Springfield, MO

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Executive director, Watershed Committee of the Ozarks Inc., 320 N. Main (at the corner of Water and Main streets) on the banks of Jordan Creek in western downtown Springfield. Springfield and Greene County are somewhat unique among local governments in having the services of a citizen-based, drinking-water advisory group. The Watershed Committee, formed in 1984 through a partnership between Greene County, the city of Springfield and City Utilities of Springfield, is actually a not-for-profit corporation led by a six-member board. Currently serving are John Scheer, Jeanette Unsell, Duane Addleman, Mike Pentecost, Mark McNay and Jan Wooten local citizens whose common goal is the protection of public drinking water sources keeping water clean even before it goes to the treatment plant and to your tap. There are three staff members serving the board: Projects Coordinator Adam Coulter, Office Manager Crystal Miller and Bullard. Bullard's professional affiliations include American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Local Emergency Planning Committee and James River Basin Partnership Advisory Board.

Age: 45.

No. of years in Springfield/area: 23.

Education: Bachelor of science degree in biology from Central Missouri State University; working on a master's degree from Southwest Missouri State University.

Early career: "Ever since I can remember, I've been interested in water. As a kid, I would observe and sketch critters in a drop of pond water under the microscope," Bullard said. While growing up in a small town in central Missouri, his early working life was a mix of available options hauling hay, factory work, selling books door-to-door (he was shipped off to Virginia for that). His first real career break came when he went to work for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department in 1975. He became especially interested in the part of the job that involved helping people with their water, well and wastewater system problems. In 1981, Bullard went on special assignment with the National Park Service in Olympic and Mount Ranier national parks in Washington, inspecting lodge and back-country water supplies, including the crude water system for Camp Muir, a climbing camp at 10,000 feet on Mount Ranier. In February 1989, Bullard came to work for a "remarkable organization" called the Watershed Management Coordinating Committee, later renamed the "less phonetically challenging" Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, he said.

Current projects: Adam Coulter and Bullard are currently working on a federal Clean Water Act grant to monitor water quality in the recharge area for Fulbright Spring (a source of about 20 percent of the community's drinking water). The pair is also working on development standards for watershed areas to incorporate into the city/county comprehensive land-use plan. The Watershed Committee is also developing a major exhibit for The Discovery Center in conjunction with the city of Springfield and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Greene County Groundwater Guardian is a program that uses trained volunteers to do water well surveys and collect samples from "adopted" springs in the county. Major players are Greene County Resource Management and City Utilities' Blackman Laboratory. "We can use more volunteer help," Bullard said. The Watershed Committee is also co-authoring a book on the springs of Greene County that should be available as a state publication later this year.

Management philosophy: "Life is too short not to enjoy your work. Interested, involved employees work hard. Protecting the natural resources that have allowed our community to thrive is the responsibility of every citizen and business," Bullard said.

Spare-time pursuits: "I enjoy spending time on the Ozarks' beautiful rivers, fishing, bicycling, reading and whitewater rafting (we are planning our fifth private boating trip through the Grand Canyon this fall)."

Family data: His wife, Carol, is a production manager for Perkin-Watts Advertising and Marketing Services. They have two daughters, Elena, 4, and Claire "Bear," 1 1/2.

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