Susan Lisa Toch, Ph.D., M.P.H., M.A
Ecosystem Hydrology, Community Health, Environmental Planning, Technical Assistance, Education and Training
PO Box 1261, Anacortes, WA. 98221, USA
Dr. Susan Toch has 25 years of experience in ecosystem hydrology water resources management and community health.
Specializing in relating land use practices to water quality in community watersheds. and drinking water supplies, her inter-disciplinary and multi-cultural background in Water Resources Science and Environmental Health includes a Ph.D. and an M.P.H from University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Geography/Environmental Planning from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, a B.Sc in Natural Resources Management/Forestry from the University of Massachusetts, an A.Sc. In Leadership Development and Human Services, Greenfield College, Massachusetts. She holds additional certifications in Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease through Louisiana State University Medical School, and the University of Costa Rica, and has trained as a medical assistant in helicopter relief with the Swiss Air Rescue (REGA), Switzerland.
Dr. Toch is also a trained forester, having worked in land use issues that include timber, wildlife, fire and water resources. She holds specific expertise in the identification and management of ecologically sensitive areas, focusing on the risks of introduction and transport of potential pathogens. These include potential impacts from agricultural and livestock use, as well as activities associated with mining and urban development. Her credentials in Forestry and Natural Resources Management and her applied work in water supply development and pollution control are of significant benefit in developing effective watershed management strategies that incorporate inter-disciplinary and inter-agency collaborations.
Dr. Toch is recognized both regionally and internationally, having worked on water resource projects from North, Central and South Americas, to Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. She has developed and implemented watershed management strategies in both rural and urban areas, from her position as a water resources specialist with the Rural Community Assistance Program where she developed strategies in water supply development and pollution control with rural, low income communities, to the risk assessment and watershed management plan for the Tuolumne River Watershed, the drinking water supply for the City of San Francisco. Through this project, she developed a risk model that integrated geographic information with public health criteria, specifically regarding Cryptosporidium, Giardia, Coliform and Turbidity. This integrated endeavor resulted in the first filtration exemption in the State of California, granted by the USEPA to the San Francisco Water District, saving the City app. $500 million in technological investments.
Dr. Toch's international work also includes watershed risk assessments with the World Health Organization for Cholera transmission in Central America, community participation strategies in the Clean Seine Project, France, as well as a cooperative resource management plan on the Island of St. John, USVI. This included studies related to the relationship between water quantity and quality. Dr. Toch has also advised and conducted hydrologic assessments and management training in community and consumptive use watersheds in rural British Columbia, and has considerable knowledge of water quality issues in the Interior of Canada. She has already coordinated extensively with the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests in project development specifically geared towards assessing the connections between land use, water quality and human health on the regional scale.
Serving on Drought Commissions and Solid Waste Technical Advisory Boards, Dr. Toch has developed collaborative resource management strategies, taught courses that include environmental health, watershed ecology and resources management and is an active member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Commission on Conservation Education and Training, and Ecosystem Management, serving as a delegate in such professional meetings as the World Parks Congress, Caracas, VZ; Durban, South Africa, World Conservation Congress, Montreal, Canada; Bangkok, Thailand. and the World Water Congress, Mexico City, Mexico. Combining spiritual arts in science, she has recently developed watershed projects from fresh water to marine environments, building upon indigenous music, dance and storytelling.
Publications and the references to her work range from The New Yorker to articles in the Journal for the American Waterworks Association. As well, she has published numerous works related to watershed management and human welfare. These include texts on disaster prevention, integrated resources management and community health. Topic include "Integrating Resource and Community Issues: Towards An Enabling Environment" and "A Role of Watershed Management in Water Quality Control." Her work has expanded to the development of the international community-based consortium "Unified in Our Diversity", exploring the connections between land use, water quality and human health in Water to Drink: Sustaining Watersheds and the People Who Need Them, and a selected co-author among (77) world contributors in Water Voices from Around the World developed to coincide with the UN designated International Decade for Action 2005-2015.