WATER (Watershed and Aquatic Teams for Education and Research) at Mason

2022 Summer Seminar Series


Program Details

Dates and times: Fridays June 3 through July 29 from 3-4:30pm
Hybrid and in-person
Place: GMU’s Potomac Science Center – 650 Mason Ferry Avenue, Woodbridge, VA 22191 – free parking
Coffee, tea, and light refreshments
Topics to cover: Interdisciplinary studies of water, including natural and social sciences, engineering, art, and culture
Faculty, staff, students, and general public welcome


Upcoming Seminar

Date & Time: Friday, June 24
Virtual Location: Register to receive zoom link
Speaker: Jake Sobin, Sales Manager, Ocean Science, Sensors and Robotics, Kongsberg Underwater Technology, LLC

Upcoming Speakers:

Sales Manager, Ocean Science, Sensors and Robotics, Kongsberg Underwater Technology, LLC

Friday, June 24, 2022

Jake Sobin is the Business Development Manager in the Americas for Sensors and Robotic  at Kongsberg Maritime.  Jake supports various technologies including the company’s AUVs and fisheries acoustics product lines.  Prior to joining Kongsberg, he worked at Contros Systems and Solutions GmbH where he looked after various product lines within the company including dissolved gas sensors and seabed observatories for environmental monitoring.  These solutions range from flow-through sensors for vessels to sensors integrated on AUVS, landers, moorings, etc. from the surface to 6000 meters.  Jake has done extensive work helping academic researchers put together grant proposals with his rich background in ocean science. Jake has also served as the chair of the Washington, D.C. section of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) since 2015. His leadership role with MTS has him routinely working with conservation-based NGOs, research partner institutions, Capitol Hill, and the maritime industry. He has been awarded with three of the society’s highest honors. He also is Kongsberg’s lead on AUVSI’s Maritime Advocacy Committee and the acting program chair for the International Ocean Science & Technology Industry Association (IOSTIA). Jake holds multiple degrees in Coastal and Environmental Monitoring with a Master’s Degree from Duke University.

Vice President of Programs and Litigation, Potomac Riverkeeper Network

Friday, July 1, 2022

Phillip Musegass, is Vice President of Programs and Litigation. In this role, Phillip works with the Network’s Riverkeepers to develop and carry out their clean water advocacy and grassroots campaigns and serves as PRKN’s in-house counsel on all litigation matters with our experienced and passionate outside counsel. Since joining PRKN in the Spring of 2015, Phillip has led the team to several critical victories for the Potomac watershed, including federal consent decrees with polluters in Maryland that prevented millions of pounds of pollution from being dumped in the Potomac, and passage of legislation in Virginia to address untreated sewage discharges and leaks from toxic coal ash ponds into the river. Prior to joining Potomac Riverkeeper Network, Phillip was the Hudson River Program Director at Riverkeeper in New York for ten years, leading efforts to reduce sewage pollution, clean up historic industrial sites and bring enforcement actions to protect the Hudson River. During his tenure as Director, Hudson Riverkeeper brought successful actions against dozens of polluters, including ExxonMobil for its historic Greenpoint oil spill and numerous concrete companies, scrapyards and other waterfront sites whose operations violated the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws. Phillip received a J.D. with honors from Pace University School of Law, and a B.A. (magna cum laude) in Geography from the University of Washington.  

Professor and Dean of the College of Science at George Mason University

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dr. Fernando Miralles is a hydrologist with expertise in modeling of surface and groundwater hydrology, physical, chemical and biological processes in aquatic ecosystems, climate-hydrology- interactions, climate change adaptation and mitigation approaches in the water, energy and food sectors. He currently serves as Professor and Dean of the College of Science at George Mason University in Virginia, and has appointments as Lead Scientist for Freshwater at The Nature Conservancy and Senior Research Advisor at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. Dr. Miralles-Wilhelm consults extensively with international organizations such as the World Bank Group, the Inter-American Development Bank, engineering companies, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (2009) and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (2002) and the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers (2008). He has co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. His work has been carried out in over 50 countries spanning North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. He holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from Universidad Simón Bolívar in Venezuela, a M.S. degree in Engineering from the University of California-Irvine, and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Past Seminars:

Seminar 1

Past Speakers:

Dr. Alexis Rudd

Deputy Policy Director for Oceans, Fisheries, Climate Change, and Manufacturing of the Senate Commerce Committee

The U.S. Senate Committee on Science, Commerce, and Transportation has jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency that includes the National Weather Service.  This year, the Commerce Committee has marked up several bills that address issues of water management, weather and flood modeling, and communication about flood risk to best protect human lives and property.  These bills have included the FLOODS Act, the PRECIP Act, and the TORNADO Act. Dr. Alexis Rudd is a Deputy Policy Director for Oceans, Fisheries, Climate Change, and Manufacturing of the Senate Commerce Committee.  She will discuss these important bills and the process by which legislation becomes law. Dr. Rudd has a Ph.D. from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and did her graduate research on underwater bioacoustics.