Tuesday Plenary Speakers

James Rattling Leaf, Sr.

James Rattling Leaf is a Global Indigenous Consultant and Principal of the Wolakota Lab, LLC who works to support leaders to work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples through the effective and respective application of traditional ecological knowledge and western science. He has over 25 years’ working with the US federal government, higher education institutions and non-profits to develop and maintain effective working relationships with federally and non-federally recognized American Indian tribes, tribal colleges and universities and tribal communities. He specializes in developing programs that utilize the interface between Indigenous people’s traditional knowledge and western science. He sees a greater vision of human knowledge that incorporates the many insights of human cultures and provides a context for our better understanding of the planet and the world. Currently, he has projects with the Environmental Science Data Innovation and Inclusion Lab; North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center; Rosebud Sioux Tribe; GEO Indigenous Alliance; and the Ecological Society of America Traditional Ecological Knowledge Section. He is a citizen of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and has a degree from Sinte Gleska University.

Chad Berginnis

Chad Berginnis, CFM became executive director of ASFPM in July 2012, after joining the association staff as associate director in 2011. Since 2000, he served the association as Insurance Committee chair, Mitigation Policy Committee coordinator, vice-chair, and chair. He has a Bachelor of Science in natural resources from Ohio State University. Since 1993, his work has focused on floodplain management, hazard mitigation and land use planning at the state, local and private sector level. As a state official, Berginnis worked in the Ohio Floodplain Management Program and was Ohio’s state hazard mitigation officer. As a local official, Berginnis administered planning, economic development and floodplain management programs in Perry County, Ohio. In the private sector, he was the national practice leader in hazard mitigation for Michael Baker Jr. Inc.

Zachary (Zach) Penney

Zachary (Zach) Penney is a NOAA Senior Advisor, with a focus on fisheries and tribal engagement.

Before joining the NOAA team, Penney was serving as the Fishery Science Department Manager at the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in Portland, Oregon. Penney is Nimiipuu, a member of the Nez Perce Tribe, and has devoted his professional career to conserving native fish, protecting tribal/indigenous fisheries, and ensuring tribal treaty and trust responsibilities are upheld. In 2021, Penney was a recipient of the Emmeline Moore Prize from the American Fisheries Society for his efforts towards promoting demographic diversity and inclusion within the society. Prior to Penney’s role at Columbia Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, he served as a legislative fellow for Representative Jared Huffman (CA-2).

Zach holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, an M.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences from the University of Victoria and a B.S. in Fisheries from Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska.

Wednesday Plenary Speakers

Moderator: Shavonne Smith
Director of the Shinnecock Environmental Department

Shavonne Smith currently works for the Shinnecock Indian Nation Environmental Department. She oversees the daily operations of the department, plans and implements community outreach programming, and guides the development of the environmental program for the tribe. The Environmental Department staff work on behalf of the Shinnecock Indian Nation to protect human health by partnering with agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as with NGOs. The staff develop and implement plans to address the Shinnecock Nation’s concerns in the areas of water quality, air quality, solid waste management, wildlife habitat preservation, and Climate Change Resiliency. Ms. Smith graduated from SUNY Empire State College.

Paul M. Scholz, Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management

Paul M. Scholz is Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Ocean Service (NOS). As the Deputy Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management at NOAA, Mr. Scholz oversees the financial, administrative, and performance activities across NOS to address the evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our ocean, coasts, and coastal communities. His portfolio focuses on NOS’s conservation and stewardship mission, with particular emphasis on coastal resilience, coastal zone management, coastal ocean science, marine sanctuaries, estuarine research reserves, response and restoration, and related activities.

Mr. Scholz has over 25 years of experience at NOAA. He previously served as the Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, where he provided executive direction, oversight, and guidance for NOS operations and for financial, human resources, and administrative activities to support and manage a staff of over 2,200 federal and contract employees and over $620 million in federal financial resources.He also served as the deputy director in NOS’s Office for Coastal Management, providing leadership and support for all new office integration efforts since the office’s inception in 2014. Mr. Scholz served for 17 years in the NOAA Coastal Services Center, including seven years as the Management and Budget Division director and 11 years as director of the Coastal Management Services Division.

Mr. Scholz holds a master’s degree in marine science from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management from Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining NOAA, Mr. Scholz was a Knauss Fellow in Marine Policy, director of International Coastal Programs for the University of South Carolina, and began his public service career as a Peace Corps aquaculture volunteer in Ecuador.

Mr. Scholz has had a number of detail assignments, including serving as director for the National Weather Service’s Climate Services Division, where he led the implementation of their Climate Services Program. He has also served as Deputy for NOS’s Office of Response and Restoration, in the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research’s Climate Program Office, and at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he conducted an executive evaluation of the Flood Map Modernization program.

John Mosley
Pacific Regional Geospatial Coordinator, Bureau of Indian Affairs

John Mosley is the Regional Geospatial Coordinator for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Pacific Regional Office. Mosley has a tribal affiliation with the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, Oglala Sioux, Bishop Paiute, Walker Paiute, and Fort Peck Assiniboine. John completed his undergraduate work at the University of Nevada and has over 20 years of experience working in GIS. John has used his experience to assist the Pacific Region LTRO, Realty, and Wildland Fire and Fuels programs.

Nicole Bartlett, NOAA North Atlantic Regional Coordinator

Nicole Bartlett, NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Coordinator, has worked at NOAA since 2003, first as a survey statistician working with recreational and charter fishermen to estimate recreational landings, then as a recreational fisheries coordinator for the Pacific Islands in Hawaii. In 2009, she and her family moved to Woods Hole, MA where she became NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Coordinator. In this position she serves as a translator and connector, bringing NOAA and its partners together to help the nation tackle the climate crisis; integrate equity into NOAA operations; and promote economic development while maintaining environmental stewardship. While at NOAA she has completed temporary assignments as the Chief of Staff for NOAA’s polar satellite program in 2012, and strategic planning lead for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in 2015.

Nicole holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Seton Hill University, a graduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing a PhD in environmental science from UMass Boston’s School for the Environment. Her areas of interest include engagement, the equitable provision of NOAA products and services, and in particular, the leveraging of satellite-based earth observations for coastal monitoring and community resilience. Prior to joining NOAA, Nicole worked as a congressional district staffer for several years in her native Pennsylvania, and a survey research consultant. She is Vice President for the Northeast Regional Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS) Board of Directors, and in her 6th year on the Mashpee School Committee. She and her husband John have two children and live on Cape Cod, MA.

Jacquelyn Overbeck, Alaska Regional Geospatial Coordinator, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

Jacquelyn Overbeck is the Alaska Regional Geospatial Coordinator with the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. She provides technical assistance and coordination support for coastal geospatial projects and initiatives spanning Alaska’s 66,000 miles of coastline. Jacqueline works with Alaska Native communities, tribes, and tribal organizations to ensure coastal geospatial projects meet user needs and help to answer critical questions regarding flooding, erosion, and permafrost degradation as these hazards relate to protecting communities in place, managed retreat, and relocation.