Panelists

Illya Azaroff, Department of Architectural Technology, New York City College of Technology
Illya Azaroff is Assistant Professor of Architectural Technology at the New York City College of Technology. He is an award winning Artist and Architect that for the past nine years has served as director of design at the design collective studio in New York City, where he engages in experimental cross disciplinary collaborations often resulting in site specific installations, performances and exhibition. His work has been presented around the US, Asia and Europe where he seeks to engage the public by illuminating the human condition, altering physical and psychological perception and providing a fertile ground for public discussion. Throughout the years Illya has collaborated with scores of fellow artists and architects, including Raumlabor Berlin, Estudio BC in Barcelona, Freefall ltd., and Strudelmedia in New York to name a few.

Reginald A. Blake, Department of Physics, New York City College of Technology
Reginald A. Blake is a geophysicist and a water resources engineer who has an extensive background in hydro-climatology, climatology, climate change and climate change impacts, hydrology, meteorology, physical oceanography, and air pollution. He is an associate professor of Physics at the New York City College of Technology. Dr. Blake’s Ph.D., which he received in 1998 from The City University of New York,  is in the specialized area of hydro-climatology. His Ph.D. dissertation research was conducted at Columbia University’s NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (NASA/GISS), where he served as a post-doctoral fellow from 1998-2001. He holds a Master’s degree in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography and a Bachelor’s degree in Meteorology.  Dr. Blake has also worked as a City Research Scientist for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP). He is an active member of NASA/GISS’s climate change impacts group and of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Cooperative Remote Sensing Science and Technology Center (NOAA – CREST).  In 2008, he was selected as one of only thirteen scientists to Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City Panel on Climate Change, which recently concluded a landmark study of climate change impacts on New York City.

Christina P. Colόn, Department of Biological Sciences, Kingsborough Community College
Christina P. Colόn is an Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences at Kingsborough Community College. A native New Yorker, she has lived and worked as an environmental educator in every borough, of this great city. Between semesters she is active in several areas of field research. During the summer, she works with students to investigate egg and juvenile density and distribution of the Atlantic horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) on Plumb Beach within Jamaica Bay. During the winter break she conducts research in Singapore on Asian small carnivores. Most recently she worked with captive binturongs (Arctictis binturong); the largest member of the civet family. Her third area of research takes place during the semesters, when she investigates the impact of teaching and the process of learning on her undergraduate students. A passionate educator, she is continually striving to improve the educational outcomes of her students. Her most recent SoTL (Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) innovation involves what she dubbed Species Shout-Outs, which engage students in active learning of key scientific concepts, while promoting public speaking skills and verbal communication.

Klaus Jacob, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Klaus H. Jacob is a geophysicist currently teaching Disaster Risk Management at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and is Special Research Scientist (Emeritus Research Professor) at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. His recent research focus is climate change and sea level rise, and their impacts on infrastructure of major coastal cities. He served on the Mayor’s New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), the New York State’s ClimAID study where he lead the research teams on Transportation and Telecommunication; he prepared a climate change adaptation plan for the MTA; and coauthored the National Academy / Transportation Research Board’s Special Report 290 on Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation. Prior to his interest in climate change adaptation Dr. Jacob worked for three decades on topics ranging from seismology and volcanology to earthquake engineering, nationwide and on five continents.

Michael Marrella, New York City Department of City Planning
Michael Marrella, AICP, is the Director of Waterfront and Open Space Planning for the New York City Department of City Planning. He is responsible for directing waterfront land use policy for the agency. He also advises the Chair and members of the City Planning Commission on the planning and land use issues affecting waterfront and open space areas, manages the staff of the Waterfront and Open Space Division, and acts as the primary liaison to a wide range of stakeholders including elected officials, community organizations, and private sector entities on matters of land use, zoning and economic development related to waterfront and open space. Michael previously served as Project Director for Vision 2020: the New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, Manager of Environmental Planning on the Freshkills Park project, as a planner for AKRF, Inc., a planning consulting firm, and for the Town of Smithtown, NY. Michael holds a Master in City Planning from MIT and a BA from Vassar College.

Betsy McCully, Department of English, Kingsborough Community College
Betsy McCully is author of City at the Water’s Edge: A Natural History of New York. Her essays, articles, and stories have appeared in a number of publications. In addition, she has given many talks on New York’s natural and environmental history. An Associate Professor of English at Kingsborough Community College, she is co-founder of the Kingsborough Eco-Festival, which in 2008 won the CUNY Sustainability Award. Currently, she is completing a book on the environmental history of New York City.

 

Moderator:
Michael Spear, Department of History, Philosophy, and Political Science, Kingsborough Community College
Michael Spear is an assistant professor of history at Kingsborough Community College, where he teaches various U.S. history courses, including New York City history. He received his doctorate from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 2005. He has published several articles on the New York City labor movement and post-WWII New York City politics.

 

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