Recommended Faith & Climate Speakers
A CIPL staff person is glad to connect faith communities organizing public events with any of the following speakers. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting an introduction.
Andrew Gunther, Executive Director, Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration
Dr. Gunther received his Ph.D. from the UC Berkeley in 1987 and has worked at the intersection of environmental science and policy since 1979. He served as the first manager for the San Francisco Bay Regional Monitoring Program and as Assistant Chief Scientist for the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Program. He is the Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration.
He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of the Bay Area Ecosystems Climate Change Consortium. BAECCC was established in 2009 to assess the impact of climate change on Bay Area ecosystems, and identify actions that will preserve the benefits we derive from these ecosystems as climate changes. BAECCC fosters collaboration among San Francisco Bay Area professional interested in climate change. Dr. Gunther is a member of the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a scientific advisor to the Alliance for Climate Education and Interfaith Power & Light.
Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, a well-known Lutheran ethicist, holds a joint appointment at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and CDSP. She has lectured or consulted in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and many parts of North America in theological ethics addressing matters of climate justice as related to race and class, economic globalization, moral agency and hope, public church, faith-based resistance to systemic injustice, and ethical implications of resurrection and incarnation. Her ethical approach weds Earth ethics to liberation theologies including eco-feminist theology. Dr. Moe-Lobeda was appointed as a theological consultant to the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and has served as a health worker/church worker in Honduras and as Director of the Washington, D.C. office of Augsburg College’s Center for Global Education. More recently she has initiated an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary project in public scholarship that examines the moral and public policy implications of climate change as a moral matter of race- and class-based climate debt, including climate debt owed by the global North to the global South. Moe-Lobeda received the “Outstanding Scholarship Award” from Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2013.
Cynthia N. Cudaback, Ph.D.
Dr. Cudaback received a BA in physics from UC Berkeley in 2006 and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1998. She has twenty years of research experience in environmental science, seven years experience teaching college level introductory oceanography, five years teaching marine science to elementary school kids, a year student teaching high school physics, a teaching credential in physics and chemistry, and 3 years teaching physics at college preparatory independent schools. Her personal mission is not only to teach science, but also to provide people with tools to make informed decisions affecting the world around them. This mission combines her passion for environmental stewardship with the vital need for social justice. She states “Social justice is about empowering people to participate in the democratic process, and that process, in turn, makes it possible for us to work together and make a difference to the world.” Dr. Cudaback is an active member of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland.
The Rev. Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Sr., Senior Pastor of The Church by the Side of the Road, Berkeley
The Reverend Doctor Ambrose Carroll, Sr. is one of the nation’s premiere Practical Theologians. After graduating from Oakland High School in 1987, Ambrose went on to do his undergraduate work at Florida Memorial College in Miami, Fl and received a Master’s of Divinity from Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta GA, a Doctor of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Dayton Ohio, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA.
Dr. Carroll combines theology with ecology and challenges the church universal to embrace its mantle of creation care. At present Dr. Carroll and his family are expanding their work to the Bay Area and creating a national campaign to “Green the Church”. His non-profit, Renewal, is poised to educate the Black Church and lead in the creation of sustainable programs to undergird the work of creating green and efficient Church buildings.
Mark Carlson, Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy
Mark Carlson is a native of Idaho and attended public schools is Yakima, WA and Fremont, CA. As a toddler, he was imprinted with the Snake River, and several national parks and forests. As a five-year-old, he was exposed to the consequences of “progress” when his father took their family to the spectacular Native America salmon fishing grounds at Celilo Falls, shortly before it was flooded by The Dalles Dam. Mark graduated from Bethany College, Kansas, with a degree in history and political science, studied Swedish environmental politics and policy for a year in Stockholm, received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and worked as an organizer and consultant in opposition to a new coal and a new nuclear power plant in Kansas.
Mark has been in Sacramento with the Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California since 1984, where he works on a variety of poverty, human rights, and care for creation issues for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Part of his work has included ballot proposition campaigns where care for creation values are at stake. In another life, Mark worked 29 seasons as a firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, offering a different perspective on forest policy and practice.
Mohammad Hoda, Energy Advisor, Shura Council of Southern California
Mohammad has a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. He works as an Energy Engineer where he develops energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability projects in greater Los Angeles region. Mohammad is also involved with the youth at the Islamic Center of San Gabriel Valley, advises Islamic Shura Council of Southern California on energy initiatives for mosques and Islamic Centers and volunteers with Alzheimer’s Association.
Born in India, Mohammad has firsthand experience of what it is like to live in a society with scarce resources. He has seen major changes in nature when over-used and not protected/replenished. Apart from the strong technical understanding of energy and sustainability issues, he believes that preservation and sustainability work is an imperative religious duty. Mohammad is married to Mariam and has one son, Zachariah (Zach).
Recently, back from Rome, where he was invited to be part of Emerging Leaders Multi- Faith Convergence on Climate Change. He was part of the group that marched to St. Peter’s Square in support of Pope Frances focus on climate change and social justice in his recent encyclical.
Rabbi Marvin Goodman, Executive Director, Northern California Board of Rabbis
Marvin Goodman was ordained as a rabbi by the Jewish Theological of America in 1975. He studied at the seminary after having earned his BA from Indiana University in 1970. From 1975-1988 he was the Executive Director of the Northern California Region of the United Synagogue of America as well as the Regional United Synagogue Youth Director. During that time, he was very instrumental in the development of Camp Arazim. From 1988-2007, he was the rabbi of Peninsula Sinai Congregation, a Conservative Congregation in Foster City, California. Since 2007 he has been the Rabbi in Residence at the San Francisco-based Jewish Community Federation and the Executive Director of the Northern CA Board of Rabbis. Marvin is married to Deborah Kelman and has two daughters, Rena and Naomi.
Rev. Earl Koteen, Consulting Minister for Climate Justice, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry California
Rev. Earl W. Koteen is the Consulting Minister for Climate Justice, Unitarian Universalist (UU) Legislative Ministry California. He serves on the board of UU Ministry for Earth and is currently community minister at the Berkeley Fellowship of UUs. Before attending training at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, Earl had a 30-year career in strategic planning, organizational development, and human resources. He has two adult daughters.
Fr. John Coleman, S.J., Associate Pastor, St. Ignatius Parish, USF
John A. Coleman S.J. is associate pastor at Saint Ignatius Church, San Francisco. He holds his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. He was the Charles Casassa Professor of Social Values at Loyola Marymount University from 1997 to 2009. From 1974-1997 he was a professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkely. Among his most recent books are Globalization and Catholic Social Thought ( Orbis Press, 2005) and Christian Political Ethics ( Princeton University Press, 2007).
For the past several years, Coleman has been lecturing and writing on environmental topics. He keeps a blog at the popular national Catholic magazine “America.”
In the 1990’s, Hodge worked in business and community development, helping to open a Kmart store in Compton, California. where he interviewed and hired 70 people. After the Rodney King verdict, which rendered severe civil unrest throughout the immediate area, Hodge’s relationship with the community provided the security and personnel to operate during the crisis. This deliberate act of mitigating the disaster by maintaining store operations, promoting a sense of normalcy, and being a consistent resource of goods and services to the community before, during and after the crisis, was successfully achieved. Under the management of G. L. Hodge, the fully operational Compton Kmart became the National Guard’s Compton Command Headquarters 48 hours after the verdict.
G.L. serves on the Boards of The San Francisco Foundation FAITHS Program, The San Francisco Interfaith Council, The United Way FEMA, and the A Philip Randolph Institute Board. G. L. was a BRMA Community Member in 2010-2011. Today, Hodge consults with non-profits on facilities capabilities and disaster preparedness, as they fulfill the needs of the surrounding community and neighbors.
Juana Torres, Associate Director, Advancement Department, Sierra Club; Volunteer Coordinator, Pastoral Juvenil, Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese
Juana Torres has been a part of the Sierra Club team since 2005. For over seven years she led the Club’s work on the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Campaign, a diverse coalition partnership working to preserve Southern California’s most scenic and valuable natural resource: the San Gabriel Mountains. In 2013, Juana transitioned into the organization’s Advancement Department as an Associate Director. In this role, she has raised crucial funds for the Sierra Club’s national programs with an emphasis on fundraising for clean energy work.
During her 11 years in the environmental field, Torres has focused on increasing the diversity of the Sierra Club and the environmental movement. In her volunteer work, she has dedicated much of her time to building relationships with the faith communities of the greater Los Angeles area. She currently serves as a Pastoral Juvenil volunteer coordinator at the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese where she teaches the Faith and Ecology formation courses to Latino Young Adults. She is also a former youth coordinator at her parish St. Catherine of Siena in Reseda. She holds an MA in Public Policy and a BS and BA in Environmental Science and Political Science, all from California Lutheran University. In her spare time, Torres loves traveling, hiking, spending time with her 5-year old nephew and exploring the diverse restaurants and cuisines of Los Angeles.
Dr. Reese Halter, Conservation Biologist & Author
Dr. Reese Halter’s passion for the environment is lifelong. He is a powerful voice for bees, trees, and seas and saving nature now. Dr. Halter is a distinguished biologist, broadcaster, and writer. He just released his 9th book Shepherding the Seas: The Race to Save Our Oceans. Dr. Halter has the unique talent of making current complex environmental issues accessible and compelling to any audience. He believes that human beings are exquisite problem solvers: that for every issue there are at least 3 solutions. His passion to protect our planet is contagious. Dr. Halter has studied nature for 4 decades. He holds a Ph.D. in Ecostress Subalpine Eucalypt Physiology from The University of Melbourne. He lives in LA and is active in the community.
Rev. Charlotte London Bear, Chaplain & Climate Reality Speaker
Rev. Bear is a Climate Reality Leader trained by former US VP and Nobel Laureate Al Gore to give presentations about the global climate crisis and working solutions going forward and to serve as an advocacy leader. Climate reality is an ecological issue affecting every aspect of society and the vital systems that support life on the planet. Bear is also a County Commissioner in Santa Clara County with the Social Services Advisory Commission. She is a Social Services Director and behavioral health professional with home care, hospice care, Veterans care and dementia care. Prior to working in healthcare, Bear was a full-time Pastor and community organizing faith leader, ordained with the United Methodist Church. Her first job after college was as a combat broadcast journalist in the US Army working for the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force. In her spare time, Bear is a docent/guide at the Monterey Aquarium and a certified wildlife rescuer and rehabilitator with the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and Wildlife Emergency Services. She lives in San Jose with her husband Rev. Andrew Bear, a Chaplain at Kaiser Permanente, and her son Benjamin, a junior at Leigh High School.
The Rev. Will Scott, former CIPL Program Director
Will was born and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and ordained an Episcopal priest in 2005. As Associate Rector at St. John’s Episcopal Church in McLean, VA he supported Science & Faith programming with parishioners working in public health, energy, environmental policy, and research. In 2006, Will was called to Grace Cathedral, SF where his responsibilities included community outreach, youth and young adult programming and interfaith events. In 2009, Will began serving St. Cyprian’s Church in San Francisco, supporting new partnerships and collaborations that resulted in growing appreciation for the church’s history, building upgrades and expanded programming for people of all ages. He is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and holds a M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary. He served as CIPL program director from May 2014 – October 2017.