2016 conference schedule and speaker list

CLICK HERE to download the complete schedule and list of panelists and speakers.

Thursday, Oct. 13

7:00 - Registration Opens

7:30 - Breakfast

8:25 - Introductions, US Reps. Cheri Bustos and Dave Loebsack

8:30 - Opening Keynote, “Grading the River”

America's Watershed Initiative (AWI) Project Lead Dr. Heath Kelsey, of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, will provide the kickoff address for the 2016 UMR conference Oct. 13-14.

9:30 - River/Watershed Panel

Bill Northey - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Des Moines. EPA State Agency Co-chair Gulf Hypoxia Task Force

Maj. Gen Michael Wehr - Commander, US Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg

Robert Stout - Chairman, Upper Mississippi River Basin Assn. Chief of Planning, Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources

11:15 - Morning Concurrent Sessions


Nick Fanning - Missouri River Energy Services,Sioux Falls, SD

Robert Crear - Rye Development, Boston, MA

Jeremiah Haas - Principal Aquatic Biologist, Exelon, Cordova, IL

Flood Control and Risk Reduction

Dr. Larry Weber - Professor of Engineering, Univ. of Iowa Flood Center, Iowa City

Mike Klingner - Chairman, Upper Miss., Illinois & Missouri Rivers Assn.

Sally McConkey - P.E., CFM, D.WRE., Section Head ,IL State Water Survey, Prairie Research Inst., Univ. of IL


Steven Carlyon - Director, La Crosse Parks, Recreation and Forestry Dept., La Crosse

Kim Rea - Recreation Manager, US Army Corps of Engineers, Alton

12:30 - Luncheon Speaker

Dana Starkell - Mississippi River Sojourner, Bettendorf

1:45 - Early Afternoon Concurrent Sessions


Gretchen Benjamin - Assoc. Dir. Water Resources Infrastructure at The Nature Conservancy, La Crosse

Ken Barr - Chief of Environmental Analysis Branch, US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island

Water Supply

Dr. Maria Lemke - Aquatic Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy

Brent Earley - Iowa American Water, Davenport

2:45 - Late Afternoon Concurrent Sessions


Mike Cox - Operations Division Chief, US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island

Tracy Zea -Waterways Council

Scott Sigman - Transportation Infrastructure Lead, Illinois Soybean Assn., Bloomington

Gulf Hypoxia

Laura Christianson - Ph. D., Asst Prof of Water Quality, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana

Kelly Warner - Hydrologist , USGS IL Water Science Center, Urbana

Steve Richter - Dir. of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy, Wisconsin

3:45 - Mississippi River Economic Update

Colin Wellenkamp - Executive Director, Miss. River Cities & Towns Initiative, St. Louis.

4:00 - Raise-the-Grade Challenge

Michael Reuter - North America Water Dir, The Nature Conservancy, St. Louis. Founding Member of AWI

5:00 - Student Poster Session

6:30 - Catfish Fry

Friday, Oct. 14

7:00 - Breakfast / Registration Opens

8:15 - Working Sessions I

Energy - Ray Wingert - Managing Principal for Hydropower, HDR Engineering, Inc., Gorham ME

Flood Control and Risk Reduction - Kris Johnson - Ph.D, Senior Scientist, The Nature Conservancy, Minneapolis

Recreation - Joe Taylor - President & CEO, Quad Cities CVB, Moline

Ecosystems - Roger Viadero - Ph.D., Professor, Western Illinois University, Macomb

Water Supply - Scott Tomkins - Illinois EPA Bureau of Water

Transportation - Dan Mecklenborg - Senior Vice President, Ingram Barge Company, Nashville

Gulf Hypoxia - Rebecca Smith - Program Director, The Nature Conservancy, Madison

10:15 - Break

10:30 - Working Sessions II

12:00 - Lunch

2:00 - Media Briefing