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Hal Shepherd is founder and President of Laoch Consulting, a conservation consulting firm providing advice to Alaska native villages and conservation organizations.

Since 2003, hal has been the President for the Center for Water Advocacy a non-profit organization focusing on Human Rights and Water issues. From 2000-2004, Hal worked as the Umatilla Basin Policy Analyst for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation where he served as lead attorney for the Tribe on Yakama Tribe et al vs. Department of Ecology, which challenged five water right permits on the Columbia River. Hal has also worked as the Staff Attorney for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Washington, the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, and as water quality coordinator for the Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission.  Shepherd earned a J.D. from the University of Oregon Law School in 1989 and a B.S. in Range Management in 1984 from Colorado State University.  He is admitted in Oregon and Washington and Federal District Court, District of Oregon.


Don Thomas has a bachelors degree and 31 years of field experience locating, installing, and operating stream gage stations in Alaska.  For 30 years, he was a Hydrologic Tech with the United States Geological Survey, Water Resource division based in Juneau, Alaska.  He has three field seasons spent as an engineering tech collecting hydrologic field data with the Hydraulics unit of the Alaska Department of Highways Bridge Design Section.  Two summers on the Juneau Ice field as a Field Assistant with the Juneau Ice Field Research Program directed by Dr. Maynard Miller.

Jessica Ryan has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Masters in Northern Studies.  She is a climate change educator for the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve with four years of experience in science education and coordination with state and federal agencies.  She has three years of experience managing multiple grants, while overseeing adult education programs for UAA with the Alaska Sealife Center.  While working for the Geophysical Institute for UAA, she researched and wrote science and mathematic curricula for middle and high school students.       


La’Ona DWilde has Doctorates in Environmental Engineering & Biology and a Masters of Science , Biology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Since 2006, she has worked with various state government and non-profit entities to teaching students how to conduct water quality monitoring and analyses, create a water quality monitoring programs, write a quality assurance project plans, create websites, training and outreach materials, compiled, analyzed and summarized water data, write water quality reports and coordinate compliance with MS4 discharge permits; storm drain testing, monitoring and reporting. La’Ona also worked for the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council Fairbanks, AK from 11/2004 – 06/2006 to develop a water quality monitoring program for the Yukon River watershed among YRITWC, tribal technicians from 10 villages in Alaska and Canada and U.S. Geological Survey. Finally, from 05/2001 – 06/2004, she worked for the Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks as a Biologist and GIS Analyst to research human and fire interactions in interior Alaska and Organized and facilitated remote village workshops between native subsistence users, agencies and scientists.