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Alumni Bios

Scott Winter

2016 Water Leaders Class

ScottWinterScott is a project manager in water conservation for Colorado Springs Utilities. He is responsible for water conservation planning and reporting, including demand modeling, water use benchmarking, benefit-cost analysis, efficiency program and rate design analysis, and measurements of program influence. He is also involved in a number of statewide and national water conservation planning efforts and studies. Previously, Scott worked in the landscape industry and public horticulture. He has a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture with emphasis in horticulture from Kansas State University and a Master’s in Applied Geography from the UCCS. Scott spends his free time enjoying a wide variety of adventures—usually with his wife and two young daughters.

Meg White

2016 Water Leaders Class

whiteMeg White works as a flow scientist and ecologist with The Nature Conservancy in Colorado and for the entire Colorado River Basin. In her role at The Conservancy, Meg develops frameworks and tools that assess environmental metrics to quantify environmental flows and prioritize conservation outcomes.  In her work, she also uses science to analyze policy conditions and identify innovative solutions to protect freshwater resources for people and nature.

Meg has been involved with water science and policy work focused on freshwater ecosystems for over 15 years. She earned a B.A. in Political Science and German (emphasis in urban and environmental planning) from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Environmental Science and Planning from the University of California Berkeley, and a PhD in Biology from Arizona State University. Meg’s expertise is innately interdisciplinary, situated at the intersection of riparian ecology, urban ecology, landscape ecology, hydrology, and environmental policy. Her work investigates the influence of urban water resources, green infrastructure, and water reuse on rivers and riparian ecosystems in the western United States.

Kevin Terry

2016 Water Leaders Class

TerrywebKevin Terry is a fisheries biologist born and raised in northern New Mexico with a fly rod in his hand. After attending Oregon State University and receiving a B.S. in Fisheries Science, Kevin moved to Colorado. Kevin and his wife Stephanie are raising their twins on the banks of the Rio Grande where Kevin is working for the Western Water and Habitat program of Trout Unlimited. In his role, Kevin splits his time working to protect and restore populations of the native Rio Grande Cutthroat trout and working within the water community to strategically identify and implement water transactions for in-stream flows with ecological benefits while simultaneously providing water and services to farms and ranches of the San Luis Valley.

Edward Tolen

2016 Water Leaders Class

Tolen PicwebEdward Tolen was born in Denver, Colorado in March of 1959 to Delbert and Alice Tolen. The fourth of five sons he grew up the son of a gypsy oil refining engineer that insisted on relocating every three to five years and made the circuit of the western United States including Colorado, Kansas, California, Oklahoma, and eventually back to Colorado.

He graduated from Golden High School and tried a semester at the Colorado School of Mines before deciding that he wasn’t quite ready for college. He worked in construction for the next six years before he decided that he would rather use his brain instead of his brawn to make a living. Prior to going back to college he married and he and his wife were blessed with a son and daughter.

He entered the University of Colorado in fall of 1983 in pursuit of a degree in Civil Engineering. He graduated in spring of 1988, being blessed with one more daughter before graduating. His first job took him to Dallas, Texas working for Camp Dresser & McKee (CDM) as a consulting engineer. He spent seven years working for CDM before returning to Colorado to go to work for Ute Water Conservancy District.

He spent 16 years working for Ute Water Conservancy District as a project engineer and the District Engineer. As a project engineer he was responsible for the design of distribution improvements, raw water collection improvements and construction inspection. As the District Engineer he was responsible for a staff of nine, which design engineers, drafters, GIS personnel, and construction inspectors. While at Ute Water, Mr. Tolen returned to college and earned a Masters of Business Administration degree from Mesa State College.

In 2011 he was offered the position as General Manager for the newly formed La Plata Archuleta Water District (LAPLAWD). LAPLAWD was formed to build, operate and maintain a rural domestic water system in southeast La Plata County and eventually a portion of southwest Archuleta County. As Manager Mr. Tolen is responsible for the day-today operation of the organization, coordinating the efforts of consultants, overseeing the bidding of construction projects, and negotiating with other entities to build the system and provide treated water to the District’s customers.

When not working, Mr. Tolen enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, working on his farm, riding his mules, and woodworking.

Kelly Romero-Heaney

2016 Water Leaders Class

Romero-HeaneywebKelly Romero-Heaney has endeavoured to understand, protect, and enhance the health of the Yampa River watershed throughout her 15-year career in watershed management, environmental compliance, and water supply planning. As the water resources manager for the City of Steamboat Springs she strives to integrate the diverse water demands of a community that relies on the river for its municipal and recreational needs while supporting the unique ecosystem of a free-flowing river. As a sixth-generation Colorado native, Kelly’s passion for western rivers stems from her hope to see her state move into a more sustainable water future—one that provides for healthy streams amidst growing communities.

Kelly began her career collecting data on the headwater streams of the Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest after graduating from the University of Montana with a degree in Environmental Geology. She currently serves on the Yampa-White-Green Basin Roundtable, the Board of Directors for the Colorado Watershed Assembly and the Community Agricultural Alliance, and she founded and now serves on the Technical Committee for the Upper Yampa Watershed Group. Kelly lives a stone’s throw from the Yampa with her husband, Geovanny, and their kiddo, Luke. 

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