Watershed Bios


Enhancing Mississippi Watershed Ecosystems with Perennial Bioenergy Crops

Speaker Bios

Note: Some of the speaker bios linked from the agenda go to external Web sites rather than here.

Tom Christensen

[PHOTO]Tom Christensen

Regional Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Central Region

Christensen is responsible for providing overall direction of NRCS personnel, programs and activities consistent with the Chief’s guidance. Christensen acts as a representative of the Chief in regional partnerships, initiatives, and at meetings. He also supervises the 15 State Conservationists in the Central Region. The states in the Central Region include Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin. Christensen has worked over 29 years for NRCS, including eight locations in North Carolina, New York, Idaho, and Illinois, prior to the last thirteen years at National Headquarters. He previously held the positions of Deputy Chief for Programs, Director of Financial Assistance Programs, Director of Conservation Operations, Director of Animal Husbandry and Clean Water Programs, Agency Chief Information Officer, State Conservationist in Illinois, Assistant State Conservationist in Idaho, Area and District Conservationist in New York, and Soil Conservationist in North Carolina. Christensen graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Forest Management. He received a M.S. in Renewable Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Connecticut. He also attended Duke University’s Institute of Public Policy for one year through the NRCS’s Public Administration Program. Christensen is a recipient of a USDA Honor Award for individual achievement in rural development. He also was a 1999 graduate of USDA’s Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. Mr. Christensen and his wife, Marie have two adult children and one grandson.

Ryan Stockwell

[PHOTO]Ryan Stockwell

Agriculture Program Manager, National Wildlife Federation

Stockwell provides outreach, education, and policy analysis on the agriculture team of the National Wildlife Federation and also provides strategic leadership on organization strategy on addressing barriers to farmer adoption of cover crops. Before joining NWF, Stockwell was Director of Energy and Agriculture at the Minnesota Project, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he directed outreach and education efforts toward farmers and local communities to improve the sustainability of their farming and energy use. He has a Ph.D. in history from the University of Missouri. Stockwell farms part time in Wisconsin using no-till cover crop methods.

Otto Doering III

[PHOTO]Otto Doering

Director, Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Professor of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Doering is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University His responsibilities include teaching, research, and public service on policy issues relating to agriculture, resources, and the environment. He directs Purdue’s Climate Change Research Center and has experience in assessing the impacts of climate change and climate variability on agriculture. Otto has worked extensively with state government, federal agencies and NGOS’s as well as with agricultural producers and agribusiness. His hands-on public policy experience includes advisory positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 1977, 1990 and 1996 farm bills. In 2004 he worked with the Natural Resource Conservation Service on the design and implementation of conservation programs and continues to do so.His experience on environmental issues includes service on the White House’s National Hypoxia Assessment, several National Research Council committees on Mississippi River water quality, the National Academies’ Water Science and Technology Board, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. He was the chair of EPA’s Integrated Nitrogen Committee. He also serves on the Department of Interior’s Invasive Species Advisory Committee.  Doering is past president of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association and shares a very small piece of the Nobel Peace Prize honoring climate work with the many individuals serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has degrees from Cornell University and the London School of Economics. In previous lives, Doering has been a wrangler in the Canadian Rockies, a legal investigator in the New York City Municipal Courts, and worked for the Ford Foundation in Southeast Asia. He has degrees from Cornell University and the London School of Economics.

Mae A. Davenport

[PHOTO]Mae Davenport

University of Minnesota
Associate Professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and Recreation Management

Davenport’s research interests are focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management, specifically sustainable land use planning; community-based ecosystem management; recreation planning; and human beliefs, attitudes and behaviors associated with landscape change. Her research program has investigated community capacity for watershed conservation, stakeholder attitudes toward wetlands restoration, residents’ perceptions of the re-colonization of cougars in the Midwest, and recreational boating practices associated with aquatic invasive species and fish diseases. She is particularly interested in applying and expanding existing theories of community capacity in community health and development disciplines to the ecosystem management context. Much of this work is interdisciplinary and integrates biophysical and social sciences to better understand and address natural resource management problems. Davenport’s students are exposed to interdisciplinary perspectives on environmental planning and management, are trained in multiple research methodologies, and interact with diverse stakeholders and professionals in the field.

Rebecca Flood

[PHOTO]Rebecca Flood

Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Flood joined the MPCA in October 2008 as the Assistant Commissioner for water policy matters. In this role, she oversees the agency’s programs and activities to maintain and improve the quality of Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams. Flood serves as Minnesota’s representative on the U.S. EPA’s Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force and with the Association of Clean Water Administrators, which is the national voice for state and interstate clean water programs. In addition to being the liaison to the agricultural sector, she serves as the agency’s technical representative to the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program Advisory Committee.  This committee is advising the Commissioner of Agriculture on the development of a voluntary program designed to expedite adoption of agricultural best management practices specifically designed to protect water quality. Prior to joining the MPCA, Flood was employed by the Metropolitan Council for 30 years in a variety of clean water programs, most recently serving as the Environmental Compliance Manager for the Council’s eight municipal wastewater treatment facilities in the seven-county St. Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area. In this role, she also represented the Council on a wide variety of statewide water policy committees, and led the development of both the Council’s phosphorus and mercury reduction strategies.

Flood holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology from Michigan State University.

David Miller

[PHOTO]David Miller

Director, Research & Commodity Services, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation 

As director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Miller coordinates the research programs of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the various commodity services offered by the Federation. He provides economic analysis of agricultural issues, and is a primary liaison for the Federation with state and national commodity organizations. As the Chief Science Officer for AgraGate,  Miller oversees the technical aspects of the carbon credit aggregation program. He serves on several carbon committees, including the Offset Committee of the Chicago Climate Exchange, The Midwest Governor’s Association Greenhouse Gas Accord committee, and the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council. Prior to working for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Miller served as a commodity policy specialist for the American Farm Bureau.

Cathy Kling

[PHOTO]Cathy Kling

Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and professor of economics, Iowa State University
Director, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Kling, the Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a professor of economics, has served as the director of CARD since July 2013, after having served many years as the division head of CARD’s Resource and Environmental Policy Division. She received a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Iowa and a doctorate in economics from the University of Maryland. In her work at CARD, Kling is undertaking research to examine how agricultural practices affect water quality, wildlife, soil carbon content, and greenhouse gases.

May Wu


Team Leader for Water Analysis in Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory

Wu, a team leader for Water Analysis in Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, is the PI of water sustainability analysis for biofuel production funded by DOE Bioenergy Technology Office. Her research interests are in the area of water use, water quality, and water availability associated with development of biofuel, conventional fuel, electricity, and emerging fuels and life cycle analysis. May is currently leading an effort to develop tools to assess spatially explicit water footprint of biofuel produced from starch, cellulosic, oil seeds, and algae. She also heads a project applying watershed modeling for Mississippi River Basin using SWAT and HSPF. Wu served as an expert adviser to the Water Working Group of the Council on Sustainable Biomass Production and supported National Biomass R&D Board’s Sustainability Interagency Working Group. May has a diverse background and extensive experiences in the area of industry water treatment, wastewater treatment, online monitoring of anaerobic biological process, microbial induced corrosion, fermentation, and membrane separation. Before joining Argonne in 2004, she was a senior research microbiologist at Nalco Chemical. Prior to that position, Wu conducted her postdoctoral work at Argonne National Laboratory. Wu holds several U.S. patents, 40+ publications, and a dual Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Toxicology from Michigan State University.

Ken Genskow

[PHOTO]Ken Genskow

University of Wisconsin, Madison Associate Professor of Urban & Regional and Director, UW-Extension’s Regional Natural Resources Program

Genskow addresses issues of environmental planning and policy, watershed planning, and collaborative and participatory approaches to resource management. His research and applied work have explored the evaluation and assessment of collaborative watershed management, watershed governance, and the effectiveness of educational and technical assistance programs on land management. Genskow focuses on stakeholder involvement in resource management and the integration of social and bio-physical sciences for environmental planning. He is also a state specialist on water resources for UW Extension, and directs UW-Extension’s Regional Natural Resources Program, part of UW’s Environmental Resources Center. The program involves a team of extension educators working throughout the state with local agency and organizational partners to address priority state and local resource management issues. Genskow has a BS in General Engineering and a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois. He earned his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from University of Wisconsin-Madison. (http://urpl.wisc.edu/people/genskow/)

Brian Buhr

[PHOTO]Brian Buhr

Interim Dean, College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota

Buhr works in the areas of commodity marketing with an emphasis in livestock markets. He has worked extensively with commodity marketing groups on risk management, value added marketing and the economic impacts of policy and technology. 

Current research includes analysis of the economic value of traceability in agribusiness and the incentive mechanisms that can improve product quality and conduct of market participants. Buhr is also conducting policy research on issues of animal welfare, the impacts of biofuels on the livestock and meat industry and the economic impacts of animal diseases in livestock. Recent publications have appeared in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Agricultural Finance, Review of Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Food Distribution Research. 

Professor Buhr teaches three courses: Commodity Marketing, Futures and Options Marketing and an Agribusiness Study Tour Course.

Jamie Derr


Jamie Derr is a fourth generation farmer cash cropping 400 acres of no-till soybeans, corn, winter wheat and winter canola outside of Madison, Wisconsin.  He uses equipment on-farm to process waste fry grease into biodiesel, helping the farm offset petroleumdiesel consumption 75%.  Derr has done talks about the benefits of locally produced biofuels and his experience throughout the Midwest since 2002.  Jamie also serves on the Wisconsin BioenergyAdvisory Council and Wisconsin Rural Energy Management Council.

Bioeconomy Institute trading card