GreenTalk Speaker Series, Spring 2019

Spring 2019

  • Feb 13

    Kristen Wonder, B.A. Environmental Studies

    Sustainability Coordinator, San Jose State University
    Member, SJSU Campus-Wide Sustainability Board

    Managing Sustainability at San Jose State University

    Kristen is a dedicated sustainability professional striving to create meaningful change with long-term sustainable solutions. An SJSU environmental studies graduate, she is committed to using advocacy to drive social and environmental progress at San Jose State University.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 16 - Environmental Policy and Sustainability

  • Feb 20

    Topher White, B.A. Physics

    CEO and Founder, Rain Forest Connection
    Engineer and Conservation Technologist

    Protecting Rainforests with Real-time Data

    What’s the Use of a Used Cell Phone? Hide it in the Rain Forest to Catch Illegal Loggers

    Topher White created the start-up Rainforest Connection (RFCx). RFCx is a non-profit tech company building scalable open source solutions to address illegal logging and poaching in endangered rainforests.

    The company’s flagship project is the world’s first real-time anti-logging/anti-poaching alert system, built from recycled smartphones which are transformed into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices and hidden in threatened forests.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham) Chapter 16 - Environmental Policy and Sustainability

    A TED talk about the project inception

  • Feb 27

    Eugene Cordero, Ph.D., Atmospheric Science

    Professor, Department of Meteorology and Climate Science, San Jose State University/> Founder and Director, Green Ninja Project

    Global Warming and Climate Change, What’s an Engineer to Do?

    Dr. Cordero, a professor at SJSU, explains anthropogenic climate change and possible solutions. He has been a popular GreenTalk speaker for several semesters. Dr. Cordero’s science research is focused on understanding the processes responsible for long-term changes in climate through the use of observations and atmospheric models.

    Dr. Cordero is also founder and director of the Green Ninja Project, an enterprise created to engage and help middle school students design a more sustainable world.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 9, Climate
    Chapter 13, Energy

    Green Ninja

  • March 6

    Donna Plunkett, PLA, ASLA

    Landscape Architect, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority

    Open Spaces and Green Infrastructure

    Donna is a licensed landscape architect, both here in California as well as in New York. She has 25 years experience in land conservation, park and public land management, and related planning and design work.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 15 – Economics and Urbanization

  • March 13

    Mandeep Khera, M.B.A

    Head of WW Channel Marketing, Agari

    Internet of Things/Environmental Impact

    The Internet of Things is the future. Mandeep Khera, a Silicon Valley professional who has held various positions over the past 25 years, talks about ways the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the environmental landscape. Mandeep is also a published writer.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 13 – Energy

  • March 20

    Karen Koppett, M.S. Environmental Studies
    Samantha Greene, M.S., Ph.D.

    Senior Water Conservation Specialist at Santa Clara Valley Water District

    The Valley’s Water – where it’s from, how we use it and how water conservation can help promote sustainability

    More information to come.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 11–Water

  • March 27

    Virginia San Fratello, M.A., Architecture

    Associate Professor, Department of Design, San Jose State University

    3D Printing and Sustainable Materials

    Virginia San Fratello is an architect, artist, and educator. She is also a partner in the award winning design studio, Emerging Objects.

    Emerging Objects is a research consortium founded by Ronald Rael and Prof. San Fratello. It is described as a cutting- edge, creatively-driven MAKE-tank, designing 3D printing environments for the 21st century – with innovative materials, at unprecedented sizes.

    3D printing, which is the automatic construction of physical objects using powder based additive manufacturing technology, typically employs materials intended for the immediate analysis of form, scale, and tactility. Until very recently, the materials used in this process have no long-term value nor does the process traditionally have the ability to create actual and sustainable working products. Emerging Objects has radically changed this state of affairs through the development of powdered materials such as cement, wood, salt, coffee, tea and rubber for 3D printing. The presentation of selected works, (from Bloom, a tempietto 3D-printed out of cement, to the Saltygloo, an igloo 3D-printed in salt from the San Francisco Bay), focuses on Emerging Objects ability to use 3D printers and computers to manipulate particles of light and bits of data to transform dust from the material world into customized objects and products that serve as new building blocks for the future.

    Background Information:

    Emerging Objects Video on YouTube

    Rael San Fratello

    Emerging Objects

  • April 10

    Max Dunn, B.A., M.B.A

    Director of Engineering, Ohm Connect

    Integrating Renewable Resources on the Grid: Challenges and Opportunities

    Max Dunn holds a B.A. in computer and information science and an M.B.A. in sustainable management.

    The price of clean energy keeps falling and is becoming competitive with fossil fuel power plants. But integrating increasing amounts of intermittent renewable energy on the grid is causing problems. Can we move to a sustainable energy future, or will fossil fuels always be our dominant source of energy?


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 13 — Energy

  • April 17

    Kiely Smith

    Bay Area Director, Factory Farming Awareness Coalition

    Environmental Impacts of Factory Farming

    More information coming soon.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)
    Chapter 7 — Food and Agriculture

  • April 24

    Julia Thompson, Ph.D., M.S., EPICS Instructor
    Keith Perry, M.S., M.B.A, Epics Instructor

    EPICS Student Representatives

    Environmental Aspects of Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)

    The EPICS program takes global and local community organizations and partners them with students who have strong technical backgrounds. It is a national program that provides service-learning opportunities in the engineering curriculum. SJSU engineering students are giving back to the community and helping the environment too.

    Keith, Julia, and some EPICS student teams will talk about the program at SJSU and discuss several environmentally-focused engineering community projects.


    Principles of Environmental Science (Cunningham and Cunningham)

    Chapter 16 — Environmental Policy and Sustainability