David Cleaves is the former Climate Change Advisor of the
U.S. Forest Service. In this role, he served the Forest
Service Chief, executive leadership, and the field by
coordinating activities related to climate change
adaptation, mitigation, and communication. Dave was the
primary spokesperson for the agency on the role of forests
in climate change and led the implementation of the Forest
Service’s nationwide strategy for weaving climate change
response into policies, processes, and partnerships.
Dave was formerly the Associate Deputy Chief of Forest
Service Research & Development, the agency's science
and technology program. He has also been the director of
the Rocky Mountain Research Station and staff director for
national research programs in economics, forest products,
social science, recreation and tourism, urban forestry,
science education, and the Resources Planning Act
assessment. Additionally, he led the agency's research and
development programs in fire behavior and prediction,
fuels management, planning and economics, and human
Dave's specialty is decision science and risk analysis. He was formerly the national decision science specialist in the Forest Service where he developed methods and tools for improving environmental analysis and decision processes. Prior to his career in the Forest Service, he was a professor of forest marketing and economics at Oregon State University. Dave has a B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in economics from Texas A&M University
Ellen Hanak is director of the Public Policy Institute of
California (PPIC) Water Policy Center and a senior fellow
at the PPIC. Under her leadership, the center has become a
critical source of information and guidance for natural
resource management in California. She has authored dozens
of reports, articles, and books on water policy, including
Managing California’s Water. Her research is frequently
profiled in the national media, and she participates in
briefings, conferences, and interviews throughout the
nation and around the world. Her other areas of expertise
include climate change and infrastructure finance.
Previously, she served as research director at PPIC.
Before joining PPIC, she held positions with the French
agricultural research system, the President’s Council of
Economic Advisers, and the World Bank. She holds a Ph.D.
in economics from the University of Maryland.
Thomas Harter has a B.S. in hydrology from the University
of Freiburg, Germany and a M.S. in hydrology from the
University of Stuttgart, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in
hydrology (with emphasis on subsurface hydrology) at the
University of Arizona. In 1995, he joined the faculty at
the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources,
University of California, Davis. His research focuses on
nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater, groundwater
modeling, groundwater resources evaluation under
uncertainty, groundwater-surface water interaction, and on
contaminant transport. Thomas's research group has done
extensive modeling, laboratory, and field work to evaluate
the impacts of agriculture and human activity on
groundwater flow and contaminant transport in complex
aquifer and soil systems. In 2007, Thomas was appointed
Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair in Water Management and
Policy. Also in 2008, Thomas's research and extension
program received the Kevin J. Neese Award in recognition
of its efforts to engage scientists, regulators, farm
advisors, dairy industry representatives, and dairy
farmers to better understand the effects of dairy
operations on water quality.
Carly is an Operations Research Analyst for the Bureau of
Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region in the Boulder Canyon
Operations Office. She is currently stationed at the
University of Colorado Boulder Center for Advanced
Decision Support for Water and Environmental Systems
(CADSWES). Carly obtained B.S. degrees in civil and
environmental engineering and engineering and public
policy from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002. She also
earned her M.S. in civil engineering from the University
of Colorado in 2005. Carly leads the Region’s research and
development of modeling applications and decision support
for water operations and planning. She was Reclamation’s
Study Manager for the Colorado River Basin Water Supply
and Demand Study.
Kurt A. Johnson, Ph.D., is the National Climate Change
Scientist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service),
based in Falls Church, Virginia. Kurt provides expertise
and consultation services to the Service’s regions and
programs on issues related to climate change science,
climate vulnerability assessment, and adaptation planning.
Kurt is actively involved in the Service’s biological
carbon sequestration efforts, including coastal blue
carbon. Kurt chaired the Service’s National Climate Team
for two years, and prior to that led the team that
developed the Service’s Climate Change Strategic Plan.
Kurt formerly worked as a listing biologist in the
Service’s Endangered Species Program, where, among other
issues, he worked on the listing of the polar bear as a
threatened species. He obtained his B.S. in Wildlife
Science from Utah State University in 1976, his M.S. in
Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Animal Ecology from Utah State
University in 1987.
Sharon Megdal is Director of The University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) and C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Her work focuses on water resources management and policy, on which she writes and frequently speaks. She also holds the titles Professor, Department Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, and Distinguished Outreach Professor. She serves as Director of the Water Sustainability Program and Co-Director of The University of Arizona Water, Environmental and Energy Solutions Program, both of which are funded by the Technology Research Initiative Fund (TRIF).
Sharon places particular emphasis on how to achieve desired policy objectives in terms of institutional structures and possible changes to them. Current projects include: comparative evaluation of water management, policy, and governance in growing, water-scarce regions; meeting the water needs of the environment; groundwater management and governance; groundwater recharge; and transboundary aquifer assessment. She is the lead editor of the book, Shared Borders, Shared Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges. Sharon teaches the multi-disciplinary graduate course Arizona Water Policy. She serves as President of the National Institutes for Water Resources (NIWR) and is a member of the board of the Universities Council on Water Resources (UCOWR) and the Western Rural Development Center. As an elected member of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District Board of Directors, Sharon is responsible for the policies, rates and taxes associated with delivering Colorado River water through the Central Arizona Project. Sharon has served on numerous Arizona boards and commissions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission, the State Transportation Board and the Arizona Medical Board. She holds a Ph.D. degree in economics from Princeton University.
Doug Parker is the Director of the California Institute for Water Resources, part of a nationwide network of 54 universities funded by the US Geological Survey under the Water Resources Research Act of 1964. Doug is also the Strategic Initiative Leader for UC Agriculture and Natural Resources’ Water Quality, Quantity, and Security Strategic Initiative. He coordinates water-related research, extension, and education efforts across the 10 UC campuses, the UC ANR system, and other academic institutions within California.
Doug works with federal, state, and local agencies to guide academic expertise toward finding solutions to California’s water challenges. He brings together local, state, and federal stakeholders to identify issues and sources of political and financial support for water-related research. To improve the understanding of water issues, he serves as a key spokesperson on California water issues, working with federal, state, regional, nonprofit, and campus stakeholders on advocacy and outreach programs.
Prior to joining the University of California, Doug worked on water quality issues related to the Chesapeake Bay as an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland. He has also worked on issues related to California water as an Extension Economist at UC Berkeley. Doug obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics at UC Berkeley and bachelor’s degrees in economics and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara.
Adam Schempp joined the Environmental Law Institute as a
Staff Attorney in 2007. He leads the Institute’s work on
water allocation and use in the United States. Much of
Adam's research focuses on water resource management,
specifically identifying opportunities to meet
conservation and sustainability objectives through
existing laws and potential legal developments. Adam also
has worked extensively on other topics, including TMDLs
and CWA 303(d) listing under the Clean Water Act, marine
spatial planning and ecosystem-based management of marine
resources, and routine program changes under the Coastal
Zone Management Act. Prior to joining ELI, Adam clerked in
the legal department of the Denver Water Board and for the
Native American Rights Fund. He holds a B.A. in ethics,
politics and economics with a concentration in
environmental policy from Yale University and a J.D. from
the University of Virginia.
A leading expert in environmental and natural resources law and policy, Barton H. “Buzz” Thompson, Jr. has contributed a large body of scholarship on environmental issues ranging from the future of endangered species and fisheries to the use of economic techniques for regulating the environment. He is the founding director of the Stanford University Law School’s Environmental and Natural Resources Program, Perry L. McCarty Director and senior fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a senior fellow (by courtesy) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. In 2008, the Supreme Court appointed Professor Thompson to serve as the special master in Montana v. Wyoming (137 Original). Professor Thompson is chairman of the board of the Resources Legacy Fund and the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation, a California trustee for The Nature Conservancy, and a board member of both the American Farmland Trust and the Sonoran Institute. He previously served as a member of the Science Advisory Board for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Before joining the Stanford Law School faculty in 1986, he was a partner at O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles and a lecturer at the UCLA School of Law. He was a law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist ’52 (BA ’48, MA ’48) of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Buzz holds a B.A. in economics and political science from
Stanford University, an M.B.A. from Stanford Business
School, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Reagan Waskom currently serves as the Director of the
Colorado Water Institute and the Chair of the Colorado
State University Water Center. Reagan is a member of the
Department of Soil & Crop Sciences at CSU, where he
has worked on various water related research and outreach
programs for the past 27 years, conducting statewide
educational and applied research programs on water
quality, water quantity, water policy and natural resource
issues related to water use. His current teaching
responsibility at CSU is for GRAD592 the Graduate Water
Resources Seminar. In addition, he oversees the CSU
Extension Water Outreach program and personnel. Reagan's
current research emphasis is on the integrated use of
surface and groundwater in the S. Platte Basin, the
impacts of shale gas development on water resources, and
agricultural water conservation in the Colorado River
basin. He received his BS and MS degrees from Texas
A&M University and his PhD from Colorado State