Headshot of David Pellow

David Pellow, Ph.D.,  is Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, and Director, Global Environmental Justice Project, University of California Santa Barbara.

Previously, he was a professor in the department of ethnic studies at UC San Diego and director of California Cultures in Comparative Perspective, a research initiative that supports creative interdisciplinary research, teaching and collaborations among faculty, students, and the public.

His areas of research focus on environmental conflict in ethnic communities in the United States, Africa and Asia. Pellow can speak on issues concerning race/ethnicity, the environment, labor, social protest, immigration, free trade agreements, and globalization, as well as the global impacts of the high-tech industry in Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world.

Pellow has written on the social and environmental impacts of the U.S. and international waste management industries (garbage, pesticides, incineration, electronic computer wastes, etc.) and the global social protest movement that has emerged to combat this issue. Pellow has also published material on environmental racism, occupational health hazards, economic globalization, international environmental protest movements, Silicon Valley industries, the global environment in high-tech and social impacts, waste management industry, recycling industry, international movement of hazardous chemical wastes and international laws/conventions/treaties concerning environmental protection.

Pellow also seeks to make the academic enterprise more relevant and more accessible to non-academic audiences. Pellow received his B.A. in sociology and religious studies and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology.

Headshot of Oscar Romo

Oscar Romo is the Director of Alter Terra, a formally registered nonprofit organization able to legally operate in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Alter Terra focuses on environmental health challenges found in the San Diego-Tijuana area of the U.S.- Mexico border region, with an emphasis on protecting the Tijuana River Estuary in Imperial Beach, California and the Los Laureles Canyon in Tijuana. The organization promotes international partnerships to protect natural resources and promotes initiatives that reduce poverty, create jobs, and improve the general health of neighborhoods.

Oscar Romo also teaches courses about sustainable development at UCSD in the Urban Studies and Planning Program. And he serves as a delegate to the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.  He has over 20 years of hands‐on experience and executive leadership integrating science, engineering, and urban ecology through community‐based projects and scholarly networking in Mexico and Latin America.

He currently serves as the U.S. Co-Chair for the binational U.S. EPA Border 2012 Tijuana River Watershed Task Force.

Bob Georgiou

Bob Georgiou is a Real Estate Investment and Property Management business owner with real estate holdings around the world. Bob was born in La Jolla and earned a BA at UC San Diego in Urban Studies and Planning (USP). He now serves on the USP Steering Committee which provides direction to the educational program on a wide range of issues (curriculum, events, opportunities for students, annual Urban Expo). He also currently serves on Project Wildlife's Board of Directors.

Bob began his business career at an early age. He was trained as a tailor to follow a long line of tailors in his family. After graduating High School at age 17, Bob moved to Belgium to begin an automobile export business.  He exported S Class Mercedes Benz autos and converted them (EPA, DOT) for sale in the U.S. market. Bob bought his first apartment building in Hillcrest at age 19....and he has not stopped buying since.  He spent 31 years buying lending and renovations.  He is a real estate agent, investor and building renovator.   

After graduating from UCSD, Bob held the position of Assistant to the Director of the County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU).  He worked with former Mayor Susan Golding on the Sensitive Lands Ordinance. He also assisted in putting together County Supervisor Golding’s State of the County speech....research...etc. Bob has also done some advising and training for the federal government.

In the early 1990s Bob managed the largest ship chandlery in Los Angeles.  For a short time he worked in quality control at Harrods (London). Bob has extensive experience in international banking and real estate transactions.  He owns property in Hawaii, California, England and Greece....and soon SOBE.  He runs various business ventures overseas, from olive oil production to an estate agency.  Locally he runs a property management firm...acquisition and also a small invoicing company.   

He has written articles on economic and real estate issues for KFI radio, Fox Business News and The His work has appeared in The European and in the Athens News.  He speaks Greek, Spanish and English fluently. 

Leslie in forest

Leslie Ryan received a research degree (Master of Environmental Design) from Yale University’s School of Architecture (2006) and a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo (1988). She worked with ecological artists Helen and Newton Harrison while a grad student in the Visual Arts Department at UCSD. Her thesis at Yale received the Porter Prize, the top University-wide award for original scholarship on a subject of general interest. Ms. Ryan is the recipient of the Rome Prize in Landscape Architecture (1995), and recently received a Graham Foundation Grant for research on a book on the Harrisons.

Her writings have been published in Places Journal and the Journal of Environmental Philosophy, and have been accepted for presentations at several conferences.

Leslie holds a Visiting Scholar appointment at the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in the Oregon Cascade Range, and a courtesy appointment as an assistant professor in the landscape architecture department at the University of Oregon. Her environmental design-research practice focuses on sustainable practices, including adaptation strategies for sea level rise, green infrastructure, community-based design, landscapes of affordable housing projects, and local food production.

Recent public exhibitions and presentations include "Eat Here Now", an exhibit mapping very local food production, and “The Future Imperfect of Cities, Landscapes and Dreams”, an exhibit exploring community development in the context of art, both at Art Produce Gallery in North Park. In addition to maintaining a landscape architectural practice, Ryan is the founding chair of a Landscape Architecture program at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design in San Diego.