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Speaker Profiles

Michael Smith

Michael D. Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Program Manager at AECOM

Michael D. Smith, Ph.D. is a nationally-recognized leader in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and associated environmental law compliance with over 20 years experience in project and program management, technical analysis, policy development, and training/education for a wide range of public and private sector clients.

He is currently a Senior Program Manager for Environment and Planning at AECOM, a Fortune 500 provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government with 45,000 employees and offices in over 140 countries. He is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He has managed and provided compliance review for some of the nation's largest, most complex, and highly controversial projects, including major energy and transportation infrastructure projects, approval of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and approval of new fuel economy standards for all vehicles operated in the U.S.

He also provides training and strategic advice for NEPA and related environmental compliance requirements for public and private sector clients as a faculty member at the Duke Environmental Leadership Program at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and as a faculty member at the NEPA Certificate Program at the Department of Environment and Society, Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University, and as a Senior Consultant at The Shipley Group.

He is a past recipient of a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at EPA’s Office of Water and Office of Federal Activities in Washington, DC. From 1998 to 2007, he was an Associate Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources Sciences at Humboldt State University, where he taught courses conducted research in environmental impact assessment, environmental planning, land use planning, and community development.

Kris Thoemke

Kris W. Thoemke, Ph.D., CEP
APU Faculty Member and Senior Scientist at Coastal Engineering Consultants, Inc. (CEC)

Dr. Kris Thoemke is marine biologist and a Certified Environmental Professional (CEP). He currently serves as the Chairman of Academy of Board Certified Environmental Professionals’ (ABCEP) Credentials Review Board and, as such, is responsible for the process that determines if applicants for the CEP credential are qualified to receive this prestigious designation.  His 35 year working career has focused on the coastal ecosystems of Florida and the ecology of the Everglades. His current responsibilities at CEC include assessing, permitting, and monitoring of coastal projects including inlet management, beach nourishment and marina development.  As a recognized expert in coastal processes and the ecology of the Everglades, he has been selected to participate on several Independent Peer Review Panels of large scale US Army Corps of Engineers projects in these areas.

Prior to pursuing a career in environmental consulting Dr. Thoemke was a full-time outdoor and environmental communicator.  He is the author of over 500 articles on the outdoors, hosted several outdoor talk radio programs, and has film credits as the host and co-producer of the PBS series Exploring Florida, co-host (with actor Ed Begley Jr) of the Troubled Waters documentary on the Everglades on TBS and was the Survival Expert for Everglades episode of Man vs Wild hosted by Bear Grylls on the Discovery Channel.  He is an active member of the Outdoor Writers Association and has won numerous awards for his writing and broadcasting, including the Outdoor Communicator of the Year from the Florida Wildlife Federation. Kris is the author of Fishing Florida - the definitive guide to where to fish in the Sunshine State.

Dr. Thoemke has a BS degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland and received his Ph.D. from the University of South Florida.

Carol Pollio

Carol Pollio, Ph.D.
Program Director for Environmental Sciences, American Public University System

Dr. Carol A. Pollio is the Chief of Natural Resources and Science for the National Park Service, National Capital Region. In this position, she manages the Center for Urban Ecology and a staff of technical experts in various natural resources fields. In her previous position, she served as Science Advisor for the US Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region Ecological Services Program. She supervised 13 Ecological Services field offices from Maine to Virginia. She also served 5 years in the USFWS Washington Office, gaining experience in fisheries and aquatic resources management, education and outreach, and habitat restoration at the national policy level. She has been working in the Department of Interior for more than 37 years.

Before returning to the National Park Service, Dr. Pollio had spent 24 years with the agency, primarily in field positions, including positions in natural resources management, federal law enforcement, and wildland and structural firefighting. She was assigned to 6 parks and the North Atlantic Regional Office, including national park units in VA, WV, NC, NJ, and MA.

Dr. Pollio’s experience in the National Park System has included gaining expertise in abandoned mine reclamation, environmental contaminants remediation, and biological assessment of disturbed and contaminated sites. She has conducted scientific research, inventory and monitoring, and published her results in several peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Pollio served as a Commissioned Federal Law Enforcement Officer for 16 years, a Red-Card Certified Wildland Firefighter for 24 years, and a Firefighter I and II (Structural) for 2 years. She is a trained Critical Incident Stress Debriefer, HazMat Responder (HAZWOPER), American Red Cross Community First Aid and Safety Instructor, and licensed Virginia Commercial Pesticide Applicator.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Pollio has actively served in the US Coast Guard Reserve. Now a CAPT (sel), she was activated in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2003, serving as a member of the USCG Lessons Learned Team responsible for evaluating the largest mobilization of the Coast Guard Reserve since WWII. She was also deployed to the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010 and served as the Liaison Officer to Santa Rosa County, Florida. As a member of a deployable CG unit for 7 years, she traveled to Portugal, Turkey, and Panama to conduct foreign port security exercises.

Dr. Carol Pollio received a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Marshall University, and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Management from Rutgers University.

Ron Deverman

Ron Deverman
Associate Vice-President and Principal Environmental Planning Manager

Ron Deverman is Associate Vice-President for HNTB, a national engineering, architecture and planning firm, managing environmental impact assessment projects for transportation infrastructure improvements such as transit, passenger and freight rail, roadways, and bridges. Ron has 30 years experience in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with special expertise in community impact assessment, cumulative effects analysis, and federal environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Historic Preservation Act, and Threatened and Endangered Species Act.

His education includes a BS in civil/environmental engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana, an MA in literature and creative writing from the University of Illinois in Springfield, and post-graduate studies in NEPA and related environmental studies. Ron is the Past President of the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP). He has also chaired their national NEPA Symposium, NEPA Working Group, Transportation Working Group (co-founder), and 27th Annual Conference (Dearborn, Michigan). He is a Past President of IAEP, the Illinois chapter of NAEP. Ron is a contributor to the national journal, Environmental Practice, published by Cambridge University Press.

Ron is also a published poet and has spoken nationally on many subjects, including key competencies for environmental professionals, environmental stewardship, and preserving the quality of place. He has recently spoken at national environmental conferences on the themes, “Reclaiming Our Environmental Imagination” where he incorporated the writings and poems of numerous authors and poets, including his own work, and “Valuing the Sacred” an article on environmental ethics as seen from Christian and Islamic perspectives. His co-author for “Valuing the Sacred” is Dr. Ali Mohamed Al-Damkhi, an Environmental Studies Professor for Kuwait University.

Ron comes from generations of farmers in Illinois’ heartland and has farmed for a living. In the Fall of 2009, he was awarded the John Knoepfle Creative Writing Award for Poetry by the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

Alison Turner

Alison Turner
Senior Director, Katz & Associates, Inc.

Allison Turner is a senior director for Katz & Associates, a small and woman-owned public affairs and issues management consulting firm.

Allison specializes in strategic communication, stakeholder outreach, and public involvement and information programs for environmental projects, particularly environmental planning projects for the military services. Over her ten years with Katz, Allison has developed and oversaw implementation of all aspects of the public participation process for more than 25 NEPA projects for the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force across the continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska and the Mariana Islands.

Allison has a Master of Environmental Science & Management degree from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is a certified Public Participation Practitioner by the International Association of Public Participation. Experience and training in several disciplines allow Allison to understand the complexities of environmental issues and “speak the language” of all involved stakeholders.

Marie Campbell

Marie Campbell
President, Sapphos Environmental Inc. and second term as At-Large Board Member for the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)

Marie Campbell, serves as the President for Sapphos Environmental Inc. She is also pleased to be returning for a second term as At-Large Board Member for the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP). She is an Environmental Compliance Specialist with 30 years of experience preparing environmental compliance documents pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act and the California Environmental Quality Act for complex capital improvement projects.

During her first three years serving on the NAEP Board she served as Chair of the Education Committee and worked with Executive Director, Tim Bower and Board Member, Ronald Lamb if the U.S. Marine Corps, in his capacity as Chair of Member Services to introduce a webinar series as a new member benefit. She is joined on the Education Committee by fellow Board members, Wendy Haydon of CH2M Hill, Erica Boulanger of TEC Cardno, Roger Turner California Association of Environmental Professional liaison, and Jim Yawn of The Walt Disney Company, and John Esson. She also represented the California Association of Environmental Professionals as Co-Chair for the 2013 Joint Annual NAEP/AEP Conference held April 1 through 4, 2013 in Los Angeles. She is currently working with the Education Committee to develop a NEPA Basics Training Course that can be made available to Chapters, members, and universities to advance the state of the practice.

Marie is a 30-year member of NAEP and California AEP. She received both her BA and MA from the University of California Los Angeles. She started her career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and spent five years with one of California’s largest environmental consulting firms before starting Sapphos Environmental, Inc. Marie is the mother of two wonderful daughters, Sarah Campbell and Katherine Campbell (NAEP Louisiana), and grandmother to 4 year old Kenneth Grant. Marie loves cooking, cycling, travelling, and gardening.

Kelly Reiss

Kelly Reiss, Ph.D.
Faculty at American Public University

Dr. K. Reiss is an ecologist with degrees in forest resources and conservation (B.S.) and environmental engineering sciences (M.S., Ph.D.). Dr. Reiss's thesis research explored the role of vines in wetland primary succession following landscape creation after phosphate mining through monitoring and modeling. This research inspired Reiss to continue on for a Ph.D. also from the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences, University of Florida with dissertation research focused on the development of three indices of biotic integrity for diatoms, macrophytes, and macroinvertebrates for Florida depressional wetlands, called the Florida Wetland Condition Index.

Reiss’s research has included projects on hydrology and nutrient concentrations in isolated wetlands; nutrient effects on springs; wetland mitigation banking; developing a training manual for the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and developing bioindicators for forested strand and floodplain wetlands.

Dr. Reiss has instructed courses in environmental science, soil science, wetlands ecology, natural resource management, environmental biology, remote sensing, environmental ethics, restoration, and conservation.