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Women in Conservation Series: Laurie Ristino and Beth Perera

Women in Conservation highlights historic and contemporary demonstrations of stewardship and leadership by Vermont women.

The Sierra Club Upper Valley Group, the Montshire Museum of Science, the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) bring together these influential women in conservation to share their inspiring stories.

Past speakers include:

  • Madeleine Kunin - Former Vermont governor and founder of the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)
  • Liz Putnam - Widely considered the “Mother of the American Youth Conservation Movement” and the founder of the Student Conservation Association (SCA)
  • Mary Powell – President and CEO of Green Mountain Power who has positioned GMP as a leading energy transformation company
  • Elizabeth Wilson – Environmental studies professor at Dartmouth and the inaugural director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society
  • Christina Marts – Deputy Superintendent of Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
  • Joan Hoffmann — Conservation Artist and Advocate

LAURIE RISTINO is an innovative environmental and sustainable food systems leader. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at George Washington University Law School and principal at her consultancy, Strategies for a Sustainable Future. She has served in numerous leadership roles in government and nonprofit organizations and her comprehensive book on conservation easements, A Changing Landscape, was published by the Environmental Law Institute in 2016. Ms. Ristino has been featured in The Christian Science Monitor, Inside Climate News, E&E News, Huffington Post, and Law360, and shares her personal story in a presentation entitled The Reluctant Environmentalist: A Lesbian Discusses How Environmentalism Must Evolve for a Multi-Cultural Generation.

BETH PERERA is a certified Food for Life instructor and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University, among many others. “I ate everything for the first 47 years of my life,” she states, “and like so many others, until I had a health crisis, I was not motivated to change anything.” At that point, Ms. Perera implemented numerous dietary and lifestyle changes. “I adopted a plant-based diet, and my health issues completely resolved themselves. She shares her learnings in Sustainable Living: Food Choices, Our Oceans, Our Planet. Additional certifications include Food Over Medicine, Women’s Health, Diet & Lifestyle Intervention, Cancer Prevention/Survival, and the links between Diet & the Microbiome to Autism.

This program is open to the public and admission is free.