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Presenter's Bios

  • Day 1: Student Session Presenter's Bios

    Darin Saul

    Darin Saul is the Associate Director of the Office of Community Partnerships. Previously he was the Sustainability Director and Director of the Sustainability Center at University of Idaho. Before coming to Idaho, he worked at Washington State University in positions related to sustainability and environmental education, and was the owner and director of Ecovista, an ecological research and planning company. He has a P h.D. in English Literature from Washington State University.

     

    Chris Dixon

    Chris Dixon is an academic advisor in the Environmental Science Program at the University of Idaho. She has worked there 20 years, teaching international environmental issues and organizing leadership internships. She is still trying to figure out how to make our behaviors more sustainable.

     

    Sid Fredrickson

    Sid received his BS degree in 1970 with majors in chemistry and physical science and a mathematics minor. Sid worked for a consulting engineering firm in Kalispell, Montana for 10 years, specializing in wastewater treatment plants. During his tenure there, he was involved with 12 different treatment plants and numerous lift stations. He was public works director/city engineer for Whitefish, Montana for 2 ½ years. He has been with the city of Coeur d’Alene since 1986 and has been the wastewater superintendent since 1991. Sid is now entering into his 40th year in the wastewater field. He has been an active member of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association for 19 years. Sid has been married for 40 years and has a son and daughter who have sons also. He has served as a trustee of the Coeur d’Alene school district for 10 ½ years.

     

    Rachele Klein

    Rachele Klein has managed business development, governmental affairs and municipal services for Republic Services in Idaho since 2005. She is the municipal contract manager, serving as the liaison between Republic and local and state government entities. Rachele works closely with her municipal counterparts to garner the political and administrative support necessary to bring environmentally progressive refuse and recycling business practices, as well as new and sustainable technology, to southern Idaho. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Science Education degree from the University of Florida.

     

    Priscilla Salant

    Priscilla Salant directs the University of Idaho’s Office of Community Partnerships, which connects community priorities with university resources. Her responsibility is to support university partnerships with communities, non-profit organizations, and public agencies throughout Idaho. She has over 20 years of experience building connections between universities and their statewide constituents, with a focus on rural economic development. Her work is guided by a core belief that by engaging with statewide constituents, universities produce more useful research and students have better learning outcomes.

     

    Mario E. de Haro-Marti

    Mario was born and raised in Argentina, in the Patagonia region; there he obtained his Bachelor in Environmental Studies from Comahue National University. He obtained his MS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. Since 2007, he has worked as the University of Idaho Gooding County Extension Educator. In this position Mario serves as Dairy/Livestock Environmental Educator, working with dairy and livestock producers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and training dairy workers to increase their learning opportunities and productivity. He also helps with urban environmental topics, especially in agricultural communities around the Magic Valley. His areas of expertise include agricultural waste and nutrient management, composting, vermicomposting, and air quality.

     

    Angela Ellis

    Angela is a student at College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.

     

    Sherri Cash

    Sherri is a student at College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.

     

    Jeremy Fechner

    Jeremy is a student at College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho.

     

    Jim Ekins

    Jim's Master's Thesis asked why substantive volunteers quit active participation with nonprofit Oregon Watershed Councils. He later managed a 100+ acre ecological restoration project in the Willamette valley. He began volunteering with Moscow, ID's Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute (PCEI) in 2006, and the next year was PCEI's Community Outreach Specialist AmeriCorps Member. Currently, Jim is in his fifth year as the University of Idaho's Service-Learning and Internship Coordinator, and is exploring the connection between humanecological-impoverishment through a Ph.D. program in Conservation Social Sciences. In whatever little bit of spare time he has left, he can be found open-canoeing (whitewater and flat-water), skijoring, running, and backpacking with his dogs, a border collie named Sonny and a lab-mix, Holly.

     

    Brita Olson

    Brita Olson is a sophomore at University of Idaho studying Ecology and Conservation Biology with a minor in Spanish. She works in a conservation genetics lab, volunteers with the Sustainability Center, is preparing to spend the summer doing research in the Ecuadorean Andes, and interns at the Stateline Wetland. Her favorite thing is to be outside and connected with the world. Over the last year, an internship at the Stateline Wetland has shaped her view of ecology and the potential for positive human interaction as part of nature.

     

    Amanda Parrish

    Amanda Parrish has worked with The Lands Council (TLC) for the past four years. In 2009 she completed a study on the water storage potential of beaver re-introduction in NE Washington, examining both available stream miles and acre-feet of water stored in beaver ponds. From 2010 through 2012 TLC staff and she focused on implementing beaver re-introduction and other beaver management techniques. She helped collect baseline data on “before conditions” of relocation sites and then live-trapped and relocated over 60 beaver. She received her BS in Environmental Science from the University of San Francisco, with a focus on water quality analysis. Prior to TLC, she worked in forestry on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. On her time off she enjoys visiting friends around the world.

     

    Adria Mead

    Adria is now our senior-most staff member, starting at the Sustainability Center as a Work Study her freshman year. She is now a senior studying Environmental Science and Biology. Though we keep her good and busy at UISC, she also serves as the student representative on the Sustainable Environment Commission for Moscow. In her free time she enjoys playing soccer and being outside. Adria’s job at UISC is to continue the development of sustainable programs and initiatives at the University.

     

    Alex Rheault

    Alex Rheault is senior at the University of Idaho studying Environmental Science with an emphasis in hydrology and Spanish. Alex is originally from Fargo, ND and now resides in Moscow. She has held leadership positions in the U of I orchestra and was a board member of ASUI Vandal Entertainment for two years as Small Concerts Chair and Board Chair. Alex enjoys volunteering, biking, hiking, reading, cooking, music and arts and crafts.

     

    Benaiah Cheevers

    Benaiah is a student at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

     

    Andy Hughes

    Benaiah is a student at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

     

    Allen Dodge

    Over the years, Allen and Mary Dee have conducted numerous workshops for adults, children and schools in northern Idaho and eastern Washington. Currently, they dedicate their time to studio work by collaborating on brightly painted whimsical wood sculpture. Allen does the woodcarving and Mary Dee paints the pieces. They describe the process as being full of mystery and surprise: Allen delivers the raw artwork to Mary Dee, who doesn't know what she may be getting. Mary Dee then designs and paints the surface, without Allen knowing what she might do. In addition to creating commissioned pieces, they have exhibited their new work at the Art Spirit Gallery and at Art on the Green in Coeur d'Alene, as well as the Tin Man Gallery in Spokane, WA, and the Jacklin Cultural Center in Post Falls, Idaho.

     

    Shawn Moffitt

    Shawn works for CH2M HILL as the Manager of Twin Falls Wastewater Treatment.

  • Day 2: Professionals and Local Leaders Session Presenter's Bios

    David Eberle

    A native of Boise, Idaho, accepted the directorship of the Environmental Finance Center in December 2010. He began his professional career in the Treasure Valley in 1978 as a staff economist with Idaho Power. In 1983 he left Idaho Power Company to reinstate The College of Idaho economics department. Over the next ten years, he taught full time at Boise State University. In December of 1995, Dr. Eberle completed his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Nebraska and shortly after began his consulting firm. His work has taken him before the Idaho State Legislature and court rooms and regulatory agencies as an expert representing his clients. His financial consulting with municipal governments, his tenure on City Council, Urban Renewal District, and Community Infrastructure District all provide him with a strong foundation to help water, waste water and watershed systems and districts answer the question of “How to Pay” for capital infrastructure.

     

    Rachele Klein

    Rachele Klein has managed business development, governmental affairs and municipal services for Republic Services in Idaho since 2005. She is the municipal contract manager, serving as the liaison between Republic and local and state government entities. Rachele works closely with her municipal counterparts to garner the political and administrative support necessary to bring environmentally progressive refuse and recycling business practices, as well as new and sustainable technology, to southern Idaho. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis, and a Master of Science Education degree from the University of Florida.

     

    Karl Englund

    Karl Englund graduated with a BS and MS degree in wood science at West Virginia University and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Washington State University. Much of his work has been on the processing of natural fiber composites with thermoplastic, thermoset, and inorganic binder systems. Karl’s Extension appointment with WSU has him heavily involved with recycling issues involving a wide spectrum of materials and their use into value-added products.

     

    Erik Coats

    Dr. Erik R. Coats is an associate professor of civil engineering at UI. Prior to earning his doctorate, Dr. Coats spent 13 years working as a professional engineer designing municipal wastewater systems. Dr. Coats is a licensed professional engineer in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. At UI, Dr. Coats has focused his efforts on advancing microbial processes for upcycling waste streams to high-value commodities and on developing an enhanced understanding of microbial wastewater treatment processes. To date his research team has advanced a biotechnology for producing biodegradable plastics on organic waste, with commercial application on the horizon. The process integrates with anaerobic digestion, but can also be deployed independently. Dr. Coats’ research team also has conducted extensive research into the wastewater treatment process known as enhanced biological phosphorus removal. Dr. Coats has published extensively on his research, and more information can be found at www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ecoats.

     

    Priscilla Salant

    Priscilla Salant directs the University of Idaho’s Office of Community Partnerships, which connects community priorities with university resources. Her responsibility is to support university partnerships with communities, non-profit organizations, and public agencies throughout Idaho. She has over 20 years of experience building connections between universities and their statewide constituents, with a focus on rural economic development. Her work is guided by a core belief that by engaging with statewide constituents, universities produce more useful research and students have better learning outcomes.

     

    Hannah Sanger

    Hannah is the Science and Environment Division Manager for the City of Pocatello, a position she has held since 2012. Previously she served as the City’s Environmental Educator. In both of these roles Hannah has been intimately involved with developing and implementing programs to comply with the City’s federal stormwater permit and address other environmental interests of the City. This includes developing design guidelines for stormwater treatment, as well as revegetation and erosion & sediment control. Hannah holds an MS in Environmental Education and an MA in Curriculum Development from the University of Michigan, and a BA in Neuroscience from Colgate University.

     

    JJ Fenton

    JJ is from Hazelton, ID, and attended both the College of Southern Idaho and Utah State University. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering and Masters of Engineering in Civil

    and Environmental Engineering from Utah State. JJ is currently employed with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Twin Falls Regional Office where he serves as the Wastewater Reuse Coordinator.

     

    Mario E. de Haro-Marti

    Mario was born and raised in Argentina, in the Patagonia region; there he obtained his Bachelor in Environmental Studies from Comahue National University. He obtained his MS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. Since 2007, he has worked as the University of Idaho Gooding County Extension Educator. In this position Mario serves as Dairy/Livestock Environmental Educator, working with dairy and livestock producers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and training dairy workers to increase their learning opportunities and productivity. He also helps with urban environmental topics, especially in agricultural communities around the Magic Valley. His areas of expertise include agricultural waste and nutrient management, composting, vermicomposting, and air quality.

     

    Jackie Fields

    Jackie Fields is the city engineer who provides oversight of the airport and Public Works and Engineering departments. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University in 1987. She has lived in Idaho since 1996. Her community service is Girl Scouts.

     

    Mark Mitton

    Mark A. Mitton is the City Administrator for Burley. He attended Brigham Young University, where he earned a BA in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration degree.

     

    Brent Crowther

    Brent Crowther is a transportation planning engineer with specialized experience in multimodal mobility projects, including corridor improvement plans, campus, area and regional multimodal transportation plans, transit plans, bicycle and pedestrian plans, Travel Demand Management (TDM) plans, Safe Routes to School programs, and Roadway Safety Assessments (RSAs). Brent is a Registered Professonal Engineering (Civil) in Utah, Arizona, and California.

     

    George “LeeRoy” Perry

    Recently retired at 60, regular wage earning Joe, Jack of many trades, the 'go to,’ small town born/raised, survivor. Lifelong community volunteer, usually asked before raising my hand. Following, helping steer, leading, working on the premise, if you do anything, it's better than doing nothing, and the gift is in the giving. Married 35 years to an equally able and giving Kristina. Marine Corp, Viet Nam engaged vet. Other talents include freelance writing, ability to hold audience. Able to remember the past, enact imagination, set an example, and in so doing all – educate.

     

    John Wheaton

    He has been employed as a Utilities Planner with the Nez Perce Tribe Water Resources Division since June of 2008. He is responsible for finding funding to help develop or improve upon utility programs, building program capacity, and managing grants. John is a member of the Energy Committee for the Tribe, Tribal Solid Waste Advisory Committee for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) region 10, and the Infrastructure Task Force Steering Committee facilitated by the EPA. He is a family man with three daughters and a wife. His educational background is a Bachelors of Social Sciences from Portland State University, a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Idaho. He enjoys family time with his wife, three daughters, and two dogs.

     

    Donna Spier

    Donna worked as the City Clerk for the City of Plummer for 19 years and was involved in several public works projects for water and wastewater. She is currently serving a term as the Benewah County Assessor.

     

    David Flesher

    David lives in Caldwell with his wife of 25 years, Sarah. We have four kids from 23 to 16 years old. He has worked in various capacities for USDA, Rural Development and its predecessor agencies throughout rural Idaho for the last 24 years. The last 15 years have been in Community Programs, working with rural communities and non-profits to finance the construction or upgrade of water and wastewater systems, health clinics, fire stations, libraries, schools, etc., first as the Specialist serving Southwest Idaho, and since December 2007 as the Director of Community Programs for Rural Development for the entire state.

     

    Tim Wendland

    Tim has worked 20 years with the Idaho state government and is currently managing the two State Revolving Fund loan programs for Idaho. He is a CPA with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in public administration.

     

    Dennis Porter

    Dennis has worked for the Idaho Department of Commerce for the last 12 years. The last 5 years as the Manager of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Before becoming the Manager, he was a Specialist for the CDBG program and an Analyst for the Procurement Technical Assistance program. Prior to working at Commerce, Dennis was employed with the Idaho Housing and Finance Association. He holds a Bachelor of Political Science from Boise State University.

     

    Rick Skinner

    Rick Skinner is an attorney and senior partner at the law firm of Skinner Fawcett LLP, Boise, Idaho, and specializes in public finance and related transactional matters. He works with a variety of municipalities, state entities, public bodies and nonprofit corporations in structuring their financings, including the financing of many types of water and wastewater projects. Rick grew up in Minnesota and earned his BA in history from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of Chicago.

     

    Michelle Girts

    Michelle Girts is a wetland treatment, reclamation, and mitigation specialist with more than 25 years of experience in planning, permitting, and design of projects in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and Montana, along with wetland treatment systems for other applications across cold, temperate, and subtropical regions throughout North America. She is experienced in communicating with local, state/provincial, and federal resource agency decision makers, having served on statewide wetland and stormwater advisory committees in Oregon and Washington, and developed treatment wetland design and regulatory guidance for Montana, Washington, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Since joining CH2M HILL in 1987, Ms. Girts has served as NW Business Development and Planning Manager in the Water Business Group and as Portland Area Manager. She holds a BS and MS in Biology, and coursework towards a PhD in Water Resources Engineering at Oregon State University.

     

    Armando McDonald

    Dr. Armando McDonald is a Professor of Renewable Materials at the University of Idaho. Time devoted to research (42%), education (42%), and/or extension activities (16%). With over 27 years’ experience in woody biomass derived fuels and biomaterials research and development, and 80 publications in the field. Dr. McDonalds’ group is currently investigating the synthesis of biological thermoplastics from waste streams; production of biofuels from biomass by pyrolysis and gasification/Fischer-Tropsch synthesis; development of durable/weather-resistant biocomposite materials; proteomic studies on xylem (wood) development in confers using an in-vitro culture system; algae biomass and lipid characterization; and biomass conversion into sugars and value added chemicals.

     

    Rick Finch

    Rick is a 4th generation Eastern Washington resident. He grew up and worked on the family wheat and cattle farm and graduated from Pullman High School & Washington State University. He was hired at WSU in 1994 and became the first operator of the WSU Compost Facility. Rick has managed the WSU compost facility since 2004 and the WSU Waste Management program since 2006. The WSU program currently includes the compost facility, waste to landfill self-haul, recycling, surplus property and medical and bio-waste. Out of 15,325 tons of waste generated by WSU in 2011, 12,233 tons (80%) was diverted from the landfill waste stream through composting or recycling.

     

    Matt Neukom

    Matt is an engineer with 16 years of experience primarily focusing on municipal roadway, water, sewer, and storm improvements. These projects vary in nature from simple roadways to downtown beautifications designed to spur the local economy. He understands how the design and construction of projects impact others and consciously plans his projects for the short and long term benefits of affected businesses and residents. Typically, Matt is involved in all steps of his projects, from conceptual planning and budgeting to securing funding as well as design and construction oversight. Matt is currently the City Engineer in Cascade and Donnelly and strongly supports the City Engineer in McCall.

     

    Nathan Stewart

    Nathan has been the McCall City Engineer since 2010, and has been a registered Professional Engineer in Idaho since 2008. He received his Bachelors of Science in Natural Resource Management from the University of Vermont in 1998 and a Master’s of Science in Environmental Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic and State University in 2005. Highlights of Nathan’s professional career include assisting New England ski resorts with environmental compliance and watershed restoration, land development projects throughout Valley County, Idaho, and implementing public works construction projects in McCall emphasizing multi-modal transportation and environmental design for sensitive lakeshore watersheds.

     

    Gary Austin

    Gary Austin is an Associate Professor at the University of Idaho in the Landscape Architecture program. His research includes topics related to planning and design of green infrastructure, such as wastewater treatment for small communities using constructed wetlands, open space systems, and planning for biodiversity. He teaches service learning courses that focus on community revitalization. His book, Green Infrastructure: Integrating Human and Ecological Systems, will be published in 2013.

     

    Sid Fredrickson

    Sid received his BS degree in 1970 with majors in chemistry and physical science and a mathematics minor. Sid worked for a consulting engineering firm in Kalispell, Montana for 10 years, specializing in wastewater treatment plants. During his tenure there, he was involved with 12 different treatment plants and numerous lift stations. He was public works director/city engineer for Whitefish, Montana for 2 ½ years. He has been with the city of Coeur d’Alene since 1986 and has been the wastewater superintendent since 1991. Sid is now entering into his 40th year in the wastewater field. He has been an active member of the Pacific Northwest Clean Water Association for 19 years. Sid has been married for 40 years and has a son and daughter who have sons also. He has served as a trustee of the Coeur d’Alene school district for 10 ½ years.