Boulder, CO 80301
COMMUNITY & NATURAL RESOURCE PLANNING
Gretel Follingstad- Owner / Senior Planner
Gretel specializes in strategic and long term planning for natural resources and
community development, with an emphasis on linking land use with water
resources. Gretel holds a BA degree in International Management and Latin
American Studies and a Master of Community and Regional Planning from the
University of New Mexico, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Gretel has broad experience in water resource planning, water conservation,
watershed planning, restoration and management, as well as land use and open
space planning. She has worked for both government agencies and private
organizations. She is proficient in various technical elements including GIS
mapping and ground and surface water modeling. Gretel is highly skilled in
project management, public outreach, public speaking and she is a trained
Gretel was State water planner at the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer for four years, concentrating on both state
and regional water planning. Gretel managed large public outreach efforts including a statewide canvas for the 2009
State Water Plan Update. Gretel also managed various technical projects for the City of Santa Fe Water Division, including
water rights permit compliance, the City’s Water Bank and water level monitoring projects.
PhD Research: Water Resource Resiliency Planning (Addressing Drought as a Hazard)
Gretel is currently earning her PhD from the University of Colorado. Her primary research interests are in resiliency planning for water scarcity and drought as a natural hazard. This research includes exploring planning and policy guidelines for local, state and regional water resource planning and response to water scarcity and drought events. This study will focus on various policy options for water resource management and conservation with a focus on degrees of resiliency. The study uses various tools within ArcGIS to display research findings and portray the effects on water resource availability and resiliency due to changes in water supply and demand. The impacts of drought are far reaching and mitigating this hazard as climate change impacts intensify is unquestionably paramount to the resiliency of both societal and ecosystem needs.
Gretel has published three articles in Western Planner magazine on climate change, resiliency planning and linking social systems with community development. Gretel is also co-authored on two different articles that are pending publication, one with Austin Troy titled, The Thirsty Urban Landscape and the second with Andrew Rumbach titled, Urban Disasters Beyond the City: Environmental Risk in India’s Fast Growing Towns and Villages.
Gretel is an emeritus board member for the Santa Fe Railyard Stewards Board, and Sonoran Institute’s Resilient Communities Starter Kit Advisory Panel.