Meeting of the Minds Speaker

Chris Unkel

Conservation Director, Central Valley River Restoration (retired)

American Rivers

Chris Unkel (Ph.D.) has over 40 years of experience conserving and restoring rivers and wetlands in California's Central Valley. 

As Director of American Rivers Central Valley River Restoration program, Dr. Unkel initiated a multi-benefit flood management project at the Oroville Wildlife Area, led efforts to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in state budget for multi-benefit flood management projects in the Central Valley, analyzed permitting and financing barriers for multi-benefit projects, and closely tracked the City of West Sacramento’s Southport Levee Setback project. Dr. Unkel was previously employed by Duck’s Unlimited (5 years), the Nature Conservancy (17 years) where he played a key role in the acquisition of the 70,000-acre Consumnes River Preserve, and the California legislature.