Public Forum: Climate Change and Water
Friday, February 27, 2009 @ 5-9pm

(Forum from 5-7pm; Reception from 7-9pm)

Co-Sponsored by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, the Environmental Leadership Program and the Farmlab Public Salon Series. The panel presentation will be followed by a joint reception with Switzer Foundation and Environmental Leadership Program Fellows.

About the Public Forum

Examining the scale of the problem and environmental leadership solutions at global, national and local scales. Co-Sponsored by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, the Environmental Leadership Program and the Farmlab Public Salon Series. The panel presentation will be followed by a joint reception with Switzer Foundation and Environmental Leadership Program Fellows.

Come join this lively discussion with four Switzer Fellows and ELP Fellows who are working to address the varying scales of impact of climate change on water resources. These environmental leaders will offer a global perspective on the impacts of climate change on water resources, the avenues of research on key scientific issues and mitigation responses at regional scales, the ways in which communities are adapting to shifts in freshwater systems and watersheds and finally, how one California water district is working to achieve multiple benefits by conserving its forest land and water resources.

The Fellows are:

  • Amy Luers, Environment Program Manager, Google.Org, San Francisco, CA (Switzer Fellow 2000)

  • Brenda Rashleigh, Research Ecologist, US EPA Office of Research and Development, Athens, GA (ELP Senior Fellow)

  • Charles Hernick, Associate, The Cadmus Group, Watertown, MA (ELP Senior Fellow)

  • Betsy Herbert, Environmental Analyst, San Lorenzo Valley Water District, Santa Cruz County, CA (Switzer Fellow 2001)

  • About The Public Forum Speakers

    Betsy Herbert, Environmental Analyst
    San Lorenzo Valley Water District
    Boulder Creek, CA

    Betsy Herbert earned her doctorate in environmental studies in 2004 from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research interests include forest management for water quality protection and carbon sequestration, and issues of civil engagement in natural resource management. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Water Works Association. In 2006, Betsy Herbert was awarded a Robert and Patricia Switzer Leadership Grant to facilitate the San Lorenzo Valley Water District’s public acquisition of the Felton water system from California-American Water, on behalf of the community of Felton. The District successfully completed this acquisition in 2008. This grassroots effort to municipalize a private water system received national attention, and serves as a model for other communities throughout the nation who are trying to buy back their water systems from multi-national corporations. She is now employed as the environmental analyst for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, where she administers an education grant program, manages the District’s forested watershed lands, and inventories the District’s greenhouse gas emissions for the California Climate Action Registry. Since 2001, she has served on the Board of Directors of Sempervirens Fund--the oldest land trust in California--preserving redwood forest land in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 1900. Since 2007, she has served on the Santa Cruz County Commission on the Environment, which advises the County Board of Supervisors on issues of climate change and reduction of greenhouse gases.

    Charles Hernick, Associate
    The Cadmus Group
    Watertown, MA

    Charles Hernick is an Associate at The Cadmus Group, Inc. He works primarily for government and non-governmental organizations on issues related to making drinking water more sustainable. His research focuses on economic and environmental issues, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ecosystem services. Mr. Hernick also works on best management practices for drinking water systems. He received his master’s in International Relations and Environmental Policy from Boston University, and his bachelor’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from the University of Minnesota.

    Amy Luers, Environment Program Manager
    San Francisco, CA

    Amy Luers is the environment program manager for Prior to joining Google.Org, Amy managed the Climate Program for the Union of Concerned Scientists California\'s office and spent 10 years working on water resources management in Latin America and California. Amy is co-founder and former executive director of a small NGO dedicated to supporting rural water supply in Latin America. Her research and publications have focused on issues of vulnerability and adaptive capacity to global environmental changes and on climate policy. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental science and an M.A. in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and a M.S. and B.S. in environmental resources engineering from Humboldt State University.

    Brenda Rashleigh, Research Ecologist
    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
    Athens, GA

    Brenda Rashleigh works as a Research Ecologist for the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development, using statistics and modeling to understand the relationship between environmental stressors and the health of aquatic ecosystems. She has served as a Board President for the Georgia River Network and currently serves as President of the Upper Oconee Watershed Network and Regional Coordinator for Georgia's Adopt-a-Stream program. She recently spent two months as an Embassy Science Fellow in Pretoria, South Africa, working on issues of freshwater conservation. She has published articles in peer-reviewed journals including Ecological Modeling, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, and Ecography.

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