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  Desert Research Institute | Western Regional Climate Center
 April 14-16, 2015

Keynote Speakers

AnnMills Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, USDA

As Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, Ann Mills has responsibility for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the federal agency with primary responsibility for working with private landowners to conserve, maintain and improve their natural resources. America's farms, ranches and forests provide 87% of the surface supply of drinking water in America. USDA programs play a significant role in protecting the nation's supply of clean abundant water.

Mills brings to this position 20 years of policy and management experience with government and nonprofit conservation advocacy. Most recently, as a senior executive at American Rivers, Mills led the implementation of programs to develop sustainable solutions for flood and drought mitigation and water quality improvement across the country including urban and rural watersheds in Northern California's Sierras and Bay Delta; the Columbia, Missouri and Mississippi river basins; the Great Lakes; and the Chesapeake Bay. Mills also served as a senior staff person for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, chief of staff to California Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy and legislative assistant to then-Congressman Richard Durbin and Congressman James McClure Clarke. She holds a Master’s Degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in Political Science from Tufts University.

Connie Woodhouse Dr. Connie Woodhouse, Professor, University of Arizona

Connie Woodhouse is a professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona, with joint appointments in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and Department of Geosciences.  Her research focuses primarily on climatic and hydrologic conditions of the last 2000 years in western North America, using tree rings to develop reconstructions of past rainfall, streamflow and drought.  Another area of research is on the connections between science and decision making. She received a B.A. from Prescott (AZ) College, a M.S. in geography from the University of Utah, and a PhD in geosciences from the University of Arizona.  She is currently the interim head of the School of Geography and Development.

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