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Jim Marston

Mr. Marston is an environmental attorney. He began his career in 1979 as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Texas, working in the Environmental Protection Division. Then, from 1980 through 1988, he was a partner in the private law firm of Doggett, Jacks, Marston and Perlmutter. In 1988, he opened the Environmental Defense Fund office in Texas, where he worked through 2020, focusing on climate, energy, air pollution, and a wide variety of other conservation efforts. At EDF, he was especially active in designing and arguing for the Texas Renewable Portfolio Standard, which helped drive a boom in wind and solar energy in the state. He also was a key player in the fight to stop the utility TXU from building a dozen coal plants in Texas. Outside of EDF, he has been an active volunteer with Pecan Street, a partnership among Austin Energy, UT, the Austin Chamber, and a number of high-tech companies to reform the U.S. electrical grid. Some of his other board roles include serving as the president of the Texas League of Conservation Voters, vice chair of the Texas Ethics Commission, chair of the board of the Texas Observer, and a trustee for Texas Watch, Texas Rural Legal Aid, Texas Citizens Action, and other groups. He has also been engaged outside of Texas, especially with promoting climate-related car legislation in California, and in improving  greenhouse emission regulations nationwide.

David Lake

David Lake is a Texas native and registered architect whose career began in 1979 at the noted San Antonio firm of Ford Powell & Carson. It was there that he met Ted Flato, and they went on to co-found the design partnership Lake/Flato in 1984. In the years since, Lake/Flato has garnered national recognition for their sustainable building practices, earning more AIA Committee on the Environment Top Ten Green Projects than any firm in the world. Their designs are known for their close integration with the surrounding landscape, prevailing breeze and solar exposure, their use of local materials and craft, and their respect for vernacular designs.

Some of their structures, such as the Prow Residence in the Davis Mountains, are entirely off-grid, providing their own water and energy. The Dixon Water Foundation Josey Pavilion, an education center designed to teach visitors about resource conservation and watershed protection, was the first Living Building Challenge certified project in Texas. Other designs have explored the savings available through prefabrication, such as the firm’s modular Porch House series.

Mr. Lake’s recent focus has been on district making and revitalizing the urban core. An example is the redevelopment of the historic Pearl Brewery in San Antonio, a project that reused salvaged materials and create a new vibrant destination in San Antonio. Another is the LEED Platinum Austin Central Library, where 85% of regularly occupied space is daylit, and 99% feature views to the outdoors. The library’s rooftop butterfly garden overlooking the neighboring Shoal Creek and Lady Bird Lake and the screened reading porches have helped made it a popular destination and important resource for the local community.

Karen Hadden

Ms Hadden has served as the executive director of the SEED [Sustainable Energy and Economic Development] Coalition since 2000. Her work has focused on the intersection of energy and environmental concerns, and has included efforts to block coal plants, to reduce mercury emissions from power facilities, to warn the public about mercury-laden fish consumption, to organize opposition to the re-licensing of the Comanche Peak and South Texas nuclear power plants, to support construction of solar panel arrays, to improve energy efficiency and conservation in affordable housing, and to fight misguided proposals to transport and dispose radioactive waste. From 1980 to 1999, before beginning her work as an advocate at the SEED Coalition, she taught science to middle and high school students, leading courses in physics, biology, astronomy, anatomy, physiology and chemistry, sponsoring science clubs and fairs, and organizing field trips.

John Dromgoole

Mr. Dromgoole has worked in the horticulture field for many years, promoting organic gardening, using native plants, and raising vegetables and herbs. He opened his first Austin garden store in 1982, partnering with Malcolm Beck, the manager of San Antonio’s Garden-Ville. In 1993, he moved his operation, the Natural Gardener, to a new and larger site in southwest Austin, stocking it with a variety of plants, as well as equipment and supplies, such as his line of Lady Bug Natural Brands. While running the store, he has also been hosted a radio show and podcast, Gardening Naturally, run PBS and NBC TV programs such as The New Garden, Central Texas Gardener, and The Weekend Gardener, and wrote articles for Texas Gardener and Organic Gardening magazines. Aside from his work in the gardening world, he has also been involved in finding better ways to handle solid and hazardous waste, through his help creating Chemical Clean-up Day in Austin. As well, Mr. Dromgoole is the host of a country and western music program, Dance Halls and Last Calls, that airs weekly on Austin’s SUN radio station.

Shannon Davies

Dr. Davies holds a PhD in American Civilization from the University of Texas at Austin, and has had a career in editing and publishing books and journals, many of them about natural resource and conservation topics. She served as the Director of Texas A&M University Press, where she earlier worked as Editor-in-Chief and as the Merrick Editor for the Natural Environment. Prior to working at Texas A&M, she served as Founding Editor and Publisher of Texas Birds, a publication of the Texas Ornithological Society, as well as the Science Editor and Editorial Fellow for the University of Texas Press. In those capacities, she has worked with a number of funders and dozens of authors to bring scores of books and articles about the natural world to the public. The works have touched on a variety of conservation subjects, including water, wildlife, energy, public lands, forests, agriculture, and environmental history. She has also helped support writers through her service on the boards of two residencies for artists: the Madrono Ranch: A Center for Writing, Art, and the Environment, and the Thinking like a Mountain Foundation.

Bill Carr

Mr. Carr is a noted field botanist who has worked on plant inventories, surveys and protection efforts for Texas Parks and Wildlife (Natural Heritage Program), the Nature Conservancy of Texas, and his own firm, Acme Botanical Services. He has collected more than 37,000 plant specimens, with more than 15,000 catalogued at the herbarium at the University of Texas at Austin, to improve the understanding of plant distributions across the Southwest. As well, he was a co-author, with Jackie Poole, Jason Singhurst, and Dana Price on the reference volume, Rare Plants of Texas (Texas A&M University Press 2007), and has made contributions to a number of journals, including Lundelia, Sida, and the Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Ben Figueroa

Mr. Figueroa lives in Kingsville, where he has been involved in education about and opposition to a nearby uranium mine in Kleberg County. He and others in the community, including the organization, South Texans Opposing Pollution, have been concerned about the effect of the mining activity and subsequent tailings emissions on the purity and safety of the Goliad Aquifer, which is Kingsville’s source of drinking water.