Water Summit 2020 POSTPONED 

Coming Spring 2021  |  Virtual Event  |  Sandpoint, ID

Due to concerns regarding Covid-19, LPOW has decided to postpone and rethink our Water Summit 2020 event.

We feel this is an important event for keeping the public informed about the “State of the Lake” and are considering delivering this information through a live stream and pre-recorded webinar.

Stay tuned for details regarding a virtual event in the Spring of 2021!

Hosted by Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper

Thanks again for attending and supporting the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper Water Summit (2019)!

In celebration of Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeepers 10th Anniversary protecting the water quality of Lake Pend Oreille, LPOW hosted its first annual Water Summit in Sandpoint, Idaho on Friday, September 20th at the Panida Theater.

​The theme of the event was “using science and technology to explore our waters’ tiniest organisms and biggest influencers”.

The Summit featured five short engaging and charismatic talks that exposed new ideas that are supported by scientific evidence. The five speakers were experts in aquatic science and technology. Four of the talks focused on the smallest inhabitants of the aquatic environment (microbes), and why they are essential to a healthy ecosystem.
Our last speaker, from Earth Economics, spoke about the economic value of our natural resources and how pollution impacts value. Thanks again to our speakers!

We were excited to host our keynote speaker again as a celebration of our 10th year. He inspired us to continue to fight for drinkable, fishable and swimmable waterways.


Friday, September 20, 2019

Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper is celebrating its 10-year Anniversary with a big event.

On Friday, September 20th at the Panida will be the first Water Summit: “Discovering the Unseen – Exploring Our Waters’ Tiniest Organisms and Biggest influencers.”

Six dynamic speakers will discuss innovative technology and scientific breakthroughs that influence water quality.

This event will be the first of its kind in North Idaho and with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. serving as the keynote speaker it will be an evening you won’t want to miss.

Tickets are $35 per person

  • Meet and Greet with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at Heartwood Center at 3:30-5pm; $100 per person (limted to 30)
  • Panel Discussion with Water Summit speakers at Heartwood Center: Saturday, September 21st from 10am-noon; $30 per person (limited to 60)
  • All three event package $150 per person (limit to 30)
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Keynote Speaker & President, WATERKEEPER Alliance

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is an American environmental attorney, author, activist, clean technology entrepreneur and radio host He is an Irish American, son of the New York Senator and former Attorney General Robert Francis Kennedy and the nephew of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy serves as Senior Attorney and President of Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit focused on grassroots efforts to preserve and protect waterways worldwide.

Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper Water Summit – Speaker Bios

Tom Zimmerman

Tom Zimmerman

Research Staff Member, IBM, Almaden Research Center

Tom Zimmerman is a research staff member at IBM at the Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA. He has more than 60 patents on user input devices, wireless communication, image and audio signal processing, biometrics, encryption and microscopy. His Data Glove and PowerGlove inventions helped establish the field of virtual reality. His electric field Personal Area Network invention sends data through the human body, and it can prevent airbags from injuring children in cars. Zimmerman’s environmental work includes research on the yaw stability of wind turbines and solar thermal storage at MIT, and building wireless sensors to monitor sea turtles in the US and Costa Rica.

Mr. Zimmerman is currently developing AI-powered microscopes to monitor plankton in their natural environment and studying the response of plankton to toxins in his work with the Center For Cellular Construction. He supports the DIY community through articles in Make Magazine and his passion for volunteering in the public schools earned him the California Medal for Service from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver.

Lisa Zeigler Allen, PhD

Lisa Zeigler Allen, PhD

Asst Professor, J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego

Lisa Zeigler Allen is an Assistant Professor in the Microbial and Environmental Genomics Department at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego. Dr. Allen’s research is directed towards understanding microbial and viral interactions in the marine environment through large-scale metagenomic, single cell/virion genomic and cultivation based approaches. She led the experimental design and implementation of the first single virion isolation and genomic characterization and is currently using these techniques to evaluate samples from the natural environment.

Through community level analyses of microbial and virioplankton consortia and culture-based virus/host dynamics, in particular phytoplankton host/virus, she is investigating the influence of viruses on host function, ecosystem performance, community-level diversity and the evolution of hosts.

Orianna Bretschger, PhD

Orianna Bretschger, PhD

CEO and Founder, AQUACYCL

Orianna Bretschger is the CEO and Founder of AQUACYCL. Dr. Bretschger’s research efforts have focused on understanding the metabolism and electron transfer mechanisms within mixed microbial communities with the goal of applying this knowledge to biotechnology development. Results from these fundamental studies ultimately contributed to the development of practical bioelectrical systems including wastewater treatment.

Aquacycl’s BioElectrochemical Treatment Technology (BETT™) uses naturally existing bacteria to convert organic waste and sludge into direct electricity without any methane production. Aquacycl’s BETT™ is the only cost-effective and scalable technology for onsite wastewater treatment that can address high strength waste streams, eliminate sludge, recover energy as direct electricity, and produce clean water. Aquacycl has received numerous awards including the People’s Choice Award at the Sustainable Brands Innovation Open and the Best New Technology Innovation award at the BlueTech Forum in 2018.

Johnny Mojica

Johnny Mojica

Research Lead, Earth Economics

Johnny Mojica works and lives for outdoor adventure, a drive that led him to travel the world with a backpack from Northern volcanoes to scuba diving in the Red Sea. As a Research Lead at Earth Economics, Mr. Mojica specializes in holistic economic analyses of public spaces, river systems, and the outdoor industry. He works to assess the impact of policy, management, and business decisions by using economic tools such as input-output modeling and benefit-cost analysis. His work has resulted in providing local, state, and national park systems with the tools needed to quantify the social, environmental, and economic benefits of public spaces. His experience working with tribes, business groups, and all levels of government, allows Johnny to leverage his findings with diverse communities and decision makers.

Jonathan Eisen, PhD

Jonathan Eisen, PhD

Professor, UC Davis

Jonathan A. Eisen is a Professor at U. C. Davis. His lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and he hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. In addition, he holds an Adjunct appointment at the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA.

His research focuses on the mechanisms underlying the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). Most of his work involves the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing methods to characterize microbes and then the use and development of computational methods to analyze this type of data. In particular, his computational work has focused on integrating evolutionary analysis with genome analysis—so-called phylogenomics.

In addition to his research, Dr. Eisen is also a vocal advocate for “open science” especially “open access” to scientific publications and is the Academic Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Biology.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Sponsorship Opportunities
Event sponsorship has more benefits than you might think! Sponsorship can put your brand in front of new audiences increasing your reach.

By supporting the Water Summit you will supporting a local grass roots organization and the health of Lake Pend Oreille. This is an investment in the local community which strengthens your businesses image. Consider becoming a sponsor today!



  • Wishnick Foundation
  • Jeff & Cindy Bond
  • Coeur D’Alene Tribe
  • WPM


  • Avista
  • Hope Marine Services
  • Blue Sky Broadcasting, Inc
  • Finan McDonald Clothing Company
  • The Paint Bucket
  • Washington Trust Bank


  • Columbia Bank
  • Action Water Sports
  • Mountain West Bank
  • Mountain Sky Signs & Printing
  • Selkirk Press
  • Matchwood Brewing Company
  • Utara Brewing Company
  • Fatbeam
  • Sandpoint Sports
  • Idah2o
  • J-U-B Engineers, Inc.

Join the Sentinels Club

As a Sentinel, you can support the specific projects you’re passionate about or provide broad organizational support to ensure LPOW’s long-term sustainability.

Become a Citizen Scientist!

Become a trained citizen scientist. Collecting water samples is a great way to enjoy time on the water & get involved in active stewardship of our local waterways!