2016 Summit Speakers

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Andy Pershing


“How the Gulf of Maine can help us learn to live in a warmer world”

Andy is the Chief Scientific Officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) in Portland, ME where he also runs the Ecosystem Modeling Lab. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of changing conditions in the Gulf of Maine, and he is an expert on how climate variability and climate change impact the ecosystems in the northwest Atlantic. He uses a variety of techniques, including analysis of past changes in the physical and ecological conditions, as well as advanced mathematical and computer models of how marine populations change through time. Andy has worked primarily on zooplankton, especially rice grain-sized crustaceans called copepods, but he has also studied lobsters, herring, cod, salmon, bluefin tuna, and right whales. He is actively involved in regional efforts to understand and adapt to climate change.

Lightning Talk Speakers

  • Lili Pugh: University of Maine Darling Marine Center
  • Jenn Page: Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership
  • Karen Stamieszkin: University of Maine
  • Sylvia Scharf: New England Aquarium
  • John Cannon National Weather Service, Gray, Maine
  • Jim Manning: Northeast Fisheries Science Center
  • Gayle Bowness: Gulf of Maine Research Institute
  • Patricia Harcourt: Maryland Delaware Climate Change Education, Assessment, and Research
  • Hannah Webber: Schoodic Institute
  • Alyson Eberhart: NH Sea Grant and Cooperative Extension

Communicating Climate Change Panel

A discussion on effective messaging, creative tools, tips and marketing with a focus on a changing climate and other related science communication needs.

Moderator: Ari Daniel

Ari Daniel has always been drawn to science and the natural world. As a graduate student, Ari trained gray seal pups (Halichoerus grypus) for his Master’s degree in Animal Behavior at the University of St. Andrews, and helped tag wild Norwegian killer whales (Orcinus orca) for his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. And for the last 9 years, as a science reporter, Ari records a species he’s better equipped to understand – Homo sapiens. Ari now produces digital interactives and web videos for NOVA, and he has reported on science topics across five continents with his radio stories appearing on PRI’s The World, NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Radiolab, Studio 360, Here and Now, Marketplace, and Living on Earth. Ari also co-produces the Boston branch of Story Collider, a live storytelling show about science, and he is the lead producer of an occasional live storytelling, radio, and music show at the Charles Hayden Planetarium at the Museum of Science in Boston. In the fifth grade, Ari won the “Most Contagious Smile” award.


Cara Pike: Climate Access

Cara Pike is the founder and director of the nonprofit Climate Access, a nonprofit focused on building political and public support for climate solutions through its learning network for nonprofit and government leaders, pilot projects that test new engagement approaches, and communication research and strategy consulting services. Her work includes creation of the Preparation Frame: A Guide for Understanding and Engaging Around Climate Impacts; the Ecological Roadmap, a values-based approach to building support for environmental protection; Climate Communications Behavior Change – A Guide for Practitioners, and other widely used publications and toolkits. Cara regularly advises government agencies and nonprofit organizations including the Obama Administration, City of Boston, Union of Concerned Scientists, Province of Alberta, and others.

Larry Julius: Portland Radio Group

Larry Julius has 35 years of experience creating jaw-dropping radio marketing campaigns. His clients have included Anheuser-Bush, Visa, HBO, General Foods, Proctor & Gamble, Frito-Lay, and Unilever. Currently, Larry is the General Sales Manager for the Portland Radio Group (PRG) in Portland. PRG is a division of Saga Communication, a company that owns and operates 107 radio and television stations across the country. At PRG, Larry works with national, regional, and local companies to create custom marketing campaigns. Larry’s portfolio of radio stations includes Coast 93.1; WPOR; Newsradio WGAN and Rewind 100.9.  Also, in the portfolio is WCLZ, Maine’s only carbon-neutral radio station. Larry has been a featured speaker at events conducted by The National Association of Broadcasters; The Radio Advertising Bureau; The New York Association of Broadcasters; The Texas Association of Broadcasters; and the Country Music Association. Larry publishes a weekly blog to help the small business owners of Maine understand how to utilize local-radio to fulfill their specific-marketing objectives. Larry currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross. He lives in Acton, Maine with his wife, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 5 chickens, and 12 goats.

Billy Spitzer: New England Aquarium

William Spitzer, Ph.D., is Vice President for Programs, Exhibits and Planning at the New England Aquarium. He is responsible for oversight of exhibit design, visitor experience, volunteer, and education programs as well as institutional strategic planning. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous informal science education projects funded by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He is currently PI for the 5-year NSF-funded National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, as well as the 3-year NOAA-funded project Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators. Spitzer has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing science education programs and materials. In 2014, he was recognized by the White House as a Champion of Change for Engaging the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders. In 2016, Spitzer received a Visionary Award from the Gulf of Maine Council for innovation, creativity, and commitment to marine protection.