Heinz J. Mahler, Co Founder/Legal Advisor
I was born in Heilbronn, Germany in 1953. My family immigrated to the United States in 1963. We came across the ocean from Bremerhafen to New York Harbor on a ship. Our family then drove from New York to Salt Lake City in a Ford Taunus that my father brought over from Germany. No one in the family spoke English.
I managed somehow to learn the English language and became a citizen in 1970. I graduated from Highland High School in Salt Lake City, Utah and then served an mission in Thailand for my church.
I attended the University of Utah, graduated with a degree in history and political science in 1979, and subsequently received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Utah in 1982.
I am married to Nancy Thompson Mahler. Between us, we have 9 children. I enjoy traveling with Nancy, taking photographs, and extensive reading on the beach. Nancy is president of Wananavu Kadavu, a non-profit corporation, whose goal is to bring fresh drinking water to small villages on the islands of the Fiji. I am a partner with the law firm of Kipp and Christian, P.C. My practice concentrates primarily on defending the trucking industry. I also handle cases dealing with construction defects and other defense litigation.
I am a member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, the German American Society, the German American National Congress, and the Holladay Rotary Club.
Bruce Bishop, Advisory Board
A. Bruce Bishop is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Utah Water Research Laboratory. He has been at Utah State University since 1971. He is Dean Emeritus of the College of Engineering, having served in that position from July 1982 to July 2002.
His areas of specialization are water resources planning and management, engineering economics, systems analysis models and optimization applied to water, transportation, energy, and environmental planning.
Dr. Bruce Bishop has worked on a variety of research and planning projects for agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Idaho Water Resources Board, California Division of Highways, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Utah Division of Water Resources, US Army Corps of Engineering, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Forest Service, US Agency for International Development, and the Asian Development Bank.
He has co-authored one book, contributed chapters to eight books, published 38 articles in scientific journals and proceeding, and led 35 major research projects.
Dr. Russell Howorth, Advisory Board
Dr Howorth, returned to SOPAC as Director in February 2010. He is a professional earth scientist.
He retired as Deputy Director of SOPAC on September 30th 2005, after serving the region with
SOPAC for over 26 years. He has worked for, and/or carried out fieldwork in all Pacific small island
developing states. He has published over 60 research papers, as well as being on country teams as
adviser at many international fora such as UN-CSD for seven years, 1998-2005, the World Summit on
Sustainable Development in 2002, and in 2004-2005 the preparatory meetings for both the Mauritius
International Meeting on SIDS and the Second World Conference on Disasters in Kobe. During
2005 he also assisted the ACP/EU Secretariat and member states draft the new ACP/EU Natural
Disaster Fund and participated on the Task Force drafting the Pacific Plan. He has worked with all
development partners supporting the region.
Dr Howorth is also the owner/operator of Matadrevula Advisory Services, a small company he
established and registered in the Fiji Islands in 2006, in order to provide visibility to his being
requested to provide advice with a broad environmental and sustainable development emphasis to
countries, organisations and individuals in the region.
From 2006 until February 2010 he has provided services to the New-York based UNDESA Division
for Sustainable Development, and UNDESA Water Branch and SIDS Unit, the UNDP Pacific
SubRegional Centre in Suva, the European Union Suva Delegation, and the South Pacific Tourism
Organisation, as well as been a part time Senior Adviser to the Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience
Commission (SOPAC) Directorate. In mid 2007 he completed a substantial project proposal for the
Christian World Service to support the churches in the Pacific islands develop and strengthen their
role in disaster risk reduction. During the first half of 2008 he has assisted the newly established
Regional Office for IUCN Oceania in preparing its strategic and operational plans and developing
particular project concepts, including the Pacific Ocean 2020 Challenge a major project endorsed in
October 2008 by the World Conservation Council. Country specific work over the past 3 years has
included visits to FSM, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu to
develop country implementation plans for disaster risk management related projects supported from
the EDF9 National Programmes. In September 2008 he was in the Cook Islands drafting of a Business
Plan for Emergency Management Cook Islands, as part of the Prime Minister’s Office.
During 2009 he has engaged in the following consultancies.
• Senior technical advisor to the EU Regional Authorising Office based at the Pacific Islands
Forum Secretariat to assist in managing the selection of projects to be funded under the 10th EDF
Regional Indicative Programme worth 95m EU.
• A member of a 3-person team to analyse and validate the regional institutional arrangement
proposed for SOPAC, SPC and SPREP.
• Prepared a regional overview of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the Asian
Development Bank in conjunction with the UNDP Pacific Centre.
• Currently he is about to commence a consultancy for the ESCAP Pacific Operations Centre to
prepare the reporting for the 5-year review of the Mauritius Strategy for further implementation of
the Barbados Programme of Action for SIDS.
He has a keen interest in capacity building for Pacific island national and established the Certificate in
Earth Science and Marine Geology for in-service training of technicians working in the earth sciences.
His broader environmental and sustainable development interests are demonstrated in many ways for
example; (i) as a team leader of the work on developing the first globally applicable environmental
vulnerability index which Pacific SIDS presented at the Mauritius Meeting, and (ii) as a technical
adviser to the UN on National Sustainable Development Strategies and the Millennium Development
Goals in Pacific SIDS.
Serena Gene Martineau, Photographer & Special Project
I have always had a passionate love for art and photography. For the last 9 years I have been very fortunate to own my own businesses and do what I love. I have been very blessed and I strongly believe that because of my blessings, I have a large desire to “pay it forward.” I was able to travel to Fiji in spring 2010 and stay right in the village among the locals. It was a life changing experience and I was happy to be able to document the progress for Wananavu Kadavu. The water mission is a much needed cause to help insure a better and healthier life for the wonderful people of Fiji. I left Kadavu very humbled and grateful for the experience.
I currently live in St. George, Utah with my husband and 3 young sons. I continue to stay busy with my photography business and I hope to one day travel and use my skill to photograph and bring attention to the many people around the world who are needing the help of the outside world.