Board of Directors

Brian Epstein, Secretary

Brian Epstein is a hydrologist with the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s Stream and Lake Protection Section. A passionate professional, he is striving to understand and help others comprehend water’s complex relationship with the natural and built environments. Over the course of his career he has worked as a Water Commissioner, research hydrologist, and consulting hydrologist. He has a Master of Science in Hydrogeology from University of Nevada, Reno and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Natural Resource Policy Studies from Michigan State University. A lifelong learner, he has continued to study: river processes, mediation, leadership, and the Human Validation Process Model. When not on the road conducting field work, at desk analyzing data, or in a meeting, Brian is in the mountains hiking, biking, or skiing with his wife, Gabriela; children, Sophia and Benjamin; and dog, Balu, or wrapped up in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the martial art known as human chess.

Emma Regier

Emma serves as the Executive Director for the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project, a small non-profit working to improve the health of the Rio Grande in the San Luis Valley. Emma grew up on the prairies of Kansas and graduated from Bethel College (KS) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and a focus in Restoration Ecology. Since moving to the San Luis Valley in 2013, Emma has become actively involved in the local water community and serves on the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable. Emma lives in Alamosa with her husband John and their cat Oliver.

Jassen Savoie

Jassen (pronounced JAY-sun) Savoie graduated from University of Northern Colorado in 1997 with Environmental and Political Science degrees.  Jassen’s early experience with technical repair and training on equipment for air and water quality prepared him for a future in environmental technology including experience with groundwater sampling, monitoring and remediation.  He excelled at bridging the gap between application and product.  After 2001, Jassen supported Geotech’s sales and support team as National Technical Sales Manager, providing technical training and serving as a resource for clients.  Jassen is a sought after expert in groundwater sampling technology as well as water quality monitoring.  He has been a trainer for the Nielsen Environmental Field School as well as several universities.  In his current role as Regional Sales Manager for Geotech Environmental in the Rocky Mountain Region, Jassen supports Geotech Environmental products along with YSI and Sontek equipment.  Mr. Savoie is a member of CWA, RMAEP, CEMS, CRWA and the CMA Water Quality Committee.

Zach Smith, President

Zach has been the Colorado Water Trust staff attorney since 2010, where he develops and manages water rights transfers and other projects that benefit Colorado's rivers and streams.  A Denver native and a DU Law graduate, he is an alum of the Colorado Foundation for Water Education Water Leaders program and is the current President of the Colorado Watershed Assembly Board of Directors.

Leslie Volkar

Leslie currently serves as Director of Communications for Colorado Open Lands, one of Colorado’s largest land trusts.  Her areas of expertise include communications and marketing strategy, copywriting, promotion, and event planning and coordination. She attended Pennsylvania State University, earning a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, and a M.A. in Media Studies, with a research focus in the theory, practice, and ethics of nontraditional marketing strategies. Leslie enjoys all facets of design, graphics, and typography, and indulges in many creative pursuits that let her explore those interests.

Angela Welch

Angie has been a hydrologist for Norwest Corporation since 2005.  She began her involvement with watershed groups in 2002 where she provided surface water monitoring for Silver Lake Homeowners Association through the Big Thompson Watershed Forum.  Angela is currently a member of the Purgatoire Watershed Partnership, a group she helped form in 2013 and sat on the Board as Secretary for 2 years.