Please find more detailed information about the experts who will be presenting at RSEE 2017.  Speakers are listed by their schedule block.  To find speaker's listed alphabetically by their last name, see our SPEAKERS ALPHABETICALLY page.

Friday, April 21st

9:00 - 9:30AM  Responsible policy for increasing domestic energy production  

Scott Anderson - Environmental Defense Fund, Senior Policy Director, US Climate and Energy Program

Areas of expertise: Oil and gas operations and policy, water and waste management

Since 2005, Scott Anderson has served as Environmental Defense’s point person on policies relating to the land and water impacts of oil and natural gas development and to the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. Mr. Anderson is a frequent speaker at conferences and participates in stakeholder groups focused on reducing the environmental footprint of oil and gas operations.

9:30 - 9:50AM  What is Unconventional Oil and Gas Development and What Do We Know So Far?

Zacariah Hildenbrand, PhD - CLEAR, Inform Environmental, LLC


Zacariah L. Hildenbrand received his bachelors of science and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso, where he also played on the men’s intercollegiate golf team. Dr. Hildenbrand continued his training as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. Hildenbrand is the principal founder of Inform Environmental, LLC and sits on the scientific advisory board of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at the University of Texas at Arlington. Together with his colleagues at UT-Arlington, Dr. Hildenbrand has coordinated environmental monitoring and remediation projects all across Texas, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania. This research has produced more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and textbook chapters. Dr. Hildenbrand is determined to generate a deeper understanding of energy extraction and to develop solutions for environmental remediation and the recycling of anthropogenic wastes.

10:10 - 11:00AM  Understanding the Human Health Implications of Shale Exploration

Anne Epstein, MD - Texas Tech University

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Dr. Epstein received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her MD degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1981. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Sleep Medicine, as well as being a Fellow of the American College of Physicians.  Previously, she served as a professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock TX. Since 1995, she has been engaged in the private practice of Internal Medicine and Sleep Medicine and is a Clinical Associate Professor at Texas Tech.

Appointed to the City of Lubbock Board of Health in 2010, Dr. Epstein chaired the Board in 2015 and 2016.   She also chaired the Board of Health Fracking Committee which recommended changes to the Lubbock Oil and Gas ordinance.  She was appointed to the Lubbock Oil and Gas Citizen Advisory Committee by City Council in May 2013 and in March 2015, the Lubbock City Council adopted changes to the oil and gas ordinance. 

Paula Stigler Granados, PhD, MSPH - UTHealth, School of Public Health – San Antonio Campus

Paula Stigler Granados is an Assistant Professor in Community Health Practice at the UTHealth School of Public Health, San Antonio Campus. She received her PhD from the University of California San Diego in Global Health. Her interests in environmental health and vulnerable communities has led her to conduct research on water and sanitation along the U.S./Mexico border, focusing on low-income communities. Utilizing a community based participatory research model has strengthened her capacity to work closely with rural populations and better understand the role of culture and social networks in addressing vulnerabilities to resources such as clean water. Her most recent research has been in partnership with UT Arlington looking at health, water perceptions, and analytical determination of contamination of rural community water sources in the Eagle Ford Shale, focused on Frio County, Texas.

11:00 - 12:00PM  Responsible Shale Energy Extraction: Perspectives from Operators, Regulators, Ranchers, Scientists, and Concerned Citizens

Richard Seline - Accelerate H20

Richard Seline is Executive Director and Senior Advisor of AccelerateH2O – a statewide non-profit organization formed to connect the best ideas, expertise, resources and investment with the current and future demand for water technology products, services and integrated solutions. Through its executive and advisory committees comprised of Texas’ leading civic, business, technology, and former elected representatives, AccelerateH2O has launched a series of programs (the Opportunity Triage Network, InvestH2O, the Academic Research Collaboratory) and projects (Roundtables on the Economics of Innovating Water, Innovative Water Technology Demonstration Hubs) to spark Texas as a global water innovation marketplace and to address grand-challenges in residential, agricultural, industrial, and public utilities. Richard is a fourth generation Texan with a long history in the State’s technology-based economic development including the formation of the Emerging Technology Fund, the Product Development Fund, and similar endeavors at the regional and local level for information, life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and energy clusters. He as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development in the Bush 41 White House and Special Assistant to the President of UT MD Andersen Cancer Center – an example of his broad spectrum of public and private sector roles over the past thirty years.

Ryan Sitton - Texas Railroad Commission (TRRC)


Laura Buchanan - Texas Land & Mineral Owners Association

Laura M. Buchanan is the Executive Director of the Texas Land & Mineral Owners Association (TLMA), a nonprofit association that works to level the playing field in Texas and bring some fairness to the balance between those that use the land and those who live on it. She brings a background in energy law to her work on behalf of the association and its members. In her role with TLMA, she focuses on advocacy in Texas state government. TLMA strives for common-sense laws and regulations to encourage responsible oil and gas development that respects the interests of both surface owners and mineral owners.

Kevin Schug, PhD - CLEAR, UT Arlington

Kevin A. Schug is Professor and the Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). He is also Director of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR) at UTA. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry in 1998 from The College of William & Mary, and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 2002 under the supervision of Prof. Harold M. McNair. From 2003-2005, he performed post-doctoral research in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Lindner at the University of Vienna in Austria. He joined UTA in 2005. He has over 120 peer-reviewed publications and 500 presentations, posters, and invited talks to his group’s credit. He has been the primary mentor and research advisor to more than 20 graduate and 50 undergraduate students.

Jim Schermbeck - Downwinders at Risk


Jim Schermbeck is a Fort Worth native who grew up among oil and gas rigs. He’s been an environmental advocate in the region for 40 years. Since 2006, he’s been Director of Downwinders at Risk, a 23-year old citizens group dedicated to clean air in DFW. Downwinders has been instrumental in using science to link gas industry sources in North Texas to the region’s chronic smog problem. The group was also a driving force behind Dallas’ 2013 gas drilling and operations ordinance, considered to be the most protective in Texas. 

Jennifer Hiller - The San Antonio Express News

12:00 - 1:00PM  Shale Development: Seeking the Radical Middle Ground

Scott Tinker, PhD - UT-Bureau of Economic Geology

Scott Tinker's passion—bringing academia, government, industry, and NGOs together to address major societal issues in energy, environment, and the economy—has led him to more than 50 countries, where he has presented over 650 keynote and invited lectures to government, industry, academia, and the public. Dr. Tinker is director of the 275-person Bureau of Economic Geology, the State Geologist of Texas, and a professor holding the Allday Endowed Chair in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin. He has served as president of the American Geosciences Institute, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Association of American State Geologists, and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. He is a Halbouty Leadership Medalist, Boyd Medalist, Fellow of the Geologic Society of America, and honorary member of the AAPG, in addition to being awarded by AIPG, AGI, AAPG, TIPRO, and others for his successful efforts to engage the public in science. Dr. Tinker serves on many private, public, and academic boards and councils and advises governments worldwide. His work has been referenced in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal and he has been published in Forbes, appeared on NPR, and in other major media. He is featured in the award-winning energy documentary film Switch, which has been seen by over 10 million viewers in over 30 countries and screened on over 1,000 university campuses worldwide. He recently founded the Switch Energy Corps to help bring electricity to impoverished villages globally. Dr. Tinker graduated from the University of Colorado (PhD), the University of Michigan (MS), and Trinity University (BS).

1:00 - 1:30PM  Proliferation of Pathogens: Understanding the Implications of Shale Exploration on the Groundwater Microbiome

Inês Santos, PhD - CLEAR, UT Arlington

Inês C. Santos is a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Kevin Schug in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA). She obtained her PhD degree in Biotechnology with specialization in Chemistry at the Faculty of Biotechnology of the Portuguese Catholic University (ESB-UCP) in 2015. She has a MSc and a bachelor degree from ESB-UCP on Microbiology. Her research interest is focused on the development of new gas chromatography – vacuum ultraviolet absorption detection methods and the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization – mass spectrometry to study the microbiome in environmental samples and to identify organic-degrading bacteria for bioremediation.


1:30 - 2:30PM  Detection and Remediation: Using Science to Understand Air, Soil, and Water Contamination Events

Rich Haut, PhD - Houston Advance Research Center (HARC)


Dr. Richard Haut is currently the Director of Energy Production at HARC where he serves as the Principal Investigator for the Environmentally Friendly Drilling program partnering with universities, industry, and environmental organizations and having the objective of providing unbiased science to address environmental and societal issues associated with petroleum drilling and production. The international effort was recognized by the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, receiving their Chairman’s Environmental Partnership award in 2009 and Honorable Mention in 2016. The program also was honored with the VZ Excellence in Environmental Stewardship Award at the 2015 Oil and Gas Awards and the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable’s Impact Award in 2016. Dr. Haut has over 25 years of industry technical and management experience, including a ten year assignment as the drilling and well technology manager for North Sea operations, prior to joining HARC in June 2002. He also was instrumental in establishing joint ventures and other joint industry programs, including the start-up of Enventure Global Technology where he was the Chief Operating Officer. Over a two year time period, Dr. Haut was involved in the successful development of Enventure, taking it from conception to profitability during this time period. In 1999, he received Hart Publication’s Meritorious Award for Engineering Innovation and in 2002 received the Natural Gas Innovator of the Year Award from the Department of Energy. In 2015, Dr. Haut was selected as a Distinguished Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Bryce Payne - CLEAR, Gas Safety Incorporated


Rob Jackson, PhD - Stanford University

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Doug D. Carlton, Jr., PhD - CLEAR, UT Arlington


Dr. Carlton is trained as an analytical chemist (Ph.D., UT-Arlington 2014) specializing in chromatography method development for complex mixtures, predominantly applied to environmental applications. Doug currently is the Project Manager of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation (CLEAR) at UTA. Responsibilities include overseeing public engagement, new lab technology assessment, and development of methods for soil, water, and other matrices related to environmental and industrial products. He has spent the last 6 years developing, applying, and training with these methods as the field has grown.

Jim Malewitz - The Texas Tribune


Jim Malewitz is an investigative reporter at the Texas Tribune, where he has extensively covered energy and environmental issues. Before arriving in 2013, he covered those topics for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. The Michigan native majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. There, he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he currently serves on the board of directors.

4:00 - 5:00PM  Environmental Stewardship in the 'Alpine High': Protecting Groundwater Quality and Maintaining Dark Skies

Bill Wren, PhD - UT McDonald Observatory

Bill Wren has been fascinated by the night sky all his life. He studied Philosophy and Educational Psychology at the University of Texas.  He also audited courses in the Astronomy Department, and was an academic tutor for undergraduate students in astronomy.

In 1990, Bill started work at McDonald Observatory as a Public Affairs Specialist and part-time researcher. He also helped design and build several unique telescopes, one of which is wheelchair accessible and dedicated for public use at the observatory’s Visitors Center. Throughout his career at McDonald, Bill has been deeply involved in protecting the Observatory’s dark night skies, an endeavor which remains a large part of his duties. His greatest satisfaction comes from conveying the wonders of the universe to the tens of thousands of people who visit the observatory each year.

Brian Bohm - Apache Corporation

Sabrina Habib, PhD - Winthrop University


Dr. Sabrina Habib is an assistant professor at Winthrop University where she teaches Mass Communication courses. She holds an MFA in Electronic Media (2003) and a Ph.D. in Advertising from the University of Florida (2013).  Her current research is on science communication with a focus on hydraulic fracturing. Her interdisciplinary and industry background led her to publish research on creativity, storytelling, and qualitative methods.  She recently published and presented on using video as data in qualitative research, which reflects her extensive experience with the medium and methodology.  

David Hunn - The Houston Chronicle

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David Hunn is an energy reporter at the Houston Chronicle. He has written on bankruptcies and debt loads after the 2014 oil price crash, on the boom in the Permian Basin that followed, and at length on the discovery of Houston-based Apache Corp.’s Alpine High oil and gas field in the Permian’s southern Delaware Basin. Hunn previously covered government spending for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, including the $380 million renovation of the Gateway Arch grounds, the five-institution tax payer-funded Zoo-Museum District, and the $1 billion plan to build a new football stadium on the Mississippi River, in hopes of keeping the then-St. Louis Rams in the city. Hunn grew up in California, taught English for two years to seventh-graders in the Long Beach Unified School District, and has also worked for the Bakersfield Californian and Anchorage Daily News.

5:00 - 5:30 PM  Water Use in the West Texas Shale Fields

John Durand - WaterBridge Resources, LLC

John Durand has more than three decades of industry expertise, having held executive leadership positions across multiple disciplines, spanning upstream oil and gas, midstream services, commodity marketing and power generation. Prior to joining WaterBridge Resources, Mr. Durand served on the Management Team of Pioneer Water Management, where he oversaw the commercial, logistics and supply sourcing functions for the largest midstream water operation in North America. In addition, John served as the commercial lead in negotiating landmark agreements with the cities of Odessa and Midland to purchase municipal effluent for Pioneer's long-term development requirements.

Mr. Durand earned an M.B.A. in Corporate Finance from the University of Dallas and a B.S. degree in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Louisiana.

Thomas F. Darden - Wolfcamp Water Partners

Toby Darden has been an oil and gas producer since 1975, actively involved shale development in North America. Mr. Darden has led technology development in the Antrim Shale in Michigan, Coalbed Methane in Alberta, multi-laterals in the Barnett Shale, and Horn River Basin of British Columbia.

Mr. Darden as CEO led Quicksilver Gas Services (NYSE:KGS) from its IPO in August, 2007 through its sale in October, 2010 to Crestwood Midstream Services for $1 billion in cash and assumption of debt.

With Jeff Cook, his operating partner of 34 years, Mr. Darden formed Vermilion Cliffs Partners in 2014. To date VCP has acquired over 80,000 net acres and has current production of over 1,000 BOED.

Mr. Darden formed Wolfcamp Water Partners in 2014 to provide long term supplies of non-potable water to producers in the Permian Basin.

Saturday, April 22nd

Dusty Horwitt, JD - Partnership for Policy Integrity

Dusty Horwitt, Senior Counsel, Partnership for Policy Integrity.  Horwitt has used his experience in journalism, law and politics to conduct investigative research and advocacy on metal mining, oil and natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. He helped protect the Grand Canyon and Colorado River from uranium mining and the state of New York from unsafe shale gas drilling.  His work has been featured in news outlets including the Dallas Morning News, Denver Post and New York Times.  He has testified before government panels in New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Horwitt worked at Earthworks and Environmental Working Group as an analyst and senior counsel, as a reporter at the City News Bureau of Chicago and as a congressional staff member.  He graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in History and holds a J.D. from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

10:00 - 11:00AM  Shale Exploration and Increased Seismicity

Peter Hennings, PhD - The University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology

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.

Brian Stump, PhD - Southern Methodist University

Dr. Brian Stump received his B.A. from Linfield College (1974), his M.A. and Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley (1975, 1979), where he held a UC Regents Intern Fellowship.  Immediately following his graduate education he spent 4 years on active duty with the US Air Force as a staff seismologist and ultimately as Chief of the Geological Siting and Seismology Section.  He joined the faculty of Department of Geological Sciences at Southern Methodist University in 1983 and now holds the Albritton Chair of Geological Sciences.  He served as Department Chair from 1991-1993.  From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Stump joined Los Alamos National Laboratory where he was program manager of the Nuclear Test Monitoring Group.  Since returning to SMU, he and his research group have designed, constructed and now operate a set of innovative seismo-acoustic laboratories that provide observations from man-made events such as mining and construction explosions, as well as natural events such as earthquakes and bolides.  Additional work over the last five years has focused on the role of fluids and earthquake triggering.

Alexandros Savvaidis - UT-BEG

11:30 - 12:00PM  Monitoring Air Quality While Going 70 mph

Guido Verbeck, PhD - University of North Texas

Dr. Guido F. Verbeck, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is an expert is mass spectrometry, specifically instrument design and development. Dr. Verbeck received his PhD as a Proctor & Gamble fellow in chemistry at Texas A&M University. Dr. Verbeck has developed ion cyclotron resonance, time-of-flight, and ion trap mass spectrometers over the past 17 years, and has been a member of the analytical community for 22 years. Among this design portfolio, Dr. Verbeck has developed a miniature ion trap mass spectrometer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 3 preparative mass spectrometers for combing new materials and catalysts, and a number of novel analytical applications for single cell and forensic analysis. Dr. Verbeck’s appointment is currently at the University of North Texas where he continues to design novel ion optical devices for miniaturization, preparative, and analytical mass spectrometry, and is the Director for the Laboratory of Imaging Mass Spectrometry.