Keynote Speaker


Paul Douglas. Minnesota’s first CBM broadcast meteorologist with a meteorology degree from Penn State, Paul has spent 33 years in broadcasting, radio, television, web production, print and reporting. He has taught college classes on broadcast meteorology, lectured extensively on climate change, and he still writes a daily weather column for the Star Tribune newspaper. His software was used Steven Spielberg’s movies “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”, and his reporting and television weathercasting has garnered AP Awards and a local Emmy.

Paul presented the keynote speech entitled:  Climate Change: Natural Cycle or Troubling Trend?

Breakout Session Speakers

  • Ellen Anderson, Senior Policy Advisory to Governor Dayton for Energy and Environment
  • Bruce Blair, Owner, Welch Permaculture Gardens
  • Greg Carlson, Carlson Capital Management Group, Northfield
  • Robert Collett, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • Rabbi Shosh Dworsky, Associate Chaplain for Jewish and Interfaith Life, Carleton College
  • John Farrell, Director, Institute for Local Self Reliance
  • Katy Gillispie, Corporate Environmental Manager, MOM Brands, Inc.
  • Michele Gransee, Department of Commerce: Division of Energy Resources
  • J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy
  • Adam Hoffmann, Carlson Capital Management Group, Northfield
  • Robert Jacobel, Professor of Physics, St. Olaf College and Climate Scientist, U.S. Antarctic Research Program
  • Jeremy Kalin, Eutectics, LLC; House Author of MN PACE Program
  • Beth Kallestad, Cannon River Watershed Partnership
  • Mark Kulda, Vice President, Insurance Federation of Minnesota
  • Tim Madigan, City Administrator, City of Northfield
  • Erin Meier, University of Minnesota, Director SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership
  • Philipp Muessig, Program Coordinator, GreenSteps Cities Program
  • Julia Nerbonne, Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light
  • Patty O’Keefe,
  • Emma Schriver, Program Coordinator, MN Energy Challenge
  • Barb Thoman, Executive Director Transit for Liveable Communities (TLC)

Ellen Anderson, Senior Policy Adviser to Governor Mark Dayton for Energy and the Environment

Ellen Anderson serves as Senior Advisor on Energy and Environment to Governor Mark Dayton, and works at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.  She also assists the State Environmental Quality Board (EQB) on energy and environmental issues.  Anderson is currently coordinating a state climate change plan, and led the implementation of Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32, including organizing the EQB’s Minnesota Environmental Congress and issuing Minnesota’s Environment and Energy Report Card.

In March 2011 Governor Mark Dayton appointed Anderson Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, where she served until early 2012.  She was a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.

Anderson served in the Minnesota Senate from 1993–2011 and was re-elected five times, representing several neighborhoods of St. Paul and the City of Falcon Heights.  She chaired the Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee, the Commerce Committee, the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, and the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Finance Committee.  Her signature legislation includes many energy and consumer protection laws, including the Renewable Energy Standard and the Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) laws; raising the minimum wage; co-authorship of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment;  the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Act; and the first law in the nation, now in federal law, protecting nursing mothers in the workplace.

Anderson holds a B.A. from Carleton College and J.D. cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School.  She was an Adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University and the University of Minnesota, teaching courses in law, energy, and sustainability.  She is a member of the Advisory Board for the U of MN Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences. She has served in numerous leadership and community volunteer positions and received dozens of awards for her leadership in energy, environment, and economic and social justice issues, most recently the 2013 Ecological Society of America Regional Policy Award for Informing Policy with Ecological Science.

Ellen is married and has two teenage sons.  She enjoys reading, travel, gardening, bicycling, hiking, and the great outdoors.

Brittany Baurle, Past President Restoring Creation, Bethel University

Brittany Baurle served as President of Creation Restoration while at Bethel University. A lifelong environmentalist, she continues to blend her faith with her environmental morals as she earns her Masters of Divinity at Bethel Seminary. She currently teaches high school English in Minneapolis.

Bruce Blair, Owner, Welch Permaculture Gardens

Bruce has been a park professional for 34 years, serving in maintenance, management, operations, and design capacities for national wildlife refuges and federal, state, county, and local parks.  From 1999 to 2013 he served as the Manager of Facility Development and Natural/Cultural Resources for Dakota County (Minnesota) Parks Department where he played a leadership role in advancing creative park development offering unique experience rooted to place.

Parallel to his park work, he intensively studied permaculture design with a focus on developing perennial crop dominated landscapes which yield an abundance of food while ecologically intensifying degraded landscapes.  His work also reflects the values he finds in his Cuba studies as that country is a world leader in low-input local food production.   He is the designer and owner of Homestead Gardens of Welch, MN, a two  acre permaculture demonstration project started in 2000.  He now operates Homestead Gardens Design, designing ecologically-based food production systems using permaculture methods.

Greg Carlson, Carlson Management Group, Northfield  

Greg is a founding principal of Carlson Capital Management. and a 1982 graduate of St. Olaf College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Greg went on to earn his designation as a Certified Financial Planner™. He worked for four years as a Financial Planner with IDS/American Express before establishing Carlson Capital Management in 1987. Greg has provided investment counsel and advice to clients for three decades and is a speaker on the topics of financial, estate and philanthropic planning. In the fall of 2005, when Carlson Capital Management reached the milestone of having $500 million in assets under management, Greg was featured on Boomer Market Advisor magazine’s cover, and was interviewed on the importance of being disciplined, diversified and tax efficient. Greg has also been recognized by Medical Economics magazine as one of the nation’s Best Financial Advisers for Doctors. Greg’s most recent publication is “Evidence Based Investing, A Scientific Framework for the Art of Investing,” which he co-authored with fellow members of the Zero Alpha Group.

Greg is an active community member and has served in leadership roles on local boards including the Northfield Rotary Club, American Center for Philanthropy, Northfield Area Foundation, Bethel Lutheran Church, Mt. Carmel Ministries, St. Olaf College, and TIAA-CREF Institute. Greg is also the co-founder of 5th Bridge, an organization whose mission is to encourage the habits of volunteerism and philanthropy. Greg, his wife Nancy live in Northfield, where they have raised their three daughters.

John Farrell – Institute for Local Self Reliance   |, or  follow his occasional post on Twitter.

John is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, specializing in energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. He has written extensively on the economies of scale of renewable energy, the benefits of decentralized energy generation, and the policies and rules that support locally owned and distributed generation of renewable energy.

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His latest paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.

Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (, and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist, Renewable Energy World and Clean Technica.

J. Drake Hamilton, Science Policy Director, Fresh Energy

J.’s responsibilities include scientific analysis, policy development, and advocacy of clean energy solutions to global warming that will maximize economic opportunities for the Midwest. Each year, she gives more than 50 invited presentations on solutions at the scale of our energy problems. Her recent audiences around the country include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Xcel Energy, Target, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and Great River Energy. J.’s frequent media appearances include television, Minnesota Public Radio and many other stations, and the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press. J. earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in physical geography from Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota, with an emphasis on climatology and water resources. She was formerly assistant professor at The George Washington University, and relishes using her science communications skills in advocating global warming solutions. J. was awarded an international leaders fellowship from the European Union, and used that award to study climate policy solutions. She serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Climate Action Network. J. joined Fresh Energy in 1995. She and her husband grow organic peaches and plums that have won blue ribbons at the Minnesota State Fair.

Adam Hoffman, Director of Investments and Research, Carlson Capital Management, Northfield, MN

Adam leads the Carlson investment team in the areas of trading, investment research, portfolio design and technology support for investment applications. Adam oversees the analysis of new and existing client portfolios and helps communicate the firm’s investment philosophy and approach by writing for firm publications. Adam is a member of the CCM investment committee, represents the firm with strategic partnerships in the investment community, and serves as the firm’s liaison to the Zero Alpha Group investment committee. Adam holds the Certified Financial Planner™ designation granted through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and is pursuing his Chartered Financial Analyst designation.  In addition, Adam has served as a subject matter expert for the CFP Board, contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP Certification Examination.

Adam graduated cum laude with Honors Program distinction from Augsburg College, where he earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Finance with a minor in Business Administration. While at Augsburg, Adam participated in four years of varsity football and was honored by his teammates by being elected captain for both his junior and senior seasons. He also earned all-MIAC and pre-season All-American honors. In addition, Adam served as a student mentor and peer tutor. Adam, his wife Rachel, their daughter and their dog Lottie, live in Northfield, Minnesota.

Robert Jacobel, Professor of Physics and Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College (

Bob Jacobel is a geophysicist who uses the tools of ice penetrating radar and satellite remote sensing to study the evolution and response of ice masses to climate change. He does research in polar and alpine environments around the world and has been a participant in the US Antarctic Research Program since 1987. At St. Olaf, Jacobel teaches in both the physics and environmental science programs including a course on global climate change, and heads a research group of students and a post doc.  He has published numerous papers relating internal structures within the ice to glacier dynamics and history, and appeared in a recent BBC television special on Antarctica and climate change. In 2003 an Antarctic glacier was named in recognition of Jacobel’s contributions to scientific research on the continent.  Professor Jacobel encourages the public to visit the website for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at

Mark Kulda, Vice President of Public Affairs, Insurance Federation of Minnesota

Mark Kulda has been with the Insurance Federation of Minnesota for more than 14 years. He also spent more than 12 years as an award-winning television reporter, weather anchor and news manager in seven television markets in the Midwest and Southwest, including at both KSTP-TV and WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities.  He now handles lobbying and media relations for the IFM.  Mark has a Bachelor’s Degree in broadcast management from Park University in Kansas City and a Master’s Degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.

Mark’s presentation will focus on the looming potential crisis in homeowner’s insurance due to large and less than predictable catastrophe losses.

Erin Meier, University of Minnesota SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership

Erin holds an MS in Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University and is a geographer (BS, University of Illinois) with past experience as a cartographer and geographic information systems analyst. Erin directs the U of M Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. The five citizen-led Partnerships, located throughout Greater Minnesota, work to foster active citizenship; achieve sustainable development in the areas of natural resources, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, regional food systems, and sustainable tourism; and create a vital relationship between the citizens of Minnesota and their land grant university.

Phillipp Muessig, GreenStep Cities Coordinator, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Philipp Muessig’s background is in science and community development, with previous jobs in minerals exploration, cooperative business development and neighborhood association management. A graduate of Carleton College, he is currently with the MN Pollution Control Agency’s assistance division where he coordinates the GreenStep Cities program and assists with the MN GreenCorps. Prior work includes writing the MN Sustainable Communities (NextStep) newsletter, MN Design Team small town planning charrettes, and coordinating the Twin Cities Living Green Expo.

Julia Frost Nerbonne, Director, Minnesota Inter-faith Power and Light

Julia has an undergraduate degree in Religion and Ph.D in Conservation Biology and serves as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Conservation Biology Graduate Program at the University of Minnesota.  Her research focuses on citizen empowerment and social movements. She comes to the climate movement after 15 years of teaching ethics and sustainability studies to college students at the UMN’s Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs. She is a member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in St. Paul. When she is not working, Julia enjoys teaching her children how to paint large banners. She is also nuts about history!

Patty O’Keefe-

Bio: Patty O’Keefe graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a Youth Studies degree in 2012.  Currently she works for MN350 as the Fossil Fuel Divestment coordinator for Minnesota, and sits on the steering committee for the Minnesota Youth Environmental Network.  Through her work, she supports student groups on college campuses working with administration to divest fossil fuel holdings; in 2014 her work will be expanding to support off-campus campaigns.

Emma Schriver, Program Coordinator, MN Energy Challenge

As the Minnesota Energy Challenge coordinator Emma’s focus is to educate people of all ages on how to reduce their energy use. This includes managing social media, writing blogs, and community presentations. A particular focus is teaching youth about energy through the TOLBY® program. Emma received a BA in psychology with a minor in environmental studies from the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Barb Thoman,  Executive Director Transit for Liveable Communities (TLC)

Barb is the co-founder and executive director of Transit for Livable Communities,  Minnesota’s leading nonprofit working to develop a better connected transportation system with a greater reliance on transit, bicycling, and walking. Thoman’s work is grounded in expert knowledge about the critical role multi-modal transportation and more compact development plays in making our state a healthy, vibrant, and prosperous place for all to live and work. She has written a number of TLC’s reports and serves regularly on advisory committees on transportation, land use, and traffic safety. Barb, her husband, and daughter have been a one-car family for nearly 20 years—using a combination of bicycling, walking, and transit and HOURCAR to save money and reduce their impact on the environment. Before starting TLC in 1996, Thoman was employed by the State of Minnesota, the State of California, and Winona County, Minnesota, doing work in recycling, waste reduction, and waste management. She has a BA in finance from Michigan State University.

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