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Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Panelist Bio


James H. "Jim" Welsh
Commissioner of Conservation/DNR

Jim Welsh was born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from LSU in June, 1960. After graduation, he worked in Laurel for five years as a geologist for an independent oil company and as a well-testing engineer for a core analysis company.

In 1965, Welsh returned to Louisiana as a geologist with the Louisiana Geological Survey, Department of Conservation. His main areas of work expertise were in economic geology, subsurface geology, oil and gas unitization, and salt water disposal.
Welsh became involved with the initiation of the Office of Conservation's new lignite surface mining regulatory program in the late 1970's, and in 1980 he was named Chief of Surface Mining. In 1983, he was named Director of the newly formed Injection and Mining Division, which was responsible for Conservation's environmental programs dealing with salt water disposal wells, hazardous waste injection wells, E&P waste disposal, salt dome cavern storage, and surface mining of coal and lignite.

In 1996, Welsh was named Assistant Commissioner of Conservation, and was the chief administrative assistant to the Commissioner of Conservation in matters dealing with the budget, legislature, personnel, technical and policy matters, as well as coordination of activities of the several Divisions within the Office.

In June of 2001, Welsh retired from State service with over 36 years of service. Effective July 1, 2002, Welsh was given the distinct and high honor of returning to the Office of Conservation as Commissioner of Conservation in the Department of Natural Resources.

Jim Welsh has served as the Governor's representative on the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, the Governor's alternate on the Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission, he was an active member of the Ground Water Practices Council, he was a chief developer of many environmental portions of Louisiana's Statewide Order No. 29-B, he served as a technical expert on USEPA'S regulation negotiation team to develop the national rules for underground injection of hazardous waste, he served on DEQ's NORM Advisory Committee, and participated in drafting Louisiana's comprehensive ground water management plan.

Jim Welsh is married and lives with his wife, Roni, in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Current Topic


     11/18 - An Eye on Admissions

What standards should be used for college admissions?
This fall, LSU instituted a “holistic admissions” process for incoming students which relies more on essays and recommendations than on College Board test scores and grade point averages. Proponents of the move say it’s a better way to identify strong students while opening up opportunities for families not financially able to afford prep classes for standardized exams. Opponents say the move will increase student attrition and could endanger LSU’s flagship status. Examine the new standards from several different perspectives.

Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “An Eye on Admissions” Wednesday, November 21 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Alexandria; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.
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Special Presentation


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     12/18 - News About the News (Encore)

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

Recent Topics


     10/18 - Louisiana Veterans Back Home

What are the programs and initiatives helping our veterans successfully transition to civilian life?

     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?
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