Plenary Session

2017 Plenary Session

In keeping with our theme of “How to Keep the Water Flowing,” the plenary session will feature talks and a panel discussion / Q&A session on managing both human and natural system needs for water. This session will offer insight into the region’s ecosystem water needs and methods for evaluating these needs and addressing their long-term sustainability. In the Southwest, and in Arizona in particular, water demands resulting from growth and development are impacting supplies for ecosystems and threatened / endangered species. A broad recognition of conservation needs and practices is required to support the myriad of ecosystem services — social, recreational, economic, cultural, food, climate, disease, and nutrient and other chemical cycling — for both humans and the environment.

Plenary Session Speakers

Leslie A. Meyers, P.E., is the Phoenix Area Manager for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. At Reclamation, Leslie began her career in Operations, writing and negotiating operating agreements for Roosevelt Dam and the CAP facilities. Additionally, she has managed Reclamation’s outreach programs for planning, accessibility, drought, and water conservation. She currently oversees a variety of projects in Arizona and she is active in statewide water resource issues involving constituents ranging from Native American Tribes to agricultural and municipal water users. These issues include water conservation and reuse, water quality and desalination, water sufficiency, and water development. Leslie has a B.S. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University.

Jocelyn Gibbon is an attorney and natural resource policy consultant based in Flagstaff. Through her company Freshwater Policy Consulting, LLC, she provides strategic guidance, policy analysis, and project support to organizations. Jocelyn previously practiced environmental and water law for Squire Sanders, LLP, and provided policy expertise as a member of Environmental Defense Fund’s Colorado River team. She received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and a B.A. from Williams College Jocelyn serves on the Executive Council of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section of the Arizona State Bar and is a past board member of Grand Canyon River Guides and the Verde River Institute. In 2012, she and her husband worked with two friends to write and produce Postcards from the Parks, a short advocacy documentary about Arizona’s state parks. For the past 15 years Jocelyn has also worked as a Grand Canyon river guide.

Chris Kuzdas, Ph.D., is a project manager for the Environmental Defense Fund’s Water Program in Arizona. His background is in the decision and policy sciences, international development, and water management. At EDF, he manages various research and policy-related projects with partners who are seeking to adapt water management practices to meet both human and environmental needs in Arizona and the Colorado River basin. Before joining EDF, Chris worked as a project lead and consultant on water projects with local groups, development organizations, and universities in Central America—projects that included river basin planning, water conflict management, and agricultural development. A former Fulbright grantee, he has served as an editor of UNESCO’s Global Water Forum. He earned his Ph.D. from ASU.

Roy Johnson received his Ph.D. in botany from the University of Kansas in 1964. He has published more than 200 papers, largely on riparian and avian ecology, and is currently a research associate at the Museum of Northern Arizona. In addition to conducting research, he has been the lead on four U.S. Forest Service riparian proceedings. From 1964 to 1973, he conducted research and taught at several universities in the Southwest. Roy has also coordinated research for the National Park Service along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. From 1979 until his retirement in 1992, he had a joint appointment as biology professor at the University of Arizona and research scientist for the National Park Service.