Crises in the Ocean: How Compassionate Action Benefits Us All

Featuring Gene Baur, Jonathan Balcombe and Kate Mackey

(and a vegan cooking demo by Joni Marie Newman)
Saturday April 29, 2017

  • 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. : Speaker and panel discussion
  • 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. : Cooking and compost demo, book signing and lunch
  • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. People’s Climate March – Orange County

Note: If you plan to attend ONLY the 2-4 pm climate march, please register on that site: RSVP separately for the People’s Climate March (only)


Get updates on parking info and any changes.


Lunch Menu
Surf & Turf Taco Plate

Surf: Fish-y Tacos
Hijiki seaweed infused rice ‘fish’-filets, cabbage slaw, radish relish & Tartar sauce made with aquafaba

Turf: Chickpea Tacos Tradicional
Traditional Mexican style street tacos filled with taco spiced chickpeas, with cabbage, diced onions, cilantro, and a chipotle crema made with aquafaba.
Cilantro Lime Rice & Beans

*Shared equipment, vinegar used

Lunch Info
Compostable supplies for lunch will be provided, however, reducing waste by bringing your own cloth napkin, re-useable plate, utensils, beverage container are all strongly encouraged and greatly appreciated.
Seating during lunch will be available inside and outside. Please consider bringing a blanket to sit on for outdoor seating.

Irvine United Congregational Church
4915 Alton Pkwy, Irvine, CA 92604

Parking is allowed at Irvine United Congregational Church,
St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church (next door to IUCC).
Parking is limited—carpooling is encouraged!

Gene Baur

Gene Baur has been hailed as “the conscience of the food movement” by Time magazine. For more than 25 years he has traveled extensively around the country, campaigning to raise awareness about the abuses of industrialized factory farming and our current food system.

A pioneer in the field of undercover investigations, Gene has visited hundreds of farms, stockyards, and slaughterhouses documenting their deplorable conditions. His pictures and videos exposing factory farming cruelties have aired nationally and internationally, educating millions about the plight of modern farm animals.

Gene has also testified in courts and before local, state, and federal legislative bodies, advocating for better conditions for farm animals. His most important achievements include winning the first-ever cruelty conviction at a U.S. stockyard and introducing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming confinement methods in Florida, Arizona, and California. His efforts have been covered by top news organizations, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2008, Gene’s book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food, became a national bestseller.

Gene, who began his activist career selling veggie hotdogs out of a VW van at Grateful Dead concerts to fund farm animal rescues, is currently Farm Sanctuary’s president. With shelters in New York and California, Farm Sanctuary provides rescue, refuge, and adoption for hundreds of farm animals each year, enabling visitors to connect with farm animals as emotional, intelligent individuals. Gene believes these animals stand as ambassadors for the billions on factory farms who have no voice, and he has dedicated his career to advocating on their behalf. Gene holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University, Northridge, and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University.

Jonathan Balcombe, Ph.D.

Jonathan Balcombe was born in England, raised in New Zealand and Canada, and has lived in the United States since 1987.

He has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee, where he studied communication in bats. He has published over 50 scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection.

Read more about Jonathan Balcombe

Katherine Mackey, Ph.D.

Dr. Katherine (Kate) Mackey is an oceanographer whose research and findings in marine biogeochemistry are progressive and pioneering. Mackey is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. Her current research focus is on the biological, chemical, and physical processes that govern the ocean’s response to natural and human-caused global change. In particular, her lab studies phytoplankton, the microscopic marine plants that form the base of the aquatic food web and that generate half the oxygen we breathe through photosynthesis. She leads a large, dynamic lab of talented graduate and undergraduate students who work together and share a passion for research, teaching, and science outreach.

Mackey was named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Ocean Sciences in 2017, and was awarded the inaugural Marion Milligan Mason Award for Women in the Chemical Sciences by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2015. Mackey completed postdoctoral research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Cape Cod Massachusetts, where she was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 2004 and 2010, respectively, and held graduate research fellowships from both the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. She earned two B.S. degrees in Biological Engineering and Plant Science in 2002 at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Mackey is the author of over 40 scholarly research papers, which have appeared in journals such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Environmental Science and Technology, and Frontiers in Microbiology among others. Mackey is dedicated to science education and outreach, and has published five articles related to advising and teaching, including articles on interdisciplinary scholarship, science literacy, distance education, and online learning.

Joni Marie Newman

Joni Marie Newman is a vegan for the animals. She is a ten-time published plant-based cookbook author. Her work has been featured in VegNews, Mother Jones, One Green Planet, and many others. She can be found teaching cooking classes and speaking at VegFests, and vegan events. She is the founder and contributor to


IUCC Green Faith Committee

SoCal Vegfest