High Holidays | Local

High Holiday profiles: Local environmentalists’ passion stems from Jewish roots, family

A view of the Arizona Desert Laboratory from atop Tumamoc Hill, with the sprawl of Tucson beyond it. (Photo Paul Mirocha)

The year 2020 has brought us face-to-face with many significant obstacles, from the global coronavirus pandemic to issues of racial injustice. Among the challenges that we are confronting is climate change, which forces us to ask ourselves, “How will we leave the environment for future generations?”

In time for the High Holidays, always a season of reflection and renewal, the Arizona Jewish Post presents profiles of seven local men and women whose passion for a healthy environment dovetails with their Jewish sense of justice.

Joaquin Ruiz, Ph.D.

Joaquin Ruiz heads the University of Arizona’s new Global Environmental Futures plan.

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Lori Ann Burd

Lori Ann Burd, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, fights to protect endangered species and safeguard human health.

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Gregg Garfin, Ph.D.

Gregg Garfin, a UArizona researcher, is co-lead author for the Southwest chapter in the Fourth National Climate Assessment, submitted to Congress in 2018.

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Neil Markowitz

Neil Markowitz founded Tucson’s Environmental Education Exchange to advance children’s environmental literacy.

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Sharon Megdal, Ph.D.

Sharon Megdal, director of the UArizona Water Resources Research Center, connects the arid lands of Southern Arizona and the Middle East.

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Benjamin Wilder, Ph.D.

Benjamin Wilder, a Tucson native, directs the UArizona Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill.

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Esther Sternberg, M.D.

Esther Sternberg, a medical researcher at UArizona, explores how physical environments affect mental and physical health.

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