Hot Topics WebinarThe Association of Wetland Managers (ASWM) offers a Hot Topics Webinar Series that focuses on timely issues and studies such as new and emerging wetland policy and law, innovative tools and technology and state-of-the-art practices. These webinars are advertised through our website, newsletters, social media and emails. 

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American Wetlands MonthAmerican Wetlands Month Webinar: Investing in Resiliency: Intersectional Perspectives of Wetlands, Infrastructure, and Healthy Communities

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 3:00 pm-4:30 pm Eastern

PRESENTERS

  • Stella Wilson, Florida, Alabama, & Mississippi Restoration Area Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
  • Elizabeth Habic, Environmental Protection Specialist, Federal Highway Administration
  • LaTonya Gilliam. North District Engineer, Delaware Department of Transportation
  • Becca Madsen, Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute
  • Nalini S. Rao, Ph.D., Senior Technical Leader, Electric Power Research Institute

ABSTRACT

In celebration of American Wetlands Month this May, join us for a webinar highlighting the integral role that wetlands and wetlands data play in decisions about infrastructure development that supports healthy and resilient communities. As the Biden Administration looks to invest significantly in upgrades to the nation’s infrastructure, it is important to highlight the importance of wetlands, not only in the infrastructure planning and permitting process, but also in the development of natural infrastructure solutions. From reducing floods and buffering coastal communities to filtering out pollutants and providing recreational green spaces, wetlands provide a wide range of ecosystem services and benefits. This webinar will focus on the intersections between wetlands and infrastructure through the lens of a diverse set of stakeholders.

BIOS

Stella WilsonStella Wilson is the Florida, Alabama, & Mississippi Restoration Area Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Deepwater Horizon (DWH) Program. Ms. Wilson has served in this role with NOAA since June 2020 and was serving in a similar role as a contractor with NOAA since April 2017. She serves as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) technical representative on the Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi Trustee Implementation Groups (TIGs) as part of the NRDA BP settlement agreement of 2015 and manages several large-scale restoration projects in these states to help compensate for injuries from the BP Oil Spill.

Ms. Wilson has thirteen years of experience in natural resource policy, planning, and restoration along the northern Gulf Coast. Ms. Wilson holds a B.S. in Natural Resources Conservation and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering Sciences, both from the University of Florida. Ms. Wilson’s experience includes developing local mitigation strategies, comprehensive coastal conservation plans, regional surface water improvement plans, regional watershed plans, local emergency management plans, and local capital improvement plans as well as managing hydrologic restoration, marsh restoration, and other habitat/living shoreline projects.

Elizabeth HabicElizabeth Habic is an Environmental Protection Specialist at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). She conducts research, technical assistance and outreach to improve the sustainability of transportation networks and enhance the resilience and durability of transportation to impacts of extreme weather and climate change. She has 10 years of experience on these issues at the Maryland Department of Transportation and State Highway Administration as the Climate Risk and Resilience Program Manager. Elizabeth has worked on many transportation planning initiatives with an environmental background working on state projects for over 20 years.

 

 

LaTonya GilliamLaTonya Gilliam is the North District Engineer at the Delaware Department of Transportation. She has 18 years of experience in various positions in DelDOT's Construction, NPDES and Engineering Support sections. Throughout her career she has championed water quality improvement initiatives and worked with communities, non-profits and state resource agencies to incorporate sustainable practices into the project development processes. Many of these projects have occurred in the Inland Bays Watershed improving water quality along the SR 1 Coastal Highway Corridor in partnership with the Center for the Inland Bays. As the North District Engineer in the Division of Maintenance and Operations the focus is on the long-term maintenance and stewardship of the stormwater facilities and addressing the impacts of a changing climate on an inland urban stormwater infrastructure. 

Becca MadsenBecca Madsen is a Senior Technical Leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Madsen manages and conducts research on a wide range of topics related to endangered species and natural resources within the context of electric power industry environmental challenges. Currently, a large focus of her work is on data science/artificial intelligence applications to environmental challenges.

Ms. Madsen has over 15 years of experience analyzing issues at the intersection of natural resources and economics. Prior to joining EPRI, she served as Principal of Madsen Environmental, where she provided consulting services to businesses seeking return on investment from environmental restoration and sustainability actions. Ms. Madsen has analyzed and written on topics ranging from global policies promoting biodiversity conservation, to feasibility of water quality trading in the Chesapeake Bay, to the application of an ecosystem services perspective at a major beverage company.

Ms. Madsen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina Honors College and a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University. Ms. Madsen was a Peace Corps volunteer, a Doris Duke Conservation Fellow, a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Forest Service, and an Enviropreneur Fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center.

Nalini RoeNalini S. Rao, Ph.D. is Senior Technical Leader in the Energy and Environment Sector at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Dr. Rao leads a research program “Ecosystem Risk and Resiliency,” which applies quantitative approaches to ecological and water-energy issues. Her program focuses on research and development in the areas of natural resources (water, climate, and ecological risk); developing tools and evaluating technologies; and business applications and benchmarking. At EPRI, Dr. Rao’s research program uses hydrologic, spatial, and economic analysis to deliver scientific analysis, decision-support software tools, resource risk management strategy evaluations, and technology assessments in the area of natural resources. Her program has over 96% member satisfaction rates as well as won three technical transfer awards for research applications which brought business values to member companies. She has worked on water, energy, climate, and economic research in both national and international applications, and prior to coming to EPRI, Dr. Rao worked at ICF International and Conservation International. Dr. Rao has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from Cornell University where she used both hydrological and economic analysis to examine the adoption and effectiveness of agricultural best management practices in the New York City drinking water source watersheds. She also has a Masters of Environmental Science from Yale University and a B.A. in Economics and Environmental Sciences from U.C. Berkeley.

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