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Alumni Bios

Jayla Poppleton

2016 Water Leaders Class

Jayla is the longtime editor of Headwaters magazine, the flagship publication of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. In addition, she oversees the rest of CFWE’s water information program, managing production of both print and digital content to engage Coloradans in learning about and participating in water-related activities around the state. Her degree is in technical specialized journalism with a focus on natural resources management and minor in Spanish from Colorado State University. She lives in Denver with her husband and three sons, where she is increasingly occupied as the lacrosse version of a soccer mom. When not working or cheering on her boys, she enjoys reading, running, gardening, dinners with friends, and exploring the great Rocky Mountain playground that is Colorado. 

Jessica Pault-Atiase

2016 Water Leaders Class

Pault-AltiaseJessica Pault-Atiase is an attorney with the Boulder City Attorney’s Office. Her work focuses on a wide variety of water-related legal and policy issues for various city departments. Prior to working for Boulder, Jessica worked at the City of Greeley, representing the Greeley Water and Sewer Department. She received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and law degree from CU Boulder. Jessica lives in Boulder with her husband, daughter and dog. She enjoys hiking, being outside, poetry and live music.

Katy Neusteter

2016 Water Leaders Class

Katy NeusteterKaty Neusteter is the director of communications at international environmental nonprofit Global Greengrants Fund. With 10 years of experience as a magazine editor and writer, Katy uses high-octane storytelling to create communications strategies and content that inform, motivate, challenge, and inspire. She is a native Coloradoan and has fly-fishing in her blood—a passion she shares with her husband and young son. 

Trisha Oeth

2016 Water Leaders Class


OethwebTrisha Oeth is the Administrator for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Colorado Water Quality Control Commission. In that role she provides policy advice and analysis regarding rules, regulations, and policy priorities on all aspects of water quality programs in Colorado. She began working on water quality issues after graduating from CU Law School, and practiced law in the private and public sector. In her free time, Trisha enjoys trail running, cooking with her husband and daughters, and learning piano. 

Julie McKay

2016 Water Leaders Class

mckaywebJulie A. McKay is Boulder County’s transportation planning manager. Prior to the September 2013 flood event in Colorado, she led the development of the county's first-ever Transportation Master Plan and also completed major updates of the county's Comprehensive Plan and Multimodal Transportation Standards. Immediately after the flood event, Julie created and led the implementation of the award-winning Comprehensive Creek Planning Initiative, which included several multiagency coalitions and seven watershed-level planning studies to facilitate watershed recovery throughout Boulder County. She is now leading the county's Creek Recovery and Restoration Program, which uses the completed watershed master plans to implement resiliency measures and promote multi-stakeholder collaboration. Julie's two decades of professional experience in the public and private sectors includes planning; conflict resolution; and designing and implementing public engagement, agency decision-making, and multiagency collaborative processes. She holds a M.A. degree in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame and an undergraduate degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution from the University of California at Santa Cruz. She grew up in Wyoming and has lived in Colorado since 1998.


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