Keep the discussion going

SGM_FLC Fall Forum Logo 2019

The 2019 Fall Forum was a full day of powerful discussion on September 13. See who the panel members were at this year's event and download the slidedecks from their presentations.

Download the agenda >

Avalanches panel

Andy Gleason, Lecturer of Geosciences
Fort Lewis College
Andy specializes in geologic hazard evaluation and mitigation with experience in landslides, rockfall, debris flows and snow avalanches. He is a former avalanche forecaster with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. He is currently conducting research on snow hydrology for NASA’s Snow Ex project. He works with the Village Aid Project and builds water systems in developing countries. Andy has held a lecturer position in the Department of Geosciences at Fort Lewis College since 2016, and has been an adjunct instructor at the college since 2010.

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John Sites, Public Works Director
Town of Silverton
John Sites is a twenty year resident of Silverton, Colorado and has been the Director of Public Works since 2015. He and his staff take care of the water system, wastewater system, streets maintenance and “other tasks as assigned” for the Town. Formerly he was the proprietor of a residential and commercial construction company and doesn’t care if he ever swings a hammer in that capacity again. John likes to play in the outdoors and spend time with family and friends.

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Warren Swanson, PE, President
Warren has focused his entire professional career on meeting municipal water quality, treatment, supply, storage, pumping, and transmission challenges. He has consulted for both large metropolitan water utilities and small, rural water providers, bringing a unique and seasoned perspective to his projects. He has served as a Project Manager, Lead Project Engineer or QA/QC Officer on nearly all of SGM’s water treatment plant-related projects over the past 14 years. Warren assumed the role of SGM President in 2016.

Download Warren's slide deck >

416 Fire panel

Dr. Julie Korb, PhD, Professor of Biology
Fort Lewis College
Dr. Julie Korb is a professor in the Department of Biology at Fort Lewis College. She joined the college in 2002. In 2009-2010, Dr. Korb was the Fort Lewis College Featured Scholar. In 2014, Dr. Korb received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Northern Arizona University’s School of Forestry and the La Plata County Adult Role Model Award. Last year, the Association for Fire Ecology recognized Dr. Korb as one of only six women to be certified nationally as a senior wildland fire ecologist for her education, training, and experience. Dr. Korb studies wildland fire, forest ecology, and vegetation responses to climate change. Dr. Korb involves Fort Lewis students in all of her research and she has directed over 60 independent research projects that have resulted in students publishing and/or presenting their work at regional and national conferences.

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Chuck Stevens, County Manager
La Plata County
Chuck Stevens currently serves as the La Plata County Manager. Chuck previously served as the assistant county manager since October 2017.  Prior to that he was applications manager in the county’s Information Technology Department.  Prior to joining the La Plata County team, Chuck served in the United States Marine Corps with distinction for 25 years.

As a senior leader in the Marine Corps, Chuck managed complex organizations and supervised large numbers of staff in a variety of roles.  He was recognized as a “Top Tech Executive” by San Diego Magazine for providing innovative leadership and has also been honored as the Distance Education Instructor of the Year for the Marine Corps College of Distance Education and Training.  Chuck is a Leadership La Plata alumni, class of 2018 and is also a board member for the Lake Durango Water Authority. 

Scott Roberts, Water Programs Director
Mountain Studies Institute

Alexandra Ratcliff, General Assistance Program Manager
Southern Ute Indian Tribe
Alex Ratcliff is the General Assistance Program Manager for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Environmental Programs Division. She has been with the Tribe since December 2017 where she has worked along the Animas River, concentrating on the Bonita Peaks Superfund and Gold King Mine related topics.  Other projects she has led include hosting outreach events for local native youth, assisting the Air Quality Program, and overseeing the Tribal Recycling Program. Alex received an M.S. from Regis University in Environmental Biology where she focused on ecological restoration.  She has a passion for the environment and educating young community members about its importance. 

Download Alexandra and Jon's slidedeck >

Jon Broholm, Wildlife Technician
Southern Ute Wildlife Division
Jon Broholm is a Wildlife Technician with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Wildlife Division, based in Ignacio, Colorado. His work includes surveys for large mammals, native fishes, and endangered species, as well as habitat improvement projects across the Southern Ute Reservation. Jon is also active in the design and fabrication of equipment used in Division projects, as well as numerous education and outreach efforts in local communities.

Ed Zink, Secretary/Treasurer
Animas Consolidated Ditch Company
Ed was born and raised on an irrigated ranching and farming operation just north of Durango. He graduated from Fort Lewis 50 years ago. Ed has served 30 + years on the board of the Animas Consolidated Ditch Company, a 90 cfs ditch, and 20 + years on the board of the Animas Water Company, the second largest domestic water supplier in LaPlata County. He has spent 50 + years on various task forces and committees concerning water for the State of Colorado, the U S Forest Service and the BLM. Last but not least, he uses water every day and seldom drinks anything else!

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Jordan Dimick, PE, Senior Water Resources Engineer
Jordan has over a decade of water resource and water rights engineering experience, including water rights adjudication engineering support, water demand and usage analyses, water supply planning projects, water supply infrastructure planning, water allocation modeling, master planning, and water quality analyses. He has provided engineering support and served as an expert witness in multiple water court applications. Jordan also has experience in local, state, and federal permitting compliance. He has direct field experience with procedures in collecting, organizing, interpreting, and reporting geological, geophysical, and water quality data. In addition, Jordan is experienced in designing groundwater wells, well fields, and aquifer performance tests. Jordan is a graduating member of Water Education Colorado’s 2015 Colorado Water Leader’s class.

Download Jordan's slidedeck >

Demand Management Panel

Dr. Emile Elias, PhD, Director
USDA Southwest Climate Hub
Dr. Emile Elias has worked for more than two decades at the interface of water scarcity, water quality, agricultural production and natural resources with the goal of supporting both resilient landscapes and resilient communities. As a research hydrologist within the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Dr. Elias studies land-use and climate-related changes in regional water resources, crop and rangeland production and their impact on agricultural communities and food security. As a hydrologic modeler, she investigates the impacts of warming on snowpack depletion, water scarcity and irrigated agriculture. As Director of the USDA Southwest Hub, Dr. Elias recently proposed and led a special issue in the journal Climatic Change on vulnerability of Southwestern forest and agricultural ecosystems to a changing climate. More broadly, Dr. Elias leads a Southwest Hub team that is engaged in research and science synthesis efforts, tool development to support informed decision-making, and stakeholder outreach. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado, an M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University, and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Hydrology, Forestry, Agricultural Engineering and Economics from Auburn University.

Download Emile's slide deck >

Dr. Perry Cabot, PhD, Research and Extension Leader
Western Colorado Research Center-Fruita, Colorado State University

Luke Gingerich, PE, Area Manager Western Colorado
JUB Engineering
Luke manages J-U-B Engineer’s Western Colorado area office. Luke specializes in water resource planning and engineering. Luke currently provides engineering services for several irrigation districts in the Upper Colorado River Basin as well as water conservation districts, small municipalities and NGOs. He has a strong background in hydraulics, agricultural water use, drought planning and water rights.

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Louis Meyer, PE, Principal
In 1986, Louis and Dean Gordon founded SGM and became its original principals. Louis served as SGM’s President from 1990 - 2015. Louis brings over 35 years of experience in the municipal water and wastewater fields. During this time, he also has served as the Town Engineer or District Engineer for multiple Colorado West Slope public entities. His work has included the development of many water and wastewater master plans and the design and management of many drinking water and wastewater treatment facility projects. He also has been an active participant in the process of forming multiple water and sanitation districts. Louis served as the Project Manager for the development of the Colorado Basin Roundtable Basin Implementation Plan (BIP). Louis was responsible for leading communication outreach to the municipal and industrial representatives throughout the Colorado Basin and overseeing the GIS mapping efforts used throughout the collaborative grassroots efforts of the BIP.

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Mark Marlowe, PE, Director of Castle Rock Water
Town of Castle Rock
Mark is the Director of Castle Rock Water for the Town of Castle Rock, taking that role on in 2013.  He is responsible for the water, water resources, wastewater and stormwater utility operations for the Town and leads a team of 90 plus employees in their mission of providing excellent service to one of the fastest growing cities in the Country with approximately 70,000 residents at this point.  Water supply to meet a population that is predicted to more than double is a primary focus for Castle Rock Water.  Mark works closely with his team to continually develop innovative approaches to use water more efficiently and stretch Castle Rock’s existing and future supplies.   He also serves on the boards of a number of regional South Metro water organizations focused on regional cooperation.  Mark has been serving in the water sector for 25 years with a mix of experience in industry, consulting engineering and utility management.  He holds a Bachelor degree of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a licensed professional Engineer in Colorado and Georgia.

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SW Colorado’s Reservoirs/Operating in Drought and Plenty Panel

Rob Genualdi, Division Engineer
Division 7 Colorado Division of Water Resources
Robert B. Genualdi, P.E., has over 30 years’ experience in engineering and water resources, specializing in water resource administration, hydrology and hydraulic design.  Mr. Genualdi is currently the Division Engineer for the Colorado Division of Water in Durango, Colorado, which covers the San Juan and Dolores River Basins.  His previous experience includes Project Engineer for the Central Arizona Project and District Manager for the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.  He holds degrees in Civil Engineering and Geology.

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Warren Gabbert, Water Commissioner
Pine River and Siembritos Arroyo
Since 2017, Warren has been the Water Commissioner for the Pine River and Siembritos Arroyo in Southwestern Colorado for the Colorado Division of Water Resources.  For the preceding 5 years, Mr. Gabbert served as Hydrographer on the Lower Arkansas and Purgatoire Rivers in Eastern Colorado.  Prior to his employment with the Colorado Division of Water Resources, Mr. Gabbert obtained a degree in Environmental Technology and spent over 25 years working in land reclamation, plant ecology and botany.

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Jarrod Biggs, Assistant Utilities Director
City of Durango
Jarrod Biggs is the Assistant Utilities Director for the City of Durango. In this role he manages the team with day-to-day operation of the City’s water supply, treatment and distribution; and sewage collection and treatment systems. His background includes work in County and State government specializing in finance and administration; he holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Political Science from the University of Colorado. Jarrod is a Colorado native, having grown up in the San Luis Valley where he spent time setting ditches, measuring well depths, and eating potatoes.

Eric Bikis, Principal Water Resources Consultant
Eric is a senior water resource consultant and Professional Geologist with more than 40 (Ouch) years of professional experience who works on water resources projects for clients in the Four Corners region and the southwest. Based in Durango, Eric is well versed with water rights, water supply planning and development in Colorado and elsewhere, and has established long-term working relationships with many of the public and private entities in the four-corners region where he has consulted since 1990.  Eric has worked for the La Plata Water Conservancy District since 1999 and was Project Manager for the Long Hollow Project.

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Ken Curtis, Chief of Engineering and Construction
Dolores Water Conservancy District

After graduation from the Colorado School of Mines, Ken worked 13 years moving around New Mexico constructing heavy-highway & civil public works projects.  Ken next settled down to become the City Engineer for booming suburb Rio Rancho New Mexico for eight years.  Finally in 2007 he found his calling as the Chief of Engineering and Construction for the Dolores Water Conservancy District in southwest Colorado.  Ken leads the District’s hydrology and McPhee Reservoir operations on Reclamation’s Dolores Project.  Ken also oversees major replacement and rehabilitation projects for Dolores Project infrastructure. 

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Phil Johnson, Public Works Director
City of Cortez

Philip Johnson has a broad range of experience in providing planning, operations, and management of core community services for 30 years, but water has always been his passion. Moving from the water-rich East Coast to the Desert Southwest 20 years ago has only driven this home. As a member of the Southwest Basin Roundtable, Water Now Alliance, and concerned resident of the Colorado River Basin, he is committed to this precious resource and the success of his community.