New at CSU SpurStay up to date on all the latest developments and exciting changes as CSU Spur continues to grow.
As the Fourth Annual CSU Spur Water in the West Symposium convened experts from across the country on Wednesday, the focus was on learning from one another’s successes and finding solutions at-scale to water issues.
CSU Spur will open its first building in January, but will host its fourth annual Water in the West Symposium on Nov. 3-4, hosting speakers to discuss solution of scale. The 2021 Symposium will be hosted virtually, but plans to return to in-person in 2022.
The Denver Post: CSU’s “non-degree” Denver campus will be used to attract the 37% of kids who don’t go to college
Colorado State University Chancellor Tony Frank is fixated on the 56,505 babies born around the state in 1997. One-third of them graduated by age 25 from college, data analyzed by CSU administrators shows, and 37% never enrolled.
The final steel beam will be laid on the Hydro building at the new CSU Spur campus on Sept. 16, marking a milestone for the largest and final building at CSU Spur.
Vertical steel construction is underway at Hydro – the final of three buildings at the CSU Spur campus in Denver to hit this major construction milestone.
CSU announces new Master of Agribusiness and Food Innovation Management program at Spur campus in Denver
Beginning Fall 2022, students can enroll in CSU’s new Master of Agribusiness & Food Innovation Management (MAFIM). The face-to-face program will be hosted at the new Spur Campus at the National Western Center in Denver.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive at CSU Spur is all the glass. The new Colorado State University System campus at the National Western Center in Denver will be home to research collaborations, student engagement opportunities, and industry partnerships. but more than anything, it’s being built for the public.
CPR: ‘Sewer heat’ could be hidden ally against climate change. Here’s how Denver is pulling it to the surface
The largest sewer heat-recovery project in North America is now under construction in Denver at the National Western Center redevelopment, all of which will be heated and cooled with a heavy dose of heat from sewer pipes below the 250-acre campus.
The Denver Post: Birds, bugs, invasive plants and beaver endure along Denver’s polluted South Platte River
Coordinated by CSU as construction crews build a CSU campus and re-develop the National Western Stock Show site on 250 acres just east of the South Platte, the “bioblitz” survey data is building a baseline biological inventory of plants, bugs, and animal species as development transforms the city.
Denverite: Scientists are counting South Platte critters to see what happens as the river gets redeveloped
The third-annual South Platte BioBlitz is a regular count of all kinds of wildlife that thrive where the Platte passes the National Western Center, a massive construction project that’s turning historic stockyards and this isolated stretch of river into a center of commerce and culture.
The final steel beam is scheduled to be placed on the second building at the CSU Spur campus at 11 a.m. on April 20, signaling a major construction milestone for the Colorado State University System project. The moment – called a “topping out” – will be captured via livestream.
Plants and wildlife along the South Platte River are getting an annual check up this week. A program at Colorado State University called Bio Blitz takes place April 15 and 16.
Juniors at Bruce Randolph planted their new school garden just in time for Earth Day on April 22. The garden help provide healthy options to students. It’s part of the Denver Public School district’s agriculture program.
The Coloradoan: ‘Diamonds in the rough’: Rescued horses training to become therapy animals at CSU equine center
CSU’s Right Horse Program began in spring 2019. In the program, students are paired with horses and help train them to become therapy horses, lesson horses or personal horses for individual adopters.
Denver Post: Denver ready to spend $274 million in bonds for upgrades to National Western Center and Colorado Convention Center upgrades
The Denver City Council agreed Monday evening to issue those bonds, which voters approved in a 2015 measure. The council unanimously approved the package as part of its consent agenda, signaling a lack of controversy about the bond issue.
Construction crews added the final steel beam on Friday to the first CSU Spur building in Denver — Vida. The topping out marked a major milestone for the campus located at the National Western Complex.
The U.S. Senate has confirmed Tom Vilsack — the former governor of Iowa who served as strategic adviser of food and water initiatives at CSU Spur for the Colorado State University System — for his second stint as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
Denver Post: New arena, public market and other National Western Center upgrades put on hold as Denver faces economic woes
City officials plan to use $274 million in bonds — yet to be approved by the City Council — for long-planned early-phase upgrades and expansions to the National Western Center and the Colorado Convention Center. But later phases at the National Western Center including a new 10,000-seat arena, an exposition hall and a public market in the to-be-renovated 1909 Stadium Arena are on hold.
Kathryn Venzor has joined the CSU Spur team as the Director of Education, bringing more than 17 years of experience in curriculum and program development, environmental conservation, and community engagement.
Denver Post: Hoof prints out, tire tracks in: Canceled 2021 Stock Show leaves room for construction project
Officials have pointed to a silver lining around the cancellation, and it’s playing out on the National Western Campus right now. No stock show means more time and flexibility to make progress on the $1 billion redevelopment project underway on the 250-acre, city-owned property.
CSU has partnered with the National Western Stock Show since the beginning and even used to close the campus during the Stock Show to let students compete in show events. The partnership has always been strong, and in 2022, CSU System will open CSU Spur on the grounds of the Stock Show.
This year’s program focused on the critical role storytelling plays in building and driving social and environmental movements — specifically, how stories and various media can lead to greater public awareness around water issues, and also inspire actions necessary to solve and address them.
Today, the CSU System breaks ground on Hydro — the final of three buildings at its CSU Spur campus, focused on water. The CSU Spur Terra building, focused on food and agriculture, broke ground in September. Vida, the building focused on animal and human health, broke ground in May.
Tyler Wagner, a 22-year-old Construction Management student, will graduate from CSU in December 2020, and already has professional experience working on behalf of the University. This summer, he took on an internship with JE Dunn, the general contractor for CSU Spur.
True to its mission as an initial offering of the CSU Spur campus opening in 2022, the Water in the West Symposium brings together diverse speakers to discuss water issues in the West and beyond — a topic of increasing importance as fires and droughts top headlines.
As part of a partnership with the CSU System, eight students in CSU’s Department of Art and Art History painted images of Colorado’s official state fish, bird and flower on a building that will be renovated and eventually attached to the water building at the CSU Spur campus.
Eight Colorado State University graduate students have been invited to paint a mural on a building that will become part of the future CSU System’s Spur campus, as part of this month’s CRUSH Walls, a street art festival in Denver’s River North (RiNo) Art District.
Together We Grow convenes thought leaders to foster diversity and inclusion in higher ed, agriculture
On July 30, five higher education thought leaders convened virtually to share their stories and perspectives on the future of higher education, focusing primarily on the role colleges and universities can and should play in diversifying the U.S. agricultural workforce.
Kerri Wright Platais, special advisor to the chancellor on international agriculture for CSU Spur, and host Matt Barry of the National Western Center discuss Kerri’s work creating the North American Agriculture Advisory Network (NAAAN), its role in disseminating biodefense best practices, and how these efforts relate to current and future pandemics.
Eight artists, including four from Colorado, will create large-format artworks for the new campus, which opens in 2022.
Colorado State University System broke ground today on a new Denver campus — called Spur — which will invite the public to explore and interact with educational content around water, food, and health.
CSU System selects CDR Associates to lead strategic planning for water policy institute at Spur campus
Colorado State University System has selected CDR Associates as the lead consultant to conduct strategic planning for a water policy institute at the future Spur campus at the National Western Center in north Denver.
Together We Grow (TWG), a consortium of some of the world’s largest agribusiness interests focused on building a skilled, diverse, and inclusive agricultural workforce, today announced the appointment of its board of directors.
On April 30 at 1:30 p.m., the Colorado State University System will host a groundbreaking ceremony for its planned Spur campus, a major component of the future National Western Center in north Denver.
Colorado State University is building upon its global reputation as an innovative leader in sustainability by becoming the only institution in the world to earn three Platinum ratings from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
On Jan. 31, CSU System campuses and partners hosted the annual event designed to prepare more than 750 students for college and life after high school.
CSU Denver Extension partners with Denver Public Library to support after-school STEM programs for youth
Denver Extension’s community outreach efforts and youth development programs are opportunities to bridge the rural-urban divide.
On Jan. 7, CSU hosted the Colorado Food Summit, which included conversations resembling those that will happen at CSU System’s future Spur campus at the National Western Center.
Recruiting employees from diverse backgrounds is only one part of the equation – retention of those employees is equally important.
Today, the Colorado State University System unveiled “Spur” as its new brand for the university system’s presence at the National Western Center.
New student mentorship program helps CSU Little Shop of Physics program expand impact during school visits.
Bruce Randolph School students showcase first Youth Memory Project with CSU System and History Colorado
The project culminated in an open house on Nov. 20 where students shared written, oral, and visual histories.
Together We Grow is a consortium of some of the world’s largest agribusiness interests focused on building a skilled, diverse, and inclusive agricultural workforce.
After a bomb cyclone postponed the 2019 Water in the West Symposium, the sold-out crowd convened at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center to discuss solutions to a broad range of water-related challenges.
Many of us think of “biodefense” as how we defend against a biological weapons attack, but for agriculture, the term has a more layered connotation.
Colorado State University System will host its second annual Water in the West Symposium Nov. 6-7, to highlight solutions to one of the greatest global issues: water.
For the fifth year, students and faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences brought free veterinary care, community education, and health resources to Denver’s Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
On Sept. 21, students from CSU’s Women in Construction club and Women Engaging in Construction Mentoring program volunteered to complete home improvement projects in north Denver.
In a first-of-its-kind partnership, Colorado State University System and Minds Matter are working together to ensure a clear pathway to college for high-achieving, low-income students across the state.
A project five years in the making will soon be the Colorado State University System’s newest location in the state.
Executive Vice Chancellor Amy Parsons talks about CSU’s involvement with the redevelopment of the National Western Center in Denver.
The Colorado State University System has selected Colorado-based design firm Anderson Mason Dale Architects (AMD) to complete the CSU Center for Food and Agriculture, one of three buildings comprising the future CSU Campus at the National Western Center redevelopment.
In April, the CSU System signed a formal memorandum of understanding with Bruce Randolph School to continue offering a variety of college- and career-readiness programs to north Denver students.
Michael McGrady lives with a rare neurological disorder and never thought his dream of working with horses would come true. But earlier this month, that all changed, when Colorado State University’s Temple Grandin Equine Center in north Denver hired McGrady to assist with the facility’s upkeep.
The CSU System today announced that the Water in the West Symposium is rescheduled for November 6-7, 2019, at Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, 6700 N. Gaylord Rockies Blvd., Aurora, CO 80019.
The Colorado State University System awarded its Construction Management/General Contractor (CMGC) procurement contract for the construction of its three buildings at the CSU Campus at the National Western Center, taking it one step closer to development of the north Denver site.
Colorado State University will host its second annual Water in the West Symposium on March 13-14, 2019, at Gaylord Rockies, to convene diverse experts and thought leaders to highlight solutions and collaborate on one of the greatest global issues: water.
Colorado State University partnered with Bruce Randolph School to host a full-day experience to help freshmen navigate pathways to higher education early in their high school careers.
Denver Post: National Western Stock Show celebrates “Year of Yards” as big changes loom for Denver institution
2019 will be the last year National Western’s stock yards remain in historic home. That’s just one aspect of the transformation ahead.
In Denver, work is about to begin on the $765 million redevelopment of the National Western Center, home to the 113-year-old National Western Stock Show.
Discount tickets available for Saturday, Jan. 19 rodeo and grounds admission.
University selects The Clark Enersen Partners to complete the design for building at National Western Center
Colorado State University announced that it has selected The Clark Enersen Partners as the design team for the CSU Animal Health Complex – one of three buildings on the CSU Campus at the National Western Center, which will break ground in early 2020.
Big projects have rarely been kind to the residents of the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
The National Western Center Authority Board of Directors voted unanimously to appoint Brad Buchanan chief executive officer (CEO) for the National Western Center Authority.
The Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWCO) today announced that EAS Energy Partners (EAS) has been selected to enter into an exclusive negotiation to become the official campus energy partner of the National Western Center (NWC).
Colorado State University selects design partner for first building at landmark National Western Center
Colorado State University announced today that it has selected the team of Hord Coplan Macht and SmithGroup as the design team for the CSU Water Building at the National Western Center, the first building to break ground as part of the landmark redevelopment project.
The National Western Center Youth Water Project is an eight-week internship that plans and delivers the 5280 Youth Water Expo 2018, in Argo Park Aug. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Four distinct campus groups hosted CSU’s booth at the eighth annual Denver County Fair, held at the National Western Complex in north Denver. The event broke its own attendance record last weekend, attracting nearly 20,000 people.
The symposium, presented by CSU in downtown Denver, showcased more than 30 speakers from across the state and nation representing diverse perspectives in water.
Current United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and Former Secretary Tom Vilsack are among the experts joining Colorado State University’s inaugural Water in the West Symposium on April 26-27, in Denver.
CSU’s Temple Grandin Equine Center in north Denver hosted an Open House on March 16 to provide a window for the community into the programs and activities that will continue growing as plans for the future National Western Center progress. More than 50 community members joined in celebrating the positive impact of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) on individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities.
For the past three years, Colorado State University has hosted a clubhouse at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s annual Girls & Science event, a fun-filled day focused on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) career exploration and mentorship for kids, mostly between eight and 13 years old.
Colorado State University will host the inaugural Water in the West Symposium April 26-27 at McNichols Civic Center Building in Denver.
In mid-2017, Tom Vilsack, CEO and President of the US Dairy Export Council, former Iowa Governor and US Secretary of Agriculture, joined Denver Water and the Colorado State University System as a Strategic Adviser of Food & Water Initiatives at the National Western Center and as Global Chair for the International Board of Counselors on Food & Water Initiatives.
The 16-day National Western Stock Show is filled with action-packed rodeos, stimulating exhibits and myriad vendors, all celebrating America’s Western heritage. The Exceptional Rodeo, now in its 35th year, adds a particularly special element to the Stock Show’s lineup each year, delivering a firsthand rodeo experience to children with physical and developmental disabilities.
Director, Native American Cultural Center, Colorado State University
Ty A. Smith, MBA, was born and raised on the Navajo Nation. He is Tódích’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for Ashiihi (Salt Clan). Ty received both his baccalaureate degree (B.S. Mechanical Engineering) and master’s degree (MBA) from Colorado State University. He was a practicing engineer in the energy industry prior to becoming director of the Native American Cultural Center (NACC) at Colorado State University in 2005. NACC’s mission is to ensure a successful educational experience for students by providing support and services related to recruitment, retention, graduation, and community outreach. The office embraces and encourages a supportive environment based on the traditions and cultures of Native American peoples. Ty resides in Fort Collins along with his wife, Jan, and their two boys, Ty Jr. and William.
Director, Colorado Water Conservation Board
As Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Becky carries out the policies and directives of the Board relating to the conservation, development and utilization of the state’s water resources, and works closely with the State Engineer, General Assembly, the Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and the Governor on water resource issues for the State of Colorado. The Director acts as the representative for the state on interstate and intrastate water issues, including issues relating to flood control, water conservation and drought planning, water information, river restoration and environmental aspects of water management. As Director, Becky is involved with federal and state legislation pertaining to water resources and represents the State of Colorado on commissions and entities such as the Arkansas River Compact Administration, the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, the Western States Water Council, and the Missouri Basin States Association.
General Manager, Las Vegas Valley Water District and Southern Nevada Water Authority
John Entsminger is the general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which serves over 410,000 customer accounts, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is responsible for providing water to local agencies that collectively serve 2 million residents and 40 million annual visitors. Prior to taking the helm of these agencies in early 2014, Entsminger was instrumental in the development of several groundbreaking regional and international water agreements. He has been appointed by Governor Sandoval to serve as Nevada’s lead negotiator on Colorado River matters. Active in several national water associations, Entsminger is Vice President of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and is a trustee of the Water Research Foundation and the Desert Research Institute Foundation.
General Manager, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
With over 32 years of public service experience in the management of water, environmental and infrastructure programs and initiatives, Adel is an award-winning transformational leader anchored in integration, innovation, and inclusion. Adel is a registered civil engineer with the State of California and a national Board-Certified Environmental Engineer with specialty in water.
Adel was appointed in June 2021 as the General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the nation’s largest drinking water provider. Adel is responsible for leading Metropolitan’s daily and long-term operations and future planning, providing safe and reliable water for 19 million people in six Southern California counties spanning over 5,200-square-mile service area with an annual budget of $1.8 billion, 1,700 employees and 30 facilities.
Previously, Adel was appointed in 2018 by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Executive Director and General Manager of the City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services (StreetsLA). Adel was responsible for managing, maintaining, and upgrading the City’s Street network including streets, sidewalks, trees, and bikeways with focus on safety, mobility, and sustainability.
Prior to that, Adel was the Assistant General Manager for the City’s Bureau of Sanitation for 10 years where he was responsible for the wastewater collection system management, storm water and watershed protection program, and facilities and integrated water planning. Under his direction, the City prepared an award winning 2040 One Water LA Plan “One Water.”
Colorado River Program Director, National Audubon Society
Jennifer Pitt is the Colorado River Program Director for the National Audubon Society, where she works to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems in the Colorado River Basin. She leads the United States–Mexico collaboration to restore the long-desiccated Colorado River Delta and serves as the U.S. co-chair of the bi-national work group whose partners will, through 2026, implement existing treaty commitments providing environmental flows and habitat creation.
Prior to joining Audubon, Jennifer spent 17 years at the Environmental Defense Fund. With partners, she led the conservation community’s efforts to prioritize and implement restoration of the Colorado River Delta, and she worked with Colorado River stakeholders to develop the unprecedented Colorado River Basin Supply and Demand Study, the first federal assessment of climate change impacts in the basin and the first basin-wide evaluation of the impacts of river system operation on water supply reliability and river health.
Director of Program Learning and Influence, Water for People
With 20 years experience in non-profit management in international development, microfinance, and global education, Kimberly joined Water For People a dozen years ago to collaborate with teams around the world to end the global water and sanitation crisis. Through her work at Water For People she loves to share with others the impact a system strengthening approach can have in WASH. Everyone Forever is a holistic model to reach sustainable service delivery – not only focused on pipes and pumps and toilets – but all the elements that make that hardware work over time. She has lived and worked in Asia, Africa, and Latin America throughout her career and misses the clear blue water of Southeast Asia the most. While not working, Kimberly loves to spend time unplugged and with her family in the mountains or at the beach.
Consul General for Canada
Sylvain Fabi (BBA, Bishop’s University, 1988) joined the Consulate General of Canada in Denver in October 2020. As Canada’s Consul General in the U.S. Mountain West Region, Mr. Fabi oversees a team of 17 people who work within Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Utah and Wyoming to strengthen trade and economic ties; enhance political, academic and cultural links; and assist Canadians visiting or living in the five-state territory. He is also Canada’s chief negotiator for the modernization of the Columbia River Treaty with the United States.
Mr. Fabi joined the Trade Commissioner Service of External Affairs and International Trade Canada in 1992. He worked in various geographic and trade policy divisions in Ottawa. He was senior departmental adviser to the Minister of International Trade (2009 to 2010), Director for bilateral relations with South America and the Caribbean (2010 to 2013) and Executive Director of the North America Policy and Relations Division (2013 to 2015).
Mr. Fabi’s assignments abroad include trade commissioner at the embassy in Moscow (1995 to 1998), commercial counsellor at the embassy in Havana (2001 to 2005) and commercial counsellor at the embassy in Santiago (2005 to 2009). Mr. Fabi served as High Commissioner for Canada in Jamaica and the Bahamas (2015 to 2017). Before becoming Consul General in Denver, he was Executive Director, U.S. Transboundary Affairs Division (2017 to 2020).
Mr. Fabi is married to Jany Joyal and has two children, Frédéric and Isabelle.
CEO/Manager, Denver Water
Jim Lochhead was appointed Denver Water’s CEO/Manager in 2010. Lochhead leads nearly 1,100 employees at Denver Water overseeing work to provide a reliable water supply to the City of Denver and surrounding suburbs where Denver Water has service contracts. Lochhead also oversees the stewardship of a resilient collection, treatment and distribution system that includes 4,000 square miles of watershed land, 20 reservoirs, four treatment plants and more than 3,000 miles of pipe.
In 2014, Lochhead received the Wayne N. Aspinall “Water Leader of the Year” award from the Colorado Water Congress, presented annually to a Coloradan demonstrating courage, dedication, knowledge and leadership in the development, protection and preservation of Colorado water.
In 2015, Lochhead received the President’s Award from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education, given to a person with a history of doing meaningful work in the field of water.
Prior to Denver Water, Mr. Lochhead was in private law practice, dealing with natural resource issues throughout the United States and internationally. He was also executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Lochhead has a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology from the University of Colorado and a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Colorado Attorney General
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was sworn in as the State’s 39th Attorney General on January 8, 2019. As the state’s chief legal officer, Attorney General Weiser is committed to protecting the people of Colorado and building an innovative and collaborative organization that will address a range of statewide challenges, from addressing the opioid epidemic to reforming our criminal justice system to protecting our land, air, and water.
Attorney General Weiser has dedicated his life to the law, justice, and public service. Before running for office, Weiser served as the Hatfield Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Colorado Law School, where he founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship and co-chaired the Colorado Innovation Council.
Weiser served as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Department of Justice and as Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation in the Obama Administration’s National Economic Council. He served on President Obama’s Transition Team, overseeing the Federal Trade Commission and previously served in President Bill Clinton’s Department of Justice as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, advising on telecommunications matters.
Before his appointment at the Justice Department, Weiser served as a law clerk to Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court and to Judge David Ebel at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado.
The son and grandson of Holocaust survivors, Weiser is deeply committed to the American Dream and ensuring opportunity for all Coloradans. Weiser lives in Denver with his wife, Dr. Heidi Wald, and their two children.
Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of the Interior
Tanya Trujillo is a water lawyer with more than 20 years of experience working on complex natural resources management issues and interstate and transboundary water agreements. She most recently worked as a project director with the Colorado River Sustainability Campaign. Before then, she served as the Executive Director of the Colorado River Board of California. She has served as Senior Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and as Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at Interior. A native New Mexican, Tanya attended Stanford University and the University of Iowa College of Law.
Acting General Manager, Seattle Public Utilities
Andrew Lee joined Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) in 2019 and is currently the Acting General Manager. Andrew, who is a professional engineer (PE) and project management professional (PMP), has spent his entire 20-year career working on water, wastewater, and stormwater issues, with 15 of those years in local government for the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, and Bellevue. Andrew is nationally recognized for his expertise in water/wastewater regulations, smart water technology, and asset management. He is passionate about developing high performance organizations through an emphasis on shared leadership, employee engagement, diversity / equity / inclusion, and partnering with community. Andrew is a member of the Project Management Institute and is involved in the Smart Water Advisory Network (SWAN), U.S. Water Alliance, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), and Water Agency Leaders Alliance (WALA).
Water Resources Specialist, CSU Extension and Western Colorado Research Center
Dr. Perry Cabot received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Engineering and Land Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University. His research program focuses on innovative irrigation technologies, sustainable water resources management and crop consumptive use evaluation. He is the Lead Research Scientist at the WCRC-Grand Valley in its role as the western CSU campus unit focused on water resources, integrated cropping systems and climate-smart agriculture. He is also the Water Resources Specialist for the CSU Office of Extension and Engagement in the Western Region of Colorado.
President, Family Farm Alliance
Patrick O’Toole has served as the Family Farm Alliance’s President since March 2005. O’Toole is a cattle and sheep rancher and hay grower with strong backgrounds in irrigated agriculture and Wyoming politics. Pat is on the Board of Directors for Solutions from the Land, Partnerscapes/Partners for Conservation and a representative to the Intermountain West Joint Venture. He and his family live near Savery, Wyoming.
O’Toole and his wife, Sharon, live on a ranch that has been in her family since 1881. It straddles the Wyoming-Colorado border and has long afforded O’Toole the opportunity to view some unique water issues first hand. Carbon County, Wyoming holds the headwaters of the Little Snake River, a Colorado River tributary, and the North Platte River, a tributary of the Missouri.
The family has strived for generations to nurture a healthy landscape and sustainable production of food and fiber. Usually the practices which benefit the livestock also benefit the wildlife. The native hayfields are flood irrigated, which provides habitat for birds and recharges the aquifer so the stream runs year-round. Five miles of Battle Creek run through the Home Ranch, and has been recognized as an Audubon Bird Area. The Ladder Ranch is a 2014 Leopold Conservation Award winner.
O’Toole is chairman of the Intermountain West Joint Venture, which advocates for habitat for migratory birds. He is an Advisory Board member on AGree—an initiative that tackles long-term food, conservation and agriculture policy issues. Pat and his family members are active in other solution-based agriculture and conservation organizations.
Pat and Sharon have three children, including a daughter, a son and six grandchildren living on the ranch. Another daughter lives in Phoenix.
KERRI WRIGHT PLATAIS
Special Advisor to the Chancellor & Director of International Agriculture, CSU Spur
Kerri joined the Colorado State University System in 2018 and serves as Special Advisor to the Chancellor and Director of International Agriculture at the Spur Campus of the new National Western Center. The Center, opening in 2022, will focus on research outcomes and programs within the U.S. and internationally on the interface of food, water, and health (both human and animal) and serve as a place to gather, learn and encourage new agricultural innovations.
A thought leader in international agriculture development with more than 25 years of experience in the design, management, implementation, and scaling of innovative ideas, Kerri has a passion for formulating new ways to capture learning, share knowledge, and build effective partnerships and successful programs.
Her experience includes designing global policy dialogues, moving emerging technologies to market, and creating platforms for sustainable development and impact. Her partners and clients include groups such as The World Bank, The U.S. Agency for International Development, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Crop Trust, The International Food Policy Research Institute and other Centers in the CGIAR.
Interim Director and Senior Water Policy Scholar, Colorado Water Center
Jennifer Gimbel is the Interim Director and Senior Water Policy Scholar at the Colorado Water Center. She is currently focused on Colorado River issues. Jennifer has experience in law and policy on national and state water issues. She was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water & Science at the Department of the Interior, overseeing the U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation. She also was Deputy Commissioner for the Bureau of Reclamation and Counselor to the Assistant Secretary. Jennifer was the Director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the water policy agency for Colorado. As a water lawyer, she worked for the Attorney General’s Offices in Wyoming and Colorado. She has over 30 years of experience on water issues.
Senior Water and Climate Scientist & Scholar, Colorado Water Center
Brad Udall is a Senior Water and Climate Research Scientist / Scholar at Colorado State University’s Colorado Water Center. His expertise includes hydrology and related policy issues of the American West, with a focus on how climate change is impacting the Colorado River. Brad was a co-author of the 2009 and 2018 National Climate Assessments and a contributing author to the 2014 IPCC 5th Assessment.
Associate Attorney, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority
Ms. Becker has dedicated her career to the Navajo Nation and its natural resources. She is currently serving as an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. Prior to this position, she had the honor of serving as the Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from May 2013 to January 2019, as an appointee of President Begaye and Vice-President Nez, after serving eleven (11) years as an attorney for the Navajo Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources issues. Continuing her deep interest and passion for water, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin, as a Commissioner on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, as an appointee of Governor Lujan Grisham, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission, as an appointee of Speaker Damon. Ms. Becker is equally passionate about supporting artists and serves as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA), as an appointee of President Obama. Ms. Becker is a member of the Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband and two school age children.