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Top Quotes, Images, and Tweets from November’s Inspire Speakers Series with Dr. Wallace J. Nichols and Lisa Schroeder

What an amazing evening!  As the Inspire Speakers Series grows, so does our Twitter community.  With over 100 tweets, including images and quotes, we got a great snapshot of how each of us was inspired by the November edition of our series.  If you weren’t able to attend the event with national speaker Dr. Wallace J. […]

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Inspire Speakers Series Presents: Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, Lisa Schroeder, and Dr. Molly Mehling

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Online registration closes at 2:00 p.m. on November 13. General admission is available when doors open at 5:00 p.m.


J NicholsDr. Wallace “J” Nichols came to fame when he tagged a sea turtle (affectionately called Adelita by his research team) with a GPS transponder and published her coordinates online as she made the long journey across the Pacific Ocean to Japan.  Compared to Adelita’s journey, Nichols’ professional career has been anything but direct, but one constant for Nichols is his love of the outdoors; specifically, his love of water.  Nichols became enthralled by nature at an early age, and he earned his PhD in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources.  Yet Nichols’ recent work has made him a pioneer in the green world, combining environmental activism with neuroscience in a field he calls “neuroconservation,” which explores the effect of nature on the human mind.  Central to neuroconservation is Nichols’ belief that environmental activism would be most effective if people could draw connections between two great forces: the ocean and the human mind.

Nichols is a gripping speaker (see his TEDtalk here) and a New York Times best-selling author.

Schroeder bio photo

Photo credit: Ray Miles

Lisa Millspaugh Schroeder is President and Chief Executive Officer of Riverlife: a non-profit organization with the mission to reclaim, restore, and promote Pittsburgh’s riverfronts.  Schroeder has been a featured speaker at international conferences in Lisbon, Naples, and Toronto, advocating for the power of sustainable waterfront development to transform cities.  She was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 2012 and was recognized as an Outstanding Woman in Business by the Pittsburgh Business Times (2011).  Growing up in Baltimore, Lisa developed a deep love for cities and has worked throughout her career to improve the quality of life through urban planning, preservation and environmental conservation, holding positions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City Landmarks Commission, the Real Estate Services Group, and Maine Preservation.


Our emcee for the evening will be Dr. Molly Mehling from Chatham University.  She will provide an overview of water in our region, introduce the speakers, and facilitate Q&A.

Mehling - Bio PhotoDr. Molly Mehling grew up on Ohio River just downstream from Pittsburgh. As child of the Appalachian hills, she witnessed the natural beauty of the region and its struggle to transform beyond an industrial identity. Mehling is now an aquatic and landscape research ecologist working to develop and implement well-designed, community-engaged projects that improve the ecosystem of our city for all of its inhabitants. She merges scientific research with visual arts to improve our intertwined land and water systems. Mehling is a professor in the Falk School of Sustainability at Chatham University. She serves on many community organizations and offers workshops for using the visual arts in science and sustainability.

More about Dr. Wallace J Nichols:

  • Research Associate at the California Academy of Sciences, where he collaborates with and advises graduate and undergraduate students in environmental studies and marine biology programs around the country.
  • Crowdsources his work as an independent scientist through the LiVBLUE Angels initiative.
  • Started the Blue Marbles Project, which encourages people to give an environmental activist or nature lover a blue marble as a token of thanks for “loving our little blue planet”.
  • Co-founded Billion Baby Turtles, which supports sea turtle conservation efforts in Latin America by paying local workers to patrol beaches and protect endangered turtle nests.

Awards & Recognitions

  • Recipient, University of Arizona’s 2014 Global Achievement Award
  • Recipient, honorary doctorate in science, DePauw University (watch his 2010 commencement address here)
  • Marshall Fellowship and Fulbright Fellowship from the University of Arizona’s School of Renewable Natural Resources


GBCI CMP AIA logo This event is approved for 2.0 GBCI CEUs and 2.0 AIA HSW hours. Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits. Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.


We’d like to thank our Inspire Speakers Series Co-Presenting Partners:

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Thanks also to our Inspire Speakers Series Media Partners:

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Is this event out of your price range? We want this incredibly inspiring evening with Dr. Nichols to be accessible to everyone in our community.  If you find the $20 rate to be prohibitive, please email Jenna Cramer to discuss your options.

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