Featured Speakers

1Dr. Carol Kwiatkowski, Executive Director of TEDX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange, and an Assistant Professor Adjunct at the University of Colorado Boulder.

“Natural Gas Development, Public Health and Protecting the Most Vulnerable Populations”

Dr. Kwiatkowski will be speaking about the public health implications of NGD, with an emphasis on air pollution and the risks they might hold for vulnerable populations, including children and pregnant women.

Dr. Kwiatkowski will be speaking on Monday, April 21st at 2pm ET.

TEDX is dedicated to compiling and disseminating scientific evidence on the health and environmental damage caused by low-level exposure to chemicals, primarily those that interfere with hormone, or endocrine, action, otherwise known as endocrine disruptors. TEDX was also one of the first organizations to begin identifying and sharing health information on chemicals used in unconventional natural gas development (NGD).

Dr. Kwiatkowski oversees the development and execution of all of TEDX’s programs. Prior to working at TEDX she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado. Her training in behavioral science began at the College of William and Mary where she received her BA, followed by a PhD from the University of Denver.

During her time at TEDX, she has created the Critical Windows of Development website, which presents a timeline of how the human body develops in the womb, with animal research showing when low-dose exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) during development results in altered health outcomes. She was a 2011 Fellow in the Reach the Decision Makers
program at UCSF. She is co-author on numerous peer-reviewed papers, two of which focus on natural gas development. She recently testified before the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission on the health effects of natural gas development.

2Dr. Jerome A. Paulson, MD, Children’s National Health System

“Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction and Special Vulnerabilities for Children”

As a nationally renowned expert on issues relating to the environment and its impact on children’s health, including lead paint poisoning, hydraulic fracturing, mold, asthma, TSCA government and regulatory issues, Dr. Paulson will be speaking about the unique physiology of children and the potential health implications of unconventional natural gas extraction for infants and children.

Dr. Paulson will be speaking on Monday, April 28th at 2pm ET.

Jerome A. Paulson, MD is Professor of Pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and Professor of Environmental & Occupational Health at the GW School of Public Health & Health Services. He is the Medical Director for National & Global Affairs of the Child Health Advocacy Institute and director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at the Children’s National Health System.

Dr. Paulson is the chairperson of the executive committee of the Council on Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics. He served on the Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee for the US Environmental Protection Agency. In October 2004 he was a Dozor Visiting Professor at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel. He lectured there and throughout Israel on children’s environmental health. He was a recipient of a Soros Advocacy Fellowship for Physicians from the Open Society Institute and worked with the Children’s Environmental Health Network. He has also served as a special assistant to the director of the National Center on Environmental Health of the CDC working on children’s environmental health issues. He has served on numerous boards and committees related to children’s environmental health, has chaired or been on the steering committee of many meetings about children’s environmental health, and has published and edited papers, book chapters and journals on the topic.

3Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE)

“Susceptibility During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know”

With experience with pregnancy and environmental health problems, Ms. Huffling will be speaking about the susceptibility of women and fetuses during pregnancy in connection to unconventional natural gas drilling.

Ms. Huffling will be speaking on Monday, May 5th at 12pm ET. 

Katie Huffling is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and is the Director of Programs for the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments where she directors projects related to environmental health nursing practice, research, education, and policy and advocacy.

Katie Huffling is part of a national and international network of nurses that work to integrate environmental health into nursing education and provide guidance and resources to pregnant women, parents, and others about health risks to children and their families.

Ms. Huffling has also written numerous peer-reviewed articles on environmental health problems and how they relate to pregnancy. In addition, she has developed an assessment tool for nurses and other clinicians to assess for environmental exposures of pregnant women. In 2011, she was a fellow for Reach the Decision Makers program at the UCSF Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment.



David O. Carpenter, MD, Institute for Health and the Environment, State University at Albany

“Environmental Exposures & Reduced Cognitive Function in Children”

Dr. Carpenter will focus on environmental exposures that are known to result in reduced cognitive function in children, usually associated with shortened attention span, increased antisocial behavior and poorer performance in school. This includes a variety of exposures. The best studied exposures are to lead, methyl mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), but there is a growing body of information indicating that similar changes occur with particulate air pollution, active and passive smoking, arsenic, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, other currently used pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and perfluorinated compounds. There are probably others as well. With regard to chemicals from fracking sites, there is a long history of neurologic problems secondary to exposure to volatile organic compounds and reports of similar symptoms of individuals living near to fracking sites.

Dr. Carpenter will be speaking on Monday, May 12th at 2pm ET.

David O. Carpenter is a public health physician whose current position is Director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, as well as Professor of Environmental Health Sciences within the School of Public Health at the University at Albany.

After receiving his MD degree from Harvard Medical School he chose a career of research and public health.  After research positions at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, he came to Albany in 1980 as the Director of the Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research of the New York State Department of Health, the third largest public health laboratory in the US after NIH and CDC.  In an effort to build ties to an academic program, he initiated efforts to create a partnership between the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany, resulting in the creation of the School of Public Health in 1985.  He was then appointed as the founding Dean of the School of Public Health, a position he held until 1998 when he became the Director of the Institute of Health and the Environment.

Dr. Carpenter’s research initially was basic neurobiology, and more recently has primarily been the study of human disease resulting from exposure to environmental contaminants.  He has more than 300 peer reviewed publications and has edited five books.

Beginning in 1986 he directed a large, interdisciplinary research study on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), funded by the Superfund Basic Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health. The investigations included health studies of the Mohawks, animal toxicology studies of effects of PCBs on the nervous, immune and endocrine systems and metabolism, determination of levels of PCBs in human body fluids, animals from the region, soils, sediments, air and water and investigation of several methods for destruction and removal of PCBs from contaminated soils, sediments and water.

Dr. Carpenter has also conducted health effects studies of other PCB-exposed populations, including an Alaskan Native population living on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska (funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the US Environmental Protection Agency), residents of Anniston, Alabama who live near to the Monsanto plant that manufactured PCBs (funded by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) and people living along the PCB-contaminated portions of the Hudson River in New York and the Housatonic River in Massachusetts. In addition, he has investigated the distribution of various human diseases in relation to residence near hazardous waste sites.

bio pic 3Sheila Bushkin-Bedient, MD, MPH, Institute for Health and the Environment, State University at Albany

“Environmental Toxins and Their Link to Metabolic Disorders  and Chronic Diseases”

Dr. Bushkin will be speaking on the prenatal origins of disease and why we should be focusing on studying possible connections between unconventional natural gas extraction and diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

Dr. Bushkin-Bedient will be presenting on Monday, May 19th at 1pm ET.

Dr. Sheila Bushkin is a member of the Institute of Health and the Environment at the State University at Albany, and Concerned Health Professionals of New York.  She has been a member of the Medical Society of the State of New York for 15 years.

Dr. Bushkin has become a dedicated advocate for the advancement of public health and preventive medicine. Her specific areas of interest involve environmental health issues, chronic diseases, health concerns of older adults, and CME  for physicians.   She has served on numerous committees dealing with public health education and advocacy.

In addition, she has authored and co-authored and lectured extensively on a wide range of environmental health issues (including, exposure to chemical contaminants and ionizing radiation in early childhood associated with cancer later in life, the public health risks associated with hydraulic fracturing, the health risks and benefits of consuming fish from contaminated waters), healthy aging, chronic diseases and the Chronic Care Model, childhood obesity and school nutrition, influenza and pandemics, emerging infectious diseases, viral hemorrhagic fevers,  bioterrorism and disaster  preparedness,  and the mental health impact of disasters.

Lisa McKenzie, PhDLisa McKenzie, PhD, MPH, Colorado School of Public Health

“Birth Outcomes and Maternal Residential Proximity to Natural Gas Development in Rural Colorado”

Dr. McKenzie’s research has contributed to the understanding of how air pollutants and other exposures affect the health people living in natural gas development areas. Dr. McKenzie will be speaking about the findings in her most recent study assessing birth outcomes and proximity to natural gas development regions in rural Colorado.

Dr. McKenzie will be speaking on Monday, June 2nd at 4pm ET.

Dr. Lisa McKenzie is a Research Associate at the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH) on the University of Colorado Denver’s Anschutz Medical Campus.  She holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Colorado, an MPH in Epidemiology from the CSPH, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Montana.  Her research focuses on human exposures to chemicals in air and resulting health outcomes, as well as health effects associated with climate change.   She teaches graduate level and undergraduate level courses in risk assessment and environmental health.  She began her career as an analytical chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency and has worked for many years in the private sector as a human health risk assessor and chemist.

Dr. McKenzie was a co-investigator on a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) which assessed potential health effects associated with a proposed natural gas development project, as well as the principal author of the supporting human health risk assessment published in Science of the Total Environment (March 2012). Her most recent study on birth outcomes in areas with natural gas development was published in Environmental Health Perspectives in April 2014.  Dr. McKenzie has testified before the United States Congress and the Denver Metropolitan Regional Air Quality Council on the public health implications of natural gas development.