Potochnik stepped down as president of gcrg on September 1, off
to pursue new dreams and continue with some old ones. Andre's
working on finishing his Ph.D. in geology at asu, no small task
while you're also trying to be president of this group. He's
got research on debris flows and geoarcheology going in Grand Canyon
as well, working with Kate Thompson on figuring out the past of
the place we love so well here in the present. And he sits on the
Adaptive Management Work Group (amwg) as the representative speaking
for the guides on how the dam should be run.
Andre learned about geology as a dory boatman in the
canyon. He started in the early '70sa round-faced kid
of 21 or so: cut-off jeans and old tennies, squinting into the sun,
no hat. This place changed his life, he saidhe told me how
much he was indebted to the canyon and the river, and he wanted
to try and give something back. He went back to school to learn
more and more and more about this love. His research in school has
always been about the canyon, even if it doesn't seem so initially.
Get him to tell you about his idea for how the river got over the
Kaibab Plateau. You just might be telling your folks one day. It
makes sense and it's a lot simpler than "headward erosion
and stream capture".
Andre brought the same intensity and concentration
to his work at gcrg as he did to his studies. He has been tirelessly
working on the things that go on behind the scenes: testifying in
Washington on behalf of the Grand Canyon Protection Act, helping
define parameters for the Glen Canyon Dam EIS, sitting on the Adaptive
Management Work Group, working on crmp issues. He's the reason
we know a lot of what we know about the scientific issues facing
the river. Andre's got the great ability to be able to speak
to scientists and politicians and then turn right around and translate
it for all of us who aren't as into the techno-speak. He hasn't
always been at the forefront of the flashy issues, like drug testing
or the alcohol policy (remember that one?), but his work, wisdom
and diplomacy has been extremely valuable and greatly appreciated.
Andre will continue on as the GCRG representative
at the amwg meetings as our River Science Coordinator. Thanks for
all your work, Andregood luck on the Ph.D. We look forward
to calling you "Doc."