Chicago Green Drinks
February 20, 2008
Jefferson Tap & Grille
325 N. Jefferson
Chicago IL, 60661
The State of Sustainable Chicago (II)-Chicago Wilderness
The State of Sustainable Chicago (Part 2)-Chicago Wilderness: Nature in the Metropolis
"Chicago Wilderness" seems like an inherent contradiction. Yet the Chicago Wilderness region, stretching from southeastern Wisconsin, through northeastern Illinois, into northwestern Indiana and southwestern Michigan, is home to nearly 360,000 acres of protected and unprotected lands and waters as well as the nine million people who call the region home. Following up on January's popular "State of Sustainable Chicago" panel, this month we will focus on the threats facing the region’s unique natural areas and the initiatives like the Green Infrascture Vision underway to protect them. Join us and learn how the "City in a Garden" can embrace its "wild" side!
Dennis Dreher has nearly 30 years experience in a variety of water and natural resource activities. As the Director of Natural Resources for the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Dennis was a regional authority on sustainable development, regional stormwater and floodplain management, stream and wetland protection, biodiversity protection, watershed management, and water quality planning. His specialized skills include development of local environmental management regulations, preparation of technical assistance tools for natural resources management, and outreach to local governments and professional groups. Since joining Cowhey Gudmundson Leder in 2006, Dennis has expanded his efforts to incorporate conservation design principles into a variety of development projects.
Executive Director, Chicago Wilderness
The Chicago Wilderness consortium is an alliance of more than 220 organizations working to protect and restore native biodiversity in the greater Chicago metropolitan region. In her role as executive director, Melinda Pruett-Jones advances the consortium’s strategic plan and vision, based on the Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan, by facilitating regional, collaborative conservation initiatives. She builds new partnerships to advance and leverage additional support for the work of Chicago Wilderness members, and is responsible for the consortium’s financial management and fundraising. Melinda has 28 years of experience in research, management, and administration, gained while working for organizations committed to conservation, science education, and academic excellence. She holds a Master’s degree in Zoology from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Animal Behavior from the University of Washington.
Dr. Doug Stotz
Environmental Conservation Program, Field Museum
A Conservation Ornithologist, Doug Stotz is active in programs to preserve biological diversity and threatened habitats, both in the Chicago region and in other countries. Locally, Doug monitors bird populations at several sites where native habitats are being restored and advises local governments on land management practices that promote biodiversity. He also has a long history of research and exploration in South America. As part of the tropical Rapid Biological Inventory teams, Doug documents the bird species in a region and determines which have restricted ranges and which indicate habitat quality. This, together with data gathered by other team members on other groups of organisms, provides the basis for making conservation decisions about the area surveyed. Doug holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Chicago.
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