Skip Navigation

People - Leadership

Director, Senator George J. Mitchell Center

David Hart is the Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Centerand the research leader of Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative. He is also a professor with the School of Biology & Ecology at UMaine.

Sustainability Solutions Initiative Advisory Board

Robert Kates, Chair
Presidential Professor of Sustainability Science, University of Maine
Robert Kates is a geographer and independent scholar in Trenton, Maine. He co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences report, Our Common Journey: A Transition Toward Sustainability and is co-convenor of the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability. His current research is on community resilience to multiple hazards and grand challenges of sustainability science. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 1991 he was awarded the National Medal of Science for his work on hunger, environment, and natural hazards. As SSI Advisory Board Chair, he will provide guidance and oversight to Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative.

For more information on Robert Kates:

Nancy Dickson, Harvard University
Nancy Dickson is a Senior Researcher at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and co-directs the Sustainability Science Program at the Center for International Development. The program seeks increased scientific understanding of human-environment systems, better linkages between research and policy communities, and improved capacity for linking knowledge with action to promote sustainability. Her own research addresses how science, technology, and knowledge can be more effectively brought to bear on creating solutions to problems of public policy.

J. Morgan Grove, USDA Forest Service

Morgan Grove is a social ecologist in Washington, DC with the USDA Forest Service and a co-principal investigator of the Baltimore ecosystem study. His research is interdisciplinary, including development of theory, data, methods, and applications that link human ecosystem and landscape studies. His research projects have focused extensively on the long-term relationships among environmental quality, neighborhood and life satisfaction, social capital, and community stability in metropolitan regions.

Susan Hanson, Professor Emeritus, Clark University

Susan Hanson is an urban geographer, resident in Vermont, with interests in gender and economy, transportation, local labor markets, and sustainability. Her work has helped transform analysis of urban environments by exposing the connections between travel-activity patterns and spatial structure, discovering and documenting the geographic bases of labor market processes, developing the concept of residential rootedness, and demonstrating its significance to urban processes. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

George Jacobson, Professor Emeritus, University of Maine and Maine State Climatologist

George Jacobson is the Maine State Climatologist and lead author of the just-completed Maine’s Climate Future: An Initial Assessment. His interest in policy includes staff work in the U.S. Senate in the 1970s. His primary research interests concern long-term climate change and forest responses to climate change with special emphasis on how spatial and temporal variations in climate, geology, disturbance, and other factors have affected plant assemblages.

Ted Koffman, Executive Director, Maine Audubon

Ted Koffman is executive director of Maine Audubon. During his prior tenure at College of the Atlantic, he established the Eco-Eco Civic Forum to engage business, environmental, academic and civic leaders in discussions about the relationship of ecology and economics in Maine’s future. Interests in environmental risk evaluation and mitigation, growth management policy, nature-based tourism, and habitat conservation led Ted to the State Legislature where, as chair of the Joint Committee on Natural Resources, he sponsored the 2007 Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a CO2 cap and trade program.

Thomas M. Parris, ISciences

Thomas Parris is a research scientist, applied mathematician, Vice-President, and director of the New England office of ISciences in Burlington VT. ISciences conducts research to improve their customers’ understanding of sustainable development, human security and the environment and are the creators of the TerraViva! family of data visualization software about Earth and its people. He has written extensively on indicators of sustainable development.

Pam Person, Coalition for Sensible Energy, Orland, ME

Pam Person was named Citizen Planner of the Year in 2006 for her efforts in a wide range of topics, including leading Maine Global Climate Change Conferences in 1999 and 2006, helping to create Interfaith Power and Light, serving as the US Chair of the Global Programme of Action, serving on the DOT Regional Transportation Advisory Committee, working on the 2003 Hancock County Planning for Prosperity Conference, and envisioning and helping to create the Eastern Maine Ice Age Trail, a 100+ mile educational trail documenting the extent of glaciation in Maine.

Tarla Rai Peterson, Professor & Boone and Crockett Chair, Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries Science, Texas A&M University

Tarla Rai Peterson’s research focuses on the intersections between communication, environmental policy, and democracy. Her research goal is to provide a theoretically rich analysis of environmental policy that is useful to those who seek to transform the ways humans inhabit the planet. Her recent books include: Sharing the Earth: The Rhetoric of Sustainable Development (1997, University of South Carolina Press), Green Talk in the White House: The Rhetorical Presidency Encounters Ecology (2004, Texas A&M University Press), and Argumentation and Critical Decision Making (2004, Allyn and Bacon).

Kenneth C. Young, Jr.,  Former Executive Director, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments

Ken Young was the former executive director of one of Maine’s six state and federally designated Regional Planning and Development Districts. KVCOG, organized in 1967, delivers a wide range of planning (environmental, solid waste, transportation, capital investment) and economic development services (business retention, attraction, counseling, and lending) to its 54 municipal members and their 175,000 residents using a mix of local, state, private, and federal resources. He also served as Maine’s Deputy Commissioner of Marine Resources and Commissioner of Environmental Protection, and most recently on the Governor’s First Council on Maine’s Quality of Place. Much of his current focus is on connecting the old but evolving model of workforce development to the new “asset-based” model of economic development.


Back to People