Holly AhernHolly Ahern

Holly Ahern is an award-winning professor of microbiology at State University of New York (SUNY) Adirondack, where she teaches and mentors undergraduate students in research. As a result of her own family’s experience with tick-borne disease, Ahern co-founded Lyme Action Network, a 501-c-3 organization with a mission of tick-borne disease education and advocacy. Ahern is an advisory member of the New York State Senate Tick-borne Disease Task Force and serves on both the NY State and Federal Tick-borne Disease Working Groups. Ahern recently received funding from New York State to investigate the scope and impact of tick-borne diseases in the region and to develop advanced diagnostic tools for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.


Steve resizedStephen Danna

Dr. Stephen Danna is Dean of the SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury Branch Campus. Stephen has 29 years experience in teaching and administration, and prior to that, worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office as an oceanographer. Dr. Danna is a certified Climate Reality Leader, and has received teaching fellowships from Princeton University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Drew University. In 1997, Steve was honored with the National Science Teachers Association’s Exemplary High School Science Teaching Award. Dr. Danna is co-founder of North Country Climate Reality.



Amy J. Hirsch, A.E.M. is the Emergency Services Coordinator for Warren County Office of Emergency Services.  Hirsch has worked for Warren County for 21 years. She runs the Warren County Emergency Operating Center during the response and recovery efforts. This entails coordinating the efforts of local responders, American Red Cross, State and Federal officials with the citizens and business owners of Warren County. Emergency Services Coordinator Hirsch is an active member of the County’s Emergency Response Preparedness Committee and the Chair of the Local Emergency Preparedness Committee. She has been directly involved with writing Emergency Action Plans for dam breaches, public health disasters, hazardous material response and hazard mitigation.


Mark LoweryMarkLowerySchenectady

A 30-year veteran of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Mark Lowery has served as a climate policy analyst in DEC’s Office of Climate Change since 2007. His principal areas of responsibility have included leading public outreach efforts for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Sea Level Rise Task Force and climate action planning. He oversees OCC’s adaptation and municipal support program, including the Climate Smart Communities program and implementation of the Community Risk and Resiliency Act. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. and a master’s degree in environmental and forest biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y.



Mike Hoffmann is the executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, which was created to help raise the profile of the challenges posed by climate change and to help those who grow our food adapt to the changing conditions as well as reduce their carbon footprint. As executive director he provides visionary leadership and shares the climate change story with a wide range of audiences. This includes his successful TEDx Talk, Climate change: It’s time to raise our voices. He has held several leadership roles in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell. He received his BS Degree from the University Wisconsin, MS from the University of Arizona and PhD from the University of California, Davis.


IMG_8709John Neering

John Neering taught high school science for 33 years, and is currently a Chairperson at La Salle Academy. He is a recipient of the Siemen’s New York State AP Teacher Award for Math, Science and Technology.