On November 20, 2007, H-GAC's Board of Directors established an expert panel to develop recommendations for local governments to adapt to potential changes in the region’s climate and associated environmental effects. The Foresight Panel on Environmental Effects Report outlines the panel’s findings and recommended strategies.
Dr. Philip Bedient is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice University, and holds the Herman Brown Chair in Engineering.
Dr. Bedient has been studying urban hydrology for the past 30 years, including major floodplain studies, stormwater studies, water quality studies, and radar-based flood alert systems for Texas.
He is lead author of a textbook entitled "Hydrology and Floodplain Analysis", used in over 70 universities.
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Dr. Peter Bishop is an Associate Professor in the College of Technology and Coordinator of the graduate program in Futures Studies at the University of Houston. Dr. Bishop specializes in techniques for long-term forecasting and planning. He delivers keynote addresses and conducts seminars on the future for business, government and not-for-profit organizations. He also facilitates groups in developing scenarios, visions and strategic plans for the future.
Dr. Bishop's clients include IBM, the NASA Johnson Space Center, Nestle USA, Tetra Pak, the Shell Pipeline Corporation, the Defense and Central Intelligence Agencies, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Waitt Family Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, and the Center for Houston’s Future. Dr. Bishop is a founding board member of the new Association of Professional Futurists, and he is President of his own firm, Strategic Foresight and Development, which offers education and training in futures thinking and techniques to the corporate market.
Dr. Bishop just transferred to the University of Houston after teaching futures studies research methods and statistics at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. While active in faculty affairs, he founded an organization of faculty leaders to participate in state government. Dr. Bishop first taught at Georgia Southern College where he specialized in social problems and political sociology. He received his doctoral degree in sociology from Michigan State University. Dr. Bishop received a bachelor's degree in philosophy from St. Louis University where he also studied mathematics and physics. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where he was a member of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for seven years. Dr. Bishop is married with two children and four grandchildren.
Alan C. Clark is the Manager of the Transportation and Air Quality programs for the Houston-Galveston Area Council. For over 20 years, he has been the Director of H-GAC's Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), which is responsible for development of the region's long range, multimodal transportation plan. The MPO's Transportation Policy Council approves the programming of all federal highway and transit funds in Harris and the adjacent seven counties.
Mr. Clark's responsibilities also include coordinating the Houston-Galveston area's strategies for reducing air pollution from on and off road vehicles.
In 1995, Mr. Clark was awarded the Road Hand Award by the Texas Department of Transportation because of his significant contributions to development of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program and for his expertise in retooling of the transportation planning process. In 1999 and 2000, Mr. Clark served on the Board of Advisors for the Eno Foundation, an internationally recognized organization promoting transportation research and education. Mr. Clark is currently an Advisory Board Member for both the Texas Transportation Institute and the Center for Transportation Training and Research at Texas Southern University. In 2005, Mr. Clark was named a member of the Transportation Research Board's Policy Study Committee on Climate Change in U.S. Transportation. In 2006, Mr. Clark was also appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Impacts of Climate Variability and Change on Transportation Systems and Infrastructure-Gulf Coast Case Study.
Mr. Clark has been a transportation planner with H-GAC since 1983 and has managed its transportation and air quality programs since 1986. Mr. Clark has served as an Adjunct Professor with Texas Southern University. Prior to coming to H-GAC, he worked as a transportation planner with the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County and as a traffic engineering consultant.
Alan holds Masters Degrees in Civil Engineering and City and Regional Planning from Ohio State University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee in his hometown of Knoxville.
Dr. Robert Harriss is President and CEO of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). His professional interests focus on sustainability science, engineering, education and policy.
He was formerly Senior Scientist and Director of the Institute for the Study of Society and the Environment at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.
Previous academic positions included a Harvard University postdoctoral fellowship and faculty appointments at McMaster University (Canada), Florida State University, University of New Hampshire, Texas A&M University, and the University of Colorado.
He also served ten years as a Senior Scientist in the ocean and atmospheric sciences at the NASA Langley Research Center and three years as Science Director for the Earth Sciences Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Dr. Harriss obtained a B.S. in Geology from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry from Rice University.
Dr. Neal Lane, Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University, holds appointments as Senior Fellow of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, where he is engaged in matters of science and technology policy, and in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Prior to returning to Rice University in January 2001, Dr. Lane served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, from August 1998 to January 2001, and as Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), from October 1993 to August 1998.
Before becoming the NSF Director, Dr. Lane was Provost and Professor of Physics at Rice University in Houston, Texas, a position he had held since 1986. He first came to Rice in 1966, when he joined the Department of Physics as an assistant professor. In 1972, he became Professor of Physics and Space Physics and Astronomy. He left Rice from mid-1984 to 1986 to serve as Chancellor of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. In addition, from 1979 to 1980, while on leave from Rice, he worked at the NSF as Director of the Division of Physics.
Dr. Lane has received many awards and honorary degrees and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In April, the National Academy of Sciences will present him with their Public Welfare Medal, which they describe as their most prestigious award. In May the American Institute will present him with the K.T. Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics. He belongs to a number of professional associations and serves on several boards and advisory committees.
Dr. Barry Lefer is Assistant Professor at the University of Houston, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Dr. Lefer teaches classes in Climate Change and Atmospheric Chemistry.
His two main areas of research are (1) trying to understand the ozone pollution in large cities, and (2) what happens to that pollution after it is transported to Greenland and Antarctica.
His first job as an atmospheric scientist was washing rain collection buckets as a student at the University of Virginia. In graduate school at the University of New Hampshire he had the opportunity to travel all over the world sampling trace gases and particles from aircraft. As a postdoctorate student Dr. Lefer went to NCAR to study solar radiation and ozone photochemistry.
Dr. Lefer holds a B.A. in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, an M.S. and a PhD in Earth Sciences-Geochemical Systems from the University of New Hampshire.
In his 35+ year career, Dr. Leong has worked as an environmental scientist and engineer, local government executive and appointed official, and university teacher. He is the author of many reports and publications and has done management and environmental consulting internationally in Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan and China. He worked at the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in San Francisco for nearly 30 years, the last ten as Executive Director.
At ABAG, Dr. Leong was responsible for managing and directing agency staff activities in a variety of public policy and technical studies, regional planning, and local government service programs.
Other duties have included: personnel, budgets, fiscal management, supervising consultants, internal technical management and professional staff development. Dr. Leong was also involved in liaison activities with various policy bodies and committees, inter-agency coordination, advising, developing, and implementing local government service programs. He also served on the boards of numerous community based non-profit organizations.
Upon his retirement, he has been teaching part-time in China at Peking University (School of Government & College of Environmental Sciences & Engineering) - Beijing and Shenzhen campuses. He has also taught at Fudan University in Shanghai in their School of International Relations and Public Administration. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and UCLA where he received his doctorate in Environmental Sciences and Engineering in 1974.
Michael D. Talbott is the Director of the Harris County Flood Control District in Houston, Texas. He has been with the district for 27 years. Under Mike Talbott's direction, the district carries out its mission to devise countywide flood damage reduction plans, implement those plans, and maintain the infrastructure.
That mission is executed in the third most populated county in the United States, with a population in excess of 3.9 million, which includes the City of Houston, the nation’s fourth largest city.
The district has jurisdiction over the primary stormwater facilities in the county, which consist of about 1,500 channels, totaling nearly 2,500 miles in length, as well as more than 40 regional stormwater detention basins and a 2.5-square mile wetlands mitigation bank. Mr. Talbott is active in a number of associations, local committees and task force groups relating to stormwater planning and environmental management. Mr.Talbott is a licensed professional engineer with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston.
Dr. Arnold Vedlitz is holder of the Bob Bullock Chair in Government and Public Policy and Director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Dr. Vedlitz is Division Head for the Science, Technology and Public Policy Division of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, as well as Division Head for the Science, Technology and Public Policy Division of the Texas Transportation Institute.
Dr. Vedlitz is the co-editor of a new book from MIT Press on environmental politics and decision making, author of an important book on public policy and author of dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters in the fields of political behavior, science and technology politics and public policy. He is principal investigator, co-principle investigator and senior research scientist on externally funded research projects totaling more than $15 million. These grants have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and numerous state agencies.
Vedlitz recently served on the Council of Competitiveness, National Innovation Initiative, Public Sector Task Force. He is a reviewer for the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Social Science Quarterly and dozens of other scholarly journals and a grant reviewer and panel member for the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.