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MEGAN SEIBERT

Executive Director

Megan is a systems thinker who started REALgnd in response to the overwhelmingly short-sighted rhetoric about energy and sustainability, filling a need for sober analysis and bold truth-telling.

 

Raised in Michigan and now residing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Megan’s gypsy life has been defined by the transformative tension of opposites. She was raised in a conservative military family yet was deeply influenced by her environmentally oriented relatives and scholarly German heritage.

 

Her eclectic professional path includes horse packing in the wildernesses of Montana and Wyoming, running a small business, and working in the environmental and defense sectors. She has an M.S. in Systems Science / Environmental Management from Portland State University and an international studies and engineering B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

 

Megan is a bridger of opposites, holding together the rational and intuitive, analytical and creative, and the likelihood of a dark future with the faith that it need not be so if only we commit ourselves. After 15 years of yoga practice and studying Eastern philosophies in graduate school, she began exploring shamanism, animism, astrology, and teacher plants.

 

These diverse experiences and sensibilities have led quite naturally to REALgnd. As a Myers-Briggs INFJ, she is deeply fulfilled by being involved in this meaningful work.

 

megan.seibert@realgnd.org

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DR. WILLIAM REES

Director

Dr. Rees is a human ecologist, ecological economist, and Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of British Columbia’s School of Community and Regional Planning in Vancouver, Canada, where his research and teaching focused on the biophysical prerequisites for sustainability in an era of accelerating ecological change. He has a special interest in ecologically relevant metrics of sustainability and their interpretation in terms of complexity theory and behavioral ecology.

 

Dr. Rees is perhaps best known as the originator and co-developer of the ecological footprint analysis. Widely adopted for sustainability assessments by governments, NGOs, and academics, the human eco-footprint has arguably become world’s best-known sustainability indicator.

 

He has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. He has also authored numerous popular articles on humanity’s unsustainability conundrum, focusing on cognitive and cultural barriers to sustainability, including human’s well-developed capacity for self-delusion. 

 

Dr. Rees is a long-term member of the Global Ecological Integrity Group, a Fellow at Post Carbon Institute, a founding member and past President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, and a founding Director of the OneEarth Initiative. He has lectured by invitation throughout North America and 25 other countries around the world. In 2006, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada and in 2007 he was awarded a prestigious Trudeau Foundation Fellowship. He is the recipient of the 2012 Boulding Prize in Ecological Economics and a 2012 Blue Planet Prize (jointly with Dr. Wackernagel).

ALICE FRIEDEMANN

Director

Alice, the granddaughter of two scientists, is not a professor! She is, however, genetically  predisposed to extensive research and exhaustive reading, much of which is accomplished on the 10-mile roundtrip walk between her home and office.

 

With a B.S. in Biology and a Chemistry/Physics Minor from the University of Illinois, Alice was a systems architect and engineer for over 25 years. She retired from Dilbert Land to devote more time to science writing on energy, ecology, climate change, whole grains, agriculture, infrastructure, environmental pollution, and too many other topics to list (see her website www.energyskeptic.com). Over the past few years, she has come to see that the larger framework of her research is the fall of fossil-fueled western civilization from dozens of factors, primarily oil - the master resource that makes all others possible, especially heavy-duty truck, locomotive, and ship transportation.

 

In 2021, Springer will publish her book Life After Fossil Fuels: Back to Wood World. Some of her published work in print includes

She’s spoken at U. C. Berkeley on biofuels, appeared on numerous podcasts, and published articles online at peakoil.com, resilience.org, and other sites.  

DR. PAUL SUTTON

Director

Dr. Sutton grew up in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles, California, during the 1960s. The movie Soylent Green and the chest pain he experienced during smog alerts had a significant impact on his nascent perception of the human-environment-sustainability problematic, priming his affinity for apocalyptic movies and neo-Malthusian jeremiads. He later moved to Santa Barbara and was deeply influenced by the works of Rachel Carson, Paul Ehrlich, and Garrett Hardin.

 

Dr. Sutton spent his undergraduate daze at Union College in New York. He ended up with a chemistry degree and a desire to work in environmental cleanup, though he soon learned that EPA superfund sites spend more funds on lawyers in three-piece suits than chemists in hazmat suits. He later did some time as a process engineer at the Santa Barbara Research Center, teaching high school science, and volunteering for Zero Population Growth. 

 

After milking his time as a graduate student at UCSB for as long as he could, Dr. Sutton received an M.A. in Geography, an M.A. in Statistics, and a PhD in Geography. He has been in the Geography Department at the University of Denver since 1999. He has many interests, ranging into ecology, economics, and philosophy. He does a great deal of work with nighttime satellite imagery and collaborates with economists and ecologists to make spatially explicit valuations of ecosystem services.

 

His fascination with apocalyptic movies has not faded, and he does his small part to ensure that Soylent Green remains in the lexicon of the culturally literate. He teaches a first-year seminar titled “Utopia, Dystopia, and the End of the World” and tries to mentor students in a way that prepares them to be informed and active citizens.

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