Executive Committee Members
The Tahoe Science Advisory Council Executive Committee is made up of representatives from both states and all participating institutions and agencies. The group meets meets at least twice annually to provide advice, support, and direction to the Council.
Director, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Bradley Crowell was appointed as the Director of the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by Governor Brian Sandoval in December 2016. A native of Carson City, Nevada, Crowell has nearly 20 years of experience in energy and environmental policy at the state and federal level. His professional experience includes working for multiple Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, including former Nevada Governor and U.S. Senator Richard Bryan; and for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington D.C., and most recently serving as Assistant Secretary for Congressional, Intergovernmental, and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy.
California’s Natural Resources Secretary
Wade Crowfoot became California’s Natural Resources Secretary in January 2019, appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of 21,000 employees who protect and manage California’s natural environment. This includes stewarding the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, and coast and ocean, protecting fish and wildlife, and overseeing energy development. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises Governor Newsom on natural resources and environmental issues.
Secretary Crowfoot firmly believes that good natural resources management helps natural places thrive and allows communities and our economy to prosper.
Station Director, USFS - Pacific Southwest Region
Richard is responsible for integrating cutting edge science to deliver new knowledge and capabilities to address critical issues facing those who use and benefit from our nation's forests.
Prior to joining the Forest Service, Barhydt was the deputy director for the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. During his time at NASA, he led the development of early-stage technologies and physics-based tools to support the design of new aircraft.
In previous positions, Barhydt served as the deputy chief for the Entry Systems and Technology Division at NASA Ames Research Center. His research and development experience in that role supported of a wide range of NASA missions. He provided strategic planning, workforce guidance, personnel planning, and operations support for division staff and laboratory facilities.
UC Davis Dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Helene R. Dillard was appointed dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis in January 2014. Dillard is the chief academic and administrative officer of the college and oversees fourteen departments, 29 centers and institutes, more than 7,400 undergraduate students, 380+ faculty, and 800+ staff. In addition to her responsibilities as dean, she has programmatic responsibilities for the college’s Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension. Dillard has national and international leadership experience, including invited consultations, presentations and scientific exchanges in China, Central America (Honduras, Nicaragua), South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile), the European Union (the Netherlands, Sweden, United Kingdom) and Zimbabwe.
Prior to her appointment at UC Davis, Dillard was on the faculty at Cornell University from 1984 to 2014 as a professor of plant pathology, carrying a 50 percent research and 50 percent extension assignment. Her research focused on the biology, ecology and management of fungal pathogens that cause diseases in vegetable crops. Her interests include sustainable disease management strategies, integrated pest management, epidemiology and host/pathogen/ environment interactions. Dillard served as chair of the Department of Plant Pathology in Geneva, N.Y. (1997–2001), associate director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (2001–2002), and director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (2002–January 2014). She also served simultaneously as associate dean in two colleges—the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (2002–January 2014).
Dillard was recognized for her contributions in plant pathology by the American Phytopathological Society (APS), receiving the Excellence in Extension Award in 1992 and being named an APS fellow in 2006. She received the New York Farmers Medal and the Outstanding Faculty Award from CALS in 2013. Helene Dillard was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She completed her B.S. in biology of natural resources at UC Berkeley, an M.S. in soil science at UC Davis, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology at UC Davis.
Interim Vice President of Research, Desert Research Institute
Dr. Etyemezian has been serving as DRIs interim Vice President for Research since September, 2019. In this role, he oversees the research function of DRI and facilitates the processes of procuring and conducting research as well as reporting findings in the peer-reviewed literature and in professional conferences. He works closely with a team of Executive Directors, each leading one of DRIs three Science Divisions (Atmospheric, Hydrologic, and Earth & Ecosystem) as well as managers of research support offices including Sponsored Projects, Environmental Health & Safety, Information Technology, two graduate programs, and the Library.
Dr. Etyemezian has been on the faculty in the Division of Atmospheric Sciences since 1999 and is distinguished as one of the youngest in the history of DRI to have been promoted to Research Professor (2008). He has focused his time on developing novel techniques and instrumentation to measure the emission of dust particles into the air from sources that are poorly characterized. These sources are of paramount importance globally since dust is among the two most abundant types of suspended particles in the air (wildfire smoke is the other), affecting health, climate, agriculture, solar energy production, and water resources.
Earlier in his career, as part of his doctoral research, Dr. Etyemezian investigated the effects of air pollutants on the degradation of historic limestone buildings. This work, which was expounded upon by future researchers, pioneered the use of computational fluid dynamics to model the impact of raindrop trajectories on stone building and monument degradation. While obtaining a Master’s degree and working as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Etyemezian focused on drinking water quality, wastewater treatment, and environmental aquatic chemistry.
California State Representative
Ashley Conrad-Saydah is a public policy expert whose work has focused on finding inter-disciplinary solutions to seemingly intractable climate and energy challenges.
Conrad-Saydah’s work with CCCI is in collaboration with colleagues from UC Berkeley’s Rausser College of Natural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy, where she will be building and implementing regional frameworks to improve natural resources and public health, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Before joining CCCI she was Deputy Secretary for Climate Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown 2012.
Prior to joining CalEPA, she served as California’s Renewable Energy Program Manager for the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In that position, she helped to establish and advance key state-federal partnerships, engaged stakeholders in determining the best places for utility-scale solar, wind and transmission development and drafted and instituted national monitoring and mitigation policies for renewable energy development on public lands.
Vice president for research and innovation and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno
Dr. Mridul Gautam leads the articulation and implementation of a shared vision for research and guides the administrative division focused on developing world-class research and discovery, the careers and competitiveness of faculty, and the institution’s capacity as an R1 comprehensive/doctoral university with very high research activity, as classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, and an economic cornerstone of Nevada. Dr. Gautam also serves as President of the Nevada Research and Innovation Corporation. Prior to joining the University in 2013, he served as associate vice president for research at West Virginia University (WVU) as well as the vice president for the WVU Research Corporation.
Under his leadership, Research & Innovation provides high quality services and infrastructure to enable faculty, students and staff to excel in their research, scholarly and creative endeavors and to advance innovation and commercialization. The division helps build interdisciplinary collaborations, assist researchers in obtaining and managing extramural funding, and maintain a safe, healthy and ethical environment in which to conduct research. The division is committed to facilitating connections with industry and fostering regional entrepreneurship and collaboration through an innovative ecosystem, anchored by the Nevada Center for Applied Research and the University of Nevada, Reno Innevation Center.
Dr. Gautam is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and is chair of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Coalition of EPSCoR/IDeA States. He serves on additional boards and committees including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities' Commission on Economic and Community Engagement, Board of Directors of the Desert Research Institute Research Park, Board of Directors of the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, and South Coast AQMD’s (Air Quality Management District) Clean Fuels Advisory Committee. He is a University Counselor for Oak Ridge Associated Universities and a member of the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable. As a member of the President's Council at the University, Dr. Gautam advises on major policy issues and addresses state and national issues of compelling interest to the University’s research community.
Associate vice president for research and professor of civil and environmental engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
Dr. Ahmad M. Itani joined the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno in 1994. He is a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and served as chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2013 to 2019. In his role as associate vice president for research in the University’s Research & Innovation division, Dr. Itani is excited to strengthen and sustain a culture of excellence and help faculty, staff and students reach their full potential.
Dr. Itani earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His expertise is in the seismic behavior of steel bridges, and he has investigated the seismic behavior of the eastern and western towers of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge in California.
Dr. Itani is also a licensed professional engineer in Nevada and professional and structural engineer in California. He was named a University Foundation Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2017 and is a past recipient of the Richard Fountain Award presented by the American Iron and Steel Institute and the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials and the Roebling Award presented by the American Society of Civil
Nevada State Representative
Jim Lawrence became Deputy Director in 2015, previously serving as Special Advisor to the Director and before that as the Administrator of the Nevada Division of State Lands. Jim currently represents the Department on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board. Jim has more than twenty years of resource protection and land use planning experience in Nevada. He has been responsible for coordination of Nevada’s environmental improvement efforts at Lake Tahoe, implementation of a multi-agency statewide conservation and natural resource protection grant program, efforts for the protection of Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem, administration of the Conservation Districts program, and served as Executive Officer for the Nevada State Land Use Planning Agency.
Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
Since 2009, she has led the Agency and basin through transformational changes to strengthen the environment, economy, and communities of Lake Tahoe. She came to Tahoe in 2009 to serve as TRPA’s General Counsel before taking on the leadership role as Director.
Ms. Marchetta has always had a passion for combining environmental protection, land use planning, and real estate development in unique and responsible ways. Following graduation from the University of Michigan with a forestry degree and Catholic University with a law degree, she started her professional career in Washington DC as a litigator for the Department of Justice. She led environmental enforcement cases under many of the federal environmental statutes — clean air, clean water, and hazardous waste cleanup actions. She worked for US EPA during the Bush and Clinton administrations where she negotiated some of the largest hazardous waste cleanup agreements in the state of California. Later at the Presidio Trust in San Francisco, she helped to transform the Presidio from an Army base to a financially self-sustaining national park.
Joanne serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Tahoe Prosperity Center. And she enjoys spending time with her partner, walks with her dog, martial arts, hiking, cycling, reading and experiencing all the best of Tahoe’s out of doors.
Jane works with the Science Centers across the Southwest Region to share their science across the USGS and beyond, to help manage their challenges, and where possible, to speak with one voice about operational issues that affect their work lives. Jane considers it an honor to represent USGS interdisciplinary capabilities to our partners.
Darrin assists the Southwest Regional Director with day-to-day operations, and works to build bridges within the region. Darrin also connects with outside partners to ensure that scientists and staff across the Southwest Region are developing the most relevant science.
As Associate Regional Director, Darrin assists the Regional Director on issues of operational and science import throughout the Region. Darrin also serves as the liaison for the Ecosystem and Water Science Centers throughout the Southwest Region. He connects with Federal, State and local partners to ensure that scientists and staff are developing actionable science needed to manage lands, inform regulatory managers, and improve the knowledgebase associated with natural resource decisions.
Professor of Environmental Toxicology at the College of Agriculture and Evironmental Science, University of California, Davis
Ron Tjeerdema completed a B.S. in both natural resource planning and interpretation, and wildlife management from Humboldt State University in 1980, and an M.S. in pharmacology from UC Santa Barbara in 1983. He then came to UC Davis, where he completed his Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology, with an emphasis in environmental toxicology, in 1987. He has been certified in general toxicology by the American Board of Toxicology since 1994.
Tjeerdema then moved to UC Santa Cruz, where he served as a professor of environmental toxicology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 1999, he was invited to return to UC Davis and is now a distinguished professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology; for nearly a dozen years, he also served as department chair. In 2014, Tjeerdema was appointed associate dean for environmental sciences in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, and in 2019 he was named executive associate dean. He currently holds the Donald G. Crosby Endowed Chair in Environmental Chemistry.
With a focus on marine and freshwater systems, Tjeerdema’s areas of expertise range from chemical fate in the environment to sensitive life stage bioassays and biochemical mechanisms of toxicity. He has worked extensively with pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, dispersants and marine algal toxins. With more than 30 years of field experience in environmental toxicology, he pioneered the new field of environmental metabolomics via the use of nuclear magnetic resonance, and his research on oil spills and dispersants resulted in the development of the widely used standardized CROSERF methods for toxicity assessment. Tjeerdema is currently a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Evaluation of the Use of Chemical Dispersants in Oil Spill Response. He has also served on a number of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration panels advising on the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and its aftermath and provided testimony to congressional and legislative committees on dispersant use and toxicology. Tjeerdema currently serves as co editor-in-chief of the flagship journal Aquatic Toxicology and is on the editorial boards for Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, Marine Pollution Bulletin, and Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.
Forest Supervisor, USFS - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Erick grew up in Monrovia, California. The San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles NF were in his “backyard” and are where he sowed his love for and shaped his early experiences with public lands and the great outdoors. Erick’s parents still live in Monrovia, and his siblings (two sisters and a brother) are scattered across the country. He is married to a wonderful woman, Kate, and they currently have pets and no children.
Erick began working for the Forest Service in 1991 and was stationed on the LTBMU as a seasonal range technician, while earning his degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Nevada-Reno. He left the Tahoe Basin in 1998 to continue his public service endeavors, which took him to the Almanor Ranger District (RD) of the Lassen NF. From there, Erick worked on the Humboldt-Toiyabe NF leading natural resource and public services programs. His interest in becoming a line officer landed him on the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes NFs where he served as the Deputy District Ranger for the Manchester RD. He also served as the Sandpoint District Ranger for the Idaho Panhandle NFs for nearly seven years.