Dawn Presler
Snohomish County PUD

Kevin Duffy
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Amy Day

Liz Mack
Kearns & West

Chris Gaylord
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers



Decision-making can be a long and winding path when you involve different groups; however, doing so can lead to more creative and inclusive ideas and solutions. Whether your “community” is your peers, agencies, tribes, management, or the public, knowing your audience and what motivates them can help tailor your approach, leading to more robust and fulfilling engagement. The panelists will talk about how the growing field of social science is poised to improve engagement over traditional methods in hydropower and energy development, over a wide range of areas such as outreach, media exposure, negotiations, and process.

Who should attend:
Scientists, regulators, communication specialists, engineers, project managers, and management teams.

Why you should attend:

Stakeholder (“community”) engagement is one aspect that can make or break projects; social science can help identify approaches to bring about better results. Come learn from regional experts some concepts and tips to focus your processes and communications on ones that will meet your community’s values, interests, and attention.

Dawn Presler, Lead-Licensing and Compliance, Snohomish County PUD


  • Kevin Duffy, Social Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Amy Day,
  • Liz Mack, Senior Director/Facilitator, Kearns & West
  • Chris Gaylord, Senior Public Affairs Specialist/Social Media Manager, Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers


Speaker Bios:

  • Dawn Presler has been in hydro industry for 20+ years, first starting with the relicensing of the Jackson Project in the early 2000s and then led the license efforts for 6 other projects. She serves as the primary contact with FERC and agency staff, coordinates a team of biologists, monitors compliance, and oversees engagement, education, and outreach. She is an active participant in all the stakeholder, resource, settlement, and FERC meetings, encouraging all parties to share information, ask questions, find common ground, and reach resolution. She also served on the NWHA Board, among others.
  • Kevin Duffy is a social scientist whose work focuses understanding community perceptions and priorities related to technology innovation and renewable energy development. His background in risk analysis and media production cultivates an interest in the intent and impact of communication and collaboration efforts. Kevin seeks to support the resilience of social and ecological communities by increasing opportunities for equitable and inclusive participation in research and development. Most recently, his work includes characterizing the communities engaged in offshore wind development, evaluating the structure of a community-based technical assistance program, and directly engaging over 100 members of hydropower community in collaborative goal setting through the Hydropower Vision Roadmap. 
  • Amy Day is the co-founder and Executive Director of and a Board member of the Society of Decision Professionals. Amy specializes in teaching young people and adults how to make good decisions. She teaches courses through Fortune 500 company partnerships, community organizations and schools, and Clarity4Action-hosted classes. Amy is an experienced speaker who has been a regular guest featured live on NBC and CBS for four years. With over two decades of experience in Decision Education, she holds a Stanford University Continuing Studies certification in Decision Education, Counseling, and Advising. You can reach Amy at
  • Liz Mack is a Senior Director for Kearns & West with over 15 years of experience in facilitation and public engagement. She specializes in designing collaborative processes to bring together stakeholders to make decisions about natural resource management, conservation, and environmental issues. Liz has provided strategic advice and neutral facilitation to numerous clients across the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West that helped move complex issues forward. Her experience includes convening and facilitating multiparty processes, developing evaluation processes and stakeholder assessments, and achieving durable and measurable outcomes. She’s also skilled in developing community outreach and strategic communication programs across a wide range of sectors.

  • Chris Gaylord is an enthusiastic practitioner of non-boring communications that don’t take audiences for granted. In fact, he can be heard saying this no fewer than 27 times a day: “You can’t take it for granted that anyone will care what you have to say.” And there’s no truer truth in the space where Chris spends his professional time: social media.  Chris spent seven years as an active duty Army photojournalist and public affairs specialist before leaving for a career in the private sector, first briefly in newspapers and then in employee communications. Then, he somehow ended up in the government sector again (because sometimes life throws you curveballs, and sometimes it throws you boomerangs).  For the past four years, this professional wise guy and purveyor of lit memes has managed social media for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District, in addition to leading employee communications and media relations for a short time—and along the way discovered the power of humor in communication.  Chris has 15 years of experience spanning communications, public affairs, and journalism, including everything from media relations to internal communications to multimedia storytelling—and of course replying to comments with the perfect GIF.  Do memes belong in professional communications? You might scoff at that question. Hold on, let us pull up some Facebook analytics for you…