The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment
George Mason University along with distinguished partners the National Geographic Society and the National Zoo is proud to host the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE). This summer the WYSE welcomes 250 High School National Youth Delegates from all over the country. National Youth Delegates join the Mason community, which includes students and faculty from all over the world. Mason is both the largest public university in Virginia and one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation. This summer's conference will take place June 23-June 28, 2013.
Michael L. Connor, Commissioner, Bureau of Reclamation
Michael L. Connor was confirmed Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation by the United States Senate on May 21, 2009.
Connor has nearly two decades of experience in the public sector, including having served as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee since May 2001. At the committee, Connor managed legislation for both the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Geological Survey, developed water resources legislation and handled Native American issues that are within the Energy Committee's jurisdiction.
From 1993 to 2001, Connor served in the Department of the Interior, including as deputy director and then director of the Secretary's Indian Water Rights Office from 1998 to 2001. In this capacity, Connor represented the Secretary of the Interior in negotiations with Indian tribes, state representatives, and private water users to secure water rights settlements consistent with the federal trust responsibility to tribes.
Before joining the Secretary's Office, he was employed with the Interior Solicitor's Office in Washington, DC and in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He began his Interior career in the Solicitor's Honors Program in 1993. Connor received his J.D. from the University Of Colorado School Of Law, and is admitted to the bars of Colorado and New Mexico. He previously received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from New Mexico State University and worked for General Electric.
The Bureau of Reclamation is a contemporary water management agency and the largest wholesale provider of water in the country. It brings water to more than 31 million people, and provides one out of five Western farmers with irrigation water for farmland that produces much of the nation's produce. Reclamation is also the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the western United States with 58 power plants.
Located in Fairfax VA, Mason's beautiful campus is just minutes from Washington D.C. The unique learning opportunities in and around the nation’s capital are only part of the reason why George Mason University is ranked the #1 “School to Watch” by US News and World Report. Nationally, Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s rank Mason among the 50 best values in higher education. Mason is the only school in the D.C. area to receive these distinctions. Prospective students can explore Mason's interactive site at masonmetro.com.
Mason attracts proven and innovative leaders in conservation, climate change, and the environment. Faculty members have developed the WYSE curriculum to suit the needs and potential of the nation’s most talented future leaders in the field. Curriculum includes hands-on learning with industry leaders, not only from Mason, but from international conservation experts and Washington insiders. High School National Youth Delegates will experience an integrated and forward-thinking approach to the environment, while acquiring valuable "in-the-trenches" knowledge.