Iowa Flood Center 10-Year Birthday Celebration
Thursday, June 13, 2019
C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory | Iowa City, Iowa
All-day event—details below!
Friends, partners, and the general public are invited to participate in a day-long celebration reflecting on our collective achievements over the past 10 years. By fostering collaborations, we are solving our state’s complex water challenges the Iowa way — together.
But we have more work to do, and floods in Iowa are changing. As we prepare for the next 10 years and beyond, we need your help to develop ideas and solutions that will help us build a more flood-resilient Iowa.
Join us for a fun-filled day!
- 8:30 am — Iowa Flood Center Open House at the historic C. Maxwell Stanley Hydraulics Lab
- 10:00 — Press Event
- Opening comments from IFC co-founders Witold Krajewski and Larry Weber
- Rod Lehnertz, UI vice president for finance and operations
- Mark Schouten, former director at Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management
- State Senators Rob Hogg and Joe Bolkcom
- Q & A
- 11:00 — Walking tour of University of Iowa Arts Campus and flood recovery efforts implemented since 2008
- 12:30 pm — Lunch at Stanley Hydraulics Lab (lunch provided—please RSVP!)
- 1:30 — Afternoon bus tour of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR) facilities
IIHR is a unit of the University of Iowa’s College of Engineering. At IIHR, students, faculty members, and research engineers work together to understand and manage one of the world’s greatest resources—water. IIHR is a world-renowned research institution that will celebrate 100 years of leadership and expertise in 2020. Following the 2008 flood event, IIHR was the natural fit for the home of the Iowa Flood Center, created by state legislators in 2009.
Tour stops include:
- Hydraulics Wind Tunnel Annex — Home to IFC radars, stream sensors, and hydrologic station builds, as well as a new hydroinformatics lab!
- Hydraulics Model Annex — Researchers at IIHR are world leaders when it comes to modeling and design of sewer and stormwater conveyance systems. Many of the world’s largest cities have turned to IIHR for expertise in this area, including London, Abu Dhabi, and St. Louis.
- Iowa Geological Survey Rock Library — In 2014, the IGS became part of IIHR. IIHR, IFC, and IGS together form a team of experts that cover all aspects of Iowa’s hydrologic cycle.
- Hydraulics Wave Basin — State-of-the-art facility used for model testing of naval vessel maneuverability and seathworthiness.
- And more!
- 4:00 — End tour
- 4:30 — Big Grove Brewery social hour — Come for good food, drinks, and conversation (food and beverages available at your own expense). We’ll have some fun activities for the whole family!
- 5:30 — Flood Panel Discussion
Erin Jordan is a Cedar Rapids Gazette investigative reporter and will help to moderate the panel discussion. She actively reports on issues related to flooding, water quality, and environmental issues and is passionate about educating her readers about these important topics.
Witold Krajewski came to the University of Iowa in 1987. He is a professor of civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering. He also holds the Rose and Joseph Summers Chair in Water Resources Engineering and is a faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering. He is one of the world’s most respected experts in rainfall monitoring and forecasting using radar and satellite remote-sensing. Dr. Krajewski has served as director of the Iowa Flood Center for the past 10 years since its founding. His research in hydrometeorology, remote-sensing, and water resources engineering has resulted in more than 250 journal publications and has enriched the education of dozens of UI graduate students with whom he has worked and collaborated. Communicating accurate scientific information about floods to all Iowans is one of Dr. Krajewski’s main priorities. In particular, he has been instrumental in the development of the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS), a free, easy-to-access online platform that disseminates information on precipitation, stream levels, flood predictions, and more. With this data, Iowans can stay safe and make better-informed choices.
Larry Weber is co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center and served as director of IIHR for 13 years. He is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa and holds the Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics. His passion for natural resources and conservation is rooted in his upbringing on a farm near the community of Dyersville, Iowa. Weber serves as the leader for the $97M Iowa Watershed Approach project, which aims to reduce flooding in nine select watersheds across the state by working with local communities and volunteer landowners to strategically place flood mitigation practices that work progressively with agriculture to restore the landscape’s natural resiliency to heavy rainfall events. As a service to the state of Iowa, he is a member of the Water Resources Coordinating Council and has recently been added to the governor’s Flood Recovery Advisory Board, as well as serves on numerous state and federal agency committees related to water resources planing. He is active in working with the Iowa Legislature and frequently presents to community groups about water resources-related topics.
Lora Friest is the executive director of the Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) in Postville, Iowa, a regional nonprofit that specializes in systems change related to economic development and natural resources. During her 20-year tenure at the RC&D, Friest and her team have secured funding for and helped implement over $300,000,000 in projects to achieve the organizational goal of “making Northeast Iowa a place-based model for the nation.” Friest and her team have coordinated the longest running water quality monitoring plan in Iowa (1999 to the present) and have written over 30 watershed plans. Under her direction, the team has provided innovative and complex natural resource research and planning for county and state partners and has helped develop protocols for natural resource inventories, information management, and public engagement. They have helped establish and provide planning, facilitation, and direct assistance to dozens of natural resource focused nonprofits, including three very active watershed management authorities (WMAs) — the Turkey River, Upper Iowa, and Upper Wapsipinicon WMAs. She and her team recently released the first interactive, web-based WMA Resiliency Plan in Iowa.
Rob Hogg is a state senator from Cedar Rapids, Iowa representing portions of southwest, southeast, and northeast Cedar Rapids. Senator Hogg was first elected to the Iowa House in 2002, and has since been instrumental in finding real solutions to real problems in Iowa. In the Iowa Legislature, he has worked with citizens and legislators across party lines to pass legislation to assist Iowans with flood recovery and invest in flood protection, soil conservation, and clean water, among many other important topics. Following the 2008 floods, Senator Hogg’s vision and leadership helped to establish the Iowa Flood Center, recognizing the need for an academic research center focused on helping Iowans become more flood resilient.
Rick Wulfekuhle has served as Buchanan County emergency management coordinator since 1997. During that period, he has coordinated 14 Presidential Disaster Declarations and has gained firsthand experience in dealing with the direct impacts flooding has on communities. Wulfekuhle is passionate about educating community members on how to understand and reduce their flood risks to protect themselves, their families, their property, and the environment.
- 7:00—Birthday cake celebration and end
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