Over the last 10 years, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working on an initiative called Engineering With Nature that uses natural processes and systems to deliver a broad range of economic, environmental, and social benefits. EWN, as it is called, is developing and implementing nature-based solutions for infrastructure, engineering, and water projects. EWN brings together a growing international community of scientists, engineers, and researchers, from all kinds of disciplines to collaborate on how best to harness the power of nature to innovate, solve problems, and create sustainable solutions. This podcast tells their stories.
It’s a show about innovation and collaboration. It is about combining natural and engineering systems. And it is about amazing results for infrastructure, the environment, and communities. Scientists and experts will talk about how they are transforming traditional approaches to infrastructure challenges across the US and around the world by applying the principles and practices of EWN.
Sarah Thorne of Decision Partners has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the EWN initiative for the past decade, and, through this podcast, will share stories of the people, their unique collaborations, and a broad range of projects that exemplify the principles and practices of EWN. We hope you’ll listen to the show and be inspired!
Assessing the Value of Natural and Nature-Based Features in Coastal Storm and Flood Risk Reduction
An ecologist by training, Dr. Michael W. Beck had been working on more traditional ecological solutions related to marine protected areas until Hurricane Katrina, when he saw that there was a real need for understanding how natural habitats provide coastal resilience. Now his work focuses on figuring out how investing in nature and nature-based solutions can reduce coastal risk and save lives and money.
Collaborating to Create Wildlife Habitat While Restoring Islands and Improving Community Resilience
Growing up on an Island in the Puget Sound in Washington State, Paula Whitfield lived and played by the ocean, watching every episode of the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau and diving as often as she could. Today, Paula is a research ecologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), collaborating on Engineering With Nature (EWN) projects that focus on coastal and community resilience, driven, in part, by the devastation following Hurricane Sandy.
Characterizing Storm and Flood Risk Reduction Benefits Derived from Mangroves During Extreme Weather Events
As an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, Tori Tomiczek’s interests in geotechnical engineering and fluid mechanics, plus her curiosity about how structures were impacted by hurricanes, led to her to focus on coastal engineering.
In this episode, we’re talking with her about how natural infrastructure reduces flood risk and protects coasts during major storms and how her work is expanding the practice of Engineering With Nature.
Using Natural Infrastructure to Increase Resilience for Military Installations
In October 2018, Tyndall Air Force Base just east of Panama City, Florida was directly hit by Hurricane Michael, a Category 5 storm. The damage was significant with over half of the buildings on the base destroyed. Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon was called back to active duty to the Tyndall Program Management Office (PMO) to lead the base’s massive $5 billion rebuild.
Using Natural Forces and Sediment to Restore Coastal Marsh Habitat
In this episode, we’re talking with Jeff Corbino, Environmental Resources Specialist with the US Army Corps of Engineers, in the New Orleans District. Jeff is the Environmental Function Chief for the District's Operations Division Technical Support Branch that supports the District’s navigation mission through maintenance of waterways throughout South Louisiana including the dredging of 80 million cubic yards of sediment to operate this vital navigation network
Celebrating the 10-Year Anniversary of Engineering With Nature®
Dr. Todd Bridges, Senior Research Scientist in Environmental Science is our guest. Todd serves as the National Lead for EWN and the effort to collaborate across USACE and with other organizations in expanding this approach to infrastructure development. EWN provides opportunities to integrate engineering and natural processes to produce outcomes that reduce demands on limited resources, minimizing negative impacts, and creating new benefits and value.