April 8, 2011

Board of Directors

John Abraham

johnabrahamDr. Abraham has performed research in a wide variety of areas including renewable and sustainable energy generation and distribution and modeling of heat transfer and fluid flow processes. His work includes development of wind power, solar power, biofuels, and geothermal energy, and assessments of their potential to provide clean, renewable sources of power. Dr. Abraham is currently involved in a research project on ocean-temperature mapping; his work will improve our understanding of how ocean temperature rise as the Earth continues to warm.

Dr. Abraham frequently gives public lectures on the science of global warming. He is the co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team which works with media outlets to ensure accurate science is communicated to the broader public.

John Abraham is a professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas.  He has worked on climate-change education and renewable energy production for 15 years.  His studies include the impact of biofuels as a petroleum replacement, wind power generation, geothermal cooling, and bioreactor design.  He has testified to the MN Senate and has appeared in numerous media stories regarding climate change science.


Christie Manning


christieDr. Christie Manning has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in Cognitive and Biological Psychology from the University of Minnesota.  She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Psychology at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research and teaching explore the cognitive, social and situational factors that influence people’s behavioral and lifestyle choices and how these choices positively or negatively impact natural systems.  She is particularly interested in people’s cognitive and emotional response to information about climate change.  Christie conducts yearly survey studies on Minnesotans’ attitudes toward sustainability and ecological behavior, collecting data at the State Fair in collaboration with fellow Psychologists at the University of St. Thomas.

In her non-work life, Christie is an avid biker- both for recreation and commuting.  She is also an enthusiastic but haphazard vegetable gardener.


John Howard

John Howard graduated from Edina High School in 2006 and St. Olaf College in 2010. While in his senior year of high school, he took an environmental science course and learned about climate change and other environmental issues. He continued studying the environment in college and he became increasingly concerned about the impending climate crisis. He is passionate about having a planet to live on and being a good environmental steward. He enjoys reading and playing ping pong in his spare time.

Mindy Ahler 

Mindy Ahler  is Co-Director of Cool Planet and has worked with Ten Thousand Villages retail in St. Paul, Youth Environmental Activists (YEA! MN), Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light and St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.  Mindy has a strong personal commitment to the environment and social justice and believes that we are called to live harmoniously with all of creation. She is a member of the Eco-Spirituality Committee at St. Joan of Arc and is an organic gardener and a year-round bicycle commuter.

Paul Thompson

Co-founder and Co-Director of Cool Planet, Paul was born and raised in Mpls MN steeped in middle class comfort and opportunities.
He Joined the Peace Corps after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1970. Taught high school biology and health science in Sabah, North Borneo for 3 years before traveling from Bali, Indonesia to Mazar-Sharif, Afghanistan via 10 SE Asian Countries and fulfilling his childhood dream of visiting and exploring the Mt. Everest region in Nepal.
40 years later, his passion for ending hunger and poverty has been wedded with moving humanity towards peaceful, sustainable living in building a Climate Solutions Movement.
A Senior Grand Master Flying Disc Champion, Paul’s passion for using frisbee play to bring people together to experience fun and connection is his unique form of invitation to get people involved.

Sean Gosiewski

Program Director for Alliance for Sustainability