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Recent Projects

 

recent.PACTClient: Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT Program at Mass General Hospital
Projects: Community Crises and Disasters: A Parent’s Guide to Talking with Children of All Ages
Description: 124 pages, 8x10 perfect-bound paperback book

For more than a decade, the Marjorie E. Korff Parenting At a Challenging Time (PACT) Program at Massachusetts General Hospital has provided parent guidance consultation to parents, and their partners, who are facing cancer or other life-threatening medical illnesses. The PACT team includes child psychiatrists, psychologists, and an oncology social worker. They bring training in child development, temperament, family dynamics, and effective parenting techniques to each consultation. I recently collaborated with PACT on a resource guide for parents and professionals, Community Crises and Disasters: A Parent’s Guide to Talking with Children of All Ages. It is designed as a resource that parents can turn to in a time of crisis, or ideally, in advance of a crisis. It provides practical information about children’s reactions, and ideas about how to support their healthy coping. This 100-plus-page how-to book was on an extremely tight schedule. In addition to designing the project, I managed all aspects of the production process, hiring both an illustrator (John Berry) and copyeditor (Debra Simes), and arranging for printing (Recycled Paper Printing, Boston).

 

recent.csqClient: Cultural Survival
Project: Cultural Survival Quarterly
Description: 32-page quarterly, 4-color, 8.5x11 booklet

In my youth, I invested a lot of time volunteering for a nonprofit, traveling, progressive bookstore that I helped found in Amherst, Mass. Food for Thought Books was one of the first distributors of a new publication, Cambridge-based Cultural Survival Quarterly. Thirty-plus years later, I was honored with the task of its redesign. So much publishing has shifted to the Web that it’s now rare for organizations to make major investments in print periodicals. It’s refreshing to work with a group so committed to a print publication as a centerpiece of its work. Shown here is one of the recent covers.
     From the website of the publication’s nonprofit parent, Cultural Survival: “Under the guidance of our Indigenous-led Program Council, Cultural Survival partners with Indigenous communities to defend their rights and sustain their cultures. We help develop the knowledge, advocacy tools, and strategic partnerships they need to protect their rights. Every Cultural Survival program is designed to become self-sustaining and run entirely by the Indigenous community.”
     For more information about Cultural Survival, visit their website at www.cs.org.

 

Client: Armenia Tree Project
Project: East Coast Fundraiser Collateral Materials
Description: Various print pieces

Recently, long-time client The Armenia Tree Project organized its East Coast fundraiser at the John J. Moakley Courthouse in Boston. “Since its inception in 1994, ATP has planted more than 4.5 million trees, established three nurseries and two environmental education centers, and greened villages, churches, parks, and open spaces throughout Armenia. In the process, the organization has provided employment for hundreds of people and provided vital resources to thousands of villagers throughout the country.”
      I worked on all of the outreach and event materials — a total of 15–20 print pieces, including an invitation with a built-in pocket, inserts, letters, envelopes, event program, art catalog (for the event auction), signage, a menu, a folder, and even placecards. The organizing committee wanted materials that would fit the festivities — “classy” but not overly formal, with some “earthy” qualities. Puritan Press did a phenomenal job of working with some very challenging designs. Sadly, I couldn’t make it to the event, but I’m told it was very successful.

 

recent.CFMwebClient: Coggeshall Farm Museum
Project: Website
Description: 30-plus pages, re-invented from scratch

When Cindy Elder, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s communications coordinator, announced she was leaving her job of several years, I was both surprised and sad. I knew she loved her job and she was quite good at it. But when her dream job landed in her lap, she had to say yes. As a child she frequented the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Set on 48 acres of coastal farmland, Coggeshall recreates the daily experience of 1790s tenant farmers on a salt marsh farm through live interpretation, historic structures, heirloom plants and heritage-breed animals. As Coggeshall’s new executive director, Cindy was kind enough to take me along for the ride — so I don’t have to miss her. Our first project was re-inventing the Museum’s website. We started from scratch and created an effective (and, I think, attractive) site.
     We are always telling prospective web clients how easy MODX — the content manage system we prefer — is to use. This project stands out as a testament to that. I designed a strong, intuitive structure, and Michael (my programmer) built a solid, intuitive back end. We constructed the homepage and perhaps another half dozen internal pages. The remaining pages were placeholders. Cindy, after an hour and a half training with me by phone, worked on her own to create the other 25-plus pages. We did some fine-tuning before going live but she did the bulk of the heavy lifting with very little guidance.

 

recent.CESAimpactsClient: Clean Energy States Alliance
Project: Clean Energy Champions: The Importance of State Programs and Policies
Description: 124-page report, 4-color, 8.5x11

Although the transition of America’s electric power generation from fossil fuels to renewable energy is still in its early stages, we would not be nearly as far along — and would not be poised to make nearly as much progress in the coming decades — if individual states had not created and implemented policies and programs to advance clean energy. This report, prepared by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), describes and extols the many important ways in which states across the nation are advancing clean energy generation. Some state programs are relatively well known, such as renewable portfolio standards and rebates for purchasing solar panels. But the states have had significant impacts in other less obvious, less recognized ways.
     Without the states’ commitment to clean energy practices, there would not be nearly as much electricity generation from wind, solar, biomass, and other clean energy technologies. Moreover, there would be far fewer clean energy jobs. Three pillars — the states, the federal government, and the private sector — have all played crucial roles in starting to reshape the nation’s electricity system over the past two decades. By showing how state policies and programs have been essential, this report makes the case that the state pillar needs to remain strong. The states have pursued many paths to the robust clean energy expansion underway today. Because the federal government has not dictated a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach, the states have innovated and experimented with their own clean energy policies and programs.
    The report includes 31 case studies, highlighting various successful programs in states throughout the nation.
    Working on this report was a challenge. We had very little time to prepare it. Maria Blais Costello at CESA and I were in a race to supply each other with what we needed to keep the project rolling at breakneck speeds. Were it anyone else but Maria at the helm, I’m not sure we would have accomplished our goal.

 

Client: The HealthyStuff.org Project at The Ecology Center
Project: Hidden Passengers — Chemical Hazards in Children’s Car Seats
Description: 26-page report, 8.5x11 booklet

Multiple hours each week in a car seat: that’s normal for the average American baby or toddler. The seat has undergone extensive testing for its safety performance in crashes — but what about chemical safety? Child car seats must meet the same federal fire test requirements as car interiors. In practice, that means a suite of hazardous chemicals are added to the foams and fabrics of cars and car seats. The chemicals commonly used are not bound to the foam or fabric, so they migrate out of products and can be present in the air and dust in vehicles. Exposure can occur from ingestion of dust, inhalation, or by absorption through the skin.
     In early 2007, I designed the Ecology Center’s annual report, after having completed a website update, a couple of reports, and some collateral pieces for them. A few months ago, coincidentally on the same day I was reading about one of their projects in the Boston Globe, these many years later, the folks at the Ecology Center reached out to me, asking if I was interested in collaborating on a children’s car seats report. News flash — I’m always interested in working on reports. Fifteen car seats from 2014, representing 12 brands, were tested for known flame retardant chemicals and heavy metals, the results of which were presented in the report. Loved the work, loved the project.

 

Client: The Center for International Environmental Law
Project: (Mis)calculated Risk and Climate Change — Are Rating Agencies Repeating Credit Crisis Mistakes?
Description: 32-page report, 8.5x11 booklet

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) uses the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL is dedicated to advocacy in the global public interest through legal counsel, policy research, analysis, education, training, and capacity building.
     This report demonstrates that by not adequately accounting for climate risks, rating agencies could be repeating the mistakes of the credit crisis where risk was underestimated to the detriment of the global financial system.
     By not factoring in climate risk, credit rating agencies are assuming a business as usual approach to fossil fuel investment, which would result in 4° Celsius or greater warming of the planet. However, nearly 200 nations have agreed to limit global warming below 2°C, with a number of nations calling for below 1.5°C. Even as governments work together to achieve that goal that goal, there is a growing trend in international, national, business, consumer, legal, regulatory, and social efforts to mitigate climate change and avoid the current trajectory.
     In assuming a business as usual scenario, rating agencies may be artificially inflating the credit ratings and financial value of companies that contribute to global warming. This poses significant risks for investors, and the climate, and could expose rating agencies themselves to legal liability.

 

Client: Clean Air Task Force, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club
Project: Waste Not — Common Sense Ways to Reduce Methane Pollution from the Oil and Natural Gas Industry
Description: 78-page report, 8.5x11 booklet

The case for taking action on climate change has never been clearer: as the third National Climate Assessment states, the U.S. is already experiencing the effects of climate change, from increasing heat across the country to more extreme weather events totaling billions of dollars in damage. Given these impacts, and much worse to come, the cost of inaction to our health, environment, and economy is far too great, especially when effective and lowcost means for reducing climate-warming pollution are available now.
     This report shows how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can fulfill the agency’s duty under the Clean Air Act to cut by half dangerous, wasteful methane pollution from the largest industrial source — the oil and gas industry — in just a few years, using common sense standards based on available, low-cost control measures for a targeted set of pollution sources.
     With the widespread adoption of hydraulic fracturing and other unconventional techniques to produce natural gas and other hydrocarbons, the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has grown substantially in recent years. Crude oil production in the U.S. grew almost 50 percent from 2008 to 2013, while marketed domestic production of natural gas has increased 35 percent since 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This oil and gas development boom has heightened concerns about air pollution from the entire oil and gas supply chain — from production of oil and gas, to gas processing, transmission and distribution.