8 a.m. Breakfast and Registration

8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

8:40 a.m.  Climate Change As a Community Concern
Mayor George Heartwell, City of Grand Rapids

9 a.m. Keynote: David Titley, Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University

9:50 a.m. How Michigan Agri-Business is Responding to Climate Change
Chuck Lippstreu, Michigan Agri-Business Association

10:20 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. Developing a Framework for a West Michigan Response to Climate Change, A Facilitated Dialogue
Facilitated by Michael O’Rourke, Professor of Philosophy and faculty in AgBioResearch at Michigan State University; Nancy Tuana, Founding Director, Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University; and Kyle Whyte, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University

12:00 p.m.  Lunch

12:30 p.m. Dialogue Review

12:45 p.m.  Panel: Responding to Climate Change in West Michigan
Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council (Moderator)
Alison Sutter, Senior Sustainability Consultant, Key Green Solutions
Mark LaCroix, Executive Vice President, The CarbonNeutral Company
Amy Deel, Membership Coordniator, Local First
Rick VanDellen, Sustainability Program Manager, Amway
Aaron Ferguson, Project Manager & Health Educator, Climate & Health Adaptation Program, Michigan Dept. Community Health
Haris Alibasic, Director, City of Grand Rapids Office of Energy & Sustainability

2:00 p.m. Break

2:30 p.m. Gray vs. Green- The Role of Green Infrastructure in the Face of an Uncertain Climate
Jim Patchett, Founder and President of Conservation Design Forum

3:50 p.m. Energy, Urban Development & Sustainability
Dan Scripps, President of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council

4:30 p.m. Review and Closing Remarks
Daniel Schoonmaker, WMSBF Director

4:40 p.m.  Reception and Exhibits


David Titley, Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University

Dr. Titley is a nationally known expert in the field of climate, the Arctic, and National Security.  He served as a naval officer for 32 years and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral.  Dr. Titley’s career included duties as Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance.  While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change.  After retiring from the Navy, Dr. Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. Titley has spoken across the country and throughout the world on the importance of climate change as it relates to National Security.  The Department of Defense requested he present on their behalf at both Congressional Hearings and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meetings from 2009 to 2011.

He is currently a Professor of Practice in the Department of Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University, and founding Director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk.  The Center will help organizations and citizens prosper and succeed in today’s and tomorrow’s weather and climate environment by taking advantage of all the skill in weather and climate forecasts.

Larissa Larsen, Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and Natural Resources, University of Michigan

Larissa Larsen is an associate professor in the Urban and Regional Planning Program (URP) at the University of Michigan. She teaches graduate classes inenvironmental planning, land use planning, and urban design theory. She regularly oversees graduate community-based capstone projects in Detroit neighborhoods. Larissa is the PhD Coordinator for the Urban and Regional Planning Program and the Physical Planning and Design Concentration Coordinator for the Master of Urban Planning Program. Larissa holds an appointment in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Larissa’s research focuses on identifying environmental inequities in the built environment and advancing issues of urban sustainability and social justice. Some of her past research has examined urban heat islands, water consumption, and neighborhood mobilization against environmental problems. Most of her current work involves climate adaptation planning and urban heat island studies. In the past year, she and her students worked with the US Green Building Council to write a publication entitled, Green Building and Climate Resilience. Working with five other scholars on campus and the Graham Institute, Larissa is involved in a multi-year project investigating how the changing climate will impact cities in the Great Lakes Region and how planning can enhance their resilience.

Jim Patchett, founder and president of Conservation Design Forum

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leaders in the promotion of sustainable land planning and design, Jim applies his training and experience as a landscape architect, environmental planner, hydrologist, and restoration ecologist in the design and development of natural resource-based solutions that integrate state-of-the-art green building and site infrastructure measures to restore historical ecosystem functions in both built and natural environments.  Prior to founding CDF in 1994, Jim served as design lead and project manager on some of the Chicago region’s most noted early examples of sustainable site planning and development including such award winning projects as Sears Prairie Stone, Tellabs Research and Development Facility, and AT&T/ Lucent Technologies.  Each of these projects showcased the integration of native landscapes with innovative green infrastructure measures.

Looking to further develop his ecological philosophy and “green” development focus, Jim founded Conservation Design Forum in an effort to establish a visionary collaborative environment that draws on the expertise of a wide range of planning, design, science, and engineering professionals.  As President of CDF, Jim oversees and participates in a broad range of CDF’s planning and design projects, with particular emphasis in the areas of sustainable site planning and development, the advancement of innovative water resource management techniques, the integration of native landscape systems, and the promotion of ecological restoration strategies.

In addition to his duties as Founder and President of Conservation Design Forum, Jim is co-founder and President of the Board of Conservation Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering applied research and educational outreach in the areas of sustainable design, ecological restoration, and systems management for both built and natural environments.  A noted speaker and educator, Jim routinely travels throughout the country to conduct lectures, educational workshops, and design charrettes that promote an increased understanding and awareness of the scientific foundation and practical applications of diverse “green” design and development strategies, while at the same time pointing out with humor and remarkable clarity, the many liabilities associated with conventional land use practices.  Jim’s ability to communicate this understanding to a broad variety of practitioners, educators, students, decision makers, and the general public is what sets him apart in the field.

Dan Scripps, president of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council

Dan serves as President for the Institute for Energy Innovation, and its affiliated entity, the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council. As president, Dan is responsible for developing and leading the Institute for Energy Innovation’s efforts to promote advanced energy and inform the public about its economic potential for Michigan.

Prior to joining Mi-EIBC and the Institute for Energy Innovation in October 2012, Dan represented financial institutions, project developers and energy companies as an attorney in the Washington D.C. office of Latham & Watkins LLP, a leading global law firm. While there, Dan worked with the Coalition for Green Capital to develop and implement the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, the nation’s first “green bank”, and advised on three Project Finance “Deals of the Year.” Dan previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he chaired the Banking and Financial Services Committee and was active on a range of energy issues, including serving as lead author of Michigan’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund.

In addition to his work with the Institute for Energy Innovation and the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, Dan serves as Vice President of Capital Innovation with Advanced Energy Economy, Mi-EIBC’s national partner, where he is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to accelerate the flow of capital into the advanced energy sector.

Chuck Lippstreu, Michigan Agri-Business Association

Chuck helps to manage communications for the Michigan Agri-Business Association. Previously, Chuck served for several years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, most recently as lead speechwriter for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. In this capacity, Chuck communicated a diverse range of policy issues, including production agriculture, conservation, renewable energy, rural economic development, food safety and international trade. Previously, he worked in the Office of the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency, handling communications and Congressional relations during implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill.

Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy Director, West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Occhipinti has worked around the country for energy thought leaders including the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Hawaii State Senate Energy and Environment Committee and as a liaison for Governor Jennifer Granholm to the State Economic Growth and Development through Energy Efficiency Task Force. In his current role as Policy Director for WMEAC, Occhipinti engages community leaders, citizens, and local, state, and federal officials on today’s key energy policy issues.

Michael O’Rourke, Michigan State University

Michael O’Rourke is Professor of Philosophy and faculty in AgBioResearch at Michigan State University. His research interests include environmental philosophy, the nature of epistemic integration and communication in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research, and the nature of linguistic communication between intelligent agents. He is Director of the Toolbox Project, an NSF-sponsored research initiative that investigates philosophical approaches to facilitating interdisciplinary research (). He has published extensively on the topics of communication, interdisciplinary theory and practice, and robotic agent design. He has been a co-principal investigator or collaborator on funded projects involving environmental science education, facilitating cross-disciplinary communication, biodiversity conservation, sustainable agriculture, resilience in environmental systems, and autonomous underwater vehicles.

Nancy Tuana, Founding Director, Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University

Nancy Tuana is the founding director of Penn State’s Rock Ethics Institute and DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy, Science, Technology, and Society, and Women’s Studies.  Dr. Tuana is a philosopher of science and feminist science studies theorist who has been a long time advocate of interdisciplinary research and education.

She is part of a collaborative research team at Penn State whose focus has included: developing a more robust model of research ethics that more adequately reflects the impacts of ethical issues in scientific practice; examining the impact of including ethical uncertainty in global climate change integrated assessment modeling (IAM) with the goal of using this new IAM to address how uncertainty about potential climate threshold responses and future ethical value judgments affects the choice of efficient climate risk management strategies; and a research project that includes ethical analysis in modeling concerning sea-level rise due to global climate change.

The Rock Ethics Institute has as its mission to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University by integrating the study of ethics throughout the curriculum and ensuring that integrity is a part of the culture of our community.  It has been Dr. Tuana’s goal as Director to ensure that one of the legacies of a Penn State education is ethical integrity and ethical leadership.  The Rock Ethics Institute, under her direction, had also taken the lead nationally and internationally in developing innovative interdisciplinary ethical research.  Current research foci include climate change ethics, bioethics, and K-12 moral literacy.

Kyle Whyte, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University

Kyle is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Michigan State University and a member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics concentration. He is affiliated faculty for Peace and Justice Studies, Environmental Science and Policy, the Center for Regional Food Systems, Animal Studies and American Indian Studies. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Kyle writes primarily on environmental justice and American Indian philosophy. His most recent research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate change impacts on Indigenous peoples. His articles have appeared in journals such as Climatic Change, Environmental Justice, Hypatia, Ecological Processes, Synthese, Human Ecology, Journal of Global Ethics, American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics, Ethics, Policy & Environment, and Ethics & the Environment.