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About

About Earth Optimism

The global conservation movement has reached a turning point. We have documented the fast pace of habitat loss, the growing number of endangered and extinct species, and the increasing speed of global climate change. Yet while the seriousness of these threats cannot be denied, there are a growing number of examples of improvements in the health of species and ecosystems, along with benefits to human well-being, thanks to our conservation actions. Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability.

We encourage you to join #EarthOptimism on social media, take our free online workshop, or plan a sister event and celebrate what’s working in conservation with us.

Earth Optimism Global Advisory Committee

Tom Lovejoy, Senior Scientist, UN Foundation & Professor, George Mason University
Lonnie Bunch, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution
Sean Carroll, Vice President for Science Education, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Nancy Knowlton, Emeritus, Sant Chair of Marine Science, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Nicholas Lapham, President and Treasurer, Band Foundation
Mike Rands, Executive Director, Cambridge Conservation Initiative
Kristin Rechberger, CEO, Dynamic Planet
Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, Minister of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
Jon Paul Rodriguez, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission
Kathleen Rogers, President, Earth Day Network
Roger Sant, Co-founder, Sant Foundation
Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-founder/co-director, Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University
Wes Sechrest, Founder, Chief Scientist and CEO, Global Wildlife Conservation
Lui Zhi, Executive Director, Center for Nature and Society, Peking University

Past Events Team Contact Blog

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. Sustainable Food Systems
  2. Movement of Life
  3. Working Land and Seascapes
  4. Earth Optimism

Team

Earth Optimism Smithsonian Senior Leadership

Earth Optimism Smithsonian Senior Leadership

Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary
Kevin Gover, Acting Under Secretary for Museums and Culture
Roger Brissenden, Acting Under Secretary for Science and Research
Michael McCarthy, Under Secretary for Administration
Melanie Adams, Director, Anacostia Community Museum
Nancy Bechtol, Director, Smithsonian Facilities
John Davis, Acting Director, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
Tuck Hines, Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Matthew Larsen, Director, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Carol LeBlanc, President, Smithsonian Enterprises
Matt Lutkenhouse, Acting Director, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Michael Mason, Director, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Steve Monfort, John & Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Carol O’Donnell, Director, Smithsonian Science Education Center
Robert Spiller, Assistant Secretary for Advancement
Ellen Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director, National Air and Space Museum
Ruth Anna Stolk, Executive Director, Smithsonian Conservation Commons

Smithsonian Team

Management Unit: Conservation Commons/Earth Optimism
Ruth Anna Stolk, Executive Director
Matt Lutkenhouse, Deputy Director
Andrea Santy, Director of Program Development
Erin Chapman, Coordinator of Smithsonian Activities
Bathsheba F. Bryant-Tarpeh, Summit Content Manager
Sulema Castro, Operations and Program Manager
Kate Christen, Senior Manager
Brian Coyle, Program Producer/Manager
Cat Kutz, Communications Manager
Christine Buckley, Audience Engagement
Haley Overstreet, Management Support Assistant
Britta Garfield, Senior Advisor, Global Strategy
Stephanie Wezowicz, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Sara De La Torre Beron, International Project Coordinator
Christine Buckley, Audience Strategyy and Engagement
Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science Emerita
Zach Johnson, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Kendall Fitzgerald, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Madisen Buechler, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Christy Lightbourn, Smithsonian Conservation Commons

Earth Optimism Program Review Committee

Co-Chairs
Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science Emerita
Ruth Anna Stolk, Executive Director, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Bathsheba F. Bryant-Tarpeh, Summit Content Manager, Smithsonian Office of International Relations

Steve Canty, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Kate Christen, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Pierre Comizzoli, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Robert Costello, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Brian Coyle, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Jessica Deichmann, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Danielle Duran, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Alise Fisher, Smithsonian Office of Public Affairs
Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
James Hassell, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Anson (Tuck) Hines, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Lacey Hughey, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Marshall Jones, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Gary Krupnick, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Katie LaJeunesse-Connette, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Matt Larsen, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Katrina Pagenkopp Lohan, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Matt Lutkenhouse, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Melanie McField, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Marine Station
Pat Megonigal, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Steven Monfort, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Sabrina Lynn Motley, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Carol O'Donnell, Smithsonian Science Education Center
Matthew Ogburn, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Ian Owens, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Sabrina Sholts, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Melissa Songer, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Jared Stabach, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Earth Optimism Arts & Culture Committee

Co-Chairs
Sabrina Lynn Motley, Director, Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Ruth Anna Stolk, Executive Director, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Bathsheba F. Bryant-Tarpeh, Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow, Smithsonian Office of International Relations

Melanie Adams, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Kate Christen, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Martin Collins, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
Kelly Gillespie, Smithsonian Women's Committee
Katrina Lashley, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
Hayes Lavis, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Stephanie Linehan, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
​Maria Marable-Bunch, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Matilda McQuaid, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Samantha Peterson, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Jeffrey Stine, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Abraham Thomas, Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building

Earth Optimism Strike Team and Advisors

Ashley Bennett, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Greg Bettwy, Smithsonian Office of the Secretary
Kristen Bullard, Smithsonian Libraries
Lindsey Burkholder, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Alex Butera, Smithsonian Office of Special Events and Protocol
Susan Cleary, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Sarah Coco, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Jennifer Collins, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Molly Dodge, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Perrin Doniger, Smithsonian Enterprises
Jaime Duffy, Smithsonian Enterprises

Linette Dutari, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Ogom Enwemnwa, Smithsonian Office of Accounting and Finance

Alise Fisher, Smithsonian Office of Public Affairs
Emily Frost, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Charlotte Gaither, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Alaina Gibbs, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Virginia Gomez, Smithsonian General Counsel
Evan Goodhue, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Eva Goodyear, Smithsonian Office of the Chief Information Officer
Laura Hambleton, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Sean Henderson, Smithsonian Enterprises
Pam Henson, Smithsonian Institution Archives
Eric Hollinger, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Ellyn Hurwitz,
Smithsonian Enterprises
KJ Jacks, Smithsonian Office of Special Events and Protocol
Cole Johnson, Smithsonian Science Education Center

Marshall Jones, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Jill Kennedy, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Virginia Kromm, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
Gayle Lambert, Smithsonian Enterprises
John Lapiana, Smithsonian Office of the Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
Kim Lee, Smithsonian Facilities
Walker Mason, Smithsonian Enterprises
Alli Matlesky, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Kimberly McFarland, Smithsonian Enterprises
Elizabeth McNeely, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Kristen Minogue, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Steve Nelson, Smithsonian Facilities
Samantha Peterson, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Beth Py-Lieberman, Smithsonian Enterprises

Agnes Robine, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Isabella Roden, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Ashley Rogers, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Aviva Rosenthal, Smithsonian Office of International Relations
Amanda Sciandra, The Smithsonian Associates
Todd Stowell, Smithsonian Enterprises
Haresh Vayal, Smithsonian Office of Accounting and Finance
Jeanne Welsh, Smithsonian Office of Advancement
Sarah Wheedleton, Smithsonian Conservation Commons
Amy Wilkins,
Smithsonian Enterprises
Brian Wolly, Smithsonian Enterprises

Press

For members of the media: If you are interested in covering Earth Optimism or registering as press to attend an event, please direct all inquiries to Alise Fisher at fishera@si.edu, 202-633-5194.

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