Ambler Earth Fest Speakers

 Larry Menkes, Sustainable Transitions, US (11:30AM)


“It’s not as bad as we thought, but it’s still going in the wrong direction.” (David Orr: Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College)

Given the “3E’s”, we’re living in the most extraordinary moment in human history.  Addressing any of them in isolation will fail us. They’re profoundly interconnected and must be understood together.  What we do about them in this decade will determine the future for our children and grandchildren.  Global warming and peak oil are controversial.  But the economics are clear.  Since Americans waste 3/4ths of a billion dollars a year – two thirds of the energy we use – fiscal responsibility demands that we cut this waste.  Learn how you can to cut waste at home and save an average of $1,000 a year.  Become more fiscally responsible and help save the planet.


Larry Menkes, a nationally certified Sustainable Building Advisor, environmental reporter and commentator since 1988 studied cryosphere sciences under Stanley Jacob at Columbia’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory; 3D design (University of the Arts), Temple, and Bucks County CC. A member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, Post Carbon Institute, and the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, Menkes has a comprehensive background in both global and local interconnections between the environment, energy, and the economy. His Warminster home’s a lab for low-cost energy efficiency and conservation.

“The best way to predict the future is to design it.” R. Buckminster Fuller

  • Wissahickon Watershed (12:10PM)

Lindsay Blanton,  Water Quality Outreach CoordinatorFilm and Discussion: “The Health of Wissahickon Creek”


Lindsay Blanton,  Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association, Water Quality Outreach Coordinator, has always been fascinated by water, growing up next to the Delaware River. After graduating from University of Rochester in May 2013, she completed a year of service in AmeriCorps as a Watershed Ambassador with the NJDEP. As Outreach Coordinator, Lindsay loves connecting with volunteers and communities over shared passion for the Wissahickon Creek.


12:40PM Jan Marie Rushforth,
Citizen’s Climate Lobby,
“Viable Solutions for Climate Change,”

Jan Marie Rushforth, Citizen's Climate Change Jan Marie Rushforth presents an idea for viable nonpartisan solution to the climate crisis that seeks to improve the economy, add jobs and save lives and tells how people can become involved.


 Mike Kozlowski, Stantec,
Clean Storm Water (1:00PM)

 Mike KozlowskiStorm Water Pollution Prevention Program

Local governments including Ambler Borough have multiple storm sewer systems for collecting storm water that are called Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4). The storm water collected in these systems flows to creeks, with Ambler Borough’s storm water flowing to the Wissahickon Creek, and eventually the Delaware River. The storm water may collect pollutants as it flows along land surfaces. In order to comply with the Federal Clean Water Act, local governments have developed a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program to ensure storm water is clean and free from pollutants. This power point presentation will offer an overview of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program including how the public can help.

Fewer pesticides, healthier lawns and gardens


Mr. Kozlowski is a Municipal Engineer at Stantec and graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1983. He manages community development, roadways, commercial, wastewater, water, storm water management, bridges, and educational/institutional infrastructure and building projects. He has extensive experience with storm water pollution prevention including using NASSCO programs for assessing deteriorated sanitary sewer systems that can contribute to storm water pollution. Mr. Kozlowski is engaged with Stantec’s community outreach efforts.

Registrations / Certifications:
– Professional Engineer, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
– Pipeline Assessment & Certification Program (PACP), Manhole Assessment & Certification Program (MACP), Lateral Assessment & Certification Program (LACP), National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASSCO),
– Envision™ Sustainability Professional (ENV SP), Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.


Vincent Aloyo, Master Beekeeper1:35pm  “Honey bees and the environment”

Are you concerned about the decline of honey bees and other important pollinators, such as bumble bees and butterflies? Attend the presentation by Master beekeeper, Vincent Aloyo, PhD to learn some of the reasons driving this decline.  More importantly learn what you can do to help support honey bees and other pollinators.

About Vince Aloyo:


• Beekeeper for over 45 years
• Master beekeeper and beekeeping educator
• Teach beekeeping at undergraduate and continuing education levels
• Engage in hive-side mentoring
• Talk to community groups, nature centers and schools



  • Dan Duran, Native Plants in Functioning Ecosystems (2:40PM)

Dan Duran, Native Plants in Functioning Ecosystems“Native Plants in Functioning Ecosystems: The Importance of Source and Genetic Considerations”

As native plants gain popularity in the horticultural trade there are important issues and challenges that need to be considered.  The potential for genetic exchange between cultivated native plants and wild plant populations means that our landscaping decisions have impacts beyond the boundaries of our yards.  Does the geographic source of a plant matter as long as it’s a native species?  Are cultivars of native species equivalent to naturally occurring populations? What is the relevance of a plant’s genetic background to herbivores, pollinators, and to the future survival of local species?  All of these topics are discussed and recommendations made to help native plant enthusiasts make the best-informed decisions to ensure that our yards are benefiting, not harming ecosystems.

Hummingbird moth - Hemaris diffinis)
Hummingbird moth – Hemaris Diffinis
Butterflyweed - Asclepias Tuberosa
Butterflyweed – Asclepias Tuberosa








Dr. Daniel P. Duran is an assistant professor at Drexel University and adjunct faculty member at the Barnes Foundation Arboretum School.  He received a B.S. in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton College of NJ in 1998, an M.S. in Entomology from University of Missouri in 2002, and a Ph.D. in Evolution and Ecology from Vanderbilt University in 2010. In between his degrees, he has also worked for the Natural History Museum, London, UK and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.  Currently, he teaches classes about a variety of topics pertaining to ecology and evolution, including a newly designed course, Native Plants & Sustainability.  His research integrates classic ecological methods with modern genetic tools and is focused on 1) the discovery of new species and improving the fields of taxonomy and systematics, and 2) examining the important roles of insects and plants in functioning ecosystems.  Dr. Duran is a co-author of the upcoming book “A Field Guide to the Tiger Beetles of the United States and Canada, 2nd Edition” (available May 2015).


  • Environmental Education and Student Career Forum (3:35PM) READ MORE