What’s on Tap for South
Central Texas? --A Water for People and the Environment
Saturday, September 9, 2006
Trinity University San Antonio, Texas
Agenda, Speaker Presentations & Audio
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A Water for People and the Environment Conference
The conference was a great success with over 200 participants. Conferees heard an introduction to water issues and expert views of the impacts of decisions pending in South Central Texas. The speakers addressed potential impacts on water resources, natural ecosystems, wildlife and on agriculture of available options.
This conference was one of a series of conferences in diffferent regions of Texas as part of the Texas Living Waters Project. The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club sponsored the conference in partnership with
Environmental Defense and National Wildlife Federation.
The following statewide and regional organizations are
co-sponsors of the conference:
Alamo Regional Group, Sierra Club
Coastal Bend Group, Sierra Club
Urban Studies Program at Trinity University
Bexar County Audubon
Texas Wildlife Association
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Texas Committee on Natural Resources
League of Women Voters of Texas League of Women Voters, Austin Area
League of Women Voters, San Antonio Area
League of Women Voters, Kerrville
League of Women Voters, Comal Area
League of Women Voters, San Marcos Area
League of Women Voters, Victoria
League of Women Voters, Corpus Christi
Support for the Texas Living Waters Project
is provided by
The Houston Endowment, Inc.
The Meadows Foundation
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
The Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation
The Magnolia Charitable Trust.
Char Miller is a member of the History Department and Director of the Urban Studies Program at Trinity University, where he teaches class in U. S. cultural, environmental and urban history. He was named a 2002 Piper Professor, in 1997, he won Trinity University's Dr. and Mrs. Z.T. Scott Faculty Fellowship for excellence in teaching. Miller is author of of several books, including Deep in the Heart of San Antonio: Land and Life in South Texas. Miller has served on the Open Space Advisory Board and the Tree Preservation Ordinance Committee for the City of San Antonio, and was chair of the State Board of Review for the Texas Historical Commission.
Ken Kramer is the Director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club and has been associated with the Sierra Club in different volunteer and professional capacities since 1978. Dr. Kramer has a B.A. in History from Texas Lutheran University, an M.A. in Political Science from Stephen F. Austin State University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Rice University. He taught at El Paso Community College, Houston Community College, Angelo State University, and Texas A&M University. Dr. Kramer has served on numerous advisory committees to state, regional, and local agencies.
Robert J. Potts was appointed General Manager of the Edwards Aquifer Authority on October 12, 2004. From 1993 – 2004, Potts was employed by The Nature Conservancy, most recently as Vice President-South Central Division. As Vice President, he was responsible for managing all Nature Conservancy activities in Mexico, as well as Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. He began his career at The Nature Conservancy in 1993, as Associate Director of Land Protection. He also served as Director of Conservation Programs and as Texas State Director before being named Vice President - South Central Division. In addition, Mr. Potts worked with the law firm of Baker & Botts in Houston where he focused on international, transactional, environmental and natural resource matters.
Todd Votteler was the Federal Court Monitor’s assistant during the Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation over the Edwards Aquifer, Sierra Club v. Babbitt from 1994 - 1996. In 1996, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lucius Bunton appointed Votteler as the Federal Special Master for the ESA litigation, Sierra Club v. San Antonio. Votteler has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from The University of the South, a Master of Science in Natural Resources from The University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Geography from Texas State University. He joined the Guadalupe – Blanco River Authority in 2000 where he is currently the Executive Manager of Intergovernmental Relations and Policy. Votteler is also serves as the Executive Director of the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust, a 501(c)3.
Brad Wilcox is professor in the Department of Rangeland Ecology and Management at Texas A&M University. With expertise in rangeland watershed hydrology and management, Wilcox joined the Department in September 2000. He received his B.S. and M.S. in range management with emphases in ecology and soils from Texas Tech University; and his Ph.D. in range management with an emphasis in range hydrology from New Mexico State University. Dr. Wilcox is conducting research in Texas and New Mexico, involving both field and modeling work, to better understand and predict water and sediment movement in drylands. His particular interest is how vegetation modifies the water cycle (and vice versa) and how these relationships change with scale and spatial variability.
Jennifer Walker is a Water Resources Specialist for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Jennifer works primarily on the Texas Living Waters Project and focuses her energy on water policy issues across the state with an emphasis state water planning, conservation and bay and estuary protection issues. Walker serves as an environmental representative on the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group. She has a BS in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Paul D. Thornhill is a Registered Professional Engineer and has an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin. He is newly appointed as Chief Risk Officer and Chief Engineer for the Lower Colorado River Authority. He is responsible across LCRA for ensuring that LCRA properly performs risk identification and mitigation. In his 8 ½ years at LCRA, Mr. Thornhill has played a lead role in water issues, and he will continue to provide leadership and insight regarding water by focusing on major projects such as the LCRA-SAWS water project and flood management, among others.
Warren Pulich Jr. is a Research Fellow at the River Systems Institute at Texas State University and also Adjunct Faculty member in the Aquatic Resources Program of the TSU Biology Department. His research at the Rivers Institute focuses on coastal seagrass and marsh ecology, integrated watershed resources management, and freshwater inflow needs of estuaries. Dr. Pulich received a B.S. from Loyola University, New Orleans in Biological Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from Rice University in 1972. Previously he worked as Coastal Studies Program Leader for 13 years with the Resource Protection Division of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), Austin, Texas. Prior to his tenure at TPWD, he was a Research Scientist for 15 years at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas.
Myron Hess is Legal Counsel and Manager of Texas Water Programs in the Austin office of the National Wildlife Federation, where he concentrates on protection of wetlands and water resources. Mr. Hess has worked on environmental law in private practice and for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School and Texas A&M University.
Gary Wolff is a Research Affiliate with the Pacific Institute and was the Principal Economist and Engineer at the Institute prior to his appointment to the California State Water Resources Control Board in 2006. Dr. Wolff is an expert in the economics and engineering of the water sector,
including conservation, end-use efficiency, privatization, and incentive policies. His work encompasses water, wastewater, and stormwater issues. More generally, he maintains an active interest in all public policies and engineering technologies that lead to better management of natural resources and pollution.
Laura Marbury is a Water Analyst for Environmental Defense. Marbury's areas of expertise include water policy issues across the state with an emphasis in groundwater management, and growth and development issues as they relate to water availability. She has a technical background in hydrogeology and a policy background from her tenure at the Texas Center for Policy Studies. Marbury earned a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Texas at Austin and a M.A. in Applied Geography from Texas State University.
Robert E. Mace is the director of the Groundwater Resources Division at the Texas Water Development Board. He has a B.S. in geophysics and an M.S. in hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin. He worked eight years as a staff hydrogeologist at the Bureau of Economic Geology before joining the Texas Water Development Board in the summer of 1999. Robert has been involved with a number of groundwater modeling and water resources studies and currently oversees efforts to collect and disseminate groundwater information on the state's aquifers, assist groundwater conservation districts, and develop groundwater availability models for the major and minor aquifers in Texas.
Janelle Okorie is responsible for the areas of conservation; drought management; groundwater resource protection; water rights acquisitions; water supply project development; and system integration at San Antonio Water System (SAWS). She develops alternatives for providing future water supplies that are consistent with the SAWS’s 50-year water resource plan, which emphasizes maximizing the use of existing resources and facilitating cooperative consensus among regional stakeholders and water supply entities. In addition, she ensures regulatory compliance with municipal aquifer protection regulations, federal NPDES stormwater permit activities, and the requirements of SAWS pretreatment program.
Tyson Broad is a Research Associate with the Lone Star Chapter of the
Sierra Club. He has a B.S. in Geography from Texas A&M University and a M.S. in Geography/Natural Resources Management from Oregon State University. Tyson served as the Water-Use Project Specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Portland, Oregon for eight years. Since joining the Sierra Club in 2004, Tyson has focused water issues in Central and South Central Texas.
Doug Slack is a Regents Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M
University. He joined the university in 1973 after receiving
his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. His research has focused
on wetlands ecology and wetlands-related migratory bird populations.
In addition, he is widely regarded as an expert on Whooping
Cranes. He has received multiple College teaching awards
from the Association of Former Students and multiple awards
from the Vice-Chancellor for Agriculture for Teaching and
Counseling. Doug has taught 6 international courses and is
a strong believer in teaching natural history and ecology
in the field. Doug has also chaired a College-level panel
to develop a proposal for a School of Renewable Natural Resources
at Texas A&M.