Rising Currents

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Glen Cummings, MTWTF
Glen Cummings is a graphic designer and writer based in New York City. He is a partner at MTWTF (Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday) and a lecturer in design at Yale University School of Art.

Paul Mankiewicz
The Gaia Institute / Executive Director
440 City Island Avenue
Bronx, NY 10464

Paul serves as the Executive Director of the Gaia Institute and leads the staff in pursuing the Institute’s mission of exploring through research, development, design and education the interrelationship between human communities and natural systems. Dr. Mankiewicz’s philosophy, which provides the foundation on which the Gaia Institute is based, holds that human communities and natural systems can coexist to mutual benefit. This rests on the hypothesis that where the flow of ‘waste’ materials from human activities can be cleaned and utilized to create habitat, human industry can be coupled with conserving and creating landscapes that provide an abode for life. Such material cycles can enhance environmental quality, where ecological productivity and diversity become goals of human activity.

Dr. Mankiewicz received his Ph.D. in Biology from the City University of New York/New York Botanical Gardens Joint Program in Plant Sciences. He also received a B.A. in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research; an M.A. in Biology from Lehman College; and a M. Phil. in Biology from the City University of New York. He has substantial experience with enhancing, restoring, and constructing wetland and terrestrial ecosystems. A past president of the Torrey Botanical Society, the oldest such organization in the New World, Dr. Mankiewicz is a member and former chair of the Solid Waste Advisory Board of the Bronx and Treasurer of the Soil and Water Conservation District for New York City.

Pete Malinowski
New York Harbor School

The New York Harbor School integrates New York City’s unique maritime resources, culture and history into an enhanced, intellectually rich, and challenging high school curriculum. Students at the Harbor School study the various core subjects necessary for a Regents diploma, but in an interdisciplinary environment where the maritime theme links all of the subjects. In addition to these core classes, students are also offered a credit in Marine Technology, and a second science credit in our Introduction to New York Harbor class. In this class, students spend one day every two weeks studying the harbor, either on a 125-foot schooner, or at the South Street Seaport Museum on the water’s edge. In addition, a mandatory component of the school’s programming is a system of internships and mentoring relationships with professionals involved in fields such as shipping, ecology, transportation, recreation, oceanography, botany, marine biology, waterfront development, sewage and water treatment, environmental law, environment engineering, hydrology, and health.

Phil Simmons
510 Mudd Building, MC 4714
500 West 120th Street
New York, NY 10027

Phil Simmons has over 15 years of experience in environmental operations, has managed a wide array of projects on institutional, municipal, state, and national scales, and has worked for several municipal agencies in New York City. In addition to his professional experience Phil serves as a teaching fellow at Columbia University. Phil received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Brown University (1991) and a Master’s in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University (2006).

As a teaching fellow at Columbia, Phil joined with Kate Orff and others from GSAPP to form a multidisciplinary Urban Ecology Design Studio. The studio brought together engineers from the Civil Engineering Department and designers from GSAPP to collaborate on sustainable development and innovative waste management solutions in New York City neighborhoods.

Much of Phil’s professional experience has centered on sewer overflow (CSO) and water quality issues in New York Harbor. Working as a consultant to the NYCDEP he was a key contributor to the Assessment and Action Plan, a study of the environmental impacts of climate change in New York. Phil is currently working in the engineering form MWH and is consulting for the NYCDEP’s Bureau of Engineering Design and Construction, where he manages environmental permits for the department’s multi-billion dollar capital plan.

Sri Rangarajan
1200 Macarthur Blvd
Mahwha, NJ 07430

Dr. Sri (Srinivasan) Rangarajan is an adjunct professor in the Earth and Environmental Engineering Department at Columbia University and an Associate Engineer at HydroQual Inc. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University; a Master’s in Hydromechanics and Water Resources Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba (Canada).

As a professor at Columbia University Sri teaches a course titled “The Planning and Management of Urban Hyrdologic Systems”, where undergraduate and gradu¬ate students learn hands on techniques and strategies for engineering designs for urban watersheds.

An Associate Engineer at HydroQual, an internationally renowned environmental engineering firm, Sri provides watershed planning services focusing on urban wa¬tershed management, water quality assessment, com¬bined and sanitary sewer overflow (CSO / SSO) and storm water management. Sri has over 16 years of professional consulting experience in the U.S., Canada and India, where he has served in lead roles in 40+ challenging projects – among those are wet weather flow management projects for 12+ municipalities includ¬ing Washington DC, Baltimore MD and New York City. He has published over 40 articles; received numerous awards including the Environmental Leadership Award from USAID and Young Engineer award from ASCE. Sri also leads the ASCE public outreach initiatives in NJ for the Liquid Assets program that highlights the critical needs for water/wastewater infrastructure improvement in the US.

Katie Mosher-Smith
NY / NJ Baykeeper

Katie Mosher-Smith manages the New York Oyster Program for New York / New Jersey Baykeeper, providing stewardship skills training and education to 30 community groups throughout the New York Harbor Estuary. She also works in the Science department at New York Harbor School, a maritime focused public high school.

Bart Cheszar
Bart Chezar worked for over 25 years at the NY Power Authority, first as a research and development engineer and later as the manager of the electric transportation department. Since retiring in 2002 he has been involved in the hybridization of the taxi and livery car fleets, reducing school bus emissions, and developing a program for NYS to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. He is chair of the Sierra Club, NYS Transportation Committee. Currently he is involved in implementing a program to reintroduce oysters into NY Harbor. Bart has a M.S. in marine Science from L.I. University.

Takako Ukei
Habu Textiles

Linda LaBelle
The Yarn Tree

SITU Studio

Uhuru Design