2022 Upper Mississippi River Conference Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 19

7:00 – 8:30 a.m. | Registration and check-in| Continental Breakfast | Sponsored by EnviroNET

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. | Welcome Remarks |

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Keynote Session |

• Ray Wolf, NWS Quad Cities Science and Operations Officer, NOAA, National Weather Service – “Climate Change in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.”

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. | Break Out Session 1:

Private Sector & Climate Change in the Mississippi River

• Alicia Vasto, Water Program Director, Iowa Environmental Council – “Outreach and Advocacy on Flood Resilience”

• Nat Miller, Sr. Director of Conservation, Great Lakes & Upper Mississippi River National Audubon Society - “Recovering bird populations along the Mississippi River in the face of climate change.”

• Robb Ewoldt, District 6 Director, Iowa Soybean Association

Public Sector & Climate Change in the Mississippi River

• Andrew Goodall, NESP Regional Mega-Program Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers

• Auste Eigirdas, Graduate student at the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota – “Regenerating Floodplain Forests: The First Urban Affiliate of the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change Project”

• Josh Spies, Interim Director of Freshwater, The Nature Conservancy in Iowa – “Land of the Swamp White Oak Preserve and Climate Resilience for People and Nature”

12:15 p.m. | Boxed Lunch | Sponsored by Constellation

1 – 4 p.m. Field Tours | In-house option

• 1-74 Bridge Walk - Take a stroll on the I-74 bridge and learn about it's future in the Q.C Community.
• Visit to Rock Creek Marina and Eco Tourism Center – Travel to Rock Creek Marina and Eco Tourism Center located just outside of Camanche, IA. Here you will board the "Blue Heron" pontoon boat for a guided adventure cruise on the Mississippi River.
• In-House option - Army Corps of Engineers Workshop

4:00 – 6:30 p.m. | Student Poster Session / Cocktail Hour | Sponsored by Graef

6:30 - 8 p.m. | Catfish Dinner with Featured Speaker | Sponsored by WIU

• Art Cullen, Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist & Editor of the Storm Lake Times

Thursday, Oct. 20

7:00 – 8:15 a.m. | Registration| Continental Breakfast | Sponsored by CoreVens Insurance

8:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. | Plenary Session |

• John Delaney; Biologist, USGS - Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, “Climate change adaptation thinking: Examples from the Midwest and Upper Mississippi River”

10:00 – 11:30 a.m. | Break Out Session 2:

Climate Action Plans: What the Public Sector Can Do

• Dominic Marlow; Planner & Urban Designer, GRAEF “It takes more than a Village: Climate Planning from the Bottom Up”

• Marcella Bondie Keenan; Sustainability Coordinator, Village of Oak Park “It takes more than a Village: Climate Planning from the Bottom Up”

• Sarah Gardner, Climate Action Coordinator, City of Iowa City - "Climate Action in Iowa City: Goals, Plans, and Progress"

Climate Action Plans: What the Private Sector Can Do

• Tim Grabinski, Economic Advantage Manager, MidAmerican

• Kathryn Kunert, Vice President Economic Connections and Integration, MidAmerican

• Troy Shannon, Sustainability Engineer, John Deere & Company World Headquarters

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Luncheon with Featured Speaker | Sponsored by CornBelt

• William Becker, Author and Executive Director, Presidential Climate Action Project – “What Are Floods Trying to Tell Us?”

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. | Break Out Session 3:

Examining Climate Problems Through Research

• Dr. Bill Gutowski, Professor, Iowa State University – “Projected Changes in Extreme River Flow in the Upper Mississippi River Basin”

• Dr. Roger Viadero, Jr., Professor, University of Western Illinois - "Diverting Mississippi River Water to Supplement the Water Supply in the Lower Colorado River Basin – An Exercise in Critical Thanking and Scientific Literacy”

• Dr. Michael Aiuvalasit, Professor, University of Illinois Urbana -Champaign – “The past and present futures of heritage in the Upper Mississippi”

• Dr. Gabriele Villarini, Professor, University of Iowa – “Increasing Frequency of Flood Events across the Central United States: A Hierarchy of Why's

Understanding Climate & Media Exposure - TBA

• Zachary Oren Smith, Reporter, Iowa Public Radio

• Ed Tibbets, Writer, Editor, and Publisher Along the Mississippi

• Alma Gaul, Free-lance Reporter, retired Quad-City Times reporter and editor

2:45 – 4:30 p.m. | Closing Plenary Session |

Youth Are Calling for Action; Panel - TBA

• Jack Hughes, Augustana College

• Samuel Taylor, Earth and Environmental Science MS Candidate, University of Iowa

4:30 p.m. | Adjourn