The Environment

The discussion will be grounded in a variety of specialties including green living, climate change, agriculture, animals, food, water, health, human rights, law, technology, international relations, government, migration/immigration, philanthropy, business/finance, tourism, land use, entertainment and art, fashion, advertising, national security, natural disasters, and much more.

Hosted by the 2022 StuCo

Presenter & Session Information

Micah Farfour

Special Advisor, Remote Sensing, Amnesty International

Micah Farfour is the Special Advisor for Remote Sensing in the Evidence Lab at Amnesty International. She will discuss conducting open-source investigations using satellite imagery and other data sources to do near real-time human rights monitoring and documentation of village burnings in Myanmar, tracking Boko Haram and military activities in Nigeria, monitoring and analyzing changes in North Korean gulags, and supplying key evidence for an investigation into a Southeast Asian trafficking ring.

Micah has been conducting open source investigations using satellite imagery and other data sources for over seven years, working closely with researchers and journalists to uncover evidence of human rights abuses across the globe. Some past projects include near real-time monitoring and documentation of village burnings in Myanmar, tracking Boko Haram and military activities in Nigeria, monitoring and analyzing changes in North Korean gulags and supplying key evidence for an investigation into a Southeast Asian trafficking ring.

Russell Sterten ’06

Community Manager

Russell Sterten ’06 will discuss his work at the intersection of the environment and community education with the Edible Schoolyard Project.

Russell Sterten is Community Manager with the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, California. Previously, he was Program Manager with Civinomics, a civic-tech startup based in Santa Cruz, California building a community-based web platform that provides crowdsourced solutions to local problems for city governments to engage and obtain feedback and engagement from citizens. He proposed, designed, and conducted a series of user tests to inform their online product development, which resulted in providing valuable feedback and direction to site developers. He also helped put on two major outreach town halls, one focused on crowdsourcing policy solutions across all facets of the Santa Cruz community, the other focusing on water policy in Santa Cruz. Previously, he worked as a grassroots campaign manager for a successful San Rafael city council member then running against an incumbent assemblymember. He helped coordinate neighborhood canvassing, facilitated fundraising events, and represented the campaign at political functions. He also trained volunteers in understanding important policy issues of the election and effective campaign tactics. Sterten earned his B.A. in Political Economy from University of California, Berkeley

Marko Zaninovich ’85 P’25, P’22, P’19

Owner, Sunview Vineyards

​​Marko S. Zaninovich ’85 P’25, P’22 is a third-generation farmer in his family business, Sunview Vineyards (one of California’s largest family-owned and operated table grape operations) and will discuss farming practices that combine tradition with technological advancements.

​​Marko S. Zaninovich is a third-generation farmer in his family business.
one of California’s largest family-owned and operated table grape operations.
Sunview’s farming practices combine the wisdom of tradition with the most recent technological advancements available. This includes decades of practical experience that have resulted in clear knowledge of soils, ground water and particular vineyard microclimates; as well as constant analysis of this vast database combined with daily field evaluation to allow each variety to reach its full potential. They also cooperate with University of California and State University systems who help provide valuable insight on new innovations.

Molly Tyson

Mountain guide, outdoor educator, climbing ranger, rescue specialist

Molly Tyson is a mountain guide, outdoor educator, climbing ranger, and rescue specialist who has traveled all over the world. She will talk about her passion for “wild places” through her wilderness travel, backcountry skills, and outdoor leadership!

As a teen, Molly began working outdoors gathering nearly two decades of experience as a mountain guide, outdoor educator, and climbing ranger throughout the Western United States, Antarctica, and South America. She has received several prestigious climbing and skiing grants for expeditions, many of which included first ascents and descents, in places like Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Alaska, China, Nepal, and Myanmar for the first ascent of Southeast Asia’s disputed highest peak, Gamlang Razi (19,258 feet). Most recently, Molly worked for many years as a Jenny Lake Climbing Ranger in Grand Teton National Park, as part of a tightly-knit team known for specializing in demanding Search and Rescue operations. After studying political science and journalism at the Colorado College, Molly recently returned to school to pursue a Masters of Environmental Management at Yale University’s School of the Environment and a Certificate in College Teaching Preparation from Yale’s Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning. Currently, Molly is a Research Associate with the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, a Fellow with Yale Law School’s Law, Ethics and Animal Program, and an Associate with the Farrell Lab’s Yale North American West Initiative.
Molly has held various medical certifications, and is known for her experience in wilderness travel, backcountry skills, and outdoor leadership. As a writer, Molly’s pieces have appeared in several books and anthologies, including co-authoring with Andy Tyson, Climbing: Self Rescue published by The Mountaineers Books and over 20,000 copies sold. https://mollyloomis.com

Morgan Quimby

Research Intern, Monterey Bay Whale Watch

Morgan Quimby will talk about the work of Monterey Bay Whale Watch and the research she works on!

Born in Portland, Maine, Morgan Quimby graduated from the University of New England in 2021 with a B.S. in Animal Behavior. An advocate for protecting nature, Quimby is a wildlife photographer and self-proclaimed “bird nerd” who is currently serving as a Research Intern with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. https://mquimby.uneportfolio.org

Dr. Fiorenza Michell P’31, P’25

Stanford University Professor and Co-Director Stanford Center of Ocean Solutions

Dr. Fiorenza Micheli P’31, P’25 will talk about the processes shaping marine communities and coastal social-ecological systems.

Dr. Fiorenza Micheli is co-director of Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions, and a marine ecologist at the Hopkins Marine Station of Stanford University, where she is the David and Lucile Packard Professor of Marine Science. Micheli’s research focuses on the processes shaping marine communities and coastal social-ecological systems, and incorporating this understanding in marine management and conservation. She investigates climatic impacts on marine ecosystems, particularly the impacts of hypoxia and ocean acidification on marine species, communities and fisheries, marine predators’ ecology and trophic cascades, the dynamics and sustainability of small-scale fisheries, and the design and function of Marine Protected Areas. Her current research takes her to Mexico, Italy, and Palau, in addition to California. She is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, research advisor to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Seafood Watch and the Benioff Ocean Initiative, and senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment.

Ben Cooper ’03

Program Manager, StopWaste Oakland

Ben Cooper ’03 will discuss his passion for the environment, his career path, his organization Stop Waste and what we can all be doing to help reduce waste of all kinds (you’ll be surprised at what we waste!).

Ben Cooper has worked in sustainability in the built environment since 2005. He strives to equitably upgrade existing apartment buildings across the Bay Area by increasing energy efficiency, comfort and safety while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Dan Fernandez

Professor, CSUMB

Dr. Dan Fernandez will discuss techniques to assess the presence of fog and how to maximize the collection of fog water.

Dr. Dan Fernandez teaches classes in first-year physics, Sustainability Systems, and Infrastructure Systems. He also co-coordinates the Environmental Studies program at CSUMB. Dr. Fernandez research focuses on the collection of water from fog, studying techniques to assess the presence of fog and to maximize the collection of fog water. Dr. Fernandez is also engaged with campus-wide sustainability initiatives, and he manages the incipient Sustainable City Year Program.

Dr. Melissa Garren P’32

Founder and CEO of Working Ocean Strategies

Stevenson parent Dr. Melissa Garren P’32 will talk about what it takes to advance social, financial, and ecological sustainability in the oceans space.

Melissa Garren holds a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, with a completed postdoctoral fellowship in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. Dr. Garren has >20 years of experience underwater as a PADI certified scuba Divemaster, and brings substantial expertise to the intersection of technology and marine conservation. Melissa’s passion for and focus on the application of cutting-edge technologies to marine conservation solutions has remained constant since the earliest days of her scientific career when she completed her undergraduate work in Molecular Biology at Yale University, where her thesis brought novel molecular tools to bear on questions surrounding coral reef conservation. In a former role as COO & Chief Scientist at Pelagic Data Systems (PDS) Melissa leveraged her extensive experience and practical knowledge working with local communities and diverse groups of stakeholders around the globe to foster fishery sustainability and healthy nearshore water quality. In addition to awards PDS received in 2018 from the National Geographic Society and SeaWeb, in early 2019 Conscious Company named Melissa to its “35 World-Changing Women in Conscious Business 2019” – aptly placing her in a cohort transforming business, and the planet, for the better. A frequent speaker at international conferences on topics such as combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, Melissa is often called on as a technical expert by UN Agencies such as the FAO and national governments. She is also Adjunct Research Faculty at California State University Monterey Bay in the Department of Applied Environmental Science, In 2019, Dr. Garren joined the Center for the Blue Economy Advisory Council. View Dr. Garren’s Ted Talk.

Graham Hunting P’29

Deputy Agricultural Commissioner, Monterey County

Graham Hunting P’29 will talk about the significance of agricultural outreach and the importance of having and enforcing agricultural laws & regulations

Since 2008, Graham Hunting has worked in outreach communication and enforcement of local, state and federal agricultural laws & regulations within the County of Monterey, CA. Since 2013, he engaged in the supervision of inspectors and staff operating under local and state program contracts, such as, Commodity Standardization, Certified Farmers’ Markets, Retail Egg inspection, Cannabis Cultivation and Organic Registration– including, Monterey County Certified Organic (MCCO), an accredited organic certification agency through the USDA National Organic Program. He has previous experience with Pesticide Use Enforcement with Monterey County. As well as, international business management in Yucatan Peninsula Mexico and central Guatemala for product manufacturing and export. Hunting participated in the US Peace Corps as an agro-forestry volunteer in Guatemala, and worked with the YMCA environmental education curriculum development in Michigan.

Dr. Louis Zeidberg P’24

Adjunct Professor, CSUMB

Dr. Lou Zeidberg P’24 will discuss life as a marine biologist, his passion for the California market squid (Loligo opalescens), and the management of California’s biggest fishery for Market Squids.

Dr. Louis Zeidberg is a marine biologist and adjunct professor at CSUMB where he has taught classes in marine biology, oceanography, ecology, evolution, physiology, microbiology, and invertebrates. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biology from UCLA, completed post docs at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Hopkins Marine Station, and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and has amassed 20 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Zeidberg has also worked as a researcher with California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He attended college at UC Berkeley and is a graduate of Harvard-Westlake. Dr. Zeidberg is married to Dr. Jennifer Zeidberg an OB/GYN with a private practice in Monterey; and he is the father to Jacob, 21, Morgan, 17, and Phoebe, 15, Stevenson class of 2024!

Tom Kieckhofer

Marine Ecologist and Educator, Save Our Whales

Tom Kieckhofer will talk about blue whales, why they are “the gardeners of the ocean” and how they help fight climate change.

Tom Kieckhofer has a rich background in marine species research: humpback whales, killer whales, bottlenose dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, elephant seals, sea otters, sea birds, schooling fish and krill. In addition, he has done studies on Humphrey – the wayward humpback whale – who swam up the Sacramento River in California. Tom has an M.S. Marine Science degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories/San Jose State University, California and wrote his Master’s Thesis on the Feeding Ecology of Humpback Whales in Continental Shelf Waters near Cordell Bank, California.

Dr. Matthew Janiga

Meteorologist, Naval Research Laboratory, Marine Meteorology Division

Dr. Matthew Janiga will discuss marine and tropical meteorology; and tornado chasing.

Dr. Janiga has broad interests in tropical meteorology from convective to interannual timescales. In his research, he has used satellite observations, reanalyses, cloud-resolving models, and recently global coupled models to examine the interactions between convection and larger-scales. He earned his doctorate in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology from the University at Albany-State University of New York (SUNY)

Tanja Roos ’98

Community Program Manager, Blue Zones Project, Monterey County-Peninsula cities

Tanja Roos ’98 will discuss how only about 20% of an individual’s health and longevity is connected to their genetics? We can ALL live longer, better lives by making simple tweaks to our surrounding environment and lifestyle. Join Tanja Roos to learn about the research of National Geographic explorer, Dan Buettner, and how you can put the blue zones ‘Power 9’ secrets to longevity to work in your own life. We will also share how the Blue Zones Project seeks to make healthy choices easier for all Monterey County residents and how YOU can get involved, no matter where you live!

Tanja Roos joined Blue Zones Project-Monterey County as the Community Program Manager supporting the expansion into the Peninsula Cities region. Having grown up on the Monterey Peninsula, with 17 years of experience working on behalf of health and wellbeing in the county, Tanja has a deeply rooted commitment to helping our local communities thrive. In her role, Tanja supports her team in cultivating partnerships with local nonprofits, businesses, community leaders, stakeholder committees, municipalities, grocery stores, restaurants and schools by utilizing evidence-based practices that improve overall wellbeing. Tanja also collaboratively works to develop policies that will positively impact the built environment, reduce tobacco use and increase access to healthy food. Tanja earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis on Sustainable Development from The University of California – Berkeley and a Master’s Degree from the University of San Francisco’s School of Management in Nonprofit Administration. Tanja’s early career was dedicated to co-creating MEarth, a grassroots nonprofit that provides high-impact youth and family programming in Monterey County, focused on ecological stewardship, hands-on science, healthy food choices and community action. She then went on to help develop transformational programs for global audiences, at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. There, she supported the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through her work on the scholarship committee and by helping coordinate a multi-year healing and reconciliation process with local Indigenous leadership. In 2013, Tanja was named one of the “25 For the Next 25 Years,” by the Monterey County Weekly in 2013.

Brian Garneau

President, Carmel Lahaina Water Treatment Plant

Brian Garneau will focus on water as a historical and contemporary issue in California (water use, quality, management and treatment).

Brian Garneau was born and raised in Carmel Valley, California. He graduated from York High School and received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Riverside in Business Management. He is triple licensed by the State of California in Water Treatment, Wastewater Treatment and Distribution Monitoring; and owns and operates a utility management company in Carmel, CA. He is married with two boys currently attending Carmel High School. Mr. Garneau enjoys swimming, mountain biking, and camping.

Jenny Balmagia

Water Resources Specialist, Central Coast Wetlands Group, San Jose State University

Jenny Balmagia will talk about the Central Coast wetlands and work being by by the Central Coast Wetlands Group.

Jenny Balmagia is a water resources scientist with a background in ecology; wetland restoration and assessment; and water quality monitoring. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2014 from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management, specializing in water resources management from the Bren School of Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara in 2020. For her Master’s project, she helped design a decision support tool to aid groundwater managers in California’s Central Valley in identifying the most suitable sites for managed aquifer recharge projects that have the potential to provide additional benefits to communities and ecosystems. Jenny began working for CCWG in 2015 as a Watershed Stewards Program member assessing watershed health using CRAM and RipRAM, and continued working as a research assistant constructing and studying treatment wetlands and woodchip bioreactors. After leaving to earn her Master’s degree she rejoined CCWG in 2021 as the Lower Salinas Valley Watershed Coordinator. In her current role she is responsible for coordinating the implementation of multiple benefit watershed projects through facilitating interagency coordination and partnership development with regional stakeholders including surface and groundwater managers, agricultural entities, and community-based groups. Jenny has also been rock climbing for over 15 years, and when not trying to create healthier watersheds, she can often be found on the side of a rock in the mountains or desert.