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Honorary Chair and Senior Science Advisor

Edward O. Wilson, Ph.D.

Senior Advisors

Robert Gardner

Brian D. Farrell

Linda M. Haar, AICP

Jonathan Haar, AICP

Carly Simon


Andrew W. Torrance, J.D., Ph.D.

Jonathan Haar, AICP


Peter S. Ashton, Ph.D.

Gabriela Chavarría, Ph.D.

William C. Clark, Ph.D.

Marilyn Roode Decker

Meredith C. Fisher, A.M.

Alex Krieger, AIA

Julie Moir Messervy

Bruce Stahnke, AIA

William M. Tomlinson, Ph.D.

Douglas Zook, Ph.D.

Dr. Edward O. Wilson

Dr. Edward O. Wilson is the Curator of Entomology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. A Harvard Professor for over four decades, biologist Edward O. Wilson has written 20 books, won two Pulitzer prizes, and discovered hundreds of new species. Considered to be one of the world's greatest living scientists, Dr. Wilson is often called, "the father of biodiversity." Today he is arguably one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century.

Dr. Wilson is the recipient of the National Medal of Science, the International Prize for Biology, the gold medal of the World Wildlife Fund, the Distinguished Humanist Award from the American Humanist Association, and the Crafoord Prize from the Swedish Academy of Sciences. His career has encompassed studies in the biology of social insects, ecology, biogeography, sociobiology, biodiversity, and environmental conservation. Through his writings and lectures, Wilson has changed the way both scientists and nonscientists view the natural world.

Through his profound understanding of the intricacies of the natural world and his gift of relating warmly to all, he has fueled our enthusiasm for studying the life sciences and caring for our natural world. Wilson's passionate concern for the preservation of our natural heritage has placed him in the forefront of environmental activism.

In his most recent book, “The Future of Life”, Wilson eloquently describes the magnificence and immense value of the natural living world that we are about to lose if we do not take action, and offers a plan and guidance to protect life on earth. Dr. Wilson received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at University of Alabama, Master of Science in Biology at University of Alabama, and Ph.D. in Biology at Harvard University.

For further information, please see the following web pages:



Robert Gardner

Robert Gardner is an internationally-renowned filmmaker and author whose works have entered the permanent canon of non-fiction filmmaking. His major films include Dead Birds (1964) a comprehensive and lyric account of the Dugum Dani, a Stone Age society at one time living an isolated existence in the Highlands of the former Netherlands New Guinea. (Gardner was the leader of the Peabody Museum-sponsored expedition to study the Dani in 1961-62); Rivers of Sand (1974), a social commentary on the Hamar people of southwestern Ethiopia; and Forest of Bliss (1984), a cinematic essay on the ancient city of Benares, India.

Gardner's films have received numerous awards, including the Robert J. Flaherty Award for best nonfiction film (twice); the Golden Lion for Best Film at the Florence Film Festival (three times); and First Prizes at the Trento, USA Dallas, Melbourne, Nuoro, EarthWatch, Athens, and San Francisco film festivals. In the 1970s Gardner produced and hosted Screening Room, a television series of more than one hundred 90-minute programs on independent and experimental filmmaking.

Robert Gardner received Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has also served as Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, and as Chairman of the Visual and Environmental Studies Department at Harvard.

Brian D. Farrell

Brian D. Farrell is a Professor of Biology at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Associate Curator in Entomology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. He is an expert in the field of evolutionary biology.

Much of his research focuses on the connections between ecology and long-term evolution of insects in temperate and tropical areas, and his work spans North and South America, the Caribbean, Papua New Guinea, and Australia. He is currently working on a project with the Dominican Republic to identify and map with images the country’s entire insect fauna. He is committed to application of his research to critical issues such as the loss of one third of the world's grain crop every year.

Brian serves on numerous public service committees and is chair of the Field Experiences for Biology Undergraduates and a member of the University Committee on Undergraduate Education at Harvard. He received his A.B. degree from the University of Vermont and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, and was a Sloan Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University.

For further information, please see the following web page:


Peter Shaw Ashton

Peter Ashton is one of the foremost experts on tropical rainforests and a long-time conservationist, and has written and spoken widely on the role of biology in sound conservation practices. He has been teaching at Harvard University for over twenty years and currently is Charles Bullard Professor of Forestry with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard, and Faculty Fellow at the Center for International Development, Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Peter has been conducting research on collaborative forest ecological and botanical research and training in the Asian tropics for forty-five years, over 15 years of which he has resided in Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Papua-New Guinea, India, Sri Lanka, S. China.

He currently is Senior Advisor in a joint, Harvard-Malaysian Forest Research Institute, Global Environment Facility-funded research project, to devise methodologies for assessing ecological and economic impacts of logging on the biodiversity of tropical rain forest.

Peter has been Director of the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University; President (U.S.) of the International Association of Botanical Gardens; Member of the Board of Governors (U.S.) of the. Nature Conservancy; and President (U.S.) Center for Plant Conservation, Inc. He has received the Award for Environmental Achievement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Peter specializes in forests of the Asian tropics and is the Forest Botanist to the Sultan of Brunei's government. Peter received a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctoral degrees from Cambridge University; Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University; and. Sri Lanka Hon Sc.D.from University of Peradeniya.

He has written over 200 articles and seven books, and recieved the Environmental Merit Award of the Environmental Protection Agency, for contributions to conservation in New England and Asia as well as, through UNESCO, the Sultan Qaboos of Oman Prize, for research and training for improved management of tropical forests, with Sri Lankan colleagues.

For further information, please see the following web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu

Gabriela Chavarria

Dr. Gabriela Chavarria is Vice President for Conservation Policy at the Defenders of Wildlife. She is a leading expert in pollinating insects, and earned a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University under the direction of Professor Edward O. Wilson and Dr. James M. Carpenter, now at the American Museum of Natural History. Her scholarly publications include articles on biodiversity, bird conservation, invasive species, entomology and pollinators.

As Defenders Vice President for Conservation Policy, Dr. Chavarria concentrates on a number of critical issues, including invasive species polices, control and eradication, migratory birds, state wildlife grants, transportation, federal lands, conservation economics as they relate to the Endangered Species Act, and wildlife disease and wildlife trade.

Dr. Chavarria serves on a number of boards and advisory councils, including the Global Invasive Species Program, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, the Entomological Society of Washington, the Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Implementation Team, the Ecos Systems Institute, and the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

She is also a member of several professional societies, including the Association for Women in Science, the Society for Conservation Biology, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Wildlife Society.

Born and raised in Mexico City, Dr. Chavarria has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the National University of Mexico, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University.

William Clark

William Clark is a Professor teaching environmental Policy at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on global climate change and advises the United Nations, the United States, and other governments on climate change and threats to ecosystems.

Clark is the Harvey Brooks Professor of International Science, Public Policy and Human Development. Trained as an ecologist, his research focuses on the interactions of environment, development, and security concerns in international affairs, with a special emphasis on the role of science and technology in shaping those interactions. At Harvard, among other positions, Clark is a member of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and he directs the Sustainable Development Program at the Center for International Development.

Clark leads the Science, Environment and Development Group. The Group collaborates on a variety of research projects and outreach activities that seek to improve society's understanding of interactions between human development and the natural environment, and to harness that understanding in support of a transition toward sustainability.

Professor Clark is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize, the Manuel Carballo Award as the Kennedy School’s outstanding teacher (2001), and the Humboldt Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale University where he graduated magna cum laude, with honors of exceptional distinction in biology. His PhD. in ecology was granted by Canada's University of British Columbia.

For further information, please see the following web page:


Meredith Fisher

Meredith Fisher graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Mount Holyoke College (Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude). She has five years of research experience in the biotech industry in anti-viral and anti-bacterial drug discovery at Anadys Pharmaceuticals and Idenix Pharmaceuticals as well as extensive collaborative experience at Aventis Pharmaceuticals in France.

Meredith is currently a 3rd year Doctoral Candidate at Harvard University in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in environmental microbiology specifically focusing on bioremediation and applied sciences. She is an expert in deep sea vent organisms.

In addition, Meredith is the recipient of EPA Star Fellowship for outstanding graduate students in environmental sciences, the Rachel Brown Fellowship and is a former intern at the Union of Concerned Scientists where she worked for their Sound Science Initiative program.

Jonathan Haar

Jonathan Haar is a planner, city builder, and filmmaker. He is owner and Principal of The Harbor Planning Group, Inc., a real estate development company in Cambridge. The firm specializes in the permitting and implementation of complex urban revitalization projects.

Among other Boston projects, Haar developed Two Atlantic Avenue (100,000 SF), the first office building and privately funded public park on Boston Harbor since 1987, and permitted 33 Arch Street (1 million SF), the first office tower on-line in Downtown Boston since the 1990 economic downturn.

Haar also is a Principal of the Boston Planning Institute where he currently is focusing the majority of his time on the Darwin Project. His interest in ecology and conservation stems from his explorations as a youth tracking turtles in Hell’s Half Acre wetland – now a highway in Cambridge, to conducting scientific field research in biology, to filming Jupiter’s moons for Dr. David Latham.

Haar is a documentary filmmaker, an accomplished nature photographer, and mountaineer, ice climber and wilderness leader. Haar received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard College with honors and was awarded summa cum laude on his thesis in ethnographic filmmaking, and a Master of Business Administration from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, and has been a teaching assistant at both institutions.

Linda Mongelli Haar

Linda Mongelli Haar has working in the field of land use planning, environmental planning, design, and development for over twenty-five years, and is considered one of the top professional planners and zoning experts in the U.S.

She was Director of Planning for the Boston Redevelopment for fifteen of those years, where she oversaw all aspects of land use planning, urban design, and zoning during a period of unprecedented economic growth and recovery in Boston. Among her planning accomplishments are the development of the Harborpark Plan for Boston Harbor, the Empowerment Zone Plan for Boston’s neighborhoods living in poverty for which the City was awarded federal grants of $141 million, and restructuring of Boston’s land use plans and zoning regulations for the first time since the 1950’s.

She is President and founder of the Boston Planning Institute whose mission is to focus on environmental protection and sustainable development. Linda lectures nationally and internationally on urban planning, has authored several professional planning and design journal articles, and is recipient of several public service and urban planning awards.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Boston University, Master of Public Health from Harvard University School of Public Health, and was a Loeb Fellow in Advanced Environmental Studies at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Linda is on the Board of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Partnership and Chair of its Planning Committee, an environmental activist, and mountaineer.

Alex Krieger

Alex Krieger, FAIA, is Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Professor in Practice in Urban Design. He in the design studio and lectures on the design of the American city.

Krieger is a co-founder and principal of Chan Krieger & Associates, whose recent work includes master plans for several major American cities including Boston, Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, as well as for medical, educational, and cultural institutions. His firm’s work has received prizes in eight national competitions, two Progressive Architecture awards, and three AIA awards. Among Alex’s publications are Mapping Boston and five monographs.

A former director of the National Endowment for the Arts' Mayor's Institute in City Design, from 1995 until 1998, and was one of the founding members of the Boston Civic Design Commission. Alex is an authority on the evolution of urban settlements has authored five monographs, including Design Primer for Towns and Cities and Towns and Town Making Principles. He is a frequent advisor to mayors and their planning staffs.

Alex currently is a Fellow at the Institute for Urban Design in New York, and Director of the National Leadership Institute for Planning Direction. He received the Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University and the Master of City Planning and Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Alex’s design and planning projects are numerous.

For further information, please see the following web page:


Julie Moir Messervy

Julie Moir Messervy is a renowned landscape designer, author of several books including, Contemplative Gardens, The Inward Garden, and The Magic Land, as well as of numerous articles and high-profile lectures such as the recent Boston symposium “IDEAS”. Her pioneering vision of landscape design is to create outdoor sanctuaries that feed the spirit.

Her innovative approach to composing gardens of beauty and meaning has triggered a national dialogue that is furthering the evolution of landscape design. Ms. Messervy’s column, “Inspired Design,” appears bi-monthly in Fine Gardening. She lectures around the country and in Canada and conducts weekend design retreats.

Her latest projects include “The Toronto Music Garden,” designed in collaboration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma; “Weezie’s Garden,” a children’s garden for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society at Elm Bank, Wellesley, MA; gardens at Praecis Pharmaceuticals Incorporated, Waltham, MA; and numerous residential gardens in the Boston area.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College and Master of Architecture and Master in City Planning degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ms. Messervy can be contacted through her website at: http://www.juliemoirmesservy.com

Carly Simon

Carly Simon is one of the most successful and creative vocal artists of our time. Her singing career spans four decades, and she has had both Grammy and Oscar winning songs. She has made a dramatic imprint on popular music that can be best appreciated by listening rather than by a text summary.

Ms. Simon’s talents and passionate interests are not limited to song. She is an advocate for social reform as exemplified by her work on reforming prison laws in New York. It is her visual artistry and environmental advocacy combined with her activism for social change that have brought her to become an advisor to the Darwin Project.

Ms. Simon fondly recalls childhood trips with her mother to the New York Botanical Garden, and stated that she can think of nothing more wonderful for Boston than a botanical garden welcoming to residents and visitor throughout the year.

Andrew Torrance

Andrew Torrance has taught Biodiversity: Science, Policy, and Law in the
Biology Department at Harvard University since 1999, and has taught
Conservation Biology as a member of the faculty in Environmental Science and
Public Policy.

With a formal background in both biology and law, his research
interests are interdisciplinary, and encompass scientific, policy, and legal
aspects of biodiversity issues.

Andrew has served as attorney and advisor to the Environment Association of Saint Thomas and Saint John to protect Botany Bay, one of the last large tracts of undeveloped land in the Virgin Islands.

He has been an invited speaker at Harvard Business School, both the Franklin
Park and Stone Zoos, and at the Harvard Biology Department's inaugural
symposium on Conservation Biology. Harvard University invited him to serve as
the Hrdy Fellow in Conservation Biology in 2003. Andrew received his B.Sc.
from Queen's University, and both his J.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Bruce Stahnke

Bruce Stahnke has had an early and continuing interest in art and the natural environment. He has practiced architecture in Boston for twenty years designing such award winning commercial structures as The Pilot House on Lewis Wharf and 303 Congress Street, residential buildings such as 226 Causeway Street, and institutional projects including Temple Emmanuel in Newton, while a principal at Finegold Alexander + Associates, Boston.

An early proponent of green design he established Stahnke + Kitagawa Architects with a focus on sustainable architecture. Since 2001 the firm has designed and consulted on many innovative “green buildings”.

He is a nationally exhibited artist showing paintings, woodblock prints, and sculpture in galleries and museums throughout the U.S.

He is the recipient of design and artistic awards for excellence and has taught design at the university level at a number of institutions. Bruce received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Architecture degree from Washington University.

William Tomlinson

William Tomlinson is an Assistant Professor of Informatics and Drama at the University of California, Irvine, where he teaches in the ACE (Arts Computation Engineering) graduate program. He is a researcher and animator of autonomous computational characters.

Previous interactive projects have been shown at SIGGRAPH, Ars Electronica, the ZKM Future Cinema exhibition and other venues, and have been reviewed by CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Sculpture Magazine, Scientific American Frontiers, the LA Times, Wired.com and the BBC. In addition his animated film, Shaft of Light, screened at the Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by the Anti-Defamation League in its Anti-Bias/Diversity Catalog.

He holds an A.B. in Biology from Harvard College, an M.F.A. in Experimental Animation from CalArts, and S.M. and Ph.D. degrees from the MIT Media Lab.

Douglas Zook

Douglas Zook is an Associate Professor of Science Education and Biology, Boston University Director Master of Arts in Teaching Program in Biology Education, Boston University. He is Director and Co-Founder with Lynn Margulis of the Microcosmos Program, an international effort originated in 1988 to make teachers, scientists, and the citizenry more aware of the important roles of microorganisms in our lives and in earth systems.

President, International Symbiosis Society. He is a member of the National Academy of Science's special committee to establish national science standards which are being used as the basis for state frameworks and standards in science. He is co-writer and co-host of life science series geared for pre-college teachers, Essential Science, as sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation and the Smithsonian Institute and shown recently as an 8-part series on PBS.

He received a Fulbright Fellowship in Biology research, 1984-86 at the University of Tuebingen Germany. Zook completed his B.S. in Biology at Boston University, Masters in Botany at Clark University, and Ph.D. in Biology, Clark University and University Tuebingen, Germany.

For further information, please see the following web page: http://people.bu.edu/iss/

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