STORMS, FLOODING AND SEA LEVEL DEFENSE CONFERENCE

PRESENTER BIOS

Patrick Barnard
Research Geologist
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2885 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, CA  95060
W: 831-460-7556
Email: pbarnard@usgs.gov

Dr. Patrick Barnard has been a Coastal Geologist with the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz since 2003 and is the Research Director for the Coastal Climate Impacts Program. His research focuses on storm- and climate-related changes to the beaches and estuaries bordering the Pacific Ocean. He serves on regional, national and international scientific review panels related to climate change and coastal hazards and has advised members of the U.S. Congress and Cabinet, as well as state and local government representatives. 

Carey Batha
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont St., Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105
W: 415-904-5287
Web: www.coastal.ca.gov

Carey Batha is an Environmental Scientist and Climate Change Specialist with the California Coastal Commission. She has specialized in sea level rise planning and permitting issues for the past six years and is coauthor of the Coastal Commission’s Sea Level Rise Policy Guidance. She currently focuses on the agency’s work in Orange and San Diego counties in particular, but also works on statewide issues related to sea level rise.

Warner Chabot
Executive Director
San Francisco Estuary Institute
W: 510 746-7396
E-mail: warnerc@sfei.org

Warner has 35 years of executive experience in the private, public and non-profit sector, focused on science-based, environmental planning and policy issues. He has specialized in California coastal, ocean, water, land use and energy issues at the local, state and federal level.
Most recently, Warner has overseen the creation of SFEI’s “San Francisco Bay Shoreline Adaptation Atlas” to build social and ecological resilience to sea level rise. The Atlas is a science-based framework for identifying effective adaptation strategies that take advantage of natural processes and are appropriate for the particular settings along the Bay’s complex and varied shore.
Prior to joining SFEI in 2015, Warner served as the CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters, was a Vice President of Ocean Conservancy, and ran his own environmental consulting firm.

Rob Cifelli
Radar Meteorologist
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
W: 303-497-7369
Email: rob.cifelli@noaa.gov

Dr. Cifelli is a radar meteorologist with over 25 years’ experience in precipitation research and over 50 publications in reviewed literature. Since 2009, he has led NOAA scientists dedicated to improving precipitation and hydrologic prediction in complex terrain and other geographic regions. He currently leads the Hydrometeorology Modeling and Applications (HMA) Team within the Physical Sciences Division at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory. A major focus of HMA is to improve understanding of physical processes represented in the National Water Model and to guide future model development. Rob completed a detail with the Bureau of Reclamation in 2016 through the President’s Management Council Interagency Rotation Program. He continues to work closely with the Reclamation Research and Development Office on developing improved weather, climate, and water forecasts of extreme events to better meet water management needs. Dr. Cifelli also works closely with the NOAA Office of Water Prediction (OWP) on the evaluation of forcings for hydrologic prediction, physical process representation in the National Water Model, and coordination of quantitative precipitation estimation and forecast efforts across NOAA to address internal OWP and external stakeholder needs.

Mario Cordero
Executive Director
Port of Long Beach
W: 562-283-7000
Email: info@polb.com

Mario Cordero, is Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California, named to the post by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners in 2017.
Beginning in 2003, Mr. Cordero served as a member, vice president and president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners for eight years, before resigning to accept President Barack Obama’s appointment to the Federal Maritime Commission in 2011. He served on the FMC until his appointment as Executive Director in May 2017 and was FMC Chairman from April 2013 to January 2017. The FMC is the federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers and the American consumer and fostering a fair, efficient and reliable international ocean transportation system, while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.

As Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, Mr. Cordero reports to the Board and leads the Port’s Harbor Department staff of more than 500 with a budget of $982 million for the 2019 fiscal year. Inclusiveness and collaboration are hallmarks of Mr. Cordero’s leadership style, and due to both his Port and FMC leadership experience, he understands the needs of ocean carriers, terminal operators, cargo owners and other trade partners locally, nationally and around the globe.
During his tenure as a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, Mr. Cordero spearheaded the development of the pioneering Green Port Policy, which outlines a sustainable environmental ethic for all Port operations, mandating that trade growth must run parallel with environmental stewardship. The Policy has been nationally recognized and become a model for ports worldwide.
In an effort to help the public to better understand Port operations and how the Port benefits the Long Beach citizens it serves, Mr. Cordero also promoted an expanded Port community outreach program.

He serves as the Port’s representative to the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority Governing Board and to the Governing Board of the Intermodal Container Transfer Facility-Joint Powers Authority.

Mr. Cordero was named Vice Chairman of the Board for the American Association of Port Authorities in October 2018. He previously served as an Executive Board member on AAPA’s Latin American delegation and was instrumental in the development of policy urging greater cooperation and trade between North American and Latin American ports.

Jessica Fain
Planning Director,
San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
W: 415-352-3642
Email: Jessica.fain@bcdc.ca.gov

Jessica Fain became BCDC’s Planning Director in October 2018, where now she leads a team of talented planners focused on sea level rise adaptation, environmental justice, ecosystems and ports. Prior to joining BCDC, Jessica worked in planning and resiliency in New York City, as a Waterfront Planner at the New York City Department of City Planning and then as the Program Director at the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay. She also was the Capital Projects Coordinator at the New York City Public Design Commission. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has taught as part-time faculty at The New School, and has been a guest lecturer and critic at various schools.

Brad Benson
Waterfront Resilience Program Director 
Port of San Francisco
Pier 1, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
W: 415-274-0400
Email: brad.benson@sfport.com

Brad Benson joined the Port of San Francisco in 2005. As the Waterfront Resilience Program Director, he oversees the Waterfront Resilience Program efforts, including the up to $5 billion Embarcadero Seawall Program and the United States Army Corps of Engineers/Port of San Francisco Flood Study.

Before he was named Waterfront Resilience Program Director in early 2019, he was Director of Special Projects and oversaw the Port’s local, state, and federal legislative program.  During this time, Benson developed the state legislation that guides two of the Port’s largest development projects at Pier 70 and Mission Rock.  Additionally, he developed the state and local legislation that allows the Port to form infrastructure financing districts on Port property, to leverage private dollars for the benefit of the public. He collaborated in the preparation of the Port’s Ten Year Capital Plan to ensure an economically stable Port. Moreover, he managed the Port’s role in the Golden State Warriors Chase Center development project in the central waterfront. In addition to Director of Special Projects, he also served as the Port’s Pier 70 Waterfront Site Project Director to oversee a new proposed transit-oriented, Type 1 Eco-District neighborhood in the southern waterfront. 

From 2010-13, Brad served as the Port’s project manager for the 34th America’s Cup, that attracted millions of visitors and generated $1.4 billion in economic impacts to San Francisco.

Tracey Frost
Chief, Office of Smart Mobility and Climate Change,
California Department of Transportation
W: 916 654-8175
Email: tracey.frost@dot.ca.gov

Tracey Frost works for Caltrans in the Division of Transportation Planning.  She is a Supervising Transportation Planner and is the Office Chief for Smart Mobility and Climate Change.  In her current capacity she oversees the Climate Change Branch where they are identifying sea level rise, storm surge, wildfire, temperature, and precipitation vulnerabilities on the State Highway System in each of the 12 Caltrans Districts.  Additionally, she oversees the Smart Mobility and Active Transportation branch where they are working to create District Active Transportation Plans that will create a geospatial active transportation asset inventory with facility conditions, identify network gaps in comfort and connectivity and create prioritized route project lists.  Also, Tracey oversees the Local Development – Intergovernmental Review (LD-IGR) Program that aims to mitigate adverse impacts of local development on the state highway system.  The LD-IGR Branch provides recommendations and facilitates improvements to preserve and enhance the state’s transportation facilities and operations. 
Tracey has also worked in the Division of Mass Transportation and the Division of Budgets at Caltrans.  Tracey graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University, Sacramento in Finance and Economics and has worked at Caltrans for 21 years.

Philip Gibbons
Program Manager, Energy & Sustainability
Port of San Diego
W: 619-725-6037
Email: pgibbons@portofsandiego.org

Philip Gibbons is a Program Manager at the Port of San Diego.  His career spans a broad range of environmental management objectives to improve water and air quality as well as the sustainability and resiliency of San Diego Bay.  Philip’s recent work has focused on implementing the Port’s Climate Action Plan and transitioning vehicles and equipment common to port and industrial operations to zero and near-zero emissions.  He also spearheads planning for climate adaptation to better prepare the waterfront of San Diego Bay for future coastal hazards due to sea level rise.  Currently, Philip serves on the Board of the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative and the San Diego Clean Cities Coalition.  He is also an Executive Committee member on the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.  Philip has a master’s degree in Geography from San Diego State University.

Kate Gordon
Director
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
W: 916-322-2318
Email: Kate.Gordon@opr.ca.gov

Gordon has authored or co-authored numerous publications, including the Fourth National Climate Assessment’s chapter on “Reducing Risks Through Adaptation Actions.” Prior to being appointed OPR Director, Gordon was a Senior Advisor at the Henry M. Paulson Institute, where she oversaw the “Risky Business Project,” focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change to the U.S. economy, and also provided strategic support to the Institute’s U.S.- China CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization. She was also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President for Climate and Energy at the Center for the Next Generation, Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, and Co-Executive Director at the national Apollo Alliance (now the Blue Green Alliance).  Gordon earned a J.D. and a masters in city and regional planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.

Juliette Finzi Hart
Oceanographer
Pacific and Coastal Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
W: 310- 801-3435
Email: jfinzihart@usgs.gov

Juliette serves as the Director of Outreach for the Climate Impacts and Coastal Processes Team. Juliette works to help coastal communities understand and utilize the best available science in their coastal planning. She has a strong focus on developing innovative stakeholder engagement strategies such as working with citizen scientists and developing virtual and augmented reality applications to help translate complex scientific information.  Prior to joining USGS, Juliette was with the University of Southern California Sea Grant program where she served as the Marine & Climate Science Specialist and held an Assistant Professor faculty position in the Marine Environmental Biology Group.  Juliette received her doctorate from USC in Ocean Sciences in 2007, and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Cities in 2002. She received her B.A. from Columbia University in 1996.

Daniella Hirschfeld
Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Utah State University
W: 917-254-9427
Email: daniella.hirschfeld@usu.edu

Daniella Hirschfeld is an assistant professor at Utah State University in the department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. Professor Hirschfeld studies urban ecology and environmental planning in relationship to designing resilient social-ecological systems. Her primary area of work is in helping local jurisdictions adapt their plans to the face of a changing climate. Daniella holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.

Amy Hutzel
Deputy Executive Officer
State Coastal Conservancy
1515 Clay Street, Suite 1000
Oakland, CA 94612
W: 510-286-4180
Email: amy.hutzel@scc.ca.gov

Amy Hutzel is a Deputy Executive Officer at the State Coastal Conservancy, which works to protect open space, increase public access and recreation, and restore wildlife habitats along the California Coast and in the Bay Area. She worked in the San Francisco Bay Area Program of the Coastal Conservancy for 15 years, on wetland restoration, public access, and land acquisition projects. She has served on the boards or advisory committees of the San Francisco Bay Joint Venture, the Bay Area Open Space Council, the San Francisco Estuary Partnership, and Resilient by Design. She has a bachelor degree in urban and environmental planning from the University of Virginia. She worked as an educator at the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, and Save The Bay prior to joining the Coastal Conservancy.

Jennifer Lucchesi
Executive Officer
California State Lands Commission,
100 Howe Avenue, Suite 100 South
Sacramento, CA 95825
W: 916 574-1800
Email: Jennifer.lucchesi@slc.ca.gov

Jennifer has worked for the Commission since November 1999. The Commission appointed Jennifer as its Executive Officer in December 2012. While born in Seattle, Washington, Jennifer has spent most of her life in California, growing up in the Bay Area. Jennifer graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jennifer began her career at the Commission as a land agent in the Land Management Division, primarily working with ports and harbor districts on waterfront redevelopment efforts. While working in the Land Management Division, Jennifer attended evening classes at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. Jennifer began her legal career at the Commission in 2006 after earning her Juris Doctor from the McGeorge School of Law. 

Jennifer has worked for the Commission on projects in virtually every county in the state, with an emphasis on land use, waterfront redevelopment, and boundary issues involving ports, harbor districts, and waterways, including title settlements and land exchanges to facilitate redevelopment projects in Chula Vista, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. Prior to her appointment, Jennifer served as the Commission’s Chief Counsel. 

Justin Luedy
Environmental Specialist, Planning and Environmental Affairs
Port of Long Beach
415 W Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
W: 562- 283-7124
Email: info@polb.com

Justin Luedy is an Environmental Specialist for the Port of Long Beach where he’s responsible for projects and programs related to climate change adaptation and planning, harbor-wide biological surveys, wildlife mitigation and management, dredging projects, water quality monitoring, stormwater permitting and compliance, wetland mitigation, and sustainability. Justin manages the Port’s Climate Change Adaptation & Coastal Resiliency Plan, which serves as the Port’s guidance document for its climate change preparedness efforts and provides a process for incorporating climate planning into Port policy making, infrastructure design, and construction practices. Justin holds a B.S. in Marine Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Science.

Stas Margaronis
President
Propeller Club of Northern California
W: 707-586-2472
Email: apmargaronis@gmail.com

Margaronis is the California Ports Reporter for the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

C.M. (Kees) Nederhoff
Coastal Modeler,
Deltares USA
W: 408 582 4690
Email: kees.nederhoff@deltares-usa.us

Kees Nederhoff is a coastal modeler at DeltaresUSA with 5 years of experience in developing and applying Deltares software products. Before joining DeltaresUSA, he was employed at Deltares in Delft, The Netherlands and worked on a range of national and international projects including numerous World Bank projects, the USGS-Deltares co-op and the Dutch flood safety assessment. Kees holds a Master of Science from Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and his specialty lies in assessing hazards, impacts and risks of extreme conditions like storms, and hurricanes on the estuaries, coastal region and atoll islands. Moreover, Kees acts as a liaison between Deltares and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Santa Cruz and with San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI) in Richmond.

Adrienne Newbold
Senior Civil Engineer & Program Manager
Port of Los Angeles
W: 310-732-3642
Email: anewbold@portla.org

Adrienne Newbold, P.E., PMP, has over 15 years of program management experience with the Port of Los Angeles specializing in the planning, design, construction, and operation of container terminals, transportation networks, and waterfront development. She oversees the Program Management section which consists of over $200 Million of infrastructure improvements for the Port of Los Angeles.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from Loyola Marymount University and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from University of California Los Angeles. She is a licensed Professional Civil Engineer and Project Management Professional. Adrienne was awarded the ASCE LA Outstanding Civil Engineer.

Adrienne is past Board Chair for the ASCE COPRI Technical Group, an active member of ASCE, Women In Transportation, Womens International Shipping and Trade Association, and Loyola Marymount Council for Industrial Partners.

Joost de Nooijer
Project Engineer / Project Manager Flood Risk Management
Port Development
Port of Rotterdam
W +316-15546211
Email: jj.nooijer@portofrotterdam.com

Joost de Nooijer is a Civil Engineer and Project Manager Flood Risk Management at the Port of Rotterdam. He is responsible for the technical management of port development projects, like the construction of quay walls, jetties and other maritime infrastructure. Since 2015 he is working as a project manager in the Port’s Flood Risk program. In cooperation with many stakeholders, like the Municipality of Rotterdam, federal agencies, many companies, utility services, etc. he developed adaptation strategies for future flood risks in the different subregions of the Rotterdam Port area, which is one of the most valuable outer dike areas in Europe.  

Jan Novak
Professional Wetland Scientist
Environmental Programs and Planning
Port of Oakland
530 Water Street
Oakland, CA 94607
W: 510-627-1176
Email: jnovak@portoakland.com

Jan Novak is a professional wetland scientist who works as an associate environmental planner/scientist with the Port of Oakland. He is responsible for permitting water-based projects and dredging. He recently managed the Port’s AB 691 Sea-Level Rise analysis. Prior to starting at the Port, he worked for 16 years at several environmental consulting firms. He studied soil science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Lars de Ruig
Researcher
Institute for Environmental Studies
UV University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1087
1081 HV Amsterdam
The Netherlands
W: +31 20 59 85521
Email: Lars.de.Ruig@vu.nl

Lars de Ruig is currently a PhD Researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies UV University Amsterdam. He has a bachelor’s in Future Planet Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and a master’s in Earth Sciences and Economics at the VU University Amsterdam. As a PhD researcher, Lars focusses on flood risk adaptation and the effects of applying different spatial and temporal scale in the economic evaluation of adaptation measures, strategies and pathways. In addition, he focusses on the interaction in adaptive behavior of different flood risk related agents to get insights on how certain policies settings and insurance markets can stimulate adaptive behavior.

Kristine A. Zortman
Executive Director
Port of Redwood City
W: 650 306-4150 
Email: kzortman@redwoodcityport.com

Appointed as the Port’s Executive Director in July 2018, Kristine A. Zortman is a 25-year port, maritime and commercial real estate veteran. Zortman comes to the Port of Redwood City from San Diego, having served as the vice president of Civic San Diego, a non-profit economic development agency, and as a principal at the Port of San Diego.
During her 8-year tenure at the Port of San Diego, Zortman’s emphasis included commercial real estate transactions where she negotiated long-term leases focused on cargo and maritime business development.

Her career has spanned both the private and public sector, including six years with Lennar Communities focused on land acquisition and several years’ experience overseeing environmental project management for real estate investment trusts.
Zortman holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from George Mason University and completed graduate studies work from University of Utah and the University of California Los Angeles with an emphasis in Hazardous Materials Management. She serves as board member on the Bay Planning Coalition, the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region, as well as her involvement in other port and industry organizations.

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