9:30-10:45am session: Shelly Backlar, Vice President of Programs at Friends of the LA River, will discuss the past, present, and future state of the Los Angeles River. Friends of the Los Angeles River is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986, whose mission is to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship.
Shelly has worked at Friends of the Los Angeles River for over 12 years. She supervised the build of a 38’ mobile visitor and education center, the Los Angeles River Rover. In 2014 the Los Angeles River Rover was selected as one of 13 Urban Wildlife Refuge Partners by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in recognition of its ability to connect diverse community members in one of the most densely populated and park-poor regions in the country.
11:00am-12:15pm session: Michael Alvord, Lecturer, department of Environmental and Occupational Health, will give an overview of the role of governance in shaping water policy in his talk, “Where Do We Get Our Water? The Role of Governance in Shaping Water Policy”.
His presentation will cover where we get our water, the cost of water, and the policies shaping the governance of our water, which are critical to understanding the challenges facing our state.
Michael Alvord is the Assistant General Manager at Newhall County Water District and has over 20 years experience in the water utility industry. He was a part-time faculty at CSUN for the past 9 years in the Environmental and Occupational Health Department and he has been teaching at College of the Canyons for over 15 years in their Water Systems Technology program. He is a State of California certified D5 Distribution and T3 Treatment Operator.
At 11:40, Dr. Gretchen L. Boria Pérez, Assistant Professor, department of Environmental and Occupational Health, will give the presentation, “Water Quality from New York to Haiti” in which she will discuss her research related to water quality issues in these areas.
Dr. Boria-Pérez is a graduate of the University at Albany, State University of New York. She worked for the New York State Department of Health as a Research Scientist and as an Adjunct Professor at the State University of New York, Cobleskill. She has conducted research in Haiti during the cholera epidemic and served as a consultant for an international organization involved in improving water quality in Haiti. Her current research interests include recreational and drinking water quality, as well as ecological relationships of pathogens and their impact on public health.