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The Chickasaw Business and Conference Center on East Central University’s campus will be the setting for the 2017 Oka’ Institute Sustainability Conference, Tuesday-Wednesday, Oct. 10-11.

This year the Institute is excited to offer two optional tours as well as a Student Research Poster Competition. Participants can choose to tour Byrds Mill Springs or the EPA Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, both located in Ada, on Tuesday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. The Student Research Poster Competition is for undergraduate students from regional universities in the state of Oklahoma, and will kick off the evening at 4 p.m.

The poster competition will continue through the 5 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 6 p.m. when Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby will deliver the Tuesday evening keynote address shortly after dinner. Anoatubby will be introduced by Chancellor Glen Johnson, of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Featured speakers for Wednesday, Oct. 11 include Dr. David Zoldoske, executive director of Water Initiatives at California State University-Fresno and Stephen Greetham, Executive Officer, General Counsel to the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerc. Zoldoske will give the luncheon keynote and Greetham will be giving the morning keynote.

Activities continue Wednesday with two panel discussions: Policy/Projects that Move Oklahoma Forward where we will hear from Owen Mills and Dr. Saba Tahmassebi, and Data and Research that Move Oklahoma Forward in which Cody Holcomb, Duane Smith and Dr. Bill Andrews will speak.

Other topics to be discussed include drought contingency, ecosystem services of the Oklahoma Blue River, trends and major issues in water law and policy and water cluster development. Also scheduled to speak are Kris Patton, Dr. Barney Austin, Tom Graham, Tom Lokey and Jona Tucker. Dr. Richard Lowrance, with the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, along with Dr. Randall Ross, Dr. Jim Weaver, Dr. Steve Hutchins, and Dr. Tim Canfield will address the various ways the USEPA is moving Oklahoma forward.

In addition, the ECU faculty Summer Research Opportunity award winners, Dr. Randall Maples, Dr. James Bruce Moring, Dr. Terrie Becerra, Dr. Erick Ananga and Dr. Nicholas Jacob will give a final report on their research. To end the day, a legislative panel made up of Senator Greg McCortney, Senator Frank Simpson, Representative Todd Thomsen and Representative Brian Renegar will address water policy at the Capitol.

This conference has been approved for seven CLE credits from the Oklahoma Bar Association. Professional Engineer continuing education credits will also be offered.

Registration for the full conference is $200 per person, which includes dinner on Oct. 10 and a light breakfast and lunch on Oct. 11. Various ticket options and prices are also available. Registration closes on October 2. You can register at


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