Annie Novak is founder and director of Growing Chefs, field-to-fork food education program; the Assistant Manager of the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens, and co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in partnership with Goode Green and Broadway Stages.



Annie has worked with the GrowNYC and Greenmarket, Slow Food USA and Just Food advocating and growing urban agriculture throughout NYC. Among other publications, Annie's work in agriculture has been featured in New York Magazine, Edible Brooklyn and the Martha Stewart Show ; locally in her own Brooklyn neighborhood paper The Greenpoint Gazette (twice), online at Grist, the Huffington Post and on the Cooking Channel; and photographed by the Selby. In 2010, Annie was voted the Cutest Organic Farmer in the country by the readers of the Huffington Post. Annie writes in her own words for The Atlantic.

A lifelong vegetarian, Annie's passion for agriculture began while working in Ghana with West African chocolate farmers. She has since followed food to its roots has taken her to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Turkey, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Fiji, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Alaska, Tanzania, through the West and Midwest; her adventures are cheerfully blogged at www.GrowingChefs.org.

Since 2005, Annie has worked with the Meerkat Media Collective to write, produce, act and film in several films and documentaries. Her work has been screened in New York City and in festivals across the country. Titles include award-winning felt animation Wee Dark Hours, My Felt Bike; award-winning documentary short Every Third Bite, and narrative feature length film A Little Death.

In her free time, Annie has run seven marathons, built and raced her bicycle, and birdwatches. Her Chicago-based family includes sisters Caroline and Catherine, and mother Rita Ryan-Novak. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2005.
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Alex E

Ecoclimax is defined by Odum (1969) as the culmination state after a succession in a stabilized ecosystem in which maximum biomass (or high information content) and symbiotic function among organisms is kept per unit of available energy flow.