Mr. Stephen A. Estes-Smargiassi
Stephen A. Estes-Smargiassi is director of planning and sustainability at the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA). Throughout his career, he has focused on gathering and managing multi-disciplinary teams to manage, design and communicate complex environmental projects to the public. He coordinated protection planning studies for the 400 square mile Quabbin, Ware River, and Wachusett reservoir watersheds, as well as about 40 other smaller supply systems in the Boston metropolitan area. He was the technical lead in developing the materials to supporting MWRA’s decision to remain an unfiltered system – the second largest in the US - as well as successfully defending that decision in Federal court. Protection plans for local sources (of partially supplied customer communities and adjacent non-customers) resulted in no additional local supplies being lost to contamination, a key part of MWRA’s long term demand management planning. Mr. Estes-Smargiassi is responsible for producing and distributing MWRA’s annual water quality report to over 800,000 households, as well as monthly public reports, and using those opportunities to reinforce the bridges built over the past decade to the public health community. He coordinated drinking water quality and health outcome research to understand and evaluate MWRA’s completed switch to ozone disinfection, and continues to evaluate key public health, water quality and treatment research. More recently, he has overseen efforts to understand the impacts of climate change on the watershed and reservoir system. Mr. Estes-Smargiassi received his B.S. in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University.
Dr. Robert M. Hirsch
Robert M. Hirsch is a research hydrologist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). As a research hydrologist, the focus of his research is on the description and understanding of long-term variability and change in surface-water quality and streamflow. From 1994 through May 2008, he served as the Chief Hydrologist of the USGS. In this capacity, Dr. Hirsch was responsible for all USGS water science programs, which encompass research and monitoring of the nation’s groundwater and surface water resources including issues of water quantity as well as quality. Dr. Hirsch has received numerous honors from the federal government and from non-governmental organizations, including the 2006 American Water Resources Association’s William C. Ackermann Medal for Excellence in Water Management, selected to be the Walter Langbein Lecturer of the American Geophysical Union in 2017, and has twice been conferred the rank of Meritorious Senior Executive by the U.S. President. He is co-author of the textbook Statistical Methods in Water Resources. Dr. Hirsch has served on two Academies committees, including the Committee to Review the NYC DEP Operations Support Tool. Dr. Hirsch received a B.A. in geology from Earlham College, an M.S. in geology from University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
Dr. Desmond F. Lawler
Desmond F. Lawler is the Nasser I. Al-Rashid Chair in Civil Engineering and a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. He has been on the faculty at UT since 1980, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental engineering, particularly on water and wastewater treatment. His research focuses on physical and chemical treatment processes for water and wastewater. Throughout his career, he has studied particle removal processes and more recently has been studying desalination, storm water treatment, processes for the removal of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and the removal of inorganic contaminants from both drinking water and wastewater. His contributions to research and education have been recognized with major awards by the American Water Works Association (A.P. Black award, 1999); Water Environment Federation (Gordon Fair Distinguished Engineering Educator Award, 2009); American Membrane Technology Association (Water Quality Person of the Year, 2010); and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors ("Distinguished Lecturer" for 2012-13; Charles R. O'Melia Distinguished Educator Award, 2012; and Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Engineering Education, 2015). Dr. Lawler co-authored a textbook on "Water Quality Engineering: Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes,” published by Wiley in 2013. He received his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Ms. Menu B. Leddy
Menu B. Leddy is a principal scientist who has designed, managed, and directed the molecular biology laboratory at the Research and Development Department of the Orange County Water District (OCWD). Ms. Leddy has over 20 years of experience in developing and implementing rapid methods for the detection and identification of microorganisms, including pathogens, in microbial communities associated with drinking water, surface water, groundwater, wastewater and treatment wetlands. Her professional expertise is in microbial water quality, fate and transport of pathogens, and treatment technologies for compliance and mitigation of contaminants in surface and drinking water, wastewater, and for water reuse. She is involved with the California State Water Board regarding water regulations and water quality policies. Ms. Leddy is also the lead scientist on several multidisciplinary funded research projects, including one profiling microbial communities of unit processes for advanced treated wastewater by Next Generation Sequencing, another on the association of pathogens and indicator organisms in urban runoff, and a third on monitoring of viruses in wastewater treatment plants. She has authored and co-authored research papers in areas that include bioremediation, bacterial regrowth, bacterial nutrients and measurement, advanced techniques and biological treatment, microbial recovery and identification, constructed wetlands, community analysis and high throughput sequencing. She has a BS in biology from Stony Brook University, New York and an MSc. in microbiology/molecular biology from California State University, Long Beach.
Professor Jay R. Lund
Jay R. Lund (NAE) is the director of the Center for Watershed Sciences and Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. His research and teaching focus on applications of systems analysis, economic, and management methods to infrastructure and public works problems. His recent work is primarily on water and environmental problems, but he has done substantial work in solid and hazardous waste management, dredging and coastal zone management, and urban, regional, and transportation planning. While most of this work involves the application of economics, optimization, and simulation modeling, his interests also include more qualitative policy, planning, and management studies. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for analysis of water and environmental policy issues leading to integrated water resources planning and management. He served on the Committee on Further Studies of Endangered and Threatened Fishes in the Klamath River. Dr. Lund has a B.A. in regional planning and international relations from the University of Delaware. He also has a B.S. in civil engineering, an M.A. in geography, and a Ph.D. in civil engineering, all from the University of Washington.
Dr. Anita Milman
Anita Milman is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation in the School of Earth and Sustainability at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Milman’s research examines the multi-level governance of water resources, with a focus on human responses to hydro-climatic and other sources of environmental change. Her current projects include examination of the interactions between science and policy in transboundary river basins; policy development for sustainable groundwater planning and management; regulatory and non-regulatory design for the implementation of structural and non-structural approaches to flood and fluvial erosion hazard mitigation; and the influence of regulation on innovation in the wastewater sector. Her research integrates across multiple disciplines, drawing on her interdisciplinary training in hydrology, political science, and geography. Prior to joining UMass, Milman was a Senior Research Associate with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the School of International Development at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom. Dr. Milman is a deputy associate editor for the journal Climatic Change and a research fellow with the Earth Systems Governance Project. She also served on the editorial board of the journal Environmental Research Letters from 2016-2018. Dr. Milman received her B.S. and M.Eng in civil and environmental engineering at Cornell University and a Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley.
Dr. Catherine A. O'Connor
Catherine A. O’Connor is the Director of Engineering for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (District). In this role, she contributes to the Engineering Department’s responsibility for planning, design and construction of projects prioritized in the Capital Improvement Program and projects in the Stormwater Management Program (together these programs are $800 million). The department also administers the county-wide Watershed Management Ordinance and regulates the construction and maintenance of local sewers which are tributary to the District’s intercepting sewers. Dr. O’Connor is actively involved in the efforts to manage stormwater in a manner that provides multiple benefits to local communities and in efforts to transform District operations from waste treatment to resource recovery operations, particularly with water reuse, phosphorus recovery, and methane utilization projects. She is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Illinois. Dr. O’Connor received her B.S. in industrial engineering from the State University of New York Buffalo, an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Dr. Soni M. Pradhanang
Soni M. Pradhanang is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Rhode Island. She conducts research on the development of decision support systems for management of water resources from the field to the watershed and regional scale. The generation, transformation and transport of sediments and nutrients within watersheds in the context of land use and climate change are the major foci of her current research. This combines monitoring and modeling to understand water and nutrients movement in complex terrain, soils, with different land use, and with various watershed protection practices. Dr. Pradhanang’s work also evaluates the reliability, predictability and vulnerabilities of the water infrastructure such as reservoirs, dams and spillways in maintaining safe drinking water. Her Ph.D. and post-doctoral research focused on developing watershed models to assess effectiveness of agricultural and forestry best management practices in Syracuse, New York and studies of the impacts of climate change on the New York City watershed region. In addition to research in New York and Rhode Island, she conducts international research on climate change vulnerability assessment for water resources in South Asia. She received her B.Sc. in biology and chemistry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, her M.Sc. in environmental science from Bangalore University, India, her M.ESc. in environmental science from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in ecosystem science and application with the area of concentration in hydrology and modeling from the State University of New York at Syracuse.
Dr. Kenneth H. Reckhow
Kenneth H. Reckhow is professor emeritus of water resources in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. Dr. Reckhow’s research interests concern the development, application, and evaluation of surface water quality models for prediction to inform decision making under uncertainty. His recent work has addressed such diverse problems as estuarine eutrophication modeling, development of decision analytic strategies for nutrient criteria, modeling the impact of bacterial contamination of shellfish beds, combining remotely-sensed data to improve eutrophication model forecasts, assessing the impact of urbanization on stream ecosystems, and modeling transport and fate of estrogens from combined animal feedlot operations. Much of his work makes use of Bayesian statistical analysis to combine information from disparate sources. His recent modeling projects involve Bayesian networks to capture complex linkages among variables and to express uncertainties in probabilistic terms. He has been a member or chair of four past Academies committees. Dr. Reckhow received his B.S. in engineering physics from Cornell University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from Harvard University.
Dr. John S. Schwartz
John S. Schwartz is the associate department head of undergraduate studies and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Schwartz has over 30 years of experience in academics and professional engineering practice. His research interests include watershed hydrology and sediment modeling, river mechanics, ecological engineering, ecohydraulics, stream restoration, and water quality. Prior to joining the University of Tennessee in August 2003, he was a private consultant in the State of Oregon as a licensed engineer––primarily engaged with municipal planning and design of water, wastewater, and stormwater systems––and he worked for the U.S. EPA (on permit compliance) and the U.S. Peace Corps (Kenya Ministry of Water Development). Dr. Schwartz is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Environmental and Water Resources Institute serving on the Urban Water Resources Research Council and River Restoration and Sedimentation committees. Dr. Schwartz has a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia, an M.S. in fisheries science (water resources) from Oregon State University, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Christine E. Stauber
Christine E. Stauber is an associate professor in the Division of Environmental Health in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Dr. Stauber’s work aims to use epidemiology and environmental health to understand the relationship between drinking water quality and health. She has over 15 years of experience in environmental health sciences, focusing on the pivotal role of exposure to microbiologically contaminated drinking water and the associated health impact on children. More recently, she has engaged in research on urban health with an emphasis on understanding distinct environmental exposures in cities. In collaboration with various colleagues and stakeholders, she has examined the role of various environmental stressors in the Proctor Creek Watershed in the city of Atlanta. Dr. Stauber teaches graduate and undergraduate level courses including courses on the role of the environment in public health, and global and local water issues. Her research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the World Health Organization. Dr. Stauber received her B.S. and M.S. in soil, water and environmental sciences from the University of Arizona, and her Ph.D. in environmental sciences from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Dr. Richard C. Stedman
Richard C. Stedman is a professor in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University and serves as the Director of the Department’s Human Dimensions Research Unit. His research focuses on the interaction between social and ecological systems. He uses the theories and methodologies of sociology as a lens for examining a broad array of human/environment conflicts with particular interest in the challenges that rapid social and ecological changes pose for the sustainability of forested ecosystems, watersheds, and human communities. Dr. Stedman has published more than 100 articles in sociology across a diverse range of topics, including management of invasive aquatic pests and wildlife and fisheries management. His current research activity examines the sustainability of resource-dependent communities as they transition to natural resource-based tourism development, the causes and consequences of land-use change along a gradient from very rural to very urban systems, and natural resource-based decision making among private (agricultural and forest) landowners. His research has focused on issues affecting New York State communities, including those grappling with the potential social, environmental, and economic impacts of natural gas development. He was a member of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marcellus Shale Team that earned the 2011 Cornell University David J. Allee and Paul R. Eberts Community and Economic Vitality Award. Dr. Stedman received his B.A. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his M.S. in natural resources from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. in sociology and rural sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.