The following Officers and Members of the Board of Directors contribute their time strictly as volunteers and do not receive any financial remuneration from the Alliance as part of these services.
Simon Gruber, President
CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities
Simon Gruber is an environmental planner who works on watershed planning, water infrastructure, water quality, green infrastructure and sustainability. He has worked in the East of Hudson watersheds that supply water to New York City, several watersheds in Orange County, and others in the mid-Hudson region. He has also focused heavily on energy issues in his work, including energy efficiency and renewable energy design principles and technologies for buildings and neighborhoods. His work has included open space and stream corridor planning, workforce training for green infrastructure jobs, environmental impact analysis, water quality monitoring, and research and education on impacts of recent storms and adaptation to climate change. In recent research, he is focusing on opportunities for integrating green infrastructure for water resources with energy efficiency, public health and urban revitalization. He is a Fellow of the City University of New York Institute for Sustainable Cities and the Town of Cornwall’s representative on the Moodna Creek Watershed Intermunicipal Council, which he helped to form. He’s a founding member of the Alliance's Steering Committee and has been President since late 2011.
Ryan Palmer, Vice President
Center for the Urban River at Beczak
Ryan Palmer holds a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Rhode Island. Ryan Palmer joined Sarah Lawrence College as Director of the Center for the Urban River in August 2013. A Hudson Valley native, Ryan previously was Director of Clearwater’s Green Cities Initiative, focusing on urban watershed and environmental justice issues, green infrastructure projects, community organizing, and urban planning. Ryan has training in land use law, stream monitoring, biodiversity assessment, watershed management and planning, and 10 years of experience in the environmental nonprofit field. He joined the Alliance’s Board of Directors in early 2014, after having served as our first paid Coordinator when we were housed as a program of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater.
Phil DeGaetano, Treasurer
Albany Water Quality Coordinating Committee
Phil DeGaetano holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Manhattan College and a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from RPI. Since 2003, he has worked with the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission, providing assistance to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in review and revision of New York State's Water Quality Standards and advice related to New York State's involvement in the NY/NJ Harbor and Estuaries Program. From 2011-2013, he worked with the Interstate Environmental Commission (IEC), providing programmatic, technical and financial management assistance. From June 2012 to September 2013, he served as Executive Secretary of the IEC. In 2003 he retired from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation as Assistant Director of the Division of Water. During his 35 year career in the Division of Water he worked in varying other capacities related to water quality management including the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program, Long Island Sound Study, supervision of the state's water quality standards program, non point source program and Division of Water's public information/education efforts. He supervised the development of initial MS4 and Construction Stormwater Permits. He joined the Alliance’s Board of Directors in early 2014.
Dr. Katherine Meierdiercks, Secretary
Dr. Katherine Meierdiercks is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Siena College, Loudonville NY, where she teaches courses in watershed management; environmental field techniques; environmental research methods; Geographic Information Systems (GIS); and analysis techniques for soil, air, and water. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from Tufts University and her Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Princeton University. For the past several years, she and her students have been collecting field data and doing GIS mapping in the Kromma Kill watershed, a tributary to the Hudson River.
Federated Conservationists of Westchester County
Jan Blaire is active as a Board Member and volunteer with several environmental organizations including the Federated Conservationists of Westchester County; Lyndhurst, National Trust for Historic Preservation; Saw Mill River Coalition; League of Conservation Voters; Westchester County Soil and Water; Westchester County Saw Mill River Advisory Committee; and Irvington Green Policy Task Force. Jan formerly served on the Stormwater Management Outreach Committee for Westchester County (2001-2003) and the Long Island Sound Study, EPA (1993-2001). She has been on the Hudson River Watershed Alliance Steering Committee and subsequently its Board of Directors for a number of years.
Clearwater Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Roy Lamberton is currently retired after 32 years of employment with New York State in utility regulation, and is also a retired professional engineer. He was introduced to fishing by his grandfather as soon as he could walk, and began serious trout fishing about 55 years ago. He joined Trout Unlimited (TU) in the mid 1970s, and became increasingly aware of conservation and environmental concerns. He served in various offices in the Trout Unlimited organization at the local and state levels. In 1997, Roy represented Trout Unlimited in the formation of the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Watershed Council, in partnership with the Audubon Society of New York, Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, Albany County Water Quality Coordinating Committee, and other community groups. In 2005, the Onesquethaw-Coeymans Watershed Council received a grant from the Hudson River Estuary Program to develop a watershed management plan. He was heavily involved in assembling information and preparing the document, which was published in May 2008. He is directly participating in projects at several streams to improve water quality, stabilize stream banks and reduce erosion and sedimentation, monitor water quality, obtain public recreational access, and increase aquatic habitat. These projects involve partnerships with state and federal agencies, local government, local organizations and land owners. Roy was involved in the early conception and formation of the Alliance and has served on our Steering Committee and subsequently our Board of Directors since we were formed, and currently served consecutive terms as Treasurer until 2015.
Lawrence Global Advisors
Andrew Lawrence joined the Alliance Board in 2015. He is President of Lawrence Global Advisors, an investment advisory firm in New York City, where he is also involved in Lower Hudson and East River estuary and waterfront protection issues. Splitting his time between New York City and Orange County, he helped start and now represents the Friends of Walton Lake in the headwaters of the Moodna Creek, a non-municipal member of the Moodna Creek Watershed Intermunicipal Council and part of the Hudson River Watershed Alliance.
Lower Esopus Watershed Partnership
Mary McNamara is an activist working on watershed and water quality issues in the Lower Esopus Creek Watershed. She lives in Saugerties, NY. After participating in Hudson River Watershed Alliance events and tapping into its resources as an active local watershed stakeholder for a number of years, she finally joined the Board of Directors in 2013.
Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance
Greg Mercurio is a licensed landscape architect with experience in project design and management. He is an active member of the Sparkill Watershed Alliance for the Sparkill Creek in Rockland County, NY. He is currently the co-owner and manager of a plant nursery that’s affiliated with the landscape architecture firm he has worked for previously. He lives in Fort Montgomery, NY. He joined the Alliance’s Board of Directors in early 2014.
The Chazen Companies
Russell Urban-Mead is a hydrogeologist with more than 20 years experience working as a consultant primarily in New York's Hudson Valley. He works for the Chazen Companies professional services consulting firm with direct hydro geologist responsibilities for regional water resource reviews, water supply development, and remediation assignments. He is also a vice president and principal at Chazen, with primary leadership responsibilities with Chazen's environmental services team. Russell coordinates the Alliance’s monthly MidHudson Omelet speakers series which normally attracts 25 to 40 local watershed environmentalists, DEC staff, planning board members, and others over a friendly networking breakfast. He was a member of the Alliance’s Steering Committee and has subsequently served on our Board of Directors for a number of years.
Rahul Verma began his engineering career working on water rights in the Rio Grande, along the US/Mexico border, where he helped model irrigation water supply and takings, and used those findings to assist in developing policy for water rights. Since then, Rahul has had varied experiences in numerous engineering and planning projects, many centered around the Hudson River Valley. In addition, he has worked on watershed level projects across the US and in Puerto Rico. More recently, as the MS4 program manager at the United States Military Academy at West Point, he was responsible for engineering and program management for the watershed, which included training ranges and the drinking water supply for the installation. Most recently, Rahul served as the Executive Director of the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation, charged with designing and installed phosphorus-reducing stormwater retrofits for compliance with the enhanced removal requirement of the MS4 permit. While the work is primarily in the engineering and construction of the retrofits to meet the TMDL requirement, he was also required to coordinate with the 19 member municipalities, NYSDEC, and NYCDEP to develop the program policy and regulatory requirements. He joined the Alliance’s Board of Directors in early 2014.