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Symposium Schedule and Speakers

The Utah Lake symposium consists of two main components:

  1. An online portal with pre-recorded talks from experts and photos, videos, and artwork submitted by the community.
  2. An in-person event on August 4th at UVU (live stream available) following the schedule below:
10:30-11:00 amPosters and Informal Discussions
11:00 amOfficial Welcome: Ben Abbott and Weihong Wang
11:05 am-11:55 pmOverview talks moderated by Kevin Shurtleff:
  1. Erica Gaddis: Progress and remaining questions about Utah Lake
  2. Mary Murdock Meyer: The Timpanogos Nation: the original people of Utah Lake
  3. Janice Brahney: What was Utah Lake like 200 years ago?
  4. Ben Abbott: What is the current status of the lake and what threats remain?
  5. Law and Policy Panel:
    1. Craig Galli: What are the key federal environmental regulatory requirements for a large-scale dredge and fill project, and the opportunities for judicial review?
    2. Andrew Follett: How might Utah state law constrain the legislature's potential management options for Utah Lake?
    3. Brigham Daniels: What are the major design principles you would recommend in the creation of an agency like the proposed Utah Lake Authority?
11:55 am-12:15 pmLunch (free lunch will be provided for all registered attendees) moderated by Isabella Errigo:
  • Presentation of the Utah Lake Hero of the Year award
  • Submission and ranking of questions for the panel
  • Continued posters and informal discussions
12:15-1:45 pmAudience Q&A with panel moderated by Gabriella Lawson and Shannon Ellsworth:
  • A frank and free-ranging conversation about Utah Lake with the speakers, legislators, and community members.
  • Panel members:
    • Jamie Barnes (Utah Forestry, Fire, and State Lands)
    • Andrew Follett (Yale Law)
    • Eric Ellis (Utah Lake Commission)
    • Jacob Holdaway (Walkara Way project)
    • Chris Keleher (Utah DNR Recovery Programs)
    • Julie Fullmer (Vineyard Mayor)
    • Brady Brammer (Utah House of Representatives)
    • John Mabey (Utah Lake Water Users Association)
    • Mary Murdock Meyer (Timpanogos Nation)
    • Erica Gaddis (Utah DWQ)
    • Janice Brahney (Utah State University)
    • Ben Abbott (Brigham Young University)
1:45-2:00 pmStretch break
2:00-2:55 pmProject talks moderated by Eddy Cadet:
  1. Jacob Holdaway: The Walkara Way Project
  2. Chris Keleher: June Sucker
  3. Melissa Stamp: The Provo River Delta Restoration Project
  4. Gabriella Lawson, Sam Bratsman, Zachary Aanderud: Nutrients and Harmful Algal Blooms
  5. John Mabey: Utah Lake Water Users Association
  6. Andrew Follett: The opportunities and constraints of the law
  7. Erin Jones: Citizen Science throughout the entire Utah Lake watershed
  8. Tyler Hacking: Geothermal Spring inputs of Diamond Fork
2:55-3:00 pmAnnouncement of art competition winners and closing remarks by Ben Abbott and Weihong Wang

Speakers and Panelists

Collectively, the speakers and panelists for the Utah Lake Symposium provide a breadth of experience and perspective on the current and future status of Utah Lake.

Erica Gaddis

Erica Gaddis, director of the Utah Division of Water Quality for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, studied restoration and remediation of urban water. For over a decade she has been deeply involved in the Water Quality Division for Salt Lake City and the state of Utah.

Janice Brahney

Janice Brahney, Utah State University Associate Professor of Watershed Sciences, studies environmental processes of freshwater ecosystems. Dr. Brahney’s Environmental Biogeochemistry and Paleolimnology Laboratory sees watersheds as integrated systems comprising the intersection between climatology, hydrology, geology, and ecology.

Mary Murdock Meyer

Chief Executive Mary Murdock Meyer is the great great great granddaughter of Chief Walkara on her mother's side and Chief Aeropean on her father's side. She is the chief executive of the Timpanogos Nation, the original inhabitants of what is now Utah Valley and much of central Utah.

Ben Abbott

February 18, 2020 04:31 PM
Ben Abbott is a Professor of Aquatic Ecology at Brigham Young University. He has worked on issues of water quality and water quantity in diverse locations from Alaska to France for the past 13 years. He grew up swimming and water skiing on Utah Lake and can often be found there with his wife Rachel and their four children.

Craig Galli

Craig D. Galli is a partner in the Salt Lake City office of the law firm Holland & Hart LLP-*-*, where he represents clients in complex environmental permitting matters and in environmental litigation in federal court in in Utah, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington State and in the District of Columbia. Craig is an avid birder and is currently a member of Board of Audubon Rockies, and previously was a member of the Salt Lake City Planning Commission and the Steering Committee of Envision Utah. He has lectured extensively on environmental law and policy matters, and has been an adjunct law professor at both BYU and the University of Utah. Prior to practicing law in Salt Lake City, Craig was a senior trial lawyer at the Environment and Natural Resources Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., where he represented the Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies in cases arising Under the Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act and other federal environmental statutes. Craig recently returned from a three-year assignment for his church as the President of the Spain Barcelona Mission.

Jamie Barnes

Jamie Barnes is the Sovereign Lands Program Administrator for the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, which manages Utah's sovereign lands or those lands found to be navigable at the time of statehood. Jamie has been with the Division for nine years. Prior to becoming the Sovereign Lands Program Administrator, Jamie served as the Division Paralegal and Mineral Analyst focusing on complex legal issues while also working with state, local, and federal governments and industry leaders on the many issues that surround our natural resources.

Eric Ellis

Eric Ellis has completed degrees at Utah Valley University (Business Administration), Brigham Young University (Marketing Communications), and University of Utah (Public Administration). He has worked as an advisor to Utah’s Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell, a policy analyst for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources during which time he worked to implement a plan to protect the sage-grouse. Now he works as the executive director of the Utah Lake Commission improving the quality of the lake and its shores.

Forrest S. Cuch

Forrest S. Cuch is an enrolled member of the Ute Indian Tribe. He was born in 1951 and raised on the Uintah and Ouray Ute Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah. In 1973, he graduated from Westminster College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in the Behavioral Sciences. During his 38-year career, Forrest has held many challenging jobs from directorships in both tribal and state government. He is currently engaged in working with spiritual leaders through the Western Hemisphere to usher in the new shift in feminine conscious known of as the New Earth and calling attention to Climate Change and Harm to Mother Earth.

Julie Fullmer

Julie Fumer, Mayor of the fastest growing city in the nation, Vineyard. She chairs a 360+ million dollar investment board that revitalizes & cleans the environment, establishes economic vitality, and develops smart cities. She navigated the Geneva Redevelopment, garnered support and funding for Walkara Way, Utah Community Forest Council presented her with the Community of The Year Award in 2021, and she continues to bring innovative solutions to lakeshore development, food security, agricultural methods, and land-water conservation sustainability for the future of her community.

Brady Brammer

Brady Brammer is the Utah state representative from District 27. An attorney with Spaulding Law in Pleasant Grove, Representative Brammer has worked in commercial, real estate, and government entity litigation. As the sponsor of the Utah Lake Authority (HB0364), he is very committed to improving management of Utah Lake.

Andrew Follett

Andrew Follett is a student at Yale Law School and a graduate of the University of Utah. His scholarship focuses on legal history and the development of modern environmental law.

Jacob Holdaway

Jacob Holdaway is a sixth generation farmer along the shore of Utah Lake. His Walkara Way Project embodies cooperation and goodwill in working with private citizens and government agencies to solve problems. He was recently recognized at the 2021 Annual National Association of Counties (NACo) National convention in Washington, D.C. with members of the Utah Association of Counties delegation (UAC).
“Our recipe for success is simple. Work together, find common ground, and serve the people’s interest in solving the problem.”

Chris Keleher

Chris Keleher, Director of Species Recovery at the Utah Department of Natural Resources, has worked with the DNR since 2012. “Dedicated to species protection and recovery,” he has overseen the June Sucker Recovery and Implementation Program as well as the Virgin River Resource Management and Recovery Program.

Zach Aanderud

Zach Aanderud is a microbial ecologist and biogeochemist at Brigham Young University. Dr. Aanderud evaluates the responses of lake cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins to nutrient loading.

Gabriella Lawson

Gabriella Lawson is a recent graduate from Brigham Young University. Her graduate research studied the effects of excess nutrients on bloom dynamics in Utah Lake.

Sam Bratsman

Sam Bratsman is an M.S. student who studies the effects of excess nutrients and climate change on ecosystems and society. He is leading a project on algal blooms in Utah Lake using biogeochemical and molecular methods

John Mabey

John Mabey is a water law attorney with the firm of Mabey Wright & James. Prior to establishing his firm in 2000, he served as counsel to the Utah State Engineer and Division of Water Rights as an Assistant Attorney General. John represents many clients with interests connected to Utah Lake, including the Utah Lake Water User’s Association. He presently serves as a member of the Utah Water Task Force.

Erin Jones

Erin Jones graduated from USU in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and worked on Utah Lake during her PhD at BYU. She is a co-founder of the Utah Lake Research Collaborative.

Melissa Stamp

Melissa Stamp has worked as a Project Coordinator for the Mitigation Commission since November 2015. Prior to joining the Commission, she worked as an Education Assistant at Red Butte Garden developing educational mobile games, teaching summer camps, and leading school field trips. Melissa also spent many years as an environmental consultant working on various water resource projects in Salt Lake County and beyond. She holds an M.S. in Watershed Science from Utah State University and a B.A. in Geography.

Tyler Hacking

Tyler Hacking is a student at Utah Valley University studying botany. Specifically, he does research on the the microbiogeophysicochemistry of agronomy, biotechnology and Ethno/mycopharmacology.
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