Bruce Aylward, Director
A 30-year career in extension, policy, research and transactional work that includes experience in dozens of countries and a dozen western states has given Bruce a unique window on a host of resource, development and environmental issues. When crossing an international border Bruce puts “economist” on his entry form. But he is a student of natural and social sciences (Human Biology at Stanford) with masters and doctorate studies in economics, law and politics (at the Fletcher School). So Bruce hews to no discipline but brings to client engagements a well-tested interdisciplinary framework for understanding interactions between nature, water and communities.
Andrew Purkey, Director
Andrew’s connection to western rivers and watersheds began at age 12 when his family drove across the country en route to their new home in Eugene, Oregon. From that point forward he pursued this interest through his studies at the University of Oregon and then at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he earned a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy. Andrew began his water career as the first executive director of the Oregon Water Trust, a position he held for 9 years. He then worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for 16 years, first as director of the Columbia Basin Water Transactions Program and then as director of the Foundation’s Western Water Program. In October 2018 Andrew began his consulting work with clients throughout the West on program assessment, strategic planning, organizational development, fundraising, capacity building, policy analysis, transactions, and communications and outreach.
Sarah Kruse, Director
When she was young, Sarah’s father promised her that some job existed that combined her love of the outdoors and mathematics. While this seemed impossible to her as a child in rural Ohio she managed to do just that. After graduating with a degree in economics from the College of Wooster, Sarah served as a Peace Corps volunteer working on agroforestry in Paraguay. She then returned to the US and completed her Master’s in Economics and Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental & Development Economics at The Ohio State University. For the next seven years, Sarah served as an economist at Ecotrust, a research and community development organization in Portland, Oregon. Today she works to identify and analyze linkages between economic, environmental and social systems to create out-of-the-box solutions for a diverse group of clients around the globe.
Davíd Pilz, Managing Director
Davíd's first experiences with natural resources came at the age of five and involved a shovel, a tarp, an earthen irrigation ditch, and a couple hundred acres of hay that needed water. Growing up in the high desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico and the remote beauty of northwestern Colorado, and steadily moving north and west to his current home in Bend, Oregon, Davíd has been immersed in water, land and natural resources issues throughout his life and career. After graduating from the Colorado College and Lewis and Clark Law School, David worked for ten years at the Oregon Water Trust and The Freshwater Trust, the nation's first water trust. Today, he works with clients across the West and beyond, with a focus on program strategy and design, and also legal and policy analysis of water, land and natural resources issues.
Amanda Cronin, Director
Amanda was born in Forks, Washington, a town that averages ten feet of rainfall per year. After graduating from Whitman College with a BA in Biology - Environmental Studies in Walla Walla, Washington, Amanda spent two years as the Watershed Program Coordinator for a conservation group in Idaho. She then made her way to Arizona for a Masters in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University. Returning to the Pacific Northwest, she spent eleven years with the Washington Water Trust developing innovative solutions to seemingly intractable water management problems. Over the last decade, Amanda has helped lead the development of water banks across Washington and in Arizona. Amanda works across the West providing strategic guidance for water resource planning, environmental flow restoration and groundwater mitigation. Amanda lives in Seattle, WA.
Tess Gardner, Research Associate
Tess recently completed her Master’s in Environmental Science and Management at the Bren School of UC Santa Barbara. Her master’s thesis explored the opportunity for and effectiveness of enhancing public-private collaboration to reduce wildfire severity and improve watershed health in the Wildland-Urban Interface of the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA. During her time at the Bren School, Tess worked with Trout Unlimited on issues of water scarcity, environmental flow restoration, and flood and drought mitigation across Montana. Her experience in the natural resources sector also includes work on critical habitat for threatened and endangered species and fisheries management in the Pacific. Tess has a BS in Ecology and Evolution from Stanford University. She resides in Bend, Oregon.