Meet the Springs Experts

The District’s Springs Team is leading the effort to improve water clarity and habitat in west-central Florida’s springs.

The Springs Team includes a diverse group of scientists and engineers representing a wide range of water resources disciplines. The team’s knowledge is based on decades of research and development, pilot projects and complex groundwater models. The following experts are just a few of the team members dedicated to helping restore the springs.

Chris J. Anastasiou, Ph.D.

Chris Anastasiou is a chief scientist and the leader of the Springs Team. 

Anastasiou was raised in Florida and has nearly 20 years experience in water resource management of coastal ecosystems and springs. He began his scientific career with the District in 1994 sampling wells as a water resource technician. Since then, Anastasiou has distinguished himself as a leader throughout the Gulf Coast, having worked two years at Louisiana State University helping to restore the Mississippi River Delta; five years with the District’s Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Program; and six years with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Anastasiou also serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Association of Environmental Professionals.

In 1994, Anastasiou received his bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in geology from the University of South Florida (USF). In 2001, while working as a staff scientist for the District’s SWIM program, he received his Master of Science in ecology and identified ways to improve saltmarsh restoration. In 2009, Anastasiou graduated with his doctorate from USF’s College of Marine Science in St. Petersburg, where he worked on NASA- and NOAA-funded projects, applying remote sensing and optical modeling to seagrass management. 

Anastasiou also is a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserves. He received his commission in 2004 and is a Naval Meteorology and Oceanography officer at Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville.


Anthony Andrade

Anthony Andrade is the District’s reuse coordinator. His role on the Springs Team is to coordinate with utilities and other agencies on wastewater and reclaimed water projects relative to springs restoration. These projects benefit spring systems by helping reduce groundwater pumping and wastewater nutrient loading in springsheds, among other benefits. 

He holds a degree from the University of South Florida and is a state certified wastewater treatment plant operator and reclaimed water specialist. 

Andrade has been in the reclaimed water field for more than 20 years and with the District since 1998. He is responsible for managing alternative water source projects, producing state-required reclaimed water reports, and assisting in the development of water supply plans and reclaimed water projects. 

His interest in springs dates back to the early 1980s when he enjoyed diving many of Florida’s springs. “Without clear and healthy springs, Florida loses a piece of what makes our state so special,” Andrade said.

Andrade is a nationally recognized expert on reclaimed water and the author of numerous publications. He is a board member on WateReuse Florida and a member of Florida’s Reuse Coordinating Committee, American Water Works Association, WateReuse Association, as well as other environmental professional organizations.


Ron Basso, P.G.

Ron Basso is a chief hydrogeologist. He has nearly 30 years of experience in groundwater modeling, resource regulation and resource management activities. 

Basso’s role on the Springs Team is to assess the geology of the region and evaluate how groundwater withdrawals affect spring flow.

As a long-time resident of the area, Basso not only works with springs, but has spent leisure time fishing and kayaking in these systems.

“This work is very important to me as a resident living in the springs’ backyard,” he said. “I treasure these springs and I’m going to do the best job I can to protect them.”

Basso earned a Bachelor of Science in geology from the University of South Florida (USF) in 1985. He also earned a master’s degree in hydrogeology from the USF in 2000.


Dave J. DeWitt, P.G.

David J. DeWitt is a chief professional geologist with the Water Quality Monitoring Program. 

DeWitt’s role on the Springs Team is to assess the geology and hydrogeology of a springshed. In addition, he collects and analyzes water chemistry in springs.

For more than 25 years, DeWitt has been working on groundwater resources in Florida, including springs monitoring, test drilling, and monitor-well design and construction. During the past 15 years, he has been involved with water quality research on springs in west-central Florida and across the state. 

“Springs are a really important resource here in the state,” DeWitt said. “They are basically a window into the aquifer… the same supply of water we rely on for all uses here in the District.”

DeWitt was the District’s representative on the Florida Springs Task Force for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Florida Springs Initiative. 

DeWitt is a 1986 graduate of the University of South Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in geology, and has been a licensed professional geologist in Florida since 1994.


Sky Notestein

Sky Notestein is the Springs and Environmental Flows Section manager who joined the District in September 2014.

Notestein has more than 15 years of work experience in the academic and private consulting sectors studying the ecology of aquatic ecosystems. Notestein’s role on the Springs Team is to manage restoration projects, work with other agencies on springs issues and educate the public about the District’s ongoing efforts to restore the springs. 

His work experience includes roles as a research and program coordinator while at the University of Florida (UF), being a regional volunteer coordinator with Florida Lakewatch, and leading multiple springs projects as a consulting environmental scientist. 

“I really enjoy the diversity of the springs projects I have participated in; from conducting wildlife surveys, to mapping aquatic plant communities, to measuring springs discharge, or collecting water chemistry samples,” Notestein said. “I have great childhood memories of visiting springs and I strive to ensure that future generations will have similar positive memories. It has always been a privilege to work in these special environments.” 

Notestein earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a Zoology minor from UF in 1997. He completed a Master of Science degree in 2001 from UF’s Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences with a specialization in river and estuarine ecology. The focus of his thesis research was on the spring-fed, coastal Chassahowitzka River with emphasis on the relationships between surface water nutrients and aquatic plant communities.


Danielle Rogers

Danielle Rogers is an Environmental Science Project Lead in the Natural Systems and Restoration Bureau.

Her role on the Springs Team is to manage springs restoration projects and to work with the community to identify and implement projects that are beneficial for the springs.

“I am excited to work with such an impressive team,” she said. “This opportunity to work with such amazing technical experts on systems as important as our springs is remarkable. I think we will be able to accomplish some amazing things in the future working with the community and integrating technology.”

Rogers is a Florida native, raised in Brooksville, and has worked for the District for nine years. Prior to joining the District, she worked as environmental specialist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and a project technician in the private sector. Her experience is in coastal wetlands, regulatory programs and geographic information systems (GIS). 

In her spare time, Rogers enjoys exploring various recreational opportunities Florida offers. 

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marine Affairs and Policy at the University of Miami in 2002. A year later, she received a Master of Arts in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Her program focused heavily on understanding cumulative and secondary impacts in ecosystems, coastal law, and translating scientific information into policy that could be useful and understood by the community. While in school, Rogers researched federal environmental mitigation programs in the Florida Keys with a focus on their effectiveness and their coordination with environmental-permitting regulatory programs.