Speakers

Richard Louv's book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder, and his work on behalf of reconnecting children and nature, have led to an avalanche of speech requests. Because of time constraints, Richard is not able to accept all the invitations, so he has joined with colleagues to form the C&NN Speakers’ Bureau.

This extends the reach of the children and nature movement by making available qualified speakers who will inspire and inform their audiences. These individuals, sought-after speakers in their own right, will continue to work closely with Richard, and are eager to share their perspectives.

For more information about speakers and presenters, please contact Jacqueline Green Public Relations Inc.

Richard Louv

Richard LouvRichard Louv is a futurist and journalist focused on family, nature and community. He is chairman of the and the author of seven books. His most recent, "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder" (Algonquin), has stimulated a national conversation about the future relationship between children and nature. He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other newspapers and magazines. Richard has appeared on the CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, the Today Show, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, NPR's Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Talk of the Nation, and many other programs. Between 1984 and 2007, he was a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune; he was also a columnist and member of the editorial advisory board for Parents magazine, and served as an adviser to the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World award program and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. He is on the board of directors of ecoAmerica and a member of the Citistates Group. He speaks frequently, having appeared before the Domestic Policy Council in the White House and at major governmental and professional conferences internationally. In addition to personal appearances, he is available for seminars and appearances using interactive Web technology. He is married to Kathy Frederick Louv and the father of two young men, Jason, 25 and Matthew, 19. He is working on his eighth book.

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D.

Cheryl Charles, Ph.D.Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., is President of the and has worked closely with Richard Louv to develop training and education for emerging regional leaders in the children and nature movement. Cheryl also is co-chair of the Education for Sustainable Development Working Group of the Commission on Education and Communication, World Conservation Union (IUCN-CEC). She has served for nearly 20 years as national director of the two most widely used environment education programs in North America, Project Learning Tree and Project WILD, and has received many awards for her leadership. She is an innovator, educator, sought-after speaker and author who, for the past decade, also worked as an organizational executive with many of the nation’s key chief executive officers. Recently, Cheryl developed an annotated bibliography of 20 premier studies focusing on the positive impact of the children-nature connection.

EdNews Interview with Cheryl Charles, Ph.D., President, Children and Nature Network
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Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D.

Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D.Martha Farrell Erickson, Ph.D., Secretary of the , is a Senior Fellow and professor at the University of Minnesota, where she has been a longtime leader in linking research, practice and policy to promote the health and wellbeing of children. Especially well-known for her research and writing on parent-child attachment, children’s mental health, and strategies for working with high-risk children and families, Marti is a popular speaker at major conferences and community events throughout the U.S. and abroad. As the founding director (1991 – 2003) of the U of M’s ground-breaking Children, Youth & Family Consortium (CYFC), Marti worked at the state and national level to unite parents, educators, policymakers and other concerned citizens around critical issues facing children and families. In that role, she was a key leader of Vice President Al Gore’s Family Re-Union Initiative throughout his term of office. Numerous state and national organizations have honored Marti for her outstanding leadership and contributions to psychology, including most recently the Minnesota Psychological Association, which named Marti their Distinguished Scholar for 2007.

Marti currently directs the U of M’s Irving B. Harris Training Programs, which provide advanced education for a broad range of professionals who work with young children and families. She also co-chairs the university’s President’s Initiative on Children, Youth & Families. With a talent for translating research for general audiences, Marti writes a weekly syndicated parenting column, appears regularly on Twin Cities television, and hosts a weekly 2-hour radio show, "Good Enough Moms," with her daughter, Erin Erickson Garner.

Marti is passionate about the role of nature in children's development and takes special delight in helping her three young grandchildren discover the wonders of the natural world. As a leader in the , Marti is eager not only to help spur a movement to reunite children with nature, but also to promote more rigorous, extensive research on this critical topic in human development.

Martin LeBlanc

Martin LeBlancMartin LeBlanc is the National Youth Education Director for the Sierra Club, the largest and oldest conservation organization in the United States where he oversees the Sierra Club’s conservation and public education work, including advocacy around youth education issues.

A founding Board member of the Children and Nature Network, Martin is responsible for helping build youth leadership within the Leave No Child Inside Movement.

Martin was himself a troubled youth who had his life turned around through an outdoor experience as a teenager. For the past 10 years, Martin has worked as an outdoor educator in Seattle, Washington, with at-risk youth and served as an outdoor-education and recreation advocate for Texas Parks and Wildlife in Austin, Texas.

He holds a BA in Political Science from American University in Washington DC as well as an MA in Environmental Studies from Lancaster University in the UK. Martin is a member of the North American Environmental Education Association’s Advocacy Committee; a member of the steering committee of the Environmental Education Association of Washington, and a trained facilitator of Project Wild and the Leopold Education Project.

Martin believes that we "owe the next generation of American children a special place in nature so they can be empowered to solve the environmental challenges of the future."

Kathy Baughman McLeod

Kathy Baughman McLeodKathy Baughman McLeod is a Senior Adviser to the and co-founder of Healthy Development, Inc. Kathy has built a career around the complex relationships of environment, community development, land use, public finance and policy. She is currently the president of the board of the Florida Greenways and Trails Foundation, and a director of the Florida Council for Sustainability -- a program of the Collins Center. Kathy has held leadership positions with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. As Program Director of the Florida Communities Trust at the Florida Department of Community Affairs, she administered a $66 million annual grant program for local governments for the acquisition and creation of community parks, open space and trails related to the Florida Growth Management Act. Kathy has presented to and appeared before many major organizations.