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Thank you to everyone who attended the 11th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium! This free two-day conference encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning opportunities for a diverse array of stakeholders. Sessions covered a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

Powerpoints and audio recordings are available.  Click on a session and scroll down to the attached files.
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Plenary Session [clear filter]
Wednesday, November 15


Welcome & Opening Comments
avatar for Rick Graham

Rick Graham

Deputy Mayor & Chief Operations Officer, Salt Lake County
Rick Graham is Salt Lake County's Deputy Mayor & Chief Operations Officer. Rick first joined McAdams' team in April 2016 as Township & Metro Services Executive. Rick has a nearly 40 years of public service experience, including his previous position as Salt Lake City's Director of... Read More →


KEYNOTE Unveiling the Anthropocene—A Super Wicked Story
KEYNOTE Unveiling the Anthropocene—A Super Wicked Story

Humanity’s disruption of the planetary climate system represents an existential threat to an organized global community. This is the robust conclusion of an extraordinarily large scientific community, based on an observational dataset of unprecedented scale. And yet, global climate disruption is but one of a host of existential environmental challenges we face, all emergent from the same underlying pathologies. At this juncture, with an unprecedented opportunity to begin the transformation to a truly sustainable human civilization, it is critical that we address our challenges holistically, each in context of all the others. Fortunately, solid frameworks are emerging for doing exactly this.

avatar for Robert Davies

Robert Davies

Physicist, Utah State University
Dr. Robert Davies is Associate Professor of Professional Practice with Utah State University’s Dep’t of Physics. Focusing on synthesizing and communicating a broad range of Earth- and human systems science through a lens of human sustainability, Rob has been communicating climate... Read More →


Poster Session
The poster session is a forum for presenters from around the world to highlight programs and to share successful ideas with colleagues by presenting a research study, a practical problem-solving effort, an innovative program, and more. Poster presentations provide other conference participants an opportunity to quickly and easily become acquainted with a variety of topics.

Check the POSTERS tab to see all poster presenters!

Thursday, November 16


Opening Comments
avatar for Robert Thompson

Robert Thompson

Watershed Section Manager, SALT LAKE COUNTY
Robert Thompson manages the Salt Lake County Watershed section and is a professionally licensed Geologist in the state of Utah. He specializes in fluvial geomorphology and the restoration of fluvial systems. He has a background in water quality data collection, restoration design... Read More →


KEYNOTE Salt Lake County's Climate Adaptation Plan for Public Health
KEYNOTE Salt Lake County's Climate Adaptation Plan for Public Health

The release of greenhouse gases into the earth's atmosphere has set the climate on a course to change drastically in the near future, and these changes are having a significant impact on human health in Salt Lake County. There is broad scientific consensus that climate change is occuring at a rate raste than previously anticipated, and is causing warmer temperatures, droughts, and more frequent extreme weather events in our region. It is important that we take action now, both to mitigate the impacts of climate change and to develop adaptation strategies that enhance the region's resiliency to the inevitable changes it will experience. Many responses to climate change could positively impact the region in multiple ways, simultaneously reducing the burden of disease, saving money, protecting the environment, developing community, and addressing inequality. Salt Lake County's Climate Change Adaptation Plan for Public Health will provide a plan for organizations in the Salt Lake region to respond to the health impacts of climate change, serving to build a healthier, more resilient community, and setting an example for other local health departments in Utah.

avatar for Royal DeLegge

Royal DeLegge

Director, Environmental Health, Salt Lake County Health Department
Royal DeLegge has served as Environmental Health Director for the Salt Lake County Health Department since August 1999. Previously, Royal served as Director of Environmental Health for the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, Illinois and before that held various positions... Read More →


Panel Discussion on Local Watershed Planning Efforts and Implementation in the Wasatch Mountains
Panel Discussion on Local Watershed Planning Efforts and Implementation in the Wasatch Mountains 

This panel will discuss local planning and implementation efforts along in the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake County as two major plans kick off updates. The panel will include discussion of the history of planning efforts for these mountain watersheds as well as emerging issues current planning efforts have yet to address. In addition, the discussion will include the coordination of the plan updates.

avatar for Alan Matheson

Alan Matheson

Executive Director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Alan Matheson is the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and policy advisor to Governor Gary R. Herbert. He also served as State Planning Coordinator. Alan previously was an attorney practicing energy, natural resources and water law, and served as Executive... Read More →

avatar for Laura Briefer

Laura Briefer

Director, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities
Laura Briefer is the Director of Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities where she has worked for 10 years in various areas of the organization and has 23 years professional experience in natural resource and environmental professions in the public, private, and non-profit sectors... Read More →
avatar for Teresa Gray

Teresa Gray

Bureau Manager, Water Quality Hazardous Waste, Salt Lake County Health Department
Teresa Gray is the Bureau Manager Water Quality and Hazardous Waste for the Salt Lake County Health Department which consists of 19 programs.  She has been a Licensed Environmental Health Scientist for over 20 years. Her focus is on building partnerships. She has extensive knowledge... Read More →
avatar for Bekee Hotze

Bekee Hotze

Distric Ranger, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Bekee Hotze is the District Ranger for the Salt Lake Ranger District, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. She graduated from Northland College with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She worked for Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in fisheries and the Wisconsin DNR... Read More →
avatar for Wilf Sommerkorn

Wilf Sommerkorn

Director, Salt Lake County Regional Planning & Transportation
Wilf Sommerkorn is the Director of Regional Planning and Transportation for Salt Lake County.  He was Salt Lake City Planning Director from 2008 to 2014.  Prior to that, Wilf was Director of the Davis County Community & Economic Development Department for 14 years.  He was a planner... Read More →