California Water Quality Monitoring Council Members

Karen Mogus

Council Chair, Karen Mogus, Deputy Director, State Water Board

Karen Mogus is the Deputy Director for the State Water Board’s Division of Water Quality and is responsible for statewide water quality planning, policy development and implementation, statewide permitting, and establishing consistency among the nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Prior to joining the Division of Water Quality, Ms. Mogus served as the Assistant Deputy Director of the Division of Drinking Water where she directed the development of a regulatory framework for potable reuse of recycled water, worked to address drinking water quality issues in disadvantaged communities, and led the review of the state’s environmental laboratory accreditation program. She also has served as Director of the State Water Board’s Office of Information Management and Analysis and spent 10 years at the Central Valley Regional Water Board working on a variety of water quality control and assessment programs.

Greg Gearheart, P.E.

Alternate Council Chair, Greg Gearheart, P.E., Deputy Director, State Water Board

Greg is a Deputy Director at the California State Water Resources Control Board in the Office of Information Management and Analysis. Prior to this appointment about four years ago Greg served as the statewide Storm Water Program Manager for about seven years. In his 25 years at this organization Greg has worked in many different program areas, including wetlands, watershed management, organizational development and enforcement. Greg received a BS in Environmental Resources Engineering from Humboldt State University and grew up behind the redwood curtain.

Council Member, Chad Dibble, representing the California Natural Resources Agency

Chad Dibble started his career with the State of California in 2000 where he worked at the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and was responsible for implementing a water quality monitoring program in the San Joaquin River watershed. Since moving over to the Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2007, Chad’s time has included working on complex cross-region programs involving water operations, grant administration, and program development. Chad now serves as the Deputy Director over the Ecosystem Conservation Division where he is responsible for several Departmental Branch functions that involve water policy, conservation engineering, grant administration, environmental review and permitting, and restoration and conservation planning. Chad holds a BS degree in Biological Science from the California State University, Sacramento and has a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with federal, state, and local partners.

Andrew Altevogt, P.E., Ph.D.

Council Member, Andrew Altevogt, P.E., Ph.D., representing the California Drinking Water Program.

Dr. Altevogt is Assistant Deputy Director for the Division of Drinking Water at the State Water Board. Dr. Altevogt oversees the SAFER and Quality Assurances sections of the Division. Prior to joining the Division of Drinking Water, he served as the Assistant Executive Officer at the Central Valley Water Board for 7 years. Dr. Altevogt started his career with the State of California, working on climate change policy in the CalEPA Office of the Secretary. He has research experience in transport in porous media and theoretical fluid dynamics. Dr. Altevogt is a California Registered Civil Engineer. He received undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Environmental Engineering from MIT, and a Ph.D in Hydrologic Sciences from UC Davis.

Shelly M. Walther

Council Member, Shelly M. Walther, representing regulated wastewater

Shelly Walther is an Environmental Scientist for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County where she works to help protect the environment and public health by evaluating wastewater regulatory compliance through local and regional aquatic monitoring. Ms. Walther has chaired the California Association of Sanitation Agencies Microplastics/Ocean Protection Council working group, the Central Region Kelp Survey Consortium, and various Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Program committees. During California’s Marine Protected Area planning process, Ms. Walther served on the Marine Life Protection Act Statewide Interests Group for the North Central and South Coast Study Regions. Prior to joining the Sanitation Districts, Ms. Walther worked and studied at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Maryland’s Marine, Estuarine and Environmental Sciences program, and at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Alternate Council Member, Jared Voskuhl, representing regulated wastewater

Jared Voskuhl is a Legislative & Regulatory Analyst for the California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA), a non-profit trade association providing regulatory, legislative, and legal advocacy to over 120 public agencies and cities that engage in water recycling, resource recovery, and the collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater. As an Alternate member for the POTW community on the California Water Quality Monitoring Council, Voskuhl’s role is to track the Council’s activities so that he may report out and connect CASA’s members to the Council’s multiple workgroups so they may participate and provide their expertise on monitoring efforts. Voskuhl earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in sociology and received his law degree from King Hall at the University of California, Davis.

Grant Sharp

Council Member, Grant Sharp, representing regulated stormwater

Grant Sharp is Manager of the South Orange County Watershed Management Area for Orange County Public Works. Prior to that, he served as Manager of the Environmental Monitoring Division for five years and throughout his career with the County, which began in 2001, he has helped develop, implement, and monitor/measure the effectiveness of programs to improve watershed health and protect beneficial uses of water bodies in Orange County. He is currently serving as Chair of the Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition and teaches courses on Stormwater Management and Green Infrastructure at Santiago Canyon Community College. Grant holds a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Brian Laurenson

Alternate Council Member, Brian Laurenson, P.E., representing regulated stormwater

Brian Laurenson is an Executive Vice President at Larry Walker Associates supporting development and implementation of surface water quality monitoring programs for municipal stormwater agencies throughout California for the last twenty-five years. He has designed and implemented monitoring programs to evaluate and model urban runoff water quality characterizations and loading assessments, best management practice and low impact development effectiveness evaluations, sources of bacteria and pathogens studies, and aquatic toxicity evaluations. He currently is the CASQA Monitoring and Science Subcommittee Co-Chair and serves on the Delta Regional Monitoring Program Technical Advisory Committee. Brian holds degrees in environmental engineering from the University of California at Davis and University of California at Berkeley.

Amrith Gunasekara PhD.

Council Member, Amrith Gunasekara PhD., representing agriculture

Dr. Gunasekara is Science Advisor to Secretary Ross at the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He works on agricultural issues as they relate to the environment and seeks to find proactive, creative, flexible and practical solutions. His focus areas include plant nutrient management, climate change and environmental stewardship. He is the CDFA liaison to the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel which is looking at highlighting the many benefits afforded by agriculture beyond food, fiber, and economic benefits. Dr. Gunasekara received his undergraduate and Master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and completed his PhD from the University of California, Davis, in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry. He has been in his CDFA position since August 2011.

Alternate Council Member, Mark Cady, representing agriculture

Mark Cady supervises the Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) within the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). FERP coordinates a grant program and an annual conference. which relies on outreach to growers and their consultants, and the research and extension communities. FREP also maintains working relationships with Water Board agricultural programs and consults often with the CDFA executive office about water quality and regulatory issues. Prior to working at CDFA Mark was at the Central Valley Regional Water Board for four years working in the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Mark also had a career as a sustainable agriculture activist focusing on on-farm practices that improve environmental outcomes in orchard crops. Mark received a MS in International Agricultural Development from UC Davis.

Helen Fitanides

Council Member, Helen Fitanides, representing community monitoring groups

Helen Fitanides works to involve communities in their local watersheds through monitoring creek water quality, benthic macroinvertebrates, and Olympia oysters in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is passionate about both the scientific and educational aspects of these programs, and worked in the scientific research field before joining the Bay Area nonprofit The Watershed Project in 2015. Helen also heads the Contra Costa Watershed Forum’s Creek Monitoring Subcommittee, where she facilitates the exchange of technical expertise and monitoring equipment with community scientists, and coordinates creek monitoring throughout Contra Costa County. She is also an active member of the Citizen Science Association, and a board member of Friend of Five Creeks. Helen’s background is in biology, and she holds a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo.

Ray Heimstra

Council Member, Ray Heimstra, representing the public

Ray Hiemstra has spent the last nineteen years at Orange County Coastkeeper working to preserve, protect, and restore coastal and inland water quality and habitat. As Associate Director of Programs his work includes water quality advocacy, policy development, Marine Protected Areas, species and habitat restoration and water and sediment monitoring. Ray is a member of numerous committees and workgroups including the California Water Monitoring Council, Port of LA/Long Beach Harbor Safety Committee and Newport Bay Management Committee. Ray has a B.A. in Geography form California State University Long Beach.

Steven B. Weisberg PhD.

Council Member, Steven B. Weisberg PhD., representing the scientific community

Dr. Stephen Weisberg is Executive Director of the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority, a research consortium formed by 14 California water quality agencies to ensure a solid scientific foundation for their management activities. Dr. Weisberg’s research emphasis is in developing tools to support implementation of, and data interpretation from, environmental monitoring programs. Beyond his research activities, Dr. Weisberg focuses on linking the needs of the management community with science. He serves on numerous advisory committees, including the State of California’s Clean Beach Task Force, the California Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team, and the California Sea Grant Program Advisory Council. Dr. Weisberg received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.

Peter S. Vroom PhD

Council Member Peter S. Vroom PhD., representing the water supply sector

Dr. Peter Vroom is a Deputy Director in the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities Department and is responsible for oversight of San Diego’s environmental monitoring labs related to drinking water, wastewater, recycled water, receiving waters, and air quality. He has extensive knowledge of water and wastewater regulations, ecosystem monitoring, and laboratory analyses. Dr. Vroom serves as the City of San Diego’s Alternate Commissioner for the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP), sits on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Alliance of POTWs (SCAP), and is a Research Associate at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Before joining the City of San Diego, Dr. Vroom worked as a Principal Investigator and Chief Scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, Hawaii where he designed a marine botany monitoring program that assessed changes to algal community dynamics due to climate change on U.S.-held islands across the tropical Pacific.

Adam Quinonez

Alternate Council Member, Adam Quiñonez, State Relations Director, representing the water supply sector

Adam Quiñonez serves as the State Relations Director at the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) overseeing a team of state legislative and regulatory advocates and analysts as they engage on a broad range of natural resources issues. Adam began his career at ACWA in 2018 as Senior Legislative Advocate working on issues such as state budget, groundwater, water quality, water conservation, and energy. Prior to joining ACWA, Adam served in Governor Brown’s administration as Legislative Director at the Department of Consumer Affairs where he had previously served as Assistant Legislative Director since 2015. At the Department of Consumer Affairs Adam worked on a number of issues related to consumer protection and led in the development of a medical cannabis regulatory framework in California. Adam has over a decade of state legislative experience having worked at several state departments and agencies in his career. Adam received a Bachelor of Arts from U.C. Davis and lives in Sacramento with his wife, Nicole, and two sons Harrison and Beckett.

Terrence Fleming

Council Member (non-voting), Terrence Fleming, representing U.S. EPA

Terry Fleming has worked at the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 in San Francisco since 1991. He did his undergrad from UC Berkeley and received a Master’s in marine ecology from UMass/ Boston. Prior to his work at EPA, he worked for 4 years at the New England Division of the Army Corps of Engineers assessing environmental impacts of Corp projects. Terry has spent most of his career at EPA working with monitoring programs to inform management decisions. In the 1990s he reviewed and assessed large data sets from ocean wastewater monitoring programs to evaluate waivers from secondary treatment. He also played a critical role in the development of the Southern California Bight Regional Monitoring Programs. He has also worked with the EMAP program and the National Aquatic Resource Surveys. He has been involved with the State Water Board’s Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program since 2005. Terry is the EPA Region 9 Water Quality Standards Coordinator and oversees California’s 303(d) listing process.