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Governor Bill Richardson to Participate in Changing Planet Town Hall

Future of Water Will be Topic of ‘Changing Planet’ Town Hall at Arizona State University

Released: 8/10/2011 9:00 AM EDT
Source: Arizona State University

Future of water will be topic of ‘Changing Planet’ town hall at Arizona State University

NBC Learn, National Science Foundation and Discover magazine to host dynamic discussion Aug. 25 on ‘Adapting to Our Water Future’

TEMPE, Ariz. – The future of water in the American Southwest and around the world will be the topic of a town hall discussion at Arizona State University hosted by NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Discover magazine. On tap for the Aug. 25 event will be a panel of nationally-recognized scientists and public policymakers who will address the changing patterns of freshwater resources, as well as questions on how to develop more efficient and sustainable water practices.

This event is the third in a series of “Changing Planet” town halls that are videotaped at U.S. universities and televised on The Weather Channel. The event at ASU is free and open to the public, though seating is limited. The discussion will begin at 6 p.m. in Galvin Playhouse on ASU’s Tempe campus. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and close at 5:45 p.m. No entrance or exit will be permitted during the videotaping and RSVPs are requested. To RSVP or for more information: or 480-965-2975.

Town hall panelists will include: Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico; Grady Gammage Jr., senior sustainability scholar with the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability and senior research fellow with the ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy; Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority; and Heidi Cullen, host of “Forecast Earth” and research scientist and correspondent with “Climate Central.” The conversation will be moderated by Anne Thompson, NBC News chief environmental affairs correspondent.

The “Changing Planet” town hall series was developed to encourage student learning and to open a dialogue between the public and scientists, thought leaders, business people, educators and students around the issues and facts of climate science. The goal of these discussions is to promote the understanding of the implications of climate change, brainstorm solutions and provide avenues to get involved in climate research through citizen science projects on

The first “Changing Planet” town hall was hosted by Yale University in January and examined the impact of climate change on human health, economic opportunity, religious values and today’s youth. The second town hall was hosted by George Washington University in April and examined the intersection of clean energy and green jobs.

As a national leader in sustainability science, Arizona State University will host the third “Changing Planet” town hall. Advancing public access to and participation in this kind of solution-building, in partnership with some of the top scientists and innovators in the world, is a central part of the mission of ASU and its Global Institute of Sustainability, School of Life Sciences, and School of Sustainability. The ASU School of Sustainability is the first of its kind in the country.

Access to the ASU Tempe campus is available by METRO Light Rail service. There is a fee for parking on campus. Parking information is online at Galvin Playhouse is located in the southwest corner of the campus near the music buildings. A map of the campus is online at Persons arriving early will have the opportunity to view a display of Hohokam water vessels provided by ASU’s Archaeological Research Institute.

Town Hall Panelists:

    The Honorable Bill Richardson

    Bill Richardson completed his second term as Governor of New Mexico in December 2010. Since entering life as a private citizen, Richardson was named chairman of APCO Worldwide's executive advisory service Global Political Strategies. In January 2011, Richardson was named special envoy for the Organization of American States, adding another platform for initiatives within peace and reconciliation in the Western hemisphere. In addition, the Governor serves on several nonprofit and for-profit boards. He also gives speeches on domestic and foreign policy through the Washington Speakers Bureau.

    Governor Richardson was first elected to office in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 with the support of 69% of voters, representing the largest margin of victory for any governor in state history. Richardson's bold governing style moved New Mexico forward in areas of clean energy, commuter rail, education, tax cuts, public safety, spaceport, film industry, environment, and health Care. In 2008, Richardson sought the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Before serving as governor and running for president, Richardson enjoyed a successful and fulfilling career in public service, academia, and the private sector. He represented northern New Mexico in Congress for 15 years, served as Ambassador to the UN, and Secretary of the US Department of Energy. While a congressman, Richardson was a special envoy on many sensitive international missions. He won the release of hostages, American servicemen, and prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, Cuba, and Sudan. For his work, Richardson has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 2001, Richardson became chairman of Freedom House, a private, nonpartisan organization that promotes democracy worldwide. He also worked as a business consultant in Santa Fe and served on several boards including the Natural Resource Defense Council and United Way International.


    Grady Gammage, Jr.

    Grady Gammage, Jr. is a part-time academic, a practicing lawyer, an author, a sometime real-estate developer, and a former elected official. He thinks life is more interesting if you do lots of different things. In his academic role, His work there focuses on urban growth and development, quality of life, and local economic issues. He also teaches at the College of Law and at the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. As a lawyer, he has represented real-estate projects ranging from master-planned communities to sprawling subdivisions to high-rise buildings and urban mixed-use redevelopments. He served on the Central Arizona Project Board of Directors for 12 years and was president during a period of turbulence when the CAP was suing the Federal Government over the cost of the canal. As a real-estate developer, he built an intense, urban mixed-use project in the City of Tempe which won three architectural awards and has been widely acclaimed. Gammage is the author of the book Phoenix in Perspective and man articles on land use and growth issues.


    Dr. Heidi M. Cullen

    Before joining Climate Central—a nonprofit science journalism organization headquartered in Princeton, NJ—where she reports on climate and energy issues for programs like PBS NewsHour, Cullen was The Weather Channel's first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, a weekly television series focused on climate change and the environment. Before that she worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. She received the NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship and spent two years at Columbia University's International Research Institute for Climate and Society working to apply long-range climate forecasts to the water-resources sector in Brazil and Paraguay. Cullen is a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and is an Associate Editor of the journal Weather, Climate, Society. She received a PhD in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She is also the author of The Weather of the Future (2010) and is a visiting lecturer at Princeton.


    Patricia Mulroy

    Pat Mulroy oversees the operations of the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which serves over 340,000 customers, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which acquires, treats and delivers water to local agencies that serve 2 million residents and nearly 40 million annual visitors. Mulroy joined the District 20 years ago and became its general manager in 1989. She was a principal architect of the Authority, which has served as a model for other Western water agencies since its creation in 1991. As general manager of one of the country's most progressive water agencies, Mulroy is exceptionally active in regional and national water issues. She serves on the board of directors of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the National Water Resources Association, and the Board of Trustees of the Water Research Foundation. Additionally, she was the original chairperson of the Western Urban Water Coalition and served on the Colorado River Water Users Association's board. A resident of Southern Nevada for over 30 years, Mulroy is equally active in the community. She chairs the University of Nevada, Las Vegas College of Sciences Advisory Board, and has served on the Nevada Public Radio Board of Directors. Mulroy is also active with the Diocese of Las Vegas. Her honors include National Jewish Medical and Research Center's Humanitarian Award; the University and Community College System of Nevada Board of Regents' Distinguished Nevadan Award; and the Public Education Foundation's Education Hero Award.

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