The Network for Engineering with Nature (N-EWN) invites you to join The N-EWN Knowledge Series: A Continuing Education Series about Engineering with Nature. Continuing Education Credits (1-hr) are available to all attendees who join live.

To register, please visit

Watch our past N-EWN Knowledge Seminars below!

September 2023 – Enhancing Benefits Evaluation for Water Resources Projects: Towards a More Comprehensive Approach for Nature-Based Solutions 

Dr. Jordan Fischbach, The Water Institute – The economic benefits associated with water resources projects has been the focus of federal investment decisions for decades. However, the science of quantifying and evaluating the diverse environmental, social, and economic benefits and costs of water resources projects, particularly those including Nature Based Solutions (NBS), has advanced in recent years. In 2021, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering With Nature® team engaged in a collaborative effort with The Water Institute to consider how to better quantify the broader set of economic, environmental, and social benefits and costs that integrated water resource projects can provide. The collaborative study team identified and further evaluated six completed USACE planning studies that encompass the navigation, coastal storm risk management, flood risk management, and ecosystem restoration missions within USACE to assess methods for evaluating NBS and the comprehensive benefits expected from water resources projects. In this seminar, Dr. Jordan Fischbach will present the results from this collaborative study, focusing on key findings and opportunities for USACE to enhance its planning and evaluation process moving forward. 

August 2023Fostering Collaborative Networks to Implement Natural & Nature-Based Features In Jamaica Bay

Fostering Collaborative Networks to Implement Natural & Nature-Based Features In Jamaica Bay with Jonathan Hallemeier: Natural and Nature Based Features (NNBF) are promising tools in efforts to enhance social and ecological resilience to threats, such as coastal flooding exacerbated by climate-driven sea level rise and weather events. However, implementing NNBF remains a challenge – in addition to the complexity faced by any infrastructure project, NNBF projects routinely occur at spatial scales that cross jurisdictions, include novel components that present uncertainties different from gray
infrastructure, and fail to fit cleanly into established policies and budgeting categories. Navigating such challenges requires networks to build knowledge, establish legitimacy, procure resources, and foster creativity to navigate constraints and seize opportunities. This presentation brings social science scholarship of collaboration to hear on what factors enable and constrain collaborative networks for NNBF. These insights are grounded in current literature and emerging findings from research centered on Jamaica Bay, a socially and ecologically diverse and highly urbanized estuary in New York City. Jamaica Bay is vulnerable to increased flooding from sea level rise and severe weather events (such as Hurricane Sandy), and adaptation must contend with social, institutional, biophysical, and engineering complexity. Despite challenges, there are successes in developing collaborative networks and pursuing NNBF for coastal resilience.

June 2023Principles Of Engineering With Nature In The Water Resources Development Act 2022

Principles of Engineering with Nature in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2022 with Matt Shudtz and Yee Huang: Last December, President Biden signed the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA ’22) into law. It is the latest in a decades-long series of biennial statutes that authorize new studies, construction starts, and other programs at the Corps of Engineers. Shudtz and Huang have taken a deep dive into the 150+-page legislation, examining the ways in which its provisions align with the principles of Engineering With Nature. In this webinar, Shudtz and Huang will provide background on the statute, describe how it came to pass, highlight elements that promote EWN, and discuss what lies ahead both in the near term and as Congress begins work on WRDA ’24.

April 2023 – Blue Carbon Storage Potential In USACE Beneficial Use Projects

With Jacob Berkowitz and Nia Hurst – Wetlands provide a variety of valuable ecosystem services such as storm surge reduction, floodwater attenuation, and water quality improvement. Additionally, coastal ecosystems play an important role in global climate regulation via carbon (C) sequestration and storage. “Blue Carbon” is defined as C stored in coastal environments such as tidal marshes, mangroves, and seagrass meadows. Coastal ecosystems play a significant role in climate regulation because they store a disproportionately large amount of C relative to their area and are naturally resilient to perturbations, providing a capacity to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. In fact, wetlands, mangroves, and seagrasses store carbon 10x faster than mature tropical forests such as the Amazon. 

Engineering With Nature (EWN) projects that beneficially use dredged sediment have the potential to improve Blue Carbon storage through the 1) restoration and creation of coastal landforms and 2) formation of mineral associated organic matter (MAOM), which is protected from chemical and physical degradation, resulting in long-term C storage. Partnering with the University of Central Florida, NOAA, and four USACE districts (Mobile, Baltimore, Detroit, and San Francisco), study sites are being evaluated to assess C dynamics in dredged sediment beneficial use projects to document C stocks and the capacity of dredged sediments to “protect” and store C. Results will help estimate the C value and positive climate regulation outcomes of USACE beneficial use projects and increase our capacity to maximize C sequestration and storage through the design, implementation, and adaptive management of future EWN initiatives. 

March 2023 – The Cold Region Frontiers Of Engineering With Nature

With Lauren Bosche – When you think of Engineering With Nature, you may picture a beach nourishment project along the Gulf Coast, or a dredged material project exploring beneficial use of the material on the Mississippi River. But EWN in cold regions – above the Arctic Circle? Maybe it is still hard to picture that.

Yet there are significant, growing environmental risks to communities in cold regions and the Arctic, especially as climate change contributes to permafrost thaw, reductions in sea ice, and some of the fastest coastal erosion on earth. There are significant opportunities here too– such as working with Indigenous communities to preserve history and culture and conducting research to successfully navigate challenges of data scarcity and work conditions in remote environments. 

The new EWN Cold Regions work unit is a diverse project team that is working closely with communities to explore applying EWN approaches in these unique frontiers. This webinar will introduce two pilot projects in the Cold Regions work unit: Point Hope in Alaska and St. Croix Island in Maine. Lauren will share progress made in site characterization and identifying sustainable and resilient solutions and the team’s vision for next steps in Cold Regions EWN.

February 2023 – A Work in Progress: Adapting to Climate impacts in San Francisco Bay using Engineering With Nature

Guest speaker, Julie R. Beagle, Environmental Planning Section Chief and Engineering With Nature Program Manager, outlines the reasons EWN is critical as an approach in the San Francisco Bay Area, and describes some successes, challenges, and paths forward as the USACE embraces Engineering With Nature. As sea levels continue to rise, and climate impacts worsen, communities will need to adapt the San Francisco Bay shoreline and contributing watersheds to create greater social, economic, and ecological resilience. Home to rivers, beaches, wetlands, marinas, ports, landfills, lifeline infrastructure, residential neighborhoods and more, San Francisco Bay’s shoreline and contributing watersheds are diverse, which means there is no one-size-fits-all solution to increased flooding.

January 2023 – Application of Natural & Nature-Based Features in Channel Stabilization

Guest speaker, Dr. David Biedenharn, is a professional engineer with over forty years of experience in hydraulics, river engineering, sedimentation, channel restoration, and fluvial geomorphology. He is presently a Research Hydraulic Engineer with the USACE Engineer Research Development Center (ERDC). He has been a leader in advancing a systems approach to channel studies, that ensures that planned restoration features function both at the local and watershed scales and allows for the proper inclusion of natural and nature-based features to meet project goals.

December 2022 – Dam Removal Prioritization with Multiple Objectives

Guest speaker, Laura Catherine Naslund, is a PhD candidate in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. Her current research examines the contribution of small dams and their reservoirs to greenhouse gas emissions from freshwaters.

Proactive and transparent decision making about the long-term management of dams is critical for successfully managing this aging infrastructure and presents an opportunity to apply Engineering with Nature principles to the end of the infrastructure lifecycle. This webinar will provide an overview of the state of dams and dam removals in the US, present results from the review of existing decision support tools and introduce a web application developed to support structured decision making for dams.

November 2022 EWN Activities on Upper Mississippi River

With Eddie Brauer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Louis District

Guest speaker, Eddie Brauer, is a senior hydraulic engineer in the USACE St. Louis District (MVS) and regional technical specialist in river engineering for the Mississippi Valley Division. He has 19 years of project experience, which includes navigation; environmental restoration; research on river-training structures, including physical effects and environmental impacts; sediment transport; geomorphology; field methods; and lock design on rivers within the U.S., South America, and Europe. He has developed and led classes on shallow draft navigation and river-training-structure design and construction (including EWN topics) for engineers in the U.S. and Brazil. He is a member of the USACE River Engineering Committee, the chair of the River Engineering Working Group, the secretary of the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure (PIANC) Environmental Commission, and an adjunct professor at St. Louis University.

October 2022 – Translating EWN Research into Practice: Levee Setbacks on the Lower Missouri River

With Matt Chambers (The University of Georgia)

Guest speaker Matt Chambers, of the University of Georgia, discusses modeling studies that he and his colleagues have performed which suggest significant hydraulic benefits in idealized streams and on the Wabash River. This research is being translated into practice on the Lower Missouri River in partnership with the USACE Omaha District, ERDC, and local levee district managers. Concept realignments reconnect 2,000-8,000 acres of floodplain and, if the project moves forward, could result in a setback that is significantly larger in scale than previous projects. This webinar provides an overview of the setback project, potential realignments to maximize hydraulic and conservation benefits, design relative to the historic 1890’s channel, and design relative to patterns in historic breaching.

September 2022 – Opportunities for Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) in Unique Island Contexts: Puerto Rico

With Dave Hampton (LimnoTec​h) and Burton Suedel (ERDC-EL) (video coming soon)

Our guest speakers will present EWN® highlights from the March 2022 symposium: Basin Sediment Management for Unique Island Topography: From Mountain to Estuary,featuring lessons learned from site visits throughout the Añasco River watershed and exploring exciting opportunities for green infrastructure (GI), Low Impact Development (LID) and tropical island EWN® interventions designed to minimize the impacts of storm events. 

July 2022 – Consideration of Natural Infrastructure for Flood Hazard Reduction: in a numerical modeling framework

With Matthew Bilskie (UGA)

Using science and engineering to produce operational efficiencies, using natural processes to maximize benefit, increasing the value provided by projects to include social, environmental and economic benefits, using collaborative processes to organize, engage and focus interests, stakeholders and partners.

June 2022 – Economic Valuation of Nature-Based Infrastructure

With Ben Blachly, Susana Ferreira, Yukiko Hashida, Grace Anne Ingham, Craig E Landry and Anna Perry

The common method used to calculate Benefit-cost analysis does not incorporate the often-times greater long-term benefits of natural infrastructure (NI) over conventional approaches, putting the selection of NI at a disadvantage. Several groups are moving toward an ecosystem services approach to identifying benefits that people obtain from ecosystems including the European Union, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Ben Blachy gives a summary of a technical report on Benefit-cost analysis and how this computation is used to prioritize projects and choose between options.

May 2022 – Toolkit for ERDC’s Coastal Storm (CSTORM) Modeling System

With Amanda Tritinger (USACE) and Matthew Bilskie (UGA)

Currently, incorporating EWN-based flood protection and restoration designs into storm surge and wave numerical modeling systems is a time-consuming and laborious process. Leveraging codes from the developed Coastal STORM (CSTORM) model framework, this research develops an EWN CSTORM toolkit that can be implemented to streamline the inclusion of EWN designs into the numerical modeling process. The EWN CSTORM toolkit will reduce computational and personnel resources associated with EWN feature analysis, allowing users the ability to manipulate multiple aspects of EWN design, ultimately reducing uncertainty related to coastal engineering reliability and resiliency benefit.

April 2022 – Restoring the Nisqually River

With Daniel Krenz (USACE)

In 2009, the tidal waters of Puget Sound breached the Brown Farm Dike in efforts to restore the Nisqually Delta. This was the culmination of the largest tidal marsh restoration project in the Pacific Northwest. Daniel Krenz, regulatory section chief and project manager with the USACE Seattle District, discusses the history of the Nisqually Delta, restoration planning, pre- and post-restoration monitoring efforts as well as lessons learned.

March 2022 – Refining a Vision for Future Synergy Between Infrastructure and Biodiversity Conservation

With Charles Van Rees (UGA)

This webinar focuses on the relationship between Biodiversity and its conservation and Infrastructure and related disciplines, why this is important for today’s challenges, what this relationship looks like, how it has changed, and what it will look like in the future. Dr. Charles B. van Rees addresses what we can do as professionals to address these issues.

February 2022 – Monitoring and Adaptive Management in EWN Projects

With Safra Altman (USACE)

Technically sound, efficient and applicable methods are needed to track natural infrastructure performance over time, develop the evidence base for future designs, ensure compliance with policy, and inform project operations and adaptive management. Dr. Safra Altman discusses a holistic monitoring framework for natural infrastructure, the specific considerations for monitoring before and after extreme events, and outlines an example in coastal Mississippi. Also check out this EWN podcast with Dr. Altman, Adding Value to Climate Change Initiatives.

January 2022 – Quantifying the Multi-Scale Benefits of Natural and Nature-Based Features

With Todd M. Swannack (USACE)

Natural and nature-based features (NNBF) provide a diverse suite of benefits to society, including flood risk reduction, socio-economic development, water and food security, and habitat. Unlike traditional structural measures, benefits of NNBF accrue over time due to the inherent dynamism of natural features. Capturing and quantifying the benefits requires a multi-scale approach to benefits analysis. This presentation provides an introduction to multiscale benefits analysis for NNBF to be included in project planning and engineering design.

November 2021 – Operationalizing Equity for Integrated Water Resources

With Don Nelson (UGA)

Advancing social equity has been implicitly and explicitly central to international water resources policy for decades. However, water resources planning sometimes fail to fully embrace this crucial concept. Inclusion of equity within water resources infrastructure is often inhibited by an incomplete conceptual understanding of equity, a perceived lack of quantitative and qualitative equity metrics, unclear connections between equity and standard project planning frameworks, and the absence of concrete examples. In this presentation, we describe equity relative to dimensions of distribution, procedure, and recognition and identify metrics associated with each. We then map these dimensions of equity to different stages of a water resources project life cycle and highlight case studies illustrating best practices. By providing pragmatic responses to these four barriers, our intent is to facilitate a broader and deeper inclusion of equity in water resources planning, engineering, and management.

October 2021 – Living Shoreline Policy

With Shana Jones (UGA) and Scott Pippin (UGA)

Adapting shoreline stabilization infrastructure and approaches to sea-level rise will require measures that improve federal, state, and local governance mechanisms; promote nature-based management practices; and change property owner behavior that affects coastal areas.  This presentation focuses on shoreline stabilization law and policy, specifically the ocean-facing and estuarine protection laws in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states.  Hear an overview of important distinctions between how we manage ocean-facing and estuarine-facing shorelines as well as a wide variety of values and interests driving them. Lastly learn how increasing the use of living shorelines will require policy innovation and new approaches to shoreline management at the state level.

September 2021 – Characterizing USACE EWN Projects

With Brook Herman (USACE)

This presentation reviews the current EWN ProMap and how proposed changes to the online database will increase our ability to track and assess how well projects are contributing to multiple environmental, economic, and social benefits. Proposed changes to the data entry field include information on what assessment methods were used to calculate benefits and how aspects of the project contribute to various ecosystem goods and services.

Check out the Network for Engineering With Nature on the EWN page!