Anne Castle to lecture on Colorado River


The Colorado River has always been known for its superlatives – the hardest working river in United States, the most iconic landscapes in the West, and now, one of the nation’s resources most threatened by climate change.

Anne Castle, former assistant secretary for water and science in the U.S. Department of the Interior, will discuss this pivotal moment for the Colorado River and those who use its water during the 2017 Ronald Lecture in Environmental Conservation on Thursday, April 13, at 8:00 p.m. in the Memorial Union Great Hall. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, the Ronald Lecture Fund and the Committee on Lectures.

Growing population, increasing temperature and decreased run-off have created a supply/demand imbalance for communities and agriculture. With states, cities, the federal government and other stakeholders striving for solutions, Castle will discuss current efforts to create a more sustainable Colorado River system, including the groundbreaking engagement with Mexico to protect and restore this shared resource.

“Anne Castle is a perfect choice for this year’s Ronald Lecture," William Simpkins, chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences, said. "She possesses a unique blend of federal government experience, knowledge of the law, and ‘street smarts’ in western water issues. She believes that water is not a partisan issue, and that the President, his administration, and Congress should help Colorado and the six other states of the Colorado River basin take steps toward water security. Her visit will expose ISU students to the issues surrounding the future of the Colorado River.“

Castle served as assistant secretary for water and science in the U.S. Department of Interior from 2009 to 2014. She is currently a senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, part of the University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. A 1981 alumna of Colorado Law, Castle has worked on water law and policy since the beginning of her career. While at the Interior Department, she oversaw the Bureau of Reclamation, the nation’s largest water wholesaler, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Ronald Lecture Series in Environmental Conservation was established with a focus on economic, environmental and societal sustainability with an emphasis in water sustainability. The series features prestigious women scholars with an intent to inspire women who study and research these subjects.

For more information about Castle, view a feature story published on the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences website.