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November & December 2010

Faculty Appointments

Effective Oct. 1, 2010, Thanos Papanicolaou, the Donald E. Bently  Faculty Fellow of Engineering, accepted a secondary appointment in the UI’s Public Policy Center.

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Keri C. Hornbuckle has been appointed associate dean for academic programs for the College of Engineering, effective Nov. 1, 2010.

Hornbuckle brings excellent experience to her new role, having served as departmental executive officer of civil and environmental engineering, as well as president, chair, and vice president of several international and national scientific and professional societies and associations.

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New Projects, Funding

Several state agency representatives and community leaders have announced several new projects to help Iowa minimize erosion, manage runoff, and mitigate future flood damage. The announcement was made Nov. 1 at the University of Iowa’s Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory in Iowa City.

In August, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $312 million in funding from the Disaster Recovery Enhancement Fund (DREF), awarded to 13 states in response to each state’s flood mitigation efforts. Iowa was awarded the largest grant of $84.1 million due to the state’s commitment to flood mitigation efforts.

Of the $84.1 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, approximately $10 million will be allocated to watershed demonstration projects directed toward flood damage reduction and educational programming.

“When the Iowa Legislature passed House File 2459 and House File 2531 this year, it directed the state to undertake several efforts to protect Iowans from future disasters,” said Lt. General Ron Dardis, executive director of the Rebuild Iowa Office. “Now, with this $10 million in funding, we have the financial support to act on all of their directives.”

Of the $10 million, the largest amount, $8.8 million, has been set aside for the coordination of one or more watershed demonstration pilot projects that will be overseen by the Iowa Flood Center. The pilot projects will seek to maximize soil water holding capacity from precipitation, minimize severe soil erosion and sand deposition during floods, manage water runoff in uplands under saturated soil moisture conditions, and reduce and mitigate structural and nonstructural flood damage. The $8.8 million in funding will assist in planning, implementing, and monitoring watershed demonstration pilot projects in both urban and rural areas.

“I want to thank Governor Culver and the state, specifically the Rebuild Iowa Office and the Iowa Department of Economic Development, for allocating federal funding to these activities,” said Larry Weber, director of the University of Iowa’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering. “The impact of this funding is sure to improve Iowa’s future.”

Approximately $800,000 of the CDBG funds will be used to establish two to three Watershed Management Authorities in Iowa on a pilot basis.
These authorities will be created by an agreement between two or more local governments that share a common watershed. The authorities will be tasked with assessing flood risks and water quality, and options to improve them. The authorities will also monitor federal activities involving the watershed, as well as funds for water quality and flood mitigation. This activity will be administered by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Lastly, $400,000 will be used for a flood education marketing campaign. The Iowa State University Agricultural Extension Service, the Iowa Floodplain and Stormwater Management Association, and the Iowa Water Resources Coordinating Council will work with floodplain and hydrology experts to educate the public about floodplains, flood risks, and basic floodplain management principles with these funds.

To date, Iowa has received more than $882 million in CDBG funds to help the state recover from the 2008 natural disasters.

Funding Awards and Renewals:

George Constantinescu, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and associate faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $151,430 contract from the Iowa Department of Transportation for “Optimization of Snow Drifting Mitigation and Control Methods for Iowa Conditions.”

Thanos Papanicolaou, Charles Stanier, Greg Carmichael, Mohamed Elhakeem, and Chris Wilson were awarded a $641,737 NASA EPSCoR grant for “EPSCoR: Agricultural Soil Erosion and Carbon Cycle Observations in Iowa: Gaps Threaten Climate Mitigating Policies.”

Doug Schnoebelen was awarded a $59,491 contract with the U.S. Geological Survey for “Assessing Physical Drivers of Ecological Processes in Large Rivers Through Field Sampling and Hydrodynamic Modeling.”

Larry Weber was awarded a contract for $7,023 from the Stanley Group for “Keel Cooler Independent Technical Review.”

Congratulations:

Emma Mercedes Myers-Perez was born Sunday at 9:17 p.m. She measured 20.5 inches long, and weighed 7 lbs., 4.5 oz. Maria and baby are both doing great!

Last modified on January 12th, 2012
Posted on May 5th, 2011

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