External Advisory Committee


EAC member Peter Buck

Peter Buck

Managing Principal, Buck & Associates Consultants

Peter Buck is a senior environmental professional with over 30 years of experience in planning, designing and implementing natural resource programs and projects across a variety of landscape types, scale and jurisdictions. He is a subject matter expert and strategic advisor in environmental/natural resources policy, landscape level conservation planning, ecosystem restoration and related science programs, and has led the successful permitting and implementation of many habitat enhancement projects across the Sacramento River Valley. Peter served as the Director of Natural Resources for the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency (SAFCA) for nearly 18 years, and as a senior consultant with GEI Consultants for over 2 years. Currently he is consulting in a freelance capacity, supporting clients in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. He holds a B.Sc. in Forestry from the University of Toronto. 



Environmental Policy & Management EAC member Ashley Conrad-Saydah of CalEPAAshley Conrad-Saydah

Founder and Principle of Sowing Change Strategies

Ashley Conrad-Saydah, founder and principal of Sowing Change Strategies, is a recognized leader in renewable energy and climate change policy. She previously served as the Deputy Secretary for Climate and Energy Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency and Renewable Energy Program Manager and Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Ms. Conrad-Saydah is adept at incorporating scientific information and uncertainty into decision-making and using an inter-disciplinary lens to solve climate and energy challenges. She received her bachelor’s degree in ecology from Princeton University and her master’s degree from the UC Santa Barbara, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, where she was a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow.


Environmental Policy & Management EAC member Jenn Eckerle of the Ocean Protection CouncilJenn Eckerle

Deputy Director, Ocean Protection Council

 Jenn Eckerle joined OPC in December 2016. As OPC’s Deputy Director, she is responsible for supervising staff and helping set the strategic priorities for coast and ocean policy in California. Before joining OPC, Jenn spent eight years as an ocean policy analyst for the Natural Resources Defense Council, where she conducted technical analysis and developed policy recommendations to advance ocean conservation. Prior to that, she was a coastal program analyst for the California Coastal Commission and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.  Jenn earned an M.S. in Marine Biology from the Florida Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Vermont.



Environmental Policy & Management EAC member Doug Ito of the CA Air Resources BoardDoug Ito

California Public Utilities Commission

Doug Ito is the Director of the Consumer Protection and Enforcement Division of the California Public Utilities Commission. Mr. Ito has over 20 years of experience in transportation and air quality issues. He has a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning and an M.S. in Transportation Technology and Policy, both from UC Davis.



Environmental Policy & Management EAC member Chris Larsen of New Island CapitalChris Larsen

President, New Island Capital

Chris is the President and Chief Executive Officer of New Island Capital. In this capacity, Chris directs New Island’s investment program including portfolio strategy, asset allocation and risk management. Previously, Chris worked as an independent farmland investment and conservation finance consultant. Chris completed a BS at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and an MBA at the Yale School of Management. Marin County focused on organic vegetable and fruit production. 


Environmental Policy & Management EAC member Felicia Marcus, formerly of the State Water Resources BoardFelicia Marcus

Chair (2012-Feb. 2019), State Water Resources Control Board

Felicia was appointed in 2012 as a Member and then in 2013 as the Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board where she served until February 2019. Before her appointment to the Water Board, Marcus served in positions in government, the non-profit world, and the private sector. She currently serves or has served in the past on many non-profit boards and Advisory Councils including the Public Policy Institute of California Statewide Leadership Council, Sustainable Conservation, USC-Kesten Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, and the Dougherty Global Water for Food Institute. Additionally, she is an Obama Administration appointee to the Commission on Environmental Cooperation-Joint Public Advisory Council (US, Mexico, Canada) and was a Schwarzenegger Administration appointee to the Delta Stewardship Council prior to being appointed to the Water Board.


Environmental Policy and Management EAC member Lois Wolk, former CA State Senator

Lois Wolk

State Senator (2008-2012), California State Senate

 Lois Wolk represented California’s 3rd Senate District, which encompasses Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta region and portions of the North Bay Area from 2008-2016. Before she was a member of the Senate, she served in the California State Assembly. Wolk was the first woman to chair the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee and authored the Wild and Scenic Protection Act for Cache Creek. She is also a former member of the Yolo County Board of Supervisors and the Davis City Council. In 2016, she served as the Governance Fellow for the UC Center Sacramento program. She received her B.A. from Antioch College and an M.A. from Johns Hopskins School of Advanced International Studies.