Reclaiming the Sierra

Speakers

Speaker Bios

Anecita Agustinez, Department of Water Resources
Panelist: Ethical Gold Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm- Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Anecita Agustinez, a tribal citizen of the Diné (Navajo) Nation, is the Tribal Policy Advisor for the Department of Water Resources (DWR). She is actively engaged in Tribal Consultation and developing Tribal engagement strategy on behalf of DWR. She provides policy direction in the areas of regional water planning, flood management, climate change, energy issues, drought, ecosystem restoration, sustainable groundwater management, water bond grant funding, environmental justice and disadvantaged community engagement.

She is Chair of the State Tribal Liaisons, an association of Native American Liaisons from California’s State agencies.  As Chair, she oversees the annual Native American Day celebration held at the State Capitol and California’s Tribal Leadership Forum dinner.  The Tribal Leaders Forum dinner is held annually between California’s Tribal Government leaders, the Governor, and members of the legislature. Anecita is co-executive producer, publicist and media strategist for On Native Ground, a nationally recognized and award winning media, film and public relations company and tribal non-profit corporation.

Charles N. Alpers, Ph.D., United States Geological Survey
Presenter: Regional Models for Prioritization Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dr. Charles N. Alpers is a Research Chemist with the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center in Sacramento, California. He has degrees in Geology from Harvard University (A.B., 1980, magna cum laude) and the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., 1986). Dr. Alpers has authored or coauthored more than 125 peer-reviewed publications on various topics related to the environmental legacy of historical mining including: acid mine drainage; sulfate minerals; mercury contamination and bioaccumulation; and arsenic speciation and bioavailability. His current projects include quantification of erosion and sediment sources at Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park in Nevada County, California; investigation of mercury transport, methylation, and bioaccumulation at the Cache Creek Settling Basin in Yolo County, California; and geochemistry and mineralogy related to extreme mine drainage (including negative pH) at the Iron Mountain Mine Superfund Site in Shasta County, California.

Adrienne Alvord, Union of Concerned Scientists, Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Plenary Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Adrienne Alvord is the Western States Director for the Union of Concerned Scientists and a recognized expert in state and regional climate, energy and transportation policy. Ms. Alvord is working to ensure a transition to a low-carbon economy that reduces global warming, promotes equitable economic growth, and improves public health. She is leading UCS’s effort in California, Oregon and Washington to achieve robust climate, renewable energy, and clean vehicle policies and to make sure existing standards are implemented.

Ms. Alvord has 25 years of experience in translating scientific and technical knowledge into effective policies, and creating strategic partnerships to accomplish them. Prior to joining UCS, Ms. Alvord was the environmental policy director for California State Senator Fran Pavley and served as lead staff on the Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s landmark climate law known as AB 32. She led successful legislative efforts to establish clean energy programs, clean vehicles and fuel technology standards, air and water quality rules, and natural resources protection programs.

Lauren Baehner, Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy
Tour Speaker: Sierra to Sea Tour on the Sacramento River
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Lauren Baehner is the Coordinator for the Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (Delta MERP), a multi-year effort to reduce human exposure from eating fish caught in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta by providing information on how to make safe choices about fish. The objective of Delta MERP is to work with impacted communities to design and implement culturally-relevant activities and materials that raise awareness and understanding and reduce risks of harm from mercury. Delta MERP is a partnership between the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, and the California Department of Public Health. Lauren holds undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Cell Biology from the University of Kansas, and an M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley in Environmental Health Sciences. Lauren has worked with community-based organizations in San Francisco Bay Area to evaluate public health programs and engage and educate communities in evaluation efforts.

Douglas Bevington, Ph.D., Environment Now
Presenter: Forest Resiliency Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Douglas Bevington is the Forest Program Director for Environment Now, a family foundation that supports water and forest protection in California. He is the author of The Rebirth of Environmentalism: Grassroots Activism from the Spotted Owl to the Polar Bear (Island Press, 2009).

Darren Blackburn, San Francisco State University
Presenter: Meadow Restoration Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Darren Blackburn is a physical geographer with an interest in microclimate research. He received a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2008. He is currently a master’s candidate at San Francisco State University in the Department of Geography and Environment. Darren’s master’s thesis research utilizes the eddy covariance technique to observe surface-atmosphere exchanges in a partly degraded Sierra Nevada meadow. His advisors for this project are Andrew Oliphant, Ph.D. and Jerry Davis, Ph.D.

Gabrielle Boisramé, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
Presenter: Forest Resiliency Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gabrielle Boisramé is a postdoctoral scholar in the Stephens Lab at the University of California Berkeley. Her current research focuses on the interactions between wildfire, land cover, and water in the Sierra Nevada. Since 2013 she has been using a combination of fieldwork, remote sensing, and hydrological modeling to explore how managing natural wildfire in landscapes can improve water resources and forest health. This work is focused in Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks. Dr. Boisramé received her PhD in environmental engineering from UC Berkeley and earned a B.A. in applied mathematics at Whitman College.

Charlton “Chuck” Bonham, J.D., Director, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife
Panelist: Challenges to California’s Water Infrastructure Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Charlton “Chuck” Bonham is the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (previously the Department of Fish and Game). Bonham was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown in August 2011. His five years of service makes Bonham one of the longest standing Directors in recent history.

Prior to his appointment, Bonham served in a number of roles for Trout Unlimited (TU) for over ten years, including as the organization’s California Director and as a Senior Attorney. He was responsible for developing, managing, and implementing TU’s programs in California. Bonham has also served as a gubernatorial appointee on the Board of Directors of the Delta Conservancy. Bonham received his J.D. and Environmental and Natural Resources Law Certificate from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He was also a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal, West Africa.

Jim Branham, Executive Officer, Sierra Nevada Conservancy
Plenary Speaker: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jim Branham has spent more than 30 years working on natural resource and rural community issues in California. He was selected as the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s first Executive Officer by the Conservancy Board in October of 2005. As Executive Officer, Jim is responsible for day to day management of the organization and works closely with the Governing Board in developing policy and program priorities. The organization’s mission is to improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada region in an integrated manner. The Conservancy serves a region comprised of all or part of 22 counties covering 25 million acres, approximately one-quarter of the state of California.

Prior to joining the Conservancy Jim has worked in the CA State Legislature, CA Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the CA Resources Agency and the CA Environmental Protection Agency. He also worked in the forest products industry, assisting the Pacific Lumber Company with implementation of its Habitat Conservation Plan.

David Bunn, Ph.D., Director, California Department of Conservation
Plenary Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

David Bunn was appointed Director of the California Department of Conservation on June 18, 2015. Prior to his appointment, David was Associate Director of the International Programs Office of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis. David served as Deputy Director of Legislation for the Department of Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife) and he was Principal Consultant and Legislative Director in the office of California State Assemblymember Fred Keeley. He also served as Associate Consultant for the California State Senate Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee, and then years later he directed the development of California’s Wildlife Action Plan.

David was a Project Director and researcher at the One Health Institute in the School of Veterinary Medicine, where his work included directing international research projects and training programs in West and East Africa and in Nepal. Working in the private sector, David co-founded American Trash Management and served as its field manager. David was Environmental Program Director at the California Public Interest Research Group, and he worked on California agricultural issues as Executive Director at the California Agrarian Action Project. David earned a Ph.D. in Conservation Ecology, a Masters of Science in International Agricultural Development, and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Biology from the University of California, Davis.

Vic Claassen, University of California Davis
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Vic Claassen works with applied research projects on drastically disturbed substrates that lack one or more soil functions and, as a result, remain erosive or poorly vegetated. Mined lands, construction sites, and landslides are common examples. Soil moisture infiltration and retention are often critical limiting functions.

Shelly Covert, Nevada City Rancheria, California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project
Conference Closing Remarks
5:15 – 5:30 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Shelly Covert is the Spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe. She sits on the Tribal Council and is community outreach liaison for her Tribal membership. She is also the Executive Director of their newly founded non-profit, California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project or CHIRP. CHIRP’s mission is to preserve, protect and perpetuate the Nisenan culture. The Tribe’s major focus has been the restoration of its Federal Recognition with the United States Government. The Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Indians were Federally Recognized until 1964 when they were illegally “terminated.” Shelly spends most of her time engaging the public in educational speaking events about her Tribe, their rich history on the Yuba and Bear River watersheds, and assisting the Tribe with environmental and cultural revitalization projects to stabilize the Nisenan culture upon its ancient landscape.

William Craven, Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee
Panelist: SMARA Implementation Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

William Craven is currently the chief consultant for the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and has served in that capacity for 17 years. The committee is chaired by Senator Robert Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles. The Natural Resources and Water Committee has jurisdiction over legislation pertaining to water, state parks, public conservancies and other public lands, forestry, wildlife, coastal protection, mining, harbors, and other resource areas. Craven is an active designee of Senator Hertzberg at meetings of the Ocean Protection Council and the California State Parks and Recreation Commission. He staffed all of the mining reform bills introduced by his former chair, Senator Fran Pavley.

Prior to working for the Senate, he was the chief consultant to the Assembly Natural Resources Committee for one year, and for 3 years was the state director for Sierra Club California. He moved to California from the Midwest where he practiced law for 20 years including environmental work for nonprofits and Voting Rights Act cases with his family’s firm on behalf of Hispanic and African-American classes.

Jay Davis, Ph.D., San Francisco Estuary Institute, Aquatic Science Center
Tour Speaker: Sierra to Sea Tour on the Sacramento River
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dr. Davis grew up near the PCB-contaminated aquatic food web of Lake Michigan. He has worked on contaminant issues in San Francisco Bay since 1986. He received his Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of California, Davis in 1997. Dr. Davis is Lead Scientist of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay, a comprehensive water quality monitoring program. He is also lead scientist for bioaccumulation element of the California State Water Resource Control Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program, which conducts statewide surveys of contaminants in aquatic food webs. Dr. Davis is also the co-Director of San Francisco Estuary Institute’s Clean Water Program. His primary research interests are monitoring the accumulation of persistent contaminants in aquatic food webs of the Bay, its watershed, and aquatic ecosystems in California.

Danielle V. Dolan, Local Government Commission
Presenter: Regional Models for Prioritization Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Danielle V. Dolan has worked in environmental education, engagement, and advocacy for the last 14 years, the latter half in California water issues. Ms. Dolan was hired by the Local Government Commission in 2014 to lead LGC’s water programs — engaging on statewide policy initiatives and implementing projects at the local level. LGC’s water work emphasizes the connection between land use planning and sustainable water management, and includes cross-jurisdictional efforts to address watershed health and water security across the state. Prior to joining the LGC team, Ms. Dolan served as a workshop coordinator for the Sacramento River Watershed Program, and a project coordinator for the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Hawai’i Pacific University and a M.S. in Community Development from UC Davis.

Mark Drew, Ph.D., California Trout
Facilitator & Presenter: Meadow Restoration Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Dr. Mark Drew is California Trout’s Sierra Headwaters Program Director. Mark is the founder and prior Director of the Inyo-Mono Integrated Regional Water Management Program. Prior to joining CalTrout, Mark worked as The Nature Conservancy’s Southeastern Caribbean Program’s Protected Areas Specialist. Prior to working for The Nature Conservancy, Mark spent almost 15 years involved, both academically and professionally, in the fields of resource conservation, tropical food production and livelihood systems in the U.S. mainland, Oceania, and the Asia region.  Mark holds a B.S. degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management, an M.A. degree in International Development Policy and a Doctorate degree in Forestry and Resource Conservation from the University of Florida.  Mark’s professional interests center largely on tackling challenging issues that address the needs of both human and natural systems.

Randy Fessler, P.E., California Department of Water Resources
Panelist: Challenges to California’s Water Infrastructure Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Randy is a licensed Civil Engineer and currently serves as the Emergency Response Program Manager for the Department. Randy completed his B.S. in Civil Engineering at San Diego State University and is currently working toward  a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering. His professional experience has focused on dam engineering, dam safety, dam construction, hydrologic analysis, and hydraulic design of water control structures.

Peter G. Green, Ph.D., University of California Davis
Tour Speaker: Sierra to Sea Tour on the Sacramento River
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dr. Peter G. Green studied chemistry in college and graduate school, before changing to more applied projects in environmental chemistry in the early 1990s while working in southern California. Since moving to UC Davis in 2000 and joining the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, he has enjoyed ever widening research in the fields of air quality, water quality, engineering, ecology, human health and agricultural sciences.

His current projects include: mitigation of heavy metals released from abandoned mines, minimizing uptake of arsenic during rice production, discerning impurities in biogas and biomethane (and air quality impacts of their use), management of by-product brine after removal of chromium from drinking water, plant uptake of (and impact from) copper oxide nanomaterials, and groundwater contaminants in the San Joaquin Valley from past use of fumigants.

Valerie Hanley, Ph.D., CA Department of Toxic Substances Control
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Dr. Valerie Hanley is a Staff Toxicologist at the Department of Toxic Substances Control. She has been the lead toxicologist on an arsenic bioavailability in mining soils research study for the last 8 years and recently authored DTSC’s Human Health Risk Assessment Note 6: Recommended Methodology for Evaluating Site-Specific Arsenic Bioavailability in California Soils. Dr. Hanley has a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a Ph.D. in Comparative Pathology from UC Davis, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Respiratory Toxicology at UC Davis.  She’s been serving California in DTSC’s Human and Ecological Risk Office since 2008.

David Herbst, Ph.D., Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

David Herbst holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University and has been doing research on mountain streams and desert lakes at the University of California Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory since 1986. Among the research questions he has investigated are the effect of salinity and water chemistry on life in alkaline salt lakes such as Mono Lake, the effect of sediment on stream invertebrates in the Sierra and central coast of California, assessment of livestock grazing and meadow restoration, the influence of introduced trout on formerly fishless mountain streams, and how drought and climate change alter headwater ecosystems of the high Sierra.  Using bottom-dwelling aquatic invertebrates as indicators of stream health, he has monitored acid mine drainage impacts and recovery in the Leviathan mine watershed for over 20 years.

John Hillenbrand, P.G., E.G., US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9
Plenary Speaker: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

John Hillenbrand provides regional coordination for mining activities and provides technical expertise to mine site case workers within EPA Region 9.  He is also co-chair of EPA’s national mining team. Mr. Hillenbrand holds a B.S in Geology from UC Davis and a M.S. from UC Riverside. He is a Professional Geologist and Engineering Geologist in the State of California.

Mr. Hillenbrand has 27 years of experience in the water quality and solid waste. For the past 20 years he has specialized in Clean Water Act enforcement and Superfund clean-up at mining sites at EPA Region 9. His work includes providing site specific assistance to project managers at various Region 9 Superfund mine sites and is currently the project manager for the Argonaut Mine, Celtor and Copper Bluff sites. Other work includes leading EPA’s internal investigation at Gold King Mine and assisting with the development of the abandoned mine prioritization effort for EPA in California.

Rachel Hutchinson, South Yuba River Citizens League
Presenter: Meadow Restoration Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Rachel Hutchinson is the Science Director for the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and is responsible for SYRCL’s conservation, restoration, monitoring, and education programs. She joined SYRCL in 2013 from the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences where she worked as a riparian ecologist for almost ten years. Rachel received her master’s degree in Water Resources from the University of Idaho where she studied how plant communities on restored river floodplains responded to changes in hydrology and invasion from non-native species in the lower reaches of the Cosumnes watershed.

Greg Jones, Nevada Irrigation District
Panelist: Ethical Gold Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Greg Jones has over twenty years’ experience managing teams, projects and budgets for small businesses, start-ups and non-profit organizations. Mr. Jones has industry experience within public and private utilities, local governments, renewable energy manufacturing, economic development and energy conservation services. In January, Mr. Jones began his position with the Nevada Irrigation District where he is the Assistant General Manager. Mr. Jones holds an MBA from the University of Nevada, Reno and a BS from California State University, Chico.

G. Mathias (Matt) Kondolf, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
Plenary Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Panelist: Challenges to California’s Water Infrastructure Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Matt Kondolf is a fluvial geomorphologist specializing in environmental river management and restoration. At Berkeley he teaches courses in hydrology, river restoration, and environmental science and planning. His research focuses on human-river interactions, with emphasis on managing of flood-prone lands, managing sediment in rivers and reservoirs, and river restoration, and has published extensively on these topics. His book Tools in Fluvial Geomorphology (2nd edition, Wiley) is a reference in the field. He has served as advisor to US and state agencies on river management and restoration, and provided expert testimony before the US Congress, the California Legislature, the US Supreme Court, and the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague.

Gideon Kracov, J.D., Chair, State Mining and Geology Board
Plenary Speaker: Monday Evening Plenary
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Gideon Kracov was appointed to the State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. on July 8, 2014, and made Chair on February 2, 2015. He is a lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles, where he represents clients in civil law, environmental and land use matters. Previously, he was deputy city attorney at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his service as SMGB Chair, Mr. Kracov currently chairs the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Independent Review Panel tasked with recommending improvements to the agency’s permitting, enforcement, outreach and fiscal management. Mr. Kracov also is the former Chair of the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section. Elected by his peers to that role, he led education and program activities on behalf of the Section’s 2,500+ environmental lawyer members. He previously has served as Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Proposition O Bond Committee overseeing $500 million to protect the City’s rivers and beaches and as Acting Chair of the State Committee supervising California’s vehicle smog check program.

John Laird, California Natural Resources Agency
Plenary Speaker: Monday Evening Plenary
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

John Laird has served as Secretary for the California Natural Resources Agency since 2011. A long-time resident of Santa Cruz, Secretary Laird has spent nearly 40 years in public service at the state and local level, including 23 years as an elected official. While serving the maximum three terms in the Assembly, Laird authored 82 bills that were signed into law. These bills established the landmark Sierra Nevada Conservancy, restored community college health services, expanded and clarified state civil rights protections, reformed the state mandates system, and significantly expanded water conservation.

As California’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Laird has prioritized climate change adaptation, water conservation and supply reliability, enhanced relationships with tribal governments, State Parks access, farmland conservation, and oceans sustainability. He provides administrative oversight to thirty departments, commissions, councils, museum, boards and conservancies – and is a sitting member of sixteen conservancies, councils, boards and commissions within the purview of the Agency.

Steve Lofholm, P.G., Golder Associates
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Steve Lofholm is a Program Leader with Golder Associates. He earned an M.S. in geology from the South Dakota School of Mines in 1982. He is a California professional geologist with over 35 years’ experience working as a hydrologist with the USGS, an exploration geologist with Homestake Mining, Anaconda Copper, and Exxon. He has worked as an environmental consultant since 1987 managing hazardous waste investigation and remediation projects.

Currently, Mr. Lofholm is a program manager for environmental remediation at sites throughout California including the Empire Mine State Historic Park where work includes environmental permitting and assessments, remediation, engineering, construction and O&M. A highlight includes the design and construction of the passive mining influenced water treatment system (PTS), and restoration of the Magenta Drain channel. The PTS system had a three year TSO to allow the system to mature but has met final effluent limits after only 15 months of operation.

Austen Lorenz, San Francisco State University
Presenter: Meadow Restoration Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Austen Lorenz is a graduate student in the Geographic Information Science (GIS) program at San Francisco State University. His research is focused on applications of remote sensing and GIS for landscape ecology, hydrology, and geomorphology. For his thesis, Austen is developing a method of remotely sensing and classifying mountain meadows by hydrogeomorphic types in the Sierra Nevada using object-based image analysis. Previously Austen worked for American Rivers, where he became interested in mountain meadows. Prior to that, Austen worked for the United States Forest Service in Colorado and Alaska as an aquatic ecology technician.

Nicole Lutkemuller, 34 North
Presenter: Regional Models for Prioritization Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Nicole Lutkemuller has a B.S. in Environmental Science and Ecology from Sierra Nevada College and has been working and studying in the Sierra since 2009. Nicole joined the 34 North team as an Ecologist in October 2015 and manages geospatial data for 34 North’s OpenNRM projects throughout California. Prior to joining 34 North, Nicole served as the Watershed Program Assistant for the Alpine Watershed Group through the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership and as a Land Health Assessment Technician for the Bureau of Land Management through the Great Basin Institute and Nevada Conservation Corps. Ms. Lutkemuller’s passion and focus through her academic and professional career has been on both water resource management and forest health issues in the Sierra Nevada. Nicole volunteers with numerous environmental non-profits in the Lake Tahoe area, conducting water quality and forestry monitoring as well as facilitating community engagement in local environmental issues.

Glenda Marsh, CA Department of Conservation, Abandoned Mine Lands Program
Facilitator: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

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, CEO, The Sierra Fund
Plenary Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

MC: Monday Evening Plenary
6:00 – 7:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Moderator: Ethical Gold Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin, CEO of The Sierra Fund, is an organizer and advocate with thirty-seven years of experience working in rural communities to promote economic and environmental justice.  She has worked with farm workers, farmers, and environmentalists to develop pioneering programs to promote organic agriculture and reduce community exposure to pesticides.  While serving as Nevada County Supervisor Izzy led the fight in the legislature to put the Yuba River into the state’s wild and scenic river system, spearheaded the effort to clean up an abandoned mine in her district, and began a successful five-year campaign to establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. Izzy conceived of and directs The Sierra Fund’s Headwaters Restoration Program, aimed at restoring the region from the environmental, health and cultural devastation caused by the 19th century California gold rush. Her extraordinary accomplishments were recognized last year when she received a James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Stephen McCord, Ph.D., P.E., McCord Environmental
Facilitator: Regional Models for Prioritization Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Stephen McCord, Ph.D., P.E., is President of McCord Environmental based in Davis, CA. He holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University, and 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 with surface water quality management projects throughout California, several other US states, and internationally. As a registered Professional Engineer and a certified Lake Professional, his key project areas include technical project management, strategic planning, stakeholder facilitation, discharge and surface water monitoring, and water quality modeling. Special water quality expertise include conceptual and mass balance models, TMDLs, water quality trading, and abandoned mine site cleanups.

Robert Meacher, Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Moderator: Reservoir Mercury Discharge Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Robert has served on The Sierra Fund’s Board of Directors since 2013. He is currently the City Manager for Portola California. He is the City’s representative to the Sierra CAMP (Climate Adaptation Mitigation Plan) through the Sierra Business Council. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento River Watershed Program and the California Watershed Network. He was the Democrat Candidate for the State Assembly District 1 in 2012. He was a Plumas County Supervisor from 1993 to 2013. Robert was appointed by three consecutive State and Federal Administrations to serve as the Local Government representative on the CALFED Bay-Delta Advisory Committee, and the CALFED Bay-Delta Public Advisory Committee 1996-2008. In that capacity he co-chaired the Watershed Program element 1998-2008. Robert was the Rural Counties representative on the Pacific Coast Watershed Lands Stewardship Council Board of Directors from 2008-2013. He was the Rural Counties representative on the California Biodiversity Council from 1995-2008. He attended Cal State Chico, majoring in Pre-law and Political Science. He was the first Certified Paralegal in Northeast California in 1986.

Carrie Monohan, Ph.D., Science Director, The Sierra Fund
Welcome & Introduction: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Panelist: Reservoir Mercury Discharge Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dr. Carrie Monohan earned her Ph.D. in Forest Resources and Hydrology in 2004 from the University of Washington. Her dissertation work addressed the relationship between water quality in agricultural streams and diminishing salmon habitat. She has been the Science Director at The Sierra Fund since 2010 where she designs and directs research to fill critical data gaps in water quality regulation, abandon mine remediation and prioritization of conservation efforts. 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. Dr. Monohan is also an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at California State University at Chico where she teaches courses in the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department and supervises graduate student research in the projects that she directs at The Sierra Fund.

Steven Moore, Vice Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
Panelist: Reservoir Mercury Discharge Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Steven Moore was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. in 2012, reappointed in 2016, and elected as Vice Chair of the Board in 2017. He previously served on the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board from 2008-2012 under the Brown and Schwarzenegger administrations and held staff positions at that Regional Water Board at various times between 1992 and 2006.

Between 1989 and 2012, Mr. Moore worked over 10 years as an engineer and consultant on a wide variety of water infrastructure projects, including sewer reconstruction, recycled water, stormwater, water supply, stream and wetland restoration, and Environmental Impact Reports throughout California. Mr. Moore has experience both obtaining and issuing discharge permits, wetland permits, and clean water grants and loans. He led Basin Planning for the Regional Water Board from 2002 to 2006.

Mr. Moore holds a B.S. in biological sciences and an M.S. in civil engineering, both from Stanford University. He is a registered civil engineer and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Lawrie Mott
Keynote Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Lawrie Mott specializes in environmental health and science, and has recently focused on western water issues. Beginning at the Natural Resources Defense Council in the early 1980s, Lawrie worked on agricultural and pesticide problems in California and nationally. Later she launched a new project to safeguard children from environmental health threats, including lead, air pollution and pesticides.

Working on climate change, sustainable agriculture, educational equity, children’s environmental health, and independent media for social change Lawrie has served on many government advisory committees and nonprofit boards, including Envision Education, Cool the Earth, Resource Media, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, and the U.S. EPA Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee.

Lawrie posthumously edited and completed A Dangerous Place: California’s Unsettling Fate by Marc Reisner, her late husband and author of Cadillac Desert, on the potential impact of earthquakes on California with particular focus on the Sacramento– San Joaquin Delta. She is now completing a final chapter to update Cadillac Desert for a new edition coming later this year. Lawrie lives in Marin County, the only Bay Area county that does not receive water from the Delta. At urging of one of her adult daughters, she replaced her postage stamp lawn with edible plants and is hoping to convince her neighbors to do the same.

Jeffrey Mount, Ph.D., Public Policy Institute of California
Moderator: Challenges to California’s Water Infrastructure Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey Mount is a Senior Fellow with the Public Policy Institute of California Water Policy Center. He is the Founding Director of the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. While at UC Davis he held the Roy Shlemon Chair in Applied Geosciences and UC President’s Chair in Undergraduate Education.

During his long career Dr. Mount has published widely on the science and management of rivers, including his award-winning book, California Rivers and Streams (UC Press). He is co-author of the recent synthesis Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation (Public Policy Institute of California). His work at the Public Policy Institute of California focuses on bringing together multidisciplinary teams of researchers to develop novel solutions to water problems, particularly in California.

Thomas A. O’Neill, The Habitat Institute
Plenary Speaker: Monday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Thomas A. O’Neill is the Director, founder, and lead ecologist for The Habitat Institute a nonprofit 501(c) 3 scientific and educational organization. Tom has worked for 40 years as a wildlife ecologist in the west and 35 years as a Certified Wildlife Biologist. Experience related to this presentation include developing a framework and method called Combined Habitat Assessment Protocols or CHAP for assessing ecosystem functions and resiliency. His work has produced the first patent in the US for an algorithm for assessing habitat value; creating and implementing a new dimension of performance called a functional redundancy index value; implementing proof-of-concept projects; and defending the concept in a host of independent scientific reviews. Additionally, Tom’s other work has helped delist the first listed fish species in the US. Tom has several degrees and has also held an Associate Faculty status at the University of Chicago and Oregon State University.

Gary Parsons, Board Member, The Sierra Fund
Moderator: SMARA Implementation Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Gary Parsons joined The Sierra Fund’s Board of Directors in 2015. Gary 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.

Pat Perez, CA Department of Conservation, Division of Mine Reclamation
Panelist: SMARA Implementation Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Mr. Pat Perez was appointed Supervisor of the Division 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. Before joining the Department of Conservation, Perez served as the California Energy Commission’s Deputy Director for transportation energy and alternative fuel programs and held a number of managerial and supervisorial positions during a 32-year career at the 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. Pat graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Geography in 1979.

Mary Pitto, Rural County Representatives of California
Panelist: SMARA Implementation Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Mary Pitto joined the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) staff in 2002 and serves as a Regulatory Affairs Advocate. Mary represents RCRC before the legislature and various state agencies and regulatory bodies that have broad authority over land use and environmental policy. This includes air quality, solid waste, land use planning, and mining, as well as a variety of other issues. Mary served 19 years in California rural county government in Calaveras County where she was the Deputy Planning Director and then Senior Administrative Analyst. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Planning and Management from the University of California at Davis and a Master of Arts in Biology from the California State University at Fresno.

Carol Purchase, United States Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest
Panelist: Challenges to California’s Water Infrastructure Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Panelist: Reservoir Mercury Discharge Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Carol Purchase has spent the past 25 years working for the National Park Service and for National Forests in Oregon, Montana, Wyoming and California. In that time, she has worked on mine assessment and remediation in the Rocky Mountains, Mexico and Russia, in addition to right here in the Sierra Nevada. Her current program encompasses landscape planning, water rights, hydropower relicensing, meadow restoration and invasive species management. However, she focuses on assessing and restoring the many hydraulic mine sites on the Tahoe National Forest whenever possible. Her interest in watershed restoration began as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, and since that time has had the opportunity to develop watershed restoration plans for degraded landscapes in Madagascar, Tanzania, and Big Bend, Texas. Carol Purchase has an undergraduate degree in Botany from University of Washington, Seattle and a M.S. Degree in Forest Hydrology from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

Gregory J. Reller, P.G., Burleson Consulting Inc.
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Greg is a consulting geologist with 30 years of experience addressing environmental contamination. Since 1998 Greg has worked primarily on abandoned mine sites. He has characterized and addressed physical hazards and environmental threats at legacy abandoned mines on federal lands administered by US Forest Service, US Bureau of Land Management, and National Park Service; State lands administered by California Department of Parks, and private lands. Mr. Reller has successfully removed and treated mercury containing sediment from sluice tunnels, planned and documented monitoring to evaluate the effects of modern mining on mobility of legacy mercury, and planned and supervised the cleanup of legacy mercury, gold, sulphur, tungsten, and copper mines and mills.

Erik Ringelberg, The Freshwater Trust
Presenter: Regional Models for Prioritization Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Erik Ringelberg brings more than 20 years of experience as an applied environmental scientist to The Freshwater Trust as its California Director. Erik’s professional work has focused on NEPA/CEQA analyses, and permit development and compliance in Northern and Central California. He has also managed lake and river restoration and listed species recovery programs in both Nevada and California. He’s been cited in several articles on California’s water crisis, and reforming California’s water policies; and, he’s served on technical advisory committees, regional water planning commissions, and watershed councils. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from Colorado State University and a master’s in Environmental Science from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Michael Schultz, REI Drilling, Inc.
Presenter: Mine Remediation Session
1:00 – 2:55 pm- Monday, May 8, 2017

Michael Schultz is the Business Development Manager with REI Drilling, Inc. and has an undergraduate degree in Mining Engineering from Virginia Tech. REI Drilling is a horizontal directional drilling company that specializes in delivering unique services for the mining industry. These services include installing horizontal holes into abandoned mine pools and utilizing gravity drainage either to treat the water or to lower head pressures within the mine in order to reduce the potential risk of a blowout. Over the last 6 years, Michael has been directly involved in engineering and managing environmental projects relating to dewatering abandoned mines. He recently moved to Grand Junction, Colorado to provide local consulting and support for environmental projects at abandoned hard rock mines in the Rocky Mountains, including sites such as Gold King.

Bob Scowcroft, Nell Newman Foundation
Panelist: Ethical Gold Panel
1:00 – 2:55 pm- Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bob has successfully transitioned from a “retirement” state of mind into a more active composition of consultant, volunteer and advocacy oriented activities. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Nell Newman Foundation and sits on four non-profit advisory boards. He previously served as Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, a national organization, based in Santa Cruz, California. It was co-founded by Bob and two certified organic farmers in 1990. In the nearly 20 years Bob directed OFRF, it awarded over $2,400,000 in support of over 320 organic research and education projects. The results of which were shared with over 15,000 organic farmers and ranchers throughout North America. During Bob’s tenure OFRF had an active policy, research, and publishing program, and it disseminated information on all sectors of the organic product industry to the public at large. Bob averaged 200 media interviews and over 15 conference presentations on all subjects “organic” annually. He sat on five Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Advisory Boards. He resigned and retired from OFRF at the end of 2010. Prior to working for OFRF, he was the first full time Executive Director of California Certified Organic Farmers (1987-1992); before that he served in the Friends of the Earth’s San Francisco office as their national organizer with a primary focus on pesticide reduction and organic farming advocacy (1979-1985).

Mark Seelos, Santa Clara Valley Water District
Panelist: Reservoir Mercury Discharge Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mark Seelos is an Assistant Water Resources Specialist with the Santa Clara Valley Water District in the San Francisco South Bay. His work focuses on implementing and evaluating reservoir methylmercury treatment systems in the Guadalupe River Watershed, host to the former New Almaden Mining District, the largest historical producer of mercury in North America. He has a B.S. in environmental geology from UC Santa Cruz and 5 years of experience working on water quality issues in the nonprofit and government sectors.

Fraser Shilling, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Plenary Speaker: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dr. Fraser Shilling is research faculty in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Davis. Shilling has three areas of research:
1) interactions between equity and water quality policy and decision-making;
2) sustainability indicator systems; and
3) transportation ecology, where he is also co-director of the Road Ecology Center.

Some of Fraser’s active research involves reducing mercury impacts on people and the environment, studying how traffic noise and light impacts wildlife use of habitat and wildlife crossing structures, developing new methods for measuring sea level rise and its impacts in real-time, facilitating the sharing and understanding of water data through indicators related to social goals, and calculating the impact of roads and highways on wildlife movement and survival.  Shilling obtained his doctorate in aquatic biology at the University of Southern California.

Edward Smith, The Nature Conservancy
Facilitator & Presenter: Forest Resiliency Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Edward Smith, Forest Ecologist, is leading efforts by The Nature Conservancy to increase the quality and scale of ecological restoration of forests in the Sierra Nevada. He brings people skills, analytical skills, vegetation modeling, and pragmatic experience in prescribed burning and forest management to the collaborative table to troubleshoot complex issues. He is working to quantify ecosystem service benefits of healthy forests as a result of improved forest management, with an emphasis on biodiversity value, water quality and quantity, and stable carbon.

Edward has worked for TNC for 21 years, in forest ecology, grazing management and grassland ecology, and the mechanics of quality collaborative process. He received his MS in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, studying the nitrogen dynamics of intact and disturbed forests in belowground processes. He received his BA in Biology from UC San Diego, Revelle College in 1983.

Jordan Fisher Smith
Keynote Speaker: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jordan Fisher Smith spent 21 years as a park and wilderness ranger in the West and Northwest. His 2005 memoir of ranger work, Nature Noir, published Houghton Mifflin, and was an Audubon Magazine Editor’s Choice and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books pick. The New York Times called Nature Noir “Eloquently meditative,” and The Boston Globe judged it “Daringly original and gorgeously nuanced.” Newsweek said of Jordan, “He writes about the natural world with more grace than anyone since Edward Abbey.”

Jordan’s 2016 book Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight Over Controlling Nature was nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. The Wall Street Journal calls Engineering Eden “Intensely reported, rousingly readable, and ambitiously envisioned…A thrilling read.” “Smith’s book will draw you in with his passion, thoughtfulness and first-rate story-telling,” opined the Seattle Times.

Jordan has written for The New Yorker, Time.com, Discover, and Men’s Journal. He’s a cast member and narrator of a documentary film about Lyme disease, “Under Our Skin,” which made the 2010 Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary Feature, and appears in the 2014 sequel “Under Our Skin 2: Emergence.” He has been a guest on various nationally syndicated radio programs including NPR’s Morning Edition, On Point, Living on Earth, and National Geographic Weekend. He lives in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.

Michael Smith, Teichert Materials
Panelist: SMARA Implementation Panel
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Monday, May 8, 2017

Michael Smith has 30 years of experience in land use planning and entitlement processing. He is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a B.A. in Geography and a minor in Recreation. He currently serves as Aggregate Resource and Government Relations Manager for Teichert Materials and oversees the team responsible for all land use permits necessary to serve Teichert Materials’ operations throughout California.  As part of his role, Michael is also responsible for government relations and community benefits for Teichert Materials and represents Teichert on CalCIMA’s Governmental and Legislative Affairs Committee as well as its Political Action Committee.

Michael is also deeply involved in serving the community through his work with nonprofits which includes; Board Chair for the Cache Creek Conservancy in Yolo County; Board Member for the American River Parkway Foundation, Vice-Chair for the Sacramento Metro Chamber’s Inspire Giving Leadership Council, and Board Member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber Foundation.

Scott Stephens, Ph.D., University of California Berkeley
Presenter: Forest Resiliency Session
3:10 – 5:00 pm – Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Scott is a Professor of Fire Science and Chair of the Division of Ecosystem Science at UC Berkeley. He is also the Director of the UC Center for Fire Research and Outreach and Co-Director of the UC Center for Forestry. He is the leader of California Fire Science Consortium which works to more effectively deliver fire science information to natural resource managers. Stephens’ areas of expertise focus on interactions of wildland fire and ecosystems. This includes how prehistoric fires once interacted with ecosystems, how current wildland fires are affecting ecosystems, and how management and climate change may change this interaction. He is also interested in wildland fire policy and how it can be improved to meet the challenges of the next decades.

Craig Tucker, Ph.D., Karuk Tribe
Plenary Speaker: Tuesday Morning Plenary
9:00 am – 12:00 pm- Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Craig Tucker is the Natural Resources Policy Advocate for the Karuk Tribe. The primary focus of his 13 year tenure with the Karuk has been the removal of the lower four Klamath River Dams. Currently, FERC is considering a dam decommissioning proposal put forth by the dam owner last September. If implemented, this would be the largest dam removal project in US History. Craig began his career as a scientist, earning a B.S. in biochemistry from Clemson University in 1993 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Vanderbilt in 1999. However, he soon focused on political organizing, training with Green Corps and working as the Outreach Director for Friends of the River before joining the Karuk Natural Resources Department. Craig believes in employing a broad range of advocacy tools on campaign including direct action, community organizing, litigation, and technical analysis.