IMG.displayed { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto }

PIELC 2016 Keynote Profiles

The Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is entirely student-organized and volunteer-ran. Our goal is to provide a diverse forum to engage conversation about Environmental Public Interest Issues facing local, regional, and international communities.  This year, we are expecting over 10 keynote speakers to join our forum.  Updates to the keynote profile list will continue to roll in as we approach the conference. Stay tuned!

Register for the Conference (free!): Click here to be taken to the Registration Portal

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 –Mari-Lynn Evans


Mari-Lynn Evans is the Executive Producer of many television and video programs including The Appalachians (a three hour APT series for PBS); Coal Country ( Discovery Planet Green); Living Well: A Guide to Healthy Aging Changes; and the children’s television program Geezbo’s Alley; the documentary Standing in the Safety Zone; and John Glenn: The International Year of Older Adults for PBS. She also executive produced, Body, Mind and Spirit Integrative Medicine:, a 13-week series for American’s Health Network and the Fox Health Network.

Ms. Evans is also a media and brand development consultant to international corporate and government organizations and has been a lead consultant to Procter & Gamble. She is the recipient of several National Institutes of Health awards including the US Small Business Administration Tibbetts Award. She was also the Founder and President of ADULT CARE , adult day care centers , which she sold to SUMMA Hospitals. At SUMMA she was VP of Geriatrics and founded the Center for Senior Health. She has also been President of the Boards of Summit AIDS Housing, OASIS with the May Foundation, ACCESS Shelter for Women, Women’s Network, WEGO. She was one of Akron ’s Extraordinary Women (Akron Beacon Journal) and Woman of the Year for Women’s History/Akron.

She is the 2010 West Virginia Filmmaker of the Year, and was awarded Best Film for both The Appalchians and Coal Country.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Wendsler Nosie Sr.

Wendsler Nosie Sr

Wendsler Nosie Sr. is currently the Peridot District Councilman and the former Tribal Chairman of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, which consists of nearly 15,000 tribal members on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. San Carlos stretches across Gila, Graham and Pinal Counties, totaling 1.8 million acres and is situated in the southeastern portion of the State.

Wendsler Nosie was born on July 10, 1959 on the San Carlos Apache Reservation. He was raised in a traditional Apache way of life. He graduated from Globe High School in May 1978. He then attended Merritt College in Oakland, California and Phoenix College in Phoenix, Arizona before completing the State of Arizona Banking Academy.

Following college, Wendsler returned to San Carlos and began his employment as the Tribal Work Experience Program Director in 1982. In 1988, he was elected to the Tribal Council for the Peridot District, which governs the San Carlos Apache Tribe through its Amended Constitution and By-Laws, gaining federal recognition in 1954 through the U.S. Indian Reorganization Act.

Wendsler next founded Rural Opportunities of Arizona (ROA) in 1990, an individually owned business owned and operated by a tribal member, which provided opportunities for tribal members to become skilled in trade and trained for jobs throughout Arizona.

In 1995, Wendsler established Apaches for Cultural Preservation and founded the Spirit of the Mountain Runners in 2000, which is a traditional runners organization.

Wendsler Nosie was re-elected as the Tribal Council Representative for the Peridot District in 2004 to serve another four-year term. It was then he was inspired to run for Tribal Chairman. Then in 2006, he was elected by the San Carlos Apache People as their Tribal Chairman.

Wendsler was recognized in 2006 and given an Honorable Mention by Wake Forest University of Winston-Salem, North Carolina for his work bringing students from Wake Forest to the San Carlos Apache Reservation for a cultural integration program. He was also recognized and honored in 2007 by the National Council of Churches in New York City for his accomplishments in Indian Country as a leader of spirituality among youth and for organizing many events over fifteen-plus years, including achieving worldwide participation in sacred runs for the protection of Native American culture, tradition, and heritage. The National Council of Churches has a 30-million membership throughout the nation.

Wendsler Nosie Sr. became an executive committee member for the AZ State Democratic Party of District One. He introduced the resolution that established the AZ Native American Democratic Caucus. He became the first Native American electorate member of the National Electoral College for Arizona for Obama’s first term as President.

He established the Apache Messenger Newspaper in 2011 and currently owns and operates the newspaper. He received the honor of being added to the Globe High School Hall of Fame for Sports.

In 2010, and again in 2012, Wendsler Nosie Sr. was re-elected to the Tribal Council for the Peridot District. Wendsler has been instrumental over the course of his political career with the Tribe in establishing the Apache Gold Casino, Bashas, and the Peridot District Enterprises that includes Apache Burger, True Value Hardware, PDEE shopping center, and more.

Wendsler was also appointed as the San Carlos Recreation and Wildlife Director and has marketed and expanded the Hunting and Recreational area of the Tribe.

In 2013, Wendsler Nosie Sr. received the Presidential Award from National Progressive Baptist Convention for his fight for human rights for all Native Americans. He is the first Native American to receive such an award.

Wendsler Nosie is married to Theresa Beard Nosie, a member of the Navajo Nation. They reside in Peridot, Arizona on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and have six children: Lian, Vanessa, Wendsler Jr., Angel, Alicia, and Taegan. They also have 12 grandchildren.

Wendsler Nosie is a long distance runner and has participated in numerous marathons and half marathons over the years. He organized the March from San Carlos to Oak Flat on February 5, 2015 and the anniversary march to Oak Flat, which took place February 26-27 of this year. He established the Apache Stronghold that traveled to Washington, DC, unifying with all the tribes along the way, and currently is still occupying Oak Flat over a year later. He is a lifelong advocate for indigenous rights, dedicated to the preservation and protection of Native American culture, artifacts, history, religion, and tradition.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Naeyln Pike

Naelyn Pike

Naelyn Pike is a 16-year-old member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe. She is in her junior year at Globe High School. She has continued to maintain a high grade point average, enabling her membership in the National Honor Society. She is very involved in school functions and extra-curricular activities, such as running and playing basketball.

Naelyn has been a Spirit of the Mountain Runner since age 2, which is a group of traditional runners who continue to protect sacred Mount Graham from a telescope project by the University of Arizona and the Vatican. She began to break down the barriers of colonization when she chose to have her traditional Apache Sunrise Dance ceremony at Mount Graham in 2013. It was the first ceremony to take place on our holy mountain in over 100 years.

Naelyn is a member of the Apache Stronghold, which continues to occupy and defend holy Oak Flat from the foreign mining company Resolution Copper. Oak Flat is sacred to the Apache people and many other southwestern tribes. It was given away through a midnight rider placed inside the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. Naelyn has testified twice before Congress regarding the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and the Save Oak Flat Act. She also traveled to Washington D.C. with the Apache Stronghold Convoy to unify all people regarding the protection of Mother Earth and the future of the next generations.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Andrew Kimbrell


Andrew Kimbrell is an internationally recognized public interest attorney, public speaker, and author. He is the founder and Executive Director of Center for Food Safety.

He also is Director of the San Francisco based Center for Technology Assessment, co-founder of Foundation Earth, and President of the Board of Humane Farm Animal Care (that administers the Certified Humane label).

As an attorney, Kimbrell has successfully challenged federal agencies in several historic court cases. He initiated the court challenge that resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court victory forcing, for the first time, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change. He also pioneered the legal strategy that led to the Supreme Court ruling that DNA is not patentable due to being a “product of nature.” Through his leadership at CFS, Kimbrell has been at the forefront of legal challenges to genetically engineered crops and lawsuits forcing FDA to adopt new food safety regulations. His legal work has also helped maintain the integrity of organic standards.

As an author and public speaker Kimbrell has been a leading proponent of regenerative forms of agriculture and organic policies. He is the editor of the nationally renowned book Fatal Harvest, The Tragedy of Industrial Agriculture and the author of Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food. Kimbrell’s articles and editorials have appeared in The New York Times, Harpers, USA Today, and numerous other print and new media publications such as The Huffington Post.

He has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and has been a featured speaker at dozens of colleges and universities around the country and other public forums including Google Author Talks, Slow Food Nation, Bioneers and Ecofarm. He is featured in several documentaries including “The Future of Food,” “FRESH,” and a critique of genetic engineering, “Life Running out of Control.”

Kimbrell is also a noted expert on a wide range of technology and economic issues. His works in this area include his international best-selling book “The Human Body Shop: the Engineering and Marketing of Life” and the printed versions of his influential E.F. Schumacher lectures, “Cold Evil: Technology and Modern Ethics” and “Salmon Economics.”

In addition to his legal degree Kimbrell also has a graduate degree in Psychology and has often written in the field including his book, “The Masculine Mystique.” Besides his public interest work, Kimbrell’s passions include his love of piano (stemming from his earlier career as a concert pianist), poetry, baseball, and wilderness fly fishing.

Kimbrell’s many accolades include a spot on the Utne Reader list of the world’s leading 100 visionaries, and The Guardian recognizing him in 2008 as one of the 50 people “most likely to save the planet.”

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 –Kieran Suckling


Kieran Suckling is the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. Since founding the Center 25 years ago, Kieran has devoted his life to protecting endangered species and their habitats, winning the protection of over 500 species and 240,000,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat. Kieran traveled to Harney County and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge to organize counter-protests against the armed, right wing militia in order to speak up for the importance of public lands and native peoples from the occupied land itself.

Recognizing that cultural and biological diversity are inextricably linked, Kieran will discuss how the racist, fundamentalist militia movement that reared its head at the Malheur seeks to destroy native cultures, wildlife and public ownership of land and water. He will discuss the immeasurable value of our public lands and what we can do to stop the ideology of the Bundy militia movement from spreading.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Jarvis Kennedy


Jarvis Kennedy is a Burns Paiute Tribal Councilman of the Burns Paiute Tribe, born and raised in Burns, Oregon. Jarvis is a spokesperson for the Tribe. He spoke out against the occupation of the Malheur from the beginning and continues to do so. Jarvis is also a mens traditional dancer who loves to sing Native American songs to keep his Paiute traditions alive.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Mark Titus


Mark Titus is a writer + director and founder of August Island Pictures in Seattle. He’s studied acting at the University of Oregon, directing at Vancouver Film School and directing actors with Judith Weston.

Mark spent his 20s as an Alaskan fishing guide and during that time, began working on the craft of screenwriting – finishing several screenplays while living in the wilderness. In 2004, Mark Titus’ third script, TSONOQUA won the Washington State Screenplay Competition.

Since then, he has written and directed brand films for clients like: Amazon, T-Mobile, Microsoft, the United Nations Development Programme and Washington’s Lottery.

As a filmmaker, Mark Titus directed the short documentary, Fins in 2003 as part of the Seattle International Film Festival’s Fly Filmmaking Program. The three short films he’s produced since have screened at film festivals worldwide.

Mark Titus spent the last 4+ years writing and directing the award winning documentary film, The Breach.  It won Best International Documentary at its world premiere film festival – the 2014 Galway Film Fleadh in Ireland.  The Breach was selected as one of ten Best of Fest films at the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January 2015 and the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival, March 2015.  Mark completed a twenty city national tour with The Breach in the summer of 2015 and the film is now available on seven Video-On-Demand platforms, DVD and Pivot TV.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Peter Neill

The Once and Future Ocean

Peter Neill is the founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory (W2O),  an online forum for information and educational exchange about the world ocean.  He will be presenting themes captured in his new book The Once and Future Ocean; Notes Toward a New Hydraulic Society and will be available for a book signing after his keynote at the Opening Ceremonies at PIELC, on Thursday evening.

Neill’s keynote will be devoted to analyze and transform our relationship with the world’s most promising and imperiled natural element: the ocean and the inter-connected cycles of water, essential for all aspects of human survival in the 21st century.

Neill provides a persuasive argument for “why the ocean matters” and how its sustainability and careful use, from mountain-top to abyssal plain, can establish a new paradigm for value and social behavior around which to build a new post-industrial, post-consumption global community. This fundamental shift is directed toward the creation of a “new hydraulic society” wherein water in all its cycles and conveyances will determine how we live – from our buildings and cities to the structures of governance by which we succeed in an increasingly populated world.. Neill calls for a new ocean ethos and offers concrete examples of technologies and applications that already exist but have been suppressed by complacency and political subversion financed by exhausted vested interests.

Neill’s presentation on The Once and Future Ocean will offer a bold vision for a practical and possible future, based on a revolutionary paradigm shift that can be implemented through the political will of thousands of citizens of the ocean who understand the necessity for change, the logic of a new moral alternative, and the reality of the consequences if we fail to act in time.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Sandor Katz

Sandor Ellix Katz is a fermentation revivalist. His books Wild Fermentation (2003) and The Art of Fermentation (2012), along with the hundreds of fermentation workshops he has taught around the world, have helped to catalyze a broad revival of the fermentation arts. A self-taught experimentalist who lives in rural Tennessee, the New York Times calls him “one of the unlikely rock stars of the American food scene.”

The Art of Fermentation received a James Beard award, and Sandor was honored with the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance in 2014. For more information, check out Sandor’s website


Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Ocean Yuan


At this year’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, we have very special visitors from overseas. PIELC is proud to welcome for Friday afternoon’s keynote address three top environmental professionals from China! They hail from the legal, business, and academic worlds across the Pacific. Hosting it all will be Eugene resident Ocean Yuan.

Ocean Yuan came to Oregon in 1990 with $500 his father borrowed from his friends in rural China. At the time, $500 was approximately equal to an entire year’s income for a typical Chinese family. Ocean made the most of his opportunity, and graduated from the Lundquist College of Business at the University of Oregon in 1993. After spending many years starting up and working for multinational electronics companies around the United States, he returned to Eugene in 2009 to start his own solar power business. Today, Grape Solar, Inc. is the largest product and service provider for retailers like Costco and Home Depot. Ocean lives in Eugene with his wife and daughter. He is living, breathing proof of the American Dream’s continued inspiration.

The United States is facing environmental disaster, but we are not the only ones. The United States and China, as the two biggest polluters in the world, have a shared responsibility to confront environmental degradation, the most pressing issue of our time. Please join us at PIELC 2016 for the unique opportunity to engage with the individuals confronting the environmental issues in China.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Lai Huineng
Huineng Lai

Lai Huineng was born in 1969 in Suichang, within the Zhejiang Province of China. After receiving his masters degree from Zhejiang University, Mr. Lai started working in media, a field he has pursued ever since. Now, Mr. Lai is Vice President of Xiaokang Magazine, a subsidiary of Qiushi Magazine, the most influential and authoritative state-owned magazine in China.

In the 1980s, China launched a modernization program to achieve what became known as a “Xiaokang society,” or moderately prosperous society. Their goal was to advance a strong economy and promote democracy, scientific and technological achievement, education, and a harmonious living environment for all Chinese citizens. China set 2020 as the goal to achieve their Xiaokang society. Xiaokang Magazine’s mission is to research and report on the impact the goal of a Xiaokang society has on Chinese citizens.

The incredible speed at which China’s economy has advanced over the past 30 years has strained the environment. Xiaokang Magazine’s research provides insight into China’s environmental and urbanization policy news agencies like CNN have called controversial. At this year’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, join us as Mr. Lai shares his insight and fascinating research rarely seen anywhere else.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Dr. Jiwen Chang


Dr. Jiwen Chang is a Professor for the Social Law Research Department at the Institute of Law for the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). He is also a research fellow and vice director-general for the Research Institute for Resources and Environmental Policies at the Development Research Center (DRC) of the State Council, China’s cabinet. The Institute is one of the top 10 most influential think-tanks in the world.

Dr. Chang made United States news in 2010 as a principle author of China’s Anti-Animal Abuse Law, aimed at stopping the consumption of dog and cat meat. Dr. Chang also authored China’s environmental protection law. He is currently writing laws to expand wildlife protection in China, and can provide insight into China’s environmental policy widely unavailable to a United States audience, until now.

At this year’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Dr. Chang will speak on the environmental successes and shortcomings of Chinese environmental policy. China and the United States, as the two most powerful nations in the world, have a shared responsibility to protect the environment for future generations. Please join us as we learn from Dr. Chang’s wealth of experience and knowledge to develop our own visions for the future of the environment around the world.

Keynote Profile PIELC 2016 – Cao Yin

CaoYinAlthough Cao Yin is still young by scholarly standards, he has already been called “China’s Jeremy Rifkin.” Mr. Cao is the driving force behind the Internet+ Smart Energy movement driving China to reinvent their energy industry. This will be Mr. Cao’s first visit to the United States.

Mr. Cao graduated from prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China. After graduating, Mr. Cao worked on an impressive range of projects. Mr. Cao is currently the Principle Analyst of Cinda Security Co., Ltd., helping China value and privatize state assets. Mr. Cao also serves as strategic advisor for several famous companies, including internet and social media giant Tencent, one of China’s three largest internet companies, together referred to as BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent). Mr. Cao’s vision drives companies to move towards sustainable, smart energy technology, with the ultimate goal of globalizing the energy grid.

Mr. Cao’s vision for a global energy-trading market envisions solutions to the global energy pollution crisis and would begin to eliminate reliance on coal power, without resorting to dangerous tactics like nuclear energy. This year’s Public Interest Environmental Law Conference is an opportunity to engage with one of China’s greatest young minds. Please join us for this unique and incredible opportunity.