The Annual National Wildlife Federation EcoCareers Conference


WHAT: The NWF EcoCareers Conference prepares students and young professionals for wildlife and sustainability careers by providing information on the latest EcoCareer trends from leading analysts and employers, clarifying career enhancing credentials and academic offerings, and formulating a better understanding of the competencies employers seek in the green sector.

WHO: Students, faculty, and staff from high schools, colleges and universities across the country and globe!
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY FACULTY AND STAFF! Did you know that your campus can become an EcoCareers Campus Sponsor and unlock free admission to the conference for your entire student body and staff? Read more about this valuable opportunity!

Through this conference, YOU can:
  1. Discover the types of jobs available in the clean economy, compensation levels, and advancement opportunities across clean economy sectors.
  2. Enhance understanding of how to develop effective career plans that include degree programs and project-based learning credentials, while becoming familiar with supportive programming offered through the NWF EcoLeaders Program.
  3. Explore online sustainability career skill resources that can help college instructors enhance academic offerings for sustainability across various disciplines.
  4. Meet others across fields interested in leading for a clean economy including, students, faculty and employers and learn about ways to support one another.
Feedback from past conference attendees:
  • Thank you once again for your time and providing me with an opportunity to become a part of this discussion. Very inspirational.
  • Great to have as a virtual conference. Saves so much time/money/carbon in the travel.
  • Great talk. Lots of specific information and places to follow up to learn more.
  • Really great insight about the soft skills and was inspirational as someone who is currently struggling to find an entry into the sustainability job field.
  • What an excellent way to attend a conference and get such needed information!

Our 2019 EcoCareers Conference Speakers and Panelists:

Opening Keynote:
Camilla Simon
Featured Speaker:
Aileen McManamon
Camilla Simon is the Director of HECHO. She is passionate about elevating the Latino voice in local, state and national conservation efforts, especially when it comes to accessing public lands. Since she joined HECHO in November 2014, Camilla has been working to develop an authentic Latino conservation agenda based on an increasingly engaged and organized grasstops and grassroots network.
  Aileen McManamon is the Founder and Senior Partner of 5T Sports Group. 5T focuses on driving profitability for clients through ‘greening’ their operations, leveraging technology solutions and deepening community relationships. Her career experience spans sports properties such as the Tour de France, Winter Olympic Games, Major League Soccer, Minor League Baseball, the NFL, Little League Canada and multiple World Cup events in skiing, snowboarding and cycling.  
Featured Speaker:
Aman Singh
Featured Speaker:
Aviva Glaser
Aman Singh is Editor-in-Chief and Head of Content Strategy, U.S., for Futerra. She has worked across the diverse spectrum of CSR and sustainability strategy and communications for almost a decade, having started her journey as a journalist and continued through the corridors of multiple organizations and clients playing multiple roles from content provocateur and storyteller to communication strategist, messaging connoisseur, marketer and systems thinker. Aman is a lifelong learner of and advocate for how sustainable actions and storytelling can lead to meaningful relationships.   Aviva Glaser is the Director of Agriculture Policy for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). Aviva leads NWF’s work on the Farm Bill, and on policy efforts to protect and enhance wildlife habitat on working landscapes and to ensure funding for agriculture conservation programs. She holds dual master’s degrees from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and School of Public Health.. Aviva has previously worked for Beyond Pesticides, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the Ecology Center, and Food and Water Watch. She hails from Baltimore, Maryland and completed her undergraduate degree at Oberlin College in Biology and Environmental Studies.
Featured Speaker:
Christy Slay
Featured Speaker:
Gideon Burdick
As Director of Technical Alignment for The Sustainability Consortium (TSC), Dr. Christy Melhart Slay seeks to develop a global, transparent, scientifically-based measurement and reporting system for product sustainability. She leads efforts with strategic partners to ensure TSC’s metrics, tools, and reporting systems are harmonized and interoperable with existing initiatives. Christy has been with TSC since its inception in 2009. She received her doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville in 2010. Most recently she published on the drivers of global forest loss in the journal Science.   As the Marketing and Development Manager at Red Tomato, Gideon Burdick works to support retail partners, farmers, and the RT team through B2B, electronic and retail marketing support. He would be more than happy sharing the stories and passion of the farmers in the RT network with anyone who will listen. A graduate of Warren Wilson College, outside of work you can find him trying various recipes in the kitchen, juggling, and trying to find a hidden spot along the New England coast
Featured Speaker:
Jenny Wiedower
Featured Speaker:
Kate Davenport
Jenny Wiedower is the K-12 Manager Education Manager at the U.S. Green Building Council where she leads efforts to support teaching and learning as a key component of any green school. Jenny’s areas of expertise include environmental and sustainability education, classroom connections between sustainability learning and action, preparation for green careers, mentorship and training for teaching staff on green classroom practices.   Kate is the Co-President of Eureka Recycling, a zero-waste non-profit social enterprise, that demonstrates zero waste as a strategy to address climate change, local economic development, and social and environmental justice. Eureka Recycling, as a mission based recycler, operates recycling collection and sorting operation that handles over 100,000 tons per year, with over 100 employees. Kate co-developed operations for Envirelation, the first commercial organics collection service in Washington DC. As Program Director for EcoVentures International, Kate provided microfinance and development services for community based enterprises in the areas of sustainable energy; waste reduction, recycling and composting; and sustainable agriculture.
Featured Speaker:
Kim Green
Featured Speaker:
Laura Thorne
For the past twenty-six years, Kimberly A. Green has worked extensively on federal policy impacting Career Technical Education (CTE). In addition to this policy work, Kimberly helped establish, implement and grow The National Career Clusters® Initiative, the Common Career Technical Core, the CTE: Learning that works for America Campaign and Putting Learner Success First: A Shared Vision for the Future of CTE – all of which are designed to build visibility and support for CTE, while also raising the bar for CTE by ensuring consistency in the delivery of high quality programs to students across the U.S. . She is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and she is a native of Buffalo, New York.   Laura Thorne is the founder of The Environmental Career Coach through which she brings her expertise and experience to work with students, recent grads, and career changers from all backgrounds who are seeking environmental careers to gain confidence in their searches by crafting sound career navigation plans. Laura is a Certified Career Coach, Certified Project Management Professional, Former President of the Tampa Bay Association of Environmental Professional and an active committee member of the National Association of Environmental Professionals.
Featured Speaker:
Robert Ashcraft
Featured Speaker:
Roian Atwood
Robert F. Ashcraft, Ph.D. is founding executive director, Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation at Arizona State University (ASU), and Saguaro Professor of Civic Enterprise in ASU's School of Community Resources and Development. Dr. Ashcraft teaches courses in nonprofit management, philanthropy and a graduate level capstone course. His research interests have resulted in numerous publications on topics such as social entrepreneurship education models, collaboration strategies, and volunteer management. He holds a baccalaureate degree from the University of Arizona, an M.A in Education degree from Northern Arizona University, and he earned his Ph.D. degree from Arizona State University.   Roian Atwood is the Director of Sustainability for Wrangler and Lee jeans. Atwood leads brand sustainability strategy, engages suppliers globally to drive greater social and environmental performance, and works cross functionally with product development and marketing to create more sustainable products and share brand relevant stories. With fifteen years’ experience in footwear and apparel sustainability, Roian has a track record of managing a diverse set of projects and leading teams into an action-oriented, results driven approach to corporate sustainability. Atwood’s undergraduate work was in Complex Systems at Naropa University, and he holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

EcoCareers Conference 2019 Schedule:

DAY I - Wednesday February 27 = 11:00 AM EST - 4:30 PM EST

Time Format Session Description Speakers
11:00 - 11:15 Presentation Opening: Brief introduction, platform overview, and agenda overview. David Corsar (NWF)
11:15 - 11:30 Presentation Welcome Address Dianne Dillon Ridgley (NWF)
11:30 - 12:00 Keynote Opening Keynote Camilla Simon (HECHO)
12:00 - 12:10 Poll Interactive polls on attendees’ characteristics, such as region, student class, reason for joining, schools, etc. David Corsar (NWF)
12:10 – 12:50 Panel Careers in Sustainable Agriculture: advancements in crop management practices, agricultural entrepreneurialism, and more MODERATOR: Aviva Glaser (NWF)
SPEAKERS: Gideon Burdick (Red Tomato), Michael Parker (National Young Farmers Coalition)
12:50 – 1:10 Break Participants are encouraged to stretch, grab lunch, take a phone call, restroom break, etc.  
1:10 – 1:45 Workshop EcoLeader Certification Overview: Interactive workshop for participants to get hands-on with the NWF EcoLeader certification Kristy Jones (NWF)
1:45 – 2:30 Panel Careers in Consumption and Waste: life cycle analyses, resource conservation, recycling, and more MODERATOR: Kristy Jones (NWF)
SPEAKERS: Kate Davenport
(Eureka Recycling), Judi Gregory (Go2Zero Strategies)
2:30 – 2:50 Break Participants are encouraged to stretch, grab lunch, take a phone call, restroom break, etc.  
2:50 - 4:15 Video Point of No Return Screening and Discussion: Screening of the (shortened) documentary film “Point of No Return” about the first solar powered flight around the world and discussion with directors Quinn Kanaly & Noel Dockstader (Co-Directors)
4:15 - 4:30 Presentation Closing: survey, overview of what to expect on Day II David Corsar (NWF)

DAY II - Thursday February 28 = 11:00 AM EST - 5:00 PM EST

Time Format Session Description Speakers
11:00 - 11:10 Presentation Opening: Introductions, platform overview, agenda overview, and a quick poll David Corsar (NWF)
11:10 - 11:40 Panel Career and Technical Education: Discussion of work being done by NWF and our partners at USGBC, Advance CTE, and local schools MODERATOR: David Corsar (NWF), SPEAKERS: Jenny Wiedower (USGBC), Kimberly Green (Advance CTE)
11:40 - 12:20 Panel Careers in Green Communications and Sustainability Marketing: communicating the value and impact of your sustainability and other CSR initiatives MODERATOR: Anna Vecchio (NWF)
SPEAKERS: Aileen McManamon (5tsports); Aman Singh (Futerra)
12:20 - 12:50 Conversation Interview with a young professional from the perspective of the Community-level certification Kristy Jones (NWF) and Mariah Gladstone (IndigiKitchen)
12:50 - 1:10 Break Participants are encouraged to stretch, grab lunch, take a phone call, restroom break, etc.  
1:10 - 1:50 Presentation EcoCareer Center Overview: interactive workshop for participants to get hands on with the NWF Career Planning Tool David Corsar (NWF)
1:50 - 2:30 Panel Greening Retail, Consumer Products, and Supply Chains: trends in sustainable brands and products and how retail career paths are impacted MODERATOR: Kevin Coyle (NWF)
SPEAKERS: Christy Slay (The Sustainability Consortium), Roian Atwood (Wrangler/Lee)
2:30 - 2:50 Break Participants are encouraged to stretch, grab lunch, take a phone call, restroom break, etc.  
2:50 - 3:30 Panel Helping Your Students Navigate Their Careers in a Sea of Options: A panel focused on high school and college faculty from career advisors on how to be the best advocates for young people starting their careers MODERATOR: David Corsar (NWF)
SPEAKERS: Laura Thorne (The Environmental Career Coach), Robert Ashcraft (ASU)
3:30 - 4:00 Upcoming Overview of upcoming events and opportunities to continue discussions, networking, etc. David Corsar (NWF)
4:00 - 4:30 Presentation Closing survey David Corsar (NWF) 

A Special Thank You to Our 2019 EcoCareers Conference 2019 Sponsors:


See below for past EcoCareers Conference Archives: