Monday, March 23

Opening Session/Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers will be discussing observed effects of climate change on the Mississippi River and water issues in the American Southwest. 

Brigadier General (Retired) Peter A. (Duke) DeLucaBrigadier General (Retired) Peter A. (Duke) DeLuca
"The Four Revolutions: Implications, Costs and Opportunities"

This talk will describe four revolutions driving the American economy and physical environment with profound long-term global impacts.  These revolutions are: 1) exploding agricultural productivity, 2) unconventional hydrocarbon exploitation, 3)second US industrial revolution, and 4) the measured accelerating impacts of climate change.  The failure to adapt to these revolutions in shaping national, state, and local priorities and resource allocations and investments is already harming the economy and society in dramatic ways.  Comparatively small investments in infrastructure and water resources can yield enormous outsize economic and social effects.  Adaptation is occurring and in an unplanned manner uninfluenced by public policy and a common set of goals. We can look at previous iterations of some of these revolutions to see how that turned out before in history using the framework of human adaptation to physical environment changes. The likely outcomes place the highest premium on US water resources, surface and ground water, and the need for multi-state regional solutions that only the federal government can foster with a wise investment plan.  The cost of inaction is much too high. 

Brigadier General (Retired) Duke DeLuca was commissioned from the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983 after earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and in Mechanical Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He also earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Harriman Institute in 1993.  BG (Ret) DeLuca served from platoon level through combatant command in Army, Joint, Multi-national and Interagency environments. He has commanded from Company through Division level, including command of an Engineer Battalion and an Engineer Brigade in combat.

He has run multi-billion dollar annual construction programs in Iraq and in a region including the Midwest from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and the northeast U.S., Europe, Israel, and Africa supporting foreign militaries, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, the family of DoD and other Federal Agencies, municipalities and states of the northeast U.S.  He served as Commandant of the U.S. Army Engineer School running an enterprise that taught over 270 courses to all ranks from trainee through Colonel and set standards and requirements for the Army engineer forces in all components for Doctrine, Training, Organizations, Materiel, Leadership, Personnel, and Facilities.  His final assignment in the Army was as Commanding General of the Mississippi Valley Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers leading a multi-billion annual water resource program from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and serving as the President of the Mississippi River Commission.

BG (Ret) DeLuca is an Engineer and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute, and has served in fellowships at Columbia University, the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  A life of Army service has allowed him to work professionally in 33 U.S. states and 27 countries including three years in formally declared U.S. combat zones and some time in other war-torn areas in which the U.S was not a party to the conflicts. This service has offered opportunities for both remarkable experiences and for the opportunities to work with the finest and most amazing American citizens and foreign partners. He entered Army retired rolls in late 2014.

We thank the following for their sponsorship of our Keynote Speaker:

Advanced Geosciences, Inc.





Spotlight Geophysical Services


Wyoming Center for Environmental Hydrology & Geophysics, Univ. of WY


Robert E. Mace, Ph.D., P.G., Deputy Executive Administrator of the Water Science and Conservation/Texas Water Development Board
"Drought and What Texas Has Been Doing About It"

Texas has suffered a state-wide drought since 2011 with the western third of the state in hydrologic drought since the mid to late 1990s. On top of the drought is continued rapid growth, fed in part by hydraulic fracturing, with ~1,000 people a day moving to Texas. Geophysics at multiple scales has played a prominent role in assessing drought impacts as well as current and future water supplies. Given the size of our state and the interstate and international basins that feed into us, remote sensing has been the best tool for evaluating overall drought conditions, soil moisture status, and overall water changes (GRACE). We also integrate staff research with results of TWDB-sponsored projects conducted by consultants and universities to address water issues, including the use of remote sensing and process-based empirical modelling to (1) provide a longer-term (six to eight month) prediction of summer rainfall and (2) better estimate how much water is being applied for irrigation. Other water-related applications of remote sensing and geophysics include sedimentation in reservoirs, airborne geophysics for groundwater resources, and  borehole geophysics from existing well logs, primarily from the oil patch, to evaluate brackish groundwater resources across the state.

Robert E. Mace joined the Texas Water Development Board in 1999 to manage the Groundwater Availability Modeling Program. Over the next nine years, he rose from a unit leader to director for the Groundwater Resources Division to a Deputy Executive Administrator to lead the Water Science & Conservation program area for the agency, a group of 64 scientists, engineers, and specialists dedicated to better understanding groundwater and surface water resources in Texas and advancing water conservation and innovative water technologies such as desalination, aquifer storage and recovery, reuse, and rainwater harvesting. Prior to joining the Texas Water Development Board, Robert worked nearly nine years at the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin as a hydrologist and research scientist. Robert has a B.S. in Geophysics and an M.S. in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology from The University of Texas at Austin. His residential consumption of water is under 30 gallons per person per day (and would be lower if his wife was more cooperative).

Kali-Kate Ranch Evening BBQ Dinner

Dr. Jim Bruseth
"From A Watery Grave: Discovery and Excavation of La Salle’s shipwreck, La Belle"

Dr. Jim Bruseth, a professional archaeologist and currently, the Guest Curator for the exhibit of the La Belle shipwreck at the Bullock Texas State History Museum will speak about the discovery and excavation of the La Belle.

Dr. Bruseth will discuss how archaeologists from the Texas Historical Commission located and excavated La Belle, called by Smithsonian Magazine one of the most important shipwreck discoveries ever made in North America.  He will also present some of the mysteries surrounding the wreck and the plans for a world–class exhibit of La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.  

Until his retirement from the Texas Historical Commission in 2011, he served as the agency’s Director of the Archeology Division and was appointed a Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer. While at the Commission, he directed the excavation of La Belle, a ship wrecked in 1684 along the Texas coast and belonging to the French explorer La Salle.  Dr. Bruseth has been active in the field of archaeology for 40 years.  His projects have been covered in national magazines such as National Geographic and Smithsonian Magazine.  He has written several books and papers on archeology. His 2005 book From a Watery Grave (authored with his wife Toni Tuner) recounts the discovery and excavation of La Belle; the book has won two national awards.  His newest book, titled La Belle: The Ship That Changed History, was written to accompany the exhibit of La Belle at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.