Riders crossing bridge

Speaker Series

Upcoming Speakers

Death Valley National Park Ride

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David Lamfrom

Director of the California Desert and National Wildlife Programs, NPCA

Since 2008, David Lamfrom has worked in National Parks Conservation Association’s California desert program holding the jobs of field representative, program manager, and currently director of California Desert and Wildlife Programs. In this role, David works on policy, legislation, media, building community, and connecting desert voices to the administration and congress. David has worked to protect tens of thousands of important acres adjacent to California desert parks from inappropriate development. He also worked over nearly a decade to designate 3 new national monuments, including the creation of a new national park service unit.  David is a published author and photographer who worked to develop the Tortoises Through the Lens program to teach diverse desert youth about the desert through photography. The result of that program was a published book of the student’s work telling the conservation story of the desert tortoise. That book was recently printed in the Spanish language. David formerly worked in the fields of wildlife biology and environmental science. He sits on the boards of several desert based organizations and knows the California desert is the most beautiful and important place on Earth.

Gary Spiers


Gary Spiers has been an amateur astronomer for 20 years and is a member of the OldTown Sidewalk Astronomers, a group of astronomers based in Pasadena and Monrovia who are interested in sharing their interest with others. Like the other sidewalk astronomers, Gary shares his passion through public events across California including at Glacier Point in Yosemite, The Huntington Library and Gardens, Descanso Gardens, local schools and libraries, and at his favorite event the Mojave National Preserve Star Party. 

Employed by the California Institute of Technology he works at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena where he specializes in active and passive optical remote sensing. He is the Principal Investigator for CO2LAS, an aircraft instrument that remotely measures atmospheric carbon dioxide using a laser absorption technique; is the lead for the ground optical support instrumentation for calibration and validation of the OCO-3 carbon dioxide measuring instrument due to launch to the International Space Station within 2 years, and is the instrument manager for CARBO, an aircraft demonstrator in early development for the next generation of space-based carbon dioxide measurements. He has also been known to work on laser communications for space vehicles and previously acted as the government expert during the development of the ISS docking sensor used by the SpaceX Dragon vehicle.

California North Coast

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Sandy Aylesworth

Oceans Advocate, NRDC

Sandy Aylesworth advocates for policies that protect and restore our oceans. Sandy’s work at NRDC focuses on seafood traceability as a means to combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing, and defending our coasts from new offshore oil drilling. Prior to joining NRDC, she worked on climate change mitigation through the Montreal Protocol at the U.S. Department of State and was a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow at NOAA’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. Over the course of her nine-year career as a captain and mate, she became intimately familiar with the oceans on voyages in French Polynesia, Mexico, the United States, and the Caribbean. Aylesworth also served in the U.S. Antarctic Program on seven oceanographic cruises. She holds a master's of environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a 500 Ton Ocean Master license. She is based in San Francisco.

Climate Hike Glacier

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Climate Change Research in Glacier

Dan Fagre

Research Ecologist and Climate Change Research Coordinator, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center of the U. S. Geological Survey

Daniel Fagre is Research Ecologist and Climate Change Research Coordinator for the Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center of the U. S. Geological Survey. He is stationed at Glacier National Park, Montana and is a faculty affiliate at the University of Montana, Montana State University, and several other universities. He’s worked for the past 24 years with many staff, partners and collaborators in the Northern Rocky Mountains to understand how global-scale environmental changes will affect our mountain ecosystems. His diverse research programs have addressed glaciers, avalanches, amphibians, alpine plants, paleoclimates, snow chemistry and ecosystem dynamics of bioregions. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, and has held positions in universities and several federal agencies. He helped establish the Western Mountain Initiative, a program to tie mountain science across different areas, and is active in several international science networks that address mountain issues. He co-authored a book on national parks and protected areas published in 2005 and another on mountain ecosystems in 2007. He recently received the Director’s Award for Natural Resource Research from the National Park Service and serves on the Montana governor’s advisory board for climate change.

Image of Climate Hike Glacier

Dr. Steve Running

University of Montana, Regents Professor of Ecology

Dr. Running has been with the University of Montana, Missoula since 1979, where he is a University Regents Professor of Ecology. His primary research interest is the development of global and regional ecosystem biogeochemical models integrating remote sensing with bioclimatology and terrestrial ecology. Dr. Running is a Team Member for the NASA Earth Observing System, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, and chairs the MODIS Land Working Group. He is responsible for the EOS global terrestrial net primary production and evapotranspiration datasets. He has published over 260 scientific articles and two books. Dr. Running has recently served on the standing Committee for Earth Studies of the National Research Council and on the federal Interagency Carbon Cycle Science Committee. He has served as a Co-Chair of the National Center for Atmospheric Research Community Climate System Model Land Working Group, a Member of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program Executive Committee, and the World Climate Research Program, Global Terrestrial Observing System. He currently serves on the advisory NASA Earth Science Subcommittee and the NOAA Science Advisory Board Climate Working Group. Dr. Running shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a chapter Lead Author for the 4th Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Dr. Running is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and is designated a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information. In the popular press, his essay in 2007, “The 5 Stages of Climate Grief” has been widely quoted.

Learn more about Dr. Running here.

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Threats to the Crown of the Continent

Michael Jamison

Crown of the Continent Program Manager, NPCA

Michael Jamison joined NPCA’s Glacier Field Office in September 2010, following 14 years as a journalist at the Missoulian newspaper in northwest Montana. He operated the paper’s Flathead Valley Bureau, in the Glacier National Park region, providing an emphasis on natural resource/policy and science reporting.

A longtime Montana resident, Michael graduated from the University of Montana in 1990, with a degree in English (creative non-fiction writing) and an emphasis in environmental studies. He later earned a master’s degree in journalism at UM and for several years taught in the university’s School of Forestry. Prior to taking over the Missoulian’s northern bureau office in 1996, he wrote for Montana State University’s Forest Stewardship program as well as numerous national magazines, and served as managing editor of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Hungry Horse News. Michael’s most recent book project – “How the West Was Warmed” – focused on climate change in Glacier and other national parks, and was a finalist for the 2010 Eric Hoffer Award.

During his many years at the Missoulian, Michael served as the reporter of record for Glacier National Park and the transboundary Flathead, focusing attention on the park and its surrounding landscape. His reporting earned him numerous national awards, including honors from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

In 2009, the Forest History Society (Duke University) in conjunction with the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources honored him with the John M. Collier Award, recognizing his career contribution to writing about environmental and conservation history, and the interaction between people and landscapes.

As program manager for NPCA’s Crown of the Continent Initiative, Michael continues to expand his efforts to promote the narrative of the Crown and of the people who call it home.

Pacific Northwest Ride

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Michael Stevens

State Director, The Nature Conservancy in Washington

Michael S. Stevens brings twenty years of experience in land and wildlife conservation, sustainable agriculture, conservation biology, business and non-profit leadership to his role as State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Washington. In this role, Mike is charged with vision and oversight for The Conservancy’s work with people and on landscapes across the state. As part of the world’s largest conservation organization, Mike also provides leadership and support to projects across the Northwest and internationally.

Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy in Washington, Mike was Co-Founder and Principal of Pioneer Mountain Group, where from 2007 to 2012 he led the environmental consulting firm on projects in the western United States, Canada, and South America. From 2002 to 2011, he served as President of Lava Lake Land & Livestock, based in Hailey, Idaho. During his time leading PMG and Lava Lake, Mike co-founded and led the Pioneers Alliance and co-founded the Central Idaho Rangelands Network and the Wood River Wolf Project.  From 1999 to 2006, Mike worked with The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and New Hampshire.

Mike’s education includes a MS from the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont and a BA in Biology from Middlebury College. He was born and lived in Spain until he was 11 and has traveled extensively in Asia, South America, and Europe.

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Phil Levin

Lead Scientist, The Nature Conservancy in Washington

Conservation scientist Phillip Levin is the Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Washington and Professor of Practice at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. Prior to taking the newly created joint position with UW and the Conservancy, Levin was at NOAA Fisheries Science Center in Seattle where he was Senior Scientist and Director of the Conservation Biology Division.

Levin has received the Department of Commerce Silver Award and NOAA’s Bronze Medal for his work on marine ecosystems, and the Seattle Aquarium’s Conservation Research Award for his work in Puget Sound. He has published over 150 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and technical reports, and his work has been featured in such news outlets as NPR, PBS, the BBC, MSBNC, The Economist, among others. His research into Puget Sound’s sixgill sharks was recently featured on “Wildlife Detectives: Mystery Sharks of Seattle” on KCTS-9.

Levin is an editor of the scientific journal, Conservation Letters, recently served as President of the Western Society of Naturalists, and has served on numerous editorial boards and scientific advisory panels. He received his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of New Hampshire in 1993 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina.

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Rob Smith

Northwest Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

Rob Smith returned to the Northwest after many years with the Sierra Club in the Southwest.  Born in Minneapolis, MN, his early years were spent growing up in the Midwest (where he learned to canoe in the Boundary Waters and Quetico Provincial Park) as well as Vancouver, BC, Seattle, WA and Klamath Falls, OR.  Rob went to high school in Seattle, college in Maine (where he often journeyed to Acadia National Park) and then moved West to be in the mountains.  After two years as a railroad brakeman he volunteered to his way into working for the Colorado Open Space Council advocating for forest wilderness protection.  He then joined the Sierra Club, living in Santa Fe, Salt Lake City and finally Phoenix, where he married Joni Bosh, a fellow environmental activist, and together raised two sons, Frank and Carl. For his last three years in Phoenix he bicycled to work every day, a roundtrip of about 24 miles, through freezing temperatures to dangerously hot. The highlight was getting caught in a huge “haboob” dust storm which engulfed the city and was so thick that the street lights came on and he rode into his neighbor’s driveway thinking it was his own.  Today he enjoys commuting by ferry boat and biking on weekends.

Rob and his family enjoy hiking, river running, camping and seeing historic sites, a good combination for visiting National Park System areas.  Rob’s environmental work has included work on land and wildlife protection, climate change and air quality through lobbying officials and organizing local support for conservation measures.  

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How the Salish Sea got its name – environmental issues affecting the archipelago

Derek Smith

I've had the good fortune to be a part of archaeological and coastal ecology research and diving operations throughout the world for nearly the past two decades. I've worked as the Diving Safety Officer for the University of Southern California, the Caribbean Marine Research Center, the Aquarium of the Pacific, the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, Washington State University Vancouver, The Albanian Center for Marine Research, and the Coordination of Scientific Divers of Croatia. I completed my Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology at UC Santa Cruz, my Masters in Zoology at the University of Hawai'i, and am currently completing my PhD in Biology at the University of Washington. In my spare time, I like to sail and knit. Sometimes I knit while sailing.

Past Speakers

The long (and growing!) list of amazing speakers we've had join us for Climate Ride in the past includes activists, athletes, politicians, businesspeople, authors, and visionaries of all kinds. Please read below to see a list of the interesting people who have given their time to delight, challenge, and inspire the Climate Riders.

Members of Congress and Dignitaries

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

Senator Bernie Sanders, Vermont

Senator Benjamin Cardin, Maryland

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

Former Senator Brian Frosh – Attorney General for the State of Maryland; Former Maryland State Senator

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Oregon

Congressman Edward Markey, Massachusetts

Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Maryland

Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Texas

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Ohio

State Representative Robyn Gabel - Illinois 18th District

Dr. Klaus Scharioth – Former Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States

Friis Arne Petersen – Former Ambassador of Denmark to the United States (now Danish Ambassador to China)

Mayor Joe Krovoza, City of Davis, California

Mayor Chris Cabaldon, City of West Sacramento


Authors, Artists, and Scientists

Bill McKibben – Leading environmentalist, writer and founder of 350.org

Dr. Philip Duffy – IPCC Nobel Prize Winning Climate Scientist, President & Executive Director, Woods Hole Research Center

Paul Hawken – Environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author

Josh Dorfman, The Lazy Environmentalist – Writer, host and Sundance Channel star

Chris Jordan – Acclaimed visual artist

Colin Beavan aka NO IMPACT MAN – Author and subject of NIM film

Michael Lemonick – Former Science Writer for Time, Senior Writer at Climate Central

Eugene Linden – Author and acclaimed journalist

David Helvarg – Acclaimed journalist, author and founder of Blue Frontier Campaign

Ben Sollee – Cellist, vocalist and bike touring musician

Marian Westley – A presentation from NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) at Princeton University

Zoë Chafe – MPH, UC Berkeley Energy and Resources Group

Temra Costa – Sustainable food and farming advocate, and author of Farmer Jane: Women Changing the Way We Eat

Peter Lehman – Founding Director of Schatz Energy Research Center, Professor of Environmental Resources Engineering at Humboldt State University

Carl Mears – Senior Scientist, Remote Sensing Systems

Eric Davidson – Adjunct Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Research Center & President American Geophysical Union

Richard Oppenlander – Consultant & Researcher; Author of ‘Comfortably Unaware’

Edward Parson – UCLA School of Law, Faculty Co-Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Howard Frumkin – Dean, School Of Public Health, University Of Washington

AshEl Eldridge – Producer and Vocalist; Earth Amplified

Dan Fagre – Research Ecologist and Climate Change Research Coordinator, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center of the U. S. Geological Survey

Peter Furth - Professor of Civil Engineering, Northeastern University

Seth Darling - Nanoscientist, Argonne National Laboratory

Jean Talbert - Obstetrician Gynecologist


Non-Profit and Thought Leaders

Joel Brammeier ­– President and CEO, Alliance for the Great Lakes

Garett Brennan – Artist for 1% for the Planet and Clif Green Notes, Executive Director, Focus the Nation

Jim Brown - Executive Director, Sacramento Area Bicyclist Association

Noah Budnick – Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Rebecca Calahan Klein – Vice President, Organizational Development at 1% For the Planet

Dave Campbell – Program Director for the East Bay Bicycle Coalition

Andy Clarke – President, League of American Bicyclists

David Coale – Acterra's home energy audits to reduce energy use and GHG emissions in the home

Stuart Cohen – Executive Director, TransForm 

Kate Colarulli – Associate Campaign Director, Beyond Oil, Sierra Club

Mikael Colville-Andersen - Denmark's Bicycle Ambassador

Lisa Daniels – Executive Director, Windustry 

Amanda Eaken – Deputy Director of Sustainable Communities with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

Michael Eckhart – Founding President, ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy)

AshEL Eldridge – Lead Educator, Alliance for Climate Education

Jenn Fox – Director of Strategic Planning at ClimateWorks

Adam Garcia – Policy Researcher, Greenbelt Alliance

Deborah Goldberg – Managing Attorney, EarthJustice

Alisa Gravitz --President, Green America

Mary Lauran Hall – Communications Director, Alliance for Biking and Walking

Brad Heavner – Director of Development, Climate Protection Campaign

Bracken Hendricks – Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Jamie Henn – 350.org Communications and Development Director

Dermot Hikisch – B Lab

Rachel Hood-Petroelje - Executive Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Colin Hughes – Director of National Policy, The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy

Michael Jamison – Crown of the Continent Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

Jason Kowalski – Policy Coordinator, 1Sky campaigns for energy and climate legislation

Selena Kyle – Staff Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council

Janet Larsen – Director, Earth Policy Institute

Dan Lashof – Climate and Clean Air Program Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

Keith Laughlin – President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Alvin Lin – China Climate and Energy Policy Director at Natural Resources Defense Council, Beijing

Cory MacNulty - Southwest Senior Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association

Jeremy Madsen – Executive Director, Greenbelt Alliance

Cy Maramangalam – DC Lead Educator, Alliance for Climate Education

Josh Mogerman – Deputy Director of National Media Program, NRDC

Suma Peesapati - Staff Attorney, EarthJustice

Trina Peterson – Director of Development, 1% For the Planet

Mark Preiss - CEO, Glacier National Park Conservancy

Alison Riley – Adventure Cycling Association

Renee Rivera – Executive Director, Bike East Bay

Nicole Rom – Executive Director, Will Steger Foundation

Dirk Rosen – Executive Director, Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE)

Hardik Savalia – Head of ratings at B Lab

Samuel P. Schuchat – Executive Officer, State of California Coastal Conservancy

Leah Shahum – Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Paul Shapiro – Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, Humane Society of the United States

Elizabeth Shope – Advocate, International Program, Tar Sands/Keystone XL & Global Safe Drinking Water Project at Natural Resources Defense Council

Ed Stierli – Field Representative for Chesapeake and Virginia Program, NPCA

Ben Strauss - Executive Director, Climate Central, Princeton University

Ethan Spotts – Former Marketing Director, Active Transportation Alliance

Randy Swisher – Former Executive Director, American Wind Energy Association

Carolyn Szczepanski – Communications Coordinator, Alliance for Biking and Walking

Betsy Taylor - President, 1Sky, Founder, Center for the New American Dream

Mike Tidwell – President, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Wood Turner - Executive Director, Climate Counts

Ryan Valdez – Senior Manager of Conservation Science and Policy, NPCA

Lauren Van Ham – Interfaith Eco-Chaplain and Sustainability Consultant

Brian von Herzen – Executive Director, Climate Foundation

Gernot Wagner – Senior Economist, Environmental Defense Fund

Derek Walker – Director of Strategic Climate Initiatives at Environmental Defense Fund

Mark Wenzler – Vice President of Conservation Programs, National Parks Conservation Association

Corinne Winter – Executive Director, Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition 


Business and Government Leaders

Adrien Benepe - NYC Parks and Recreation Commissioner

Rosi Kerr – Dartmouth College, Director of Sustainability

Dan Garofalo – University of Pennsylvania, Sustainability Coordinator

Dr. Marcus Schmidt  ̶  Senior Director, Germany Trade & Invest

Guillaume Gauthereau – Founder of Sequoia Lab

Susan Green – Director of Finance, Working Assets/Credo Mobile

Øystein Hjelm – Design Manager at Cambi (working on biogas plant at the Blue Plains WWTP in Washington DC)

Brad Jacobson – AIA, LEED® AP BD+C, Senior Associate, EHDD.

Keegan Eisenstadt – President and CEO of ClearSky Climate Solutions

David Arkin – AIA, LEED AP. A leader in straw-bale construction.

Jeff Lesk – Managing Partner, LEED AP, Nixon-Peabody Washington DC. .

Nils Moe – Mayor's Sustainability Advisor for the City of Berkeley

Johanna Gregory Partin – Director of Climate Protection Initiatives, Office of San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee

Harriet Tregoning – Director of the Washington DC Office of Planning

Daniel Mira Salama – Sustainable Development Network at the World Bank

Josh Lasky  – Sustainability Manager and Adjunct Professor at the University of the District of Columbia

Ray Porfilio – Architecture 2030

Melanie Nutter – Director, SF Environment

Frankie Ridolfi – Vice President of Marketing, Free Range Studios 

Tim Frick – Entrepreneur; Principal of Mightybytes, creators of Ecograder; Author, Return on Engagement

Monika Weber-Fahr – Director, Knowledge, Learning & Results, Sustainable Development Network, The World Bank

Antonia Sohns – Water and Energy Analyst, The World Bank

Bill LeBlanc - President of Boulder Energy Group and Senior Advisor at E Source

Assemblymember Wesley Chesbro – California

Assemblymember Phil Ting – California District 19

Laura Castellini – Sustainability Coordinator, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Alexis Fox - Co-Founder and CEO, Lighter

Chris Cook - Commissioner, Boston Parks and Recreation

Nate Kipnis - Principal and Designer, Kipnis Architecture + Planning

Jeff Mow - Superintendent, Glacier National Park

Ifan Thomas - Field Unit Superintendent, Waterton Lakes National Park

David Shaw - Managing Partner, Black Point Group


Leading Athletes

Brendan Brazier – Ironman Triathlete, Ultramarathon Champion, Author, Vegan athlete

Gary Fisher - Inventor of the mountain bike

Alison Gannett – U.S. Champion Freeskier and Founder, Save Our Snow Foundation

Ruthie Matthes – World Champion, National Champion, and Olympic mountain biker, U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame

Roz Savage, International Rower – 1st woman to solo row Pacific and Atlantic Oceans