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Dr. Marla Spivak

Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota

Marla Spivak is an entomologist who is developing practical applications to protect honey bee populations from decimation by disease while making fundamental contributions to our understanding of bee biology. She received a B.A. from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She has been affiliated with the University of Minnesota since 1993, where she is currently Distinguished McKnight Professor in the Department of Entomology. She is the author and creator of numerous beekeeping manuals and videos, and her scientific articles have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Neurobiology (now Developmental Neurobiology), Evolution, Apidologie, and Animal Behavior.

Lucia Watson

Owner of Lucia's Restaurant 

Chef Lucia Watson is the proprietor of Lucia’s Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lucia’s To Go, one of the twin cities’ favorite neighborhood establishments. Lucia’s continuing popularity over the last two decades is a tribute to her sensibility in menu selection and her warm, congenial hospitality. Chef Watson has written two books: Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland with coauthor Beth Dooley, and Cooking Freshwater Fish. Lucia has been honored with many awards over the last few years, including a James Beard Nomination for best chef in the Midwest in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Lucia served a four year term on the Organic Advisory Task Force to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She is also a former board member of the Chef’s Collaborative, and has served as board chair for the Youth Farm and Market Project as well as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Lucia teaches and speaks throughout the year, often in support of sustainability and farming issues.

Ron Bowen

Founder and President of Prairie Restorations 

Ron Bowen is the founder and acting president of Prairie Restorations, Inc., a 37 year old company dedicated to restoring and utilizing native plant communities in the built landscape.  Ron graduated from the U of M with a B.S. in Forestry and went on to graduate school as a Bush Fellow at the University of Wisconsin.  As a restorationist he and his colleagues at PRI have set the standard for this work nationally.  He considers himself to be a practicing land doctor. Ron lives on a high bank above the Mississippi River just south of St. Cloud.  He knows the river well and has also traveled by canoe for thousands of miles across Canada.  At 67 years of age he still works 50+ hours per week (and enjoys it), splits wood by hand, and is a moderately competent birder. (Photo credit: Caitlin Abrams)

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