The Time for Environmental Action is NOW!

Speakers Biographies

In the field atlases of Obi Kaufmann, science and art blend to illuminate the multifaceted array of California’s natural world, forming a uniquely elemental narrative based on the shaping forces of earth, air, fire, and water, connecting systems like no other series of books has done before. For poet, painter and naturalist Obi Kaufmann, California is a magic network of living systems that connect in a grand quilt of both ecology and beauty, holding enough science, mythology and language for a hundred field atlases to come. An avid conservationist, Obi Kaufmann regularly travels around the state, presenting his work and vision to such groups as the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland center, the Mojave Desert Land Trust, the Mechanics Institute of San Francisco, the Anza Borrego Foundation, the Mono Lake Committee, the University of California at Berkeley Botanical Garden, the University of California at Davis Plant Sciences Department, the University of California Santa Barbara Department of Water Sciences, the Peninsula Open Space Trust, the California Native Plant Society, the Wilderness Society and the Audubon Society. Obi is on the board of Directors of the California Wilderness Coalition and is winner of the 2019 Mark Dubois river protection award as presented by Friends of the River. Notable recent illustration projects include being the 2020 artist for the nationally-toured Wild and Scenic Film Festival and in 2021, working as the illustrator of for the book “Climate Stewardship, a certification program” by Dr. Adina Merenlender (UCPress, Berkeley, 2021), and wine labels for ALMA FRIA from West Sonoma County. Obi’s essays and paintings have been published in Dark Mountain literary Journal, Zyzzyva literary journal, Bay Nature Magazine, Western Art & Architecture, Sunset Magazine, Juxtapoz Magazine, and On the Range magazine. A long time collaborator with the Swedish brand INDIGOFERA, Obi assists in the designs of the clothes that he wears into the backcountry of California, where he does his best work. Obi regularly posts his work on instagram as @coyotethunder


Dr. Jay Lund is Co-Director of the Center for Watershed Sciences and a Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California – Davis.  He has long enjoyed teaching, research, and engagement on many aspects of theory and practice for water management and policy, usually trying to integrating economics and operations research with traditional engineering.  He has become particularly engaged in working on the wide range of water problems in California with many collaborators, and remains enthusiastic about the potential of system analysis and optimization to provide understanding and insights for management and policy. 

In California he was on the Advisory Committee for the 1998 and 2005 California Water Plan Updates, and has served as Convenor of the California Water and Environment Modeling Forum and Chair of California’s Delta Independent Science Board.  He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering. He has long been involved in applying economic and optimization ideas to provide insights on California’s water problems, including the development and use of the CALVIN model of California’s water supply system.  He is a lead author of Comparing Futures for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (UC Press 2010) and Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation (PPIC 2011).

Dr. Lund has a B.A. in International Relations and Regional Planning from the University of Delaware (1979) and a BS in Civil Engineering, MA in Geography, and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Washington (Seattle).  He has advised over 140 graduate students, including 15 who are faculty at research universities globally, and has over 400 publications and reports.


Cynthia Koehler is an environmental attorney and water policy expert with 30 years of experience working on federal and state water and natural resource issues. She is the co-founder and executive director of WaterNow Alliance, a nonprofit network of local water leaders dedicated to advancing sustainable, equitable and climate resilient water solutions nationwide. She has served since 2005 on the Marin Water Board of Directors, and is currently Board President. She is an appointed member of US EPA’s Environmental Financial Advisory Board, and previously served on EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee, and Governor Brown’s Urban Advisory Group. She is the recipient of The Bay Institute’s Hero of the Bay Award as well as other commendations for her environmental leadership, and was recently named as a Marin County “Changemaker” by Marin Living Magazine


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