Micheal Wilson – Professor of Environmental Studies, Ramapo College
Michael Wilson is the proprietor of Michael Wilson Environmental Horticulture, a landscape firm that specializes in native plants, sustainable landscapes and habitat restoration/creation. His consultation firm is capable of design, installation and horticultural maintenance. Michael’s specialties include native plant gardens, rain gardens and rock gardens.
Michael Wilson is also an adjunct professor at Ramapo College with the Environmental Studies Department. He teaches ‘Sustainable Agriculture,’ ‘Native Plant Landscapes,’ ‘Energy & Society’ and ‘Science, Technology & Society.’ During his tenure with Ramapo College as a student, volunteer and professor, he has been involved in various landscape projects concerning sustainability. His latest endeavor is the sustainable landscape for the Salameno Spiritual Center.
Michael began is agricultural experience while living at Camp Todd in Oakland, NJ where he served as the camp ranger for the Boy Scouts of America. While living off the grid, he taught himself to raise vegetables, chickens, geese and goats. After living at the camp for eleven years, he moved to a private farm in Stockholm, NJ and increased his agricultural knowledge by raising cows, turkeys and maple syrup products. After several years he moved to Broken Hill Farm in Chester, NJ where he raised sheep, llamas and cultivated Christmas trees.
Michael Wilson began his career in horticulture in 1986 at the New Jersey Botanical Garden at Skylands. In 1989 he became the Horticultural Utility Foreman for the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ and has recently retired from the Morris County Park Commission. He has degrees in Horticulture/Agri-business, Environmental Studies and Environmental Management.
Michael has been a member of the North American Rock Garden Society since 1992. He is active in the Watnong Chapter in New Jersey and served as Co-chair for four years. Currently, Michael is serving as vice-chair. He was responsible for the rock gardens at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum and also grows alpine plants at home. He enjoys hiking alpine summits in the northeast and in Colorado.
Michael’s current research is on The Aral Sea Disaster. He visited Uzbekistan in 2011 as a member of the US study team to review agricultural practices and hydrologic impacts due to cotton farming. He brought a focus of permaculture to the team with extensive knowledge in agriculture, sustainable landscapes, storm water management and habitat restoration.
Gini Van Siclen – Nonprofit Capacity Builder
Gini Van Siclen served on the boards of technical societies and nonprofit organizations for many years. To pursue her interest in nonprofit governance and capacity building, she is completing her Masters of Nonprofit Administration at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business in May of 2012. Gini worked as a project manager and team member in facility and nuclear safety and waste management at the Idaho National Laboratory. A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), she periodically teaches a three-day seminar in Risk Management for Project Managers for an international training and consulting firm. She led the service project team which won one of the two 2005 Project Management Institute International Community Service Awards. Gini has a B.A. in French from Duke University and a M.A. in Mathematical Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University. She and her husband Clint live in Idaho Falls, Idaho where they enjoy walking their three dogs, fly fishing, hiking, reading and especially getting together with their 20-something sons, DeWitt and Arthur.
Julianne Lutz Warren – Master Teacher of Environmental Studies Program, New York University
Julianne Lutz Warren is author of Aldo Leopold’s Odyssey (published under the surname Newton), a biography of the American conservation ecologist and author of A Sand County Almanac. Her work unfolds Leopold’s journey (1887-1948) to better understandings of harmonious human-nature relationships. Julianne has published writings on related subjects and is presently working on a second book aimed at envisioning fresh, authentic stories connecting human happiness, utopian imagination and real places into the twenty-first century. Julianne has a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She is an associate with the Environmental Studies Program and is part of the Liberal Studies faculty at New York University.
Rachel Wieland – Professor, Bergen Community College
Rachel Wieland has an MS in Applied Mathematics and will be receiving a Masters in Sustainability in May 2012. At Bergen Community College she is a mathematics professor, adviser to the Environmental Club, Green Team Manager, Earth Week Director and a Co-Sustainability Officer. She is one of the Vice Presidents of New Jersey Higher Education Partnerships for Sustainability. Her interests are in sustainability leadership, well-being paradigms, species conservation and marine protected areas. She has done the keynote address for the BCC Leadership Conference for the last two years. Presentations covered the intersection of leadership, happiness, well-being and sustainability.
Janna Makaeva – Local Mahwah Farmer and Educator
Janna Makaeva graduated from Moscow State University of Russia and has a masters degree in zoology and botany. She is the owner and CEO of Cutting Edge Stencils, a manufacturing/retail company that sells stencils for DIY decorators worldwide. She is a passionate gardener with years of practical experience raising all kinds of seedlings and plants, such as vegetables, fruits and rare berries. She is also interested in medicinal plants, beekeeping and plant propagation. Her garden has areas dedicated to Japanese garden, rock/alpine garden, traditional mix borders, tropical flower borders, etc.
Amy Heid – Environmental Educator
Amy Heid is a masters student in Ramapo College’s new Sustainability Studies program, which she will complete in May 2012. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Ramapo, Amy studied tropical ecosystems in Costa Rica. Amy taught high school science for 9 years. While teaching environmental science, she shared with her students her love of nature and the importance of protecting the environment. Some activities her students participated in were planting tree seedlings, water and soil testing, vermicomposting, and planning and building a courtyard bird and butterfly garden featuring native plants and a photovoltaic water fountain. At home, Amy enjoys growing her own vegetables, and plans to add fruit trees and berries soon. She makes her own maple syrup, and makes and sells her own jams and jellies. Amy is also very happy to own two hens that provide her family with fresh eggs.