Rabin of Riverkeeper (Kyle no longer there)
Marilyn Elie of Indian Point Safe Energy Coaliltion (IPSEC) in Westchester, NY
Meadowlands - Commission Director Bob Ceberio and Hack Riverkeeper Bill Sheehan
NJ Birds - Hugh Carola of Fyke Nature Association
Peter Montague,Ph.D. co-founder and director of Environmental Research Foundation (E.R.F.), historian and Journalist. Also NJ Environmental Justice Alliance. Former editor for Rachel's Environment & Health News. Started a campaign opposing the PurGen (clean coal) plant. He is in New Brunswick, NJ now -- or

Greg Mattison,, The Climate Project (Glen Ridge) - wowed Essex Greens forum -- the best "make it real" climate change presentation I've seen
Gray Russell,, The Climate Project (Montclair) always great speaker: also great on backyard composting, recycling, Sustainable Jersey... you name it...
Kim Gaddy,, (Newark, Montclair NJEF office) gave a great talk about "Kids Clean Air Zones" (to an empty room) at one of the last year's Essex Group GMs
Here is contact info on a man who can do a presentation on building a rain garden in your own back yard. He has a great slide show and the West Group attendees really enjoyed this presentation. He said he does this statewide.
Mike Haberland
Environmental and Resource Management Agent
Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Burlington and Camden Counties
1301 Park Blvd.
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
(856) 216-7130
Andrea Ferich
Center for Transformation - Director of Sustainable Initiatives   856-283-1338
"Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time." documentary

If you need a speaker I highly recommend David Kinsey at ShoeBox Recycling.
Monique Rubens Krohn Executive Director of the Heritage Trail Assn. ( will talk about Local History for the Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Raritan and Somerville area. From the pre-Revolutionary period thru the Civil War.
Chris Aquila, a former naturalist at Scherman/Hoffman Sanctuaries, who has organized the Chimney Rock Hawk Watch (, which has been operating since 1990, will talk about Birding in Taiwan and China. Chris is an expert birder who's team has won the world series of birding.
Elaine Dunn
Phone 201-572-4765
town Chester??
How far will she travel?  Not sure, the group has several speakers.
Elaine is the VP of education for the group.
Org name  NJ Bear Education & Resource Group
Here is how Elaine described her talk

I am the Senior VP of the Educational Dept. in the NJ BEAR Group. Our presentation focuses on teaching communities how to become "Bear Smart". We address very simple ways to deter bears from wanting to be in residential areas and what to do if one does appear. The main reason that black bears might frequent an area is for the attractants people leave around such as unsecured garbage and bird feeders. Black bears are not predatory animals, but they are opportunistic eaters..........garbage is packed with "goodies" that the bears find irresistable. We also suggest using many aversive techniques such as using air horns, banging pots together, making loud noises, and showing that YOU are the alpha in that neighborhood. We also discuss the myths that are believed and explain what is real, not exaggerated.

We can coexist and live in harmony, but we need to respect and understand the black bears' TRUE nature. They are quite timid and non aggressive. World reknowned expert Dr. Lynn Rogers has studied them for over 40 years and says that we have a better chance of winning the lottery than ever being harmed by a black bear.

Keri Benscoter - -
A Resource Management Specialist for the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council. Her background includes expertise in rare, threatened and endangered (RT&E) species habitat evaluation and extensive environmental consulting experience.

Keri has served on the Township of Green Brook's Environmental Commission since 2007, serving as Chair in 2009. She is a founding member of Green Brook's Green Design Group, a sub-committee to Township Committee formed to advise township officials and residents on green initiatives and energy conservation measures.

Prominent Environmentalists:
Thanks to Barbara Conover and others for this list.

Ted Glick,;;; an internationally-known activist, I know Ted from his chairing the Essex/Passaic Green Party; "Ted Glick",

The Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith,; (also NJDEP EJAC) "Fletcher Harper",

Captain Bill Sheehan, ED of The Hackensack Riverkeeper

Debbie Mans current Baykeeper & Executive Director and Andrew J. Willner former ED of the NY/NJ Baykeeper.

Edison Wetlands ED Bob Spiegel

Dr. Ana Baptista, Ironbound Community Corp.; (also NJDEP EJAC), "Ana BAPTISTA",

Valorie Caffee (Chairperson NJDEP EJ Advisory Council); Director of Organizing, NJ Work Environment Council; "Valorie Caffee",

Kim Thompson-Gaddy, chair Newark Environmental Commission; Environmental Justice and North Jersey Organizer; New Jersey Environmental Federation, NJDEP EJAC; "kim gaddy",

Tracy Carluccio, Delaware Riverkeeper; "Tracy Carluccio",

Randall Solomon, Program Director, New Jersey Sustainable State Institute;; "Randall Solomon",

Jim Walsh Eastern Region Director for Food & Water Watch

Rich Dovey, president ACUA

Jean Clark and Mary Sheil started recycling in NJ
  EnviroPolitics interview

Dave Pringle of NJ Environmental Federation (NJEF)

Maybe even Captain Joel Fogel of WaterWatch International

List from Dick Colby and others
Egg Harbor River.

Candy Ashmun and others who founded The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions. (ANJEC)

Sally Brecht Price Pinelands Preservation Alliance (PPA) founder

Candace Ashmund She is a current, and original, NJ Pinelands Commissioner, as well as a long time NJ environmentalist.

Frank Oliver New Jersey Environmental Lobby (NJEL)

The Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association

Fred Akers for Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association (GEHWA)

Ella Philippone for the Passaic River Watershed Assn.

Derry Bennett and Tim Dillingham for American Littoral Society (ALS) Littoral = "close to shore"

Cindy Zipf and Heather Saffert of Clean Ocean Action

  • Patrick Hossay, Richard Stockton University Professor - The nature of climate change and discusses what we can do to help address this crisis.
  • Tony Borccoli, Director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers U.,: Climate Ahead: Global Changes and local Impacts
  • Phil L'Hommedieu - A founding member of the Highlands Coalition has been in an active fight to save the Highlands from 1984 on. Contract:
  • Larry Niles, Wildlife Researcher for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ: The Story of Bald Eagle Restoration in New Jersey
  • THE NEW JERSEY WATERSHED AMBASSADORS PROGRAM - A community-oriented AmeriCorps environmental program designed to raise awareness about water issues in New Jersey. (
  • Christopher Aquila, Former Naturalist at the Duke Estate. Started Chimney Rock hawk watch in 1990.
  • Mike Strizki, Director of Advanced Solar Products and Chief Technology Officer of Renewable Energy International, has the only solar/hydrogen home in the Western Hemisphere in East Amwell (about 45 minutes from New Brunswick).
  • Brien Szabo - Photographer
NJ Sierra Club:
Ian Walker and Diane Graves -

Mary Penny and her friend who got the D&R Canal saved and torpedoed the Mercer County Incinerator

Tina Schvejda ED Meadowlands Conservation Trust

NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel

Greg Auriemma chairman of the Ocean County Group of the Sierra Club,
was honored at the White House in 2013 as a "Champion of Change" for working to help his community prepare for consequences of a changing climate.

- Raritan Valley Group past programs
Check for recent speakers in Group News at the end of The Jersey Sierran.
- Other environmental organizations in NJ may have speakers. See DonsNotes/environment/nj_contacts.html

Check the WILD database of Sierra Club Leaders:
Go to WILD (,
click on "Leadership Position Across All Chapters",and then scroll down to "Issue". Under "Issue" you'll find the Club's volunteer issue coordinators for each chapter.

See Also Films
and Speaker Entry Form
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Page Last Modified 1/21/2010

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