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Earth Optimism Summit 2017 

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In 2017, thought leaders, practitioners, pioneering scientists and researchers, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders, industry participants, media, philanthropists, and other conservation-minded citizens gathered for the innaugural Earth Optimism Summit. 

The summit welcomed discussion focused on solutions in conservation—what are the best minds, boldest experiments, and most innovative community practices telling us about how to preserve biodiversity, protect natural resources, and address climate change?

Featured Content at the Summit

  • • Species Survival
  • • Solutions for Pollution
  • • Success in the City
  • • Transforming Transportation
  • • People and Communities for Change
  • • Food
  • • Working Land and Seascapes
  • • Saving Wild Spaces
  • • Energy Innovation
  • • Film Screenings
  • • Conservation Courses
  • • And Much More...

About Conservation Commons

The Smithsonian Conservation Commons unites scientists from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, National Zoological Park, and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, as well as the Smithsonian’s rich cultural programs and long standing external partnerships, to tackle complex conservation problems on a global scale.

This collaboration builds upon Smithsonian strengths in four strategic conservation areas where our science, cultural assets, and convening power will have the greatest impact:

  1. Biodiversity Friendly Food
  2. Movement of Life
  3. Working Land and Seascapes
  4. Earth Optimism

Team

Earth Optimism Advisors

Tom Lovejoy, Chair, Earth Optimism Advisory Group
John Beardsley, Director of Garden and Landscape Studies, Dumbarton Oaks
Paul Butler, Senior Vice President of Global Programs, RARE
Samantha Campbell, President, Campbell Foundation
Rita Colwell, Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland
Trammell S. Crow, Philanthropist. Founder, Earth Day Texas
Alex Dehgan, Conservation X Lab, Duke University Innovator at Large
Kathryn Fuller, Chair, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Tuck Hines, Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Dennis Kelly, Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo
Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Richard Kurin, Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research, Smithsonian Institution
Matthew Larsen, Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Christopher Liedel, President, Smithsonian Enterprises
David M. Lodge, President, Ecological Society of America
Shirley Malcom, AAAS, Head of Education and Human Resources Programs
Steve Monfort, John & Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Chris Palmer, American University Center for Environmental Filmmaking
Kristin Rechberger, CEO, Dynamic Planet
Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network
Constance and Theodore Roosevelt IV
Christián Samper, President and CEO of Wildlife Conservation Society
Roger and Vicki Sant
Joel Satore, Author and Photographer, National Geographic Magazine
Fern Shepard, Executive Director, Rachel’s Network
David Skorton, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Team

Management Unit: Conservation Commons/Earth Optimism
Ruth Anna Stolk, Executive Director
Erin Chapman, Program Manager
Brian Coyle, Student and University Engagement
Cary Ridder, Partner and Sponsorship Management
Sharon Ryan, Public Programs Team Leader
Lauren Ward, Digital Producer/Coordinator

Earth Optimism Program Committee
Co-Chairs
Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science, National Museum of Natural History
Steven Monfort, Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Chair, Conservation Commons

Members
Anson (Tuck) Hines, Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Pierre Comizzoli, Office of the Provost and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Jessie Deichmann, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Gary Krupnick, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Jeff Hall, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Earth Optimism Operations Advisors
Greg Abbott, Office of Government Relations
Bill Allman, Smithsonian Enterprises
Pamela Baker-Masson, National Zoological Park
Mark Bauman, Smithsonian Enterprises
Halle Butvin, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Sulema Castro, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Alison Cawood, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Amanda Chavenson, The Smithsonian Associates
Kate Christen, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Shelly Cole, Office of the Provost
Kalewa Correa, Asian Pacific American Center
Laura Diederick, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fort Pierce
Molly Dodge, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Susan Engelhardt, Office of Contracting
Johnny Gibbons, Office of Public Affairs
Sarah Goforth, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Virginia Gomez, Office of the General Counsel
Rachel Gross, Smithsonian Enterprises, Smithsonian Magazine.com
Becky Haberacker, Office of Public Affairs
Ellyn Hurwitz, Smithsonian Enterprises
Marshall Jones, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Effie Kapsalis, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Jeanny Kim, Asian Pacific American Center
Elizabeth Kirby, Office of the Provost
Virginia Kromm, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Carol LeBlanc, Smithsonian Enterprises
Matt Lutkenhouse, Office of International Relations
Carolyn Martin, Office of Public Affairs
Melanie McField, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fort Pierce Marine Station
Kristen Minogue, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Maria Murray, MarineGEO and Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network
Karen Otiji, Office of Sponsored Projects
Jaap Otte, Office of Advancement
Aviva Rosenthal, Office of International Relations
Nucharin Songsasen, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Kristina Teixeira, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Rebecca Wall, Office of International Relations
Amy Wilkins, Smithsonian Enterprises

Smithsonian Leadership and Governance
David Skorton, Secretary of the Smithsonian, Earth Optimism Summit Convener
Richard Kurin, Acting Provost and Under Secretary for Museums and Research
Stacy Cavanagh, Office of the Provost
Scott Miller, Office of the Provost
Steven Monfort, Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Chair, SI Conservation Commons
Anson (Tuck) Hines, Director of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (Content Advisor)
Kirk Johnson, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Dennis Kelly, Director, National Zoological Park
Matt Larsen, Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Center
Chris Liedel, President, Smithsonian Enterprises
Nancy Bechtol, Director, Smithsonian Facilities

Smithsonian Conservation Commons Science Working Group
Steve Box, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Fort Pierce Marine Station
Halle Butvin, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Kate Christen, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Jessica Deichmann, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Brian Gratwicke, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Jeff Hall, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Kris Helgen, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Anson (Tuck) Hines, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
John Kress, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Gary Krupnick, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Pete Marra, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Steven Monfort, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (Chair)
Sharon Ryan, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Patrick Jansen, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Melissa Songer, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Ruth Anna Stolk, Smithsonian Conservation Commons (Lead facilitator)