Mike has had a 25 year career in land, water, and nature conservation. Growing up in Norwich, VT, Mike spent countless hours outside, playing in rivers, catching fireflies, skiing in the woods, and exploring the natural world. During a semester abroad in Kenya, Mike had a formative experience watching the butchering of a giraffe, which caused him to question conventional conservation approaches. Following college at Brown University, Mike lived in Jackson Hole, WY, where he lead wilderness trips and taught environmental education. He learned his greatest management lesson trying to hang food on a bear pole in Yellowstone National Park. These experiences lead Mike to graduate school at the University of Vermont, where he received a master's degree in Botany. For the past 16 years, Mike has worked for the Nature Conservancy, in western Colorado and Maine. Mike is passionate about engaging communities to solve vexing environmental challenges in a way that works economically and socially. During his tenure in Maine, Mike has been actively engaged in forest conservation efforts, including a landmark project conserving 400,000 acres around Moosehead Lake; river restoration efforts, including working with partners to restore 1000 miles of the Penobscot River; and marine conservation efforts, involving working with communities of ground fishermen in Maine's coastal communities. Mike lives with his wife Neera, daughter Wren (9 years old), and their two dogs in Bath, Maine. He loves to explore, and has traveled extensively around the world.
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)