Former City of San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez grew up in Council District 8 in the Barrio Logan community of San Diego, the neighborhood on the working waterfront that has a long history of environmental degradation, high asthma rates, and industrial-residential conflicts. His childhood home was next door to a chrome plating plant, and he can trace his own asthma to the constant presence of toxic emissions affecting residential areas, school playgrounds, and parks. That experience sharpened his resolve to fight for social, economic and environmental justice. David was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He graduated with honors from San Diego State University. After serving his full term at the City of San Diego he founded and is CEO of Causa Consulting, LLC. Causa Consulting provides Government and Public Affairs services focused on economic prosperity in binational businesses and in underserved communities.
Lizette grew up in Planada, California, a small city in the heart of the Central Valley. She graduated from Le Grand High School and received a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology and a minor in Spanish from San Diego State University. During her undergraduate career at San Diego State, she became an intern for The Science Exchange and received a minority international research training grant to travel to Tortuguero, Costa Rica. While in Tortuguero she took part in the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s longest ongoing sea turtle conservation and monitoring program at the John H. Phipps Biological Field Station started by Dr. Archie Carr in the 1950s. Currently, Lizette is working on her Master’s of Science degree in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at San Francisco State University.
“J” holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Economics and Policy from the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Spanish from DePauw University. Since 1989, J has devoted himself to the investigation and conservation of endangered marine species. J’s research and interest in nature have taken him from South America to the Arctic Circle to conduct and observe biological conservation projects. Among many other accomplishments, J co-founded the Grupo Tortuguero in 1998 and WiLDCOAST in 1999. He was president of the International Sea Turtle Society in 2009 and recently published Blue Mind, a book about the nueroscientific benefits of open water on humans.
Beth interned for The Science Exchange in 2012 in San Diego, earned her Ph.D at Florida International University, and is currently a field Supervisor for Science Exchange interns in the Caribbean. She studies the top-down and bottom-up factors that may affect green turtle (Chelonia mydas) distributions through surveys of habitat, food availability, and predators using unmanned aerial videos (UAVs), in-water assessments and Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs).
Janedra is a partner at Arboreta Group, LLC a consulting firm serving nonprofits, government and small businesses. In addition to government and for-profit positions, her professional experience includes over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector: administration, grant/contract lifecycle management, program design and implementation. Her positions have ranged from front line staff to primary grant writer to executive director. She received a MA in Nonprofit Leadership from the University of San Diego in 2005. She is learning Spanish by living south of the border.
Randy is a San Diego State University alum with a B.A. in geography and recreation management. He has made a career as a Park Ranger for the County and the City of San Diego. His non-profit experience includes serving on the board of the San Dieguito Natural History Association, the Southwest Wetlands Interpretive Association, and Wildcoast. Randy has a passion for education and traveling. He and his Susan are retired and enjoy their second home in Baja California.
Laurie Silvan Nogaim
Laurie earned her degree in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City. Laurie was founder and Director of Proyecto Fronterizo de Educación Ambiental (PFEA) in Tijuana from 1991 until 2007, and since then has chaired the Board of Directors of this organization. From 2007 to 2011 she was Director of Fundacion La Puerta in Tecate, Baja California where she helped build an artificial wetland along the Tecate River, create an environmental education program for elementary school children focused on the chaparral ecosystem and foster urban gardening and organic and solid waste management projects. Laurie is also a board member of E-Tech International and chairs the San Diego Tijuana Border Initiative.
Linda Giannelli Pratt
For more than 30 years, Linda Giannelli Pratt has successfully built a professional career focused on community-based environmental protection. Her experience is broad, and includes positions as a laboratory analyst, regulatory compliance specialist, consultant, UCSD adjunct professor, and director of regional environmental programs. Ms. Giannelli Pratt is currently the Managing Director of Green Cities California, a network of leaders in local government who learn, share and advance more sustainable policies and practices.