Wednesday Opening/Lunch Plenary Session

Speakers will share their organizations’ goals and accomplishments, and discuss relevant partnerships where they are already working together and partnering for environmental success.

Rick Dunn, Georgia EPD

Rick Dunn was appointed Director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 2016. He has over 20 years’ experience in Georgia state government, having previously served in leadership positions at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Prior to his career in public service, Dunn taught courses on politics and public policy at Dickinson College and College of Charleston.  

Colonel Joseph R. Geary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Colonel Joseph R. Geary assumed command of the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on May 7, 2021.

As District Commander, Geary oversees the Savannah District’s military and civil works programs valued at approximately $1 billion. The construction mission alone involves an extensive program at 11 Army and Air Force installations throughout Georgia and North Carolina. The civil works mission consists of wetland protection oversight for all of Georgia and management of three hydro-electric dams and reservoirs that provide more than half of the peaking hydropower supply in the Southeast region. He also oversees the water resource mission for the entire Savannah River Basin, which is a freshwater resource for eastern Georgia and western South Carolina down to the Savannah Harbor. He oversees work on Georgia’s second deep-water harbor in Brunswick. As commander, Geary is also responsible for the district’s work in military design and master planning and he oversees the district’s mission for hazardous, toxic, and radioactive waste clean-up at formerly used defense sites and manages real estate activities for the Department of Defense. Further, his district functions as a resource in emergency operations in Georgia as well as other federal agencies.

Geary came to the Savannah District from the Office of the Secretary of Defense – Policy working stabilization and peacekeeping policy. He was commissioned in the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 1998 following graduation from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering from the United States Military Academy. He has masters degrees in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri Institute of Science and Technology and in National Security Studies from the National Defense University. Geary also has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He is a graduate of the Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, and the Engineer Officer Basic and Advanced courses, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Geary’s military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, and Meritorious Service Medal, among others. He also earned the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab, the Senior Parachutist Badge, and the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal. He is a registered professional engineer for the State of Missouri.

Daniel Blackman, EPA Region 4

On November 29, 2021, President Biden appointed Daniel Blackman to serve as the Regional Administrator for EPA’s Southeast Region (Region 4). In this role Daniel is leading EPA efforts to protect public health and the environment for the region spanning Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. 

Daniel has dedicated his career to creating economic opportunities for marginalized communities throughout the South, specifically in building more resilient communities with equitable economic opportunity, greater access to education and a healthy environment for all, not just for a select few. 

Daniel has spent over a decade advising policymakers at the state capitol, and advocating on behalf of Georgia ratepayers and small businesses in energy-related matters before Georgia’s Public Service Commission. He has served as chairman of the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club and board member to the ACLU. 

During the Obama Administration, Daniel worked closely within EPA Region 4 on issues including water infrastructure, clean air, and land/emergency management policies that impacted the southeast. He leaned heavily on his civil rights background to amplify the Region’s Environmental 

Justice (EJ) Policy and convened stakeholders with federal agencies to address a multitude of community concerns strategically and comprehensively. 

His work in addressing groundwater contamination at nuclear plants and its impact on public health and safety has given him the opportunity to testify numerous times before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and his commitment to working throughout the Southeastern United States to push for legislation that addresses toxic ash left behind from burning coal has given him the opportunity to play a key role in the transitioning from coal to clean energy in the United States. 

He is the son of immigrants from Barbados and is an alumnus of Clark Atlanta University. Daniel and his wife Jeanelle are the proud parents of four children, and the family resides in Forsyth County, Georgia. 

Thursday Breakfast Plenary Session: Addressing Coastal Concerns and Challenges: How Environmental and Health Professionals approach Complex Environmental Questions

Georgia and other coastal states manage and address wide-ranging concerns that include safety of the fish we eat, to chemical contaminants left behind at ocean-side industrial and commercial sites, climate change, and cumulative and potential health impacts. Experienced and nationally recognized environmental and health professionals will join a panel discussion on a variety of topics relevant to their roles in addressing such topics as safety of fish consumption as well as fish populations, how local governments and other governmental and academic partners are addressing climate change and sea level rise, how environmental exposures are evaluated from a medical and holistic point of view, and a look at how the “largest wreck removal in U.S. history” coordinated with a number of environmental agencies and local organizations following the September 2019 Golden Ray ship wreck off the coast of St. Simon’s Island. This discussion will be moderated by Jessica Brown, P.E., Stormwater Specialist, University of Georgia Marine Extension and Sea Grant Office in Brunswick, Georgia. Panelists include Dr. Leslie I. Rubin, a pediatrician and researcher who co-directs the Emory University School of Medicine Southeast Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) and is involved in numerous endeavors related to children’s health and well-being; Dr. Carolyn Belcher, Georgia Department of Natural Resources/Coastal Resources Division Marine Fisheries Chief, located in Brunswick, who also represents the State of Georgia in the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; and Jason Maddox, Senior Response Manager and Technical Support Specialist for Gallagher Marine Systems. Jason will share his perspective of the Golden Ray Incident while overseeing the planning aspect of operations as well environmental data collection.

Jessica T. R. Brown, P.E., UGA Marine Extension

Ms. Jessica T. R. Brown, P.E. serves as the stormwater specialist for UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. Jess is a licensed water resources engineer, career Extension professional, and faculty within Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia (UGA). She works closely with local municipalities and coastal communities improving stormwater management and watershed stewardship. Ms. Brown has a Bachelor’s and Masters of Science degrees in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University. 

The goal of the stormwater program is to design and implement science-based solutions for better stormwater management. For more information about the types of strategies we’re using, please visit

Jason Maddox, Gallagher Marine Systems

Jason is a Senior Response Manager and Technical Support Specialist for Gallagher Marine Systems.  He has worked with Gallagher for 14 years and prior to that we was a Scientific Support Coordinator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   During the Golden Ray Incident, Jason was the Planning Section Chief for the response overseeing the planning aspect of operations as well environmental data collection. 

Dr. Carolyn Belcher, Georgia Department of Natural Resources

I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with my BS in Statistical Science in 1992, with an applied science in Biology.  I immediately entered into my MS Program at URI and worked as a graduate assistant for an entry level biostatistics course during my first year and then as a research assistant with National Marine Fisheries Service’s Apex Predator Program. I completed my Masters in 1994 and moved to Georgia with my husband (a 22 yr. veteran of the US Navy’s Submarine Service) who had been stationed at Kings Bay Naval Base.  

I have worked for the state of Georgia since 1996.  I was hired as a biologist with GADNR’s Coastal Resources Division to assist with data analyses associated with shrimp, crab and whelk.  I also assisted with fishery-independent survey work on board the R/V Anna where I learned about the diverse fish species associated with Georgia’s estuaries.  In 2000, I has hired by the University of Georgia’s Marine Extension Service.  While employed there, I began my PhD program under the guidance of Dr. Cecil Jennings in the Warnell School and completed it in 2008. In 2006, I returned to Coastal Resources Division as a biologist in the Research and Surveys Program with primary responsibilities associated with data analysis and stock assessment. In 2011, I was promoted to program manager for Research and Surveys. I was promoted to Chief of the Marine Fisheries Section in 2018 and manage four work units which act together to balance the three prongs of fisheries management: Resource Users, Fish Stocks and Fish Habitat. Although Coastal Resources Division’s main focus is managing Georgia’ marine fisheries, we collaborate in interstate fisheries management with the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission and in federal fisheries management with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. I currently do not spend much time in the field; however, my primary interests are coastal shark species and general ecology of Georgia estuaries. 

Dr. Leslie Rubin, Southeast EPA Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit

Dr. Leslie Rubin is a Pediatrician, Research MD, Co-Director of the Southeast EPA Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) (,  

Founder of Break the Cycle Annual Conference (,  and serves in many capacities at the Marcus institute and Emory University School of Medicine. Dr Rubin is an expert in understanding and treating children with exposure to harmful chemicals, but has also examined other factors that impact children who may have had exposure to harmful contaminants. Dr Rubin also serves as a Stakeholder Advisory member for the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health “HERCULES” NIEHS Research Program which is exploring a variety of ways better serve the health of communities through community engagement and participatory research  (, and lifetime environmental exposures.

Thursday Lunch Plenary Session: Georgia’s Land, Georgia’s Future

What is the future of our state? What pathways exist for actions that balance the health of our ecology and economy? Georgia looks very different than it did several decades ago. We’ve added millions of new Georgians, with millions more projected to join us. This growth has placed increased pressures on our land to house, feed, and sustain us, heightening the importance of thoughtful and intentional decisions around use of our land, a finite resource. An unprecedented 50-year landcover change study by Georgia Conservancy and Georgia Tech’s Center for Spatial Planning and Visualization details how and where Georgia’s land has been converted from forest, agricultural, and wetlands to developed uses. An overview of this research by Georgia Conservancy will create the foundation for a panel discussion by leadership from Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Forestry Foundation and evTerra Recycling on sustaining resources necessary for Georgia’s future economic and ecological functioning.

Rick Dunn, Georgia EPD

Rick Dunn was appointed Director of the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in 2016. He has over 20 years’ experience in Georgia state government, having previously served in leadership positions at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. Prior to his career in public service, Dunn taught courses on politics and public policy at Dickinson College and College of Charleston.  

Jeff Gloyd, evTerra Recycling

Jeff Gloyd is the President of evTerra Recycling, a leading national ewaste recycling company. He has over two decades of experience working in the waste and recycling industry. Previous to evTerra Recycling, Jeff was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at URT, the third largest e-waste processor in the US, worked at the corporate office of Waste Management, and earlier in his career gained experience managing a regional hazardous waste program and landfill operation in Wisconsin. Mr. Gloyd has served on the Board of Directors of the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association for over 13 years. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He currently lives in Houston, TX.

Katherine Moore, Georgia Conservancy

Katherine Moore, AICP, serves as Georgia Conservancy’s President. She has worked in the community development and natural resources fields for 25 years, including the past 13 years at Georgia Conservancy. Her experience spans from regulatory work to advocacy on behalf of legislation and projects she has managed range from rural, suburban to urban landscapes. Georgia Conservancy is a statewide conservation organization promoting sustainability in the built and natural environments, pursuing a Georgia where all people and the environment thrive. For 55 years, Georgia Conservancy has sought and achieved advancement of land conservation, land stewardship, and sustainable land use. Katherine can be reached at

Nick DiLuzio, Georgia Forestry Foundation

Nick DiLuzio is the Vice President of the Georgia Forestry Foundation. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the operations and programs of the Foundation, which is focused on ensuring the longevity of Georgia’s 22 million acres of working forests by maximizing Georgia’s working forests as a solution to our nation’s greatest challenges. Nick’s role includes overseeing the Foundation’s three programmatic areas (Education and Leadership, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Competitiveness), leading the Foundation’s fundraising and development efforts, and engaging with stakeholders and partners across the state and the country. Nick has extensive experience in project management, stakeholder engagement, grant administration, data visualization, and technical communication. Prior to joining GFF in July 2021, Nick spent 11 years with NewFields, a boutique environmental consulting and engineering firm headquartered in Atlanta, where he was a Partner in the firm. He can be reached at