Arturo A. Massol-Deyá is from the mountainous area of Puerto Rico in the municipality of Adjuntas where his parents Alexis Massol and Tinti Deyá founded the community-based organization Casa Pueblo. Massol-Deyá grew up in this project and has chaired its Board of Directors since 2007. A graduate of the public school system (1986) and the University of Puerto Rico (1990), he obtained his doctoral degree from the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University in 1994. Since then he has been a faculty member at the Department of Biology of the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus where he established the Tropical Microbial Ecology Lab. He has been a mentor to numerous students and a principal investigator of projects on microbial ecology with emphasis on biological processes aimed at restoring contaminated environments.
Ruth Santiago is a resident of the municipality of Salinas in southeastern Puerto Rico where she has worked with community and environmental groups, fisher’s associations and other organizations for over thirty years on projects ranging from a community newspaper, children’s services, a community school, ecotourism projects to a rooftop solar energy pilot project. Ruth has been involved in the establishment of broad alliances to prevent water pollution from landfills, power plant emissions and discharges and coal combustion residual waste. She is part of a civil society initiative to promote solar communities and energy democracy called We Want Sun (queremossolpr.com). In addition to litigation in courts and administrative agencies, Ruth has co-organized environmental education projects, advised the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on watershed protection and land use issues. Most recently, Ruth has worked on cases related to energy projects and integrated resource plans. Ms. Santiago earned degrees from Lehigh University and Columbia Law School and has published articles on energy issues in Puerto Rico.