Megan (last name pronounced sEYE-bert!) 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 transformative tension. She was raised in a conservative military family yet was deeply influenced by her environmentally oriented relatives and scholarly German heritage. After embarking on a decade-long journey of truth seeking and then experiencing a spiritual awakening, she has undergone a total change in worldview and been firmly expelled from The Matrix.
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 B.S. with core STEM from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She has is a lover of all things aesthetic and vows to one day incorporate her passion for design with genuinely sustainable building principles.
Megan is a bridger of opposites, holding together the rational and intuitive, analytical and creative, scientific and spiritual, and the likelihood of a dark future with the awareness of positive new potentialities that can be born in its midst. After 15 years of practicing yoga and then being exposed to 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.
DR. WILLIAM REES
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.
William 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, it 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.
William 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. Mathis Wackernagel.
David, MA, PGCE, FRSA, is a writer, lecturer, poet, and editor. He is a founder of Character Education Scotland, Programme Director of the Scientific and Medical Network, and former President of Wrekin Trust and the Swedenborg Society. He has been the editor of Paradigm Explorer since 1986, was the instigator of the Beyond the Brain conference series in 1995, and has co-ordinated the Mystics and Scientists conferences every year since the late 1980s. His is Chair of the Galileo Commission, which seeks to the expand the evidence base of the science of consciousness beyond a materialistic world view, and is a Creative Member of the Club of Budapest.
Originally a merchant banker then a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, he is the author and editor of over a dozen books, including Survival? Death as Transition (1984, 2017), Resonant Mind (originally Whole in One) (1990/2017), The Spirit of Science (1998), Thinking Beyond the Brain (2001), The Protein Crunch (with Jason Drew), and A New Renaissance (edited with Oliver Robinson). He has edited three books about the Bulgarian sage Beinsa Douno (Peter Deunov): Prophet for our Times (1991, 2015), The Circle of Sacred Dance, and Gems of Love, which is a translation of his prayers and formulas into English. His book on the ideas and work of the Prince of Wales – Radical Prince (2003) – has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, and French. His new book of essays, A Quest for Wisdom, was published in 2021.
In 2020, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Visionary Leader by the Visioneers International Network, and in 2021 he received the Aboca Human Ecology Prize. His website is www.davidlorimer.co.uk.
DR. RON MCCORMICK
Dr. McCormick, an ecologist for the Bureau of Land Management, is a classically trained field naturalist who came to embrace the ecology of complex systems in his late thirties and has never looked back.
With an educational background in soil science, forestry, hydrology, and botany, Ron’s early work experiences ranged from the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the hills of southeastern Oklahoma to nearly all of Florida. It was in Florida where he first referred to himself as an ecologist and formed a deep and lasting land ethic. It was also there that he got his feet wet with ecological assessments in the consulting world and had the opportunity to work with some of ecology's finest minds at the University of Florida in Gainesville.
After graduating from Oklahoma State University, Ron vowed to never again enroll in any college, anywhere. Yet, his experiences in Florida had shown him there were still things to learn about ecology. In 1994, he moved to Madison to start a ‘piled higher and deeper’ degree. One year later, he was deeply disillusioned with the dark side of academia and considered returning to Florida to live out his days as a consultant. But his office mate suggested he sit down with Dr. Timothy F.H. Allen – the godfather of hierarchy theory, possibly the most underrated contribution to systems science and ecology alike. Seeing no downside, Ron walked into Tim’s office. Thirty minutes later, he was officially one of Tim’s new graduate students, and the rest, as they say, is history.
His decades of thinking about and applying systems theory to social-ecological problems has led him to REALgnd – what society desperately needs at this critical juncture.