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2016 Plenary Speakers

All plenary sessions and interviews are archived on ClemsonTV HERE

DAY ONE- Wednesday, October 12

PLENARY #1 (video to right)

Morning Plenary Session 8:30AM to 10:00AM




Opening Remarks

Jeffery Allen, PhD, Clemson University SC Water Resources Center / SCWRC Chair
(right: interview video)

Jeffery Allen, Ph.D. is the executive director of the South Carolina Water Resources Center at Clemson University. Dr. Allen previously served as the interim director of the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. As Interim Director of the Thurmond Institute he was responsible for all aspects of the research centers, research programs, graduate education programs and public service activities. His work with the Center involves coordinating water research with a national network of water institutes and identifying and pursuing critical water research needs for South Carolina. Dr. Allen has served as the principle investigator on multiple grants from federal, state and local government agencies as well as private foundations. He has served on numerous regional and state committees and advisory councils, most recently on the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments Advisory Board, the Duke Energy Water Fund Board, the South Carolina Shoreline Change Advisory Council, and the Savannah River Basin Advisory Council. He has organized and sponsored several state-wide meetings on GIS mapping and water resources and is currently the Chairman of the South Carolina Water Resources Conference. He is a past-president of NIWR and served for three years on the NIWR Executive Board. Dr. Allen received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology and Natural Resources from Michigan State University and his M.S. degree in Geography from the University of South Carolina. He received a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Clemson University with an emphasis in natural resources policy. Prior to coming to the Thurmond Institute and the SCWRC, he worked for the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department in Columbia, SC and Clemson University’s Regional Resources Development Institute.

Welcome

Thomas Dobbins, PhD, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
(right: interview video)

Dr. Thomas Dobbins serves as Director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. He provides leadership Clemson University statewide Extension System. The Clemson University Cooperative Extension System has offices in all 46 South Carolina counties and at each of the 5 Research and Education Centers as well as main campus. The Cooperative Extension System has five major core program areas: Agriculture, Agribusiness, Food Heath and Community, Natural Resources and 4-H Youth Development. He is responsible for the oversight of programs, personnel and budgets and strategic planning. He is also responsible for building or maintaining relationships/partnerships with strategic partners such as SC Departments of Agriculture and Education, SC Farm Bureau, SC Forestry Commission, SCDNR, USDA-FSA, Ag Lending Agencies and many more.

 

“Federal and State Perspectives on the October Flood of 2015”

John Shelton, US Geological Survey
(right: interview video)

John is the Assistant Director for Data with the U.S. Geological Survey. He began his career with the USGS in 1993. He has worked in Tennessee, Florida and, in 2006, accepted his current position in Columbia with the South Atlantic Water Science Center where he oversees the Hydrologic Monitoring Section. John has had the opportunity to work in the field of hydrology on 5 different continents, including work on the Tigris River in Iraq, the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and most recently, the Amazon River Basin in Brazil.

 

Hope Mizzell, PhD, SCDNR State Climate Office
(right: interview video)

Hope Mizzell, Ph.D., is the State Climatologist with the South Carolina Office of State Climatology. She was the Assistant State Climatologist and Drought Response Program Coordinator from 1995 - 2003, and has been the State Climatologist since October 2003.





Jill Stewart PortraitJill Stewart, PE SCDHEC Dam Safety Program

Jill Stewart is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of South Carolina, South Carolina Certified Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Inspector (CEPSCI), and South Carolina Certified Stormwater Plan Reviewer (CSPR). Prior to coming to SCDHEC in October of 2003, she was employed for three years at a small civil engineering consulting firm in Lancaster, SC. Jill served for 9 years as manager of the Stormwater Permitting Section. In January of 2016, she was asked to take on the challenge of managing the newly-formed Dam Safety Section. Jill’s role within the Bureau of Water has recently expanded, as she was selected to be the Director of the Dam Safety and Stormwater Permitting Division.

 




PLENARY #2 (video to right)

Lunch Plenary Session 12:00PM to 1:30PM

“Local Perspectives on the October Flood of 2015”

Clint Shealy, City of Columbia Water Works (right: interview video)

Clint is a licensed Professional Engineer with a BS in Civil Engineering from Clemson University. He has worked in the water and wastewater field, in regulatory, consulting and municipal roles, for over 25 years and currently serves as the Water Works Superintendent for the City of Columbia, South Carolina. Clint has previously served as Chair of the Capital District of the Water Environment Association and Chair of the South Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association. He is also a past recipient of the George Warren Fuller Award.






DAY TWO- Thursday, October 13

PLENARY #3 (video to right)

Morning Plenary Session 8:15AM to 10:00AM

“Legislative Panel: SC Flooding Events and State Water Planning"

MODERATOR: Senator Paul G. Campbell, Jr., Member- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee >> Senate Page

Senator Daniel B. "Danny" Verdin, III, Chairman- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee >> Senate Page

Senator Vincent A. Sheheen, Member- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee >> Senate Page

Representative Roger K. Kirby, Member- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee >> House Page

Representative Russell L. Ott, Member- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee >> House Page





PLENARY #4 (video to right)

Lunch Plenary Session 12:00PM to 1:30PM

“Update on the SC Surface Water Availability Assessment”







 

Alvin Taylor PortraitColonel Alvin Taylor, SC Department of Natural Resources

Alvin A. Taylor is Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). He serves as the chief administrator for natural resources in the State and is responsible for management and supervision of the agency’s five line divisions: Outreach & Support Services; Land, Water & Conservation; Law Enforcement; Marine Resources; and Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries, with a staff of over 900 people in numerous locations across South Carolina. Alvin graduated from Clemson University in 1976 with a BS in Zoology. He completed training at the U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Training Center in Yorktown, Virginia, in 1976, and graduated from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy in 1977. He began his career with the agency in 1977 and progressed through the ranks serving as an officer, private first class, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, major, and colonel, the agency’s law-enforcement chief. He is a certified SCUBA diver and for several years supervised the DNR Aquatic Investigations and Recovery Unit dive team. He is an active member of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), serving as its president in 2003, and he is the State Boating Law Administrator for South Carolina. On December 8, 2011, the seven-member SCDNR Board named him Acting Director of the agency, and on March 17, 2012, he became the agency’s permanent Director. Among his many honors and awards, Alvin has received the 2013 Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement, Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr., Leadership Award in 2005, Meritorious Public Service Commendation from the Department of Homeland Security in 2004, Patriotic Employer Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the National Guard and Reserve in 2003, the DNR Meritorious Service Award in 1997, the Bonner Award and the NASBLA Award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. His mission has been and remains to ensure that agency decisions and actions regarding the state’s natural resources are based on a balance of scientific knowledge, strong conservation ethics, objectivity, fairness, and the needs and interests of the public.

 

Heigel Photo

Catherine Heigel, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control

Catherine E. Heigel is the director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Serving in this role for more than a year, Heigel has led the agency through a period of significant transformational change, as well as critical emergency response and recovery efforts from the October 2015 flood event. Under her leadership, DHEC has developed and implemented a new strategic plan to support the agency's work to promote healthy people living in healthy communities. A South Carolina native, Heigel holds more than 20 years of combined legal, regulatory and executive management experience. Before joining DHEC, she served as general counsel and corporate strategies officer for Elliott Davis Decosimo, LLC. Previously, Heigel spent 11 years with Duke Energy, serving in various capacities until her last role with the company as president of South Carolina operations. Heigel earned her bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and her law degree from The Ohio State University School of Law.

 

Ken Rentiers, SC Department of Natural Resources

Ken Rentiers portrait

Ken Rentiers is DNR Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation and heads the Land, Water and Conservation Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina. In this position Ken oversees, develops and implements policies and programs that study, manage and conserve the state’s land and water resources. Prior to joining the DNR, Ken was the State Executive Director for the USDA's Farm Service Agency and Confidential Assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-2009. From 1990 through 2001, Ken served on the United States Senate staff of U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond in several capacities including Legislative Assistant, Director of Constituent Services, and Counsel to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Ken is also a veteran of the United States Navy, serving from 1981-1987. He retired from Federal service in January 2009. He servces on the Heritage Trust Advisory Board and is Vice Chairman of the S.C. Environmental Certification Board. Ken holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the College of Charleston and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

 

Baize photo

David Baize, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control

David Baize has been with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for 27 years. David is the Chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Water. The bureau has about 200 staff and is responsible for implementing programs under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and also state programs like dam safety and water quantity permitting. His work has focused on interstate water issues, water availability, and public drinking water supply protection. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in geology and a Master of Science degree from Western Kentucky University.

 

John Boyer, PE, BCEE, CDM Smith (right: interview video)

John is a senior project manager and environmental engineer with CDM Smith, based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. John received a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. John has 22 years of diversified experience conducting and managing water resources, solid waste, and hazardous waste projects along the East Coast and oversees.  John’s focus for much of his career has been on development application of groundwater and surface water models to support local, regional, and state-wide water resources planning and management studies. John is currently CDM Smith’s Project Manager for the South Carolina Surface Water Quantity Assessment.

 

Jeffery Allen, PhD, Clemson University SC Water Resources Center

Allen photo

Jeffery Allen is the executive director of the South Carolina Water Resources Center at Clemson University. Dr. Allen previously served as the interim director of the Strom Thurmond Institute of Government and Public Affairs. As Interim Director of the Thurmond Institute he was responsible for all aspects of the research centers, research programs, graduate education programs and public service activities. His work with the Center involves coordinating water research with a national network of water institutes and identifying and pursuing critical water research needs for South Carolina. Dr. Allen has served as the principle investigator on multiple grants from federal, state and local government agencies as well as private foundations. He has served on numerous regional and state committees and advisory councils, most recently on the Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments Advisory Board, the Duke Energy Water Fund Board, the South Carolina Shoreline Change Advisory Council, and the Savannah River Basin Advisory Council. He has organized and sponsored several state-wide meetings on GIS mapping and water resources and is currently the Chairman of the South Carolina Water Resources Conference. He is a past-president of NIWR and served for three years on the NIWR Executive Board. Dr. Allen received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Biology and Natural Resources from Michigan State University and his M.S. degree in Geography from the University of South Carolina. He received a Ph.D. in Policy Studies from Clemson University with an emphasis in natural resources policy. Prior to coming to the Thurmond Institute and the SC Water Resources Center, he worked for the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department in Columbia, SC and Clemson University’s Regional Resources Development Institute.