McGowan MG100
411 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
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Open to the Public

The Hayward Environmental Speaker Series presents:
Tools for Environmental Planners

Presentation by Steve Karamitros, Associate Environmental Planner, California Department of Transportation, and Essra Mostafavi, Senior Project Manager, Geode Environmental

Friday, April 28
McGowan 100

About the Topic: This talk provides an introduction to the conceptual framework of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) & the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and aims to guide IEP students who are oriented towards careers in domestic environmental planning. The topics introduced will include approaches for aligning project-environmental commitments with an organization’s strategic objectives, whether in the public regulatory sphere or consultancy in the private sector. An introduction to the spectrum of “adverse environmental effects,” will have students thinking like Environmental Planners, allowing them to create the avoidance, mitigation and minimization measures needed to remediate the impacts of various infrastructural and construction-related projects. An overview of the environmental assessment process, the specific resources under consideration, and the regulatory agencies involved in environmental planning will give students a crucial methodological foundation for entering the workforce as an Environmental Planner. We will also discuss the role “environmental consultancies” play as associates working alongside public regulators. Students will emerge with a firm grasp of how, as team-member associates or project managers, they can work with engineers and scientists to build deliverable projects that balance environmental stewardship with a project’s purpose and need.

About the Speakers: Essra was an Associate Environmental Planner with the State of California for three years. Subsequently, she became a Senior Project Manager with an environmental firm in the private sector. She is also the founder and president Geode Environmental, an environmental consulting firm. She served as Acting Country Director (Nigeria) for Winrock International. While there, she directed sustainable agricultural projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As a former MIIS alumnus she has worked on environmental issues related to watershed stewardship, agricultural development and transportation projects, including California’s proposed high-speed rail project. Her interests include the study of ecology and human rights protection, literature and spending time in nature. She lives near the Eastern Sierras with her husband, Steve.

Steve is currently an Associate Environmental Planner with the State of California. His work focuses on creating deliverable transportation-related construction projects that protect cultural and natural resources. His work takes engineering and design plans and runs them through various filters, such as the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, hazardous waste regulations, archaeological and cultural regulations, Environmental Justice (Executive Order 12898) and many others. A former MIIS alumnus, he has also worked on projects related to sustainable agriculture and energy in a variety of foreign countries, including Chile, Canada and Vietnam. His interests include critical theory, literature and philosophy. He enjoys hiking and climbing along the Eastern Sierras, where he currently resides with his wife, Essra.

Pre-Research for Participants: Participants are asked to research the California Environmental Quality Act & National Environmental Policy Act. Participants findings will be used as a point of departure for the discussion.

Lecture Location: The McGowan building is located at 411 Pacific Street, Monterey, CA 93940. The entrance is from Pacific Street, through a set of glass doors. Room 100 will be through the glass doors to the left, first room on the left.

Questions: Contact Rachel Christopherson at or 831-647-6615 x1.

Sponsored by:
ZZ Graduate School of International Policy and Management

Contact Organizer

Rachel Christopherson