Michelle joined the Council staff in 2015 and enjoys tackling policy issues such as jurisdiction over waters of the U.S. and waters of the states, federal reserved water rights, interstate compacts, Indian water rights settlements, droughts, floods, wildfires, harmful algal blooms, seasonal-to-subseasonal water data and predictive capabilities, cooperative federalism and collaborative state-federal relationships, water infrastructure, water reuse, aquifer storage and recovery, conjunctive use of surface and groundwater, and other topics impacting the quality, quantity, and careful management of water throughout the West.
Michelle graduated with BS and MS degrees in geology from Brigham Young University, with a cross-discipline emphasis on geochemistry, hydrology, and geophysics. She managed a stable isotope lab for three years, enjoyed working on several seismic surveys, and loves field trips and spending time outdoors. Her master’s thesis studied the contribution of groundwater recharge along regional flow paths to discharge at Ash Meadows. She graduated with a JD from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she studied water law, natural resources and environmental law. She came to the Council with seven years of civil litigation experience and a passion for water. She grew up in the West, living in six of the Council’s member states, and is descended from five generations of western farmers and ranchers who understood the critical role of limited water resources for steady work and quality of life.