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Climate Change: Disrupting Lives, Lands, and Communities Around the World
April 05

Climate Change: Disrupting Lives, Lands, and Communities Around the World

03:00 pm - 04:30 pm. Time zone: America/New_York

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Date Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Location Hannaford Hall, University of S. Maine, Portland, ME


The climate around the world is changing, contributing to droughts, floods, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. In some nations, water and food shortages have been linked to political instability and forced migration. Some recent immigrants to Maine have left their homelands because of such instability. Hearing their perspectives helps all of us better understand the long-term impacts of climate change, as unfolding environmental and humanitarian crises.

Join us for a roundtable discussion with Lt. General Castellaw and Esther Babson of the American Security Project and New Mainers from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo who have perspectives to share about how climate change is impacting their homelands.

Co-sponsored by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, American Security Project, and the World Affairs Council of Maine.





Speaker Biographies:

Lieutenant General John Castellaw, USMC (Ret)

John “Glad” Castellaw is co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Farmspace Systems LLC., a provider of aerial (drone) services and equipment.

Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, Martin (UTM), he led Marines around the world while flying more than two dozen different aircraft. During his 36-year career, he served with the UN during the Siege of Sarajevo, commanded the American force in the multi-national security and stability operation in East Timor, and was the chief of staff for the U.S. Central Command at the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also commanded Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (REINFORCED), Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. His last tours were in the Pentagon as head of Marine Aviation and then overseeing the Marine Corps budget.

Following his return to his Tennessee family farm, Castellaw co-founded the non-profit Crockett Policy Institute. As the former president, he created the “SOLDIER 2 CIVILIAN” program to help veterans find jobs in precision agriculture. Active in the local community, he is a director for the Bank of Crockett and serves with regional economic organizations.

Castellaw, a recognized national security expert, is a member of the USGLC National Security Advisory Council, lectures on National Security at UTM, serves on several Washington, DC based groups including the Nuclear Security Working Group (NSWG), the American Security Project Consensus, and the Climate Security Working Group (CSWG). He also consults with major defense firms and a Hollywood film company.

His honors, in addition to several military decorations, include membership in the UTM Army Reserve Officer Training Corps Hall of Fame, selection as the 1990 Marine Aviator of the Year, and as a recipient of the 2016 R. Clayton McWhorter Innovation Award given by the Ned Ray McWherter Institute. He was awarded the Order of Timor Leste (East Timor) by Prime Minister de Araujo for his service in restoring peace and security to that country.

Castellaw has provided commentary for various media outlets including the BBC, El Arabia, The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal, The Knoxville News Sentinel, The Jackson Sun, and The Washington Times. He recently appeared in a National Geographic Network series on climate security.


Esther Babson, American Security Project

Esther Babson is the Program Manager of Climate Security at the American Security Project. Her expertise centers around the nexus of climate and security, particularly in regards to climate change’s ability to act as a threat multiplier causing instability around the world. She has a Masters in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University where she completed a thesis on the impact of climate change on security in South Asia. As part of her studies, she participated in field research in Nepal for a month, during which she studied the current and anticipated impacts of climate change on Nepal and current adaptation measures.

Esther received her Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies from Dickinson College. While attending Dickinson College, Esther attended the UN COP 17 in Durban, South Africa where she interviewed delegates and climate change and security experts in order to create a database of interviews on the subject of the Kyoto Protocol. Prior to working at ASP, Esther worked for the American Hotel and Lodging Association and Clean Currents, a wind energy supplier.