Kali Akuno is an organizer with the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), a black human rights organization. He is based in Oakland, California where he founded and directed the School of Social Justice and Community Development (SSJCD). He is currently the national outreach coordinator for the Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition (PHRF/OC). Kali has been actively engaged in Haiti solidarity work since 1991.
Miguel Altieri is Professor of Agroecology in the Environmental Science and Policy Management Department at the University of California Berkeley. For decades his research has focused on Latin America, where the enhancement of biodiversity in agriculture can help the great mass of resource-poor farmers to achieve year-round food self-sufficiency, reduce their reliance on chemical inputs and develop agroecosystems that rebuild the production capacities of their small land holdings. He works with academics and farmers to devise integrated farming systems emphasizing soil and water conservation, natural crop protection, and achievement of soil fertility and stable yields through integration of trees, animals, and crops. Much of this work is conducted through inter-institutional partnerships with NGOs, International Research Centers and Universities including networks such as SANE, ANGOC and CLADES, as well as international organizations such as UNDP and the CGIAR.
Jeff Conant is the Environmental Health Book Project Coordinator for the Hesperian Foundation, responsible for developing popular education materials about subjects ranging from sanitation and water to toxics, community forestry and solid waste. He is the author of the educational booklets Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment and Water for Life: Community Water Security, published by the Hesperian Foundation in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, Pesticides Are Poison and Mercury Poisoning and Community Health in Northern California, published in collaboration with the International Indian Treaty Council, and lead author of Hesperian Foundation’s forthcoming manual, A Community Guide to Environmental Health. He is a convener of the US People’s Health Movement Environmental Justice Circle, where he works with many NGO’s and grassroots groups to advance the cause of the human right to water. As a part-time journalist, he acts as Senior Editor of LiP Magazine and has recently published articles and photographs in Earth Island Journal, In These Times, Indian Country Today, Upside Down World and other print and online periodicals. He has developed educational games in collaboration with CorpWatch and the Ruckus Society, and is translator (from Spanish) of a book on the confluence of Mayan and Chinese medicine, called Wind in the Blood, published by North Atlantic Books.
Jennifer (Jenna) Davis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and a Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment with Stanford University. She holds a master’s degree in public health and a PhD in environmental management and policy, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Davis’ research interests focus on the nexus of environment and development, with particular emphasis on the water and sanitation sector in developing countries. Current research projects focus on decentralized, private-sector delivery of urban water and sanitation services in several countries; synergies between sustainable sanitation planning and both economic development and environmental protection strategies; and the design of post-construction support programs for rural water systems. Prof. Davis teaches courses on water and sanitation planning, infrastructure privatization, the theory and practice of sustainable development, and research methods. She has conducted fieldwork in more than a dozen countries, including most recently the Philippines, Mozambique, and Bolivia.
Rodolfo Dirzo is a Bing Professor of Environmental Sciences in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He is interested in the study of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and animals, particularly herbivory. In addition, he is interested in determining how the relationships between plants and animals are disrupted by human impact, particularly the current and future levels of deforestation and fragmentation. His recent work includes a documentation of the global magnitude of animal extinction, defaunation, and how this affects the global biodiversity and the functioning of ecosystems. He is also interested in developing a new project addressing the ecology and conservation of tropical dry forests—the most endangered tropical ecosystems. Most of his work is carried in tropical ecosystems of Latin America. Rodolfo is currently collaborating with SOIL Co-founder, Sasha Kramer, on a demonstration ecological sanitation projectin Milot, Haiti. Rodolfo Dirzo studied Biology at the University of Morelos, México. He completed his Masters (M.Sc.) and Doctorate (Ph.D) in Ecology at the University of Wales, Great Britain. He is actively involved in teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He has taught and teaches at the University of Mexico (UNAM), University of Puerto Rico, Universidad de Chile, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán (Argentina), Northern Arizona University, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, The Organization for Tropical Studies (Costa Rica, Perú), and The National Institute of Research in Amazonia (INPA; Manaus, Brazil). He is member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and he received the Presidential Award for Merits in Ecology, from the Office of the President of Mexico.
Rob Dunbar is Professor of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University, Director of the Earth Systems Program, University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Director of the Stanford University Stable Isotope Lab, a Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Studies, and a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for the Environment. Rob’s research interests link oceanography, climate dynamics, and geochemistry. His research group works on topics related to global environmental change, with a focus on the coastal ocean, air-sea interactions, and polar processes. He is also engaged in interdisciplinary studies of global change in collaboration with environmental scientists, economists, lawyers, and policy specialists. Rob is currently working on two projects in Antarctica to assess the impacts of climate change on Southern Ocean ecosystems and C-system chemistry. Much of this research focuses on the Ross Sea and East Antarctica where his research group is studying the modern uptake of carbon dioxide by the ocean under different climatic and biological regimes.
William Durham is Chair of the Department of Anthropological Sciences at Stanford University. A winner of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Durham joined the Stanford faculty in 1977. He also serves as Bing Professor in human biology. Durham’s main research interests are in ecology and evolution, the interaction of genetic and cultural change in human populations, and the challenges to conservation and community development in the Global South. His field studies among the San Blas Kuna of Panama have involved investigation of demography, genetics, and resource management. He has also researched the causes of land scarcity and environmental degradation in rural El Salvador and Honduras and the social forces behind deforestation in Mexico and Central and South America . During his tenure at Stanford, Durham has received the Gores, Dinkelspeil, ASSU, Rhodes, and Bing Fellow Awards for his teaching. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, H. F. Guggenheim Foundation, Danforth Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation. He was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1989 to 1990, served as the Director of the human biology program at Stanford from 1992 through 1995, and is currently editor of the Annual Review of Anthropology. Durham earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Paul Farmer is the Co-founder of Partners in Health, an international non-profit health organization founded in Haiti that now operates in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Eastern Europe and the United States. He is the Associate Chief and Co-Founder of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He is a world-renowned authority on infectious diseases and medical anthropology, whose clinical responsibilities span three continents. He is a Professor of Medical Anthropology at Harvard Medical School. The author or co-author of more than 75 scholarly publications, he is a recipient of the American Medical Association’s Outstanding International Physician Award (the Nathan Davis Award) and the American Anthropological Association’s Margaret Mead Award, among many other honors.
Leisa Faulkner is a Sacramento, California mother of five, and national delegate of the National Writers Union. She is co-founder and serves as co-chair of Sacramento Progressive Alliance, and Coalition for Democracy in Haiti. She also is president and founder of Children’s Hope, a humanitarian organization that provides support to severely needy children. She just returned from her fourth trip to Haiti distributing medical and school supplies, and meeting with human rights, labor and political leaders. Working to reduce US military involvement internationally, she is known for her work in Haiti, as well as her work to close the School of the Americas. She speaks and lectures publicly as an advocate for disabled children and children in poverty. In 2005 she lectured with Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of the School of the Americas Watch, before traveling to Switzerland to advocate at the United Nations for economic justice in Iraq. In 2004 she spent three months in Federal Prison for her outspoken commitment to peace. Later that same year, she was awarded the Dolores Huerta Award for humanitarian service. In 2005 she graduated with honors from Sacramento State University, began classes for grad school and received the “Coalition of Labor Union Women’s Award of Merit – Activist for Peace and International Solidarity” award. She lives with her son Luke, who has captured the heart of greater Sacramento, as he advocates for other children with Down Syndrome through his unfailing charm.
Ralph S. Greco is the Johnson and Johnson Distinguished Professor, Chief of the Division of General Surgery and Program Director of the General Surgery Residency Program at Stanford University, School of Medicine. Dr. Greco received his M.D. degree from Yale University School of Medicine and completed his surgical training at Yale as well. He has had a longstanding interest in biomatrials, the host response to implanted devices and methods of drug delivery. Dr. Greco is currently collaborating with SOIL Co-founder, Sasha Kramer, on a demonstration ecological sanitation project in Milot, Haiti (link). In addition to the above, Dr. Greco began organizing trips to Haiti for Stanford surgical residents in 2000. He hopes to develop a surgical rotation that would send four to six Stanford residents a year to train for a month in Haiti. The elective rotation would include Hopital Albert Schweitzer as an option. Dr. Greco fell in love with the country during his first visit as a Yale surgical resident in the 1970′s. “This is an opportunity for us to make a difference,” said Greco, who has been making working visits to the Haitian hospital for more than 25 years.
Wes Jackson is President of the Land Institute (founded in 1976), a Kansas based non-profit that has worked for over 20 years to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops.. After attending Kansas Wesleyan (B.A. Biology, 1958), he studied botany (M.A. University of Kansas, 1960) and genetics (Ph.D. North Carolina State University, 1967). He was a professor of biology at Kansas Wesleyan and established the Environmental Studies program at California State University, Sacramento, where he became a tenured full professor. Wes’ writings include both papers and books. His most recent works are Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place, Becoming Native to this Place, and Altars of Unhewn Stone, Meeting the Expectations of the Land and New Roots for Agriculture. The work of the Land Institute has been featured extensively in the popular media, including The Atlantic Monthly, Audubon, “The MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour.” and NPR’s “All Things considered.” Life magazine named Wes Jackson as one of 18 individuals they predict will be among the 100 “most important Americans of the 20th century.” He is a recipient of the Pew Conservation Scholars award (1990) and a MacArthur Fellowship (1992).
Karen Levy is Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Her work explores how environmental change affects transmission and incidence of infectious diseases, focusing on the ecology and epidemiology of waterborne disease. She is currently involved in research on transmission of diarrheal pathogens, household water quality, impacts of climate on waterborne disease, and the role of food production systems on the evolution and spread of antibiotic resistance. Northern coastal Ecuador has been a focal point of her research since 2003, but she has also worked in Guatemala, Micronesia, The Phillippines, Mexico, and California, and is also currently working on a study of the water distribution system in Atlanta, GA.
Hal Mooney holds the Paul S. Achilles Professorship in Environmental Biology at Stanford University. He received his PhD from Duke University. He has conducted research on the carbon balance and the resource allocation in plants and has worked to bring the incorporation of physiological understanding into studies of ecosystem processes. He has also worked on convergent properties of ecosystems and on plant-animal interactions. He is currently engaged in research on the impacts of global change on terrestrial ecosystems, especially on productivity and biodiversity, and is also examining those factors that promote the invasions of non-indigenous plant species. Hal recently served as Secretary General of the International Council for Science (ICSU) and Panel co-Chair for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Mooney is past- President of the Ecological Society and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has received the Eminent Ecologist Award and the Mercer Award of the Ecological Society of America, Honorary Member of the British Ecological Society, Humboldt Senior Distinguished U.S. Scientist Award, the Max Planck Research Award, the Ecology Institute Prize for Terrestrial Ecology, the Nevada Medal Award and the Blue Planet Prize and the American Institute of Biological Science Distinguished Scientist Award.
Peter Morgan is a British biologist who has been living and working in Zimbabwe for over 25 years researching and developing water and sanitation technologies. Peter moved to Zimbabwe in 1972 after earning his Ph.D. in Marine Biology and spending several years doing aquatic research in Malawi.In 1972 he began working for the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe on water and sanitation projects. Peter’s work is well known throughout Africa. He researched and developed the Blair Latrine, an improvement of the pit toilet, now widely known and used internationally as the VIP Latrine. Over 500,000+ units of this type built in Zimbabwe serving around 3 million people and large numbers have been built elsewhere around the world. Peter is also a pioneer in ecological sanitation, he developed a series of lower cost ecological toilets which are being used in various African countries helping to link sanitation, agriculture and forestry. He has also developed many water technologies, ranging from the Blair hand pump, the spiral waterwheel pump, and the “Upgraded Family Well”. Over 50,000 of these units have been constructed serving half a million people. Rainwater harvesting and water purification methods have also been studied. Peter is the author of over 100 articles and scholarly manuscripts and is now the director of Aquamor Limited Inc. Many of his articles and technologies can be found on his website. Peter has visited the following countries to investigate and advise on local programmes in rural water supplies and sanitation: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia. These tours have been made on behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, GTZ, Sida and UNICEF etc. Peter is not only a promoter of ecosan, he is also an avid user, and has been testing various ecological sanitation technologies in his backyard for years. Many of his backyard experiments are featured on this website and have been invaluable for developing an understanding of how these simple systems function.
Ron Sawyer is the Director of Sarar Transformacion SC, a multi-disciplinary consulting group that focuses on water conservation and ecological sanitation in Tepoztlan, Mexico. He has 20+ years of experience providing participatory training and technical support to water and sanitation programs in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Ron is a key collaborator in Swedish Sida supported EcoSanRes and the coordinator of TepozEco Municipal Ecosan Pilot Project, implemented with assistance from the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI/EcoSanRes). He is currently managing the Regional Ecosan Promotion Project for UNDP/BDP/EEG (Bureau of Development Policy / Energy & Environment Group). From 1990 to 1995, Ron was Africa Region Participatory Development & Training Specialist for Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) for the World Bank. He also worked in collaboration with WHO to spearhead the PHAST initiative, a participatory approach for the control of diarheal disease.
Peter Vitousek has been a faculty member at Stanford University since 1984. He is Associate Professor and Professor of Biological Sciences, as well as Clifford G. Morrison Professor of Population and Resource Studies. He has devoted his career to studying the earth’s metabolism and life cycles, zeroing in on how the intricate machinery of its forests is altered by people and the introduction of new plants and animals. Born in Honolulu, Vitousek performs his field research primarily on Hawai’i and is a notable researcher on Hawai’ian ecosystems. His thinking, however, is global, linking biodiversity conservation concerns with the functioning of ecosystems and, ultimately, with the workings of the biosphere. He directs Stanford’s Vitousek Lab, which is at the forefront of research on biological diversity. It focuses on studying nutrient cycling in forest ecosystems as well as the effects of invasions by exotic species. Vitousek has authored and contributed to well over 200 published research studies, book chapters, and monographs.
SOIL would also like to recognize the significant contributions of former advisory member Dennis Brutus. Dennis was a South African poet, political activist and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, in Pennsylvania, USA. Dennis taught high school in South Africa from 1948 until 1962 when, as a result of his political activism, notably his protests against all-white South African sports, he was fired from his job and imprisoned (1963) on the infamous Robben Island. In 1966 his works were banned, and he was sent into exile. His testimony concerning apartheid helped win support for the ban against South Africa’s participation in the 1970 Olympic Games. Since then Dennis has taught at several American universities, including Northwestern (1971–85) and Pittsburgh (1986–). Most of Dennis’ restrained and beautifully crafted poetry reflects his prison experiences, his struggle for justice, and the agony of political exile. His past work includes organizing and participating in protests and social consciousness-raising to further non-racial sports, anti-apartheid movement building, labor struggles and the global justice and anti-racism movement. He was active with civil society organizing at both the World Conference against Racism and the World Summit on Sustainable Development.