Thursday, January 26, from 7:00pm to 8:15pm ET

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Kresge Auditorium, Bowdoin College, 239 Maine St, Brunswick, ME 04011


Elsa Vernon
The Nature Conservancy in Maine
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(Top to Bottom: Van Du, Kate Dempsey, Amy Hussey, Tamara Lee Pinard, and Teona Williams)

Women in Climate: Community

A Panel Discussion in Partnership with Bowdoin College

featuring Van Du, Dr. Teona Williams, Tamara Lee Pinard, and Amy Hussey; and moderated by Kate Dempsey

Join us for the first installment of an annual series co-hosted by The Nature Conservancy in Maine and partners across the state, Women in Climate. Our kick-off event in the series, Women in Climate: Community, is in partnership with Bowdoin College. 

Our panel discussion will feature Bowdoin Environmental Studies alumni and TNC Maine staff working at the intersection of climate and community. This event seeks to convey the importance of centering community in the conservation and climate fields and how and why integrating values of equity, diversity, and inclusion are vital for both people and nature in the face of a changing climate. The panel continues a 21-year collaboration between The Nature Conservancy in Maine and Bowdoin's Environmental Studies Program, which will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Environmental Studies at the College in the spring of 2023. 

This event is open to the public free of charge.

Health and Safety

Your health and safety remain our top priority. Please learn more about current COVID-19 guidlines at the Maine CDC here and Bowdoin College here. In an effort to be responsive to changing circumstances, we will communicate with additional information and instructions as they arise in advance of the event date.


Consult this map with available parking locations on Bowdoin's Campus.

Van Du joined Metropolitan Area Planning Council in Boston, MA, in March 2021. In her role as Senior Environmental Planner, Van supports MAPC communities on climate action planning and implementation efforts as well as hazard mitigation projects. Van also manages the Accelerating Climate Resiliency grant program, which aims to advance climate equity and regional coordination and readiness for climate change.

Van previously worked at VHB as a Sustainability and Resiliency Planner, supporting local governments, airports, and private-sector clients with sustainability and resiliency planning services. Prior to VHB, Van served as Special Assistant/Sustainability Adviser to the Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space at the City of Boston. In this role, she also supported the Climate Team with implementing the City’s Climate Action Plan and managing Greenovate Boston, a citywide sustainability program. During her graduate work at BU, Van also worked as Program Manager at Second Nature, a non-profit organization with a mission to promote sustainability in higher education.  

Van holds a Master’s in City Planning and Urban Affairs from Boston University with a focus on urban sustainability, and Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Bowdoin College. 

Amy Hussey is a senior at Bowdoin College majoring in Government and Legal Studies and Environmental Studies. During the summer of 2021, Amy worked at the Nature Conservancy in Maine as a Bowdoin Logan Fellow. While at TNC, she worked on several projects, including analyzing qualitative survey data on the impacts of climate change on fishermen. She was also involved in research on equity considerations for Maine’s solar development incentives and solar siting policies. As a Bowdoin Denning Fellow this past summer, Amy further explored her interest in fisheries policy by doing research with the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association on how regulations may be limiting Maine fishermen’s ability to adapt to climate change. This research formed the foundation of her advanced independent study in Environmental Studies. Amy spent the spring semester of her junior year in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she studied Sustainable Food Production and Consumption in a European context. At Bowdoin, she enjoys working at the Writing Center, where she provides one-on-one assistance to students on papers. Upon graduating from Bowdoin, Amy plans to pursue a career in environmental law. 

TNC Maine Community Program Director Tamara Lee Pinard is responsible for working with staff to help design and lead projects that blend the needs of local communities with natural resource conservation. Tamara’s work is focused on systems change at local, regional and statewide levels through her engagement with the Katahdin region, Sebago Clean Waters and Nature Based Education Consortium and through leading the Maine Chapter in development of a long-range plan to shift how we connect and engage people with our preserves. 

Tamara is an environmental professional with more than 25 years of experience, and she enjoys and excels at fostering partnerships, designing for systems change and working collaboratively with the end goal of building healthy communities. Her past professional work includes developing and serving as the executive director of the Long Creek Watershed Management District, a unique collaboration of public and private entities including small and large businesses, government agencies and environmental non-profits; developing watershed management plans for lakes and urban impaired streams; and serving as a facilitator for 14 municipalities that work cooperatively to meet stormwater permitting requirements. 

Tamara is committed to furthering environmental justice, and as a mom of two teenage daughters, she has a deep sense of our quickly changing world and the need to provide outdoor spaces to wander and replenish. Tamara received her B.S. in biology from Bates College. 

Dr. Teona Williams is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Geography. Her work revolves around Black Geographies, 20th century African American and environmental history, and Black feminist theory. Her current work explores the role of disaster and hunger, in shaping Black feminist ecologies from 1930-1990s. Specifically, she follows a cadre of rural Black feminists who articulated visions of food sovereignty, overhauled antiblack disaster relief, and vigorously fought for universal basic income, radical land reform, and food and clean water access as a human right. Prior to Rutgers, she received her doctoral degree at Yale University in the departments of African American Studies and History. She also completed a master’s degree in Environmental Justice at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. In 2017, she won the Clyde Woods Prize for best graduate paper in Black Geographies, for her paper "Build A Wall Around Hyde Park:" Race, Space and Policing on the Southside of Chicago 1950-2010, published by The Antipode in March 2020. She is the author of the essay “Islands of Freedom: The struggle to desegregate Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountain National Park 1936-1941” in the forthcoming edited collection Not Just Green, Not Just White: Race, Justice, Environmental History which will be released in 2023. 


Kate Dempsey is the State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. She has been in that role since 2016 and has been with The Nature Conservancy since 2003 working primarily in the federal policy arena.Under Kate’s leadership, TNC Maine is making significant investments in reducing and managing the effects of climate change by joining together science and policy with placed based actions which are restoring and conserving the connections between the forests, rivers, and ocean in Maine.

At TNC Maine, Kate has prioritized and recognized that the best conservation outcomes are achieved when they integrate communities’ knowledge and are coupled with conservation science. She is leading efforts to evolve our conservation strategies to better partner with Wabanaki neighbors and to integrate equity into all our conservation strategies. Kate serves on Governor Janet Mills' Climate Council as the Environmental Representative, and she leads The Nature Conservancy’s climate work across the Northeast coordinating strategies and planning regionally.

Kate is particularly committed to understanding how we can rapidly deploy renewable energy while ensuring that nature can continue to play a role in climate emissions reductions. In addition, climate adaptation must ensure that people most impacted by climate change are considered in climate adaptation approaches and in climate policy development.

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