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Seminar: Jennifer Olszewski

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June 2, 2017 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

| Free

“Methods and Tools for the Collaborative Planning Process”

Presented by:  Jennifer Olszewski

Investigadora de Post-doctorado at Instituto Nacional de Investigacion Agropecauria (INIA)
US Army Corps of Engineers
University of Maryland College Park

Abstract: Stressors such as urbanization, population growth, economic variability, and climate change have continued to intensify in magnitude and uncertainty within recent years.  These stressors combined with conflicting interests related to the use of resources (e.g., use of water for hydropower vs. water supply) can make decision-making and planning difficult.  The US Army Corps has adopted a number of planning methods and tools to help promote a planning process that encourages collaboration, innovative thinking, and timely decision-making.  Shared Vision Planning (SVP) is an example of a planning process in which all stakeholders (e.g., representatives of environmental, hydropower, water supply etc.) and decision-makers impacted by a given project or decision (e.g., dam construction or operations) work closely together to determine the most balanced and beneficial alternatives.  At the core of the SVP process is a technical model referred to as a “Decision Support Tool” (DST), which provides a technical medium by which all team members can communicate.  A DST can be made up of any combination of relevant models that produces scientifically-based output metrics (e.g., flood damages, habitat acres, recreation benefits, etc.) meaningful to each stakeholder and, most importantly, decision-makers involved in the process.  Within SVP, the DST model builders work closely with all stakeholders and decision-makers to develop a meaningful DST, creating a “shared understanding” of the issues surrounding a given project in the process.  DSTs also have a suite of applications throughout the planning process.  For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the University of Iowa have teamed up to develop two DSTs for two different planning exercise events referred to as “Multi-Hazard Tournaments” (MHTs).  The MHT is a multi-hazard risk and risk mitigation identification gaming framework (Hill et al. 2014) that uses competition as a motivator for the development of alternatives or solutions.  Within a MHT, participants are broken up into teams and are made to compete with each other to develop the best plan for a given set of hazards (e.g., minimize flood and drought damages).  These events generally occur over one day.  The first MHT took place in Cedar Rapids and the second will occur in San Antonio in collaboration with the San Antonio River Authority (SARA).  The DSTs developed by the University of Iowa team allow teams to compare, in real time, the benefits and tradeoffs associated with different actions and alternatives (e.g., using traditional vs. best management practices for stormwater management) via both a spatial interface (e.g., area maps with inundation maps) and tabular values (e.g., total 2, 10, and 100-yr flood damages associated with an alternative).  This ability to visualize and quantify alternative benefits is incredibly powerful in communicating within the planning process.


June 2, 2017
2:30 pm - 3:30 pm


Stanley Hydraulics Lab
127 SHL
Iowa City, IA 52242 United States
Posted on May 31st, 2017

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