Chief, Research and Development
Levi Brekke became Reclamation's Chief of Research and Development (R&D) in 2015. He provides strategic direction for R&D programs, advises on research policy, and represents Reclamation R&D activities during the interchange of scientific knowledge and expertise between research personnel and operational programs of Reclamation, other agencies, and the water management community at large.
- Science and Technology Program Coordinator
John Whitler became a member of Reclamation as Science and Technology (S&T) Program Manager in 2015. John manages S&T program goals, policies, and business practices by coordinating research selection and execution, innovating administration, supporting budget formulation, developing partnerships, and supporting technology transfer to move research into practice.
Desalination and Water Purification Program Coordinator & Advanced Water Treatment Coordinator
Yuliana Porras-Mendoza joined R&D in 2013 as Research Coordinator for Advanced Water Treatment. She also manages the Desalination and Water Purification Research (DWPR) Program. She is responsible for coordinating the advanced water treatment strategy for the R&D Office and aids in the implementation for both the S&T water treatment and DWPR programs. In addition, she works on expanding Reclamation’s water treatment portfolio by launching Prize Competitions (also known as Challenges) in the area of advanced water treatment in the areas of concentrate management, arsenic sensors, resource recovery, and other challenges related to advancing clean water technologies.
Hydropower and Renewables Research Coordinator
Erin Foraker became a part of the Research and Development Office in 2012 as the Renewable Energy Research Coordinator. In this position, Erin directs the Research and Development Office's renewable energy research program, which focuses on improving maintenance practices of hydropower systems, improving reliability and efficiency for hydropower generation, and researching opportunities for other renewable energy generation within Reclamation.
Water Availability Research Coordinator
Kenneth Nowak became a member of R&D as Water Availability Research Coordinator in 2016. Ken’s responsibilities broadly relate to the nexus of climate science and water management. This includes coordination of internal and external research relevant to climate, hydrology, and water management/planning; training to build internal Reclamation climate capacity; and external collaboration on related topics.
Technology Transfer Coordinator
In 2006, Samantha Zhang joined R&D as the Technology Transfer Coordinator for the Research and Development Office. Sam works to form partnerships between Reclamation and non-federal entities to leverage shared capabilities and costs, and more effectively develop and move technologies to Reclamation stakeholders, the broader water management community, and the American public as authorized under the Federal Technology Transfer Act of 1986.
Prize Competition Program Coordinator
Jennifer Beardsley became a member of the R&D Office in 2018 as Reclamation's Prize Competition Program Administrator. Jennifer is responsible for administering a portfolio of prize competitions in water availability, infrastructure sustainability, and environmental compliance. This includes developing Federal and non-Federal partnerships to enhance prize competition activities and coordinating efforts to further develop competition solutions into beneficial uses in Reclamation and the water resources management community. Jennifer has over 25 years of Reclamation experience implementing initiatives and programs in water and related resource management.
- Programs Information Specialist
Ronda Dorsey began service with Reclamation in 2015 as Programs Information Specialist. She supports building collaborative relationships to coordinate outreach and dissemination efforts associated with two R&D programs: Science and Technology and Desalination and Water Purification Research. Ronda also serves as Lead for R&D’s website, information management system, communications and outreach activities, and R&D's flagship research magazine, the Knowledge Stream.
- Budget Analyst
Rosann Velnich joined Reclamation as Budget Analyst in 2014. She currently formulates and executes the R&D Budget and works closely with the Chief and Program Managers in the Denver Office as well as the budget analysts in the Washington Office to support research projects in the Science and Technology and Desalination and Water Purification Programs.
- Administrative Assistant
Patricia Loetel started with R&D in 2017 and previously worked in the Dam Safety Office. Her work consists of supporting R&D programs in managing, reporting, and tracking an array of agency systems, as well as supporting the development of the office's Knowledge Stream publication and research projects. Pat has worked in the private sector in public accounting and manufacturing, and in Federal service in engineering and healthcare.