Alumni College 2017

Water, Water, Everywhere: An examination of current issues

“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge


If Coleridge’s hero lived in Portland, Oregon today, would he have a similar lament? On one hand, we have drinking water that bubbles endlessly from Portland’s fountains. Yet upstream, we have communities who are in a pitched battle over the rights to drinking water. Recent low snowpack have led to concerns about our water supply. Downstate, farmers are requesting more water to nourish their crops, while others are demanding that the water stay in the streams for the fish. Add to that issues of whether or not to add fluoride, whether communities have enough water to handle future development, who owns the water that falls on our roofs, and you have the makings for a stimulating set of programs.

This three-day Alumni College will appeal to participants who want to immerse themselves in the subject with talks, panels, demonstrations, field trips, and workshops. But we have also created a flexible program that allows those who merely want to sip an element or two.  Whatever quenches your thirst, you will be treated to engaging programming that features Reed faculty, alumni, and students who are interested delve further into this important topic. 

Schedule: June 6—9, 2017

Tuesday, June 6

Water, Water, Everywhere

  • 6 p.m. Alumni College Opening Reception, Parker House
  • 7 p.m. Gorge presentation and Q&A, Parker House

Wednesday, June 7

This Gorge was Made for You and Me: A daylong examination of the Columbia River Gorge—a transportation corridor, an energy source, a drinking water source, and a habitat

  • 8:30 a.m. Breakfast and welcome Eliot 314
  • 9:15 a.m. History of water rights & current issues Eliot 314
  • 10:15 a.m. Break
  • 10:30 a.m. Depart for Bonneville Dam meet in Eliot Circle
  • 11:30 a.m. Fish hatchery tour
  • 12:45 p.m. Lunch and science communication discussion
  • 1:45 p.m. Depart for Mosier, Oregon
  • 2:15 p.m. Discussion: Oil and coal trains, drinking water, and local tensions
  • 3:15 p.m. Depart for Horsethief Lake State Park
  • 4 p.m. Petroglyphs tour
  • 5 p.m. Reception & early dinner 8 p.m. Arrive back at Reed
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included in the day's activities 

Thursday, June 8

From Bull Run to the Benson Bubblers: A day focused on tracing Portland’s drinking water

  • 8:30 a.m. Breakfast & Reed canyon presentation Eliot 314
  • 9:15 a.m. Break
  • 9:30 a.m. Depart for Bull Run watershed meet in Eliot Circle
  • 10:30 a.m. Hike and old growth discussion
  • 12 p.m. Lunch and drinking water discussion
  • 1 p.m. Dams 1 & 2 tour
  • 2:30 p.m. PGE Powerhouse tour
  • 4:30 p.m. Arrive back at Reed
  • 7:30 p.m. Sasha Kramer ’99 “Transforming Wastes into Resources in Haiti” Performing Arts Building (PAB) 320
  • Breakfast and lunch are included in the day's activities

Friday, June 9

Local to Global Issues: A look at farms, wildlife, and water on Sauvie Island

  • 8 a.m. Breakfast & presentation “Birdwatching, Ethics, and Citizen Science” Eliot 314
  • 9 a.m. Depart for Sauvie Island meet in Eliot Circle
  • 10:15 a.m. Wildlife refuge tour
  • 11:15 a.m. Farm visits
  • 12 p.m. Lunch
  • 1:15 p.m. Arrive back at Reed
  • 1:30 p.m. Concluding session: “Going Global: National and International Issues Involving Water” Performing Arts Building 320
  • 2:45 p.m. Alumni College concludes
  • Breakfast and lunch are included in the day's activities

Registration and Cost

  • Full Alumni College Registration: $400 (Tuesday through Friday activities)
    $300 for young alumni in class years 2007—2017

  • Single Day Alumni College Registration:
    • Wednesday only: $200 (Includes Tuesday night Welcome Reception)
      $125 for young alumni in class years 2007—2017
    • Thursday only: $125 
      $100 for young alumni in class years 2007—2017
    • Friday only: $100 
      $75 for young alumni in class years 2007—2017
Please register online at:

Alumni College Presenters:

  • Molly Case ’11: After graduating from Reed, Molly joined SOIL, an organization in Haiti that provides access to safe, dignified sanitation that produces rich, organic compost as a natural resource for Haiti’s badly-depleted soils. She is now Deputy Development Director and loves getting to work on systems-based solutions and especially appreciates the SOIL team’s unwavering commitment to providing safe, full-cycle sanitation services to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. In her spare time Molly loves to travel as much as possible, usually to spend time with her Reedie friends who are scattered across the globe. Molly was an economics major at Reed and daydreams about coming back for several more bachelor’s degrees someday.
  • Henry Franzoni ’78: Henry left Reed to play avant-garde rock, but by 1997 found he’d been drawn into the battle for the survival of salmon and other anadromous fish moving through the mainstream dams in the Columbia Basin. The problem of equitable allocation and the preservation of natural resources would consume him for the next 20 years. He worked for the Fish Passage Center, a branch of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority, and co-authored a few peer-reviewed papers for the Comparative Survival Study. He also worked for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission for eight years, which led to the Inter-Tribal Monitoring Data Project, part of a team to build legally defensible accounting systems for tribal natural resources, part of a larger team trying to put fish back in the rivers, restore the riverine environment, and express and defend the rights of the tribes and the tribal fishers.
  • Steven R. Halpern ’85: Steven is a well-known bird and wildlife photographer whose work has appeared in a variety of media since the 1990s. He has given talks and led field trips around the Northwest and is part of a group of wildlife photographers who promote ethical nature photography. Currently he is working on a novel that tries to answer the question, “Why do people watch birds?”
  • Jim Jackson ’70: As a geologist, Jim spent more than 20 years working for Atlantic Richfield Company before turning to teaching; he recently retired from Portland State University. Jackson, who received a master’s degree in geology from PSU, gives talks and leads field trips all over the region and is a wealth of information about all things geologic.
  • Dr. Sasha Kramer ’99: Dr. Kramer, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of SOIL, is an ecologist and human rights advocate who has been living and working in Haiti since 2006. After graduating from Reed she received a PhD in ecology from Stanford University. She has been recognized as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year, and an Ashoka Fellow.
  • John Laursen ’67: John is a writer, designer, editor, and typographer. For four decades he has owned and operated Press-22, a Portland-based studio specializing in the design and production of high-quality books and text-based public art projects. Among the institutions for which he has produced books and art catalogues are the Oregon Historical Society, the Portland Art Museum, Whitman College, Reed College, Marylhurst University, Oregon Health & Science University, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. His work in public art includes the creation of commemorative installations for the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission and serving on the design team for the Oregon Holocaust Memorial. Laursen first experienced the Columbia Gorge on his family’s many trips back and forth across the country. Laursen came to Oregon in the 1960s to attend Reed College. In addition to his degree from Reed he holds a master’s degree in political science from UCLA.
  • Michelle Nijhuis ’96: Michelle writes for National Geographic and the science section of the Atlantic, blogs for the New Yorker, and is a longtime contributing editor of High Country News. She is co-editor of The Science Writers’ Handbook and the author of The Science Writers’ Essay Handbook. Her reporting on conservation and global change has won several national awards. After 15 years off the electrical grid in rural Colorado, she and her family now live in White Salmon, Washington.
  • Leah Page ’07: Leah spent many years as SOIL’s pro-bono Development Director, squeezing in trips to Haiti between jobs with the United Nations, Mercy Corps, and other global relief agencies, before joining SOIL full time in 2010. What she most loves about SOIL is that its ecological sanitation efforts are designed in collaboration with the Haitian communities they are meant to benefit and that her colleagues are wholeheartedly dedicated to developing viable, ecological solutions to problems that were previously viewed as intractable. Leah and her husband are currently growing their garden and their two young sons in Richmond, VA, while Leah telecommutes to work in Haiti over Skype. Leah was an alt-bio major at Reed and took as many economics courses as she could fit in her schedule.
  • Bob Sallinger ’91: Bob has worked for Portland Audubon since 1992. His current responsibilities include directing local, regional, and national conservation policy initiatives, wildlife research initiatives, the Backyard Habitat Certification Program, and the Wildlife Care Center. Sallinger’s passion for conservation was developed in early explorations of the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to Southern Colorado on the Continental Divide. Sallinger majored in biology at Reed College and went on to receive a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School. He serves on the board of Humane Oregon and is an adjunct professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife, Elisabeth Neely, three children, and an assortment of critters, including dogs, cat, goats, pigeons, chickens, and a hedgehog.
  • Deborah C. Trejo ’91: Debbie is an environmental lawyer who specializes in groundwater issues, open government, regulatory takings, endangered species, elections, water quality, and constitutional issues, primarily in Texas. She represents clients in administrative proceedings, including contested case hearings, and in trial and appellate proceedings before state and federal courts. Deborah is bilingual and has been named as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of administrative and regulatory law.