Nicole Poncelet-Johnson

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Role: Director of Water Quality and Treatment, Denver Water

How are you connected to CSU Spur?

Denver Water’s new water quality laboratory will be in the Hydro building at the CSU Spur campus. I’ve assisted with project management for the new lab and its overall operations and future research that will come out of collaboration between Denver Water, CSU and other partners at the site.

When did you get involved with Spur and why is it important to you?

In 2018, Denver Water decided to move our water quality lab because our current lab is reaching the end of its useful life without a major remodel. This new facility in the Hydro building gives us flexibility for research and collaboration in addition to being more efficient in the work we do — we currently perform more than 70,000 tests a year — to ensure the water we deliver to 1.5 million people every day meets our high-quality standards.

What outcomes have you seen or do you expect from work at Spur?

Water impacts agriculture and public health and vice versa, so the fact that the Hydro building is close to the other two Spur buildings — Terra and Vida — means there are many opportunities to learn more about how these three areas connect and affect each other. Through that, we can create more sustainable practices and assist the region in using water and agriculture in ways that don’t have a detrimental effect on public health and the environment.

We can help Colorado evolve for the next 100 years.

What would you like others to know about Spur?

Building our new water quality laboratory at Spur allowed us to create a flexible analytical space that can grow and adapt as needs and challenges change. And with the location, we’ll be right there with other scientists, helping us to research issues and solutions. Additionally, I’m really excited by the prospect of working with the kids in the communities surrounding the CSU Spur campus and inspiring them to pursue science.


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.

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