John Shepard is a Senior Adviser at the Sonoran Institute, responsible for ensuring that the mission and vision of the organization are realized through long-range strategic planning and effective program development, implementation, and evaluation. John is currently leading the Institute’s efforts to appropriately site utility-scale solar projects in Arizona and more effectively integrate local land-use policies and water management in the Colorado River basin. In prior years, he launched the Institute’s training programs on community land-use planning for rural western county commissioners and partnership building for public land managers and gateway communities. He also established Building from the Best of Tucson, a project that promotes development consistent with Tucson’s building traditions and appropriate for a desert community. Before joining the Institute, John worked for seven years in resource development at The Wilderness Society. John has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2008.