Since 1990, Gershon Cohen has applied his background in molecular biology and water quality policy to protect public waters from the discharge of toxic pollutants. He has served on numerous water quality related boards, commissions, and advisory bodies by appointment under several Alaska governors and worked with many non-profit organizations. His work has led to several national awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the Clean Water Network, and the River Network “River Hero” award.
Gershon founded (1998) and continues to be the Project Director of Earth Island Institute’s Campaign to Safeguard America’s Waters (CSAW.) He co-authored the Alaska Cruise Ship Ballot Initiative, adopted into law by a statewide vote in August 2006, which established the world’s strictest pollution rules and oversight programs for the cruise industry. Gershon recently created a new CSAW program called the Great Whale Conservancy that is focusing on stopping ship strikes on blue whales in the Northern Pacific.
Gershon co-founded the Ultimate Civics Project in 2008. Ultimate Civics’ mission is to abolish the legal/judicial/administrative support for “corporate personhood” and ensure only natural human beings enjoy the inalienable rights described in the U.S. Constitution. As Director of Ultimate Civics’ Alaska program, and co-author of the U.C. high-school curriculum Rethinking Democracy, he has lectured around the State and taught the four-day Rethinking Democracy course in Alaska’s public schools.
Gershon has been coaching the drama, debate, and forensics team of Haines High School in Haines, Alaska, since 2001, and coached several Haines students to first-place State finishes. He is also the Alaska Projects Director of the Ecological Engineering Group, which designs and builds biological, tertiary wastewater treatment systems for private and municipal applications.
Gershon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, a Master’s Degree in Molecular Biology, and a Doctorate in Environmental Policy.