Plenary Speaker Biographies

Conference Chairs

Robert Daoust, NCER 2016 Conference Co-Chair
Associate Vice President, Arcadis

Mr. Daoust specializes in ecosystem restoration and coastal protection projects as well as climate adaptation studies that focus on sea level rise and storm surge flood risk mitigation. He has almost 20 years of experience in environmental consulting experience with public and private clients, including state, municipal, and federal agencies. He formerly led Arcadis' national Ecosystem Restoration and Coastal Protection practice in the United States where his work involved efforts to restore coastal Louisiana and the Florida Everglades, as well as climate change adaptation to mitigate future flood risk associated with extreme storm events and sea level rise in New York City and south Florida. Currently, Mr. Daoust is responsible for driving the strategic growth of Arcadis' Water practice in southeast Florida. In addition, he is an expert on coastal resilience of southeast Florida, often assisting local municipalities and counties in their effort to plan and adapt to rising seas and storm surge risk. Mr. Daoust's background is in ecosystem ecology and includes extensive experience in experimental design, implementation and optimization of long-term monitoring as part of adaptive management programs, as well as statistical analysis and interpretation of ecological data. He holds a BS degree in Geography from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and an MS from Florida International University, where he did research on the effects of phosphorus on slough and ridge community dynamics in northeastern Everglades National Park. He also completed doctoral research how salinity and plant physiology drives differential nutrient limitation along an estuarine gradient. Originally from suburban Toronto, he's happy to have escaped the grip of Canadian winters and now calls Fort Lauderdale home.

Andrew LoSchiavo, NCER 2016 Conference Co-Chair
Adaptive Management Coordinator - Biologist Planning and Policy Division - Environmental Branch - South Florida Section U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Jacksonville District

Andrew (Andy) LoSchiavo is a Biologist at Jacksonville District in the Restoration and Resources Section, Environmental Branch, Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry minor from Denison University in Ohio, and a Master's of Environmental Management from Duke University with a focus on coastal environmental management. He has 16 years’ experience working for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, consulting firms, and the USACE in natural resource management issues spanning from fisheries management to conservation and restoration of freshwater, estuarine, and marine habitats and species. He has led and supported many interagency (Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, state entities) planning, regulatory, and science coordination efforts to address these issues. His training and work relate back to a common theme of using applied science to address key ecosystem management questions that help improve policies and management actions to achieve environmental program success. He's worked on several regional and national teams to develop guidance on how to implement adaptive management in large-scale water resource projects. His favorite color is orange, and loves soccer, the great outdoors, and his family.

Plenary Session Speakers, Facilitators and Organizers

(In alphabetical Order by Presenter last Name)

Nicholas G. Aumen, Regional Science Advisor - South Florida, United States Geological Survey

Nick Aumen is Regional Science Advisor for the US Geological Survey (Southeast Region), overseeing the Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystem Sciences program. This program, involving USGS scientists nationwide, provides high quality science in support of Everglades restoration. Nick was an aquatic ecologist for 15 years with Everglades National Park, leading an interagency team of scientists tracking restoration progress. Prior to his National Park Service position, Nick was the Research Director at the South Florida Water Management District, directing a team of 120-plus scientists conducting research in support of ecosystem restoration. Nick received his B.S. and M.S. in biology at the University of West Florida, and his Ph.D. in microbial ecology at Oregon State University. He was a faculty member in the Biology Department at the University of Mississippi, and was a tenured Associate Professor of Biology when he returned to Florida. Nick presently is an affiliate faculty member at Florida Atlantic University (Department of Geosciences), and at the University of Florida (Soil and Water Science Department). He also served five years on the national Board of Directors of the Sierra Club, a 120-yr-old environmental organization with more than 750,000 members, and served two terms as its Vice-President and one as Treasurer.

Don Boesch, Professor of Marine Science and President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD

Donald F. Boesch is a Professor of Marine Science and President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and University System of Maryland’s Vice Chancellor for Environmental Sustainability. He earned his B.S. in biology at Tulane University and Ph.D. in oceanography at the College of William and Mary. Don has conducted ecological and oceanographic research on coastal and continental shelf ecosystems along the Atlantic Coast, and in the Gulf of Mexico, eastern Australia, and the East China Sea. He is a past-chairman of the Ocean Studies Board of the National Research Council was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Oil Spill and the Offshore Drilling. Don has forty years of experience in the application of science in ecosystem restoration, including in the Chesapeake Bay, the Florida Everglades and Coastal Louisiana.

Dr. Alyssa Dausman, Science Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council), Bay Saint Louis, MS

Dr. Dausman is the Science Director for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council), an independent federal agency created by the RESTORE Act in 2012. She is located in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi focusing on Gulf restoration and science for the Council, comprised of the Governors of the five Gulf states and Cabinet-level officials from six federal agencies. She began her career with the USGS in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 2000 after completing her B.S. at Tulane University and her M.S. at the University of New Orleans. She received her Ph.D. from Florida International University in 2008 while working with the USGS. In 2011 she moved back to her "roots" in Mississippi (born and raised) to work on Gulf restoration. She was staffed to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force and supported the Department of Interior advising on science and monitoring related to Early Restoration for NRDAR as well as on the RESTORE Act. In January of 2015 she went on detail to the Council to help draft the Initial Funded Priorities List of projects and programs the Council intended to fund. She subsequently took a permanent job with the Council in May of 2015.

Shannon A. Estenoz, Director, Office of Everglades Restoration Initiatives, U.S. Department of the Interior, Davie, FL

Shannon A. Estenoz is a fifth generation Key West native. She holds degrees in International Affairs as well as Civil Engineering from Florida State University. Shannon’s Everglades career spans nineteen years during which she has been an advocate for the restoration and protection of the Everglades. Shannon launched her Everglades’-career as the Executive Director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Center. In 1997 she joined the World Wildlife Fund as its Everglades field representative and would later become its Everglades Program Director and later served as the Sun Coast Regional Director of the National Parks Conserva tion Association. Shannon also served three terms as the National Co-Chair of the Everglades Coalition. In 2007, Florida Governor Charlie Crist appointed Shannon to the Governing Board of the South Florida Water Management District where she served as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of the Water Resources Advisory Commission, Founding Chair of the Broward Water Resources Task Force, and member of the Broward County Water Advisory Board. In 2010 Shannon was appointed by the US Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, as the Department’s Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives where she coordinates the Department’s restoration efforts as well as serves as the Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. Throughout Shannon’s career she has been recognized for her contributions to Everglades Restoration. Most recently she was received the 2009 George Barley Conservationist of the Year Award from the Everglades Coalition, the 2010 Marjory Stoneman Douglas Environmental Award from Friends of the Everglades, and the 2010 Champion of the Everglades Award from Audubon of Florida.

Matt Grabau, Restoration Scientist, Colorado River Delta Program, Sonoran Institute, Tucson, AZ

Matt Grabau is a restoration scientist in the Colorado River Delta Program. He joined the Sonoran Institute in 2015 to assist in the design, implementation, and monitoring and adaptive management of restoration projects. He also leads applied ecological research projects, integrating his hydrology, soil science, and biology background to inform the long-term sustainability of riparian areas. He has been working on riparian restoration projects on the lower Colorado River in the US and Mexico since 2006. Matt has a PhD and MS in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from the University of Arizona, where he worked on developing new cottonwood and willow revegetation techniques to enhance genetic diversity and decrease costs. Matt also has a BS degree in Wildlife Science from the University of Arizona, and worked as a biologist prior to beginning graduate studies.

Rainer Hoenicke, Deputy Executive Officer, Science Program, Delta Stewardship Council, Sacramento, CA

Rainer is a limnologist by training and received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Davis. He has worked for the past 30 years at the science-policy interface, first as field logistics coordinator for USEPA’s National Acid Precipitation Program, then as lead scientist for the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Project, and as San Francisco Bay Regional Monitoring Program manager. He served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Estuary Institute from 2008-2013, and is now the Deputy Executive Officer for Science at the Delta Stewardship Council, where he oversees implementation of the Delta Science Plan.

Suzette M. Kimball, Director, US Geological Survey, Reston, VA

Dr. Kimball is responsible for leading the Nation's largest water, earth, and biological science, and civilian mapping agency. Prior to becoming the Director, Dr. Kimball was the USGS Deputy Director. In 2008, she became the Acting Associate Director for Geology, and prior to that was the Director of the USGS Eastern Region, starting in 2004. She joined the USGS as Eastern Regional Executive for Biology. In that position, she built many partnerships, helped shape programs, and led the establishment of the USGS Florida Integrated Science Center. She came to the USGS from the National Park Service in Atlanta, where she was Associate Regional Director. She entered the National Park Service as a research coordinator in the Global Climate Change Program, became Southeast Regional Chief Scientist, and then Associate Regional Director.

She was assistant professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, co-director of the Center for Coastal Management and Policy and marine scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and managed coastal morphology and barrier island studies in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

She serves on executive boards and many State and national committees, including the Consortium for Coastal Restoration through Science & Technology, the Council of Examiners of the National Association of State Boards of Geology, and the DOI Senior Executive Service Advisory Council. She was on the board of directors of the Coastal Society and has served as secretary of the American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Section.

She has authored numerous publications on barrier island dynamics, coastal ecosystem science, coastal zone management and policy, and natural resource exploration, evaluation, and management. She has received the Presidential Rank Award and the Secretary of the Interior's Meritorious Service Award.

Dr. Kimball has a doctorate in environmental sciences with a specialty in coastal processes from the University of Virginia, a master's in geology and geophysics from Ball State University, and a bachelor's in English and geology from the College of William & Mary.

Susan Newman, Senior Scientific Section Lead, Everglades System Assessment Section, South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), West Palm, FL

Dr. Sue Newman is the Section Leader of the Marsh Ecology Research Group within the Everglades Systems Assessment (ESA) Section of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Sue has been a scientist at SFWMD for 25 years, during which time she has been actively involved in quantifying the effects of phosphorus on the Everglades ecosystem, specifically the establishment of the phosphorus criterion for surface waters. The current foci of her research group are large-scale multi-disciplinary projects designed to support Everglades restoration by rehabilitating ecological function in nutrient enriched areas and examining key uncertainties associated with restoring flow to the ecosystem. The synthesis of these programs may be used to understand and evaluate potential tradeoffs associated with restoration activities. Outside of her research in the natural system, Sue is the co-lead of multi-disciplinary studies designed to optimize phosphorus removal in the stormwater treatment areas. Sue obtained her Ph.D. degree in soil and water science from the University of Florida. Her specialties include aquatic biogeochemistry, wetland ecology, and more recently food web interactions. Sue is a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University.

Jack M. Payne, Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Gainesville, FL

Jack Payne is the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Florida and the Administrative Head for the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Prior to his current position he served as a Vice President at Iowa State University, and, previous to Iowa State, he was a Vice President and Dean at Utah State University. Jack also has experience at two other land-grant institutions: Pennsylvania State University, where he served on the faculty of the School of Forest Resources, and, later, at Texas A&M University, where he served as a faculty member in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department.

After leaving Texas A&M University, Payne had a long career with Ducks Unlimited (DU), as their National Director of Conservation. While at Ducks Unlimited, some of his successes included the development of DU’s private lands program with agriculture, the development of a national conservation easement program and the expansion of their Mexican program to Central and South America.

Payne received his M.S. in Aquatic Ecology and his Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from Utah State University and is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University. He is a tenured professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida.

Jennifer Pitt, Director, Colorado River Project, National Audubon Society, Boulder, CO

Jennifer Pitt is Director of the Colorado River Project at the National Audubon Society, where she focuses efforts to protect and restore freshwater and riparian habitats and reform water policy in the Colorado River Basin. She works with water users throughout the Colorado Basin to develop practical programs to restore river habitats and to dedicate water to critical environmental resources. Her expertise includes U.S.-Mexico border environmental issues, the legal and policy framework for Colorado River management, water markets, and the science of river restoration. Before joining Audubon, Jennifer worked on protection and restoration of Colorado River Basin freshwater resources for 17 years at the Environmental Defense Fund.

Sarah J. Ryker, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, Department of the Interior

Dr. Sarah J. Ryker began her career at the U.S. Geological Survey studying water quality, and is now USGS Senior Science Advisor for Climate and Land Use Change. She has also worked for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy's research center, where she led a team focused on energy and environmental research and policy; and at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where she coauthored recent guidance to agencies on incorporating ecosystem services into federal decision-making. She is currently on assignment as Counselor to the U.S. Department of the Interior's Assistant Secretary for Water and Science. Her PhD is from Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, and was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Neil Santaniello, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), School of Communication and Multimedia Studies, Boca Raton, FL

Neil Santaniello is a senior instructor for the School of Communication and Multimedia Studies at Florida Atlantic University. He also serves as a faculty adviser to FAU student media, including the University Press. He is the former director of FAU’s Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment, a summer educational fellowship for professional environmental journalists that ran from 2006 to 2012 and drew more than 100 members of the working news media. During that period he also managed FAU’s Environmental Writers speaker series, which featured authors of non-fiction environment-themed books. Before joining FAU’s journalism faculty 10 years ago, he worked as a staff writer for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where he had a byline for more than two decades, spending the latter portion of his time there covering environment and water-management issues for the paper. In addition to advising, he has taught courses in basic news writing, environmental journalism, news media ethics, feature writing and web research for journalists. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Philosophy from Boston College.

Carl D. Shapiro, Chief, Science and Decisions Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA

Carl Shapiro has been an economist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for over 25 years. He is Senior Economist, Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health and is Director of the USGS Science and Decisions Center, a multidisciplinary center that advances the use of science in resource management decision making. Previously, he spent about 15 years as the principal economist in the USGS Director’s Office, where he led and participated in analytical studies on topics ranging from interagency wetland data consistency to institutional issues associated with map revision and pricing. He is an adjunct associate professor of economics in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, DC, where he has taught graduate courses in economics and public management for over 15 years. In that role, he led and participated in economic and interdisciplinary studies on public policy issues, resources, and natural hazards.

Mike Shriberg, Great Lakes Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation, Merrifield, VA

Mike Shriberg, Ph.D., is the Great Lakes Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation. Mike’s work focuses on Great Lakes protection, energy policy and campus sustainability. He is currently co-chair of the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes coalition, which consists of more than 125 environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation organizations which share a common goal: restoring and protecting the Great Lakes. Mike has published over 20 articles, testified in many hearings and been quoted in papers ranging from the New York Times to the Detroit Free Press.

Mike came to NWF in 2015 from the University of Michigan, where he served as the Education Director at the Graham Sustainability Institute and as a Lecturer in the Program in the Environment and Earth & Environmental Sciences. Previously, he was the Policy Director at the Ecology Center and the Director of Environment Michigan as well as the Environmental Studies Program Director and an Assistant Professor at Chatham University. Mike earned his MS and PhD in Resource Policy & Behavior from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment. He earned his B.S. in Biology & Society with a concentration in Environment & Business from Cornell University.

Alan D. Steinman, Director, Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI), Grand Valley State University, Muskegon, MI

Alan (Al) Steinman has been Director of Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute since 2001. Previously, he was Director of the Lake Okeechobee Restoration Program at the South Florida Water Management District. Steinman has published over 140 scientific articles and book chapters and has testified before Congress and the Michigan and Florida state legislatures. Currently he is a member of science advisory boards for the U.S. EPA, the International Joint Commission, Michigan DEQ, Sea Grant, Healing our Waters, University of Michigan’s Water Center, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research, and the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and is an Associate Editor for Freshwater Biology. Steinman received his PhD from Oregon State University and did his Postdoctoral work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Ann Swanson, Executive Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission, Annapolis, MD

Ann Swanson has served as a leader in the Bay restoration for over 30 years, the last 28 as the Executive Director of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative authority serving the states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. It is the Commission’s responsibility to sponsor legislation at the state level and to work with state legislators, members of the U.S. Congress, and the federal and state regulatory agencies to coordinate programs aimed at restoring the Chesapeake Bay. Although Ann operates in a highly political environment, she is trained in the sciences. A trained wildlife biologist and forest ecologist, she graduated with honors from the University of Vermont and Yale University; she served as a member of the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources for 23 years and as its Chairman for 11. Among her many awards, in 2001, she was awarded the Bay region’s highest Conservation Award, Conservationist of the Year, in 2008 was recognized by general assembly resolutions in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, in 2011 was awarded the YMCA Outstanding Women in Industry Twin Award, in May 2012 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vermont, in 2013 received the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Leadership Award, and in 2015 she was recognized as an Admiral of the Chesapeake Bay in the state of Maryland. Ann has been married for 29 years, is a published illustrator, an accomplished gardener, backpacker and sea kayaker, and is a mother of two boys.

Susan Wachter, Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate, and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; Director for the Wharton GeoSpatial Initiative and Lab; Co-director, Penn Institute for Urban Research; and Co-director, Spatial Integration Laboratory for Urban Systems at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Susan Wachter is Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. From 1999 to 2001, Dr. Wachter served as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, Dr. Wachter was a member of the White House Interagency Task Force on Smart Growth and is recognized for her role in the studies on land use decision making and housing price outcomes. Prior to her appointment as Assistant Secretary, Dr. Wachter was Chairperson of the Wharton Real Estate Department and Professor of Real Estate and Finance at the Wharton School. She holds an appointment as Professor of City and Regional Planning at the School of Design of the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of more than 200 scientific publications. Dr. Wachter is on the editorial board of several academic journals and was the editor of Real Estate Economics and former President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. Dr. Wachter has been Faculty Fellow of the Urban Land Institute, Faculty Fellow at the Weimar Institute, and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Wachter is Founder and currently serves as Director of Wharton’s Geospatial Initiative as well as Co –Founder and Co-Director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research.

David Waggonner, President, Waggonner and Ball, New Orleans, LA

David Waggonner is president of Waggonner and Ball, an award-winning, internationally active architecture and environment practice located in New Orleans. The firm’s architectural work varies from historic preservation to modern institutional projects. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, David saw an opportunity for New Orleans to reinvent itself as a sustainable city that embraces its lifeblood, water. He championed a process that examines history, soils, biodiversity, infrastructure networks, urban space and habitation, along with the forces of water. This combination serves as a holistic foundation for design, initiated during the Dutch Dialogues, developed through the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, and continued into implementation, including the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) award to New Orleans. Related processes and efforts have produced Rebuild by Design and other NDRC awards for Bridgeport and the States of Louisiana, Connecticut, and Virginia.

Lisa Wainger, Research Professor, University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science, Solomons, MD

Lisa Wainger is an environmental economist with over 20 years of experience analyzing changes in ecological conditions in terms of socio-economic outcomes. In her research, she integrates human behavior and ecological change to project risks and evaluate potential policy solutions. As a Research Professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Chesapeake Biological Lab, she uses innovative spatial modeling techniques to advance environmental economic analysis and support decisions of government agencies, NGOs and private businesses. Her PhD, from the University of Maryland, College Park, combined environmental economics and landscape ecology and she has applied this multi-disciplinary background to enhancing hedonic and benefit transfer economic valuation methods and non-monetary benefit indicators used for cost-effectiveness analysis and ecosystem service benefits assessment. Current areas of research include water quality trading and offsets, non-native invasive species control, biodiversity conservation under climate change, and cost-efficient ecological restoration of wetlands and oyster reefs. she is a frequent economics advisor to government agencies (e.g., White House Council on Environmental Quality, National Academies of Science), is Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the US EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, and serves on several other science advisory boards.

Mark R. Wingate, Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management Executive Office, New Orleans District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), New Orleans, LA

Mark R. Wingate, P.E. serves as the Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District. Mr. Wingate is delegated full authority for management decisions related to all major District Civil, Environmental and Support for Others programs and projects. Projects include flood risk management, storm damage prevention, navigational projects such as channel improvements and lock & dam construction, environmental and coastal restoration/sustainability, river stabilization and harbor development.

With over 25 years of project management, planning and engineering expertise, Mr. Wingate brings firsthand knowledge of USACE traditional and non-traditional Civil Works programs, policies and regulations and the know-how and commitment to drive successful project delivery. He is responsible for delivering the New Orleans District Civil Works program with an annual program estimated at $300M in close coordination and collaboration with a variety of sponsors and stakeholders at all levels of government.

Mr. Wingate joined USACE in 1993 and has held past positions within the New Orleans District as Project Management Branch Chief, Senior Project Manager, Study Manager and Hydraulic Engineer. Prior to joining USACE, Mr. Wingate served as a Civil/Hydraulic Engineer in the private sector with a focus on Hydrologic and Hydraulic modeling.

He graduated from the University of New Orleans in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Louisiana. He is married to Lori Wingate and has 2 children, Kyle and Lindsey.

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