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Planning Community Toolbox
USACE Castle
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Other Corps Expertise

  • Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice  Corps Castle
      The Climate Preparedness and Resilience CoP consists of USACE staff who regularly interact to collectively learn, solve problems, build skills and competencies, and develop best practices around global and climate change issues, including climate preparedness and resilience, impacts, risks, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and integrating adaptation and mitigation.

  • Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX)  Corps Castle
      Managing conflicts and engaging the public are key skills for USACE professionals. The CPCX enhances these skills and equips Corps personnel to implement collaborative decision-making processes in field operations.

  • Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise
      The Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise is authorized by Headquarters to conduct Agency Technical Review [ATR] of cost estimates, construction schedules, contingencies and escalation included in all decision documents.

  • Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise (DSMMCX)
      The Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise (DSMMCX) provides technical advice, oversight, review and production capability for all aspects of dam modification projects across the Corps.

  • Hydroelectric Design Center (HDC) and Hydropower Analysis Center (HAC) (Portland District)
      The Hydroelectric Design Center serves the Corps' hydroelectric and large pumping plant missions. Project sizes vary and range from non-routine maintenance design to major rehabilitation and total plant design. It has extensive expertise in rehabilitation programs, testing of major equipment and systems, failure analysis, seismic design, power plant control and data acquisition, and more. The HDC also works with the Hydropower Analysis Center for power system operation analysis and economics. The HDC maintains the capability and proficiency required for planning, engineering, design, and developing criteria for all existing and new hydroelectric power plants and large flood control or water supply pumping plants.

  • Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC)
      The Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) is the Center of Expertise in the technical areas of surface and groundwater hydrology, river hydraulics and sediment transport, hydrologic statistics and risk analysis, reservoir system analysis, planning analysis, real-time water control management and a number of other closely associated technical subjects.

  • Institute for Water Resources
      The USACE Institute for Water Resources (IWR) was established to provide forward-looking analysis, cutting-edge methodologies, and innovative tools to aid USACE’s Civil Works program. IWR strives to improve the performance of the USACE water resources program through analysis of emerging water resources trends and issues; development, distribution, and training in the use of state-of- the-art methods and models in the areas of planning, operations, and civil engineering; and national data management of results-oriented program and project information across Civil Works business lines. In addition to implementing this vision throughout core mission areas, IWR oversees seven Centers that provide targeted technical expertise and support.

  • National Nonstructural Committee
      The National Nonstructural Committee partners with Planning Centers of Expertise in all aspects of nonstructural flood risk reduction and associated opportunities; promotes the development and use of all nonstructural flood risk reduction measures; and provides risk expertise on all aspects of nonstructural flood risk reduction and associated opportunities.

  • Risk Management Center (RMC)
      The Risk Management Center (RMC) was established to improve management controls over infrastructure decisions, serve as an independent advisor to senior leadership, maintain and develop risk competencies, and ensure consistency in processes, application of criteria and decision-making. The RMC is the designated Review Management Organization (RMO) for modification of a dam or levee that does not require specific project authorization, and for projects expected to require a safety assurance review during implementation.

  • USACE Centers of Expertise
      This is a comprehensive list of most centers of expertise for Corps Military and Civil Works missions. This includes cost-engineering and other Directories of Expertise (DX), Planning Centers of Expertise (PCXs), Collaboration & Public Participation Center, Mapping and GIS, and more.

  • USACE Consequences Working Group  Corps Castle
      The USACE Consequences Working Group is a multi-disciplinary group that supports consequence assessment for all USACE activities.

  • USACE Knowledge Management Portal  Corps Castle
      Hub for all USACE Communities of Practice. The Knowledge Management Portal replaces USACE's CoP SharePoint sites.

  • USACE Research Labs
      Research and development in support of the Corps of Engineers' civil works mission, including Planning.

  • USACE, ASA(CW), and Army Organization Charts  Corps Castle
      Organization Charts for USACE, ASA(CW), and Army.


  • National Shoreline Management Study National Assessment (21 September)
    This webinar featured a preliminary look at the National Shoreline Management Study (NSMS) National Assessment Report and companion Summary. This National Assessment highlights the economic, social, and environmental importance of the nation’s shorelines, and the changes that result from natural and human-induced influences on coastal processes. It has been developed based on existing and available information and input from a variety of federal agencies, Tribal Nations, representative groups, national coastal interests, state and regional representatives, and researchers. Presenters Marriah Abellera (Institute for Water Resources Coastal Program Manager) and Dr. Denise Reed (Research Professor Gratis at the University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences) provided background on the NSMS Program and a detailed overview of the National Assessment Report.
  • "Planning for Innovation" in the Civil Works Project Development Process (7 September)
    This webinar provided an overview of USACE’s focus on innovation, what innovation means for studies, and the resources available to Planners. A primary objective of the Corps is to discover, develop, deliver, sustain, and connect new technologies to finish quality projects more efficiently than ever before. Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Strategic Integration Officer Michael Winkler explained how innovation fits into the planning process, and how early consideration can enable MSCs and Districts to proactively plan and budget for their innovation needs. Note: instructions for joining the ERDC Liaisons MS Teams site can be found at the end of the presentation file.
  • Real Estate & Planning (23 February)
    This webinar provided an overview of Real Estate’s role in project studies. Presenter Judith Gutierrez (Realty Specialist for Civil Works, HQUSACE Directorate of Military Programs Real Estate Division) discussed the importance and value that Real Estate staff bring to the study team, the coordination that is necessary between offices, and the work products produced by Real Estate. She also addressed current hot topics such as non-standard estates for ecosystem restoration projects and non-structural projects.
  • Lower Brule Tribal Partnership Project (12 January)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Omaha District’s partnering efforts with the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, including two Tribal Partnership Projects – one that is nearing construction completion and one new feasibility study. The presentation compared formulation approaches spanning these two recent TPP projects and successes and lessons learned. Presenter Greg Johnson (Chief of the Plan Formulation and Project Management Section, Omaha District Planning Branch) discussed the importance of developing TPP projects that serve to meet unique Tribal needs within the framework of USACE plan formulation policy and legal authorities.

  • Interest Based Negotiation (24 March)
    This webinar presented by the Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Center provided participants an opportunity to learn about interest-based negotiation and tools for transforming potential conflicts into jointly-developed solutions. Presenter Hal Cardwell (Director, Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise) instructed participants in how to move the conversation from “how to divide the pie” arguments among parties into collaborative “expand-the pie” solutions that meet the interests of the formerly competing parties. The webinar also led participants through an interactive case study as well as discussed real-world USACE examples of the power of moving from positions to interests.
  • Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (EMRRP) Overview (27 January)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (EMRRP) and how it can help address current and future environmental planning challenges. Presenter Dr. Brook Herman (Research Ecologist and Program Manager, EMRRP) discussed how EMRRP is designed to be a flexible research program capable of addressing a wide range of issues associated with ecosystem restoration that can be a source of collaboration bringing together planning teams with subject matter experts. Dr. Herman also described how research funded by EMRRP has addressed planning challenges, such as helping to increase the number of certified ecological planning models and providing knowledge transfer of monitoring and adaptive management practices. In addition, Dr. Herman addressed the Statement of Need (SON) process and important submittal dates.
  • USACE National Regional Sediment Management Program Overview (13 January)
    This webinar provided an overview of the USACE National Regional Sediment Management (RSM) Program and beneficial use of dredged material. Dr. Katie Brutsché, (Program Manager, USACE RSM Program and Associate Technical Director, Navigation Research and Development) described the concept of RSM, why it’s important, and how the program came to be. The presentation included example studies where RSM was successfully executed to create more efficient and effective management of sediment related projects. In addition, Dr. Brutsché discussed the beneficial use of dredged material (BUDM) as an RSM strategy.

  • Cost Engineering Requirements in the Planning Phase (16 December)
    This webinar provided an overview of cost engineering requirements throughout the feasibility phase of planning studies. Presenter Mike Jacobs (Chief, USACE Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise) addressed timing and level of detail of cost engineering products, cost estimate classification, cost certification requirements, and updates required across the project lifecycle.
  • The Power of ERDC (4 November)
    This webinar highlighted the capabilities of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) and the role of the recently stood up group of “ERDC Liaisons.” As one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organizations in the world, ERDC conducts research and development in support of military installations and the USACE Civil Works mission, as well as for other federal agencies, state and municipal authorities, and with U.S. industries through innovative work agreements. Presenter Michael Winkler (ERDC Strategic Integration Officer) provided an overview of ERDC capabilities related to Planning and described the role of the new ERDC Liaisons, who have been assigned to all MSCs and Districts as part of the Chief of Engineer’s intent to elevate the Corps’ research and development programs, and to promote ERDC involvement earlier in the project development process.
  • Best Practices & Lessons Learned: Environmental Collaboration & Conflict Resolution (1 July)
    This webinar provided an overview of best practices and lessons learned from various MSC case studies on Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution (ECCR), along with an introduction from the Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise (CPCX). The webinar was presented by Frances Malamud-Roam (San Francisco District Regulatory Project Manager), Mike Thron (New Orleans District Biologist), Daniel Sumerall (Vicksburg District Project Manager), Cindy Upah (Alaska District Planning Chief), and Tyson Vaughn (CPCX ECCR Report Lead). The practitioners shared case studies incorporating innovative collaborative and conflict resolution practices which included the Bay Restoration Regulatory Integration Team, the Mississippi River Levee Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, and the Japanese Creek Continuing Authorities Program.
  • The RMC, the MMC, and You (3 June)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Risk Management Center (RMC) and the Modeling, Mapping, and Consequences (MMC), including the organization, background, and purpose of each Center as well as their respective mission areas and District support services. The MMC is at the forefront of the development of consequences analysis tools and methodology for USACE dam and levee risk and security assessments. Likewise, the RMC has been responsible for the development of USACE risk assessment methodology and risk management of the USACE dam and levee portfolio. Presenters Jason Needham, (Consequences Specialist, RMC), Ben Stubbs (Director, MMC), and Jesse Morrill-Winter (National Technical Specialist, Economics and Risk) discussed new requirements for District planners regarding the incorporation of life safety risk into project design and evaluation and the available support functions, expertise, and products the RMC and MMC can provide for local studies.
  • Office of Water Project Review (OWPR): Who We Are and What We Do (22 April)
    This webinar provided an overview of the Headquarters Office of Water Project Review (OWPR). Presenters Wes Coleman (OWPR Chief) and members of the team Judy McCrea (Plan Formulation), Fay Lachney (Plan Formulation Team Lead), Chris Bouquot (Economics), and Jeff Lin (Plan Formulation) discussed the history of OWPR origins and provided insight on the current organization of the office and its people. In addition to discussing OWPR staff policy review roles and responsibilities, the presenters shared other ongoing OWPR initiatives.

  • Engaging Operations During Feasibility (29 October)
    This webinar focused on the benefits for planners of engaging with Operations personnel during the feasibility phase. During the feasibility phase of a Civil Works project, study teams often identify a number of benefit streams. Planners can benefit from ground- truthing their benefit concepts with professionals who are actively delivering project benefits in real-time: USACE Civil Works Operation Managers and other Operations professionals. Improved interaction and recognition of Operations Division professionals in the feasibility phase can lead to more practical outcomes, a better understanding of the project turnover phase, and life-cycle cost exposure for non-federal sponsors. . This webinar was presented by Peter Dodgion (HQUSACE Asset Management Program Manager).
  • Real Estate and Planning: Partnering in Feasibility for Success (15 October)
    This webinar discussed how planners can partner effectively with Real Estate throughout the feasibility phase to ensure successful project delivery during implementation, including an overview of common Real Estate definitions, Real Estate’s role during the feasibilty phase and identifying Real Estate requirements, how Real Estate fits into SMART Planning, and best practices for project delivery teams (PDTs) partnering with their local Real Estate teams. The webinar was presented by members of the USACE Real Estate Community of Practice and NWD vertical chain: Ted Nettles (HQUSACE Realty Specialist/HQUSACE Base Realignment and Closure [BRAC] Program Manager), Kimberly Ohman (NWD Planning and Acquisition Program Manager), and Meredith Harmon (NWK Planning and Acquisition Branch Chief).
  • Incorporating Managed Aquifer Recharge into the USACE Planning Process (20 August)
    This webinar provided an overview of Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR), which includes both artificial recharge basins and aquifer storage and recovery wells and is being used to address many water management challenges around the globe. The presentation provided an overview of a recently published USACE Institute for Water Resources (IWR) report on how the Corps and its partners have been, or have considered, using MAR in civil works projects. In addition to applications in flood risk management and aquatic ecosystem restoration, MAR can be used for drought management, water supply, seawater intrusion prevention, and other water resources management objectives. The presentation also discussed how MAR may be further integrated into the USACE civil works planning process and new initiatives to deliver more sustainable and resilient water management solutions. The webinar was presented by Dr. Will Logan, Director of the International Center for Integrated Water Resources Management at IWR.

  • Dam Safety Modification Studies (16 May)
    This webinar provided an overview of Dam Safety Modification Studies including best practices, how these studies incorporate risk informed planning, and examples of recent successes. The webinar was presented by Kendall Zaborowski and Jami Buchanan, Planners with the Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise (DSMMCX).
  • National Nonstructural Committee and Nonstructural Measures (21 March)
    This webinar provided an update on nonstructural measures for Flood Risk Management (FRM) and Coastal Storm Risk Management (CSRM) within USACE, presented by members of the USACE National Nonstructural Committee (NNC)  Ms. Lea Adams (Committee Chair, HEC) , Ms. Danielle Tommaso (NAN), and Mr. Jodie Foster (SWF-RPEC).The presentation introduced the NNC and provided background on why USACE is involved with nonstructural measures. The presenters also gave an overview of nonstructural measures, walked through incorporation of nonstructural measures / alternatives in the USACE planning process, and highlighted an example project with a nonstructural focus. The goal of the presentation was to help PDT members working on FRM and CSRM projects know what nonstructural measures are, how to incorporate them in planning studies, and where to access additional resources.

  • USACE Emergency Action Plan Guidance (21 June)
    Mr. Eric Halpin, USACE Deputy Dam and Levee Safety Officer, addressed the recently published EC 1110-2-6074, Guidance for Emergency Action Plans, Incident Management and Reporting, and Inundation Maps for Dams and Levee Systems. The webinar discussed the vital role emergency action plans (EAPs) play in the comprehensive risk management strategy for USACE dam and levee projects. The policy intent of EC 1110-2- 6074 is consistency of EAPs across the USACE portfolio of dam and levee projects. USACE has an open data sharing posture with respect to local, state, and federal emergency management authorities for not only EAPs but also their corresponding inundation maps in both non-editable and editable electronic formats.

  • Successfully Integrating Dam Safety into Planning Studies: Tricks and Treats (31 October)
    Presented by Maria Wegner, HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor, and Eric Halpin, USACE Deputy Dam and Levee Safety Officer, the provides a brief overview of the USACE Dam Safety program, highlights the key policies for the integration of dam safety with planning studies, and offer some 'tricks and treats' to aid in successful integration.
  • Incorporation of Climate Change Impacts Into Inland Hydrologic Analysis (7 September)
    Ms. Chanel Mueller (MVP), a Climate Change Resilience and Preparedness Subject Matter Expert provided an overview of guidance on USACE Climate Adaptation Policy and shared useful tools for assessing potential climate change impacts to civil works projects on inland systems. A case study was presented for an ecosystem restoration project on the Upper Mississippi River.
  • Floodplain Management Plans, A Short Course (6 April)
    Brian Rast, with the Collaboration and Public Participation Center of Expertise, Institute for Water Resources, presented an overview of floodplain management plans and described how development and implementation of these plans can contribute towards increased community resilience. Non-Federal interests are required to prepare and implement a floodplain management plan as part of construction of cost-shared flood risk management or coastal storm risk management project (Policy Guidance Letter 52). The presentation also shared examples of community-adopted floodplain management plans
  • Overview of USACE Climate Preparedness and Resilience (16 March)
    Dr. Kathleen White from IWR presented a webinar on USACE Climate Preparedness and Resilience. The webinar provided an overview of USACE climate preparedness and resilience activities and resources that could be of use to the PCoP. Dr. White described the 4 strategies that guide USACE climate preparedness and resilience, and gave an overview of relevant regulations and tools. She encouraged planners to address these issues early in the study process and provided information on how to request assistances from the Climate and Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice.
  • Dealing With Costs (2 March)
    Mr. Jeremy LaDart, Economist from the HQ Office of Water Project Review (OWPR) covered cost guidance, cost basics and terminology, and cost share ratios. Mr. LaDart discussed how and where to obtain costs and common cost issues.

  • Conservation Planning to Recover Federally Listed Species: The Threatened and Endangered Species Team (TEST) Summary (16 February)
    Joe Wilson, from the Headquarters Operations & Regulatory Division shared experiences and activities from the cross- disciplinary Threatened and Endangered Species Team (TEST).

  • Engineering with Nature to Create Project Value (15 October)
    Dr. Todd S. Bridges, Senior Research Scientist from the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), provided an overview of the integration of Engineering with Nature initiative across all USACE missions. Engineering with Nature approaches have been applied in field research and demonstration projects. The principles of Engineering with Nature were included in the development of the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study, specifically the inclusion of Natural and Nature Based Features for Coastal Resilience.
  • Understanding Consequences in the Dam Safety Periodic Assessment (PA) Process (3 September)
    Kurt Buchanan, a Consequences Technical Lead with the Modeling, Mapping, and Consequences Mandatory Center of Expertise (MMC-MCX) shared overview of the economist's role in the Dam Safety Programs Periodic Assessment (PA) process. PAs are performed on Corps projects on a 10 year cycle and include a Semi-Quantitative Risk Assessment (SQRA). Periodic Assessments require the participation of an economist and potentially other planners to help assess the consequences of potential failure modes. This presentation will include an overview of how PAs fit into the overall dam safety process, the role of the economist in estimating consequences for PAs, and how MMC-MCX products are used to inform those estimates.

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