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The Powell Center Science Advisory Board (SAB) reviews incoming proposals and makes recommendations to the Directors, who then make the final decisions about which proposals to support. SAB members may not be subject matter experts, so prospective proposals should be written in ways that are understandable and compelling to non-specialists.

Picture of Dr. Jill Baron

Jill Baron
Ecosystem Ecologist
Powell Center Director
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Baron is an ecosystem ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, and a Senior Research Ecologist with the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. Her interests include applying ecosystem concepts to management of human-dominated regions, and understanding the biogeochemical and ecological effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition to mountain ecosystems. She is co-director of the John Wesley Powell Center for Earth System Science Analysis and Synthesis.



Picture of Dr. Martin Goldhaber

Marty Goldhaber
Senior Scientist Emirates 
Powell Center Science Advisor
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Goldhaber is geochemist and an Emeritus Senior Scientist at the USGS where he received the Department of the Interior Meritorious Service and Presidential Rank Awards. He has served a rotation as the Chief Scientist for Geology and has also served as co-chair of the USGS Science Strategy Team which was charged with defining key strategic directions for the USGS. His current research is on the evolution of the broad ‘geochemical landscapes’ resulting from the interplay of geologic, geomorphologic, hydrologic, and biologic processes. Geochemical landscape studies are underway in the Sacramento Valley of California, and the Prairie Pothole region of the north central U.S. and southern Canada. 


Picture of Dr. Kenneth Bagstad

Ken Bagstad
Research Economist
Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Bagstad is a Research Economist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, Colorado. His primary interests are in ecosystem service modeling, natural capital accounting, and artificial intelligence-based approaches for data and model integration. Ken is a long-term collaborator with the Artificial Intelligence for Environment & Sustainability (ARIES) platform and has led ecosystem services and natural capital accounting work in the United States and globally. 




Charles Yackulic

U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Yackulic is a research statistician with the US Geological Survey’s Southwest Biological Science and Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Centers in Flagstaff, AZ. His research primarily focuses on developing and fitting statistical models that integrate multiple data sources, link environmental drivers and management actions to population and ecosystem processes, and can be used to make near and long term forecasting of system dynamics under different management alternatives. Areas of particular interest include species distribution dynamics, population dynamics, interspecific interactions, animal movement, food web dynamics and river metabolism.



Ruth Harris
U.S. Geological Survey

Ruth Harris is a Research Geophysicist in the USGS’s Earthquake Science Center. Her research focuses on understanding large earthquakes, what causes them to start, stop, and trigger other earthquakes, and determining how they generate strong ground shaking. She is the leader of a project with 20 excellent scientists who investigate a range of earthquake and tsunami research topics, and who also produce the USGS earthquake aftershock forecasts for the public.  


Picture of Laura Lautz
Picture of Dr. Laura Lautz


Laura Lautz
U.S. National Science Foundation

Dr. Lautz is a Program Director in the Hydrologic Sciences Program in the Directorate of Geosciences’ Earth Science Division at the National Science Foundation. Prior to her arrival at NSF, she was the Jessie Page Heroy Professor and Department Chair of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University. Her research addresses how hydrologic processes influence water quality and movement through watersheds, with particular emphasis on how water and solutes move through paired surface and groundwater systems, heat tracing, and the nexus of water and energy systems.



Picture of John Bradford


John Bradford
Research Ecologist
U.S. Geological Survey 

Dr. Bradford is a research scientist with the United States Geological Survey, located in Flagstaff, Arizona.  He works to understand the influence of ecological drought on dryland vegetation and engage with natural resource managers to develop appropriate management strategies for a changing climate.  John’s research integrates simulation models with ecological data to quantify detailed patterns of drought and assess drought impacts on vegetation. This involves identifying the drought and moisture conditions that determine vegetation structure, function and composition, assessing patterns of those conditions across space and time, and evaluating the implications of future shifts in those conditions. Increasingly in recent years, John synthesizes these and other research results to help land managers anticipate the long-term impacts of climate change on their vegetation resources.


Photo of Dr. Candace Major


Candace Major
U.S. National Science Foundation

Dr. Major is the Section Head for Marine Geosciences in the Ocean Sciences Division (OCE) in the Geosciences Directorate (GEO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Major also served as an NSF Program Director in OCE from 2008 to 2019, and in Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) from 2012 to 2014. Dr. Major came to NSF from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where her research focused on studies of past climates and ocean environments. 




Picture of Dr. Ward Sanford


Ward Sanford
U.S. Geological Survey

Dr. Sanford received a B.S. from Purdue University in Geology in 1983 and a PhD in Hydrogeology from Penn State University in 1987.  He has been with the USGS Water Resources Discipline's National Research Program full time since 1987.  He has been active in research on problems of regional groundwater flow and transport throughout the United States and the world.   Field areas have included West Texas, Central New Mexico, Virginia, Thailand, Hungary, Central America, and the United Arab Emirates.  He has been a consultant to the U. S. State Department and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  He received the Geological Society of America Young Scientist Award (Donath Medal) in 1995 and the National Ground Water Association John Hem Award in 2000.   He is coauthor of the widely used graduate level textbook entitled "Groundwater in Geologic Processes".  He is a senior fellow of the Geological Society of America, and a member of the American Geophysical Union, the National Ground Water Association, and the International Association of Hydrogeologists.