Online fundraising for 2015 Designing to Live Sustainably Competition Fundraiser:    OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FUTURE GENERATIONS - Preparing for the effects of climate change Designing to Live Sustainably is proud to be a Program Of

Our team is made of hard working volunteers that share a common passion for our Queen City of Buffalo and the greater Niagara Bio-Region. We are a diverse and unilateral group that meets every Monday evening, to brainstorm ideas for how we can promote living sustainably and thrive in a world plagued by the effects of global climate change.



Team Members

Crystal Surdyk

Project Manager

Crystal Surdyk's LinkedIn Profile

With an extensive background in management as well as an education in Urban Planning and Architectural Technology, Crystal is committed to using her unique array of skills in her professional and personal endeavors. Crystal's passion for sustainability extends well beyond her d2ls duties with her position as the Operations Manager for Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC. She has an intense passion for community revitalization, historic preservation, and sustainable design as well as a deep respect for the history of the Buffalo-Niagara Region and its potential for economic growth and the need for responsible and sustainable development.

George Besch

Instigator & Sustainability Insight/Oversight

George Besch's Linkedin Profile

Raised on a farm in WNY when it was a given that it would be what is now termed "sustainable". BA in Ecology/Geophysics (Denver University); MSc in Natural Resources Planning ( Michigan State University); PhD/abd in Resource Economics (MSU) and a Fulbright Scholar (Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Denmark). Completed plans for the States of Michigan and Illinois, as Peace Corps Volunteer (Guatemala), and for both private and governmental clients around the globe. Taught at Oxford College and Leeds University in the UK, and served as acting Head of the Department of Appropriate Technology and Applied Human Ecology at Western Washington University's Huxley College of Environmental Studies.

Appointed to the President's Commission on the State of Natural Beauty in the United States. In the early 1970s, through Barbara Ward, participated in Conferences at the UN on "sustainable development", the oxymoron still in use. Made films on the environment, planning, non-violence, and creativity. Using holography as the construct, worked with Salvador Dali and Buckminster Fuller. Seated on the Erie County Environmental Management Council.

Returned to Western New York in recognition of its potential comparative advantage in natural resources, climate, and macro location on a Great Lake and neighboring Canada. Unfortunately, it was apparent that the incredibly rich and valuable AAA farmland and water resources were being lost to ill-conceived sprawl, while the urban cores were losing their population bases. One of the Environmental Design courses taught at WWU lead to the Designing To Live Sustainably competition.

Joe Bodnarchuk

Public Engagement Specialist

Joseph Bodnarchuk's Linkedin Profile

Joe graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2010 and has a background in physics and math. After receiving his bachelors, he envisioned a career dedicated to renewable energy and would like to see a valuable fuel source from waste products which often would be disposed of. With his excellent problem solving skills and critical out-of-the-box thinking, it will be a bright and promising future.

Jennifer Gregory

Creative Manager

Jennifer Gregory's Linkedin Profile

Jen is one of many hopeful Buffalonians walking around these days with her chin a little higher, stepping a bit prouder, engaged in the city-wide resurgence and excited for what the future Queen City is shaping up to be. She passionately works for New York State in the regional economic development office based in Buffalo. A Sabres fan, Buffalo Bills cheerleader, and foodie, this Buffalo gal greatly enjoys exploring all of the unique pockets of Buffalo, and is very pleased to call Allentown home. Jen believes we are each obligated to play an active role in the creation & care of our communities. She envisions continuing to use her unique experiences in hospitality, business and planning to facilitate and coordinate the hosting of world class mega-events in the Greater Buffalo Region and beyond. She holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration as well as a Bachelor's Degree in Tourism Recreation Management from Niagara University. Our "Miss Buffalo" loves this John Paget documentary.

Steve Jones

Steve Jone's Linkedin Profile

Steve earned a Bachelor's of Science in Architectural Technology from Alfred State College in 2012. Steve has done internships at Kideney Architects and JKLA, and participated in a collaborative effort with Bale-on-Bale Construction as a student to create a demonstration for the 2010 Buffalo-Niagara Green Expo. Steve participated in the 2013 competition for d2ls and has since joined the team to help take it into the future. A lifelong Buffalonian, and firm believer in the potential for strong economic growth through sustainability, Steve joined the d2ls team to help make a positive impact on the Buffalo-Niagara region. While learning about sustainable design at Alfred State College, he became passionate about the need to address the issue climate change and protecting our natural environment. He believes in melding our built environment with the natural one and living alongside it instead of living despite it.

Michael Shelly

Michael Shelly's Linkedin Profile

Michael has worked for many years as an environmental economist and has taken a professional interest in climate change. He's concluded that there is an urgent need to cope with the impacts of climate change - particularly the anticipated increase in climate variability and the resulting increase in the number of extreme weather events. Action to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases can be undertaken at the international, national, state and local levels. However, he believes that the effort to cope with climate change and to create communities that are more resilient to extreme climate events is best organized from the grassroots up. The Buffalo/Niagara region was once a pioneer in creating the then modern world of railroads, steel production and big cities. It can also be a leader in the creation of a new sustainable and climate-resilient modern world. The nature of the people in this region provides the foundation for this new leadership role. They are hard-working, pragmatic and have earned Buffalo the soubriquet of "the city of good neighbors" by virtue of their willingness to help each other and to unite to tackle a common challenge. Grassroots efforts, such as Designing to Live Sustainably, are an example of this spirit. Michael is from London, England and has a Ph.D. in economics from Edinburgh University in Scotland, a masters degree in economics from Warwick University in England and a bachelor's degree in economics with geography from Queen Mary, University of London in England. He moved to the region twenty years ago. His sons are active in the Boy Scouts and he has taken to heart that organization's motto: Be prepared.

The d2ls Team would like to thank Dave Bauer, Jacob Jordan, Lauren Weeks, Evan Anderson and Emily Nuding for their contributions to the project. Special recognition and thanks goes out to David Myers, Mary and Andrew Muraco, Jason Paeplow, Jessica Gage, Joe Pjeda, Ryan McGraw, Shane Absolam, Kathy Konst, Chris Llop, Megan Baco, Jay Burney, Marcus L. Wise, and Adam Schiffmacher for their efforts in making d2ls a reality and for their continued support.