Speakers


Lisa Lee Benjamin perseveres in her pursuit to generate environments worldwide that unite people, art, and science. She actively connects people and resources to inspire beauty through her environmental design and development consultancy, Evo Catalyst. Thriving on collaboration with other equally dedicated artists, scientists and specialists on a wide variety of topics, pursuits and projects, she has inspired sustainable solutions for diverse animal and human habitats, which include bug hotels, urban insect commentary, green roofs, small scale agriculture, hedgerows, wetlands, and residential and public gardens. Profoundly dedicated to altering the way we live and transforming passion into action, Lisa Lee is also a founding member of many initiatives including Urban Hedgerow, Green Roof Alliance, Alpine Initiatives and UG LAB. Lisa is co-author of The Professional Design Guide to Green Roofs (Timber Press 2013).  Her current focus is using art to shift foundational beliefs about ourselves and our environment; she divides her time between the Bay Area and Switzerland, where she shares her inspiration as a guest lecturer at several Zurich Universities.


Mark Seeley joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1978. Since that time he has served as Extension Climatologist and Meteorologist, working closely with the National Weather Service, the Minnesota State Climatology Office, and various state agencies.
He has served as a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” news program and written the weekly newsletter “Minnesota WeatherTalk” since 1992. In recent years he has helped Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) produce documentaries on Minnesota’s deadliest tornadoes (Emmy Award Winner), lethal blizzards, historic floods, and worst wildfires (Emmy Award Nominated for 2013). Dr. Seeley has edited numerous children’s books on weather and climate, and he has taught atmospheric science to K-12 science teachers for over 20 years.
He is author of Minnesota Weather Almanac published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2006, and in 2011 he co-authored with photographer Don Breneman Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park (Afton Press), winner of the Northeast Minnesota Book Awards for photography.
His honors and awards include: Two-time recipient of the Sigma Xi Scientific Communication and Education Award in 2001 and 2008; in 2003 he was recognized with the Mn/DOT Research Partnership Award, as leader of a project dedicated to the design and deployment of living snow fences; in 2006 he received the Extension Dean and Director’s Award for Dean and Director’s Award for Distinguished Extension Faculty in 2006; in 2007 he received the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Faculty Volunteer Award and the Career Achievement Award from Minneapolis/St Paul Magazine. Most recently in 2012 he was honored to receive the University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service.
Dr. Seeley’s great-great grandfather, Ira Seeley, founded the town of Mazeppa, MN (WabashaCounty) and was a member of the first Minnesota Territorial Legislature and State Legislature (serving from 1854 to 1862). His great grandfather Robert was a Minnesota veteran of the Civil War, and his grandfather (Ira II) was a farmer near Appleton, MN. Dr. Seeley loves to share stories and lessons from Minnesota’s weather history, and discuss the management and preservation of Minnesota’s natural resources in the context of a changing climate.
Douglas Owens-Pike completed his BS in Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and MS in plant ecology at University of Washington College of Forest Resources. He spent several years in public policy and environmental education before starting EnergyScapes in 1989. Their services include design, installation and maintenance of primarily native plant landscapes.  Over the past 20 years, he has served as committee chair and board member with the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association and Association of Professional Landscape Designers, working to promote more ecologically based landscape practices. In 2014 he will release his book "Beautifully Sustainable". It provides a step by step format to convert landscapes toward communities of native plants that require less maintenance. He will be signing copies of his book at the Eco-shifting conference.