National Wildlife Federation
Myron Hess serves as Water Programs Manager/Counsel for National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Regional Center in Austin, specializing in the protection of water resources. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Hess has concentrated his work in the areas of water quality and quantity and endangered species protection. After working for the Denver firm of Holland & Hart and before joining National Wildlife Federation in 1998, he spent five years as an attorney for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and was a partner in the environmental law firm of Henry, Lowerre, Johnson, Hess & Frederick in Austin for five years. Myron received his law degree with high honors from the University of Texas in 1986 and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University in 1977.
Dr. Norman D. Johns is Water Resources Scientist for National Wildlife Federation in Austin. He received undergraduate training in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Environmental Sciences from the University of Florida. He has Master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in Civil Engineering and the LBJ School of Public Affairs. He also earned a Ph.D. in Geography and Environment from the University of Texas at Austin. His duties at National Wildlife Federation are to provide scientifically based input on a wide variety of Texas water resource issues at both local and statewide levels. Dr. Johns has over 25 years of experience in the field of water resources planning and management. Prior to working for National Wildlife Federation, he worked in a variety of settings including private engineering consulting firms, a Texas state water agency, and as a researcher at the University of Texas. He has authored several works on water and other environmental topics.
Annie Kellough serves as Counsel for National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Living Waters Project. She is based in National Wildlife Federation’s South Central Regional Center in Austin, Texas. Ms. Kellough is a graduate of the University of Texas – School of Law in Austin where she was a Presidential Scholar and was actively involved with the Environmental Law Clinic, Environmental Law Society and Environmental Law Journal. She has published articles in law journals in Texas, Oklahoma and Oregon. During her time in law school, Ms. Kellough co-created the Texas Water Law course offered at the UT – School of Law. She is currently a licensed attorney in the states of Texas and Oklahoma. With a background in environmental law and Native American law, she now dedicates her entire focus exclusively on her passion for water law and policy in Texas.
Tom Spencer is the Program Director of the Texas Living Waters Project. Spencer has a public service career spanning over 33 years. For most of that time, he served as the Senior Producer and Host of Public Affairs programming for KLRU-TV, Austin’s Public Broadcasting affiliate. Spencer also has extensive experience in nonprofit management. He is the former Executive Director of I Live Here, I Give Here, a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing the culture of philanthropy in Central Texas. During his service with the organization he oversaw two “Amplify Austin” campaigns which raised over $13 million for local charities. Prior to his service at I Live Here, I Give Here, Spencer served as the CEO of Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT) which worked to improve understanding and collaboration between Central Texas’ faith-based communities. At iACT, he oversaw the implementation of structural reforms that modernized the agency and ensured its sustainability. Tom continues to play a role in local media. He currently hosts a gardening program for KLBJ-AM called “The Wildflower Hour,” and is the host of the Emmy Award winning gardening program “Central Texas Gardener.”
Lizzie Jespersen is the communications and outreach manager for National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Living Waters Project. Prior to joining National Wildlife Federation, Lizzie worked for GateHouse Media, where she collaborated with newsrooms across the country to improve their print and digital products through trainings and evaluations. As GateHouse Media’s digital content manager, Lizzie also led strategy development for the company’s corporate social media presence, and managed content strategy for the company’s editorial resource blog. During her time with GateHouse Media, she was named one of the journalism industry’s top 30 leaders under 30 years old. Lizzie graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism and a specialization in social entrepreneurship and nonprofits.
Lone Star Chapter of The Sierra Club
Ken Kramer is the volunteer Water Resources Chair and Legislative Advisor for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Dr. Kramer retired in July 2012 after over 23 years as the first Director of the Lone Star Chapter and a previous seven years as the Chapter’s contract lobbyist, representing the Sierra Club at the Texas Legislature and Texas state agencies. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1979 from Rice University, where his dissertation focused on the implementation of federal air and water pollution control policy in Texas. Dr. Kramer currently serves on the state’s Water Conservation Advisory Council, the Trinity and San Jacinto Rivers and Galveston Bay Environmental Flows Stakeholder Committee, the board of the Texas Water Foundation, and the Advisory Council for the Environmental Science Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.
Jennifer Walker is the Water Resources Coordinator for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Jennifer works primarily on the Texas Living Waters Project, focusing on Central Texas and statewide water policy issues with an emphasis on state and regional water planning, water conservation, instream flows, and bay and estuary protection issues. Jennifer serves on the Lower Colorado Regional Water Planning Group, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Water Management Plan Revision Advisory Group, the Houston Mayor’s Water Conservation Task Force and the Environmental Flows Stakeholder Committee for the Colorado and Lavaca Rivers and Matagorda Bay. She also served as the Vice-Chair of the City of Austin Citizen Water Conservation Implementation Task Force and participated in LCRA’s Water Conservation Task Force. Ms. Walker has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Ruthie Redmond is the Water Resources Specialist for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Her goal is to advance Texas toward a more environmentally sustainable future. To that end she earned a B.S. in Geography – Resource and Environmental Studies with a minor in Economics from Texas State University, San Marcos and takes pride in her various roles stewarding the protection and responsible management of our natural resources. Ruthie’s work focuses on water policy issues across the state including water conservation, drought response, sustainable groundwater management and river and estuary protection. Prior to joining the Sierra Club she was a Natural Resources Specialist in the Water Availability Division of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Regional Project Partner:
Galveston Bay Foundation
Paula Paciorek is the Water Resources Coordinator at the Galveston Bay Foundation. Paula works through the Texas Living Waters Project to increase public awareness of the importance of freshwater inflows to the health of Galveston Bay. She works to build a cadre of Houston-Galveston area citizens, organizations, businesses, and local governments to support and employ water conservation efforts as a means to help ensure sufficient freshwater flows reach the bay. Paula has experience in program development, stakeholder engagement and outreach. She received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Applied Geography with concentration in transboundary groundwater policy and governance from the University of Louisville in 2010 and 2014, respectively. Paula’s research focus is on water resources, examined through the lenses of a political ecology approach and informed by theory analysis on human-environment relations and the politics of the environment. Prior to working at Galveston Bay Foundation, Paula worked as the Water Conservation Program Coordinator at The Woodlands Township where she oversaw and developed the Water Conservation Program.