Click here for info about our plenary session speakers. You can pre-order First Impressions and High and Dry on our registration page. Books will also be on sale at the symposium.

William deBuys (Thursday Dinner)

William deBuys is an author and producer of the film The Colorado, which AHS is cosponsoring with the Sierra Club as part of Colorado River Days. His eight books include The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth’s Rarest Creatures (listed by the Christian Science Monitor as one of the ten best non-fiction books of 2015), A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American West (2011), The Walk (2008), Seeing Things Whole: The Essential John Wesley Powell (2001), Salt Dreams (1999), and River of Traps (a 1991 Pulitzer finalist). His first book, Enchantment and Exploitation (1985), was recently reissued in a revised and expanded 30th-anniversary edition. He was a 2008–2009 Guggenheim Fellow. His conservation work over many years has included land acquisition, river protection, and grass banking. From 2001 to 2005, he chaired the Valles Caldera Trust, which then administered the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. He serves on the advisory board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation and lives and writes on a small farm in northern New Mexico that he has tended since the 1970s.

His talk, “Hotter and Drier: Adapting to the New Normal of the Southwest,” will review a number of issues of importance to Arizonans in the coming years, including demand hardening as a nettlesome byproduct of water conservation and the implications for the subordination of Arizona’s Colorado River water rights to California’s. Time permitting, he will also touch on watershed management in an era of big fires and on the plight of endangered species as competition increases for resources of all kinds.

William M. Alley & Rosemarie Alley (Thursday Lunch)

Dr. William M. Alley is Director of Science and Technology for the National Ground Water Association. Previously, he served as Chief, Office of Groundwater for the USGS for almost two decades. Rosemarie Alley is an environmental science writer. As a scientist/nonscientist writing team, Bill and Rosemarie communicate complex environmental science issues to a broad public. They have written two books together, as well as articles and op/ed pieces, and have given talks to a wide range of audiences. Their experiences as an unconventional team have given them unique insights in how to successfully hook the public’s interest with environmental science issues.

They will be speaking about their new book, High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World’s Growing Dependence on Groundwater. A growing global population, the widespread use of industrial chemicals, and climate change increasingly threaten groundwater. Managing this vital resource has proven to be a daunting task as groundwater depletion and contamination has spread from isolated pockets to large areas and many countries. Drawing on examples from around the world, the Alleys identify lessons learned in communicating and working with stakeholders on groundwater use and protection.