Elizabeth Soderstrom, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Development
Area of Focus: Elizabeth is the senior staff position at American Rivers in river conservation with management in California. Her responsibilities include major donor fundraising, development and management of a California Advisory Council, grant writing, and project management around acquisition of water rights for instream flows, corporate water footprinting, salmon restoration in coastal watersheds, and green infrastructure approaches such as meadow and floodplain restoration.
Background: Elizabeth joined American Rivers in 2008. For the previous seven years, Elizabeth was the Senior Director for Sierra and International Rivers at the Natural Heritage Institute, during which time, she managed the Sharing Water Project on the Okavango River in Southern Africa, launched the Mountain Meadows Initiative, and applied adaptive management principles to river restoration as a Switzer Leadership Fellow and a Donella Meadows Fellow. She also assisted both the CALFED Science Program and the Sierra Nevada Conservancy in developing and using performance measures. Previously, Elizabeth served as an International Engineering and Diplomacy Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science at USAID's Center for the Environment in Washington, DC, and at USAID's Regional Center for Southern Africa based in Gaborone, Botswana. In these positions, she implemented the International Coral Reef Initiative, was an advisor and representative to the Ramsar Convention on Weltands of International Importance, and the Convention on Biodiversity, and researched and designed a role for United States assistance in the management of international rivers in southern Africa.
Education: B.A. in English Literature, B.S. and M.S. in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Wildlands Resource Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Favorite River: Yuba River
Blog Posts By This Author
October 4, 2012 | Water Pollution
The River Charles, as we called it, is a long, lazy river that flows through 22 towns in Massachusetts before it reaches Boston Harbor. As sewage, industrial wastewater and urban runoff flowed freely into the river from the surrounding cities, the Charles River became well known for its high level of pollutants, so that by 1955, Bernard DeVoto wrote in Harper's Magazine that the Charles was "foul and noisome, polluted by offal and industrious wastes, scummy with oil, unlikely to be mistaken for water."Read more »