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Sixth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

Collaboration and Compromise in the Rural American West

Yakima, Washington, March 22-23, 2018


Friday, March 23


Welcome and Conference Introduction

Friday, 9:00

Bruce Cain

Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director,
Bill Lane Center for the American West
Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences

Stanford University

The distinguished political scientist Bruce E. Cain is the Spence and Cleone Eccles Family Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, and Charles Louis Ducommun Professor in Humanities and Sciences. Professor Cain succeeded the Center's founding faculty co-directors, David M. Kennedy and Richard White. Bruce Cain is an expert in U.S. politics, and particularly the politics of California and the American West. A pioneer in computer-assisted redistricting, he is a prominent scholar of elections, political regulation, and the relationships between lobbyists and elected officials. Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Cain was Director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at UC Berkeley from 1990-2007 and Executive Director of the UC Washington Center from 2005-2012. He was elected the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and has won awards for his research (Richard F. Fenno Prize, 1988), teaching (Caltech 1988 and UC Berkeley 2003) and public service (Zale Award for Outstanding Achievement in Policy Research and Public Service, 2000). He is currently working on state regulatory processes and stakeholder involvement in the areas of water, energy and the environment. Professor Cain holds a BA from Bowdoin College, a B. Philosophy from Oxford University, and a PhD from Harvard University.

David M. Kennedy

Founding Co-Director, Bill Lane Center for the American West
Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus

Stanford University

A founding co-director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, David Kennedy is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University. Professor Kennedy received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1988. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in history in 1999 for Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War. He received an A.B. in History from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University. Reflecting his interdisciplinary training in American Studies, which combined the fields of history, literature, and economics, Professor Kennedy’s scholarship is notable for its integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. His 1970 book, Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger, embraced the medical, legal, political, and religious dimensions of the subject and helped to pioneer the emerging field of women’s history. Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980) used the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system, economy, and culture in the early twentieth century. Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War (1999) recounts the history of the United States in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II.

Panel 1: Challenges and Possibilities in Wildfire Management

Friday, 9:15

Patrick Shea

University of Utah

Patrick Shea has worn many impressive hats during his career. He’s a lawyer in private practice today in Salt Lake City, with an emphasis on emerging biotech companies. He is an associate research professor of biology at the University of Utah, where he is teaching a graduate seminar on the biology of an urban stream. He has been Director of the U.S Bureau of Land Management and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. He has worked with the Senate Intelligence Committee and Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the President’s Commission on Aviation Safety, Security, and Air Traffic Control. He holds degrees from Harvard Law, Oxford, and Stanford.

Rebecca Miller

PhD Student

Stanford University

Rebecca's research focuses on historical and current wildfire preparedness and management across California. She examines wildfire management and the use of prescribed burns across different levels of government. Prior to Stanford, Rebecca worked as a Science Policy Fellow for the Science Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI), a Federally-funded research and development center that supports the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and other science-conducting agencies of the Federal government. Rebecca earned a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. She holds a BA in History from Yale University.

Alissa Cordner

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Paul Garrett Fellow

Whitman College

Alissa Cordner is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Paul Garrett Fellow at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where she teaches Sociology and Environmental Studies courses. Her research interests include environmental sociology, environmental health and justice, risk and disasters, science and knowledge, and social movements. She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Brown University. Dr. Cordner is currently studying the sociological aspects of wildfire risk management in the Northwest, with a focus on how risk management practices change and how wildfire management intersects with issues of inequality. In another current project, she is studying the social, scientific, and regulatory trajectories of industrial chemicals. Her 2016 book, Toxic Safety: Flame Retardants, Scientific Controversies, and Environmental Health (Columbia University Press), examined the sociological aspects of risk assessment in industry, regulation, research, and activism.

John Giller

US Forest Service

John Giller has lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest for most of his life, working in various fire management positions in the private and public sectors, including the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Keno Rural Fire Department and Klamath Fire, Incorporated. Over the last 36 years, John has gained extensive knowledge and experience in multiple aspects of Fire and Aviation Management and served in many leadership positions throughout his career. John is currently the Director of Fire, Fuels and Aviation Management, for PNW and Alaska Regions of the US Forest Service and OR/WA Bureau of Land Management.


David Brady

Professor of Political Science
Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

Stanford University

David Brady began his teaching career at Kansas State University in 1970, from there moved to Houston, Texas, where he taught at both the University of Houston and Rice University, where in 1981 he was named Autry Distinguished Professor of Social Science. In 1986 he moved to Stanford University with a joint appointment in the Graduate School of Business and Political Science. While at Stanford he has served as Associate Dean for Academic affairs in the GSB and as Vice Provost for Distance Learning at Stanford. He has twice been a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. He presently holds the Bowen H. and Janice Arthur McCoy Professorship in Ethics at the Business School and is Deputy Director of the Hoover Institution.
Professor Brady’s teaching focuses on non-market strategy for corporations and ethical applications in building quality companies. In addition to his Business School teaching he also teaches an undergraduate course in public policy. He won the Dinkelspiel Award for service to undergraduates, the Richard Lyman Prize for service to alumni,the Bob Davies award and The Jaedicke silver cup from the GSB and the first Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award given at Stanford. Brady has been on continuing appointment at Stanford University since 1987. He was associate dean from 1997 to 2001 at Stanford University; a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences from 1985 to 1986 and again in 2001–2; and the Autrey Professor at Rice University, 1980–87.

Panel 2: Toward a Healthier Rural West

Friday, 11:15

Kevin Harris

Senior Facilitator – Health Policy

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Kevin is a neutral Facilitator and leads the Ruckelshaus Center's Health Policy practice, helping community, regional and state leaders achieve consensus around health transformation innovations, interventions and related policy development and implementation. Kevin has over 30 years of national health policy leadership, working with state agencies, providers, associations, community leaders, unions and advocates in more than 30 states around Medicaid and other vulnerable populations. Kevin is both a practitioner and Assistant Professor at Washington State University Extension, and has degrees from the University of California at Davis (Bachelor of Science); San Francisco State University (MBA in Finance), and the University of Washington (Master of Public Administration).

Bidisha Mandal

Associate Professor of Health Economics, School of Economic Sciences

Washington State University

Bidisha Mandal is associate professor of health economics at Washington State University, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in the School of Economic Sciences since 2007. She received her doctorate from the Ohio State University in 2007. Dr. Mandal's research addresses key public health issues, and examines how health and labor policies affect health related decision-making processes and health outcomes. Her current research focuses on evaluating prevalence of chronic conditions in rural communities by examining rural-urban disparities in access to health care. Previous work includes understanding mental health impacts of job loss among older adults, how work leave policies impact new mothers' mental health and breastfeeding practices, and how food policies impact adults' and children's nutrition intake. She was awarded the Rep. Timm Ormsby Award for Faculty Citizenship in the State of Washington in 2016.

Tom Scandalis

Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences

Thomas A. Scandalis, DO, FAOASM, was appointed Dean of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College, College of Osteopathic Medicine (PNWU-COM), in March 2014, after having served as Interim Dean since September 2013. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Scandalis served as the immediate past dean of New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, having served in that capacity from 2006-12. Subsequent to that tenure as dean, he was the founding Chair of the Department of Sports Medicine, and the Executive Director of the NYIT Center for Sports Medicine and Performance Sciences.
Dr. Scandalis has spent the entirety of his career in academic medicine since his initial appointment to the faculty at New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988. He has served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and Medical Director of the Academic Health Care Center since that time. He is board certified in Family Practice, and holds a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. Dr. Scandalis was the 2013 recipient of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine's Dale Dodson Award, given annually in recognition of significant contributions and support of osteopathic medical education.
Dr. Scandalis is a past board member of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine, and served as the organization's President in 2004. He also serves as a peer reviewer and editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, Bio and peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, and The Physician and Sports Medicine.

Mike Maples

Community Health of Central Washington

Dr. Maples grew up in rural north-central Washington. He completed medical school and residency at the University of Washington. For the past 35 years, he has served the Yakima Valley. During that time, he has been a practicing family doctor, physician educator, and health care administrator. He is the founding director (1992) of Community Health of Central Washington, a community and migrant health center serving more than 30,000 people living in Yakima and Kittitas Counties, and the Central Washington Family Medicine Residency program, which today has 30 family physicians in training at its Yakima and Ellensburg sites. He is also a founding member of the Board of Trustees of Pacific Northwest University and its College of Osteopathic Medicine in Yakima (2005), where he served for 13 years (Board President 2014-15).

John F. McCarthy

Assistant Dean

University of Washington School of Medicine

Dr. McCarthy is a Native Washingtonian, he was born in Spokane, and spent his formative years in Tacoma. He has his Bachelor's in Science from Santa Clara University, a Master's in Counseling Psychology from Gonzaga and his Medical Degree from University of Washington. He completed his residency in Family Medicine in 1993 with an emphasis on rural medicine. He worked for 14 years in Tonasket WA performing full spectrum Family Medicine including operative obstetrics and emergency room staffing. There he served as the medical director for Okanogan Home Health and Hospice's Hospice program and as the Public Health Officer for the county. During his medical career, he has been a small business owner, part of a multi-specialty group, a clinician at a community health center, and an employee of a large primary care practice. He currently serves as Assistant Dean for Rural Programs for the University of Washington's School of Medicine, he is the Chief Medical Officer and a clinician for the NATIVE Project, and he continues to fill the position of Public Health Officer for Okanogan County. He is a past President for the Washington Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP) and a past President of the WAFP Foundation. Dr. McCarthy was Washington State's Family Physician of the Year in 2012 and Spokane's Physician Citizen of the Year in 2014. He is the Chair-Elect for the Group on Regional Medical Campuses for the American Association of Medical Colleges. He is the President of the Spokane County Medical Society (SCMS) and vice president of the SCMS Foundation. Dr. McCarthy is passionate about equity for our disenfranchised community members and the value Family Medicine offers to the health of the public. He is an avid cyclist and nordic skier.

Gabriel Garcia

The William and Dorothy Kaye University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Professor of Medicine

Stanford University

Gabriel Garcia is a Professor of Medicine and Associate Dean for Medical School Admissions at Stanford University School of Medicine. He was born in Havana, Cuba and grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He received his A.B from Cornell University in 1973 and his M.D. from New York University in 1977. He is an internist and gastroenterologist who specializes in the care of patients with viral hepatitis and other liver diseases, and has research interests in the natural history and management of patients with liver diseases. In 2004 he was invited to provide testimony to the Institute of Medicine Committee on Institutional and Policy Level Strategies on Increasing the Diversity of the U.S. Health Care Workforce, and in 2005 was a key informant to the Sullivan Alliance. He also directs a year-long undergraduate patient advocacy service-learning course at Stanford University and has developed an international service learning program entitled Community Health in Oaxaca to address immigrant health issues. He has supervised an alternative spring break that examines the lives of California farm workers. In September of 2006, he was appointed Peter E. Haas Director of the Haas Center for Public Center at Stanford University.


Phillip Polakoff

CEO, A Healthier Me
Consulting Professor, Stanford School of Medicine

Stanford School of Medicine and The Bill Lane Center for the American West

Dr. Phil Polakoff’s distinguished career in health care spans 35 years. He is a health transformation advisor, and previously has worked in product and network development, care management, organizational and business development, policy formulation, communications and financing. He serves as the CEO and host of A Healthier Me, a disruptive, innovative venture situated at the intersection of medicine/health and media. For many years Dr. Polakoff and his wife, Nancy Pfund, have been integral advisors to the Center. As an affiliated scholar at the Bill Lane Center, Dr. Polakoff is intimately involved with the Rural West initiative, and particularly with the program design of the 2017 Eccles Family Rural West Conference, which focuses on rural health and health care issues. In addition to his work at the Center, Dr. Polakoff is a consulting professor at Stanford’s School of Medicine. He is the author of five books and has published more than 200 articles. Dr. Polakoff holds degrees from Cornell University (B.S), Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (M.S. Environmental Sciences), Wayne State University (M.D.), UC Berkeley (M.P.H.) and Oxford University.

Panel 3: Perspectives on the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan

Friday, 1:45

Peter Dykstra

Plauche & Carr LLP

Peter is a Partner at Plauché and Carr LLP where he counsels public and private clients on water rights, land conservation transactions and strategies, ecosystem service markets, and complex natural resource projects. As part of his diverse water and natural resources law practice, Peter assists government agencies, nonprofits, and business entities with strategic planning, project planning, real estate acquisitions, and regulatory compliance under a wide variety of federal, state, and local laws.
In addition to his law practice, Peter helps clients with issues before Congress, the Washington State Legislature, and federal and state government agencies, working to pass federal and state legislation, secure public funding for projects, and develop collaborative public/private partnerships for large-scale, innovative solutions to natural resource challenges. Peter also uses his experience building collaboration among a wide variety of stakeholders to help create, facilitate and motivate coalitions of nontraditional allies focused on long-term environmental restoration and economic sustainability.
Peter spends a significant proportion of his practice working on behalf of several different constituencies in the Yakima Basin. He serves as a strategic advisor to the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, where among other things, he has helped to secure over $162 million in public funding for watershed and fisheries restoration and water supply improvements and to lead the effort to conserve the Teanaway Communty Forest. He also serves as legal counsel to Trout Unlimited's Washington Water Project, with responsibility for transaction strategy and legal documents on over $40 million of flow restoration and water acquisition projects. Finally, he currently serves as Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Kittitas County providing legal and strategic advice to the County's successful effort to develop first-of-its-kind local government water banking program.

Tom Ring

Hydrogeologist, Water Resources Program

Yakama Nation

Tom Ring is a hydrogeologist with the Water Resources Program of the Yakama Nation. He has held this position since 1990 and, in that role, has worked on a variety of projects involving groundwater and surface water quantity and quality, water rights, irrigation and fisheries issues and planning for future water needs. Previously he worked for the Water Resources Program at the Washington Department of Ecology. Tom has Bachelors and Masters of Science degrees in geology from Central Washington University and Northern Arizona University respectively. He has taught geology and hydrogeology classes at Central Washington University and is a licensed geologist and hydrogeologist in Washington State. When not working, he enjoys hiking, climbing, and skiing in the mountains of the west.

Urban Eberhart

Member, Yakima River Basin Enhancement Project Work Group and Implementation Committee

Kittitas Reclamation District

Urban is leading the way in planning for drought resiliency. A resident of the Kittitas Valley since he was a boy, Urban has lived on a farm his whole life and was active in the Future Farmers of America throughout High School. He is a member of the Kittitas County Farm Bureau and has served on its Legislative Affairs committee as chairman in the 1980's and 1990's. He was elected to the Kittitas Reclamation District (KRD) Board of Directors in 1986, until his appointment as the Secretary/Manager of the KRD in 2015. Over the past several decades, Urban has experienced many changes in the agricultural community and their needs. He has been involved with the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project (YRBWEP) since 1979 and has worked on finding solutions to Yakima Basin water issues ever since. Urban was intimately involved in the drafting and successful enactment of the YRBWEP Phase II legislation in 1994, and has been a leading agricultural representative in the development of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, and continues to work on the implementation of the Plan today.

Bob Tuck

Natural Resources Consultant


Craig Thomas

Professor, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

University of Washington

Craig Thomas joined the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance faculty in 2006, after serving on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Thomas teaches courses in policy processes, environmental policy, performance management, and research design. His current research analyzes collaboration among public, private, and nonprofit partners as an alternative form of governance to centralized planning and command-and-control regulation. He also studies a variety of environmental topics, including climate change, marine fisheries, habitat conservation planning, and watershed management. He is the author of Bureaucratic Landscapes: Interagency Cooperation and the Preservation of Biodiversity (MIT Press, 2003), and co-author of Collaborative Environmental Management: What Roles for Government? (RFF Press, 2004). He has also published numerous articles in interdisciplinary journals, and is former editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Prior to being a professor, Thomas was an administrative analyst for the University of California, a consultant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, and worked in staff positions for environmental nonprofits in Washington, D.C. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and an MPP from the University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington. He is the 1998 recipient of the American Political Science Association's Leonard D. White Award, which recognizes the best dissertation in the field of public administration.

Panel 4: Models for University-Based Collaborative Governance

Friday, 3:45

Michael Kern

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Michael Kern serves as an Affiliate Associate Professor at the Evans School, Associate Professor of Extension at Washington State University (WSU), and Director of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center (a joint effort of WSU Extension and the Evans School that fosters durable, effective and collaboration solutions to public policy challenges in the State of Washington and Pacific Northwest). Kern has an MPA from the UW Evans School, and more than 25 years of experience in the field of collaborative governance and public policy conflict resolution, through which diverse public and private sector interests reach common ground and develop collaborative solutions to complex, often controversial public policy challenges. Most of this work has been on natural resources issues (such as large-scale environmental clean-up, water and watershed management, salmon and other species restoration, natural disaster recovery and resilience, etc.), but has included a range of other issues (such as land use and growth management planning, health policy, outdoor recreation, transportation, and economic and community development). He has a national and international reputation through organizations such as the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM), Association for Conflict Resolution-Environment and Public Policy Section (ACR-EPP), University Network for Collaborative Governance (UNCG), American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), National Coalition for Deliberation and Dialogue (NCDD) and other professional/academic organizations.


Nicola Ulibarri

Assistant Professor of Environmental Planning & Policy

University of California, Irvine

Nicola Ulibarri is an assistant professor in Urban Planning & Public Policy at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on the interaction between people, infrastructure, and the environment, with a focus on redesigning water infrastructure planning, permitting, and operations to meet more diverse social and environmental needs. She holds a PhD in Environment & Resources from Stanford, and spent a year as a postdoc with the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Hailing from Taos, NM, she is constantly astounded by the non-rural sea of people and cars that is southern California.

Gabriela Muñoz-Melendez

El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Gabriela Munoz-Melendez is a professor of Energy, Climate Change and Air Quality at the Department of Urban and Environmental Studies in the College of the Northern Border (El Colegio de la Frontera Norte), since 2008. She is a chemical engineer, has a Master degree in Nuclear Sciences and holds a PhD (and Diploma) in Environmental Sciences by Imperial College London. From 1992 to 1996, Gabriela Munoz worked for the General Directorate of Ecology in Mexico City. From 2000 to 2008, she worked as an associate researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences and Engineering - Imperial College London. She has both contributed and leaded research projects in Europe and Mexico alike. She published the book “Towards Sustainability Production of the Energy in Mexico”, several book’s chapters and articles in peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of the Cleaner Production and Journal of Borderlands Studies. Gabriela Munoz recently spent her sabbatical leave at Stanford University researching the water-energy nexus.


Bruce Cain


Keynote: Hilary Franz, Washington Commissioner of Public Lands

Friday, 5:45


Martha Wyckoff

Advisory Council, The Bill Lane Center for the American West

Stanford University

Martha Wyckoff is a Seattle-based community investor contributing time, energy, and resources toward land conservation, the arts, the environment, and civic engagement. She served on the national board of The Trust for Public Land from 1996 to 2009, and currently is an emeritus board member. Other boards on which she serves are the Seattle University Board of Regents, the Seattle Art Museum, the Olympic Sculpture Park committee (co-chair), the Central Waterfront Design Oversight Committee for the redesign of the Seattle waterfront, the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Committee to create a new community forest in the State of Washington for the Department of Natural Resources, and the TEW Foundation.

In addition to helping raise money for civic and philanthropic causes, she raises hay in Central Washington with her husband and three sons. Holding a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University, Martha has worked as a design engineer in New York and Washington states. Recently, Martha has embarked on a project to write, with a co-author, a full life biography of John A. McCone. She believes his story is worth telling as a notable industrialist of California and a public servant during the 20th century.

In her free time, Martha and her husband, Jerry, spend time traveling, fly-fishing, cycling, hiking and visiting parks and open spaces from the inner city to the wilderness.


Hilary Franz

Commissioner of Public Lands

State of Washington

Hilary Franz was sworn in as Washington's 14th Commissioner of Public Lands on January 11, 2017.

Prior to being elected Commissioner, Hilary was executive director of Futurewise, an organization committed to implementing smart, sustainable land use and transportation policies. In this role, she brought together local governments, non-profit organizations and citizen groups to blend land use with environmental protection and stronger local economies.

She served four years on the Bainbridge Island City Council, where she developed nationally-recognized environmental and energy policies and programs with diverse coalitions of public and private stakeholders.

In addition, Hilary has served on numerous state and regional boards and commissions, working to strengthen and protect both the environment and local economies.

She holds a bachelor's degree from Smith College and a juris doctor from Northeastern University Law School.

Hilary is mother to three wonderful sons.

Rural West Conference Volume

Bridging the Distance

Common Issues of the Rural West

Edited by David B. Danbom
Foreword by David M. Kennedy

Published in cooperation with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University
The University of Utah Press has published Bridging the Distance, a book by the Rural West Initiative of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Edited by the distinguished historian David B. Danbom and with a foreword by Center co-founding director David M. Kennedy, the book explores the Rural West across four dimensions: Community, Land, Economics – and defining the Rural West itself. The book is the result of work presented at the first Conference on the Rural West, which took place in Ogden, Utah, in October 2012.