Panelist Bios

More panelists will be joining us - check back for updates!


Deborah Cohen photoDeborah Cohen is a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. She is the author of A Big Fat Crisis: The Hidden Influences Behind the Obesity Epidemic—and How We Can End It and co-author of “Prescription for a Healthy Nation—how to improve our lives by fixing our everyday world”. She is the principal investigator of the first national study of neighborhood parks and has been studying parks and physical activity for the past 12 years. Her areas of interest include how structural environmental factors—social and physical—influence health. Cohen received her M.D. from the School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania and her M.P.H. in epidemiology, UCLA School of Public Health.  

Research Panel:

Florence Williams Photo Florence Williams is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine and a freelance writer for the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, Slate, Mother Jones, High Country News, Bicycling and numerous other publications. Her first book, BREASTS: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton 2012) won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in science and technology and the 2013 Audie in general nonfiction. It was also named a notable book of 2012 by the New York Times. A fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature and a visiting scholar at George Washington University, she is currently working on a new book about nature and the brain. She serves on the board of her favorite non-profit, High Country News, and lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Dacher KeltnerDacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley and the co-director of The Greater Good Science Center. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University and is the coauthor of two best-selling textbooks, one on human emotion, the other on social psychology. His work as a social psychologist focuses on the prosocial emotions, such as love, sympathy, and gratitude, and processes such as teasing and flirtation that enhance bonds. He has conducted empirical studies in three areas of inquiry. The first looks at the determinant and effects of power, hierarchy and social class. The second is concerned with the morality of everyday life, and how we negotiate moral truths in teasing, gossip, and other reputational matters. The third and primary focus is on the biological and evolutionary basis of the benevolent effects, including compassion, awe, love, gratitude, and laughter and modesty.

Shauna Joye photoShauna Joye earned a B.S. in Biology from Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Florida State University. Dr. Joye’s research examines clinical interventions to enhance self-control, including empirical research using mindfulness. She also works with combat veterans to determine the impact of therapeutic wilderness experiences on wellness. Finally, Dr. Joye continues to pursue a long-standing commitment to teaching and learning through scholarship in that area. She enjoys working with undergraduate and graduate students who are interested in learning more about the process of research. Her teaching interests include child psychology, assessment, clinical practicum, human sexuality, and introduction to psychology.

Dr. Wallace "J." Nichols is a scientist, wild water advocate, movement-maker, and New York Times bestselling author of “Blue Mind” who works to inspire a deeper connection with water. He is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of Ocean Revolution,SEEtheWILD, Grupo Tortuguero, and Blue Mind Fund. He resides on California's SlowCoast with his wife, two daughters and a pod of dogs, cats, chickens and wildlife.

Institutions Panel:


Marc Berejka

Marc Berejka has served as REI’s government affairs director since 2011 and its director of community affairs since early 2013. Marc guides the co-op’s engagement in federal, state and local issues. This includes advocacy on matters that affect retailers in the outdoor recreation sector, such as main-street business regulation, Internet sales and international trade. And it includes efforts to assure REI’s current and future members can continue enjoy outdoor recreation – whether that be recreating close to home or at the nation’s many outdoor destinations. Marc also oversees the co-op’s community grants program. The program annually distributes several million dollars to hundreds of local, regional and national organizations that help sustain and promote the country’s inspiring places to recreate. Before joining REI, Marc served as technology policy advisor to then-Secretary Gary Locke at the US Department of Commerce. Prior to that, he worked for 12 years in various public policy roles at Microsoft, both in Washington D.C. and in Washington State. He spent the first part of his career as a telecommunications attorney. He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Princeton University.

Sarah Milligan-Toffler photoSarah Milligan-Toffler has served as Executive Director of the Children & Nature Network since 2013. In this role, she has led the effort to expand the reach and impact of the children and nature movement and has forged innovative partnerships and brought initiatives of a broad and diverse network to scale. She has expanded C&NN’s role in collecting and driving research to expand the evidence base for the field. Sarah has more than two decades of experience in developing, funding, and implementing programs and partnerships that provide a deep connection to nature for people of all backgrounds and abilities. She is an avid runner and lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Jeff, and Goldendoodle, Honey.

Practitioner Panel:


Stephen H. Lockhart, MD, PhD photo

Stephen H. Lockhart, MD, PhD, a board-certified anesthesiologist, is Chief Medical Officer for Sutter Health, a not for profit system of hospitals, physician organizations and research institutions in Northern California. A Rhodes Scholar, he obtained his Masters degree in Economics from Oxford University, and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell. An avid climber and backpacker, he has a long-standing passion for providing environmental science education and introducing our National Parks to an increasingly diverse population. Dr. Lockhart also serves on the Boards of NatureBridge, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), REI and was previously a member of the National Parks Second Century Commission, an independent group of respected leaders and experts who convened to articulate a vision for the second century of the National Park Service and whose recommendations to Congress, the Administration, and the American people were published in September, 2009.

Eugenie Bostrom Photo

Eugenie Bostrom is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Conservation Legacy, a non-profit operating conservation corps across the country. She also supports the Partnership for the 21CSC, a national effort to put thousands of America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors. Prior, Eugenie spent 4 years at the US Department of the Interior, where she worked to facilitate the America’s Great Outdoors agenda, with a focus on youth and conservation corps policy around partnerships and program implementation. Previous to that she spent 10 years working for the National Park Service, in the Washington DC and in Yellowstone National Park. As a youth, growing up in the foster system, it was an introduction to the outdoors that gave her life meaning, direction and purpose, which is why she has dedicated herself to helping disadvantaged young people access and experience the outdoors in meaningful ways.

Daniel DinenbergDaniel Dinenberg practices a unique blend of conventional and holistic medicine, drawing on his extensive experience with integrative techniques like healing touch, guided imagery and yoga. By fostering an understanding of the deep connections between body, mind and spirit, Dan seeks to help every patient unlock his or her own innate healing ability. He received his MD from the Hahnemann College of Medicine and completed his residency in family practice through UCSF. Dan is a fellow of the Wilderness Medical Society, is a clinical instructor at UCSF, and is certified with both the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Holistic Medicine.