Eastern lectureship series to focus on water issues in Oklahoma


WILBURTON, OK (Jan. 7, 2014) – From access policies to conservation efforts, water continues to be an intensely debated issue in Oklahoma. Eastern Oklahoma State College will help raise awareness about the topic during an educational program on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 10:30 a.m. in Mitchell Auditorium.

“What’s the Big Deal About Water in Oklahoma?” will be presented as part of the college’s 10th Julian J. Rothbaum Distinguished Lectureship Series. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a panel of experts speaking about the issues surrounding water in the state of Oklahoma, including resource management, access, conservation and quality.

Panelists for the event include Marguerite Chapman, Charlette Hearne and J.D. Strong.

Chapman, professor emeritus of law at the University of Tulsa, specializes in water law, health care law, biomedical ethics and interstate compacts. She was the featured speaker on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Tarrant Regional Water District case at the Red River Valley Association’s annual Oklahoma Water Resources Conference in 2013.

Hearne is president of Oklahomans for Responsible Water Policy, a statewide, grassroots citizens’ organization created to protect Oklahoma’s water resources, environment and way of life. She was recently appointed to Oklahoma’s Water for 2060 Advisory Council.

Strong is the executive director of the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and represents Oklahoma on the Western States Water Council. He also serves as Oklahoma’s commissioner on four Congressionally-approved interstate water Compact Commissions. He previously served as Oklahoma’s secretary of environment.

The Rothbaum Lectureship Series was created with a $25,000 gift from the late Julian J. Rothbaum, a Hartshorne native and Tulsa attorney. Once matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the gift became a $50,000 endowment to fund the lectureship series that is designed to help Eastern bring recognized authorities to campus to address issues of public affairs at the national, state or local level.

Rothbaum was a longtime oilman, banker, lawyer, philanthropist and former member of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. He was a strong advocate for higher education and remained an integral part of politics and public affairs during his life.

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