Climate Institute News
In December 2008 both Dr. Daniel Wildcat, convener of the American Indian Alaska Native Climate Change Working Group and Director of the Environmental Research Studies Center at Haskell Indian Nations University, and John Englander, CEO of International Seakeepers Society, were elected to the Climate Institute Board of Directors. Both had served on the Institute’s Board of Advisors.
Dan Wildcat has been a driving force behind the formation and growth of the Working Group, an informal network of Native American climate experts and activists and other partners seeking to advance climate protection in American Indian and Alaska Native communities. A Yuchi member of the Muskogee Nation of Oklahoma, Professor Wildcat has been a member of the faculty at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas the past two decades. Co-Author with Vine Deloria, Jr. of Power and Place: Indian Education in America (Fulcrum, 2001) and co-editor, with Steve Pavlik, of Destroying Dogma: Vine Deloria and His Influence on American Society (Fulcum, 2006) Dan Wildcat is also the author of Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge (Fulcrum, 2008). Besides teaching at Haskell, Dan Wildcat has spoken widely on climate change implications at many places, among them Northwest Indian College, University of Northern Arizona, Dartmouth College and the National Museum of the American Indian.
Since 2004, John Englander has been the CEO of the International Seakeepers Society, “an organization set up in 1998 by a small number of yacht owners to address deteriorating conditions of the seas. Their initial mission has been to develop a compact, automated and cost-effective ocean and atmospheric monitoring system to install aboard their yachts, providing data to scientists on the health of the world’s oceans.” In 1974, he took over the struggling Underwater Explorers Society (“UNEXSO”) based in Freeport, Grand Bahamas, and turned it into one of the world’s largest dive operations, operating a fleet of boats, a diversified instructional program, and one of the biggest retail dive stores in the world. Englander also created the Dolphin Experience, an innovative close-encounter program that allowed for the first time divers and non-divers to interact with dolphins in the open ocean. He headed the diving industry’s non-profit environmental organization, Ocean Futures, and was shortly hired by Jacques-Yves Cousteau to become CEO of the Cousteau Society, where he served briefly until Cousteau’s death. In addition to extensive experience throughout the Caribbean, he has led scuba expeditions to the High Arctic and Lake Baikal in Siberia. In 1992, he organized a voyage to dive many of Columbus’ alleged landfalls.
President of Stirling Strategic Services, a Boulder, Colorado and Washington based consulting and public affairs firm, Deborah J. Stirling recently joined the Climate Institute’s Board of Advisors. Before founding Stirling, she was Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, a consortium of over 60 North American universities and the parent organization for the world-renowned National Center for Atmospheric Research. Earlier in her career, Stirling spent 10 years as Subcommittee Counsel and Staff Director for Oceans and Atmosphere for the United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and was Staff Director of the Senate-wide National Ocean Policy Study. In addition, she functioned as Energy Counsel and Environmental Counsel to Senator Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC) during the same period. Ms. Stirling received her BA in International Studies and her JD from the University of South Carolina. While in law school, she studied coastal ecology and ran field programs in marine biology, fresh water pollution in blackwater swamps, and aquaculture, and specialized in environmental and science law. Stirling is a volunteer fire fighter and a first responder in her local fire protection district in Colorado, as well as a Director of the fire protection district. She is also a Director of the Colorado Musical Festival.
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