Dryland Ecology Restoration Live Panel Discussion
Didi PershouseEducator, Author
Didi Pershouse is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function. She teaches participatory workshops both in person and online, helping to show the nested relationships between soil health, human health, water cycles, and climate resiliency.
Dr. Kristina YoungDryland ecologist and place-based science communicator
Dr. Kristina Young is a dryland ecologist and place-based science communicator studying the semi-arid ecosystems of the Colorado Plateau. Kristina’s research has focused on understanding desert ecosystems and communicating those understandings to the millions of people who visit these beautiful and fragile landscapes. Kristina received her Masters degree from Northern Arizona University, PhD from the University of Texas at El Paso, and is currently an Extension Assistant Professor at Utah State University in Moab, Utah. She is also the Founder and Board Chair of the Science Moab Engagement Initiative, a place-based science engagement nonprofit.
Kristina has published over a dozen peer-reviewed publications related to dryland ecology and in 2015, was chosen as a Wyss Scholar for Conservation of the American West. Her writings on drylands have appeared in Mother Jones, Forbes.com Science, and the Salt Lake Tribune.
John D. LiuFilmmaker, Ecologist, founder of Ecosystem Restoration Camps
After 15 years as a Television Producer and Cameraman for CBS News, RAI and ZDF John began to study ecology in the mid 1990s. John founded the Environmental Education Media Project (EEMP), he helped to create the China Environment and Sustainable Development Reference and Research Center (CESDRRC), and he helped create the China HIV/AIDS Information Center (CHAIN). Over the years he has produced, directed, written and presented numerous films. He is currently Ecosystem Ambassador for the Commonland Foundation and Visiting Research Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology of the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (NIOO/KNAW).
Minni JainEducator, Operations Director of The Flow Partnership
For over 25 years Minni Jain has been working with communities to regenerate their landscapes and lives. As Operations Director of The Flow Partnership, she works on community-led management of floods and droughts using simple, low-cost, traditional methods. She also coordinates Waterways.world, a practical water school of landscape regeneration skills and methods to achieve replenishment of the world’s water bank. Jain has also helped set up the One Pond Fund to enable communities worldwide to resource their water projects.
Nono SekhotoCommercial Farmer, Youth-in-Agriculture Advocate
Nono Sekhoto is a commercial farmer, an entrepreneur, and an award-winning youth-in-agriculture advocate working in South Africa and the region. Nono’s work in agriculture leverages her 8 years background in financial services, 10-year commercial mixed farming experience, and a global network of agricultural stakeholders built over the years. As a former member of the National Executive Council for African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA) she established AFASA Youth engaging and supporting youth farmers in South Africa. She is a member of the Women Committees at the World Farmers Organization (WFO) and sits on the board of the Agricultural Development Agency in South Africa. She founded GrowthShoot managing a 2,000 ha farm focusing on cattle production. She also co-founded AdvanceAg consulting to corporates to connect South African young farmers to opportunities. She was appointed by the South African Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development to serve as a Trustee of the Meat Industry Trust and Red Meat Research Development Trust. Nono leads the AL for Agribusiness network at the African Leadership Academy, supporting and connecting youth in agriculture to advance their careers and ventures across Africa, in partnership with industry stakeholders. Nono is an alum of Oklahoma State University Entrepreneurs Fellow, the Goldman Sachs Entrepreneurship 10,000 Women programme, African Management Institute, University of Pretoria, University of Free State and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.