Water Policy Lecture Series

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Series Installments 1-4: Lectures & Resources

Series Installment: Protect Our Waters (Scroll Down for our latest)

This year we are hosting a lecture series that focuses on protecting our water resources, inspired by the high school debate topic: Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.

Our lecture series will feature scholars, scientists, policy directors and advocates with expertise on US water policy and protection of US water resources. 

Dates – 7/8, 6/10, 6/24, 7/22, 8/12, 8/26, 9/9 *

Times – 5:30 PM PST, 5:30 PM PST


Water Policy Lecture Series

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government at US Water Alliance US Water Alliance is a national nonprofit organization advancing policies and programs that build a sustainable water future for all. He leads the Alliances engagement on policy issues, heading up their Washington DC Office. Previously he was director of the Utility Infrastructure Division, Environment and Trade at the Associated General Contractors of America.

This talk focuses broadly on various water resources and their protection nationally. As a former debater (UMW) Scott will devote significant time to answer questions from this introduction into the topic. 

Dr. Tiara Na’puti, Assistant Professor of Global & Indigenous Studies in the Department of Global & International Studies at University of California Irvine Tiara R. Na’puti is a Chamoru scholar (Guåhan/Guam) who focuses on issues of Indigenous movements, colonialism, and militarism in the Mariana Islands archipelago and throughout Oceania. Na’puti works with organizations addressing immigration rights and issues facing Native and Indigenous Pacific Islander populations. She has joined several delegations to testify at the United Nations Special Political and Decolonization Committee (4th Committee) on the political status of Guåhan.  Her work has recently appeared in CommonDreamsIn These Times, and Latinx Spaces, she was also interviewed on RT News about the colonial status of Guåhan and the impacts of militarism. Professor Na’puti is a first-generation college student who received a master’s and doctorate in Communication Studies and a certificate in Native American & Indigenous Studies (NAIS) from The University of Texas at Austin

Indigenous Environmental Justice & Water Policy in the U.S.

This talk focuses on relational elements of “protection of water resources in the United States” through the particular case of Guåhan/Guam and issues of Indigenous environmental justice. It asks us to collectively consider: How might critical questions about water policy be addressed in relation with Indigenous peoples? And, how might increases in protection of water resources be understood from places that are politically designated as territories of the United States? 

Sources for embedded hyperlinks:

Na’puti, Tiara R. and Kristie Soares, “Militarization without Representation: Your Vote Could Determine the Future of the U.S. Territories.” Latinx Spaces, October 29, 2020.

Na’puti, Tiara R., “The Disenfranchised Voters No One Is Talking About: Residents of U.S. Colonies,” In These Times, October 20, 2020.

Na’puti, Tiara R. “Pandemic in the Pacific: US Military Bases Are Hot Spots for More Than Just Covid-19—They Also Make Island Territories Targets for Climate Disasters,” Common Dreams, September 12, 2020

In Question. “The Forgotten Americans.” RT News America. October 22, 2020. 3:06-9:11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIkpGtk303g Marshall, Lisa. “CU Boulder Professor Testifies Before U.N. Committee on Guam” CU Boulder Today, October 4, 2017. https://www.colorado.edu/today/2017/10/04/cu-boulder-professor-testifies-un-committee-guam

Chad Davisson, General Manager Ironhouse Sanitary District 

Chad comes to the District with over 25 years of wastewater industry experience, most recently with the City of Richmond as the General Manager of the Richmond Municipal Sewer District. He looks forward to continuing the great work of ISD which includes providing wastewater collection and treatment services within the communities of Oakley and Bethel Island and expanding the use of recycled water. To help the region meet our water conservation needs, the District has implemented innovative programs such as the District’s recycled water fill station and providing recycled water for dust control. 

Dr. Ward Lyles, Associate Professor of Urban Planning in School of Public Administration & Affairs at the University of Kansas 

Dr. Lyles’ research and teaching interests center on the intersection of people, the built environment, and the natural environment. His current research projects explore 1) the use of planning to reduce long-term risks from natural hazards and climate change, 2) the use of social network analysis to examine the role of planners in local planning efforts, and 3) applying content analysis methods to evaluate planning documents.

Aleava Sayre, Partner in Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group

She focuses her practice on environmental law, mining law and litigation. Her exceptional public speaking and presentation skills, her ability to adapt complex legal and technical information to different settings, and her solution-oriented approach allows her to effectively advocate for her clients before an array of audiences.

In the environmental and regulatory space, she counsels clients in environmental issues arising under federal, state and local laws that relate to project development, administrative challenges or proceedings, enforcement actions, and litigation. Her substantial experience working with technical experts, nuanced and novel legal issues, and with regulatory officials enables her to identify potential substantive or procedural obstacles and proactively develop solutions that achieve her clients’ objectives.

Dr. Beth Mendenhall, Assistant Professor, Joint appointment in Department of Marine Affairs and Political Science

Dr. Elizabeth Mendenhall earned her Ph.D. in International Relations in 2017 from Johns Hopkins University and is now an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs. She teaches International Ocean Governance in Marine Affairs, and has a (limited) joint appointment with Political Science. Her research centers on the ocean governance regime, especially the Law of the Sea Convention. Recent work addresses artificial island building, sea level rise, marine plastic debris, strategic nuclear submarines, COVID-19 and cruise ships, and the ‘Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction’ negotiations.