Director of Special Projects and Emerging Technology
Cal Cooper is Director of Special Projects & Emerging Technology for Apache Corporation. His group focuses on leveraging and applying the latest technological innovations to improve performance and reduce E & P costs. Current areas of significant activity include water treatment and recycling, hydraulic fracturing chemicals, remediation technologies, methane detection, gas separation and induced seismicity. Under his leadership, Apache has become the industry pacesetter using produced water recycling technology and alternative water sourcing with significant financial and operational benefits.
Cooper also has a long history advancing policy and regulatory initiatives based on sound scientific and operational realities and advocates the success of hydraulic fracturing developing unconventional resources. He represents Apache and the industry with expert testimony before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Senate, Texas Legislature and other state and federal agencies. Prior to joining Apache in 2009, Cooper was with ConocoPhillips where he founded and managed its Geoscience Technology Center and served as chief geologist. He was appointed by the board to serve as Corporate Science Fellow and led corporate initiatives including international industry alliances to adapt to climate change policies, and develop carbon capture and storage capabilities.
Cooper earned a Ph.D. in geology and geophysics from Rice University, and undergraduate at U of Chicago.
Christine Economides, NAE (Task Force Chair)
Professor, Petroleum Engineering
University of Houston
Christine Ehlig-Economides is Professor and Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair at the University of Houston. She was Professor at Texas A&M University for 10 years and before that worked 20 years for Schlumberger. Professor Ehlig-Economides was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2003 and was a member of the NAS Committee on America’s Energy Future and the NRC Board on Energy and Environmental Systems (BEES). She is one of the 16 Quantum Reservoir Impact (QRI) Scholars and has recently been named a Chief Scientist for the Sinopec Research Institute on Petroleum Engineering as one of the Thousand Talents in China. Her research interests include conventional and unconventional oil and gas well evaluation and design. Ehlig-Economides earned a PhD in petroleum engineering from Stanford University, an MS in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas and a BA in Math-Science from Rice University.
Judge Roger Harmon
Johnson County, Cleburne
County Judge Roger Harmon was born and raised in Johnson County. He was elected to office in 1995 and was recently re-elected to his 6th term. Prior to becoming County Judge in 1995, he successfully owned and operated his own insurance company in Cleburne for 20 years and also had a branch in Burleson.
He has been married to his wife Martha for 49 years and has two grown children, Greg and Wendi. His pride and joy is his grandchildren. Judge Harmon is a member of the First Baptist Church of Godley, where he serves as Deacon and Sunday School Teacher.
In addition to his duties as County Judge, he is very involved in the community and numerous local organizations, and is on several boards, and committees, including the Regional Transportation Committee which approved the funding of the SH 121 project that is open and has greatly benefited the citizens of Johnson County.
Deputy Director, Energy Resources
Texas General Land Office
Robert Hatter is the Deputy Director of Energy Resources for the Texas General Land Office. His department manages the leasing of state-owned minerals, including over 13 million acres dedicated to the Permanent School Fund. The Permanent School Fund, which currently holds about $38 billion in assets, is a constitutional fund dedicated to supporting public education in Texas.
Prior to joining the GLO in 1987, Robert was an independent petroleum landman. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.
Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Peter Hennings is a Research Scientist at The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology where he is a Principal Investigator in the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research and a Lecturer in the Department of Geological Sciences. Peter retired after 25 years in the petroleum industry where he worked as a research scientist (Mobil Oil and Phillips Petroleum) and technical manager (ConocoPhillips). Peter received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Texas A&M University and his Ph.D. from The University of Texas. Peter’s technical specialties include structural geology, seismic structural analysis, reservoir geomechanics, induced seismicity, and geology of the Laramide Rockies. Peter is an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer, GSA Fellow, and a founder of the AAPG Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division.
Peter has taught more than 200 field seminars and classroom courses on seismic structural analysis, reservoir geomechanics, and Rocky Mountain structural and petroleum geology.
Texas Water Development Board
Kathleen Jackson has a diverse background representing agricultural, environmental, industrial, and wholesale-supply interests, which includes developing and implementing water management strategies for Southeast Texas. As a registered professional engineer, Jackson served as public affairs manager for one of the world's largest petroleum and petrochemical producers.
Additionally, she was involved in production agriculture with her late husband, who ran a cattle operation and farmed rice. She served as a past member of the Lower Neches Valley Authority Board of Directors, the Texas Water Conservation Association, and participated on the Sabine and Neches Rivers Bay and Estuary Environmental Flows Assessment Program Stakeholders Committee.
She is also a board member and past president of the Lamar Institute of Technology Foundation, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Beaumont, a member of the Texas Farm Bureau, past president of the American Cancer Society of North Jefferson County, and a past board member of Junior Achievement of the Golden Triangle.
Jackson received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.
Jackson has three children, sixth-generation Texans, who all reside and work in Texas.
Kenedy Housing Authority
Cristi LaJeunesse began her career in the low income housing industry in November 1996 as an assistant at the Kenedy Housing Authority. This opportunity truly inspired a love and passion for assisting families in the most basic need, a stable home environment. In November of 2002 Cristi became the Executive Director of the Kenedy Housing Authority. Since that time the Kenedy Housing Authority, under her direction, has assumed the Karnes City Housing Authority and is currently in management contracts with the Housing Authorities in Three Rivers, Hallettsville, Smiley and Nixon.
In January of 2015 Cristi was offered the opportunity to become the director of the Beeville Housing Authority after an Office of Inspector General audit. Cristi is working with the board of commissioners and staff in Beeville developing policies and procedures for the authority.
Since 2009 Cristi has been training staff of Public Housing Authorities in operations, occupancy and inspections. The opportunity to work with and assist staff, directors and commissioners across the State of Texas has been very informative and provided insight into the housing needs of our small communities.
Senior Research Scientist
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)
University of Colorado
David D. Parrish is a half-time Senior Research Scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado working with the Chemical Sciences Division of the Earth System Research Laboratory of NOAA. He has worked at NOAA since 1978, where he was Program Leader of the Tropospheric Chemistry Group until his partial retirement in 2014. David coordinated many of NOAA’s atmospheric chemistry field studies, has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
He also works as a consultant with David.D.Parrish, LLC. He received his BS in Chemistry from Colorado College, his PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard in Physical Chemistry. He was also a Professor of Chemistry at Metro State College in Denver from 1975 to 1987.
Senior Research Engineer
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Dr. Cesar Quiroga is a Senior Research Engineer at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. He is an international expert in the area of utilities. He is also a leading expert on the interactions between unconventional energy developments and transportation systems. His professional experience, which spans more than 30 years, also includes several years of surface hydrology and hydraulic engineering work as well as construction supervision.
He led a project that measured the impact of unconventional energy developments on the state highway right-of-way and infrastructure and developed recommendations to reduce and manage TxDOT’s exposure and risk resulting from those activities. This project has led to a number of initiatives both in Texas and other states. For example, he led a response to the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB), which asked for feedback on five questions related to the impact of energy activities on the state’s transportation infrastructure. He also led the new Comprehensive Transportation and Energy Systems Initiative at TTI to develop the framework for a long-term strategic research roadmap to develop technology and knowledge transfer. He is also leading a research project for TxDOT to develop engineering guidelines for permitting, installing, operating, and maintaining temporary lines within the state right-of-way.
David Russell, NAS (Task Force Board Liaison)
Provost; Dean of Basic Research; Eugene McDermott
Distinguished Chair in Molecular Genetics
The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
David W. Russell received a B.A. degree in biology from UT Austin in 1975 and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina in 1980. He was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow from 1980-1982 with the Nobel laureate Michael Smith (Chemistry, 1993) at the University of British Columbia. He joined the faculty of the UT Southwestern Medical Center in 1982 and received the McDermott Distinguished Chair of Molecular Genetics in 1992. Russell's research interests are in cholesterol metabolism, in particular the enzymatic pathways that dispose of cholesterol. His laboratory has identified the molecular bases of eight human genetic diseases characterized by abnormal lipid metabolism.
Russell is the recipient of a research career development award from the National Institutes of Health, the Katz Award from the American Heart Association, the Kilby Science Place award from Texas Instruments, the Oppenheimer Award from the U.S. Endocrine Society, the Windaus Prize from the Falck Foundation of Germany, the Avanti Award in Lipids from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Barbara H. Bowman Distinguished Geneticist Award from the Texas Genetics Society. He was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2011.
Russell teaches introductory and advanced courses in biochemistry and molecular biology to medical and graduate students. He serves on the editorial boards of Cell Metabolism, the Journal of Lipid Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A.
In December of 2010, Russell joined the UT Southwestern administration as Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research. His responsibilities include strategic planning and development of research initiatives across campus, research faculty recruitment to departments and centers, and oversight of the basic science departments, graduate education, the Animal Resource Center, and core laboratory facilities.
Attorney, U.S. Climate and Energy Program
Environmental Defense Fund
Nichole Saunders is an Attorney for EDF’s US Climate and Energy Program, where she works on oil and natural gas regulation and policy. Her work is focused on minimizing impacts to water, land, and communities by improving state and federal policies and industry practices. Her current research and policy efforts are largely devoted to oil and gas wastewater management. Nichole received her J.D. in Sustainable Energy and Resources Law from the University of Tulsa. Prior to earning her J.D., Nichole completed her M.S. and B.S. in Environmental Biology at Tulane University.
Dan L. Duncan Endowed Director of South Texas Natives and Texas Native Seeds Projects
Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Texas A&M University—Kingsville
Forrest leads the South Texas Natives (STN) and Texas Native Seeds (TNS) Projects at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute. He is 7th generation Texan and grew up near Mullin. He earned a B.S. in Range and Wildlife Management from TAMUK in 2003. Forrest began work for STN in 2001 as a student technician and has led the program since 2008. He has conducted or overseen the development and commercialization of 30 native seed selections, resulting in native seeds being available for restoration on tens of thousands of acres annually. He has researched and assisted with restoration efforts on hundreds of private ranches, particularly in the Eagle Ford Shale. Signature work also includes close collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation to restore native plants on roadsides.
Forrest’s opinion article in Ecological Restoration entitled “Texas Today: A Sea of the Wrong Grasses” remains a top 5 read most-read article of the journal since its publication in 2010. He has authored or co-authored 27 refereed and 41 extension publications, and has made over 125 presentations on land management, habitat restoration, and native plant conservation, including at the 2015 World Conference on Ecological Restoration in the United Kingdom.
Texas Oil & Gas Association
Todd Staples is the President of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, the state's oldest and largest trade association representing every facet of the oil and gas industry, including small independents, major producers, pipelines and refineries. Staples was twice elected statewide to serve as the Texas Agriculture Commissioner and is the author of Broken Borders, Broken Promises, a book that details our nation's border and immigration challenges and provides a bold path forward. He served with distinction as a member of the Texas Senate and House and began his elected service on the city council in his hometown of Palestine.
As a successful businessman and rancher, he was deeply involved in volunteer service for his local church, community and state. Today, Staples continues his passion to help make the Lone Star State the best place to do business and raise a family.
Gene Theodori (Task Force Lead)
Professor, Department of Sociology
Sam Houston State University
Dr. Gene L. Theodori is Professor of Sociology at Sam Houston State University. Dr. Theodori teaches, conducts basic and applied research, and writes professional and popular articles on rural and community development issues, energy and natural resource concerns, and related topics. A central feature of his work involves the design, implementation, and analysis of survey research. The findings from his survey research have been published in numerous journal articles, book chapters, research bulletins, and other professional reports. Dr. Theodori received the award for Excellence in Extension and Public Outreach from the Rural Sociological Society in 2010 and the awards for Excellence in Extension and Public Service, Excellence in Research, and Excellence in Teaching from the Southern Rural Sociological Association in 2007, 2011, and 2013, respectively. He served as President of the Southern Rural Sociological Association (2008-2009) and co-editor of the Journal of Rural Social Sciences (2010-2012). Presently, Dr. Theodori is Treasurer of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR).
Senior Research Director
Institute for Economic Development
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Thomas Tunstall, Ph.D. is the senior research director at the Institute for Economic Development at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is the principal investigator for numerous economic and community development studies, including the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas and the Cline Shale in West Texas. He has published peer-reviewed articles on shale oil and gas, and has written op-ed articles on the topic for the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Tunstall authored and presented TED Talk dealing with the impact of unconventional oil and gas extraction on community development, and has been featured in radio appearances with Texas Public Radio, WOAI San Antonio, KURV McAllen, KUT Austin, KTSA San Antonio, KWEL Midland-Odessa, KTRH Houston. His career includes overseas workforce and economic development assignments in locations such as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Kenya and Zambia. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy, and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jeanette Winn Moczygemba
Karnes City Independent School District
Jeanette Winn is a native of Edna, Texas. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University and her Master of Education in Educational Administration from Southwest Texas State University, now Texas State University. She is currently in the dissertation stage of completing her Doctorate of Education degree at Lamar University.
Ms. Winn’s education experience began as an elementary and middle school teacher in Texas. She also taught junior high and high school math in Arkansas and South Carolina. After serving as a campus assistant principal in South Carolina for four years, Ms. Winn returned to Texas and joined the KCISD team as the Roger E. Sides Elementary Principal. She also served as the Karnes City Junior High Principal and the Karnes City High School Principal before being selected for the role of Superintendent in August, 2010.
Jeanette is married to Leo Moczygemba and has three sons. Chris and Anthony completed their master’s degrees and serve as professional counselors. Matthew is a graduate student at Texas State University.
Director, Oil and Gas Division
Railroad Commission of Texas
Lori Wrotenbery returned home to Texas in January 2015 to accept the position of director of the Oil and Gas Division of the Railroad Commission of Texas. In addition to various leadership roles at the Railroad Commission, her prior experience includes service as director of the Oil and Gas Division and later chief administrative officer of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, chairman of the New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission, and director of the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division. She has represented Texas and other oil and gas producing states in the activities of various national associations, including terms as president of the Ground Water Protection Council, chairman of the Environment and Safety Committee of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and chairman of the board of STRONGER (State Review of Oil and Gas Environmental Regulations, Inc.).
Lori holds a B.A. in anthropology from Wellesley College, a B.S. in geology from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard University.