More information on your Chautauqua Institute expert will be available here at a later date.

Featured Site Visit Speakers 

In order to receive a balanced perspective of the impact of climate change on the community of New Orleans, you will be meeting a variety of speakers during your travels.

Below are the bios of some of your potential speakers. Please note, all speakers are subject to change and additional speakers may be added at a later date. A finalized speaker bio list will be provided to you in your Final Mailing.

Arthur Johnson was born in the Nation’s Capital but his roots are in New Orleans and date back to visits with his grandmother who lived in the Lower Ninth Ward on Fostall Street. Johnson grew up in Washington, DC, and earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from The George Washington University and the University of the District of Columbia, respectively. He relocated to New Orleans in 1999 where he has established himself as an accomplished fundraising professional and non-profit leader with a number of educational institutions and non-profit organizations. As the Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development’s Chief Executive Officer, Arthur is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization and works closely with staff and volunteers to advance CSED’s key initiatives focused on Food Security, the Natural Environment, and the Built Environment.

Barbara Johnson, MPA, is President and CEO of The Great Delta Company, a New Orleans-based community and economic development firm that provides consultant services and ecotour experiences that inspire stewardship, advocacy and engagement in building community resilience and economic prosperity. The eco-experiences created by The Great Delta Tours offer a unique, immersive and first-hand experience of the natural, cultural and economic richness and importance of coastal New Orleans. With over 20 years of experience as a practitioner, Barbara has held executive positions with GNO, Inc., the MetroVision Economic Development Partnership, and the Downtown Development District of New Orleans.

Dinah Maygarden is Research Associate and Director of Coastal Education Program at the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. She received a B.Sc. from the University of Wales and a M.A., Science Teaching from the University of New Orleans. Since 1997 she has worked at UNO implementing educational projects for K-12 and adult audiences to with the goal of increasing public understanding of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Ms. Maygarden brings real world, relevant science problems to explore with teachers, K-12 students, and adult learners.

Blaise Pezold is the Coastal and Environmental Program Manager for the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation. Blaise’ work focuses on restoring the Mississippi Delta via dredging, oyster reefs, and vegetative restoration projects. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, foraging, and searching for Heirloom seeds. Learn more at

Don Robin is owner of Robin Seafood, one of the largest oyster harvesters in Louisiana. Don’s business is located on the picturesque banks of Bayou la Loutre in Ycloskey, LA, a hub of Louisiana’s fishing industry that produces the second largest seafood catch in America. The Robins represent six generations of Islenos families recruited from the Canary Islands to Louisiana in the late nineteenth century. The Robins have survived hurricanes and other disasters to supply restaurants and markets in New Orleans with the seafood that has made the City famous for its cuisine.