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

This year the Oka’ 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. 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. He will give the luncheon keynote and Stephen Greetham, executive officer, General Counsel to the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce will be giving the morning keynote.

Activities continue Wednesday with two panel discussions: policy/projects that move Oklahoma forward and data/research that move Oklahoma forward. Reports will also be delivered from the ECU Faculty Summer Research Opportunity Award winners.

Other topics to be discussed include drought contingency, trends and major issues in water law and policy and water cluster development. Professional Engineer and Oklahoma Bar Association continuing education credits will be offered.

An early bird registration price of $150 is available through Sept. 15. After the 15th, the full registration price is $200. You can register at

If you would like to be a sponsor of the 2017 Sustainability Conference, please contact John Hargrave at 580-559-5150.

Here are the biographies of the featured speakers:

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Anoatubby, an ECU alumnus, has served as governor of the Chickasaw Nation since 1987 after consistently being re-elected to that position. In 1979, he was elected the first lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation. In his first term, Anoatubby established goals of economic development and self-sufficiency for the Chickasaw Nation and its people.

Today, the Chickasaw Nation is well on the way to achieving those goals. In 1987, the tribe had about 250 employees and today the Chickasaw Nation employs nearly 14,000 people.

Dr. Davis Zoldoske

Dr. David Zoldoske serves as the executive director of Water Initiatives at California State University-Fresno, where he has been actively working on “water use efficiency” issues for over 35 years. He is the co-founder of the BlueTechValley (BTV) Water Cluster, which was established in 2001 and is recognized by the Environmental Technology Innovation Cluster Development and Support Program, EPA Office of Research and Development as the first active water cluster in the US.

Stephen Greetham

Stephen H. Greetham presently serves as executive officer, General Counsel to the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce, in which he manages complex litigation on the Chickasaw Nation’s behalf and works closely with tribal leadership on matters of economic development, resource management and protection and intergovernmental affairs.  He also is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Oklahoma College of Law, where he regularly teaches federal Indian Water Law.


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