Independent Advisory Panel Biographies
The Advanced Water Purification Program (AWP) has an Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) that advises the program team to ensure an unbiased and thorough examination of the proposed water purification efforts.
This panel of independent experts helps ensure that all important program components are thoroughly reviewed and analyzed.
View a list of the IAP member bios and experience as experts in the fields of:
- Environmental science
- Public health
- Water and wastewater technology
- Water quality
James Crook, Ph.D, P.E. - Panel Chair
Jim Crook is an environmental engineer with more than 35 years of experience in state government and consulting engineering arenas, serving public and private sectors in the U.S. and abroad. He has authored more than 100 publications and is an internationally recognized expert in water reclamation and reuse. He has been involved in numerous projects and research activities involving:
- Public health
- Regulations and permitting
- Risk assessment
- Treatment technology
- Water quality
- All other facets of water reuse
Past Careers in Water Reuse
Crook spent 15 years directing the California Department of Health Services' water reuse program, during which time he developed California's first comprehensive water reuse criteria. He also spent 15 years with consulting firms overseeing water reuse activities and is now an independent consultant specializing in water reuse.
Committees & Awards
He currently serves on several advisory panels and committees sponsored by NWRI and others. Among his honors, he was selected as the American Academy of Environmental Engineers' 2002 Kappe Lecturer and the WateReuse Association's 2005 Person of the Year. Crook received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
- Job Title: Environmental Engineering Consultant (Boston, MA)
Amy Childress, Ph.D.
Amy Childress is a Professor and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program at the University of Southern California. Previously, she was Professor and Department Chair at the University of Nevada, Reno where she began her career in 1997.
Research & Experience
Her research interests include membrane contractor processes, pressure-driven membrane processes, and membrane bioreactor technology, among other topics. Childress has authored more than 60 publications and papers, and has presented at more than 65 conferences.
Committees & Awards
Among her honors, she served as past president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) and won the AEESP Outstanding Publication Award in 2012. She also served on the Advisory Board for the journal, Desalination. Childress received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maryland, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.
- Job Title: Professor and Director of the Environmental Engineering Program - University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
Jason S Dadakis, P.G, C.HG
Jason Dadakis has worked for the Orange County Water District (OCWD) since 2004, currently serving as Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs. His responsibilities include managing regulatory compliance for OCWD's groundwater recharge activities and recycled water projects, including the Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). He also coordinates and directs water quality monitoring programs and studies for surface water, groundwater, and recycled water.
He has experience in the planning, development, and use of groundwater models and tracer tests for resource management and transport analysis. Dadakis received a B.A. in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Hydrology from the University of Arizona. He is also a licensed professional geologist and certified hydrogeologist in the State of California.
- Job Title: Director of Health and Regulatory Affairs - Orange County Water District (Fountain Valley, CA)
Daniel Gerrity, Ph.D.
Dan Gerrity has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, since 2012. His research interests include water and wastewater treatment (biological, physical, and chemical treatment processes), potable reuse (including water quality, public health, and public perception), and trace organic contaminants (such as pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds), among others.
Prior to joining the university, he served as a Senior Engineer at Trussell Technologies, Inc, an environmental engineering consulting firm, where he was a team member for the project "WateReuse 11-02: Equivalency of Advanced Treatment Trains for Potable Reuse." Gerrity received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and both an M.S.E. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction - University of Nevada, Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
Richard Gersberg, Ph.D.
Rick Gersberg serves as a Professor and Head of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Health at San Diego State University. He specializes in water quality research and limnology, and has broad experience working with both chemical and microbiological pollutants and risk assessments.
Prior to joining the California State University system in 1986, he was Director of Research for the San Diego Region Water Reclamation Agency and both a Project Manager and Environmental Consultant for Ecological Research Associates. Among his most recent activities, Gersberg was a member of the CALFED Bay-Delta Authority (CBDA) Science Program, in cooperation with California Sea Grant. He has also been actively involved in projects on the effects of global climate change on the coast of San Diego, CA, and risk assessment regarding consuming fish and ocean recreation in Imperial Beach, CA. He is currently the Principal Investigator of an Enviornmental Protection Agency (EPA) and SCERP-funded study to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods do quantitate the levels of hepatitis A virus and enteroviruses in the recreational ocean waters near the U.S-Mexico border, and to examine the removal of these viruses (and selenium) by constructed wetlands treating the contaminated New River before it enters the Salton Sea, California. Gersberg received a B.S. in Biology from the City College of the City University of New York, an M.S. in Biology from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis.
- Professor and Head, Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Graduate School of Public Health - San Diego State University (San Diego, California)
Channah M. Rock, Ph.D.
Channah Rock serves as a Water Quality Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona.
Her background in both microbiology and civil and environmental engineering has focused her work on better understanding how pathogens and indicators survive through water treatment and what factors can affect their persistence in the environment. Her research interests include:
- Molecular biology
Rock received a B.S. in Microbiology from New Mexico State University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Arizona State University. She conducted post-doctoral research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service.
- Water Quality Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science - University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ)