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Alumni Bios

James VanShaar

2014 Water Leaders Alumni


James Orig

James VanShaar is the Interdisciplinary Lead for the Water Resources Group at the Eastern Colorado Area Office, Bureau of Reclamation.  There he works through his group’s technical staff to oversee water acquisition, movement and delivery for the Colorado – Big Thompson and Fryingpan – Arkansas trans-basin projects. He plans and schedules the movement of water to meet supply targets, generate hydropower, and produce recreation and environmental benefits. He leads the group with an eye toward increasing its effectiveness and efficiency through modern processes, exceptional technological expertise, and collaboration with other people and organizations. Toward these ends, he sets group priorities; budgets for and expends appropriated funds; develops employees; ensures compliance with law, regulations, policy and procedures; encourages improvement and innovation; oversees a hydrologic monitoring program including associated operational and historical data systems; and coordinates or directs staff collaboration with more than 50 other entities.

Prior to James’ two years of public service, he worked as a consultant at Riverside Technology, inc. for nearly eleven years.  As his main focus there he developed models for well over 100 reservoirs internationally, though most were for the National Weather Service, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority and Idaho Power Corporation.  Continually seeking increased opportunity to lead and manage, James developed and provided internal and external training on both technical and soft-skill subjects.

He is a graduate of Utah State University and University of Washington with degrees in Civil Engineerin in 1998 and 2000, respectively. He is very active in church and community service, including serving as a scoutmaster for the past five years. He is married with five children and currently resides in Fort Collins.

1750 Humboldt Street, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80218