Policy Approaches for Protecting Iowa's Drinking Water

Iowa Events Center, HyVee Hall
Friday, June 17th, 2016 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM


  • David Osterberg

    David Osterberg

    Clinical Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health University of Iowa

    David Osterberg is a Clinical Professor of Environmental Policy in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Iowa. He holds a secondary appoint at the UI’s Department of Geography. From 1983‐1998, Professor Osterberg served as a State Representative in the Iowa House of Representatives. During that time he served as the Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and as Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. He later worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Professor Osterberg holds a BA in Economics from Washington State University, and an MA in Economics, an MS in Water Resources Management, and an MS in Agricultural Economics, all from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison. In 2001 he founded the Iowa Policy Project, which produces papers on the Iowa budget, empowerment of low‐income Iowans and improving our environment. His organization has published widely on Iowa environmental issues.


  • Chuck Gipp

    Chuck Gipp

    Director, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

    Chuck Gipp was born and raised on a diversified farming operation near Decorah, Iowa.  After graduating from Decorah High School, he graduated with a BA Degree from Luther College.  Upon graduation, he returned home to become a managing partner in A-G Swiss Farms, Inc. with two of his brothers where they specialized in breeding and milking registered Brown Swiss Dairy cattle until the fall of 2002.


    In 1990, Gipp was elected to the Iowa House of Representatives where he served for nine consecutive terms.  During his legislative tenure, he served as an Assistant Majority Leader, Majority Whip and Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  In 2002 and again in 2004, he was elected to the position of House Majority Leader.


    After deciding not to seek re-election, Gipp was hired by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, as Director of the Division of Soil Conservation in July of 2008.  He served in that role for three years.  The Division is responsible for administering state programs and providing leadership to farmers and landowners to promote the protection and management of soil, water and mineral resources.


    August 5, 2011, Gipp accepted the invitation of Governor Branstad to become the Deputy Director of Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Finally, as of May 25, 2012, Gipp accepted the request by Governor Branstad to fill the position as Director of DNR.


    Gipp continues to reside in Decorah, Iowa with his wife Ranae and makes the weekly commute to Des Moines.

  • Karen Flournoy

    Karen Flournoy

    Division of Water Wetlands and Pesticides, US Environmental Protection Agency

    Karen Flournoy has served as Director of EPA Region 7’s Water Division since November, 2011.  She served for 6 years as the Region 7 Ag Advisor to the Regional Administrator.  Karen joined EPA Region 7 in 1978 in the construction grants program, and has 14 years experience in the hazardous waste and superfund programs. She has served as Deputy Director of the air and waste programs and Director of the public affairs office.  Karen received a degree in civil engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

  • John Wills

    John Wills

    State Representative House District 1

    John grew up in Sibley, graduated from Sibley Community High School, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Northwestern College in Orange City. He also holds two Master’s Degrees. John and his wife, Cami, have three adult children.


    John has been involved in water quality and conservation work for more than 15 years. He is the Vice President of the Okoboji Protective Association and works to protect water resources. He also currently serves in the National Guard and has been in the military for 25 years, serving numerous deployments overseas.


    Wills’ life has been dedicated to service and now he is looking to work on behalf of Iowans in the Statehouse.


    Wills is a Founding Member of Pheasants Forever, Habitat Chair in Osceola County, and a member of the State Pheasants Forever Council. He is also a member of the Friends of Lakeside Lab and Veterans of Foreign War.

  • Janet Petersen

    Janet Petersen

    Iowa Senator, District 18

    Senator Janet Petersen represents Iowans from the northwest portion of Des Moines.  She is serving her first term in the Iowa Senate after serving six terms in the Iowa House of Representatives.  During her first term in the Iowa Senate, Janet chaired the Government Oversight Committee and Senate Commerce Committee.  She serves on the Judiciary, Natural Resources, State Government, Ways & Means, and Transportation & Infrastructure committees.  Janet is also Vice Chair of the Council of State Governments, Midwest Region, which covers eleven Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces.

    Janet has a B.A. from UNI and M.A. from Drake University in communications. Before joining the legislature, Janet worked for the American Heart Association and Strategic America, a marketing and communications firm. In 2008, Janet founded a nonprofit organization with four other central Iowa women called Healthy Birth Day. The organization, best known for its public health campaign Count the Kicks, is devoted to reducing the number of stillbirths in Iowa and nationwide through research, education and advocacy.

    Janet is married to Brian Pattinson, who works for Principal Global Investors, and together they have three children.