2023: The Speakers

Paul Adelizi

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Paul is an Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He has worked in aquaculture and fisheries for over 25 years and began with CDFW and the SJRRP in 2008. He is a former high school science teacher and is a local history enthusiast.

Jon Ambrose


Jon works for NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) Central Valley Office (CVO) in Sacramento, California. Jon is the NMFS San Joaquin River Branch Chief. He started with NMFS in 1999 as a salmonid biologist where he administered the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in California’s coastal rivers and streams. His duties included recovery planning and implementation, ESA consultations, restoration projects and enforcement actions. In 2015, he moved to the CVO as the Salmon Reintroduction Coordinator with NMFS’ Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission team. In this role, he worked on the many facets involved in reintroducing ESA-listed salmonids to their native habitats upstream of Central Valley rim dams. Prior to serving with NMFS, Jon began his fisheries and wildlife career in 1989 on Georgia-Pacific’s timberlands in Fort Bragg, California. Jon holds a B.S. in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University.

Jessica Andrieux

Bureau of Reclamation

Jessica Andrieux is a Project Manager for the Restoration group of the San Joaquin River Restoration Program working on the Mendota Pool Bypass & Reach 2B Improvements projects. Previously she was a Natural Resource Specialist in Reclamation’s Central California Area Office working on Folsom Dam coordinated operations to meet salmonid objectives on the American River. She received a Bachelors of Science from Dominican University of California.

DJ Bandrowski

Yurok Tribe

DJ Bandrowski, Senior Project Engineer / Program Manager for the Yurok Tribe, is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) that is responsible for managing the Design and Technical Services Program within the Yurok Tribes Fisheries Department and Natural Resources Division. He has the responsibility for the planning, design, and implementation of large-scale ecosystem restoration projects across Northern California on the Upper Klamath River, Trinity River, Sacramento River, and supporting the Klamath Dam Removal Project operations. He oversees all phases of project implementation including planning, data collection, design, analysis, heavy civil construction, and revegetation/planting operations. He serves as the lead design engineer on many of the restoration projects performing engineering and design analysis for various components but specializing in large wood and habitat implementation aspects. He continues to develop and maintains collaborative relationships and partnerships through a diverse cross-section of stakeholders and tribal partners. He has worked for several federal agencies across the United States and internationally throughout his career including Department of Interior (DOI) – Bureau of Reclamation, USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the State Department – US Embassy in Bolivia. In 2022, he helped the Yurok Tribe form Condor Aviation Enterprise, a geospatial program providing aerial data collection services including LiDAR, aerial imagery, and many other large-scale geospatial mapping services. He is a certified Project Manager (FAC-PM) through the Dept. of Interior and holds a FAA private pilot license for manned fixed-wing aircraft.

Matt Bigelow

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Matt is an Environmental Scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and has worked in fisheries for over 15 years beginning with CDFW and the San Joaquin River Restoration Program in 2007.

Ian Buck-Macleod

Friant Water Authority

Ian joined Friant Water Authority in February 2020. He coordinates with state and federal agencies on regulatory or planning process that could affect the Friant water supply, leads efforts to monitor and defend the reliability of Friant water supplies, and assists the CEO and COO in coordination of activities and strategic goals among Friant member agencies. Before joining Friant Water Authority, Ian was a water resources engineer at Stantec Consulting Services, Inc for over nine years. At Stantec, he supported Federal and local government agencies in water resources planning, infrastructure feasibility studies, engineering, facilitation, environmental compliance, and project management. Ian holds a Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of California, Davis, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Oliver “Towns” Burgess

Bureau of Reclamation

Towns is the Lead Fish Biologist for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. Prior to that, he was a Fish Biologist in Reclamation’s Bay-Delta Office working on real-time and ongoing water operations issues and was a Supervisory Fishery Biologist for the Army Corps of Engineers on the Snake River in Washington. His professional interests focus on aquatic ecology with an emphasis in anthropogenic disturbances to aquatic communities. He received a B.S. from the Marine Science Program at the University of South Carolina and a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Florida.

Dr. John ‘Carlos’ Garza


Carlos is a Supervisory Research Geneticist in the Fisheries Ecology Division of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Carlos leads the Molecular Ecology and Genetic Analysis Team, a joint NOAA/UCSC group that develops and uses molecular genetic data and analytical methods to address questions related to ecology, evolution, conservation and management of marine and aquatic animals and ecosystems. Carlos received B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of California San Diego and a Ph.D. from the University of California Berkeley. He has more than 30-years of experience in basic research and in the application of genetic methods to conservation and management issues. His work is used to inform resource managers at the international, regional, tribal and local levels. He has authored more than 100 journal articles and his work has been reported on extensively, including in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Science magazine. He has served on multiple federal Technical Recovery and Biological Review teams for salmon and trout and on the Scientific and Statistical Committee of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, as well as on the California Hatchery Scientific Review Group. His work has been recognized with four Bronze Medals (NOAA’s highest) and supported by fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the French Government.

Austin Demarest

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Austin is a Supervisory Fish Biologist from the Lodi US Fish and Wildlife Service Office. For the past five years, he has led investigations focused on Chinook salmon reproduction and spawning habitat assessments within the San Joaquin River Restoration Area. Currently, Austin’s work is focused on White Sturgeon population assessments, migration timing, and habitat use within the lower San Joaquin River. Prior to the SJRRP, he worked on fishery related issues in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Rivers and San Francisco Estuary related to juvenile Chinook salmon emigration and Delta smelt population assessments. Originally from upstate New York, Austin obtained his bachelor’s degree (Aquatics and Fisheries Science) from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His prior experience includes researching the rapid speciation of endemic fishes of Palawan, Philippines, as well as sportfish population assessments with an emphasis on Northern Pike and Muskellunge recruitment, spawning habitat connectivity, and wetland restoration in the St. Lawrence River at the Thousand Islands Biological Station.

Dr. Claudia Faunt

USGS California Water Science Center

Claudia serves as the Program Chief for the Groundwater Availability and Use Section at the USGS California Water Science Center in San Diego, California. As a USGS hydrologist, she has led studies that focused on regional groundwater flow systems, including the Central Valley of California. Her research has specialized in water availability, regional integrated hydrologic modeling, and hydrogeologic framework modeling. Claudia has been a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey since 1988 and a part of the California Water Science Center since 1998. She received her Doctorate in Geological Engineering in 1994 from the Colorado School of Mines. In one of her most memorable moments, Claudia was interviewed by the news television program, 60 Minutes, to discuss groundwater resources. She also was named the Groundwater Resources Association of California’s (GRA) David Keith Todd Distinguished Lecturer for 2017; a lecture series dedicated to fostering interest and excellence in applied groundwater science and technology.

Hilary Glenn

NOAA Fisheries

Hilary is a Fisheries Biologist for NOAA Fisheries. She is working to recover threatened and endangered salmon and sturgeon with the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. She is passionate about education, outreach, and scientific communication and seeks to bring a salmon culture to the Central Valley of California through collaborative projects and partnerships. Hilary graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a B.S. in Marine Biology and Louisiana State University with an M.S. in Oceanography. Hilary has two young children, loves to be outdoors with her family, has a travel bucket list a mile long, watches superhero movies, reads books by Brandon Sanderson and Sarah Maas, and is mostly winging it in the kitchen but it seems to work out.

John Hannon

Bureau of Reclamation

John Hannon is a Fisheries Biologist for the US Bureau of Reclamation working on anadromous salmonid issues as they interact with operations of Reclamation facilities. He has over 30 years of experience as a fisheries biologist focusing on Pacific salmon and steelhead including over 20 years with Reclamation in California leading habitat improvement and fish passage projects and assessing effects of water operations on anadromous fish and 11 years for the Tongass National Forest in Craig, Alaska providing fish passage over natural barriers, monitoring colonization of newly opened habitat, devising and conducting habitat and population surveys, implementing stream habitat restoration projects, and providing fisheries support to timber harvest. He also was a commercial dive fisher and sports fishing charter operator.

Gerald Hatler

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Gerald began working for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1997. His experience has ranged from conducting biological studies to evaluate salmon survival, habitat conditions, fish passage to stream resource evaluations, species and habitat protection, and public use of natural resources. He has been involved with salmon restoration projects on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, and Merced rivers and, most recently, the San Joaquin River. He has been the CDFW lead on the San Joaquin River Restoration Program since 2007 and manages the CDFW effort to assist with implementation of the SJRRP Settlement Agreement. Gerald also oversees five state fish hatcheries and the CDFW fisheries program in twelve counties from the Central Coast to the Sierra.

Dr. Rene Henery

Trout Unlimited

Rene is an ecologist, artist, writer, and speaker based in Northern California. Rene serves as the California Science Director for Trout Unlimited, the US’s oldest and largest salmon conservation organization. His work embraces water, diversity, reconciliation, and equity as pathways to resilient ecosystems, coherent communities, and a personal experience of belonging.

Over the last decade, Rene’s work in the western US has focused on cultivating spaces for collaborative engagement around freshwater systems and the diverse life and communities that they connect. He works extensively in California’s Central Valley on the science and policy of river and floodplain restoration and in the Sierras and Cascades on the restoration of mountain meadows. Rene is a member of the Water Solutions Network and a co-founder of both the Central Valley Salmon Habitat Partnership and the Sierra Meadows Partnership. Rene’s current work includes co-leading the Reorienting to Recovery project (R2R), which he developed in collaboration with the Bay institute, Metropolitan Water District, Valley Water and the State Water Contractors and which seeks to bring together diverse interests from across the Central Valley to co-vision an approach to Salmon recovery that equitably balances benefits and impacts across the range of participant values. Common to all of Rene’s work is an orientation towards systemic health and healing, and the application of science and emergent strategy to support a transition from oppositional politics and polarization to coherence and connection.

Logan Howard

Bureau of Reclamation

Logan is a Project Manager and Professional Engineer for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program working on the Sack Dam Fish Passage and Arroyo Canal Fish Screen Project. Prior to that, he was a Civil Engineer with Geosyntec consultants working on a number of water quality and water resources projects in the private sector. He has a background in complex hydraulic designs, civil structures, water treatment design, and compliance with the California Industrial General Permit and Construction General Permit. He received a B.S. from the Civil Engineering Program at Oregon State University and a M.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Washington.

Jarod Hutcherson

Bureau of Reclamation

Jarod has been a biologist with Reclamation since 2010. Since 2012, he has been involved with various projects under the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. On the San Joaquin River, he participated in inventory and monitoring surveys to identify fish species presence/absence in all five reaches of the Restoration Area, helped with adult Chinook salmon trap and haul efforts to move adult salmon from Reach 5 to spawning areas in Reach 1, and contributed to fall-run and spring-run juvenile Chinook salmon monitoring efforts and efficiency evaluations using panel weirs and rotary screw traps. His other notable work outside the San Joaquin includes evaluating side channel enhancement efforts for juvenile salmon production on the Methow River, Washington, evaluating larval fish entrainment at the Tracy Fish Collection Facility and survey efforts to describe side channel connection and potential fish stranding during river flow reductions on the Yakima River in Washington.

Michael P. Jackson

Bureau of Reclamation

Michael has held numerous positions with Reclamation and has served as the Area Manager for the South-Central California Area Office since 2006. SCCAO is responsible for Reclamation’s interests in California from the Bay-Delta to Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Michael graduated from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer.

Tom Johnson

Tom has over forty years of experience in engineering, water resource development, energy projects, and hydroelectric regulatory projects. He has served as the Restoration Administrator for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program since August of 2013. Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from UC Davis and is a registered Civil Engineer with the state of California.

James Lee

Trinity River Restoration Program

James is the Science Coordinator at the Trinity River Restoration Program and is employed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Presently, he coordinates monitoring and reporting activities across the 8-agency partnership to provide information needed to adaptively manage flows, sediment augmentation, and channel rehabilitation activities. Prior to his current position, he was a riparian ecologist with the Hoopa Valley Tribe and focused on the Trinity River. His professional interests include fish and wildlife conservation, specifically how to interpret and use scientific information in natural resource decision-making.

Eric Limas

Lower Tule River and Pixley Irrigation Districts

Eric Limas is the General Manager of the Lower Tule River and Pixley Irrigation Districts as well as the Tea Pot Dome Water District. Eric also manages the Lower Tule River and Pixley ID Groundwater Sustainability Agencies. Eric has worked for these Districts since 2002, serving in the following roles; Controller, Business Manager, Assistant Manager, and General Manager. In 2000, he earned his Certified Public Accountant license while working for M. Green and Company, CPAs. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agribusiness. Eric grew up on a family farm in Tipton and was active in the local 4-H and FFA programs.

Chad Moore

Bureau of Reclamation

Chad joined the San Joaquin River Restoration Program in 2015 and serves as the primary coordinator for the release and tracking of Restoration Flows. Chad leads efforts to revise the Restoration Flow Guidelines, develops the framework for selling and exchanging of Unreleased Restoration Flows, develops runoff forecasts, and helps guide the Program’s scientific efforts. Prior to joining Reclamation, he served 19 years with the National Park Service. Chad holds a Bachelor’s degree in geography from UC Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Earth science from Montana State University.

Dr. Jeffery Mount

PPIC Water Policy Center

Jeff is a senior fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center. He is an emeritus professor of earth and planetary sciences and founding director of the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis. A geomorphologist who specializes in the study of rivers, streams, and wetlands, his research focuses on integrated water resource management, flood management, and improving aquatic ecosystem health. He has served on many state and federal boards and commissions that address water resource management issues in the West. He has published more than a hundred articles, books, and other publications, including the seminal book California Rivers and Streams (UC Press). He holds a PhD and MS in earth sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Josh Newcom

Bureau of Reclamation

Josh currently serves as the Public Affairs Specialist for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, a role he has filled since 2016. Josh has been involved with California and Western water resources outreach for the past 25 years including with the Water Education Foundation and the Indian Health Service. He holds a B.A. from Emory University and a Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver.

Dr. Scott O’Meara

Bureau of Reclamation

Scott is a botanist with Reclamation’s Technical Service Center, Ecological Research Lab (Hydraulic Investigations and Laboratory Services group). He holds a Ph.D. in Bio-Agricultural Science and Pest Management from Colorado State University. Scott has worked extensively with revegetation studies/design, field surveys, and various invasive species management projects.

Alexis Phillips-Dowell

California Department of Water Resources

Alexis is a supervising engineer at the Department of Water Resources within the South Central Region Office in Fresno and is DWR’s Program manager for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. She has been an engineer for over 22 years and has worked at DWR and on various Program projects for over 14 years. The focus on her work at DWR is related to leading and supporting the hydraulic modeling efforts and fish passage projects for the Program. She is currently DWR’s Program manager and is managing key projects that DWR will implement over the next several years to support the Program. One of those projects is to provide fish passage at the Eastside Bypass Control Structure – a high-priority barrier along the current Restoration flow path. Alexis has a BS in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University and is a registered civil engineer.

Dr. Donald E. Portz

Bureau of Reclamation

Dr. Portz has been the Program Manager for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program for nearly five years. He officially joined the office in 2015 as the Program’s Lead Fish Biologist but had been working for the Program since 2010 through Reclamation’s Denver Technical Service Center. Dr. Portz has over 20 years of experience working with Bureau of Reclamation on fisheries issues throughout the western United States with particular focus on California’s Central Valley after receiving a doctorate in Fish Ecology from the University of California, Davis. Throughout his career, Dr. Portz has contributed greatly to fisheries research and survival of Chinook salmon and has been instrumental in the effort to reintroduce spring-run Chinook salmon to the San Joaquin River, where they had been absent for over 70 years. Throughout his tenure, Dr. Portz has developed strong relationships with the diverse set of stakeholders associated with Restoration Program and has come to appreciate the competing demands on water for fisheries, wildlife, agriculture, industry, and domestic needs.

Eric R. Quinley

Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District

Eric is the General Manager of the Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District, appointed in 2016, and is also the General Manager for Friant Power Authority. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University. Prior to joining the Delano-Earlimart, Eric served in management positions with the Friant Water Authority including Interim General Manager and Director of Operations and Maintenance. Before working with the Friant Water Authority, Eric worked in the commercial construction management industry focusing on large scale institutional, industrial, and food processing projects, and has also served as a district staff member for a Member of Congress.

Greg Reis

The Bay Institute

Greg has worked for The Bay Institute for 11 years, currently serving as Staff Hydrologist, supporting its mission to protect, restore, and inspire the conservation of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the Sea. He has also worked on restoration projects for the Mono Lake Committee for almost 30 years. Mr. Reis currently serves on the Restoration Administrator’s Technical Advisory Committee. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in forestry & natural resources from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Andy Shriver

California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Andy is a lead project scientist for the California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s (CDFW) San Joaquin River Restoration Program (SJRRP) group applying his technical knowledge and experience in salmon ecology and fluvial geomorphology in meeting CDFW’s objectives towards protecting and restoring the State’s natural resources and implementing the SJRRP Restoration Goal. Prior to CDFW, Andy worked for the US Bureau of Reclamation and as a private sector consultant in the Pacific Northwest. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, for his undergraduate education, and then later attended the California State University, Fresno for graduate studies as a provost scholar. When not at work, you can find Andy tinkering with his diy hobbies, exploring swimming holes and hot springs, and daydreaming of his next passport trip.

Regina Story

Bureau of Reclamation

Regina joined the Bureau of Reclamation’s San Joaquin River Restoration Program in 2014 as a Student Trainee while receiving a B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis. After graduating, she developed in the Program as a Civil Engineer on the team and now works as a Project Manager, overseeing the Seepage Management Program. In this capacity, she oversees the SJRRP’s groundwater monitoring network, updates the Seepage Management Plan, and implements seepage projects where necessary. Regina is currently serving a Detail as the Water Management Goal Supervisor. Outside of her work with the SJRRP, Regina enjoys being a lifelong learner and will receive a M.S. in Civil Engineering – Water Resources from UC Davis in 2024.

Erin Strange

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Erin has 30 years of experience as a fisheries biologist working on anadromous fish issues in the Central Valley of California with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. After 18 years with NOAA, Erin recently returned to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to manage the Anadromous Fish Restoration Program. She is currently the Acting Deputy Assistant Regional Director for Fish and Aquatic Conservation for the Southwest Region. In this role, she serves as the Service’s Program Manager for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program. Erin has a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Biology/Zoology from Cal Poly Humboldt and a Master of Science degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from Sacramento State University. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, gardening, and traveling the world with her husband and children.

Sharon Weaver

San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust, Inc.

Sharon is the Executive Director for the San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation Trust, Inc. and was selected in March 2015 as the Trust’s third Executive Director. She joined the Trust in 1999 and became Deputy Director in 2008. During her tenure with the Trust, Sharon has implemented a variety of major projects including the extension of the Lewis S. Eaton Trail to the River Center, habitat enhancement at Jensen River Ranch, several invasive weed removal projects, and the recent acquisition of Sumner Peck Ranch. Sharon is a board member of the California Council of Land Trusts, member and past board member of North Fresno Rotary, and in 2017 was recognized as Executive of the Year by the Central California Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Sharon has a degree in political science from the University of California at Davis.