R. John Dawes
Executive Director, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds
As Executive Director of the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds since 1994, Dawes has supervised small grants to over 150 environmental and watershed associations throughout the state. The intent is to provide seed money to allow a local group to access agency funding through the Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Office of Surface Mining, the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers. This has resulted in over $110m. in project cost. The majority of this small grants budget is for abandoned mine reclamation. For five years Dawes was a consultant to the Heinz Endowments Environment Program where he supervised grants to regional watershed groups pursuing a DCNR Rivers Conservation Plan. Other duties included participation in sustainable forestry round tables, and the facilitation of a statewide watershed advocacy group called POWR – the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers.
Dawes graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and an M.Ed. Since 1970, he has owned and managed a purebred Angus farm in Huntingdon County where conservation practices have been implemented, including streambank fencing, forest stewardship planning, a 10kw windmill for electric power production, and spring development using photo-voltaic panels. The farm won the 2007 Governor’s Award for Conservation.
President and Executive Director, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies
As its director, Mike Kane is responsible for the oversight of all operations at CFA, including managing a portfolio of loans and investments in excess of $8 million. He obtained his undergraduate education from the University of Pittsburgh and M.A. from Emerson College. Additionally, Mike obtained a certificate in Major Gifts and Planned Giving from the Institute for Healthcare Philanthropy, Univ. of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business.
Mike has served and assisted in the start up of a number of local and regional nonprofits and initiatives, including the Stonycreek-Quemahoning Initiative and Lift Johnstown. He has served on the steering committee of the Power of 32; as well as on the boards of Johnstown Area Regional Industries, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College, ArtWorks in Johnstown, Johnstown Industrial Development Corporation, the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, FracTracker Alliance, Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, Goodwill Industries of the Conemaugh Valley and others. He has also served as President of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, a regional association of philanthropic organizations.
Benjamin Stout III, PhD
Professor of Biology, Wheeling Jesuit University
Dr. Benjamin M. Stout III is Professor of Biology at Wheeling Jesuit University, now in his 21st year. Originally from Morgantown, Ben studied at West Virginia University, Tennessee Tech, and Virginia Tech. Ben experienced a life-changing moment in 1999 while testifying in Federal Court on behalf of citizens in southern West Virginia. At issue was the very existence of headwater streams that did not appear on maps and were largely ignored by coal companies, state, and federal regulators. Since then, Ben has worked to address citizen concerns in coalfield communities through research, convening meetings between citizens and scientists, grant writing, testimony, and by making himself available to the media.
For this work Ben was named Environmental Steward in 2007 by the North American Benthological Society. A practicing stream ecologist with 30 years of experience, Ben’s current fieldwork focuses on impacts from valley fills, longwall mining subsidence, and Marcellus Shale extraction on Appalachian headwater streams.