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Willard Spur Science Panel
The Science Panel's role is to assist DWQ and the Willard Spur Steering Committee:
- Identify gaps in scientific understanding of the Willard Spur ecosystem.
- Advise the Steering Committee on funding applications.
- Prioritize issues of concern.
- Finalize and approve work plans for scientific studies.
- Recommend a process for independent peer review of scientific studies.
- Recommend science-based changes to water quality standards to the Steering Committee.
The Science Panel Charter, has been approved by the Steering Committee.
For questions about the Science Panel, contact:
Science Panel Chair
The following six members, appointed by the Steering Committee, were selected from the top scientists in the State of Utah and across the country.
Chair: Jeff Ostermiller, Utah Division of Water Quality (DWQ)
Ostermiller has been at the forefront in developing and implementing bioassessment methods to monitor and assess the condition of streams and lakes throughout Utah. He is currently leading efforts to develop defensible strategies to address impacts throughout the State and to develop and validate assessment methods for Great Salt Lake's wetlands. Ostermiller has been engaged with this project since concerns were first raised in 2010.
Chris Cline, United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
Cline is a research biologist in the USFWS's ecological services division in Salt Lake city. She has played an instrumental role in researching impacts from contaminants on the Great Salt Lake ecosystem with much of her work focused upon investigating the effects of contaminants on GSL bird populations and wetlands. Her work to research impacts and restore these systems over the years has given her a unique understanding of the GSL watershed, its ecosystem, and its stakeholder's concerns.
Jim Hagy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Hagy is a Research Ecologist at EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Gulf Ecology Division in Florida. He has been deeply engaged in investigating the effects of eutrophication on the ecology of the nation's estuaries and developing strategies for nutrient criteria to protect them. Hagy's background includes determining nutrient loading and impacts in Chesapeake Bay, Gulf Coast, and Florida estuaries and most recently the development of nutrient criteria for Florida's estuaries.
John Luft, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR)
Luft is the Program Manager for DWR's Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program. In this capacity, Luft is responsible for the development and implementation of research programs understanding the diversity and linkages of Great Salt Lake's ecosystem. While specifically targeted to monitoring and preserving Great Salt Lake artemia populations, his work includes ongoing surveys of bird and fish populations as well as investigating the impacts of Great Salt Lake's unique water chemistry on the food web.
Theron Miller, Jordan River/Farmington Bay Water Quality Council
Miller is currently the lead Research Scientist for the Jordan River/Farmington Bay Water Quality Council. Miller has been deeply involved in the development of approaches to address nutrients in Utah's streams and lakes since 1999. While previously employed by DWQ, Miller initiated efforts to characterize the ecology of Great Salt Lake wetlands. He has been leading and intimately involved in research to understand nutrient cycling and impacts and develop an IBI (Index of Biological Integrity) for these wetlands to this day.
David Tarboton, Utah State University (USU)
Tarboton is a Full Professor at USU's Water Research Laboratory and Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Adjunct Professor at USU's Department of Watershed Sciences. An expert modeler, Tarboton is a leader in the field of applying spatially distributed information to advance the capability of hydrologic prediction. His current research to predict how changes in Great Salt Lake's water budget may affect water levels will provide a critical understanding of the dynamics of Great Salt Lake.