Staff Biographies

Overview

Staff Biographies

Our team at the Water Education Foundation is made up of journalists, teachers and other nonprofit professionals who share a common passion for water.

Jennifer Bowles
Profile

Jennifer Bowles
Executive Director

A veteran journalist, Jenn directs the development of Western Water news, the Layperson’s Guide series on key water topics, the Foundation’s Colorado River project, poster maps and tours, and various workshops and conferences. She oversees the Water Leaders program and leads fund-raising, external communications, and website and social media efforts.

In December 2016, she led an international journalism workshop on water issues for UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). Held in Tehran, the workshop included participants from Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Oman and Malaysia. You can read her blog about the experience here.

For much of her career, Jenn was an award-winning journalist who covered water issues across California and the West along with renewable energy, endangered species, public lands and other natural resources.

Douglas E. Beeman
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Douglas E. Beeman
Deputy Director, News & Publications

Doug serves as the primary editor of the Foundation’s publications, including Western Water news, the series of Laypersons Guides on key water topics, maps and other products, and handles much of the social media efforts. He joined the Foundation in late 2017.

A veteran journalist, Doug is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked for several California newspapers, including the Fresno Bee. He has covered an array of topics, including water, the environment and health care. 

Brian Brown
Profile Brian Brown

Brian Brown
California Project WET Coordinator

Brian works with a dedicated team of workshop facilitators to provide engaging, hands–on Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) professional development trainings for educators who teach K-12 across California.

Brian coordinates supplies and support to assist facilitators in organizing workshops, writes the California Project WET newsletter to provide guidance for educators in using Project WET activities that engage students in current water issues and topics. He personally leads a number of workshops each year.

Profile

Patrick Dunlap
Deputy Director, Development & Operations

Patrick, a veteran of the non-profit world, joined the Water Education Foundation in 2019. He is responsible for securing grants and boosting other revenue streams that allow the Foundation staff to achieve our important mission and maximize our impact in California and the West.

Profile

Nick Gray
Programs Manager

Nick focuses on one of the Foundation’s most popular programs – water tours. He plans, coordinates and implements tours of key water regions and topics across California and the Southwest, bringing attendees up close to dams and other water infrastructure, wildlife areas, farms and other sites involved in water.

Profile

Liz McAllister
Programs Coordinator

Liz helps the team to carry out in-person events such as tours, conferences, workshops and more! Behind the scenes, she lends her multimedia experience to all that the Foundation does.

Liz graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in design, focusing both on designing strategy to improve interactions between social and ecological systems as well as the study of human rights.

Gary Pitzer
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Gary Pitzer
Writer

Gary writes articles for Western Water and updates titles in the Layperson’s Guide series on key water topics as well as entries in Aquapedia. He joined the Foundation in 2001 after a four-year stint covering water quality for the weekly newsletter Inside Cal/EPA, a national publication.

Prior to that, he worked as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee/Neighbors section. Gary graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a bachelor’s degree in history.

Profile

Andrea Sproul
Events & Communications Manager

Andrea works on events and communications for the Foundation, combining her background in resource management, environmental planning and communications to support our mission of fostering public knowledge about water through outreach and education.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Andrea worked at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and a variety of outreach, education and communications jobs. She also taught geography as an adjunct instructor at San Francisco State University and Berkeley City College.

Matt Weiser
Profile

Matt Weiser
Aquafornia Editor

Matt manages the Foundation’s daily Aquafornia news service. A veteran journalist, he joined the Foundation in 2019 after three years at online news source WaterDeeply, which he helped launch as the founding managing editor. Prior to that, he covered water and environment issues at The Sacramento Bee newspaper for 10 years, where he won numerous state and national awards for his work.

Rita Schmidt Sudman
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Rita Schmidt Sudman
Senior Advisor

Rita retired in 2014 after serving as the Foundation’s executive director for 34 years.

After retiring, she co-wrote a book, Water: More or Less, and continues to tout the Foundation’s mission and projects wherever she goes.

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