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Zann Gill Zann Gill
Convergent Planning Systems Design

Director of ESAC (Earth Science Astrobiology Collaboratory). Her focus is on developing an independent bridge between government agencies, universities and industry. She has developed strategic plans and new programs involving NASA, university and corporate leaders. She received an Incentive Award for Outstanding Performance (NASA Ames 2003) and has been a lead developer of strategies that anticipated major new directions for NASA:
  • netCITE (networked Collaboratory for Integrated Technology Experiments) - NASA Ames' proposed Intelligent Synthesis Environment. NASA Langley was awarded funding.
  • IASC (Institute for Advanced Space Concepts) - precursor for the UARC (University Ames Research Center), now a $300M. program in the NASA Research Park.
  • BEACON (Bio-Evolutionary Advanced Concepts) - planned as the think tank core for IASC, a Bio-IT fusion vehicle that anticipated the $100m. BIN-fusion (bio-info-nano) initiative at NASA Ames.
  • NASA U or NASA University - which anticipated Aldridge Commission recommendations for a virtual, distributed university.
From 2003 to 2004 she served as Co-Director of the NASA Academy for Astrobiology, a turnaround assignment, since the original program needed changes. She enlisted more than twenty scientists (many of whom had no interest in the previous Academy model), worked with them to design a new program, embedding the traditional Academy in that new, larger program, "NASA University", which is currently under review at NASA HQ. Prior to that assignment she was a research scientist and program developer for RIACS (Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science), now being subsumed by the UARC (University Ames Research Center).

While completing her M.Arch. at Harvard she became interested in the application of design method in collaborative problem-solving networks and began to study the process of innovation and to develop her “convergent planning” method to support collaborative problem-solving in task-focused groups. Her published papers focus on collaborative decision-making and the "webtank", which she prototyped as a web-based think tank environment (pat. pend. for its TRACE Cognitive Model and Knowledge Processor). She is currently writing a book on hypothesis construction in the origin and synthesis of life. > Web site link

Jeffrey Perrone Jeffrey Perrone
Collaborative Systems Design

is a system and user interface designer. He has worked with various organizations pioneering new methods for collaborative problem solving and product and service innovation, e.g. Synectics, Inc., the Cambridge, Massachusetts, consulting firm that developed groundbreaking techniques for supporting teams to solve scientific and business problems and Interaction Associates, a consulting and training organization founded by Michael Doyle and David Straus, authors of the best-selling business book How To Make Meetings Work, still a “bible” of collaborative group problem solving.

At SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute), he conducted “Innovation Search” programs for large government and corporate clients seeking new product and service opportunities. In the 1980s he founded his own firm in the then nascent field of “expert systems,” publishing on the impact of expert systems in business, and conducting more than 40 training programs and presentations in the U.S. and abroad, as well as television and radio interviews. He built the world's first over-the-phone expert system application, and the first automated political action system.

As a Senior Project Manager at E*TRADE Financial, and a licensed stockbroker, he oversaw the implementation of the world’s first fully-speech-recognition-enabled automated telephone stock trading system, co-designed the world’s first speech-recognition telephone system allowing employees of client companies to monitor their stock options, and invented a new system for enabling Internet commerce (awarded U.S. Patents 6,157,705 and 6,418,199). Jeff is co-founder and system architect of the award-winning website,, a self-organizing online community for writers (launched November of 2001). PearlSoup is a reservoir for thousands of stories of everyday wisdom contributed by its many members, and a focus for interactions in which contributors benefit from commentary on their stories by other community members. named PearlSoup one of the “Top 101 Websites for Writers” in 2003 and 2004 and a five-star rating from

Phillip C. Dibner Phillip C. Dibner
Geospatial Systems Design

is the founder and chair of the OGC Natural Resources and Environment Working Group. Trained as an ecologist at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, his chief interests are ecological succession, invasive species, and geospatial tools for automated data acquisition and analysis in environmental applications. He has had field experience throughout the continental United States. He joined the Silicon Valley technology boom of the 1980’s and 1990’s, working at Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, NeXT, and Apple Computer, where he gained expertise in operating systems and network protocols while pursuing his interest in environmental and ecological data acquisition and analysis. Dibner was an ecologist on the Tahoe Regional Environmental Evaluation Study (TREES) and has been involved with OGC since its inception. He also serves on the board and staff of EOGEO (Earth Observation Geography Group) and BASIC, two nonprofit organizations that provide geospatial services. He does research and consulting through Ecosystem Associates, a California corporation.

Bonnie DeVarco Bonnie DeVarco
Learning Systems Design

Bonnie deVarco regularly writes and lectures on emerging technologies in education, virtual worlds, collaborative visualization, next generation geographic information systems, information visualization and the culture of cyberspace. Since 1999, she has developed and co-directed LinkWorld, a 3D multi-user world for high school students, through the BorderLink Project, a federally funded Technology Innovation Challenge Grant. DeVarco served as an education technology consultant to non-profit, corporate and educational organizations for the past 16 years (this list includes PBS, Stanford University, the Center for Innovative Learning Technologies, San Diego and James Burke's Knowledge Web, UC Santa Cruz, UCOP, Smithsonian Institute, DigitalSpace and others).

She has helped develop multi-institutional programs for distance and media enhanced learning for the University of California Office of the President as a research and development consultant for the UC College Prep Initiative (UCCP) from 1998 to 2003. DeVarco currently serves as Senior Researcher for the NSF funded Interactive Earth 2 Project, a next generation interactive for Earth Systems Science led by WorldLink Media, TERC, NASA Goddard and the World Resources Institute (WRI). She is founder of VLearn3D, an international networking hub for educators using multi-user worlds in education. DeVarco has regularly produced educational events in cyberspace and in distributed physical locations and leads efforts to research, explore and develop new opportunities for telecollaboration, visualization, education and environmental action using advanced satellite and network technologies, visualization and open source tools. > Web site link


Jordan Hastings Jordan Hastings
GeoLibrary Design

Before becoming Director of Information Technology for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Jordan Hastings had a diverse background of academic, business, and government service. The unifying theme in his career is computational geography, which spans computer algorithms, database management, geographic information systems, scientific modeling and visualization. These disciplines come to focus in knowledge organization systems, particularly for the geosciences.

Jordan began his career as a programmer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and evolved his scientific and management skills as project leader on a variety of large-scale modeling and mapping projects for DOE, EPA, NOAA, and USGS. Over the past ten years, Jordan has been active in university research and teaching, primarily with the University of Nevada, Reno; concurrently he is a doctoral candidate at the University of California Santa Barbara, Department of Geography. Jordan’s research interests include geospatial databases, digital gazetteers, digital geological maps, and the evolution of GIS. As Director of Information Technology with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), he is responsible for Managing the Agency’s information resources overall; developing a publicly accessible enterprise GIS that spans the Agency’s cadastral, legal, and scientific charters. Prior to joining TRPA he was a Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey, Santa Barbara, CA (2001-2004), developing databases and software tools for a national library of geological maps; prototyping these systems in a collaborative GIS for the Lake Tahoe region. Prior to his work with UC Santa Barbara, he was Research Director, go2 Systems, Inc., Irvine, California and established that company’s research unit in Santa Barbara, which implemented a novel, discontinuous grid system of geo-referencing for use in location-based services.

He has taught courses in database management and geographic information systems. He was a recipient of the Jack and Laura Dangermond Graduate Fellowship, 2003/04, Univ. of California Santa Barbara, the David Simonett Fellowship (Honorable Mention), 2002, University of California, Santa Barbara, and the NCAR Technology Advancement Award, 1972 (shared with R.Bleck, D.Fulker, M.Shapiro).

Dr. Victor Mossotti Dr. Victor Mossotti
POC for the USGS Integrated Science Plan for Tahoe

Dr. Mossotti is a Research Scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey, in Menlo Park, CA and was formerly a tenured professor at the University of Minnesota and at the University of Illinois (Champaign). Besides his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry, he also holds an MBA and serves on the Board of Directors of a Venture Capital company, so his work bridges academia and industry. He has been a Humboldt Fellow (Germany) and Gilbert Fellow from USGS to Stanford. He is currently the Scientist-in-Charge of a Minerals Resource Survey Team, which includes scientific leadership and project oversight for 30+ top scientists in Menlo Park and Reno, as well as proposal preparation, budgets, staff management, research deliverables for minerals exploration and environmental geochemistry.

He has experience in analog & digital electronics design, time-series analysis; modeling stochastic complex systems; surface chemistry (XPS, SIMS, Auger, EXAFS); agent-based modeling of complex systems; C-programming, object programming w/ VBA, GIS (ESRI) w/ extensions for multi-fractal spatial analysis; and financial modeling. His research interests include the use of advanced geographic information systems (GIS) for pattern recognition and their application to the integration and interpretation of regional geochemistry, geophysics, & geology in the western states. He is the inventor/ chief designer of a hybrid vehicle currently being manufactured and has served as Chairman of the Interagency Committee on Acid Rain, reporting to White House. and

Dr. Gary L. Raines Dr. Gary L. Raines
POC for the USGS Integrated Science Plan for Tahoe

Dr. Raines is a senior geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey stationed at the University of Nevada Reno. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Geology Dept. and the Geography Dept. in the Mackay School of Earth Sciences at the University of Nevada Reno and in the Geography Dept. of the University of California at Santa Barbara. He teaches a class entitled Spatial Modeling in GIS and advises graduate students on spatial modeling research. His research for the last 20 years has focused on three areas, computer organization and generalization of geologic-map information for geologic and environmental applications, predictive spatial modeling, and, most recently, spatial-temporal modeling. He is using the Tahoe Basin as a test bed for the geologic-map information research. In 1995-96, he applied skills in GIS data development and analysis as a member of the science team of the Presidential mandated Columbia River Basin Ecosystem Management Project. During the late 90’s he served as an advisor to the government of Saudi Arabia on improvement of their geologic remote sensing capability and development of a geologic GIS system for the Kingdom.

Dr. Raines has recently completed updating a spatial modeling tool for ESRI’s ArcGIS involving the weights-of-evidence, logistic regression, fuzzy logic, and three different neural networks (a decade- long collaboration with Dr. Graeme Bonham-Carter of the Geological Survey of Canada). Previous versions of this spatial modeling tool have been used by over 2000 individuals in over 50 nations for diverse applications, including archeology, business, environmental, law enforcement, military, mineral exploration, public health, and other applications ( Most recently, Dr. Raines advised the Geological Survey of Florida on predictive models for ground water protection and the Geological Survey of Finland on mineral exploration. A new gold-occurrence was discovered in Finland as a result of this work, and a new gold discovery in New Zealand was announced in Dec. 2004, based on models from Dr. Raines’ spatial modeling tools.

David Halsing David Halsing
POC for USGS Geography & Lead, USGS Decision Support Team for Tahoe

After receiving his B.A. in Human Biology from Stanford University, focusing on the human-environment interface, and his M.S. in Natural Resource Policy and Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, David joined the USGS in Menlo Park. His work includes the following completed projects:
  • Land cover change detection study of the Cordillera Azul National Park in Peru
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis of Snake River Chinook salmon management scenarios
  • Cost-benefit analysis of the USGS Geography Discipline’s data server/product, The National Map
  • Benefit estimation model for the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Geospatial One-Stop
  • Baseline analysis of environmental and socioeconomic indicators as part of the Tahoe Decision Support System being developed for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
  • Part of a working group developing a future science vision for the USGS Menlo Park campus
  • Contributed to development and implementation planning for a new USGS funding program, Science Impact.
Research interests include improving the use and usefulness of natural and physical sciences in addressing environmental and natural resource issues, particularly with regard to economic efficiency and resource management and conservation.

Geoffrey Schladow Dr. Geoffrey Schladow
POC for TERC (Tahoe Environmental Research Center)

Professor Schladow is Director of TERC (Tahoe Environmental Research Center) and Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Davis. Professor Schladow's research focus is the interaction between fluid transport and mixing processes with water quality in natural and engineered systems. Examples of such systems include lakes, rivers, estuaries and mining pits. Using a combination of field experimentation, detailed laboratory studies and numerical modeling, he is better quantifying the critical flux paths in these systems. Professor Schladow is Principal Investigator of a large multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator research program at Lake Tahoe, seeking to measure and model the fate of particles within the Lake. This project interfaces with atmospheric and watershed process researchers. His published and presented work includes field and modeling studies of lakes and estuaries, remote sensing of aquatic systems and climate change effects. He also led major, interdisciplinary research in the San Francisco Bay — Delta. The results of this work will lead to improved methods of managing and controlling our water resources. He has collaborated with scientists in a range of disciplines at UC Davis: Environmental Studies and Policy, Environmental Sciences, Geology, Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, and at a wide range of institutions, including CSIRO, Australia, NASA/JPL, Point Reyes Bird Observatory, San Francisco Estuary Institute, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, University of Girona, USGS (Water Resources), Utah State (Fisheries). His experience in multi-disciplinary ecological research programs and multi-institution research projects gives him a broader perspective on the needs of Lake Tahoe. He serves on the Board of Advisors to the John Muir Institute for the Environment, has been a member of Review Panels for USGS and Bureau of Reclamation, and Co-PI for NASA “In-Flight Validation of MODIS and ASTER Thermal Infrared Data and Products.” > Web site link


Dr. Sheldon Breiner Dr. Sheldon Breiner
Advisor on Earth Science Corporate and Non-Profit Institutions

Dr. Breiner is a geophysicist (Ph.D. Stanford) who invented a magnetometer used for remote sensing for mineral and cultural resources through airborne, oceanographic and land based geophysical surveying. He has used it for the National Park Service to search the waters and adjacent land areas of Drakes Bay, Point Reyes National Seashore for the San Agustin, which sank in 1595; to find Ming dynasty china on Limantour spit at Point Reyes; discover Indian sites in Isabel Valley near Mt. Hamilton; find old tools and artifacts in and around a little known lime kiln and residence, circa 1830, possibly of Russian occupation associated with Fort Ross. Breiner's best known achievement with his magnetometer is the discovery of 3,000 year old colossal Olmec heads in the jungles of Southern Mexico and his work as a member of the team that discovered the ancient Greek city of Sybaris in Italy. He currently co-leads a team searching for a 500-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Mexico.

Breiner was founder and president for 15 years of GeoMetrics, Inc., manufacturer of land, marine and airborne geophysical instruments and world-wide airborne geophysical survey contractor for oil and mineral exploration, which is now a San Jose-based subsidiary of OYO Corp. of Japan. Breiner was an investor in several high technology partnerships, such as Sequoia Technology Partners II, Foothill Associates, The Founder's Fund (biotech), El Dorado Venture Partners, Alpha Partners, which led him to be a founding shareholder in Cisco, Nellcor, Myriad Genetics and similar startups. He holds U.S. patents in oil exploration and Internet communications and has several patents pending in other technologies. In the 1960s, at the request of the White House, he developed the first gun detector, which is now a standard for security systems at airports.

He is a co-founder and former trustee of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, a conservation group preserving lands in the San Francisco Bay area and a director for 10 years of the Career Action Center (formerly Resource Center for Women). He is a member of the Advisory Council (quasi-board of directors) of the School of Earth Sciences of Stanford University, chairman of the Geologic Safety Committee of the Town of Portola Valley, California, and an occasional lecturer in the Graduate School of Business and the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University. After successfully commercializing his own inventions, Breiner established his venture capital company, New Ventures West, and its high tech business incubator. > Web site link

Dr. John A. Glaser Dr. John A. Glaser
Advisor on Risk Analysis, POC for the Environmental Protection Agency

is a research leader for a team of scientists and engineers investigating sustainable technology and biotechnology. As research scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Office of Research & Development at the National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Cincinnati, Ohio he leads the NRMRL biotechnology research program that is investigating risk management issues related to the pesticide incorporated protectant crops. This research program involves the investigation of remote sensing for monitoring the new crops, new computing capabilities to model the development of resistance in pest populations, toxin assay standardization, and testing of existing simulation models for the evaluation of pest resistance development. He was awarded an EPA Gold Medal for his research on the EXXON Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska. As research leader in fungal technology for treatment of soils and solids contaminated with hazardous waste, he received the joint recognition of USDA and US EPA for the development of a field-scale technology using lignin- degrading fungi.

He led two research teams to develop unique bench-scale testing facilities to evaluate bioslurry and compost treatment of hazardous waste contaminated soils to permit evaluation of the two technologies using contaminated field materials. He has organized a NATO advanced research workshop on "The Utilization of Bioremediation to Reduce Soil Contamination: Problems and Solutions" that was held in Prague, Czech Republic. At this workshop fifty participants in attendance represented 26 nations. NATO has designed the workshop format to enhance the scientific and technical exchange between the Eastern European republics and the West with the desire of improving understanding of our different cultures and societies. Dr. Glaser's current work focuses on the evaluation of technology and products to meet the criteria of sustainability, e.g. transgenic crops and biobased production. Dr. Glaser has provided technical evaluation of current treaty activities to ensure that they support environmental laws and objectives. He has also been tapped to provide input to US EPA and USDA contributions to the 2002 World Summit in Johannesburg South Africa.

Dr. Glaser will link our work to that of EPA in several ecosystem settings where knowledge-sharing could benefit everyone. His group is studying how nutrient run-off and evaluating best management practices (BMPs) for storm water run off and incentive systems to promote the use of BMPs.,

Dr. Richard Johnson Dr. Richard Johnson
Advisor on Climate Change

Dr. Johnson received the 1986 Space Sciences Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for research "culminating in the discovery of large fluxes of energetic oxygen ions in the magnetosphere, thereby showing that the ionosphere is a major source of space plasmas." He was a member of the Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Academy of Sciences (1988-1990) and Vice Chairman of the White House Committee on Earth Sciences (1987 - 1990), twice invited speaker at Nobel Symposia on Space Plasma Physics, and Editor/ Contributor to a book on the composition of energetic ions in the Earth's magnetosphere.

He was employed as a Consultant by RIACS (Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science) at NASA Ames Research Center to provide strategic direction, which included formulating recommendations for a "Disaster Infosphere", thinking which he brings to our present proposal to develop an "Eco-Infosphere." He is Chairman of the Board of BASIC (Basic and Applied Spatial Information Collaborative), which is currently relocating to NASA Ames Research Center. He conducted studies on global environmental issues and related inter-institutional relationships and research through the Aspen Global Change Institute and was former Acting Science Advisor to the President (Reagan).

Ramana Rao Ramana Rao

Ramana Rao has spent his entire career, mostly at Xerox PARC and Inxight Software, designing and evangelizing software that aims to extend the intellectual and creative reach of knowledge workers. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Early work at PARC on the Alto and the Graphical User Interface in its infancy lured him away from artificial intelligence to building tools that extend human abilities.

At Xerox Palo Alto Research Center [PARC] for ten years, Ramana performed pioneering work in intelligent information access, digital libraries, information visualization, and user interfaces. His work includes 25 patent filings and numerous refereed research papers. At PARC, he explored a variety of topics related to enabling people to interact with information more effectively. His papers and patents are based on research on intelligent information access, digital libraries, information visualization, and user interfaces, generally in the early days of work in these areas. His goal at PARC was always to be part of invention on things that would have mainstream commercial impact, so his last few years at PARC focused on finding a path to market that led to his founding Inxight.

As CTO and Founder of Inxight Software, he is responsible for the strategic vision and architecture of the company's products and technologies. Ramana is frequently profiled and quoted on a broad range of topics related to technology and its implications for business and society. He is the editor of the Information Flow email newsletter, and frequently presents at conferences and publishes articles. His work crossing borders (technology & market, customers & company, sales & marketing & engineering, and vision & execution), continually challenges Inxight to maintain its market, product, and technology leadership. Weblinks:,

Gail Slocum Gail Slocum
Advisor on Energy, Legal and Regulatory Issues

is a Senior Energy Regulatory Attorney with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. She recently worked on plans through the California Public Utilities Commission relating to increasing the use of Low Emission Vehicles in California to decrease dependence on Middle East Oil, as well as further reduce air pollution, which in the San Joaquin Valley has recently deteriorated to extreme levels on a par with Los Angeles. Ms Slocum is also the Former Mayor of Menlo Park. She holds a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law (1985), studied at New College, Oxford in 1980, and received a BA, Magna Cum Laude, from Duke University, Durham North Carolina, in Political Science (1981).


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