Flood Panel Discussion
Kate GianniniIowa Flood Center
Kate Giannini joined the Iowa Flood Center team in 2017 and leads outreach, communication, and research activities for the Iowa Watershed Approach at the Iowa Flood Center. She also serves as liaison between IIHR researchers, IWA partners, and external stakeholders. Prior to stepping into this role, Giannini gained valuable experience by working with landowners, and public and private agencies for nearly 10 years at Johnson County SWCD and Johnson County Planning, Development, and Sustainability.
Antonio Arenas Amado
Antonio Arenas AmadoAssistant Research Engineer, IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering
Antonio Arenas has a PhD in Civil & Environmental engineering and is currently an Assistant Research Engineer at IIHR Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa. He has been working with computational models applied to water resources management for more than nine years. Arenas’ research focuses on the development and application of fully-coupled surface-subsurface watershed models to assess mitigation projects directed toward flood damage reduction and study the fate and transport of nutrients. Dr. Arenas regularly speaks at Watershed Management Authority (WMA) and other conservation groups meetings providing technical expertise and guidance to people working in creating more resilient watersheds in Iowa.
Ross EvelsizerWatershed Planner and GIS Specialist, Northeast Iowa RC&D
Ross Evelsizer is a Watershed Planner and GIS Specialist at Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development in Postville, Iowa. He facilitates watershed planning and implementation for the Turkey, Upper Iowa, and Upper Wapsipinicon watersheds, helping them work toward landscape resiliency that will improve water quality and reduce the impact of flooding. Evelsizer is also leading Multi-Cropping Iowa, which is a grass-roots effort to implement regenerative agricultural practices that are both environmentally and economically sustainable. Evelsizer has degrees in Geography, GIS, and Communications from South Dakota State University. Northeast Iowa RC&D has more than 20 years of community engagement, active planning, and natural resource protection in the Driftless Region of Iowa.
Sharon GaulGrants Project Manager, City of Dubuque, IA
Sharon Gaul is the Grants Project Manager for the City of Dubuque and has worked in the land development and housing sectors for the last 18 years.
Sharon's passion for health and housing culminated with the opportunity to lead a program designed to increase the resiliency of households and the housing stock in the heart of Dubuque. Sharon currently helps administer a couple of HUD grants including the Bee Branch Healthy Homes program utilizing Community Development Block Grant- National Disaster Recovery (CDBG-NDR) funds to reduce water intrusion into homes. Ultimately the project contributes to the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA). The program offers an innovative family advocacy component, improving housing conditions and connecting families with the social capital, health care, and economic opportunity they need to build a resilient neighborhood and community. The data ecosystem created by this project is unfolding Dubuque’s story of social resilience.
The program employs collaboration with community and regional partners to identify and evaluate strategic outcomes, with the goal of producing a replicable model that can be utilized in other communities facing similar challenges.
Mary Beth Stevenson
Mary Beth StevensonWatershed Projects Manager, Eastern Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Mary Beth Stevenson has served as the Iowa-Cedar River Basin Coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources since 2010. She provides technical assistance to local groups to support watershed planning, grant writing, and convening educational workshops and events. Mary Beth works closely with groups such as the Cedar River Watershed Coalition and watershed management authorities in eastern Iowa. She holds a master’s degree in conservation biology from the University of Michigan and bachelor’s degrees in biology and religious studies from Grinnell College. Before working with Iowa DNR, she managed the water quality monitoring program at the Mystic River Watershed Association in Massachusetts. Previous to that, she worked for four years as an environmental educator at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Larry WeberProfessor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Research Engineer, IIHR - Hydroscience & Engineering
Larry Weber is an expert in flood-related research, watershed modeling and nutrient management. In 2009, he was co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center, this nation’s first and only research center devoted solely to flood-related research and education. In 2013, he worked with the Iowa Legislature and Iowa State University to found the Iowa Nutrient Research Center to advance science and understanding needed to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Weber holds a B.S, M.S., and PhD. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, all from the University of Iowa. For the last 11 years, he has been the Director of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, one of the nation's premier and oldest fluids-related research and engineering laboratories. He is a member of Iowa’s Water Resources Coordinating Council and serves the state and nation on several private sector and agency advisory boards.