Earth Ethics Institute
Dr. McGregor (Mac)
(1926-2018), Professor Emeritus
at Miami Dade College,
several programs at the
college including Life Lab, the
Environmental Demonstration Center at Kendall Campus, and the Environmental
Ethics Institute. It was
decided in 2003 that the purpose and mission of the Institute would be
more accurately conveyed by changing its name to “Earth Ethics
McGregor Smith Jr. presented the seed of an idea to the (then) MDCC
Board of Trustees with the vision that it could grow into a
self-supporting Environmental Demonstration Center. In 1978 a group of
committed staff, faculty and community members broke ground and planted
that seed. From that ground on the west side of Kendall Campus the
Environmental Demonstration Center (EDC) sprouted. The EDC was a
Wolfson Campus program but it was located adjacent to Kendall Campus.
following ten years, the Center grew, developed and evolved into a
unique tree with branches for an Owner-Builder Center, a Landscape
Center, a Tropical Lifestyle Center, and a Nature Center. In addition to
these, by 1989 Mac Smith and Norma Watkins had established the
Environmental Ethics Institute that offered credit and non-credit
Earth Literacy. And by that time, the Institute’s roots had
already spread beyond Miami Dade College, to St. Thomas University in
Miami, to Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and to the
Highlands Center in North Carolina.
Advisory Board Members
Zelalem Adefris is the Resilience Director at Catalyst Miami, as well as a Steering
Committee Member of the Miami Climate Alliance. She holds an MPH in
Global Environmental Health from Emory University and a Bachelor’s
degree in Community Health from Brown University. Her previous work
experiences include environmental justice organizing at the
Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island and conducting emergency
preparedness research at the United States Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. At Catalyst Miami, Zelalem works to educate Miami-Dade
County residents on climate threats, build climate leadership in
Miami-Dade County’s low- and middle-income communities, implement
programs that strengthen community resilience, and advocate for
equitable climate policies.
Zelalem Adefris was appointed to the EEI Board in 2018.
National Water Dance, a site-specific, simultaneous
performance across the United States bringing attention to water
scarcity and sustainability. Currently teaching at New World School of
the Arts in the dance and theater departments she has also been on the
faculty of the May O’Donnell studio and the LaGuardia School in NYC,
Salle Pleyel and the Paris Opera Ballet School in Paris, and has taught
at many festivals and workshops in Europe and South America.
Her interest in arts in
education and improvisation inspired her to create the children’s
improvisational dance company “The Good for Something Dancers”. As
founder and artistic director of Mary Street Dance Theatre she was twice
the recipient of the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship as well as
multiple local, state and federal grants and was also a founding member
of the Miami Dance Umbrella.
Her first dance/film “Between Earth and Sea” was
premiered at Miami Screen Dance in 2014 as well as at festivals in
Oklahoma and Maine. She received her BFA at Boston Conservatory of
Music and her CMA from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement
Studies in New York.
Dale Andree was appointed to the EEI Board in 2015.
Ashad-Bishop received her PhD
in Molecular Biology from the University of Miami, and her BS in Biology
from Morgan State University. Kilan is the Vice Chair of the City of
Miami Climate Resilience Committee and served on the City’s Sea Level
Rise Committee. Kilan is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the
University of Miami School of Education and Human Development and the
Director of College Access for Breakthrough Miami. Her professional
experience spans academic research, policy, and the nonprofit and
private sectors, but her goal remains to improve the health and
wellbeing of communities of color.
Dr. Ashad-Bishop was
appinted to the EEI Board in 2020
Joyce DiBenedetto-Colton holds a Master’s degree in
Higher Education, a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion & Disease
Prevention from Florida International University’s Stemple School of
Public Health, and a Certificate in Environmental Studies from FIU. She
is a retired Certified Health Education Specialist (RCHES).
Joyce retired from Miami Dade College (MDC) in 2014, where she
served for more than thirty years in both teaching and administrative
roles. Joyce taught courses in Energy in the Natural Environment,
Preparing for Student Success, and she developed and taught courses in
Earth Literacy. In 1998 she collaborated in establishing the
award-winning Eco-Urban Honors Program, a college-credit residential
program for students, located at the historical Miami River Inn in East
Little Havana, which received Recognition for Innovation of the Year by
the League for Innovation in the Community College.
Joyce worked with
McGregor Smith Jr. and colleagues to establish a number of innovative
programs at MDC since 1975, including the Environmental Center at
Kendall Campus which broke ground in 1978. In 2000 she served as
Director of the Earth Ethics Institute (formerly Environmental Ethics
Institute) and also served as Coordinator for the College’s Animal
Ethics Study Center, receiving the 2003 Innovation in the Study of
Animals and Society Award for Excellence presented by the Humane Society
of the United States.
Since retirement, she resides in North Florida and
continues her work in the general community, focusing on food security,
organic gardening, and prevention of disease through plant-based whole
was appointed to the EEI Board in 2014
Camejo holds a Master of
Science degree in Coastal Zone Management from Nova University and a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Coastal Zone Energy Management from John Muir
College San Diego. His Master’s thesis was on Solar-Electric technology
integration with Florida’s power generation system. Nikolas received his
Certified Energy Manager designation through the Association of Energy
He has worked as an energy consultant for the
past twenty years, and is now employed with MDC Facilities Management in
Energy & Utilities to develop a college-wide Sustainability Action Plan
by analyzing ways to conserve energy and water at the College. He has
studied solar, wind and tidal sources of energy. He began college to
study oceanography – and went into coastal zone management. He ran his
own consulting company for eighteen years – and is excited to now work
at MDC because of the educational aspect because he enjoys working with
students and faculty to engage them in energy conservation.
Camejo was appointed to serve as an Ex-Officio EEI Board member in 2020
Luis Daniel Fuentes,
MDC alumnus, is currently pursuing a Bachelors in
Science in Chemistry and Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in
Biology from Florida International University. He has recently been
published in CHEMPHYSCHEM, a scientific journal for physical chemistry.
During his time at MDC, Luis directed a campaign through the EEI's YES!
for Environmental Sustainability (YES!) club
to eliminate plastic bags at MDC Kendall, Wolfson, and InterAmerican
bookstores. He also partook in a mentorship program, Connect2Complete,
through MDC's Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy. He
served the homeless population, working as a Public Service Fellow at
the Miami Rescue Mission in Overtown and was the Vice President of
Students Aiding International Development, which helped to fund raise
twenty-thousand dollars for a small community in the Republic of Congo.
He worked alongside the Outreach Coordinator for The Life of Freedom
Center, helping to find and shelter human trafficking victims.
Luis Daniel Fuentes was appointed to the EEI Board in 2015
Lorie Smith Larson
is the daughter of EEI Founder, McGregor
Smith Jr. She survives her father as the donor of the EEI endowment at
MDC Foundation Inc., established to promote Earth Literacy education at
MDC, the mission of EEI. Lorie also directs two non-profit foundations
in North Florida, The McGregor Smith Foundation and the Seven Springs
Foundation; both focus on preservation and conservation of Florida
lands. Raised with an awareness of natural world systems, she continues
her father’s efforts to foster Earth Literacy, through educational and
hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Lorie is a graduate of
Florida State University in Business and Merchandising.
Lorie Larson was appointed to the EEI board in 2019
served as the Chairperson of
Continuing Education and Professional Development at MDC’s Wolfson
Campus before retiring from the College. Prior to that, he ran the
Environmental Center on the Kendall Campus of MDC for ten years. Before
his retirement from MDC, David served as the Ex-Officio member of the
EEI Advisory Board.
He now serves on the Board of the Deering
Estate Foundation (DEF) a community based charitable 501(c)3 thar is the
philanthropic arm of the Deering Estate (a Miami Dade County Park.) Its
Board of Directors is a diverse group of business and community leaders
and dedicated supporters of education, research, cultural arts,
environmental conservation and historic preservation of the 400 + acre
estate. The Deering Estate and DEF provides learning opportunities for
K-12 students as well as students from FIU, University of Miami,
University of Florida as well as MDC. The Deering Estate has established
an internationally recognized cultural and ecological field station to
contribute to the important dialogues on science, society, and
sustainable resource management through its collection of historic
homes, archeological sites, native habitats, fine art, heritage and
David Lotker was appointed to the EEI Board in 2020
served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member assigned to the Earth
Ethics Institute (EEI) at Miami Dade College in
2009-10, where she helped establish
Organic Produce Services (CROPS) an organic produce purchasing
cooperative with a sliding membership fee based that serves the Miami
Dade College community.
Upon completion of her service at EEI, Madelyn
was accepted into the Catalyst Project’s Anne Braden Anti-Racist
Training Program in San Francisco, a four
month political education and leadership development program designed to
support the political development, skills, and analysis of white
activists in becoming accountable, principled anti-racist organizers
building multiracial movements for justice.
During her time there she interned with the Chinese Progressive
Association, supporting their work around immigrant and workers' rights.
Currently Madelyn is a New York City Teaching Fellow. She started her
training in June 2011 and now is working full
time as an Earth Science and Marine Science teacher at
Bedford-Stuyvesant Preparatory High School, in Bedford-Stuyvesant,
Madelyn Moyer was appointed to the EEI
Board in 2011.
has made it his goal in life to promote the importance of
environmental education and Earth literacy. Nickle received his
Bachelors of Arts degree from Emory and Henry College in 1961. Upon
graduation, he pursued and received a Masters of Divinity degree from
Duke University in 1964.
Nickle’s professional efforts in environmental education began in 1980.
From 1980—89, Nickle was the Director/Manager of Wesley Woods summer
camp in Townsend, Tennessee. During that time he expanded the camp
summer programs to include year-round environmental education serving
students from all socio-economic backgrounds, rural to inner city,
interracial, interdenominational, terminally ill, physically challenged,
kindergarten to high school seniors.
In 1991 Nickle founded
Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center (NRELC) in Grainger County,
Tennessee. NRELC promotes Earth literacy and sustainability and
protects over 500 acres of Appalachian countryside. Nickle took three
years off from his work at NRELC from 2000 to 2003 and spearheaded The
Earth Lab at Gray Center in Mississippi.
was one of the founding Earth Ethics Institute National Advisory Board
William Nickel served on the EEI Board from 1994 -
2011 and was re-appointed to the EEI Board in 2015
Sarmiento is a Full-Professor
of Geology at the University of Georgia (Athens) and Director of the
Neotropical Montology Collaboratory. He has maintained a 30-year,
career-long focus on the interaction between humans and the larger
natural and cultural landscape. He studied under Eugene Odum, the
pioneering ecologist who fiercely advocated for the inclusion of humans
within ecological theory and concepts.
As a native of the Andean
country of Ecuador, Dr. Sarmiento has adopted the mountain environment
as his lifelong model for investigating every aspect of the human-earth
interaction. Dr. Sarmiento’s extensive research and publication record
demonstrates his intense interest in earth ethics and literacy, along
with a consistent dedication to incorporating the reality of human
perspectives into the mountain landscape. He also shows a deep
understanding of Global South and Global North perspectives on earth
ethics and literacy.
Dr. Sarmiento was appointed to the EEI Board in 2020
Previous Earth Ethics
Institute National Advisory Board Members
Cynthia Barnett is a long-time journalist who has reported on
freshwater from the Suwannee River to Singapore. She is the author of
Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.,Blue
Revolution: Unmaking America’s Water Crisis,
and Rain: A Natural and Cultural
Ms. Barnett has worked for newspapers and magazines
for 25 years. Her numerous journalism awards include a national Sigma
Delta Chi prize for investigative magazine reporting and eight Green
Eyeshades, which recognize outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern
earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master's in American
history with a specialization in environmental history, both from the
University of Florida.
In 2004, she
University of Michigan, where she spent a year studying freshwater
Cynthia Barnett served on the EEI Board from
2015 - 2017
Deena Blazejack is
Professor Emeritus of English at Miami Dade College
and helped found the Earth Ethics Institute’s EcoUrban program,
an interdisciplinary, residential honors program in downtown Miami for
which she was awarded Recognition for Innovation of the Year by the
League for Innovation in the Community College.
Blazejack served as the EcoUrban Program's residential faculty member.
In her retirement Deena is enjoying her organic kitchen
garden, meditative walks on the beach, riding her bike and devoting time
each day to writing. She is currently working on a novel and is Artist
in Residence at Deering Estate. She
Deena Blazejack served on the EEI Board from 2000 - 2011
Linda Brady served on the EEI Board from 1997 - 2003.
Peter Blaze Corcoran
is Professor of Environmental Studies and Environmental Education at
Florida Gulf Coast University where he serves as Director of the
Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education.
has held visiting professorships at University Sains of Malaysia, The
University of the South Pacific, and University of Nairobi. In 2013,
Corcoran was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work with the Wangari
Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies in Kenya.
Corcoran is on the Steering Committee of United Nations
Environment Programme’s Global University Partnership for Environment
and Sustainability. He is a Senior Advisor to Earth Charter
International and a Senior Fellow with the US Partnership for Education
for Sustainable Development. He served as a member of the UNESCO
Reference Group for the United Nations Decade of Education for
Sustainable Development from 2005-2014.
His books are Intergenerational Learning and
Transformative Leadership for Sustainable Futures with Brandon
Hollingshead, Wageningen Academic Publishers (2014); Learning for
Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change with Arjen Wals,
Wageningen Academic Publishers (2012); Fundamentals of Sustainable
Development with Niko Roorda and Joseph P. Weakland, Earthscan-Routledge
(2012); Young People, Education, and Sustainable Development: Exploring
Principles, Perspectives, and Praxis with Philip Molo Osano, Wageningen
Academic Publishers (2009); A Voice for Earth: American Writers Respond
to the Earth Charter with A. James Wohlpart, University of Georgia Press
(2008); The Earth Charter in Action: Toward a Sustainable World
published in The Netherlands by Royal Tropical Institute (KIT)
Publishers (2005); and Higher Education and the Challenge of
Sustainability: Contestation, Critique, Practice, and Promise with Arjen
Wals published in The Netherlands by Kluwer Academic Press (2004).
Peter Blaze Corcoran served on the EEI Board from 2009 - 2019
(Dan) Daniels, Professor Emeritus of English Literature at
served on the Earth Ethics Institute National
Advisory Board until his death in December 2009. Dan developed a strong
interest in the interconnectedness of fields of knowledge. In 1998, he
and a colleague co-founded the Southwestern College Bridges Conference
on connections between mathematics and art.
Daniels was one of the founding EEI National Advisory Board members.
Dr. Daniels served on the EEI Board from 2000
received his Ph.D. in chemical-physics at Harvard
University. He taught/researched at the American University of Beirut,
Lebanon, Cal State Northridge, and the California Institute of
Technology before moving to the U.S. National Science Foundation. After
17 years of government service Larry finally realized the depth of
today's crisis and left NSF to live and teach at Genesis Farm in
Blairstown, NJ. He continues to teach there as well as at the
California Institute of Integral Studies and the
Dominican Ecocentre in Wicklow City, Ireland.
Dr. Edwards served on the EEI
Board from 2005 - 2015
served as the Dean of St. Thomas University’s School of
Theology and Ministry until his retirement in April 2010. A graduate of
the University of Notre Dame and St. Michael’s College, Dr. Joseph
Iannone has published a number of articles on family religious
education, parish theology issues and peacemaking.
His legacy at St. Thomas University includes adding an environmental
justice approach to the curriculum, relating it to economic and
social/human realities, and establishing the Center for Justice and
Peace, which has local, regional and international ramifications.
Dr. Iannone was one of the founding EEI National Advisory Board Members.
He resides in Miami, Florida.
Dr. Iannone served on the EEI Board from 1999-2010
Historian; and the Founder of The Black Archives, History and Research,
Foundation of South Florida, Inc. She is a graduate of Booker T.
Washington Jr.-Sr. High School in Miami’s Overtown. She earned a
bachelor’s degree at Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia; a master’s
degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Northern
Colorado, and a doctorate in Public History from The Union
Institute/University, Cincinnati, Ohio. A Woodrow Wilson Teacher’s
Fellow she studied at Princeton University. Formerly a school librarian,
reading teacher and educational specialist she was an educator with the
Miami-Dade County Public School System for forty years.
Jenkins-Fields served on the EEI Board from 2000-2001
Miriam Therese MacGillis
is the director of
Genesis Farm, which she
co-founded in 1980 with the sponsorship of her Dominican congregation in
Caldwell, NJ. In 2005 she received the
Thomas Berry Award. In 2007 Grist magazine named her one of the
world’s top 15 green religious leaders. She lectures extensively and has
conducted workshops in North America, Europe, and Asia.
She resides at Genesis Farm in New Jersey. Miriam MacGillis was one of
the founding EEI National Advisory Board Members.
The Fate of the Earth
Miriam MacGillis served on the EEI Board from 1994 - 2010
Professor Emeritus at Miami Dade
College, began his service at MDC Kendall Campus Counseling Center for
Human Development with a focus on value clarification. Tim was
instrumental in creating one of MDC’s Core Courses, “The Individual in
doctoral work in alternative education at the University of California
involved participation and observation in the “LA Free School” - a
school exemplifying the Free School education reform movement during the
1960s and early 1970s. He was Associate Director of The Urban Semester,
“a program that sends students out of the classroom and laboratory and
into the city streets and halls of power." The Urban Semester was one of
the first programs of full-time study designed to be useful to
undergraduates looking toward service in urban areas. At MDC, he worked
with the newly-created alternative academic program, the
Inter-Curricular Studies Division, where small groups of full-time
students worked with an interdisciplinary faculty team.
Tim served as a Faculty Advisor for the Wolfson Campus’s Life Lab
program. For the next twenty-plus years, he worked collaboratively with
Norma Watkins and Mac Smith: in Life Lab, as it grew into a full
Division, establishing and directing the original Environmental
Demonstration Center on Kendall Campus, and as faculty and co-director
of Wolfson’s subsequent Environmental Ethics Institute (EEI). While
co-director of the EDC, Tim created the Landscape Center, Xeriscape
courses promoting the use of sustainable, native plants in natural
landscaping. Tim McGuirl served for years as a founding member of the
EEI National Advisory Board.
currently Professor Emeritus at Miami Dade, and divides his time between
Miami and North Carolina.
Dr. Ross McCluney
physicist, writer, and consultant, who served
as Principal Research Scientist at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC),
a research institute of the University of Central Florida, from 1976
through 2007. Before joining FSEC, McCluney worked as an oceanographer
for NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His research has ranged from
ocean thermal energy conversion to solar water heating to assessing the
performance of daylighting systems, and his consulting has included
assessing the energy efficiency and illumination performance of windows
He has written more than 75 essays and technical papers and is the
author or editor of four books, including
Humanity's Environmental Future: Making Sense in a Troubled World, and
Getting To the Source: Readings on Sustainable Values, an anthology of essays by prominent
environmental writers on environmental values. His essays have appeared
in such publications as the International Journal of Energy,
Environment, Economics, Earth Literacy Link, Clearing, and The Florida
Naturalist. Dr. McCluney was one of the founding EEI
National Advisory Board members.
McCluney served on the EEI Board from 1997-2008.
began her environmental career as a Policy Representative for
The Nature Conservancy's Florida Chapter in Tallahassee working on
legislative appropriations and land management policy. She also held
the position of director of the Trust for
Public Land’s South Florida & Puerto Rico Office where she designed and
implemented a regional strategy to acquire and develop land for the
public to enjoy as parks, gardens, historic sites, and natural areas by
raising capital, negotiating land deals, and securing public and private
She worked in the public sector as Lead Intergovernmental
Representative for the South Florida Water Management District where she
handled local government relations in Miami-Dade County on flood
mitigation, water supply, ecosystem conservation, and water quality
protection. While in the philanthropic sector, Ms. Ordenes played a
leadership role within the Turner Foundation in Atlanta to organize
multiple grantees and contractors, develop a marketing strategy, and
formulate policy objectives on a state-wide ballot initiative and
legislative campaign relating to land, water, and historic
served on the EEI Board from 2003-2013
Dr. Jack Parker
is a Founding and Emeritus Professor at Florida
International University (FIU). He Received a B.S. in Chemistry from
Emory University and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University
of California at Berkeley. His research interests focus on ecological
landscaping, passive solar cooling, energy and resource conservation,
energy policy and environmental education. Dr. Parker received American
Forests’ Research Medal for his pioneering studies of energy
conservation landscaping, the Distinguished Service Award from the
Florida Board of Regents for his work in the community and the FIU
Service Medallion for 35 years of outstanding university service.
Dr. Parker was appointed to the
EEI Board in 2011
is the Director of Communications & Network Relations for The
Natural Step International, where he is responsible for re-branding,
internal and external communications and organizational culture.
seeks to operationalize leverage points for the broader dissemination in
society of a proven framework to help organizations plan strategically
and systematically towards sustainability (known as the Framework for
Strategic Sustainable Development, or FSSD), and help facilitate the
growth and organization of an inclusive, global, networked community of
practice around the FSSD.
Perret served from 2013 - 2014
is the director of the Miami
Dade College (MDC) Hialeah Learning Resource Centers. She served
Earth Ethics Institute (EEI) Council, a self-selecting group of MDC
faculty and staff who meet monthly and identify actions and activities
of the EEI, from 2007 - 2012.
Ms. Phipps represented the MDC Administration as an
ex-officio member of the Earth Ethics Institute National Advisory Board
during her service in that capacity from 2008-2013.
is Senior Advisor at Second Nature and a Senior Fellow at the
Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, where she
helps higher education institutions integrate "sustainability literacy"
into curricula, student life, operations and community partnerships. She
is the Higher Education Co-Chair of the
Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.
Dr. Rowe is the Co-Coordinator of the Higher Education Associations'
Sustainability Consortium. She is also the energy and sustainability
consultant to a National Science Foundation funded Electronic
Environmental Resources Library. Dr. Rowe has been professor of
Renewable Energy Technologies, Energy Management and Behavioral Sciences
for over 26 years at Oakland Community College. She was Interim Dean of
Applied and Engineering Technologies in 2002-2003, and won the
Outstanding Faculty Award in 2004. She consults with colleges
nationally, has numerous publications and is often a keynote speaker at
conferences. Debra Rowe received her Ph.D. in Business, her M.B.A., and
her M.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan. Debra's B.A. is
from Yale University.
served on the EEI Board
is a Dominican Sister from Adrian, Michigan, and an attorney.
She currently serves as the director of the
Center for Earth Jurisprudence, Barry
University School of Law. Previous positions Sister Pat has held
include director of the Earth Ethics Institute at Miami Dade College,
engaging students and staff in programs and workshops in Earth Literacy;
staff attorney for the Voting Section of the United States Department of
Justice, Civil Rights Division; and legal services attorney for migrant
farm workers in South Florida. Sister Pat has also served in community
organizing with the African-American community in rural Tennessee, in
parish ministry with the Latino community and elementary education. She
served on the Adrian Dominican Sisters Congregational leadership team
from 1988 – 98.
Pat holds a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law,
Boston; a Master in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at
Austin; and a Master in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names
University, Oakland, California. Her B.A. is in History and Political
Science from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan. Pat is a
member of the Michigan and Florida Bar.
Pat Siemen served on the EEI Board from 2011-2017
Dr. Norma Watkins,
Professor emeritus, taught at Miami Dade
College for twenty-six years. She co-directed the Life Lab Division,
Mac Smith's innovative interdisciplinary program, a precursor to the
Environmental Demonstration Center (EDC), which she also
co-directed. She started programs at EDC such as The Owner Builder
Center, teaching sustainable building and remodeling. Out of the
Environmental Demonstration Center grew Earth Ethics Institute (EEI),
then called the Environmental Ethics Institute, which Watkins
directed before retiring and becoming a member of the Board. She now
teaches creative writing at College of the Redwoods in Ft. Bragg,
CA, and her memoir The Last Resort, Taking the Mississippi Cure, was
published in 2011.
Dr. Watkins served on the EEI Board from
was the Dean of Academic Affairs
at the Miami Dade
College InterAmerican Campus until 2007 when she became the Dean of Arts
and Sciences at Trinton College in River Grove, Illinois. She
represented the MDC administration on the Earth Ethics Institute
National Advisory Board as an ex-officio member until 2007. In 1997, Dr.
Leslie Roberts was chosen as the Earth
and served as resident faculty for the Eco-Urban program.
Latin America director of the Bridges Across
Borders (BAB) program in Jacque, Panama.
Bridges Across Borders is
an international, non-governmental organization that was formed to
address the root causes of violence and hatred in the world.
working to dissolve the imagined and imposed borders that separate by:
1) encouraging a cooperative spirit that builds understanding of
our global community 2) supporting projects
that lead to sustainable economic self-sufficiency
3) preserving ancient cultures and ancient species
4) teaching creative non-violent methods of
resolving conflict 5)
and promoting universal principles of human rights.
Maria champions the Sea Turtle Preservation Program’s capacity which
pays local people to preserve and protect sea turtle nest sites and aid
the little turtles in reaching the sea. The money allows locals to
replace the turtle eggs, a staple of the local diet, with chicken eggs,
encouraging local small businesses and ensuring that an important food
source is not lost in the process of ecological conservation. BAB has
250 nests and each nest in the program releases 100-150 baby turtles
into the wild, of which only 1or 2 will survive to maturity to return
and breed on the beach at Jaque. Ana Maria is an
artist and musician who tells the Universe Story through paint and song.
Ana Maria served on the EEI Board from 2005- 2015.
loved cities before she ever realized that they could be an
object of study, finding herself drawn to the strange, seemingly random
order and unique rhythm of urban places. Her desire to understand
living systems and communities first drove her to the sciences. Marta
holds a Bachelors Degree from Florida International University where she
also worked for eight years as a researcher in a USGS-sponsored Marine
Ecosystem Research Lab.
Marta earned her
Masters Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic
University (FAU). At FAU she completed a fellowship as a researcher in
the Visual Planning & Technology Lab where she worked on various
GIS-based studies, including a Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and
Hurricane Displacement research and mapping project. As an urban
planning student, she participated and led several community-driven
place-based projects including Better Block Fort Lauderdale, Little
Havana Underpass Park and Purple Line. While these projects had
differing goals, they were all based on the same shared principles of
community-built solutions for resilience and livability within the urban
Marta co-founded Urban Impact Lab which takes a multidisciplinary
approach to developing creative strategies and solutions for urban
problems. Urban Impact Lab works with foundations, nonprofits, private
firms and community groups to collaboratively address Miami’s most
pressing challenges. The firm addresses pressing issues such as
building climate resilience and local transportation issues through
strategy, communications, design and policy/advocacy work . In
addition, Urban Impact Lab works on place-based projects that elevate
the dialogue around public spaces, build social capital and integrate
disparate efforts around similar city-building goals.
worked extensively with
Miami-Dade Community College’s Wolfson Campus from 1990 - 1997. He was
the Associate Dean for the school of science, architecture, engineering,
and interior design; the Associate Dean for instructional resources; and
program and curriculum development director for the teaching/learning
John Villamil began his
serves on the EEI Board in 1998
Dr. Mitzi Wood-Von
served as the director of
Narrow Ridge Earth
Literacy Center (NRELC) in Grainger County, Tennessee since 2008.
NRELC was established to study, teach and demonstrate sustainability and
has a mission of providing experiential learning of Earth literacy.
Mitzi earned a Doctorate of Psychology from Nova Southeastern University
in 1997 and practiced as a Clinical Psychologist until she became
Director of NRELC in 2008. She received Vision Fast training from Bill
Nickle as well as the School of Lost Borders and has served as Vision
Fast guide at NRELC since 2006. She currently serves as a member of the
Board of Directors of Just Connections which brings together people from
communities and colleges in Appalachia for service-learning, research,
and collaborative action that will empower communities for social,
economic and environmental justice. Mitzi is a singer and songwriter and
member of the east Tennessee trio, The Emancipators.
served on the EEI Board from 2009
is a Miami native with
Jamaican roots. She is deeply passionate about our oceans and science
communications. She dreamed of studying the oceans since she was six
years old. In 2008, Danni graduated from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marin Atmospheric Science with
a B.Sc. in Marine Science/Biology. At age 21, she co-founded along with
her mom, Michelle Swaby-Smith the Big
Blue - a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring and
educating youth about marine conservation through the arts and media.
"Ocean Conservation through Artistic Inspiration". She also
served for four years as a naturalist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne
Nature Center where she helped educate thousands of South Florida children about local
For three years, Danni served as an on-camera personality and science filmmaker
with Untamed Science multimedia series and outreach program connecting teens to marine
scientists mentors and role models inspiring them to pursue careers in
marine science) and she also co-starred with Jaden Smith in the official
educational outreach video for the theatrical film After Earth starring
Jaden and his dad, Will Smith. Most recently, Danni is working as
the host of a brand new STEM educational TV Series which features the
latest advancements in bio-inspired technology and design called XPLORATION
NATURE KNOWS BEST which is syndicated on FOX and available on,
Amazon Prime, Roku and Yahoo View. She also co-created and produced a
new initiative called Sea Youth Rise Up which
is a collaborative effort to elevate the role of youth leadership in
ocean conservation policy and advocacy on World Oceans Day.
served on the
EEI Board in 2018