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Adaptive Management Guidance Panel

The Water Institute of the Gulf is developing an adaptive management approach for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority to guide the state's coastal protection and restoration program. The Water Institute will identify best practices from previous efforts in Louisiana as well as other adaptive management programs to inform the framework.

As part of this effort, The Water Institute is convening an Adaptive Management Guidance Panel consisting of national and international experts in adaptive management. The role of the panel is to:

  • Contribute expertise and knowledge gained from personal experiences with Adaptive Management;
  • Advise on the important structural elements of an Adaptive Management Framework;
  • Recommend how uncertainties should be considered in the planning and implementation process; and,
  • Propose strategies for evaluating the performance of the plan from a programmatic perspective.


Panel Members

Robert Twilley, Chair                                             

Executive Director of Louisiana Sea Grant

Dr. Twilley is Executive Director of Louisiana Sea Grant College and professor in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Science at LSU. He has been a Distinguished Professor in Louisiana Environmental Studies at LSU in 2005, and served in several administrative capacities including Associate Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development from 2007 to 2010, and Director of the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute from 2004 to 2007.  In 2010, Dr. Twilley served for two years as Vice President of Research at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which manages the UL Research Park and $70 million research enterprise.  He earned the UL Lafayette Foundation’s Distinguished Professor Award in 2000, where he was a professor in biology from 1986 to 2004.  He is the founder of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio in 2009, and also founded the Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology (CEET) at UL Lafayette in 1999.  Most of Dr. Twilley's research has focused on coastal wetlands both in the Gulf of Mexico, throughout Latin America, and in the Pacific Islands. Dr. Twilley has published extensively on wetland ecology, global climate change, and has been involved in developing ecosystem models coupled with engineering designs to forecast the rehabilitation of coastal and wetland ecosystems.

David Marmorek

ESSA Technologies

David Marmorek is an aquatic ecologist, President of ESSA Technologies Ltd, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. Mr. Marmorek has spent the last three decades combining his technical knowledge (simulation modeling, ecological risk assessment, aquatic ecology, experimental design, adaptive management, decision analysis) with his skills and experience in the human dimension (facilitation, team leadership) to tackle complex environmental problems. Much of his work has focused on leading teams of scientists in the development and application of tools to predict, manage and monitor the impacts of human actions on aquatic ecosystems and fisheries, including such stressors as dams, acid rain, forestry, agriculture, fishing, power plants, climate change and industrial pollution. While he has predominantly worked in North America, he also has led projects in Peru, Ecuador, Vietnam and Thailand. He is fluent in English, Spanish and French.

Holly Doremus

University of California Berkeley Law

Holly Doremus is the James H. House and Hiram H. Hurd Professor of Environmental Regulation at the University of California, Berkeley; Co-Faculty Director of the Center for Law, Energy, and the Environment at Berkeley Law; and a Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.  She has written extensively about environmental and natural resources law and policy.  She received her B.S. in biology from Trinity College (Hartford, CT), Ph.D. in plant physiology from Cornell University, and J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.  After law school, she clerked for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law in Corvallis, Oregon. She began her teaching career at the UC Davis School of Law, where she taught for 13 years before moving to UC Berkeley.

Ronald Thom

Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Ron, who leads the twenty‐two members of the CER technical group at the Marine Sciences Laboratory, has conducted research in coastal and estuarine ecosystems since 1971. His research includes coastal ecosystem restoration; adaptive management of restored systems; benthic primary production; climate change; and ecology of fisheries resources. Over his 41 year professional career, Ron has directed approximately 200 multidisciplinary ecological studies. He has worked on systems in California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, Nebraska, and Alabama. He has published five book chapters, over 100 journal articles, hundreds of reports, made hundreds of professional presentations, and served on numerous professional committees. From 1985-1989 he chaired the Technical Advisory Committee of the EPA’s Puget Sound Estuary Program. Because of the growing international reputation of his group, Ron was invited to South Korea to present a keynote address on Coastal Ecosystem Restoration in June 2009. In 2009, he was invited to China, and in 2010 he signed an agreement for joint cooperative research in coastal restoration with faculty at East China Normal University, State Key Laboratory of Estuarine & Coastal Research in Shanghai, China. Ron was appointed in 2010 to the Science Team of the Northwest Straits Commission. Since 2009, Ron has served on the Expert Regional Technical Group (ETRG) that evaluates restoration project proposals aimed as restoring ecosystem health and salmon in the Columbia River estuary. In 2011, Ron served as a member of US EPA Science Advisory Board panel reviewing the Great Lakes Restoration Program. In 2010, he was elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences based on career accomplishments. In 2012, he was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Academy. The Academy advises the Governor on science and medical issues affecting the State. Ron has been an Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, University of Washington since 1991. 

Nick Aumen

Everglades National Park

Nick Aumen is an aquatic ecologist and Water Quality Branch Chief for Everglades National Park (US Department of the Interior, National Park Service), and oversees an interagency team of scientists and engineers tracking the progress of the south Florida ecosystem restoration program. His team, located at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near West Palm Beach, Florida, assesses the potential impacts of restoration programs on Everglades National Park and other sensitive federal lands. Formerly, Nick was the Research Director at the South Florida Water Management District in West Palm Beach, directing a team of 120-plus scientists and engineers conducting research in support of ecosystem restoration. Nick received his B.S. and M.S. in biology at the University of West Florida, and his Ph.D. in microbial ecology at Oregon State University. After finishing his Ph.D., he took a faculty position in biology at the University of Mississippi, and was a tenured Associate Professor of Biology until 1991, when he returned to Florida. Nick presently is an Adjunct Professor of Biology at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. Nick serves on the Executive Committee of the Interamerican Water Resources Network, and helped organize four biennial Dialogues on Water Management (Miami, FL, Panama City, Panama, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, and Medellín, Colombia). He also served on the national Board of Directors of the Sierra Club, a 120-yr-old environmental organization with more than 750,000 members, and served two terms as its Vice-President and one as Treasurer.

Mike Donahue

URS Corporation

Michael J. Donahue, Ph.D. is a corporate Vice President with URS Corporation, a global consulting firm specializing in planning, engineering, architecture and design. Affiliated with the Water/ Wastewater Business Line, he provides company-wide leadership, strategic direction, and technical and business development services. He directs the company’s National Ecosystem Restoration Technology Practice and oversees special initiatives in the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Gulf Coast regions. Areas of special expertise include water resources planning, ecosystem restoration, adaptive management, and governance systems for complex, multi-jurisdictional resource management. He presently manages numerous multi-million dollar contracts for federal, state, municipal and private sector clients nationwide.

Prior to joining URS in 2005, Dr. Donahue had a distinguished public sector career, serving for 17 years as President/ CEO of the Great Lakes Commission, an interstate compact agency providing planning, program management and technical services to federal, state and local agencies in the U.S.- Canada Great Lakes Basin. Under his leadership, the agency realized a 20- fold increase in revenues and recognition from the former Michigan Attorney General for leading “the most effective organization of its kind in the world.”

Dr. Donahue has served on over a dozen national/ international advisory boards, including Vice Chairman, Chief of Engineer’s Environmental Advisory Board; U.S. Chairman, Science Advisory Board- International Joint Commission; and a member of the NOAA Science Advisory Board’s External Ecosystem Task Team. Adjunct faculty appointments have included the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and University of Toledo, with guest lectures at multiple universities in the United States and Canada. He has published extensively in both peer-reviewed journals and the popular literature.

Dr. Donahue is a three time graduate of the University of Michigan, where he holds a B.S. in Natural Resources Management, a Master’s in Public Policy, and a Ph.D. in Urban, Technological and Environmental Planning. His doctoral dissertation entailed the design and evaluation of watershed-based governance systems for resource management and ecosystem restoration in complex, multi-jurisdictional settings.