Core Group

ALAN YEAKLEY, PhD, is a professor of environmental science, and a fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, at Portland State University. His research interests include Ecological system analysis, Ecosystem management, Forest ecology, Hydrological modeling, Riparian ecology, Urban ecology, Watershed biogeochemistry, and Watershed hydrology. Alan serves as lead investigator of the Portland-Vancouver ULTRA-Ex (Urban Long-Term Research Area Exploratory) project, which seeks to improve understanding of resilience in urban socio-ecological systems, and is a co-investigator of the IGERT (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training) project at PSU on ecosystem services in urbanizing areas.  Alan is also a founding member of the Urban Ecosystem Research Consortium of Portland-Vancouver (UERC) and is a gubernatorial appointee to the IMST (Independent Multidisciplinary Science Team) for the State of Oregon.


BOB WISE is Senior Project Manager with Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC and Director of Team Oregon, LLC, private firms focused on urban planning and sustainable development in its multiple dimensions.  He served on the staffs of four US Governors and as Director of the Council of State Planning, a think tank for the nation’s governors. Bob also served as Chair and Co-Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission for Portland and Multnomah County guiding early adoption of sustainable development in Portland and Multnomah County.

Professional projects including biomimicry concepts:  1. Sustainable industry cluster strategies for the State of Oregon, City of Portland, and Clackamas County, Oregon economic development roadmap.  2. Sustainable Development Action Plan for the Taiwan Council for Economic Planning and Development.  3. Vision leadership with SOM Asia for the Smart Eco-City Master Plan for Langfang, China (with Janine Benyus) and urban development plan for the Hangzhou segment of the Grand Canal.  4. Eco-City Vision for the City of Taipei, Taiwan, designed to create a restorative organic city based on biological principles.


CLARK BROCKMAN, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal, Director of Sustainability Resources Group

As Director of SERA’s Sustainability Resources Group, Clark works within and outside of SERA’s office to promote sustainability. He holds the firm belief that the Northwest must continue to provide national leadership in sustainability, and he is a frequent lecturer on green building process and policy. Clark is a past chair of, and currently serves on, the International Living Building Institute Board of Directors, as well as the Board of Directors of The Natural Step. He has served in a green building advisory capacity to the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Sustainable Development Commission, the Portland Development Commission, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, the Oregon University System, and Oregon’s Office of the Governor.


DARCY WINSLOW, Founder of Designs for a Sustainable World Collective, is a pioneer and active practitioner of sustainability frameworks and principles with deep experience in the application of these to all aspects of business. Darcy worked at Nike for over 20 years, holding several senior management positions. DSW Collective, LLC focuses on the development of practical yet aggressive strategies for organizations to create and adopt more sustainable, regenerative business practices. Winslow is also a Senior Sustainability Strategist with Brightworks, Inc., Executive-in-Residence at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and Program Director for Willamette University’s Sustainable Enterprise Program.


ETHAN SMITH is a conceptual industrial and experience designer at nine8one, which collaborates with interdisciplinary teams to sculpt meaningful and engaging experiences via integrated product, interactive, and brand strategies. Well versed in the principles of ecological design and appropriate technologies, Ethan has helped design teams push the boundaries of sustainable design with a diverse array of organizations including Nau, Indochine Development Group, Proctor & Gamble, and Foundation for Sustainable Technologies (Nepal). He has attended a Biomimicry Institute Backyard Workshop and is pursuing further education to bolster his understanding of Life’s Principles and their application in design.


FAYE YOSHIHARA specializes in building bridges between the often polarized sectors of society, merging a twenty-year career with Nike & SC Johnson specializing in emerging market management with a decade of brokering cross-sector partnerships and supporting start-up social enterprises.  Recently, she co-founded Forest Fractal LLC, a social enterprise dedicated to the restorative economy, working with small landholders to create sustainable livelihoods in forest regions.  Faye holds BS degrees in Food Science & Technology and Microbiology from Oregon State University and an MBA from Northwestern University.


GREG SMITH, PhD, is a professor in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis & Clark College.  He has focused his research and writing on ways to strengthen the relationship between schools and the communities and places they are located.  The primary aim of this endeavor is to nurture young people committed to civic participation and environmental stewardship.  He has written or edited six books and numerous articles about this topic.  Two of the most recent books are Place-based Education in the Global Age: Local Diversity (co-edited with David Gruenewald in 2008) and Place- and Community-based Education (co-written with David Sobel in 2010).


JOHANNA BRICKMAN leads development of the Oregon BEST Sustainable Built Environment Program, including prioritization of research and investment agendas to achieve economic strength in Oregon. She leads the Oregon BEST Sustainable Built Environment Research Consortium, assembles applied research teams, acts as a liaison to complementary regional and national organizations, and serves as an advocate to policy makers, industry and university partners, nonprofits and the media.

Prior to joining Oregon BEST, Johanna served for nine years as Associate Partner and Director of Sustainability at ZGF Architects, a nationally-recognized architecture, interiors, and urban design firm. At ZGF, Johanna provided leadership to the firm’s Sustainable Design Team. She has become a respected consultant and presenter on issues of sustainable design.

Johanna’s passion for sustainable built environments extends to volunteer efforts with non-profit advocacy, including two terms as an elected board member of the International Living Future Institute (parent organization of Cascadia Green Building Council, Living Building Challenge, and The Natural Step US). In April 2011, Johanna completed a year term as the Chair of the Board of the Directors.


KAREN ALLEN is a Certified Biomimicry Professional, biologist, and educator who is passionate about sharing the secrets of the natural world to inform sustainable innovations. Her interdisciplinary science background and love of natural history help Karen serve as a Biologist at the Design Table, translating nature’s strategies for architects, engineers, and designers. She is an integral part of the Biomimicry Group’s teaching team, leading innovators in understanding the practice of Biomimicry. She is currently co-developing and teaching the 8-month Biomimicry Specialty Program, the Costa Rica Biomimicry & Design course and other workshops. She has been practicing Biomimicry in a variety of projects since 2000.

In 2010, Karen graduated from the Biomimicry Institute’s two-year professional program. She holds a Master’s of Science degree (emphasizing botany, soils, hydrology, and habitat restoration), and a BS in Environmental Science from U.C. Berkeley. Karen teaches restoration ecology, natural history, and ecology field courses for two universities and is the principal of Aequinox, an ecosystem restoration firm in Bend, OR.


MARY HANSEL specializes in organizational sustainability and intrapreneurial coaching, with 20+ years of experience in sustainability consulting and financial and information management. Passionate about the power of biomimicry to inspire life-friendly innovation, Mary has designed and presented sustainability and biomimicry educational sessions for workshops, professional conferences and graduate courses. Involved with biomimicry since 2001, Mary currently serves as Treasurer for The Biomimicry Institute, and is co- organizing a biomimicry regional network in Oregon.


MIKE HOUCK, Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute (, has worked on local, regional, and national urban park and greenspace issues since 1980 when he founded the Urban Naturalist Program at the Audubon Society of Portland (   He is co-founder of The Intertwine Alliance (, which is dedicated to creating a world class park, trail, and natural area system for the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region.  The Alliance is also a member of the national Metropolitan Greenspaces Alliance, whose members represent Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Cleveland, Milwaukie, and Portland metropolitan greenspace initiatives.


NICOLE ISLE is a Sustainability Advisor with Glumac. Drawing on her expertise in watershed ecology and environmental planning, Nicole helps project teams realize a more comprehensive level of sustainability by combining economic, ecological and social systems integration with team creativity, innovation and collaboration. She is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional and trained as a Biologist at the Design Table though the Biomimicry Guild. Nicole is the Sustainability Coordinator for the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, co-creator of the Biomimicry Oregon Network and currently serves on the Urban Land Institute’s Oregon Young Leaders Group Board and Portland Sustainability Institute’s EcoDistricts Steering Committee. Nicole regularly facilitates workshops and engages in speaking events internationally.


ROB BENNETT is the founding executive director of the Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI), a nonprofit organization chartered in May 2009 to systematically bring together business, higher education, nonprofit and municipal leaders to drive large-scale, next-generation urban sustainability initiatives in the Portland metro region.  Rob is a recognized leader in the sustainable cities movements, with twelve years of experience shaping municipal sustainable development projects and policy while working for the Clinton Foundation and the cities of Portland and Vancouver, B.C.  Rob’s work focuses at the intersection of city planning, real estate development, economic development and environmental policy.  He has lectured throughout the US and abroad on topics ranging from green economic development, sustainable municipal innovation and green building policy.


SPENCER BEEBE is a fourth generation Portlander who spent fourteen years with the Nature Conservancy before helping found Conservation International in 1987. In 1991, he founded Ecotrust to focus his work on the rain forests of home. He serves on the boards of Ecotrust and Ecotrust Canada, Ecotrust Forest Management, Inc., the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute and Walsh Construction Company of Portland. Adventures in economics, Peace Corps, sailing the Pacific in hand-built Tahiti ketch, forest ecology, marriage and kids.

Specialty: institutional bushwhacking.

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