GBRW TeamWorking for Nevada's Environment & Resources
GBRW team as of July 2018
Great Basin Resource Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1994 by a coalition of environmental, Native American and scientific community representatives. We are a regional environmental justice organization dedicated to protecting the health and well being of the land, air, water, wildlife, and human communities of the Great Basin from the adverse effects of resource extraction and use.
GBRW’s headquarters are in Reno, Nevada. We inform communities about mining impacts through reports and educational materials. We review mine proposals, permits and expansions in Nevada and California, and we recommend policy solutions to reduce toxic emissions, protect our water resources and preserve human and wildlife habitat.
Board of Directors
Board Chair Larson Bill is Western Shoshone and lives in the Northeastern part of the Western Shoshone Treaty territory, along the Ruby Mountains. Larson is a descendant of the Dosawee family, the traditional warrior lineage of the Western Shoshone. He is a long time leader and has served consecutively for over 25 years in an elected capacity in Elko, TeMoak, and South Fork as council member, council chairman and vice-chairman. He also served on the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, representing all 26 tribes in Nevada, in a Council position and as ITCN Secretary.
Mr. Bill is the former Vice-Chairman for Southfork and a Board member of the Rural Nevada Development Corporation and the Great Basin Mine Watch. Larson is the Community Planner for the Western Shoshone Defense Project. In that capacity, he serves as the lead organizer for community meetings and dialogues with corporate and government entities. Larson has been active in the defense of Western Shoshone rights for many years and has been a lead delegate on numerous National and International Summits in the U.S., Canada and Central America, the United Nations in New York, and to the U.S Congress.
Mary Gibson is a citizen of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone, Elko Band, Elko, NV. She is a semi-retired librarian, who is interested in the protection and preservation of Newe (Western Shoshone) language, culture and history. She has a Master of Science Library and Information Science (MSLIS) degree from Simmons College, Boston, MA. She has also served as a community advisory board member for the Western Shoshone Defense Project, a non-profit Native organization advocating for land and treaty rights and the environmental protection of Western Shoshone ancestral lands. Mary’s interest and concern for the environment stem primarily from witnessing the destructive and unhealthy impact that mining (and other extraction industries) holds over the land, people and entire ecosystems of the Great Basin. Much of the northeastern and central Nevada landscape is recognized as gold country but what is lacking from this narrative is that this land, Newe Sogobia, is also Western Shoshone ancestral lands, as accorded by the 1863 Ruby Valley Treaty. Culturally speaking, Mary says that the toxic processes of hard rock mining is in conflict with Newe (Shoshone) teachings and beliefs. That is, the world is connected to Newe culture through a belief of a living universe and a view of relationship, interconnectedness, respect and reciprocity with our earth mother. The essential elements of life that Newe use ceremoniously and in kinship, such as land, air and water, are important areas of concern that need to be addressed and people need to be educated about. I look forward to gaining and sharing knowledge about the negative effects and impacts of mining with Nevada communities and working toward solutions that will ensure Nevadans, and our living universe, a long and happy healthy life. Along with serving as GBRW board member, Mary is currently organizing a non-profit Native community library and archives to preserve Western Shoshone cultural heritage.
GBRW Executive Director
John E. Hadder is currently the Director for Great Basin Research Watch. His academic background is in physical chemistry with a MS from the University of Cincinnati. In 1991 he first visited the Nevada Test Site and became involved with work around nuclear issues in Nevada. Since that time he has been applying his knowledge of chemistry and science to public policy and environmental issues.
Over the years he has worked in areas of community planning, non-violence and peace work, energy, sustainable transportation, indigenous rights, and general environmental protection. He has developed skills in activism and organizing, and spent time traveling within the Great Basin learning about the land and its people.
John also teaches chemistry at Truckee Meadows Community College. He serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, and HOME (Healing Ourselves and Mother Earth). He is also a thespian, acting, writing, and directing projects with Theoretical Theatre, and also works with the Nevada Shakespeare Company. In addition, he loves cycling on the open road.
Houston Kempton is a geochemist specializing in water quality at hard-rock mines. He has B.S. degrees in geology and geography (Mary Washington College, 1982), and an M.A. in Geology (University of Colorado, 1987). His technical experience has focused on sampling and analysis of water at existing mines, and applying predictive models to estimate the effects of mine facilities (tailings, waste rock, and pit lakes) on future water quality. His work for mine operators includes projects in Peru, Chile, Canada, Burkina Faso, Russia, and the Western US. His work with government and non-government organizations has included projects funded by the US EPA, the US BLM, various US states (CO, MN, and CA), and Oxfam.
In response to the expanded use of computer predictions for mine permitting, Mr. Kempton’s published articles focus on refining key parameters used in water-quality models, including pollution release from mine waste, the fate and transport of pollutants, and the feasibility of water-treatment technologies. His recent research includes methods for incorporating uncertainty into probabilistic water-quality models, and addressing the technical and policy dilemmas associated with closing operating mines that will require perpetual active water treatment.
Outreach and Program Coordinator
Chelsey Hand has a B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Gonzaga University. She was born in Reno and loves Nevada dearly. She has worked for Great Basin Resource Watch since January 2020. Some of her previous internship and volunteer experience has been with Sierra Nevada Journeys, the Domestic Violence Resource Center, 350 Spokane, City of Spokane Division of Public Works, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, and Washington Trails Association.