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Sandra Steingraber Joins National Pesticide Forum Line-up, March 30-31 at Yale

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2012) Acclaimed ecologist and Living Downstream author, Sandra Steingraber, will be speaking at the 30th National Pesticide Forum. With Connecticut and communities throughout the country facing threats to existing environmental laws, as well as opportunities for greater protection and increased local control, this conference will have a strong focus on organic land management and protective policies. Join Dr. Steingraber and other researchers, authors, beekeepers, organic business leaders, elected officials, activists, and others to discuss the latest science, policy solutions, and grassroots action.

Register online. Fees start at $35 ($15 for students) and include all sessions, conference materials, and organic food and drink.

Speaker Highlights
Sandra Steingraber, PhD – An acclaimed ecologist and author, Dr. Steingraber explores the links between human rights and the environment, with a focus on chemical contamination. She takes a personal and scientific look at these issues and offers insights into how we can protect our environment and ourselves. She brings a clear, lyrical voice to the complex evidence of biology. The author of several books, including her latest, Raising Elijah, Dr. Steingraber has been called “a poet with a knife” by Sojourner magazine, and received many honors for her work as a science writer. Her highly acclaimed Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment has been adapted for film.

Gary Hirshberg is chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm, the world’s leading organic yogurt producer, and the author of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. Previously, he directed the Rural Education Center, the small organic farming school from which Stonyfield was spawned. Before that, Gary had served as executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, a research and education center dedicated to organic farming, aquaculture and renewable energy. He has also authored books on wind power and organic gardening. Gary is a speaker on sustainability, climate change, the profitability of green and socially responsible business, organic agriculture and sustainable economic development.

David Hackenberg is the beekeeper who first discovered the disappearance of honeybees known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Mr. Hackenberg believes that pesticides contribute to CCD and that honeybees are a barometer of the environment. He is featured in the film Vanishing of the Bees and various media reports, including this 60 Minutes segment. Mr. Hackenberg founded Hackenberg Apiaries in 1962 as a high school vo-ag project. Today, he and his son operate approximately 3,000 hives of bees in 5 states for pollination and honey. David is a past president of the American Beekeeping Federation, and currently serves as co-chair of the National Honey Bee Advisory Board.

Curt Spalding is head of EPA’s New England Region (Region 1 Administrator) and has extensive experience in the environmental protection field as an advocate, policy analyst and administrator. For almost 20 years, he served as Executive Director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island. Since joining the EPA leadership team in February 2010, Mr. Spalding has been leading a holistic approach to finding environmental solutions in New England. He’s emphasized efforts in environmental justice and green economy.

Julia Brody, PhD, executive director of Silent Spring Institute, is a leader in research on breast cancer and the environment and in community-based research and public engagement in science. Dr. Brody’s current research focuses on connecting breast cancer advocacy and environmental justice in a study of household exposures to endocrine disruptors and air pollutants. Since 1996, she has been the principal investigator of the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study, a case-control study that includes testing for endocrine disruptors in homes and historical exposure mapping. Dr. Brody is an adjunct assistant professor at the Brown University School of Medicine.

Christian Krupke, PhD is a professor of entomology at Purdue University. His recent research examines the impacts on honey bees of neonicotinoid pesticides applied to corn. The results demonstrate that bees are exposed to neonicotinoids and several other agricultural pesticides in several ways throughout the foraging period, including exposure through dust, soil corn pollen, and through dandelions growing in contaminated soil. Dr. Krupke is also the chairman of a group of university researchers that sent a letter to EPA stating that biotechnology companies are keeping university scientists from fully researching the effectiveness and environmental impact of genetically engineered crops.

Chip Osborne, founder and President of Osborne Organics, has over 10 years experience in creating safe, sustainable and healthy athletic fields and landscapes, and 35 years experience as a professional horticulturist. As a wholesale and retail nurseryman he has first hand experience with the pesticides routinely used in landscape and horticultural industry. Personal experience led him to believe there must be a safer way to grow plants. His personal investigation, study of conventional and organic soil science practices, and hands-on experimentation led him to become one of the country’s leading experts on growing sustainable, natural turf.

Warren Porter, PhD is a professor of Zoology and Environmental Toxicology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Dr. Porter’s research has shown that combinations of commonly used agricultural chemicals in concentrations that mirror levels found in groundwater can significantly influence immune and endocrine systems, as well as neurological health in animals. His recent research links pesticide exposure in utero to impaired learning, changes in brain function and altered thyroid levels. His lab has also shown lawn chemical mixtures at low-levels increase abortion rates in lab animals.

Andrea Kidd Taylor, DrPH is an assistant professor at the Morgan State University School of Public Health and Policy, and an adjunct faculty member at Howard University’s College of Medicine and the George Meany Center National Labor College. She served on the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses and the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health. Dr. Taylor’s journal article, “Integrated Pest Management Policies in America’s Schools,” demonstrates the need for a federal school pest management policy.

See the full speaker list.

Sessions will be held in the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies’ Kroon Hall. It is a truly sustainable building: a showcase of the latest developments in green building technology. See Forum website for lodging and other local information.

The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, Environment and Human Health, Inc., and the Watershed Partnership, Inc., and co-sponsored by Audubon Connecticut, CATA (Farmworker Support Committee), Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Common Ground, Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), Ecological Health Association, Inc., Grassroots Environmental Education, Green Decade/Newton, GreenCape, Hartford Food System, LEAH Collective, NOFA Massachusetts Chapter, Northern New Jersey Safe Yards Alliance, Rivers Alliance of Connecticut, Safelawns.org, Sierra Club-Connecticut Chapter, Toxics Action Center, and Yale Student Environmental Coalition. Contact us if your organization is interested in co-sponsoring this event.


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