University of California

Short Course

Spring 2021

Understanding groundwater and watersheds and how we monitor, assess, and sustainably manage these resources is critical and integral to California Groundwater Sustainability Plans (GSPs) and other water management programs.  Private citizens, professionals, decision makers, executives, agency employees, and stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and in a wide variety of private, non-profit, and government responsibilities are increasingly engaged in the sustainable management and assessment of groundwater and surface water. This online short course will review the fundamental principles of groundwater and watershed hydrology, water budgets, water quality, and water law and regulation in an intuitive, highly accessible fashion. Through real world examples, participants learn about the most common tools for measuring, monitoring, and assessing groundwater and surface water resources. We then review the key steps and elements of planning for groundwater sustainability (see Program for details).


Thursdays                 May 6, 13, 20, and 27, June 3, 2021
                                9:00am – 12:00pm PDT

                                Cannot make it every time? Signed up later?
                                Video recordings of past lectures
                                 will be available to all participants
                                 (including new registrants).

Registration:   $100/$60 (includes textbook)

Reduced fees ($60) are available to members of California Groundwater Sustainability Agencies (board, staff, advisory committees), to California state employees and to participants of the WEF Water 101 Workshop, April 22-23, 2021 and the GRA Groundwater Sustainability Planning Summit, June 9-10, 2021.

For reduced fee coupon and questions please contact:

If you live outside the USA:In the lower registration information section, please enter CA in the State Field. 95616 in the Zip Code Field and 555-555-5555 in the Telephone Field.  You can enter your state/province, country, postal code and phone number in the supplemental fields provided in the top section.  Once you submit the registration information, you will be redirected to a secure credit card site where you will be able to enter  your credit card information with the correct address. Thank you.


Offered by: Groundwater Cooperative Extension Program

In cooperation with:




Draft Program




Tina Cannon Leahy, J.D., is Staff Counsel with the State Water Resources Control Board Office of the Chief Counsel specializing in San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta issues and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation. Before coming to the State Water Board, she was the Principal Consultant for the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee serving, from 2010 to 2015, as the Assembly's water law and policy expert, including helping to draft SGMA.

Aaron Cuthbertson is a Senior Engineering Geologist with the California Department of Water Resources.  He works on statewide data exchange, management, and analysis projects, including administering the Department’s Water Data Library and helping push the department's Open Data and spatial data portals.  In his 12-year career with DWR, he has worked in a variety of projects:  monitoring water quality on the State Water Project, serving as member of DWR’s Climate Change team, assisting local agencies on water management, evaluating groundwater and subsidence, and contributing to the Department’s implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. 

Aaron Button in is a Professional Geologist with the State Water Resources Control Board, where he manages the State’s Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment (GAMA) Groundwater Information System Platform. Prior to his service with the State, Aaron conducted oversight and management of subsurface investigations associated with groundwater contaminated sites for a private consulting firm.

Helen E. Dahlke, Ph.D., is an associate professor in Integrated Hydrologic Sciences at the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at the University of California. Her research focuses on contributing to a better mechanistic understanding of hydrological processes and their links to climate and biogeochemical cycling. Helen is currently focusing on projects exploring the feasibility of using agricultural fields as recharge sites for groundwater banking.

Jason Gurdak, Ph.D., is a Senior Water Resources Specialist in the Groundwater Management Unit at Valley Water. Most recently, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth & Climate Sciences at San Francisco State University, where he led the Groundwater and Water Resources research group, and a Senior Hydrogeologist with Todd Groundwater. 

Thomas Harter, Ph.D., is the Robert M. Hagan Endowed Chair for Water Resources Management and Policy at the University of California, Davis.  Thomas' research and extension emphasizes the nexus between groundwater and agriculture. His research group focuses on nonpoint-source pollution of groundwater, sustainable groundwater management, groundwater and vadose zone modeling, groundwater resources evaluation under uncertainty, groundwater-surface water interaction, and on contaminant transport.

Kristin Sicke currently serves as the General Manager at the Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District (District). Kristin's work includes, among other things, water right reviews, developing funding opportunities, assessing flood attenuation strategies, and implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) for the District and Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency.

Max Stevenson, Ph.D., is an Assistant General Manager of Yolo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. Max's work includes management of the regional groundwater monitoring program (CASGEM) for the Yolo Water Resources Association. He is coordinating the monitoring portion of the Yolo Subbasin Groundwater Agency’s (YSGA) GSP development.  He has also coordinated and lead the development of groundwater simulation models, nitrate fingerprinting and groundwater age studies, regional recharge and infiltration investigations, and provides technical assistance on various programs.

Cameron Tana, P.E., is principal hydrologist and California operations manager at Montgomery & Associates. Cameron’s focus is assisting public agencies in California manage their groundwater resources. Cameron uses analytical tools and numerical models to address his clients’ challenges and is particularly adept at selecting and implementing the analytical tools best suited to address specific ground- and surface-water issues. He has a wide variety of experience in groundwater basin management and continues to support Groundwater Sustainability Plan development in multiple basins.




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