Michael L. Bentley is a Roanoke native and retired from the science and environmental education faculty of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He earned advanced degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia and directed the Science Institute for Teachers at Hollins University in Roanoke for 7 years. His 38 years in teaching included work at Virginia Tech and National-Louis University in Chicago. He served on the national expert panel on science for Education.com. Among his two-dozen books are Connecting Children to Nature (2014), An Educator’s Field Guide (2011). and Teaching Constructivist Science (2007). He continues to write and do part-time work in science teacher education through the Lawrence Hall of Science. He is a member of St. James Episcopal Church, Roanoke, and married to its Rector of 19 years, the Rev. Susan Bentley. They have three grown children and reside in Salem. His cv is available at http://web.utk.edu/~mbentle1/
Topics: Climate Crisis, Holocene Extinction Event, Green Burial, Addressing Nature Deficit Disorder, Greening Your Child’s Education
Laura Hartman – Intro Video
Laura M. Hartman has a PhD in religious environmental ethics and teaches at Roanoke College. She loves to talk to groups of any age or size about all things related to care for creation. She is the author of The Christian Consumer: Living Faithfully in a Fragile World and the editor of That All May Flourish: Comparative Religious Environmental Ethics. While her primary expertise is in Christianity, she’s happy to work with congregations from any religion. More details may be found at https://lauramhartmantalks.wordpress.com.
Topics: Environmental Justice, Consumption/Consumerism, Climate Change/Climate Justice, Food Justice, Transportation and the Environment, Bible and the Environment, Gender and the Environment
David Jones is a native of Highland Park, Michigan. He currently resides in Roanoke with his wife Georgianna. He earned his M. Div, and D. Min. at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond. His doctoral dissertation focused on preaching as a catalyst for interfaith dialogue. He is currently the pastor of the Williams Memorial Baptist Church in Roanoke. He also serves on the board of directors for Acts 2 Ministries, political action chair of the Roanoke Branch of the NAACP, and other social justice organizations.
Topics: Theological and scriptural rationales for creation care, Environmental justice as a social justice issue, Creation care as an extension of an incarnational theology
Freeda Cathcart, FLMI is a Climate Reality Leader who graduated from Roanoke College. She lives in Roanoke. Her background includes being a reinsurance specialist and an investor. She is currently serving as an elected Director of the Blue Ridge Soil and Water Conservation District.
Topics: Climate Reality Leader (Al Gore’s climate communications team)
Nell Boyle is the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Roanoke. Ms. Boyle is the voice of the city regarding green practices and environmental protection. In addition, she monitors and analyzes the energy performance and the greenhouse gas emissions for the city. She is responsible for the strategic implementation of the city’s climate action initiative. Prior to the city, Nell worked in the private sector as the Director of Sustainable Practices at Breakell, Inc., a local construction company. Her green career began at the non-profit C2C Home LLC, where she led the construction phase of the Cradle-to-Cradle Design Competition. An internationally renowned architectural design competition based on a cradle-to-cradle design for Roanoke’s historic neighborhood of Gainsboro. Nell has worked exclusively in sustainability for the last 20 years, giving her a deep understanding of Roanoke’s path to becoming clean & green.
Topics: Organizational Sustainability, Roanoke’s Climate Action Initiative, Roanoke’s Future in Clean Energy, Climate, Equity and Health, and Resilience