Gail's Qualifications for SLVWD Board of Directors
Deep scientific knowledge relevant to our water district – As a recently retired Professor of Geology at Stanford University, Gail has forty years’ experience with topics directly relevant to our water systems and watershed including geology, hydrology, groundwater, biology, land use and climate change models. In addition to watershed functions, Gail understands wildfire risks and recovery, groundwater issues, natural hazards that impact District facilities (landslides, earthquakes, floods, and debris flows), and she is knowledgeable about post-fire contamination of groundwater, water distribution lines, and home plumbing by volatile organic compounds and toxic trace metals.
Gail’s present contributions to SLVWD - After attending meetings of the SLVWD Board and the Santa Margarita Groundwater Agency (which our District belongs to, along with other agencies that share the groundwater basin), Gail realized her background could be very helpful to our present Board. For the past year she has informally assisted SLVWD Board members in approaching decisions related to the state-mandated groundwater sustainability plan. In January she also joined SLVWD’s Engineering Committee, where her geologic expertise has been extremely useful in deciding how to best deal with a costly repair of an access road to a water tank, which was taken out by a landslide in 2017.
Fiscal responsibility and budgeting skills – Gail’s experience at Stanford included serving as Department Chair, Associate Vice Provost of Graduate Education, and Chair of the Faculty Senate as well as serving on the University’s budget and strategic planning group and the Board of Trustees’ Land and Building Committee. Through these roles she honed her skills in capital planning, grant writing, and fiscally responsible budgeting for both short term and long term. She also learned how to bring people together to make hard financial decisions that best met the organization’s goals.
Environmental stewardship – Gail’s love of our forests, sand hills, rivers and creeks combined with her scientific knowledge and fiscal practicality make her an ideal environmental steward for the District. She knows how watersheds function, and she realizes that proper stewardship of District forest and sand hills lands is not only the right thing to do - it’s the most cost-effective way to ensure a steady, clean source of water for our community’s safety and our future.
Unifying leadership style – Gail looks forward to being a unifying leader for our Valley. In her many leadership roles at Stanford, she learned to run meetings effectively and to bring together people with widely varying opinions to make important, often challenging, decisions together. She has a solution-focused mindset and level-headed communication style, which is just what we need, especially as we navigate the challenges of our post-fire recovery.
Gail truly has the expertise our Valley needs right now.