Reclaiming the Sierra

Speakers

Update: Speaker Presentations are now available by clicking here.

Speaker Bios

Charles Alpers, Ph.D., United States Geological Survey
Judge:  Student Poster Session

Presenter: Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment
Gold Country Mines Bus Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Presenter:  Upstream Prioritization through Modeling: Sierra Nevada Mercury Impairment Project
11:40 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Panelist: Coordinating Prioritization Needs in California
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Charles Alpers, Ph.D., has an undergraduate degree in geology from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley.  For the past two decades he has been a Research Chemist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Sacramento where his work has focused on environmental problems related to abandoned mine lands. In addition to his work on acid mine drainage from copper mines including Iron Mountain and Penn Mine, he has led several investigations of mercury contamination and bioaccumulation associated with past mining of gold and mercury in the Coast Ranges, the Trinity Mountains, and the Sierra Nevada.

 

Adrienne Alvord, Western States Director, Union of Concerned Scientists; Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Responder regarding Policy and Coordination:  Synthesis Panel
4:35 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Adrienne Alvord is the Union of Concerned Scientists’ California and Western States Director, based in Berkeley, California. Ms. Alvord is leading UCS’s effort to ensure robust implementation of the California Global Warming Solutions Act, California’s landmark climate law known as “AB 32.” Prior, Ms. Alvord was the environmental policy director for California State Senator, Fran Pavley and served as lead staff on AB 32. She worked extensively in climate, energy, fuels, waste, and agricultural policy and has deep experience both in translating scientific and technical work into policy ideas and creating strategic partnerships to achieve those policies. Prior, Ms. Alvord served as a gubernatorial appointee directing state pesticide legislation and regulations, and previously was policy director for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers.

 

Marie Barry, former Environmental Director for the Washoe Tribe

 

Alf Brandt, Legislative Director, California Assemblymember Anthony Rendon
Panelist: Water Bond Implementation Issues and Opportunities
2:40 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Alf W. Brandt serves the California State Assembly as an expert on environmental law and policy, as well as Executive Director of the National Judicial College’s Dividing the Waters Program. He now serves Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, chair of the Utilities & Commerce Committee. Drawing on his extensive experience in California water policy, Brandt has developed, analyzed and advocated for California water legislation, including playing critical roles in the development of the 2014 Water Bond, the 2009 Delta/Water Legislation, and the 2007 flood protection package. In his off-hours, he leads a program to train state and federal judges on water law adjudication. Brandt has a long history in water policy debates. In 2007, he chaired the American Bar Association’s 25th Annual Water Law Conference, and now serves on the Council for the ABA environmental section. Prior to joining the Assembly staff, Brandt served as a water lawyer for the Department of the Interior, Federal Agency Coordinator at the CALFED Bay-Delta Program, and as the leader of the City of Los Angeles delegation to the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Brandt earned his J.D. in 1988 from University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law), and his B.A. magna cum laude in 1983 from UCLA.

 

Keali’i Bright, Deputy Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Natural Resources Agency
Panelist: Water Bond Implementation Issues and Opportunities
2:40 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Keali’i Bright was appointed by Governor Brown in 2011 and currently serves as the Deputy Secretary for Legislative affairs for Secretary John Laird at the Natural Resources Agency. In his capacity, he works with the agency on statewide and regional resource conservation and infrastructure legislation and program implementation. Prior, Keali’i served as a principle consultant for the Assembly Budget Committee during which his primary policy assignments were natural resources, environmental protection and transportation. Keali’i graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Latin American and Latino Studies in 1998 and has since lived abroad and worked in the non-profit sector.

 

David M. Chambers, Ph.D., P. Geop., President, Center for Science in Public Participation
Presenter:  Standards for Responsible Mine Reclamation
1:55 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Panelist: Evaluating Best Available Techniques
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

David Chambers is the president of the Center for Science in Public Participation, a non-profit corporation formed to provide technical assistance on mining and water quality to public interest groups and tribal governments. He has 39 years of experience in mineral exploration and development. Dr. Chambers has Professional Engineering Degree in Physics from the Colorado School of Mines, a Master of Science Degree in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Environmental Planning from Berkeley and is a registered professional geophysicist in California. His continuing research focus is on the intersection of science and technology with public policy and natural resource management.

 

Marc Choyt, Fair Jewelry Action and President, Reflective Images Jewelry
Panelist:   E3 Gold Market Analysis and Early Development
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track      

Marc Choyt is President and co-founder of Reflective Images Jewelry, a company focused on ethically sourced, handmade designer jewelry since 1995, and co-founder of Fair Jewelry Action. The City of Santa Fe honored Reflective Images in 2014 for its triple bottom line business model. Marc sits on the board of Santa Fe’s Green Chamber of Commerce and recently led a campaign that helped block the opening of a new gold mine south of Santa Fe.  He is currently working with Fairtrade to support the broad roll out of fair trade gold in North America and completing his book, The Circle Manifesto, which explores implementing regenerative business practices using the circle as a process model.  He is a writing and literature graduate of Brown University and has his Masters in Humanities from St. John’s College. 

 

Bill Christner, Ph.D., Senior Geomorphologist, Balance Hydrologics, Inc.
Judge:  Student Poster Session

Bill Christner, Ph.D. is a Senior Geomorphologist with Balance Hydrologics, Inc.  As one of the few California geomorphologists coming from formal training in soil science, Dr. Christner applies his diverse background to a host of applications in channel morphology, soil characterization and assessment, wetland design and construction, erosion control, and shallow groundwater movement.  He specializes in overall restoration of channel corridors to enhance salmonid spawning and rearing habitat, bringing a ‘valley-floor’ perspective to re-naturalizing stream systems.   His 18 years of experience include work in California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.

 

Kevin Cornwell, Ph.D., Professor of Geology, California State University Sacramento
Judge:  Student Poster Session

 

William Craven, Chief Consultant, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee
Panelist: Post-SMARA Mine Permitting and Reclamation Issues
1:20 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

William Craven is currently the chief consultant of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The committee is chaired by Senator Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, co-author of AB 32, California’s leading climate change legislation. The Natural Resources and Water Committee has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to water, forestry, wildlife, hunting and fishing, public lands, coastal protection, ocean policy, state parks, mining, harbors, and other key California resources. William also often participates in meetings of the Ocean Protection Council, the California State Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Wildlife Conservation Board on which Sen. Pavley is a legislative member.

 

Amy Crook, Executive Director, Fair Mining Collaborative
Panelist: Definition of E3 Gold Standards
1:20 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track      

Amy Crook is the Executive Director of the British Columbia based charitable non-profit Fair Mining Collaborative (FMC), an organization of independent scientists who provide technical and strategic support to Aboriginal leadership and communities affected by resource development.   Ms. Crook has been conducting technical reviews of mining developments for 30 years, lending her extensive technical expertise to assist Indigenous communities with complex project management, community capacity building and knowledge transfer.  Ms. Crook directed the development of FMC’s cutting edge work Fair Mining Practices: A New Mining Code for British Columbia and has been assisting First Nations with their response to the Mount Polley mine disaster. 

 

Timothy Crough, P.E., Assistant General Manager, Nevada Irrigation District
Presenter:  Combie Reservoir Mercury and Sediment Removal Project Demonstration
Gold Country Mines Bus Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Timothy Crough is the Assistant General Manager of the Nevada Irrigation District. He is a Registered Civil Engineer in California, with more than 35 years of public administration and engineering experience – 20 years in the water industry. Mr. Crough is the Project Manager for the Combie Reservoir Sediment and Mercury Removal Project by the Nevada Irrigation District, a one-of-a-kind project designed to remove legacy mercury from sediment in the Bear River, while restoring valuable water storage capacity for the District.

 

Caleb Dardick, Executive Director, South Yuba River Citizens League
Facilitator: Policy and Coordination TrackTuesday, April 21, 2015

Caleb Dardick, Executive Director, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), has over 20 years of experience in community outreach, advocacy, government and media relations. Caleb leads SYRCL in fulfilling its mission to unite the community to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed. Upon joining SYRCL in September 2011, Caleb led the effort to save two State Parks slated to close due to budget cuts. Prior, Caleb served as Director of Local Government and Community Relations for UC Berkeley’s Office of the Chancellor. From 2000-2009, he provided public relations and public affairs consulting to a broad range of clients in business, government, the nonprofit sector and politics. In the mid-1990s, Caleb served in the Berkeley Mayor’s Office. Caleb earned a B.A. in History with honors at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

Carol DiGiorgio, Program Manager, Department of Water Resources Mercury Monitoring and Evaluation Section
Presenter: Downstream Prioritization through Modeling:  Yolo Bypass and Delta Mercury Modeling
11:10 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Panelist: Coordinating Prioritization Needs in California
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Carol DiGiorgio is the Program Manager for the Mercury Monitoring and Evaluation Section in the Department of Water Resources. The section was formed in 2012 to coordinate the Department’s compliance with the Delta Mercury Control Program. Carol has a bachelor’s in Biology from UC Davis and a Master’s in Biology from Humboldt State University. She has worked on a number of water quality issues including selenium and pesticide toxicity, drinking water quality and pathogens and now mercury.

 

Jacob Fleck, Research Hydrologist, United States Geological Survey
Presenter: Polymer Use to Reduce Methylmercury in Wetlands
11:40 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Panelist: Evaluating Best Available Techniques
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Jacob Fleck is a Research Hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Sacramento , California, where his research has focused on organic matter and mercury cycling in the environment.  Jacob received a Bachelor’s in Biosystems Engineering and a Master’s in Soil Science, with emphases in biogeochemistry and water resources, from the University of Minnesota and began his career studying mercury cycling in the Great Lakes region. After a brief hiatus while studying drinking water contaminants in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, he returned to studying mercury cycling in California. For the past 10 years, he has investigated mercury methylation in wetlands and mercury contamination related to historic gold and mercury mines. Jacob is currently involved in studies evaluating the relative importance of mercury sources and assessing techniques for managing the mercury threat to human and wildlife health.

 

Andrea Foster, Ph.D., United States Geological Survey
Presenter:  Spectroscopic Methods for Arsenic Characterization
11:10 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Panelist: Evaluating Best Available Techniques
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Andrea Foster obtained her B.S. with honors in Geology from Indiana University in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1999.  The same year, Foster accepted an appointment with the USGS Mineral Resources Program in Menlo Park. Her work investigating the environmental chemistry of arsenic at CA mine sites began with Ph.D. research and continues to this day. She has been the principal investigator on 10 successful proposals for synchrotron beamtime in the area of geochemistry/environmental mineralogy and has collaborated on several others. She continues to use synchrotron X-rays in her research, but is currently developing in-house methods using Raman microspectroscopy to identify the forms of environmentally- and economically- important elements in earth materials.

 

Chris Friedel, River Science Manager, South Yuba River Citizens League
Yuba Goldfields Boat Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Chris Friedel is the River Science Manager for the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) where he helps manage their environmental monitoring, education, and ecological restoration programs. Prior to SYRCL, he managed a native plant nursery and creek restoration program at Muir Woods National Monument, and worked as a vegetation ecologist for the National Park Service. More recently, Chris has led an effort to build a community-scale biomass-to-energy plant in Yuba County. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in Earth Systems Science from Stanford University in 2001.

 

Ajay Goyal, Chief, Statewide Infrastructure Investigations Branch, Department of Water Resources
Panelist: Multiple Benefits of Sediment Removal from Reservoirs
11:00 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track    

Ajay Goyal is the Chief of the Statewide Infrastructure Investigations Branch in the Department of Water Resources. Mr. Goyal has over 20 years of experience in the planning, design, and construction of large water resources facilities.  He is the program manager for the Surface Storage Investigations Program, and the System Reoperation Program.  He is also assisting the California Water Commission in the development of regulations and guidelines for the quantification of public benefits associated with the $2.7 billion Water Storage Investment Program of the Water Bond. 

 

Julie Griffith-Flatter, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Panelist: Pre-SMARA Legacy Mine Remediation Challenges and Opportunities
11:00 am – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Julie Griffith-Flatter is a Mt Lassen Area Representative for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) with a focus on the Conservancy’s Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program and Tribal Policy.  Her background includes 18 years of Land Use Planning in Sierra County where mine permitting and environmental analysis were part of her responsibility for current mining operations.  Through her work in Sierra County, her awareness of the continuing harmful impacts from abandoned mine sites grew.  She has participated in the inter-agency abandoned mine lands forum, now known as the California Abandoned Mine Lands Agency Group, both as a County employee and a SNC employee.  When the SNC initiated the AML program, she was pleased with the opportunity provided through the new program to enhance work towards remediating legacy impacts from AML sites in the Region

 

Alison Harvey, Director of Governmental Affairs, United Auburn Indian Community; Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Yuba Goldfields Boat Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Alison Harvey is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the United Auburn Indian Community, a federally recognized California tribe comprised of Maidu and Miwok Indians based in the Sierra Nevada foothills in Auburn. The UAIC owns Thunder Valley Casino and several other enterprises, which provide resources for the tribe’s school, housing, health, elder care and other vital programs. Alison directs the tribe’s federal, state and local government relations and legislative affairs. Prior to working for the UAIC, Alison was the Executive Director of the California Tribal Business Alliance, a coalition of seven California Indian tribes that operate gaming facilities under the terms of tribal-state compacts. Alison had 23 years of experience in the California Legislature, where she served as chief of staff to Senate President pro Tem John L. Burton, principal consultant for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 14 years as chief of staff to Assemblyman Phil Isenberg.

 

Rick Humphreys, State Water Resources Control Board, Retired
Presenter:  Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment
Gold Country Mines Bus Tour
– Monday, April 20, 2015

Rick Humphreys, until his recent retirement, was a Senior Specialist Engineering Geologist with the State Water Resources Control Board, where he worked since 1986.  He began specializing in mining issues related to water quality in 1991.  Rick holds both a BS and a MS in Geology.

 

Rachel Hutchinson, River Science Director, South Yuba River Citizens League
Presenter
Yuba Goldfields Boat Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Rachel Hutchinson is the River Science Director at the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). Ms. Hutchinson holds a BS in Environmental Resource Science and a MS in Water Resources. She has over 10 years of experience as a riparian ecologist working on a variety of Northern California’s river and meadow ecosystems. Since joining SYRCL she has worked on legacy mining impacts in the Humbug, Scotchman, Spring, and Shady Creek watersheds, all tributaries to the South Yuba River and works on larger scale restoration projects restore the lower Yuba River.

 

Alexandria Keeble-Toll, The Sierra Fund
Presenter
Yuba Goldfields Boat Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Presenter: Local Government Opportunities to Lead AML Prioritization Efforts
1:55 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Panelist: Coordinating Prioritization Needs in California
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Alexandria Keeble-Toll has a B.A. in Sociology from UCLA and an M.A. in Sociology from CSU, Sacramento. Alex’s M.A. work focused on environmental inequality and hazard formation; her thesis analyzed three hardrock gold mines across a 150-year timeframe. Alex recently became a UC Certified California Naturalist through UC Davis and began work toward an M.S. degree in Environmental Science at CSU, Chico. For her current thesis research, Alex is working with Dr. Carrie Monohan and The Sierra Fund to examine methylmercury bioaccumulation in fish tissue, focusing on water bodies in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba (CABY) watershed region.

 

Jennifer Krill, Executive Director, Earthworks
Panelist: Definition of E3 Gold Standards Workshop
1:20 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track 

Jennifer Krill is the Executive Director of Earthworks, where she worked since 2010 to protect communities and the environment from the negative impacts of mining and fossil fuel extraction. She co-founded and serves on the Board of Directors of Plug In America, which advocates for petroleum-free, pollution free electric vehicles. She also serves on the Board of the Labor Network for Sustainability and the Advisory Committees of the Business Ethics Network and the Western Mining Action Network. Jennifer holds a B.A. and a B.L.A. from Ball State University, and previously directed successful campaigns at Rainforest Action Network, where she helped protect old growth forests and prevent banks from financing climate change-causing industries. In 2014, she was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame of Alameda County, California for her work on behalf of the environment.

 

Elizabeth Mansfield, Director, Sierra Water Workgroup
Facilitator: Multiple Benefits Track – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Elizabeth Mansfield is currently the Director of the Sierra Water Workgroup, whose mission is to increase inter-regional cooperation and assist regional efforts in protecting and enhancing water quality, water supply, and watershed health. She has worked for the Center for Collaborative Policy as the senior facilitator for the Sierra Water Workgroup, and the El Dorado Irrigation District as the Water Resources Manager. She served as the Executive Director of the Integrated Regional Water Management Planning group for the Cosumnes, American, Bear and Yuba (CABY) Region. Prior, Mrs. Mansfield worked for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, was Deputy Assistant to the California Department of Water Resources, and Water Consultant to the California Legislature, Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife.

 

Glenda Marsh, Program Manager, California Department of Conservation Abandoned Mine Lands Program
Panelist: Pre-SMARA Legacy Mine Remediation Challenges and Opportunities
11:00 am – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Presenter: Bird’s Eye View: Tools for Prioritizing AML Sites across the State
1:20 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Panelist: Coordinating Prioritization Needs in California
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Glenda Marsh is the Program Manager for the Abandoned Mine Lands Program at the California Department of Conservation. She brings a diverse 15-year career implementing environmental regulatory and natural resource programs at several state departments, including historical fishery, hydrological, genetics, and botanical research projects. She finds that reclaiming the state’s historic mined lands has many similar facets, requiring bridging between regulatory processes, human and environmental health and land management in order to protect people and the environment for future generations.

 

Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, Chief Executive Officer, The Sierra Fund
MC: Keynote Panel
6:30 pm – Monday, April 20, 2015

Izzy Martin is a community organizer and environmental advocate with over thirty years of experience working in rural communities to promote economic and environmental justice. Her background includes working with family farmers and farm labor advocates for two decades, serving two terms on the Nevada County Planning Commission and four years as a Nevada County Supervisor. In 2004 she led the successful advocacy effort to persuade the California State legislature to establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Izzy has been the CEO of The Sierra Fund for over 10 years, during which time she helped to develop more than $100 million in new funds for conservation in the Sierra.

 

Stephen McCord, Ph.D., P.E., President, McCord Environmental
Facilitator: Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stephen McCord, Ph.D., P.E., is President of McCord Environmental. He holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of California Davis. He has over 20 years of consulting, research and teaching experience in the environmental engineering field with projects throughout California, several other US states, and internationally. As a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California, Dr. McCord has managed stormwater monitoring projects and water quality field studies throughout California. A particular area of focus has been mercury – conceptual and mass balance models, TMDLs, trading programs, abandoned mine site cleanups, strategic planning, and stakeholder group facilitation.

 

J. Toby Minear, Ph.D., United States Geological Survey
Keynote Speaker:  Opening Session
9:35 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dr. Minear received a Bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and Masters and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Since 2010, Dr. Minear has worked at the United States Geological Survey California Water Science Center, in Sacramento, CA, and is presently at the USGS Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory in Golden, CO. Dr. Minear works on a variety of river research and hydrodynamic modeling projects in California and the Western U.S., including the San Joaquin River, Trinity River, Klamath River, Merced River in Yosemite National Park, Upper Colorado River Basin, and Elwha River Dam Removal projects.

 

Carrie Monohan, Ph.D., Science Director, The Sierra Fund
Presenter:  Combie Reservoir Mercury and Sediment Removal Project Demonstration
Gold Country Mines Bus Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Presenter and MC: Opening Session – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Carrie Monohan earned her Ph.D. in Forest Engineering and Hydrology in 2004 from the University of Washington, Seattle. Her dissertation work addressed the relationship between water quality in agricultural streams and diminishing salmon habitat. Throughout her graduate program, she was a research assistant to the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Other notable recent positions include Senior River Scientist for the Natural Heritage Institute and project manager and lead scientist for the EPA Brownfields Community Wide Assessment in Nevada City.  Carrie has worked as a consultant to The Sierra Fund since 2007, and was hired as staff in 2010.  Since 2011 she has served as adjunct professor at CSU, Chico.

 


Mark Nechodom, Director, Department of Conservation
Keynote Panelist, “Reclaiming the Sierra Tonight Show”
6:30 pm – Monday, April 20, 2015

Panelist: Coordinating Prioritization Needs in California
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Prioritization of Remediation Efforts Track

Mark Nechodom was appointed Director of California’s Department of Conservation (DOC) by Governor Brown in January 2012. He has dedicated his professional life to integrating sustainable production and practices while maintaining a sensible balance between economic opportunities, environmental health, and human well-being. Prior to his position at DOC, Dr. Nechodom was a Senior Policy Advisor at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and served as Director of the Office of Environmental Markets at USDA. He was a Senior Climate Science Policy Advisor to the Chief of the US Forest Service and worked on federal greenhouse gas legislation in Washington, DC. Dr. Nechodom earned his PhD in political science and environmental policy from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he taught for several years.

 

Sherri Norris, Executive Director, California Indian Environmental Alliance
Panelist: Definition of E3 Gold Standards
1:20 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track

Sherri Norris has fourteen years of experience working as a tribal health and environmental advocate with California Tribes at the local level and at international European Union and United Nations forums. Sherri has given hundreds of presentations and trainings on the cycle and health effects of mercury on environmental health, risk-reduction strategies and the development of solutions that promote the continuation of eating traditional fish while avoiding toxins. As Executive Director of the California Indian Environmental Alliance (CIEA) Sherri’s work supports California Tribes by providing technical support and increasing opportunities for Tribes to guide cleanup, restoration and partner in the collaborative work required to reduce toxins in the environment.  Sherri is a member of the Osage Nation and grew up in Northern California. 

 

Gary Parsons, Board Member, San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association; Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Panelist: Post-SMARA Mine Permitting and Reclamation Issues
1:20 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Gary Parsons is a San Juan Ridge-based general building contractor living and working on the Ridge since 1989. He received his B.S. in Environmental Design from the University of California, Davis in 1988. His community involvement is shared between his role as a board member of the San Juan Ridge Taxpayers Association and as a board member of the Yuba Watershed Institute. Gary joined The Sierra Fund’s Board of Directors in 2015.

 

Pat Perez, Assistant Director, Office of Mine Reclamation at the California Department of Conservation
Panelist: Post-SMARA Mine Permitting and Reclamation Issues
1:20 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Mr. Pat Perez was appointed Assistant Director of the Office of Mine Reclamation at the California Department of Conservation on August 29, 2014 by Governor Brown. Perez served as acting supervisor of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources in 2014. Prior, Perez held a number of managerial and supervisorial positions during a 32-year career at the California Energy Commission. He led programs that dealt with such diverse topics as climate change, renewable energy, conventional fuels, liquefied natural gas, international energy market development, land use, and emergency planning and response. Before joining the Department of Conservation, Perez served as the Energy Commission’s Deputy Director for transportation energy and alternative fuel programs. A native of Santa Barbara, Perez graduated with a degree in geography from the University of California Santa Barbara in 1979.

 

Jena Price, California League of Conservation Voters
Panelist: Water Bond Implementation Issues and Opportunities
2:40 pm – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

 

Alberto Ramirez, Project Manager, Teichert Materials
Panelist: Multiple Benefits of Sediment Removal from Reservoirs
11:00 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track      

Panelist: E3 Gold Market Analysis and Early Development
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track      

Alberto Ramirez is the Project Manager for Mining and Environmental Engineering at Teichert Materials in Sacramento, California, where he identifies and evaluates new and current water discharge requirements and is involved in river rehabilitation for sustainable and ethical aggregates mining. Ramirez has been with the company since 2003. Prior, he worked as Assistant Mine Manager for Cal Sierra Development in the operations of the Yuba Dredges on the Yuba Goldfields and has held management positions related to gold mining in Brazil and Peru. Ramirez graduated as a Mining Engineer from the Montana College of Minerals in 1983.

 

John Regan, President, Smart Campaigns; Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Responder regarding Multiple Benefits:  Synthesis Panel
4:35 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

John Regan is a founding member of the Sierra Fund’s Board of Directors and President of Smart Campaigns, a national firm specializing in due diligence, strategic research, issues analysis and media relations. His clients have included more than thirty current and former members of Congress and more than a dozen U.S. senators, as well as state constitutional officeholders, political party organizations and interest groups in more than a dozen states. John has managed lobbying, public relations and legislative campaigns for community-based environmental organizations, including the South Yuba River Citizens League’s historic campaign that won California State Wild and Scenic River protection for the South Yuba River in 1999.  He has coordinated environmental representation on several ambitious collaborative efforts to restore endangered salmon and steelhead populations in the upper Yuba River Watershed.

 

Remleh Scherzinger, General Manager, Nevada Irrigation District
Panelist: Multiple Benefits of Sediment Removal from Reservoirs
11:00 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track    

Remleh Scherzinger has served as the General Manager at the Nevada Irrigation District since January, 2013. He brings extensive knowledge and experience in the water utility field. He is a former utilities engineering manager with the City of Petaluma, and has also worked with the Sonoma County Water Agency and Metropolitan Water District. He holds an MBA degree and is a licensed civil engineer.

 

Bob Schneider, Tuleyome
Panelist: Pre-SMARA Legacy Mine Remediation Challenges and Opportunities
11:00 am – Tuesday April 21, 2015 – Policy and Coordination Track

Bob Schneider graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. degree in Geology in 1972.  He is the co-founder of both the California Wilderness Coalition and Tuleyome, a conservation organization based in Woodland. Bob served as Tuleyome’s project director on the Corona Twin Peaks mercury mine restoration project and volunteers as their Senior Policy Director.  Bob currently serves on the Central Valley Water Board where he developed an interest in mercury issues through participating in the development and approval of the Clear Lake, Cache Creek and Sulphur Creek mercury total maximum daily loads (TMDLs).

 

Michael Singer, Ph.D., University of St. Andrews
Keynote Presenter
9:15 am – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Opening Session

Michael Singer, Ph.D., earned an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from the Evergreen State College in Washington and a Ph.D. from the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Singer is a lecturer in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St. Andrews in the United Kingdom, and a researcher for the Earth Research Institute at UC Santa Barbara. His work has focused on hydrologic and geomorphic aspects of environmental problems ranging from the impact of climate change on hydrologic partitioning and earth surface processes to the legacy of 19th Century hydraulic gold mining in California. In recent work, Singer has led a team of investigators on a study of mercury contamination and bioaccumulation within food webs of California’s Central Valley.

 

Frances Spivy-Weber, State Water Resources Control Board Member
Keynote Panelist, “Reclaiming the Sierra Tonight Show”
6:30 pm – Monday, April 20, 2015

Frances Spivy-Weber was re-appointed as the Public Member of the State Water Resources Control Board on March 1, 2009.  She serves as Vice Chair of the Board and is the Board liaison to the Los Angeles, San Diego, Central Coast, and Lahontan Regional Boards and the Ocean Protection Council Steering Committee.  Prior to joining the Board, she was the Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee; and International Programs Director of National Audubon Society.  Fran has served on numerous state and regional water advisory groups and task forces, including the Bay-Delta Public Advisory committee; State Water Plan 2005 Advisory Committee; California Landscape Task Force 2005; State Water Recycling Task Force 2003; Governor’s Advisory Drought Planning Panel 2000.  She has served as convener and on the Board of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, co-convener of the Southern California Water Dialogue, and on the Boards of the Water Education Foundation, California Council of Land Trusts, and Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund.  Fran has a BA from the University of Texas in history and political science and an MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

 

Brandon Stauffer, Teichert Materials
Yuba Goldfields Boat Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Brandon Stauffer is the North Region Division Manager at A. Teichert and Sons managing mining and reclamation at four operations, including two in the Yuba Goldfields. He has worked for Teichert for 14 years. Previously he worked for the California Dept. of Transportation for eight years while attending California State University Chico for a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He also worked for six years as Plant Manager at Knife River Corporation, a subsidiary of Montana Dakota Utilities, managing their sand and gravel operations in the Yuba Goldfields.

 

Martin Taber, Taber Studios
Panelist: E3 Gold Market Analysis and Early Development
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track

Martin Taber received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1995. After a lifetime of involvement in the family business, in 1997 he took to the jewelry trade full-time to develop his interests in sculptural design and architectural form. The integrity of crafting directly in the metals and working so closely with his customers led Martin to renew his passion for the environment in his new signature collection of ecologically inspired, haute couture jewelry, Martin Taber Designs. Martin has made significant changes to the methods of production and acquisition of materials to reflect Taber Studios’ mission to become a leader in the move to help clean up the jewelry industry. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors of Ethical Metalsmiths, serving and guiding the jewelry industry towards ever more ethically-minded practices.

 

Greg Valerio
Keynote Panelist, “Reclaiming the Sierra Tonight Show”
6:30 pm – Monday, April 20, 2015

Panelist: Definition of E3 Gold Standards
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Multiple Benefits Track   

Greg Valerio is a fair trade jeweler with a background in human rights and environmental advocacy. He has been foundational to the international development and realization of fair trade jewelry and traceable supply chains from mine to retail. Greg is passionate about the jewelry industry’s potential to transform lives of small-scale miners through the power of mine-to-market traceability and transparency. Greg is the founder of CRED Jewelry and co-founder of Fair Jewelry Action. He is a regular columnist for The National Association of Goldsmiths Jeweler Magazine, and serves on the Ethics Working Group for the British Jewelers Association and National Association of Goldsmiths. He was the winner of The Observer Ethical Award for Global Campaigner in 2011.

 

Cyndie Walck
Presenter: Humbug Creek Watershed Assessment
Gold Country Mines Bus Tour – Monday, April 20, 2015

Cyndie Walck is a geomorphologist and hydrologist for California State Parks, and the only hydrologist in the Parks system.  She has over 20 years of experience in stream and watershed restoration, and has done numerous projects in the Tahoe Basin and around the state. She received her MS in Hydrology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1993. Cyndie will be representing Parks at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park on the Gold Country Mines bus tour.

 

Michelle Wood, Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
Presenter: Statewide Mercury Program for Reservoirs: Developing Best Management Practices through Pilot Projects
1:20 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Panelist: Evaluating Best Available Techniques
2:40 pm – Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Best Available Techniques Track

Michelle Wood is an environmental scientist with the Central Valley Water Quality Control Board’s Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Unit. Her academic and professional background includes water quality, flood hydrology, CEQA, climate change, and hazardous materials. For the past ten years, Michelle has worked on developing control programs for mercury and other metals, starting with the Delta and progressing upstream to reservoirs. Michelle is currently working with a team of scientists and engineers from multiple Water Boards to develop a statewide control program for mercury-impaired reservoirs. Michelle has a Master of Science in Geosciences from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography with a minor in Geology from Louisiana State University.

 

Kendra Zamzow, Ph.D., Center for Science in Public Participation
Facilitator: Best Available Techniques Track – Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kendra Zamzow, Ph.D. is an environmental geochemist and the Alaska representative for the Center for Science in Public Participation (CSP2). She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012 she accepted a Science & Technology Policy Fellowship through the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and spent 16 months in the Washington, DC offices of the EPA’s Office of Research and Development/Office of Science Policy. She currently works with CSP2 from Chickaloon, Alaska, providing technical analysis of mining projects on behalf of communities and tribes on topics that include copper heap leach closure, arsenic chemistry in tailings, mercury release from thermal processing of gold, and potential for acid drainage.