WaterWatch Board Members

WaterWatch Board Members

WaterWatch Board of Directors with Professor Charles Wilkinson and Executive Director, John DeVoe, at the Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Passage of the Instream Water Rights Act, May 12, 2012.
From left to right: Matt Deniston, Gary Hibler, David Davies, Lynn Palensky, Bryan Sohl, Ned Duhnkrack, Jeff DeVore, Jeff Curtis, Rob Sims, Charles Wilkinson, Bob Hunter, Jean Edwards, John DeVoe, Mary Lou Soscia, Paul Franklin


Gary Hibler

President, Term 2016-2017

University of Oregon, PhD Chemistry, 1972

Gary is the recently retired President of Jensen Investment Management, a Portland based asset management firm. He remains on the Board of Directors for the Jensen Portfolio, a no load equity mutual fund. Gary also works with the University of Oregon’s Lindquist College of Business where he is part of a group helping the University start a Center for Sustainable Business Practices. The center’s goal is to build leaders who know how to balance social, environmental and financial responsibilities. The center is up and running and has its first group of Masters candidates enrolled.


Mary Lou Soscia

Vice President, Term 2016-2019

University of Maryland, M.A. Geography, 1982; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, B.A. Geography, 1975

Mary Lou Soscia is the Columbia River Coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10.  She leads the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Strategy, the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group, and the implementation of the 2010 Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction Action Plan. She also led the collaboration for the Oregon Water Quality Standards Human Health criteria revision. Mary Lou has had over thirty years of experience with state, federal, and tribal government in watershed and river management issues.


Matt Deniston

Secretary, Term 2016-2019

California Polytechnic State University, B.S. Engineering

Matt is the Founder of and Partner in Sitka Technology Group, a growing software development firm in Portland. Matt and Sitka specialize in developing custom software for sustainability-focused businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations. An avowed conservationist, Matt can often be found flyfishing a favorite river, kayaking or biking. Matt lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, two kids, two rabbits and four chickens.


Jeff Curtis

Treasurer, Term 2016-2019

Louisiana State Law School, J.D.

Jeff is a former Executive Director of WaterWatch. He has held influential policy positions in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Congress, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. His accomplishments include representing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Congressional negotiations on the Endangered Species Act amendments of 1978 and 1979, serving as Counsel for six years for the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife Conservation and the Environment, where, in addition to a working on number of environmental initiatives, he drafted strengthening language for the Endangered Species Act (including removing economics from species listing considerations). Jeff has served as chief policy advisor to the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission on the U.S.-Canada Salmon Treaty and as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. He also served as the Western Conservation Director for Trout Unlimited.


Lynn Palensky

Term 2015-2018

University of Washington, B.S. Fisheries Science; Troy State University, M.P.A.

Lynn works for the Portland-based Northwest Power and Conservation Council, where she coordinates the ongoing scientific review of the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. The program annually directs more than $200 million of federal hydropower revenue to projects that protect and enhance fish and wildlife in the Basin. Lynn has 16 years of experience working in collaborative, multi-agency fish and wildlife grant, mitigation, planning, and habitat acquisition programs. She led a four-state effort to develop 62 subbasin plans that were amended into the fish and wildlife program in 2004 and 2005.  She has coordinated several events including art shows and fundraisers, and was the founder and Race Director for an 8k run in Washington State. Lynn is also on the Board of the Portland-based Salmon Safe, Inc. Lynn, her husband Phil, and dog Dodie, spend their free time fishing Oregon rivers.


Karl G. Anuta

Term 2016-2019

Lewis & Clark Law School, J.D., 1986; Lewis & Clark College, B.S., 1981

Karl is the Owner of the Law Offices of Karl Anuta, P.C. Karl is also on the Board of Friends of Mt. Hood and Board member and President of Northwest Environmental Defense Center. Karl was formerly on the Board of Pacific Rivers Council and the Environmental Advisory Board of the U.S. Army Corps, Portland District.


Bryan Sohl

Term 2016-2019

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, M.D., 1984; University of California, Davis, B.S., 1980

Bryan is the Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Oregon, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at OHSU School of Medicine in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and of Family Medicine. Bryan is a Member of Tom McCall Society of 1000 Friends of Oregon, a major contributor to Earthjustice and American Rivers and an avid fly-fisher. Bryan currently resides in Ashland, Oregon.


Bob Hunter

Term 2014-2017

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1978; University of Michigan, B.S., 1975

In addition to a career in private practice, Bob has been with WaterWatch as a Staff Attorney, Board Member or Board President for over twenty-five years. Bob’s vision and commitment to rivers can be seen in the results of his work. Bob drafted Oregon’s Instream Water Rights Act, the visionary law that provides legal protection for water instream. Bob also played a key role in starting the water trust movement now found across the West. Bob led WaterWatch’s Free the Rogue Campaign, the most successful river restoration campaign in the nation and was the primary force behind the removal of Savage Rapids Dam from the Rogue River. This Campaign removed four major dams from the Rogue Basin and completed the largest instream conversion of water rights in Oregon’s history at Savage Rapids Dam. Bob’s work has been recognized many times. He has been awarded the Leopold Award, the highest national conservation award from the Federation of Fly Fishers. He has also been named a National River Hero by River Network and has received conservation awards from the federal government for his work on Oregon’s rivers.


Jean Edwards

Term 2015-2018

University of California, Davis, B.A. Zoology, 1974

Jean has extensive experience working with policy makers and the scientific community to improve mutual understanding of complex natural resource management issues. Her recent career has focused on the Endangered Species Act, salmonid harvest, fish hatcheries, habitat and hydroelectric energy activities. Jean currently manages the Tribal Leadership Forum and much of her work is consulting with rural eastern Oregon communities on development issues. Prior to this, Jean spent two years as a congressional staffer focused on natural resources and energy legislation.  Her experience also includes work for tribes as a fisheries biologist and technical expert in treaty fishing rights negotiations and litigation. Jean and her husband Phil also operate a commercial blueberry farm and raise pack mules in Washington County, Oregon.


Peter Paquet

Term 2013-2016

Portland State University, B.S. and M.S. in Biology and PhD Environmental Science and Natural Resources

Dr. Peter Paquet is the director of the Watershed Management Professional Program at Portland State University. He is also the Resident Fish and Wildlife Division Manager of the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council, a regional agency overseeing the Columbia River watershed hydroelectric system. Peter has been on the Council staff since 1983. He was lead staffer in the development of protected areas and is currently taking the lead in wildlife mitigation planning for damage caused by the Columbia River hydropower system. He came to the Council from the Oregon Department of Energy where he served as an environmental specialist. Before that, Peter worked for NASA and taught biology at the University of Santa Clara in California. He is the author or co-author of numerous articles including “Adaptive Strategies for the Management of Ecosystems: The Columbia River Experience” published by the American Fisheries Society and “Ecosystem-Based Selection of Wildlife Species for Comparing Future Landscape Alternatives in the Columbia River Basin” published by The Wildlife Society. Peter recently served on the Board of the Portland Audubon Society.


Jeff Perin

Term 2014-2017

Jeff is the owner of The Fly Fisher’s Place in Sisters, Oregon. He has been working in fly fishing shops and guiding since 1986, when he started at The Fly Box in Bend. Besides being located in one the best parts of Oregon for casting a fly, Jeff has been fortunate enough to travel extensively while fishing and has learned first-hand about the water issues facing the river systems, fisheries, and river-dependent communities around the world.


Dean RunyanSAMSUNG

Term 2014-2017

University of Michigan, M.S. Engineering, 1967, PhD, Urban and Regional Planning, 1973
University of California, Los Angeles, B.S. Engineering, 1966

Dean is President of Dean Runyan Associates in Portland, a firm that specializes in economic and market research most often pertaining to travel, tourism, recreation and education. Previously he taught in planning and public policy programs at the University of Oregon and University of Hawaii. In addition to technical research on travel and the travel industry he has completed many feasibility and planning studies for natural resource-oriented public attractions such as botanical gardens, parks, aquaria and education facilities such as science and interpretive centers. He has served on the boards of several organizations in the Portland area, including terms as treasurer, and most recently the Oregon Maritime Museum where he is a Past President and currently chairs the development committee. He likes to fish but mostly can be found rowing early mornings on the Willamette River.


Elizabeth Wright

Term 2014-2017

University of South Dakota, B.L.S., 1993
University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1998.

Elizabeth is a partner with the law firm of Lorber, Greenfield & Polito in Portland, where she practices construction and product liability law. She has served as an Adjunct Professor in Portland State University’s School of Business, and as an Instructor with Portland Community College’s Paralegal Program, teaching undergraduates, graduate students, and paralegal students about various aspects of law. Elizabeth took up fly-fishing at a young age, fishing small trout streams in her home state of South Dakota. She is a former board member and president of World Salmon Council, a non-profit which brings the popular Salmon Watch educational program to Oregon high school students. Elizabeth is an outdoor enthusiast who can often be found gardening, trail running, mountain biking, fishing, and camping with her son and dog.


Jerry Brown

Term 2015-2018

Indiana University, B.S.

Jerry is responsible for all aspects of trading at Becker Capital, a Portland based investment advisory firm. Jerry has a long history working for the conservation of fish and rivers. He volunteered and participated in many activities in the early years of Oregon Trout and is a long time and active member of the Flyfishers Club of Oregon, where he currently serves as the organization’s Treasurer.


Margaret Bowman

Term 2016-2019

Wesleyan University, B.A.
Harvard Law School, J.D.

Margaret is a consultant working to promote sustainable water solutions in the American West. She has over 25 years of conservation expertise, focused primarily on freshwater systems but also including experience on marine and other domestic and international environmental issues. Previously, Margaret was Deputy Environment Program Director at the Walton Family Foundation, where she led the Foundation’s work to ensure healthy river flows in the Colorado River. Margaret has also directed the Lenfest Ocean Program at The Pew Charitable Trusts. For over a decade, Margaret served in a number of leadership positions at American Rivers. Margaret has also directed the Environmental Program for Central and Eastern Europe for the Environmental Law Institute, served as an environmental consultant to the Czecho-Slovak government, and worked as an environmental attorney in private practice.

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