2021 RCE NORTH TEXAS
VIRTUAL ANNUAL SUMMIT
March 31

Microsoft Teams meeting
Click here to join the meeting

Or call in (audio only) +1 817-502-2418

United States, Fort Worth
Phone Conference ID: 965 902 260#

Mission:

Connecting organizations in North Texas to enable healthier communities, shared value and sustainable development through education, collaboration and capacity building.

Attendees will hear from leaders in higher education, industry, government, and non-profit addressing SDGs in North Texas during virtual panel discussions and workshops designed to break down silos.

Vision:

The 1st Annual RCE North Texas Symposium will bridge silos between education, public sector, private sector, and non-profit in support of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).  Attendees will learn from experts that are advancing Sustainable Development Goals in North Texas, network and collaborate with sustainability leaders, and receive hands-on training to address pressing issues of sustainability in the region.

Goals: 

• Connect attendees to NT RCE
• Inspire action addressing SDGs
• Facilitate collaboration and synergies between SDG members
• Educate attendees about local issues and leading initiative

Program Agenda

8:30 - 9:00

Opening Remarks and Keynote

Satya S. Tripathi
UN Assistant Secretary General

The planet faces a number of sustainability challenges. With a world population of 7 billion people and limited natural resources, we, as individuals and societies need to learn to live together sustainably. We need to take action responsibly based on the understanding that what we do today can have implications on the lives of people and the planet in future. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers people to change the way they think and work towards a sustainable future. ESD is also recognized as a key element of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goal on education (SDG 4) under Target 4.7 and is considered a very important driver for the achievements of all other SDGs

9:00 - 9:30

Education for Sustainable Development

Charles A. Hopkins
UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability

Education for sustainable development (ESD) as a guiding principle has been unanimously recognized by the United Nations as an integral element of a quality education in light of SDG 4. What does an education that empowers learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to take informed decisions and make responsible actions for a sustainable future entail? Universities and colleges are called upon to include the SDGs in their teaching, research and community service. What role can higher education play in achieving the SDGs when embedding ESD? Worldwide, 179 Regional Centres of Expertise with ESD at the core of their efforts bring together the stakeholders in the community to address the local sustainability themes. How does an RCE contribute towards building a more inclusive and just local community, in balance with nature, and what are benefits of a global learning space?

9:30 - 10:45

Panel 1 on SDG #3: Good Health and Well Being

Moderator:
Stephanie Byrd
Marketing Director, Schneider Electric
Education: Baylor University, BBA Marketing

Stephanie Byrd is passionate about energy and its role in reshaping industries, transforming cities, and enriching lives. She works for a 180+ year-old company called Schneider Electric who has always been a leading technology provider. She currently serves as a marketing director.  Stephanie is a long-time Texas resident with strong ties to the I-35 corridor: growing up in San Antonio, studying marketing at Baylor University, and now establishing roots in DFW with her husband, pets, and two children.

Valerie Hawthorne
Director, Government Relations North Texas Food Bank

A hungry community is not a thriving community. The North Texas Food Bank and their partner agency network of over 200 food pantries work tirelessly to improve food security by using their resources to create a healthy, hunger-free North Texas. However, food insecurity is much more than an empty cupboard. Until we work to eliminate or improve root causes of hunger, no amount of food given out will solve our hunger problem. As we look ahead, anti-hunger experts seek ways to move from emergency food assistance to improving long-term food access for all.

John Lovenburg
VP Environmental BNSF

BNSF Railway is focused on developing new technologies to prevent pollution and reduce impacts from its operations. Mr. Lovenburg will focus on BNSF’s battery and electrification initiative. The initiative leverages battery storage and electric power/motor technologies to reduce total cost of ownership and environmental impact.  The scope of the project includes piloting a battery-electric locomotive in revenue service in early 2021, testing battery-electric and hybrid cargo handling equipment, and onsite renewable power.  The team includes equipment manufacturers, air agencies, community groups and transportation partners.

Dr. David Lary
Professor UT Dallas

SharedAirDFW is designed to be a readily accessible portal for air quality in the DFW area. The data comes from a variety of sources including sensors that we build and calibrate with machine learning, data for the EPA, PurpleAir, etc. In addition there are layers for wind, weather radar, and satellite data. There are plans to extend SharedAir for the entire USA. This is part of a larger effort from the MINTS Lab at UTD. MINTS is an acronym for Multi-Scale Integrated Intelligent Interactive Sensing and Simulation. This larger effort includes data from a set of eight sentinel types including remote sensing from satellites and weather radars, static sensors distributed

10:45 - 11:00

Break

11:00 - 12:30

SDG #11: Sustainable Communities Workshop

The Regional Integration of Sustainability Efforts (RISE) Coalition will host an interactive workshop focused on the SDG #11 Sustainable Communities Goal. The workshop will support the RISE Coalition’s regional goal to produce the first regional greenhouse gas inventory and associated emission reduction toolkit for the North Central Texas region. Facilitators will include RISE Coalition Member Cities and the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Zoom Meeting ID: 891 6702 4030

12:30 - 1:00

Lunch

1:00 – 2:00

Afternoon Keynote

Garrick E. Louis
Associate Professor, University of Virginia
Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in sustainability education in colleges and universities across the United States, with a marked increase in the number of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, research institutes, and centers focused on sustainability. Evidence-based core competencies for interdisciplinary sustainability programs can provide suitable guidance for curricular and program development, research, policy, communication, and pedagogical approaches at academic institutions. They can also serve as a guide for students to select academic programs and potential career options, a reference for employers to understand qualifications of graduates, and the foundation for a potential specialized accreditation for interdisciplinary sustainability programs. The growing demand for well-qualified sustainability professionals within the public, private, and nonprofit sectors also points to the value of developing core competencies.

2:00 - 3:30

Panel 2 on SDG #4: Quality Education


Panel 2 on SDG#4 Quality Education
Panel Moderator- Sarah Luxton, 
Bio Sarah Luxton currently serves as the City of Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division (SEED) Supervisor. In recent years, she also served as the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Denton and completed her Master’s in Public Administration for the University of North Texas focusing on local government. She currently serves on the Alumni Board for the Department of Geography at the University of North Texas and the Personal Development Committee for the Urban Management Association of North Texas (UMANT).

Susan Alvarez
Assistant Director City of Dallas

The City of Dallas unanimously adopted the Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan (CECAP) in May,2020.   Quality education concerning the risks posed by a changing climate, and what individuals and businesses can do to both address the causes and help adapt to a future world are key to successful plan implementation.   The plan as a whole includes 97 actions in 8 focus areas, with over 28 actions specifically focused on providing education, skills and training, in addition to promoting sustainability, economic development and environmental stewardship.

Dr. Melanie Sattler
Professor UT Arlington

Over the past 1 ½ years, Dr. Sattler and her students have been developing the Food & Flora Waste to Fleet Fuel (F4) Framework. The F4 Framework helps communities evaluate the economic feasibility of creating renewable fleet fuel using existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) digester infrastructure. At WWTPs, food and flora (yard) waste, as well as wastewater sludge, can be used to produce biogas, which can be cleaned for use in natural gas vehicles, or burned to generate electricity for electric vehicles. Dr. Sattler will discuss development of the framework and its application to a case study.

Jennifer Sanders
Director-North Texas Innovation Alliance

The North Texas Innovation Alliance is focused on creating the most connected, smart and resilient region in the country. Through working across sectors and jurisdictional borders to solve some of the biggest challenges facing institutions - and most importantly - residents, more can be achieved more quickly with shared knowledge, learnings and resources. 2020 made glaringly clear the level to which access to education is harmed by lack of internet access, and through efforts by multiple coalitions, solutions were able to be deployed to serve students and provide support in the face of remote learning. As the region looks toward permanent solutions to the infrastructure gaps inhibiting access, there are many innovative approaches to share, and other regions to learn from.

Lori Delacruz Lewis
Sustainability Coordinator Dallas College

The involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations, involves a myriad of opportunities. Projects have a genuine science outcome, such as answering a research question, or informing conservation action, management decisions or environmental policy. According to research, citizen science can also contribute to data measurements for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, through direct or supplementary data contributions. Find out how you can contribute or design your own citizen science project!

3:30 - 4:00

Coffee Break

4:00 - 5:00

Youth Network Engagement

Oriana Silva
Student at UNT and Dallas College

The RCE North Texas Youth Network has the following objectives: “To encourage cross-university collaboration. To reduce redundancy in sustainability projects across universities to the best of our ability. To connect students to sustainability opportunities. To connect students to employers who value making our communities more equitable and sustainable.” Miss Silva will be sharing what the students have been doing since their foundation in April of 2020. How they designed and published an electronic version of the Sustainable Age Student Journal. She will also share learned lessons and encourage other students to join. Miss Silva will speak about the outreach effort to RCE Las Americas and RCE Gran Caracas and what the next steps will be. This is an opportunity for students and faculty to learn about this project and join this incredible work!

Program Speakers

Valerie Stone Hawthorne
Director
Government Relations North Texas Food Bank

Valerie Stone Hawthorne, PhD, is the Director of Government Relations at the North Texas Food Bank. Dr. Hawthorne is a classically trained scientist who was awarded her bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Biochemistry at Texas A&M University, and her PhD is in both Cancer Biology and Cell Biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Always a scientist first, Dr. Hawthorne approaches her advocacy strategy, lobbying, and data visualization with scientific methodology. She serves as a subject matter expert on food security & policy, giving testimony at all levels of government and advising our elected officials on the impacts of policy decisions. Locally she is on the leadership team of coalitions, task forces, and serves on multiple Boards of Directors. Valerie lives in Oak Cliff with her husband and 12-year old boy/girl twins. She is a triathlete, having completed the North American Championship Ironman in early 2017.

Workshop on SDG #11
Sustainable Communities by
Regional Integration of Sustainability Efforts
(RISE) Coalition

The Regional Integration of Sustainability Efforts (RISE) Coalition will host an interactive workshop focused on the SDG #11 Sustainable Communities Goal. The workshop will support the RISE Coalition’s regional goal to produce the first regional greenhouse gas inventory and associated emission reduction toolkit for the North Central Texas region. Facilitators to include RISE Coalition Member Cities and the North Central Texas Council of Governments

Susan Alvarez
Assistant Director City of Dallas
Climate Action Plan

BioSusan Alvarez currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Office of Environmental Quality & Sustainability for the City of Dallas.   She holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, with a minor in geology from Rice University, and postgraduate work in water resources.   She is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas and 5 other western states, and is a Certified Floodplain Manager, and Texas Master Naturalist. She is currently responsible for the development of the City’s Comprehensive Environmental & Climate Action Plan, efforts towards Environmental Outreach and Engagement, Urban Agriculture, City Environmental Management Systems and the Urban Forest Master Plan.

Lori Delacruz Lewis
Sustainability Education Coordinator
Dallas College
The Power of Citizen Science Around the World

Bio – Lori Delacruz Lewis is the sustainability education coordinator for Dallas College. She produces curriculum resources, faculty/student/community workshops and special events that inspire people and businesses to practice the principles of sustainability in three areas: equity, economy, environment. Lori is pursuing a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy from the University of Texas at Arlington and has a master’s of Sustainability and Development from Southern Methodist University.

Charles A. Hopkins
UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability

Bio – Charles Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability at York University serving the UN Global Education 2030 Agenda with research and in coordinating two global networks: the International Network of Teacher Education Institutions (INTEI) and the #IndigenousESD research network focusing on the education of Indigenous youth. Hopkins is also Advisor to the Global Network of Regional Centers of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) associated with UN University, and Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute on ESD in Beijing, China.

John Lovenburg
VP - Environmental BNSF

John Lovenburg is the vice president, Environmental for BNSF Railway.  He leads a team of employees responsible for environmental strategy, law, communication, sustainability, energy, permitting, compliance, remediation, hazardous materials, and industrial wastewater.  Mr. Lovenburg has more than 20 years of prior experience in environmental consulting with CH2M (now Jacobs) where he was vice president, Global Site Remediation and Revitalization. Mr. Lovenburg is active in environmental governance and sustainability.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Institute, a member of The Nature Conservancy’s Business Council, and serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation.  Mr. Lovenburg has a Bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Master of Science degree in hydrogeology from San Diego State University.

Garrick E. Louis
Associate Professor
University of Virginia.

Strengthening Sustainability Programs and Curricula at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels

Bio: Garrick Louis is Associate Professor of Engineering Systems and Environment at the University of Virginia. He is director of the Small Infrastructure and Development Center. His research seeks to provide sustained access to basic human services, including water and sanitation, to developing communities. He holds B.S.c. and M.S.c. degrees in Chemical Engineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy. His honors include the 2000 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from the National Science Foundation, 2006-2007 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Energy Environment and Natural Resources Fellow, 2014 Design and Health Faculty Fellow at the University of Virginia, 2015-16 Jefferson Science Fellow in the Office of Global Food Security at the U.S. Department of State, and is Global Fulbright Specialist for the U.S. Department of State.

Prof. Melanie Sattler
UT Arlington
Solid Waste Management

Bio: Dr. Melanie Sattler serves as the Syed Qasim Endowed Professor of Civil Engineering at UTA. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in sustainable engineering, air quality, and solid waste engineering. She also serves as advisor for UTA’s Sustainable Engineering Minor.

Dr. Sattler’s students have an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom through involvement in hands-on research projects related to renewable energy from waste and life cycle environmental assessment. Dr. Sattler received her Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin in environmental engineering and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Dr. David Lary
UTD Professor
Physics, Shared Air DFW Network

Prof. David J. Lary studied at the University of Cambridge where his PhD in computational modeling of the global atmosphere was the first global 3D model of ozone depletion. He has a First class double honors bachelor of science degree in Physics and Chemistry from Kings College London. Introducing chemical data assimilation in 1995 (now used by multiple federal agencies such as EPA, NOAA, and NASA in producing air quality forecasts), leading to appointments as a Royal Society Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, an Alon Fellow in Israel, the first Distinguished Goddard Fellow in Earth Science at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and as a United States Special Operations Command Fellow at SOFWERX as part of J5 the Futures Missions Directorate as the architect of MINTS (Multi-scale Integrated Interactive Intelligent Sensing and Simulation CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) Sentinels for Actionable Insights. A key part of this work over the last 25 years has been pioneering the use of machine learning in a wide variety of contexts from sensor calibration, to creation of new data-products, to examining the cognitive and physical impacts of the environment on human performance. Currently a sensor network is being deployed across North Texas for air quality as well as the use of autonomous multi-robot teams for comprehensive environmental sensing. He has pioneered the holistic use of multiple massive datasets from the local to the global scale as well as biometric data from wearable suits for pre-emptive human protection.

Panel 2 on SDG#4 Quality Education
Panel Moderator:
Sarah Luxton

Bio: Sarah Luxton currently serves as the City of Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division (SEED) Supervisor. In recent years, she also served as the Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Denton and completed her Master’s in Public Administration for the University of North Texas focusing on local government. She currently serves on the Alumni Board for the Department of Geography at the University of North Texas and the Personal Development Committee for the Urban Management Association of North Texas (UMANT).

Jennifer Sanders
North Texas Innovation Alliance

Bio - Jennifer Sanders is Cofounder and Executive Director of the North Texas Innovation Alliance, a 501c3 public-private partnership which will be the largest such initiative in the U.S., with the mission of creating the most connected, smart and resilient region in the country. In 2015, she cofounded the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) a 501c3 dedicated to supporting Dallas’ smart cities strategy currently serving as its Executive Director. At the DIA, she has collated a network of three dozen member organizations, and works with over 20 departments within the City of Dallas. It’s Phase I Smart Cities Living Lab is the fastest-to-market smart cities initiative in the country. She is currently working on projects related to equity, mobility, digital divide and public safety. She is actively involved in the community, serving as a Past President of the Mayor’s Star Council, on the Board of the Suicide & Crisis Center of North Texas, Better Block, Southwestern Medical District Master Plan, among others. In 2019, she received the UN Day Global Leadership Award for advancing the SDG-9. She has been named to the Dallas Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Top Women in Technology, State Scoop’s Top Women in Technology, the Tech Week 100, and the Dallas 500. She graduated from the University of Virginia.

Oriana Silva

Bio - Oriana Silva is a French BA and Chemistry BA student at UNT and Dallas College. The lack of needs that she grew up with in Venezuela made her aware of how impactful is preserving natural resources. Since she started her Sustainability Internship, she realized that her life experiences are related to resource mismanaging. Oriana has had the privilege to work with many organizations related to these areas, as the Regional Center of Expertise (RCE) - Americas and North Texas chapters, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, EarthX, Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability, and Dallas College. She has also elaborated projects that can raise awareness about sustainability and resiliency among students, like The Sustainable Age - Student Journal, the first student-led journal based on sustainability in the North Texas area. It integrates international students from different backgrounds and colleges, showing diversity and inclusion across the region