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Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
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Planning Community of Practice

The Planning Community of Practice (PCoP) is comprised of more than 1,000 planners from each Corps District, Division, Research Laboratories, and Headquarters. Led by the Headquarters PCoP Deputy, the PCoP ensures that USACE planners have the tools, training, and resources they need to successfully deliver water resources solution for the Nation.

  • Civil Works Planning and Policy Community of Practice (CoP) Sharepoint Site  Corps Castle
      The PCoP SharePoint site houses information and discussion useful to planners and Planning teams across the Corps, including topic-specific discussion boards, SOPs, lessons learned and examples, and other tools and resources.

  • Planning Sub-Communities of Practice (Sub-Cop)
      Four Sub-Communities of Practice exist within the PCoP: Plan Formulation, Economics, Ecosystem Restoration, and Cultural Resources. These Sub-CoPs fulfill important functions within the PCoP, including developing and delivering training, maintaining career roadmaps and Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs), and conducting Agency Technical Review certification.
    • Cultural Resources Sharepoint Site  Corps Castle
      The Cultural Resources Sub-Cop helps planners fulfill USACE obligations to preserve and protect trust resources, comply with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and ensure reasonable access to sacred sites, through working directly with Tribes.
    • Economics Sharepoint Site  Corps Castle
      The Economics Sub-Cop provides resources to planners to help them conduct the economics of the design, formulation, and implementation of water resources studies and projects.
    • Plan Formulation Sharepoint Site  Corps Castle
      The Plan Formulation Sub-Cop supports planners with tools and resources needed to conduct plan formulation activities.
    • Ecosystem Restoration
      The Ecosystem Restorations Sub-Cop helps planners who are working on USACE projects including ecosystem restoration activities to restore significant ecosystem function, structure, and dynamic processes that have been degraded
    • Sharepoint Site  

Corps Castle
    • Ecosystem Restoration Gateway


  • An Overview of the Water Resources Certified Planner Program and the Planning Associates Program (16 May)
    This webinar provided an overview of two developmental opportunities available to the Planning Community, including qualifications for each program and the application process. Kim Townsend (WRCP Program Manager, HQUSACE) presented the Water Resources Certified Planner (WRCP) and Lisa Rabbe (PA Program Manager) and Brandon Wadlington (PA Class of 2023) presented the Planning Associates (PA) Program.
  • Civil Works Planning Modernization Effort - Planning MAP (Modernize, Adapt, & Partner) (18 April)
    This webinar provided an overview of the new Planning MAP (Modernize, Adapt, & Partner) initiative. Presenters Susan Werning (Deputy Chief, Planning Community of Practice), Monique Savage (PCoP Senior Water Resource Planner), and Evan Stewart (Supervisory Economist, MVD Regional Economics Branch) outlined current and future efforts and, the results of the planning survey and other relevant analyses.
  • An Overview of our Flood Risk Management and Coastal Storm Risk Management PCXs (22 February)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Flood Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) and the Coastal Storm Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise (PCX-CSRM). Ms. Michelle Kniep, Plan Formulation National Technical Specialist for the FRM-PCX, and Mr. Larry Cocchieri, Deputy Director for National Operations of the PCX-CSRM, presented on the current activities of the two PCXs, including staff, roles and responsibilities related to USACE planning studies, and how they can assist teams.
  • An Overview of our Ecosystem Restoration and Water Management and Reallocation Studies PCXs (8 February)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Ecosystem Restoration Planning Center of Expertise (ECO-PCX) and the Water Management and Reallocation Studies Planning Center of Expertise (WMRS-PCX). Dr. Kat McCain, Operating Director of the ECO-PCX, discussed the ECO-PCX's focus on the aquatic ecosystem restoration (AER) mission area and its support to district execution. Ms. Meredith LaDart, Technical Director of the WMRS-PCX, outlined how the WMRS-PCX provides technical support to the field for both reallocation studies and water control manual updates and how it serves as a connection point to water supply (WS) and hydropower stakeholders.
  • Meet Your Navigation Planning Centers of Expertise (25 January)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Navigation Planning Centers of Expertise (PCX) – Deep Draft, Inland, and Small Boat Harbor. Presenters Russell Iwamura (Planning Chief, POD, SBH-PSCX), Erin Stockdale (Planning Chief, POA, SBH- PSCX), Patrick PJ Donovan (Chief, PCXIN-RED), and Todd Nettles (Technical Director, DDNPCX) introduced their centers, their staff, their roles and responsibilities related to USACE planning studies, and how they can assist teams. These PCXs are integral to any navigation study, including various review, data management, and focused production tasks; they also provide expertise and training.

  • Planning Fundamentals: Role of the Lead Planner (26 October)
    This webinar is part of the Planning Fundamentals Series and provided an overview of the lead planner's roles and responsibilities throughout a feasibility study. Presenters Susan Henshaw (Senior Planner) and Hana Schlang (Junior Planner) from the Regional Planning and Environmental Center (Fort Worth District) discussed lessons learned, resources, risk informed planning tools, and ideas for study team collaboration.
  • Making the Most of the Planner Database (5 October)
    This webinar provided a refresher for the PCoP community on the USACE Planner Database. Presenter Debby Scerno (Environmental Agency Technical Review coordinator and Senior Environmental Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review) provided an overview of the Planner Database – where is it, what it includes, who should know about it, how it works, and why planners should be aware of it and update it regularly. The webinar also reviewed recent updates to the database, and provided a live demonstration.
  • Planning Fundamentals: Comprehensive Documentation of Benefits - Guidance, Requirements, and New Tools (28 September)
    This webinar is part of the Planning Fundamentals Series and provided an overview of the guidance and requirements associated with the comprehensive documentation of benefits in decision documents. Presenters Jeff Strahan (Economics Team Lead, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review); Tim Fleeger (Policy and Environmental Coordinator, Northwestern Division); Max Millstein (Senior Economist, South Atlantic Division); Susan Durden (Economist, Institute for Water Resources); and Janet Cote (Project Manager, New England District) introduced new tools to aid study teams in the selection of metrics and analysis for different Civil Works mission areas, including Comprehensive Benefit Evaluation and Scoping Tool (C-BEST), IWR’s suite of Quick Look Tools, and examples of the Table of Effects to display the performance of alternatives against a variety of fields. Presenters also discussed a case study to highlight a practical application of comprehensive benefits.

  • New PCoP Economist Training (8 December)
    Since 2015, Triple E (Economist Education and Engagement) has provided technical training, career development, and PCoP engagement to new USACE economists in. “EEE” is entering its 9th year of existence, with cohorts benefitting from a two-year program which includes two week-long in person sessions as well as regular calls. Speakers Evan Stewart (St. Paul District), Jesse Morrill-Winter (Flood Risk Management Planning Center for Expertise), Susan Durden (Institute for Water Resources), and special guests discussed this PCoP initiative and engaged in discussion with participants.
  • Developing and Applying a Logical Aggregation Methodology in the First 90 Days of a Study (22 September)
    Planning Bulletin 2019-03 requires that nonstructural analyses formulate and then evaluate measures and plans using a logical aggregation method. This webinar presented strategies for developing and applying a logical aggregation methodology in the first 90 days of a feasibility study, a critical step in study scoping and development of the initial array of alternatives. Presenters Michelle Kniep and Eric Thaut (National Flood Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX)) provided best practices, focusing on the study scoping phase prior to the alternatives milestone meeting (AMM).
  • Strategies for Successful Nonstructural Planning (8 September)
    Nonstructural planning can be challenging. On this webinar, Rachel Williams (Omaha District planner and project manager) and Danielle Tommaso (New York District plan formulator) of the National Nonstructural Committee (NNC) shared strategies to help planning team succeed. In addition to sharing an overview of the latest hot topics, important guidance, and best practices for nonstructural planning success, the presenters facilitated an interactive brainstorming session to allow participants an opportunity to share lessons learned and ask questions.
  • Water Resources Certified Planner Program (5 May)
    This webinar provided an overview of the USACE Water Resources Certified Planner Program in advance of the 2022 Call for Applications. The webinar was presented by Rebecca Albert (Acting WRCP Program Manager) and addressed the purpose of the program, qualifications required for certification, and the application and evaluation process.
  • PCX-CSRM Update and Best Practices from Recent Studies (24 February)
    This webinar provided an overview of the National Planning Center of Expertise (PCX) for Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) and best practices for coastal study teams. Representatives of the USACE PCX-CSRM, including Larry Cocchieri, Donald Cresitello, Naomi Fraenkel, Roselle Stern, and Danielle Tommaso addressed best practices and lessons learned for project delivery teams culled from recent CSRM planning studies. This information is intended to reduce risks to study schedules and funding, minimize or avoid technical challenges, and assist less experienced project delivery team members in decision making. Other presentation topics included targeted Agency Technical Reviews, coastal planning models, non-Federal sponsor coordination, economic considerations, critical infrastructure, future without project conditions, and updates and lessons learned from the National Nonstructural Committee.

  • Planning Perspectives: HQ Planning & Policy Leadership Panel (14 January)
    This webinar highlighted Planning priorities and allowed Planning Community members an opportunity to learn more about Headquarters Planning & Policy Division leadership members.

  • Planning Charettes: Adapting from In-Person to Virtual (15 July)
    This webinar, presented by the Collaboration and Public Participation Community of Practice (CPP CoP), featured lessons learned and best practices from virtual charettes recently held by several Districts across USACE (LRP, POA, MVP, and SAC). Presenters shared tips and tools for hosting virtual charettes and helped participants imagine how they might execute their own charettes.

 Corps Castle Item is restricted to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, CAC required. Document will open in a new window.