Reducing the carbon that we are putting into the atmosphere is not enough. We must also draw down and sequester hundreds of millions of metric tons of carbon. This webinar covered natural techniques for carbon sequestration through farming, ranching, and habitat restoration, as well as the prospects for a technological approach to sequestration.
Assemblymember Robert Rivas has represented California’s 30th Assembly District since 2018. Prior to the assembly Rivas served two terms on the San Benito County Board of Supervisors. He was raised in Paicines, California, where his grandfather was a farmworker. As a child, Rivas watched his grandfather stand side by side with Cesar Chavez and the UFW as a leader in the fight to win equal rights and fair contracts for farmworkers. In his first-term in the assembly he helped secure the enactment of the COVID-19 Farmworker Relief Package, which included measures for agricultural workplace safety, access to PPE and testing, temporary housing, and access to healthcare and the courts. A long-time champion of the environment, Rivas is carrying two bills on nature-based carbon sequestration. He is Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and Vice-Chair of the influential Latino Legislative Caucus.
Policy Director, California Climate and Agriculture Network
Jeanne Merrill has more than 25 years of experience in agricultural, environmental, and energy policy advocacy at the state and national levels. Since 2009, she has served as Policy Director with the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Prior to her time with CalCAN, Jeanne worked with Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, Greenpeace U.S. and Pesticide Watch. She served for six years on the Organizational Council of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). Jeanne holds a B.A. in political science from U.C. San Diego and an M.Sc. in Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Albert Straus is the founder and CEO of Straus Family Creamery—the first 100% certified organic creamery in the United States. Albert has been a leader in sustainable organic farming practices for many decades. He is a strong advocate for organic, non-GMO dairy production, environmental stewardship, family farms, and the true cost of production. At his dairy–Straus Dairy Farm—the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River—Albert has invested in climate-positive dairy practices, creating a pathway to a carbon-neutral dairy farming model by 2023. He is extending this model to Straus Family Creamery’s suppliers by 2030. Fast Company named Albert one of 2020’s Most Creative People in Business. In 2019, the Marshall creamery became the first in the world to receive TRUE® Zero Waste Certification.
Director, Climate and Nature-based Solutions, The Nature Conservancy
Michelle Passero is the Director of the Nature Conservancy’s Climate Change Program in California. She has over 20 years of experience working in land conservation, environmental law, and policy with particular expertise in natural resources and climate change. Currently, Ms. Passero is leading the Conservancy’s climate policy efforts to establish a comprehensive role for natural and working lands in support of California’s climate goals. She has co-authored multiple publications examining the role of nature-based climate strategies to address climate change, including the most recent publication Nature-based Climate Solutions: A Roadmap to Accelerate Climate Action in California. She holds an LL.M. in Sustainable International Development from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of San Francisco.
Aaron Schreiber-Stainthorp is the Sustainability Manager at Jackson Family Wines, where he specializes in energy efficiency, water conservation, wastewater treatment, behavior change, environmental education, designing sustainability initiatives, employee engagement, waste reduction, and process improvement. Aaron has a background in energy efficiency, sustainability strategy and project implementation. Prior to working at Jackson Family Wines he worked at the Alliance to Save Energy, served as an EDF Climate Corps Fellow, and helped the Francis Ford Coppola winery win the 2017 Sustainable Winegrowing Green Medal Leadership Award.
Ellee Igoe is the co-owner of Solidarity Farm in Pauma Valley, California and a co-founder of Foodshed Small Farm Distro and Resource Hub. Her farm received one of the first CDFA Healthy Soils grants to help launch a holistic carbon sink demonstration project which is now being scaled up in collaboration with Zero Foodprint.
Deputy Secretary for Climate Change, California Natural Resources Agency
Amanda Hansen serves as Deputy Secretary for Climate Change at the California Natural Resources Agency. From 2013 to 2017, she was a director of the Community Reconstruction Program in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery. In 2012, Amanda served as deputy associate director for policy outreach at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She was chief of staff to the chairman of the 2010-2011 round of United Nations climate change negotiations, and a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs from 2005 to 2009. Amanda earned her Masters of Public Policy in environmental policy from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor’s degree in the interdisciplinary Science in Society program at Wesleyan University. She lives in El Dorado Hills, California with her husband, children, and dog where they enjoy all things outdoors.
Torri Estrada is Executive Director at Carbon Cycle Institute and directs its policy and climate justice work. Torri has worked with non-profit, community-based, and public institutions to advance solutions to social and environmental justice, climate, and environmental issues for over twenty years. Previously, Torri was the program director at the Marin Community Foundation, where he managed the Foundation’s environmental grantmaking program and climate change initiative. He was the co-founder and a senior policy fellow with the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water; served as Director of the Latino Issues Forum’s Environment and Sustainable Development Program. Torri holds an MS in Environmental Sociology and Policy (with an emphasis on environmental justice) from the University of Michigan, and a joint BS/BA degree in Environmental Science and Policy and Ecological Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley.
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