CALFED Lead Scientist

The Lead Scientist is appointed by the Resources Secretary. He advises the California Bay-Delta Authority board and works with the CALFED Science Program staff, the CALFED Independent Science Board, CALFED implementing agency scientists, and the scientific community at large to promote and coordinate the use of peer-reviewed science throughout the CALFED Program. The Lead Scientist nominates and establishes standing boards and independent review panels of experts to review the use of science in particular projects and the entire CALFED Program. The Lead Scientist identifies, refines and implements the science agenda for the CALFED Program including the awarding of competitive research grants for targeted science. An important part of the job includes developing, leading and sustaining dialogues and public discussions of technical issues among the stakeholder community, managers and scientists of implementing agencies, and academic researchers.

Michael Healey, PhD.

Dr. Healey, an internationally-recognized expert on Pacific salmon and natural resource management, was appointed to the position of Lead Scientist by Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman on October 20, 2006. He came to the Science Program from the University of British Columbia in December 2006. Prior to his appointment as Lead Scientist he had served as a member of the Ecosystem Restoration Program Science Board and the Independent Science Board of CALFED.

Science Advisor to the Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force

Dr. Healey serves as a science advisor to the Governor appointed Delta Vision Blue Ribbon Task Force, along with Dr. Jeff Mount of UC Davis. As Science Advisors, Drs. Healey and Mount provide scientific input to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on issues of concern.

Documents provided to the Task Force by Dr. Healey:

Programmatic Documents produced by Dr. Healey


Dr. Michael Healey received BSc and MSc degrees in Zoology from the University of British Columbia and a PhD in Natural History from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He began his professional scientific career in 1970, working on freshwater fisheries, with the Fisheries Research Board of Canada in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 1974 he transferred to the Pacific Biological Station at Nanaimo, British Columbia, where he led a number of research teams investigating the ecology and productivity of Pacific salmon, including all five North American species. It was there that Dr. Healey became known internationally for his research on Chinook salmon.

In 1990, Dr. Healey joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia as Director of the Westwater Research Centre, an interdisciplinary research unit that focused on scientific and policy issues related to water. As Director of Westwater, he was instrumental in securing several major research grants, in particular a prestigious "ecoresearch" grant under a fund established by the federal government to support interdisciplinary research on environmental problems in Canada. Dr. Healey is author of more than 225 scientific articles and reports and is editor of 2 books on water and sustainable development.

Throughout his career, Dr. Healey has taken a strong interest in how scientific information is used in developing resource management policy. He is recognized internationally as an expert on the ecology of Pacific salmon but also as an expert in the design of resource management systems. His research and teaching are strongly interdisciplinary, which has made him conversant with a number of other disciplines important to resource management decision-making, in particular resource economics, decision analysis and policy analysis. He has served on many national and international boards and committees including at CALFED, the Core Team, which developed the strategic plan for CALFED Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP), the ERP Science Board, and the CALFED Independent Science Board.