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Who We Are › Founders
Carpe Diem West founders came together in 2007. They include highly accomplished scientists, academics, agency specialists, grantmakers, and conservationists who donate their time to help lead our program work.
Sarah Bates, Senior Research Fellow
Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy
University of Montana
Sarah Bates has written and spoken extensively on western water law and policy over the past two decades through university research appointments, conservation advocacy positions, and consulting work. She currently woks with the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana, and maintains an active legal consulting practice. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School (1988), where she subsequently served as the associate director of the Natural Resources Law Center from 1991-93. She recently completed two terms as a member of the governing board of the Montana-based Clark Fork Coalition and the advisory board of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. Her recent work includes Thinking Like a River Basin: Leaders' Perspectives on Options and Opportunities in Colorado River Management. Sarah has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2008.
Dr. Holly Hartmann is Director of the Arid Lands Information Center at the University of Arizona (UA). She is a co-investigator within the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) and leads the scenario development team within the UA Science and Technology Center for the Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA). Holly is a national leader in research related to the development of decision support tools for climate, water, and other resource management applications, especially linking research with the needs of decision makers and moving research into agency operations. Current research projects include quantitative verification of climate and hydrologic forecasts; improving communication of probabilistic forecasts and uncertainty; incorporating complex integrated models and climate change within a scenario planning framework; and decision support tool development. Holly has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2008. Holly is an instrumental part of Carpe Diem West. She is also the Director for the Carpe Diem West Academy.
Lillian Kawasaki, Director
Water Replenishment District of Southern California
Prior to her election as Director of the Water Replenishment District (Los Angeles Basin), Lillian Kawasaki served as Assistant General Manager for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she oversaw department-wide environmental issues including the Department’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan. In 2006, Ms. Kawasaki was elected to the Water Replenishment District, which manages the groundwater for nearly 4 million people in 43 cities in southern California. Prior to her tenure at LADWP, Ms. Kawasaki served as General Manager of the Community Development Department for the City of Los Angeles and, previous to that, was General Manager of the Environmental Affairs Department of the City of Los Angeles for ten years. Lillian has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2007 and joined the Board of Directors in 2009.
Dr. Doug Kenney, Director, Western Water Policy Program
University of Colorado, Boulder
As Western Water Policy Program Director and CU Environmental Studies faculty member, Dr. Kenney designs and implements a comprehensive research agenda examining a variety of western water issues, including law and policy reform, river basin and watershed-level planning, the design of institutional arrangements, and alternative strategies for solving complex resource issues. Among his publications is In Search of Sustainable Water Management: International Lessons for the American West and Beyond (2005, Edward Elgar Publishing). Dr. Kenney has served as a consultant to a variety of local, state, multi-state, and federal agencies, including several Interior Department agencies, EPA, the US Forest Service, and special commissions. Dr. Kenney is also affiliated with the CU/NOAA Western Water Assessment, exploring the link between climate change/variability and western US water management. Doug has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2007.
Steve Malloch, Senior Western Water Program Manager
National Wildlife Federation
Steve Malloch joined the National Wildlife Federation in January 2008, as Senior Western Water Program Manager. Steve’s responsibility at NWF is creating programs that link providing water for fish and wildlife with adapting to climate disruption. Prior to joining NWF, he consulted with foundations and NGO’s on water policy and campaigns, served as Executive Director for the Western Water Alliance, and worked as Washington DC counsel for Trout Unlimited’s Western Water Project. Before shifting to the non-profit sector, Steve practiced environmental law and litigation in San Francisco with Graham & James, and worked as a hydrogeologist in the western U.S. Steve has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2007.
Bill Mitchell, President
Flatcoat Consulting & Alki Fund
Bill works with primarily with non-profit groups focused on energy and natural resource development that threaten endangered but intact ecosystems and working ranchlands in the Northern Rockies, western Canada and Alaska. Traveling regularly throughout the this region, he helps to link groups together, encourages strategic thinking about their work and advocates for their financial support. Over the years, Bill has worked on both sides of the foundation desk, seeking to leverage support for grassroots and regional groups working on environmental stewardship, social and economic justice and nuclear safety. He has been an advisor to the Alki Fund at Tides since its inception in 1991. Bill has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2007.
John Shepard, Senior Advisor
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.
Jennifer Sokolove, Senior Program Officer
The Compton Foundation
Jennifer Sokolove is the Senior Program Officer for the Environment and the Family Advisory Board at the Compton Foundation. Her environment portfolio covers grantmaking in the fields of freshwater, climate change, and community-based conservation in the western United States. She has been working on sustainability issues for the past fifteen years, with a focus on natural resource-based economies and collaborative decision-making. Prior to joining Compton, Jen worked on a variety of community-led projects in California, Montana, and the Pacific Northwest. She serves on the boards of the Pesticide Action Network North America and the Switzer Foundation, as well as the Advisory Board for the Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund. Jen has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2008.
Frances Spivy-Weber, Vice-Chair
California State Water Resources Control Board
Frances Spivy-Weber was re-appointed as the Public Member of the State Water Resources Control Board on March 1, 2009. She serves as Vice Chair of the Board and is the Board liaison to the Los Angeles, San Diego, Central Coast, and Lahontan Regional Boards and the Ocean Protection Council Steering Committee. She represents the Secretary of CalEPA on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission. Prior to joining the State Water Board, she was the Executive Director of the Mono Lake Committee for almost ten years; International Programs Director of National Audubon Society for almost ten years. Fran has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2007.
Steve Whitney, Program Officer
The Bullitt Foundation
Steve was invited to join the Bullitt Foundation as Program Officer in 2000 after spending fourteen years with The Wilderness Society as director of its National Parks Program, Northwest Regional Director, and Deputy Vice President for Regional Conservation. This work built on the time he had already spent in Washington D.C. as a public lands activist and lobbyist with the National Parks Conservation Association, and as legislative Aide to then-Representative Leon Panetta. Steve has substantial non-profit board experience, and is the immediate past President of the board of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, a national association of environmental foundations
Kimery Wiltshire, CEO & Director
Carpe Diem West
Kimery Wiltshire is CEO & Director of Carpe Diem West. For over twenty years, Kimery’s work has focused on building strategic, solution-oriented partnerships to meet environmental challenges.
She is the former Director of the Kenney Foundation, where she worked on initiatives to protect and restore river systems in the western United States. Kimery has led the development of a number of successful projects, including the Diversity Network Project, supporting social justice and housing in the context of urban environmental health; Resources for Community Collaboration, which provided funding and training for western rural communities to more effectively engage in resource decision making; the Sustainable Business Ratings System, an innovative means of assessing companies’ environmental, economic and social performance; and Girl Scouts Save the Bay, which grew to involve the 100,000-strong Northern California Girl Scout community.
A bred, born and raised daughter of the American West, Kimery has to be reminded that occasionally important things do happen east of the 100th meridian.
Currently on leave of absence:
Kathy Jacobs, Assistant Director for Climate Adaptation and Assessment
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Kathy Jacobs is the Assistant Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy for Climate Assessment and Adaptation. She is the Director of the National Climate Assessment and recently chaired a National Research Council panel on climate change adaptation. From 2006-2009, Jacobs was the Executive Director of the Arizona Water Institute, a consortium of the three state universities focused on water-related research, education and technology transfer in support of water supply sustainability. She has more than twenty years of experience as a water manager for the state of Arizona, including 14 years as director of the Tucson Active Management Area. Kathy has been a Carpe Diem West core team member since 2008.
Latest webinar recording posted!
Effective Messaging: Communicating Nature's Benefits
Carpe Diem West releases report New Visions, Smart Choices - Western Water Security in a Changing Climate
Healthy Headwaters Alliance rolls out inaugural Policy Platform
Latest Academy webinar recording archived- Watershed Valuation: A Closer Look
Healthy Headwaters 6th Leadership Convening in Portland a resounding success
Academy Webinar Series: November 14
Robust Decision Making
Academy Webinar Series: September 20th
Vulnerability Assessment - Take Two
View the Archive
We've moved! Please update your records with our new address
Carpe Diem West's new Director of Programs starts July 9th!
Meet Cynthia Koehler
Academy Webinar Series: June 21st
Watershed Valuation - From Australia to the American West
View the Archive
Healthy Headwaters Alliance rolled out April 2012, releases charter Policy Platform
Carpe Diem West Academy launches its newsletter!
Academy Webinar Series: March 21st
Getting Through the Bottleneck: Assessing Vulnerability
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Leadership Convening Summary: Healthy Headwaters
Carpe Diem West’s fourth Healthy Headwaters convening, an invited leadership group from water utilities, conservation NGOs, government, and the scientific community addressed emerging issues arising in their work to create resilient watersheds and water security in the American West in a time of climate change – in Oakland on October 28, 2011. Read More
NEW Report: Governing Like A River Basin: Options for Expanded Stakeholder Engagement in the Colorado River Basin examines examples of successful stakeholder engagement processes and how they may be used in conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation’s Basin Study to build long-term solutions for the Colorado River. Read More
NEW Report: Read Carpe Diem West's report, Watershed Investment Programs in the American West. An Updated Look: Linking Upstream Watershed Health & Downstream Security, which provides information on what communities are doing to protect their headwaters. Read the report
Charting the Rapids Ahead
In partnership with the Center for Public Health & Climate Change, Carpe Diem West conducted an overview analysis to assess the intersection of western water, climate change and public health.
Read the report
Webinar on the U.S. Forest Service's Watershed Condition Framework (WCF)
Hosted by Carpe Diem West –
U.S. Forest Service's Anne Zimmermann, Director of Watersheds, Fish, Wildlife, Air & Rare Plants talks about the WCF and how is it guiding on-the-ground restoration.
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Carpe Diem West Academy Website Phase II
Thanks to the generous funding of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, we're off and running on Phase II of the Carpe Diem West Academy. Launching in December 2011, Phase II will be even more dynamic, offering webinars, discussion forums, feedback mechanisms, user profiles, and new tools and best practices. Read More
Healthy Headwaters Meeting Summary
Carpe Diem West's Healthy Headwaters Working Group held its third face-to-face meeting - along with an invited group of western water leaders – in Denver on March 25, 2011. Read More
'Thinking Like a River Basin' Report
Carpe Diem West's report, Thinking Like a River Basin: Leaders' Perspectives on Options and Opportunities in Colorado River Management, paints a portrait of a river basin – and a leadership community – at a crossroads. Read More
Denver Post Colorado River Op-Ed
On February 25, the Denver Post ran an insightful op-ed by Carpe Diem West leader Doug Kenney of the Colorado River Governance Initiative at the University of Colorado in Boulder, about the long-term future of dwindling Colorado River supplies in the face of climate change – and what people are doing about it.
New CRS Report on Energy's Water Demands
In January 2011, lead author Nicole Carter and her colleagues at the Congressional Research Service submitted their new report, Energy's Water Demand: Trends, Vulnerabilities, and Management, to Congress. It provides an excellent overview analysis of the water footprint of energy in the United States. Read More