- USACE Knowledge Now Video Library First-Time Login Instructions
In order to view recordings of previous PCoP webinars, USACE staff must use their credentials to access the USACE Knowledge Now video library. This document guides new users through the process of accessing the USACE Knowledge Now video network, setting up a profile, and accessing the Planning channel.
- The Planning Mentor Program - Another Helpful Resource for your Project Delivery Team (1 June)
- This webinar, presented by Karen Miller (Planning Mentor Program manager), Jamie Buchanan and Christy Stefanides, both
from the Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise provided an overview of the purpose of the planning
mentor program, the role of planning mentors, how to get – or be – a planning mentor for an ongoing feasibility study, and
the unique role of Planning Advisors for Dam Safety Modification Studies.
- Planner Professional Development: An Overview of the WRCP Program, NDMU Risk Management Certificate, and PA Program (18 May)
- This webinar highlights three developmental opportunities available to members of the Planning Community: the Water
Resources Certified Planner (WRCP) Program, Notre Dame of Maryland University’s (NDMU) online Risk Management
Graduate Program, and the Planning Associates (PA) Program.
- WRDA 2020 Section 160: Definition of Economically Disadvantaged Communities Implementation Guidance Overview (4 May)
- In the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2020, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) was directed
to define “economically disadvantaged community” for the purposes of applying several other WRDA provisions – including
ability to pay, pilot programs, etc. Ms. Amy Frantz, HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor, provided an overview of the published
definition of “economically disadvantaged community” and highlighted the provisions in WRDA 2020 and WRDA 2022 that
reference the term.
- Evolution of USACE Planning Policy and Guidance (20 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the evolution of USACE policy on formulation of water resources projects. Presenter Amy
Frantz (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) discussed the evolution of Planning policy along with insights into how policy is
developed, updated, and maintained. First presented as a PCoP Webinar in 2022, Ms. Frantz repeated this webinar in May 2023.
Planning Guidance Notebook (Engineer Regulation 1105-2-100). Presenter Amy Frantz (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor)
discussed the evolution of Planning policy along with insights into how policy is developed, updated, and maintained.
- District Quality Control and the Review Process (6 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the importance of District Quality Control (DQC) and the review process. Presenters
Emily Cala (Levee Safety Center), Monique Savage (Headquarters PCoP), and Karen Miller (LRD-RIT) discussed seamless
DQC as described in Engineer Regulation 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy as well as current best practices;
addressed Agency Technical Review, the Review Management Organization role, and best management practices related to
USACE review processes.
- New Policy for Conducting Civil Works Planning Studies EC - Planning Guidance Notebook Update (23 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of the pre-publication Policy for Conducting Civil Works Planning Studies
Engineer Circular (EC), which will replace the core chapters of the USACE Planning Guidance Notebook (Engineer
Regulation 1105-2-100). Presenter Amy Frantz (Headquarters Senior Policy Advisor) shared key updates to the guidance,
which incorporates 23 years of legislation, official policy memoranda, Planning Bulletins, and implementation guidance.
She also shared the timeframe for publication of the EC and of the business line evaluation procedures (currently Appendix
E in the Planning Guidance Notebook), which will be published as separate Engineer Pamphlets.
- Interim Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change (9 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Interim Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) National Environmental Policy
Act (NEPA) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change, issued on 9 January 2023.
Presenters Jason Emmons (San Francisco District) and Ken Wong (Los Angeles District) from the Air Quality and
Greenhouse Gas Planning Sub-CoP discussed key details for planners and environmental managers on the new guidance,
including how to perform a greenhouse gas analysis starting from base assumptions for scoping to the end goal of
incorporating effects analysis into current NEPA studies. The presenters also addressed how to frame inclusion of different
topics for all classes of projects enterprise-wide, including baseline effects, no-action alternative emissions, avoided
emissions, gross and net alternatives emissions, and social cost of greenhouse gas emissions.
- 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
- Civilian Leadership Education Requirements & Opportunities (9 February)
- This webinar provided an overview and discussion of the benefits of the Intermediate and Advance Leadership Courses for
Army Civilians offered by the Army Management Staff College. Presenters Jason Murphy, Josh Mayne, and Dave Duckett
(faculty members of the Army Management Staff College). Presenters reviewed the Civilian Education System, details of
the Intermediate and Advance Leadership Courses, how the courses are funded, and opportunities for networking and
Senior Executive Service coaching.
- National Structure Inventory (26 January)
- This webinar provided an overview of the National Structure Inventory (NSI) and its potential application in supporting
flood risk management studies. The 2022 version of the NSI uses a variety of new data inputs in order to obtain improved
nationwide estimates of structure locations, structure characteristics, and population at risk estimates. This data is often
necessary for economic and life safety studies, but the NSI may also be useful for other planning efforts. Presenters Nick
Lutz (Economist, HEC) and Alex Ryan (Economist, PCX-IN) covered ways to use the NSI, its limitations, and methods to
improve the NSI for planning efforts through the newly developed NSI Survey Tool.
- 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.
- Introduction to the New e-Risk Register (15 December)
- This webinar provided an overview of the new e-Risk Register, which will provide study teams and the vertical team a high-
quality tool to better assess, manage, and view all risks for a particular project in a consistent and integrated manner
across project lifecycles and the full enterprise. Presenter Erin Rooks (Economist, Institute for Water Resources) discussed
the migration of the Assistance for Project Teams (APT) Tool into the new e-Risk Register and re-oriented planners to
these existing tools within the new application, in addition to demonstrating the new tool. Finally, the webinar described
how the e-Risk Register is different from the Planning Risk Register.
- 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.
- Interim Environmental Justice Guidance for Civil Works Planning Studies (17 November)
- In order to ensure consistent incorporation of environmental justice in Civil Works planning studies and to meet the goals
and objectives of the Administration, HQUSACE is providing guidance to ensure focused identification and engagement
with underserved and disadvantaged communities, full inclusion of those communities in the study development and
decision-making process, and additional requirements for the Alternatives Milestone Meeting (AMM). During this webinar,
Ray Wimbrough (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) gave an update on the new HQUSACE guidance and discussed next
steps for study teams. <1>Note: the Implementation of the Interim Environment Justice Strategic Plan Memorandum and
Interim Plan discussed during the webinar was signed on 16 December 2022.
- Life Safety Risk Indicator (20 October)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Life Safety Risk Indicator (LSRI). In an effort to develop a consistent way to recommend
projects that warrant funding based on risk to life safety, USACE has developed the LSRI tool, which provides a screening-level,
relative representation of the life risk (average annual life loss) that would be reduced if a given structural or non-structural flood
damage reduction project was constructed. The LSRI is intended to serve as a budget tool to prioritize studies and projects
starting with the FY25 budget development process. The LSRI builds off of and replaces the Life Safety Hazard Index (LSHI) tool
by incorporating not just consequence information, but also likelihood of the consequences. Presenter Jason Needham
(Consequence Specialist, Risk Management Center) described the LSRI methodology and introduced the web-based LSRI tool
and how to use it.
- 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
- 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.
- Feasibility Study Templates, Checklists & SOPs (1 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of a number of new and updated templates for Chief's Reports and Director's Reports,
Review Manager and Vertical Team Roles and Responsibilities guides, and Study Issue checklists. Jeff Lin, Plan
Formulation Team Lead (HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review) discussed the purpose and intent of each of the new
templates, guides, and checklists.
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series – Session #6 – People Strengthen Our Connections With Each Other (18 August)
- The sixth PCoP Virtual Summer Series session focused on examples from the field of how our internal connections were
strengthened to produce better results and featured opening remarks from Mr. Eric Bush, Headquarters Chief of Planning &
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series - Session #5 - Partnering: Better Project Delivery Through Partnering and Tribal Engagement (11 August)
- The fifth PCoP Virtual Summer Series session focused on the importance of partnering with other federal agencies and Tribal
engagement in Planning.
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series - Session #4 - Workforce Development: People are our Greatest Asset (4 August)
- The fourth PCoP Virtual Summer Series session focused on professional development and increasing skills, experience,
and capacity across Planning.
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series - Session #3 - Innovation: Revolutionizing Our Project Delivery through Innovation (28 July)
- The third PCoP Virtual Summer Series session presented several case studies focused on how project delivery teams
"revolutionized" the planning process to provide innovative features in project delivery. These case studies demonstrated
innovation across various business lines.
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series – Session #2 – Partnering: Engaging Disadvantage Communities in the Age of Smart Planning: Environmental Justice (21 July)
- The focus of the second PCoP Virtual Summer Series session was on how to provide meaningful engagement while
implementing smart planning, discussion regarding implementation of ASA(CW) environmental justice (EJ) guidance, tools
for identifying and engaging with disadvantaged communities, and EJ success stories.
- 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series - Session #1 - Readiness: What’s New on the Planning Horizon? (14 July)
- The focus of the kickoff session of the 2022 PCoP Virtual Summer Series was trends in planning policy, Water Resources
Development Act implementation guidance and other relevant guidance. The discussion informed planners on what to
expect next in the planning and policy world and topics included scoping and the Vertical Team Alignment Memo (VTAM),
evaluating and documenting benefits across accounts, conducting mega studies, and policy and guidance updates.
Speakers included Mr. Al Lee (Director of Civil Works), Joe Redican (Deputy Chief, Headquarters Planning & Policy), Jason
Norris (Headquarters Office of Water Project Review), Brian Harper and Saji Varghese (Southwestern Division/Regional
Planning and Environment Center), and Amy Frantz (Headquarters Senior Policy Advisor).
- Planning Associates Program (30 June)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Planning Associates Program and why USACE planners should consider applying.
Presenters Lisa Rabbe (IWR, Planning Associates Program Manager), Brandon Wadlington (RPEC, Chief of NEPA and Natural
Resources Section), and Ken Woodard (LRH, Chief of Plan Formulation) highlighted the benefits of the Planning Associates
Program as well as the application process. In addition, the webinar provided tips and insights from current Planning Associates.
- Agency Technical Review (ATR) Certification (16 June)
- This webinar provided an overview of the categories of certification for Agency Technical Review in Planning, as well as
discussed certification application timelines and tips for success. Presenters included Debby Scerno (Environmental
Compliance/Ecosystem Restoration ATR lead, Headquarters Office of Water Project Review), Nancy Brighton (Cultural
Resources ATR lead, Headquarters Planning & Policy Division), Max Millstein (Economics ATR lead, South Atlantic Division),
and Charlie Hanneken (Plan Form ATR lead, Northwestern Division).
- NDMU Risk Management Certificate (2 June)
- This webinar provided an overview of on the distance learning Risk Management
Graduate Certificate Program available through the Notre Dame of Maryland University.
This year-long, graduate level training program prepares participants to provide
thoughtful, evidence-based approaches to reduce vulnerability; minimize risk to achieve
organizational goals; and to acquire the knowledge and skills most in demand for careers
in this growing field. Presenters included Karen Miller (HQ lead), Matt Shanks (LRD,
recent NDMU program graduate, and special guest Dr. Charles Yoe (NDMU professor and
author of Principles of Risk Analysis: Decision Making Under Uncertainty). Participants
learned about the program application process and had the opportunity to ask questions.
- Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (Section 7001 Report) (19 May)
- This webinar provided an overview of the annual Report to Congress on Future Water
Resources Development, also known as the 7001 Report. The presentation addressed the
entire process to complete the report, with emphasis on our outreach efforts and the
proposal evaluation process. Presenter Karla Roberts (Program Manager, Southwestern
Division Regional Integration Team) discussed requirements established in Section 7001
of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, as amended and details of
the annual process, including acceptance of non-Federal proposals, district, division and
headquarters evaluation of proposals, and development of the Report to Congress.
- 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
- Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) – Updated Standard Operating Procedures (21 April)
- This webinar provided a detailed overview of the updated Independent External Peer Review (IEPR) Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP), along with real examples of some of the process steps required to complete IEPR for studies. The 2019 IEPR
SOP previously made available to planners has been revised to reflect current guidance and policies. Presenters Andy MacInnes
(MVN) and Anastasiya Kononova (NAB) highlighted noteworthy IEPR concepts for all study teams, including the important and
time sensitive steps that study teams need to be aware of in order to ensure that IEPR is started at the appropriate time to
coincide with concurrent reviews.
- Coastal Texas StratCom (7 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Strategic Communications Plan for the Coastal Texas study – USACE’s largest Civil
Works study ever undertaken. In just under 6 years, the project delivery team produced a $29B recommended plan that promises
to deliver a resilient Texas coast using a combination of ecosystem restoration and coastal storm risk management features that
function as a system to reduce the risk of coastal storm damages to natural and man-made infrastructure and to restore
degraded coastal ecosystems. Focused on redundancy and robustness, the proposed system of improvements increases the
resiliency of the Texas coast and is adaptable to future conditions. To reach communities locked-down during the Covid crisis,
the team innovated strategic communications, deploying a combination of virtual technologies to engage the public and assure
transparency across the local, regional, and national landscape. Dr. Kelly Burks-Copes (PM, Galveston District) reviewed the
Strategic Communications Plan for the study and walked through the various tools and techniques utilized to assure public
outreach used both during the study phase and planned for the next phases of the project.
- Section 401 Water Quality Certification Update (31 March)
- This webinar, originally presented on 11 March 2021, provided an overview of the new Section 401 Water Quality Certification Rule
and its requirements and was presented by Jamie Higgins (Environmental Policy Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project
Review). Districts must request a water quality certification from the appropriate certifying authority to ensure compliance of a
project with relevant water quality requirements. The presentation focused on changes to the Section 401 rule and how they
should be implemented in Planning and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents based on this District requirement.
Please note that the 31 March 2022 webinar addressed EPA’s reversion to the 1971 rule due to a court ruling vacating the 2020
rule. However, that ruling has been overturned by the Supreme Court and the 2020 Rule is still in effect. Please stay tuned for
additional information as EPA engages in rulemaking to revise the 2020 401 Certification Rule. EPA plans to finalize the Rule in
the Spring of 2023.
- 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.
- Plan Formulation Career Roadmap and KSAs Update (10 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Plan Formulation Career Roadmap and the
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) Crosswalk. The Career Roadmap provides an
overview of the practice of Plan Formulation within USACE, and also provides guidance to
Planning professionals, particularly plan formulators, regarding career development
expectations throughout a person’s career within a Planning discipline. It is paired with
the KSAs crosswalk that indicates the point in one’s Plan Formulation career at which
each KSA will likely be acquired or significantly upgraded. The crosswalk also provides
recommended sources of training and guidance to assist in acquiring each KSA.
Presenter Ray Wimbrough (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) discussed how KSAs can be
used by planners on all levels to focus their development in specific areas as well as by
supervisors to refine Individual Development Plans and help guide and mentor planners
throughout their careers.
- 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.
- FY23 FPMS Interagency Nonstructural Call for Proposals (10 February)
- This webinar provided an overview of the FY23 Floodplain Management Services (FPMS)
Interagency Nonstructural Call for Proposals, including the types of activities and
products that can be supported. The goal of the FPMS Interagency Nonstructural Call for
Proposals is to facilitate interagency flood risk management outcomes and collaboratively
leverage multiple agency resources and authorities. Presenters Jennifer Dunn (FPMS
Interagency Nonstructural lead) and Stephanie Bray (FPMS Program Manager) reviewed
the process and schedule for proposal submission and evaluation, offered tips and
cautions, reviewed select examples, and addressed questions.
- 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.
- Overview and Use of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide (2 December)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Feasibility Report Format and Content Guide – a
new tool that has been produced by a team of experts within USACE for nationwide use.
Presenter Ray Wimbrough (HQUSACE Senior Policy Advisor) discussed the contents of
the guide, which contains a suggested format, typical content for each section and
subsection, and general notes for development of reports. The guide is envisioned to be
helpful to beginner as well as experienced planners, provides a general starting point for
any feasibility study, and can also be used as a reference/checklist to assist in technical
and/or policy review.
- Ecological Benefits, Resource Significance, and Their Impact on Project Budget (18 November)
- This webinar provided an overview of how significance, benefits, and budget work
together. Presenter Debby Scerno (Environmental Reviewer, Office of Water Project
Review) focused on Ecosystem Restoration projects, but much of the information
provided can also be applied to compensatory mitigation. The webinar highlighted tools
and resources to help project teams describe resource significance for both Ecosystem
Restoration and mitigation, as well as to determine what benefits will be sought for a
- 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.
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (21 October)
- In celebration of Conflict Resolution Day 2021, this webinar provided practical application
tips and an opportunity for conversation about negotiation and conflict resolution.
Presented by Hunter Merritt (Social Scientist, Collaboration and Public Participation
Center of Expertise), the webinar included participants sharing their collective
experiences in order to help others navigate project-related conflicts and improve
efficiency, trust, processes, and project execution.
- Lessons Learned from the Tribal Partnership Program Clear Creek Ecosystem Restoration Study (7 October)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Tribal Partnership Program (TPP) Clear Creek
Ecosystem Restoration Study, including lessons learned from applying innovative
methods to complete a study on time and under budget. In addition, presenters Elise
Jarrett and Lindsay Floyd (Sacramento District Water Resources Planners) shared ideas
on how to appropriately scale studies and how the successes from this study might be
implemented across the enterprise to continue strengthening the TPP.
- After Action Reviews – Lessons Learned by Using Innovative, Data-Driven Approaches and Methodology (23 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of recent After Action Reviews (AARs) on USACE Civil Works planning and project delivery
efforts. Planners, project managers, and leaders can apply the information gathered from any AAR to document lessons learned
and opportunities for change in the enterprise. The webinar was presented by Dr. Nadia Mohandessi (Emergency Management
Continuous Improvement Program Manager, Readiness Support Center) and Gwyn Jarrett (Program Manager with the NWD/POD
Regional Integration Team). Andy MacInnes, Water Resource Certified Planner (MVN) and Regional Technical Specialist (MVD),
co-facilitated and developed the AARs discussed with Dr. Mohandessi.
- Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and IWR Planning Suite (9 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) module
withing the Institute for Water Resources (IWR) Planning Suite II. Presenter Eric Johnson
(Economist, IWR) provided an overview of the MCDA module’s ability to consider the
influence of multiple criteria on project alternatives; how the module helps planners and
economists clarify and convey tradeoffs across multiple criteria; and how the module can
assist study teams in the evaluation of multiple benefit types across the four accounts
(National Economic Development, Environmental Quality, Regional Economic
Development, and Other Social Effects).
- Tips for USACE Interview Success (12 August)
- This webinar presented tips for building a resume and delivering a strong interview for
USACE employees. Presenters Susan Layton (Acting Chief of Planning & Policy, South
Atlantic Division) and Rhiannon Kucharski (Chief of the Civil and Public Works Branch and
Legislative Liaison, Honolulu District) covered all aspects of the interview process,
including tips for a top-notch interview; what NOT to do during an interview; how to
prepare for various types of interviews; and tips for developing an effective resume.
Additional leadership perspectives were also provided by Joe Redican (Deputy Chief of
Planning & Policy, HQUSACE) and Wes Coleman (Chief, HQUSACE Office of Water Project
- Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (7001 Report) (29 July)
- This webinar provided an overview of the annual Report to Congress on Future Water
Resources Development, also known as the 7001 Report. The presentation covered
requirements established in Section 7001 of the Water Resources Reform and
Development Act of 2014 (as amended), with an emphasis on the proposal evaluation
process. Presenter Karla Roberts (Southwestern Division Regional Integration Team)
discussed the annual process in detail, including the acceptance of non-Federal
proposals, District, Division, and Headquarters evaluation of proposals, and the
development of the Report to Congress.
- Planning Quick Takes: Timely Topics for Risk-Informed Planning Studies (15 July)
- This webinar provided an overview of the recently-completed “Planning Quick Takes:
Timely Topics for Risk-Informed Planning Studies,” which was previously known as the
“Planning Mentor Handbook.” Planning Quick Takes is intended to be used by all project
delivery team members and not just Planning Mentors, and offers brief summaries on
many risk-informed planning topics. The webinar focused on three new topics added to
the document: Life Safety Assessment, Climate Change Assessment, and Incorporating
the Four P&G Accounts and was presented by Leigh Skaggs (Senior Planner, St. Paul
District), Karen Miller (Senior Planner, Huntington District), Kendall Zaborowski (Planning
Team Lead, Dam Safety Modification Mandatory Center of Expertise), Ariane Pinson
(Climate Specialist, Albuquerque District), Dena Abou-El-Seoud (Senior Economist, Great
Lakes & Ohio River Division), and Zack Hartley (Regional Economist, Chicago District).
- 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
- ER 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Guidance Policy (10 and 17 June 2021) (10 June)
- The 10 and 17 June 2021 Planning CoP Webinars addressed updates to the Civil Works
Review Guidance Policy recently published in Engineer Regulation (ER) 1165-2-217 (dated
1 May 2021) and was presented by the primary authors: Ms. Karen Miller (Planning
Regional Technical Specialist, Huntington District); John Clarkson (Senior Reviewer, Risk
Management Center); and Erica Reinsel (Quality Manager, Jacksonville District). ER 1165-
2-217 provides updated guidance for Civil Works Review and supersedes the expired
Engineer Circular 1165-2-217: Civil Works Review Policy. This webinar highlighted the
overall purpose of the policy and significant changes from the EC to the ER, and
reminded planners of the major elements of responsibility for ensuring quality products
throughout the Civil Works 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.
- Post Authorization Change Reports (PACRs): Myths, Mysteries, and Legends (20 May)
- This webinar provided an overview of Post Authorization Change Reports (PACRs).
Presenters Wes Coleman (Chief, Office of Water Project Review, HQUSACE) and Jeremy
LaDart (Chief, Planning and Environmental Division, Mobile District) discussed a ranged
of planning considerations for PACRs, including why PACRs are conducted, the various
types of PACRs, approval authority, scoping considerations, and obtaining Vertical Team
- 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.
- Water Resources Certified Planner Program (8 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the USACE Water Resources Certified Planner Program in advance of the 2021 Call for
Applications. The webinar was presented by Kim Townsend (HQUSACE Senior Water Resources Planner) and addressed the
purpose of the program, qualifications required for certification, and the application and evaluation process.
- Successes & Lessons Learned from the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement Joint Record of Decision (18 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of the preparation of a joint Record of Decision (ROD)
for the Columbia River System Operations environmental impact statement (EIS), which
had three co-lead federal agencies who worked together toward selecting an alternative
that would meet each agency’s mission. Presenters Rebecca Weiss and Leanne Holm
(USACE Northwestern Division), David Kennedy and Jill Leary (Bonneville Power
Administration), and Jarod Blades (Bureau of Reclamation) discussed the history and
background of the project, the format used for the joint ROD, and lessons learned.
- Getting to the Finish Line – Preparing for a Successful Final Report and Chief’s or Director’s Report (4 March)
- This webinar discussed common issues in final report submittal packages and
Washington-level review and processing. Members of the Office of Water Project Review
(OWPR) and the Regional Integration Teams (RITs) shared a list of final report content
and processing problems that have caused significant delays for studies as they work
towards approval and authorization, and provided observations and tips to help study
teams avoid these pitfalls. The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD/POD RIT
Planner), Judy McCrea (OWPR Plan Formulation Team member), Fay Lachney (OWPR Plan
Formulation Team Lead), and Charles Wilson (SPD RIT Planner).
- Planning Assistance to States Program Overview (25 February)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program
(Section 22 of WRDA 1974, as amended) and was presented by Sharon Sartor (PAS
Program Manager). PAS is a USACE program that allows for providing cost-shared
technical assistance and comprehensive water resource planning support to non-federal
sponsors. The webinar included types of projects that can be conducted, how to get a
project started ,and examples of PAS projects from across the country presented by
District team members.
- 3x3x3 Exemption Lessons Learned, NWK Grand River Ecosystem Restoration Study (11 February)
- This webinar provided an overview of how to utilize an exemption from the 3x3x3 process
to inform more complete and defendable planning decisions. Presented by Kaely Megaro
(Kansas City District), Scott Nicholson (Office of Water Project Review), and Jeremy
Weber (Northwestern Division), the presentation highlighted lessons learned from the
Grand River Ecosystem Restoration Study, with an emphasis on the value of scoping and
reaching vertical team alignment on an exemption early in the study process.
- NEPA Modernization and the Public (4 February)
- This webinar continued the discussion on the new CEQ NEPA regulations issued in 2020,
with a focus on public involvement. Presented by Jeff Trulick (Office of Water Project
Review) and Dr. Kat McCain (RPEDN Environmental Planning Section Chief), the webinar
included a discussion with the field to address emerging questions related to public
participation, involvement, and comments during the NEPA process.
- Alaska Native Cultures & Tribal Engagement (3 February)
- In this webinar, presenters Kelly Eldridge (Alaska District Archeologist) and Kendall
Campbell (Alaska District Tribal Liaison) introduced background information on the
history of Alaska Natives and the diversity of indigenous cultures in the state of Alaska.
The presentation included helpful hints and best practices for successful engagements
and working with Alaska Natives on Civil Works projects.
- Introduction to the Alaska Native and Federal Relationship (27 January)
- This webinar, presented by Kendall Campbell (Alaska District Tribal Liaison), provided a
primer and some lessons learned on USACE Tribal requirements and obligations within
the Civil Works program.
- 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
- 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).
- Planning Mentor Handbook - A Tool for Mentors (and Others) Assisting PDTs (1 October)
- This webinar, presented by Karen Miller (Planning Mentor Program manager) and Leigh
Skaggs (lead author, Planning Mentor Handbook) provided an overview of the purpose of
the Planning Mentor Program, the role of Planning Mentors, and the recently published
Planning Mentor Handbook. The presenters discussed each of the major topics covered
in the handbook and provide examples of how each of the risk-informed planning tools
described in the document were employed in a variety of USACE studies or activities.
While originally envisioned as an aid to Planning Mentors, the handbook is applicable to
any planner who wants to learn more about risk-informed planning and how to apply it.
- Continuing Authorities Program (CAP) Updates September 2020 (29 September)
- This webinar presented by the Revolutionize Civil Works Team discussed the latest
changes to CAP, including an overview of the new CAP approval delegations and
Directors Policy Memorandum guidance to increase planers understanding and
expectations. The team also highlighted why these changes are significant and how they
will benefit USACE as well as USACE partners.
- Beneficial Use of Dredged Material for the Delaware River: Lessons Learned (17 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Delaware Beneficial Use of Dredged Material for
the Delaware River (DE DMU) feasibility study. The DE DMU feasibility study identified
beneficial use opportunities for sediment dredged from a Federal navigation project to
provide coastal storm risk management (CSRM) benefits. Presented by Scott Sanderson
(Coastal Planning Chief, Planning Division, Philadelphia District) described the studys
formulation process, while highlighting lessons learned related to resource agency
coordination, specifically concerning the Coastal Barrier
Resources Act/Coastal Barrier Improvement Act and the impact of environmental
windows on dredged material placement. In addition, the presentation discussed the
impact of the navigation project Federal Standard on the benefit/cost analysis.
- Overview of the Regional Economic System (RECONS) Model (3 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Regional Economic System (RECONS) model,
which automates calculations of regional economic activity. RECONS Team members Wen
Chang (Senior Economist, Institute for Water Resources), Dena Abou (Regional Technical
Specialist, Inland Navigation Economics, Chicago District, and Holly Bender (Lead
Regional Economist, Kansas City District) discussed the importance of RECONS in light of
the 3 April 2020 directive issued by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works
(ASA(CW)) for USACE to provide a comprehensive documentation of benefits in
feasibility studies. RECONS is the Agency's only certified regional economic development
(RED) model, making it an essential tool for compliance with the ASA(CW) directive.
Presenters summarized key differences between the national economic development
(NED) and RED accounts, and provided an overview of the RECONS model, including a
- 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.
- Inland Navigation Planning and Risk-Informed Management: An Introduction to Inland Navigation (6 August)
- This webinar, presented by the Planning Center of Expertise for Inland Navigation and
Risk-Informed Economics Division (PCXIN-RED), featured a brief introduction to the
center and the U.S. inland waterways system generally; the common types of inland
navigation studies and economic evaluation required for them; and a general discussion
of how the business line has been incorporating risk-informed decision making. The
information presented was geared towards introducing planners and potential project
delivery team members to inland navigation analyses and the ways the PCXIN-RED can
assist teams in scoping or conducting these studies.
- IWR Planning Suite II Uncertainty Module (23 July)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Uncertainty Module within the Institute for
Water Resources (IWR) Planning Suite II. The module provides its users with the ability to
consider the influence of uncertainty on the results of cost-effectiveness and incremental
cost analyses performed on study alternatives involving monetary and non-monetary
costs and benefits. Presenter Shawn Komlos (Supervisory Physical Scientist at IWR)
discussed how the module, which is a standard component of the certified version of the
IWR Planning Suite II software, was developed and implemented to support a study
teams efforts to rapidly assess the influence of uncertainty on alternatives on or near the
- 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.
- Ecological Model Review and Certification Process (9 July)
- This webinar, presented by Nate Richards (ECO-PCX Model Review Manager), provided
an overview of the model certification process for ecological models and presented
advancements in the process. Model review and certification has a reputation of taking a
long time and requiring significant funds. These misconceptions, among others, have
decreased in recent years thanks to a greater understanding of the certification
requirements, increased emphasis on model quality by planning teams, delegation of
approval authority, and implementation of best practices. The webinar also provided
useful information and tips for planners, decision-makers, researchers, and others that
develop, implement, and review aspects of ecological planning models.
- Small Boat Harbor Planning Sub-Center of Expertise Overview (25 June)
- This webinar provided an overview of the Small Boat Harbor Planning Sub-Center of
Expertise (SBH- PSCX) and the nuances of SBH planning. This Sub-Center of Expertise
functions collaboratively as a sub-unit of the Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of
Expertise, with a specific focus on harbors that serve vessels that are primarily 14-foot
draft or less. Presenters including Cindy Upah (Planning Chief, Alaska District and
Technical Deputy, SBH-PSCX) and Eric Johnson (Economist, Alaska District) discussed
planning for these multi-use harbors, which entails special considerations for a mix of
commercial, recreation, subsistence, government, and research vessels. The emphasis on
small boat harbor planning recognizes the specialization of technical analyses that is
generally not found in inland or deep draft navigation planning analyses. The presenters
also detailed the range of services offered by the SBH-PSCX, from production to review
management to consultation with PDTs.
- A SMART Planning Policy Waiver Case Study: When Corps Policy, the Endangered Species Act, and Marine Mammal Protection Act Conflict (11 June)
- This webinar provided a look at the specific challenges that were overcome by the
vertical team in the Unalaska (Dutch Harbor) navigation study. The Alaska region has
unique considerations in related to building infrastructure, with no shortage of protected
wildlife that require extensive consultation under several environmental laws. The Dutch
Harbor study illustrates where the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection
Act, and Corps planning policy requirements conflict, and how this conflict required the
exploration, development, and approval of a policy waiver by the project delivery team.
This presentation explored the weighing of risk to schedule, cost, and implementation
with USACE legal and policy obligations, and highlighted the coordination and
documentation required to support this specific risk-informed decision to defer
completion of ESA consultation to the pre-construction engineering and design phase.
The webinar was presented by Quana Higgins (NWD-POD Regional Integration Team);
Evie Haberer (Environmental Reviewer, Office of Water Project Review); Kate Bliss (POD
Regulatory and Environmental Program Manager); and Mike Salyer (Alaska District
Environmental Resources Section Chief).
- FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 0 - The Review Process Overview (11 June)
- Review is an important aspect of the study process and is best understood within the
context of the planning process itself. This webinar highlights the sequencing of reviews
within a typical study. It also provides an outline for follow-on webinars focused on more
- FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 1.0 - The Review Plan (11 June)
- The review plan guides the review throughout the study and provides a strategic path for
engagement with review teams. This webinar provides study teams with information on
the role of the Review Plan, why it is needed and tips for writing one.
- FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 2.0 - District Quality Control (DQC) (11 June)
- DQC is the process by which the framework and foundation of a study are evaluated. This
webinar discusses the DQC process and provides study teams with best practices for
conducting an efficient and effective DQC.
- FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 3.0 - Agency Technical Review Comment Response and Backcheck (11 June)
- ATR documentation supports a risk informed decision to move forward with the project
and continued Federal investment so it is important to document review comments and
their resolution in a clear and concise manner. This webinar focuses on the comment
resolution process and some best practices to help teams successfully complete ATR.
- FRM-PCX Review Process Webinar Series: Webinar 3.1 - ATR Charge (11 June)
- The "charge" to reviewers contains the instructions to the review team regarding the
objective of the review and the specific advice sought. This webinar provides guidelines
for developing the charge, including key considerations and tips on creating a better ATR
- Overview of One Federal Decision (E.O. 13807) Requirements for Civil Works Planning Studies (30 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of the now rescinded Executive Order 13807. This webinar still covers relevant topics including
the principles of federal coordination and the permitting dashboard, which is still operational for USACE projects. The webinar
was presented by Julie Alcon (Environmental Team Lead and Policy Reviewer, HQUSACE Office of Water Project Review).
- An Introduction to Communication Planning (2 April)
- This webinar introduced participants to the new USACE Integrated Communication Planning Process. The process, which is
applicable across the enterprise, is the result of a collaborative effort between the Public Affairs Office (PAO) and the Project
Management, Planning, and Collaboration and Public Participation Communities of Practice (CoPs). Topics addressed included
how to identify stakeholders and potential issues, determining communication goals and objectives, and developing key
messages and talking points. The webinar was presented by Bill Peoples (Nashville District Public Affairs Chief) and Jacqueline
Tate (Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Public Affairs Chief).
- Deepening the Connection: Virtual Teaming & Collaboration (1 April)
- In this third in a series of webinars on teleworking technologies, virtual meetings, and
virtual teaming, Public Involvement Specialist Andrea Carson (LRP) presented a hands-on
webinar on how to build and sustain effective, cohesive teams even when individual team
members are scattered and able to collaborate mainly through online technologies. The
presentation reviewed some technical basics and guided participants through the
principles and best practices of teaming, with a special focus on virtual teaming.
- Working the Connection: Virtual Meetings & Collaboration (26 March)
- In this second in a series of webinars on teleworking technologies, virtual meetings, and
virtual teaming, Public Involvement Specialists Andrea Carson (LRP) and Mary Lewis
(LRN) presented a hands-on webinar on how to facilitate and participate in effective
virtual meetings, including choosing the best platform and facilitator for the meeting
scenario. The webinar focused on principles and best practices for keeping participants
engaged and on track to meet meeting objectives, and also provided a review of some
technical basics to ensure that virtual meetings run smoothly.
- Making the Connection: Teleworking Technologies & Tips (24 March)
- In this first in a series of webinars on teleworking technologies, virtual meetings, and
virtual teaming, Public Involvement Specialist Andrea Carson (LRP) provided a hands-on
presentation on teleworking technology 101. She covered the technical basics including
using a VPN, mapping drives, getting and using a WebEx line, and using Skype for
business, including for video meetings. She also walked through a hands-on tutorial of
using these meeting tools.
- Making the most of the Planner Database (19 March)
- This webinar focused on the PCoP's Planner Database Tool, which stores and reports the
knowledge, skills, and abilities of USACE planners. This tool has an easy-to-use web
interface with information organized by sub-Community of Practice (sub-CoP), and many
other ways of filtering and retrieving data. The Planner Database is a part of the
PlanUSACE suite of tools that also includes the Planning Assistance Library (PAL) and
Assistance to Planning Teams (APT). Sara O'Connell (hydraulic engineer and Planner
Database lead, HEC) provided an overview of how to easily navigate the website and
input and retrieve the data planners need - including registering a planner in different
sub-CoPs, looking up information on other planners, and applying for Agency Technical
Review (ATR) Certification.
- Cost Engineering in Planning Studies (5 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of cost engineering, cost-schedule risk analysis, and
the cost Agency Technical Review (ATR) process in planning studies. Presented by Mike
Jacobs (Chief, USACE Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise), the webinar
included an overview of the cost engineering requirements, level of detail, and products
required at each planning milestone, as well as a discussion of best practices and lessons
learned from past studies.
- Ecological Model Development within the Planning Phase (20 February)
- This webinar provided an overview of the advancements being made in ecological model
development. The webinar was presented by Dr. Kyle McKay (ERDC-EL), Dr. Todd
Swannack (ERDC-EL), and Nate Richards (ECO-PCX Model Review Manager), and
focused on developed and implemented tools, guidelines, and methodologies that
improve the way we develop ecological models and align development, certification, and
project planning. Case studies presented demonstrated that model development and
certification are not only possible within SMART Planning timelines, but also valuable to
- Deep Draft Navigation: A Comprehensive Overview (23 January)
- This webinar provided a comprehensive overview of deep draft navigation in USACE,
intended for project delivery team members at every level and in every discipline who are
looking to better understand this mission area. Presenters discussed broad influences in
world trade routes, described USACE deep draft ports in the nation and port
characteristics, and addressed planning, economics, engineering, and environmental
considerations within a feasibility study in the spirit of SMART and risk-informed
planning. Presenters from the Deep Draft Navigation Planning Center of Expertise
(DDNPCX) included: Eric Bush (SAD Planning Chief and Director of the DDNPCX), Stacey
Roth (Plan Formulation Lead, Jacksonville District), Todd Nettles (Technical Director,
DDNPCX), Max Millstein (Senior Economist, SAD), Michael Wolz (Lead Civil Engineer,
SAD), and Angela Dunn (Environmental Branch Chief, Jacksonville District).
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 7 - Life Safety Risk Assessments in FRM Planning Studies (9 January)
- This webinar discussed best practices for incorporating life safety into FRM Planning
studies, with a focus on varying levels of detail for life safety risk assessments. The
webinar was presented by Nicholas Applegate (National Technical Specialist, FRM
Planning Center of Expertise), Jesse Morrill-Winter (Sacramento District Regional
Technical Specialist for Dam and Levee Safety Economics), and Nick Lutz (Louisville
District Regional Technical Specialist for Dam and Levee Safety Economics) and
addressed the following questions: Why are the Tolerable Risk Guidelines important? How
does a life safety focused risk analysis differ from an economics focused study?
When/how should teams incorporate this process into the planning process? Who needs
to be involved in life safety risk assessment? What is the appropriate level of
analysis/assessment and what are my team's options? Where can you find assistance in
conducting life safety studies? This is the seventh in a series of webinars from the FRM
Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on helping PDTs with current and
relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through tips, tools, and lessons
- Applied Learning Environments (12 December)
- This webinar provided an overview of Applied Learning Environments (ALEs) and how
they can help the planning community build empathy and collaboration with stakeholders,
facilitate the development of more innovative alternatives, and save both time and money
during the planning process. ALEs are simulated environments designed to engage
participants in active/applied learning to achieve specific learning objectives (e.g., ERDC
Ship/Tow Simulator, emergency preparedness table top exercises, multi-hazard
tournaments, etc.) The webinar was presented by John Kucharski (HEC, Senior
Economist), Andrea Carson (LRP, Community Planner), and Hunter Merritt (SPK, Water
Resources Planner) and included an ALE application in which webinar attendees
- Economic Guidance Memorandum (EGM) 19-06: Ability to Pay for Tribal Partners (14 November)
- This webinar provides a step-by-step overview for gathering the data needed to establish
if Tribal partners involved in Corps of Engineers activities, including watershed
assessments, feasibility studies, and projects, are eligible for a cost-share reduction
following the methodologies in Economic Guidance Memorandum (EGM) 19-06,
"Supplemental Guidance for Section 1121 of the Water Resources Development Act of
2016, as amended-Tribal Partnership Program Reduced Cost Share Eligibility Criteria
(Ability to Pay)"
- EPA EJSCREEN Tool (31 October)
- The EPA has developed an environmental justice mapping and screening tool called
EJSCREEN to help highlight places in an Environmental Assessment or Environmental
Impact Statement that may warrant additional consideration, analysis, or outreach
because of the potential for environmental justice concerns. This webinar introduced and
demonstrated the core functionality the EJSCREEN tool, including how to: navigate
EJSCREEN; screen for environmental justice; and analyze data. The web-based tool
offers a variety of powerful data and mapping capabilities that enable users to access
environmental and demographic information across the entire country with color-coded
maps, standard data reports, and more.
- IWR Planning Suite II (3 October)
- This webinar provided an overview of the capabilities and uses of the USACE-certified
IWR Planning Suite II (IWRPS-II) software. The webinar was presented by Shawn Komlos
and Laura Witherow (Institute for Water Resources), as well as and Cory Rogers (CDM
Smith) and focused on the IWRPS-II Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis module and its
potential uses during execution of USACE Planning Studies.
- Barrow Alaska Coastal Erosion Feasibility Study - Challenges and Lessons Learned (5 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of challenges and lessons learned from the Barrow
Alaska Coastal Erosion Feasibility Study. This unique study, which is on track to be
completed in 27 months, has successfully utilized risk informed decision making, while
also justifying a project with Other Social Effects. The webinar was presented by resented
by Cindy Upah (Alaska District Chief of Planning) and Jen Cate (Alaska District Chief of
Project Management and included discussions on the roles of vertical alignment,
communication, and public involvement.
- Working with Cooperating Agencies (22 August)
- This webinar provided an overview of Section 1005 of the Water Resources Reform and
Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 and the requirements for involving Cooperating
Agencies in a study. Cooperating Agencies are required to be involved in studies per the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), but the enactment of Section 1005 of WRRDA
2014 has resulted in further requirements. The webinar discussed tips and tools for
working with Cooperating Agencies, courtesy of the Collaboration and Public
Participation CX (CPCX) and was presented by Julie Alcon (Environmental Team Lead,
Office of Water Project Review [OWPR]), Wes Coleman (Chief, OWPR), Hal Cardwell
(CPCX Director at theUSACE Institute for Water Resources), and Seth Cohen
(Collaboration and Public Participation CoP lead).
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 6 - Incorporating Life Safety in FRM Planning Studies (9 August)
- This webinar focused on best practices for incorporating life safety into FRM Planning
studies, including discussion about the recently released Planning Bulleting 2019-04:
Incorporating Life Safety into Flood and Coastal Storm Risk Management Studies. The
webinar was presented by Kendall Zaborowski (Dam Safety Modification Mandatory
Center of Expertise) and Nicholas Applegate (National Technical Specialist, FRM Planning
Center of Expertise) and addressed the following questions: Why is life safety becoming
more important in FRM Planning? What do you need to know about Life Safety Risk? What
are Tolerable Risk Guidelines and why are they important? Whats the difference between
Incremental Risk and Total Risk? What are some of the best practices I can use to
incorporate Life Safety into my Planning study? Whats the right level of detail and
analysis for my study? This is the sixth in a series of webinars from the FRM Planning
Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on helping PDTs with current and relevant
challenges on their FRM Planning studies through tips, tools, and lessons learned.
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 5 - Implementing Non-Structural Measures in HEC-FDA (25 July)
- This webinar provided insight into how nonstructural measures can be analyzed using the Corps-certified HEC-FDA model. The
webinar was presented by Brian Maestri (National Nonstructural Committee member) and Britt Corley (Nonstructural Working
Group member), both economists stationed in New Orleans District. The presentation covered the following topics: defining
nonstructural measures, modeling nonstructural measures using the HEC-FDA model through use of modules to adjust the
structure inventory, providing economic results for nonstructural plans using risk-based methods, incorporating sensitivity
analyses for the participation rates of nonstructural plans, and using structure detail output information to evaluate increments of
a nonstructural plan. This is the fifth in a series of webinars from the FRM Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on
helping PDTs with current and relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through tips, tools, and lessons learned.
- DPM 2019-02: Operationalizing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Project Management (Planning Phase) (11 July)
- This webinar discussed the content and implications of Directors Policy Memorandum
(DPM) Civil Works (CW) 2019-02, Operationalizing Risk-Informed Decision Making in
Project Management (Planning Phase). The webinar was presented by Ms. Andrea Bias-
Streat (Deputy, Program & Project Management Community of Practice) and provided an
overview of key highlights of the memo, including its purpose of reaffirming key project
management responsibilities during the Planning phase of a project, with the goal of
ensuring consistency across the USACE enterprise.
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 3 - Climate Change (7 June)
- This webinar provided information on climate change for inland hydrology, with a focus on
tools and best practices for inland FRM studies. The presentation discussed the science
of inland climate change, why inland climate change is important for FRM studies, policy
and guidance related to inland climate change, and existing tools and how to use them.
The webinar was presented by Mr. Nick Applegate (National Technical Specialist, FRM
Planning Center of Expertise) and Mr. Will Veatch (Hydrologist/MVD Regional Technical
Specialist, New Orleans District). This is the third in a series of webinars from the FRM
Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on helping PDTs with current and
relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through tips, tools, and lessons
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 4 - Sea Level Change (7 June)
- This webinar provided an overview of sea level change (SLC) tools and best practices for
FRM studies. The presentation discussed what SLC is, why SLC is important for FRM
studies, policy and guidance related to SLC, economic analysis with SLC, and existing
SLC tools and how to use them. The webinar was presented by Mr. Nick Applegate
(National Technical Specialist, FRM Planning Center of Expertise) and Mr. Will Veatch
(Hydrologist/MVD Regional Technical Specialist, New Orleans District). This is the fourth
in a series of webinars from the FRM Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on
helping PDTs with current and relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through
tips, tools, and lessons learned.
- USACE and Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Technology (6 June)
- This webinar provided background information on Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)
technology, and applications of UAS in the Corps as a force multiplier for various mission
sets. The webinar was presented by Mr. Victor Wilhelm, UAS Program Manager at the
Jacksonville District. Mr. Wilhelm also discussed USACE efforts to reorganize its UAS
formations into an Enterprise Aviation Program and associated regulation challenges.
- 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).
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 2 - Determining the Appropriate Level of Detail (10 May)
- This webinar discussed progressive strategies for better defining the proper level of
detail throughout various iterations and phases of Flood Risk Management Feasibility
studies. Scoping and managing study risk have proven to be challenging for project
delivery teams (PDTs) under SMART Planning, but through more appropriate utilization of
the Risk Register and other tools teams can be more successful. The webinar was
presented by Ms. Monique Savage (Plan Formulation Section Chief, St. Louis District) and
Mr. Jerry Fuentes (Regional Technical Specialist, Sacramento District). This is the second
in a series of webinars from the FRM Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on
helping PDTs with current and relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through
tips, tools, and lessons learned.
- Cultural Resources Compliance Activities (2 May)
- This webinar, presented by Nancy J. Brighton (Cultural Resources Sub CoP Lead and
Deputy Federal Preservation Officer), provided an overview of Planning Bulletin 2018-01,
with a focus on the timing of cultural resources compliance activities. The presentation
walked through each of the bulletins decision points and product milestones, and
discussed what cultural resources efforts should be done at each point.
- Flood Risk Management Planning Webinar 1 - Planning Steps 1 and 2 (Problems/Opportunities/Objectives/Constraints/Future Without Project) (11 April)
- This webinar provided an overview of common challenges associated with the first 2
steps of the planning process for Flood Risk Management (FRM) studies. Problems,
Opportunities, Objectives and Constraints (POOCs) and the Forecasting the Future
Without Project condition (FWOP) are foundational steps to plan formulation and must be
re-visited throughout the study to ensure success. The webinar was presented by Mr.
Nicholas Applegate (National Technical Specialist, FRM Planning Center of Expertise) and
Jerry Fuentes (Regional Technical Specialist, Sacramento District). This is the first in a
series of webinars from the FRM Planning Center of Expertise (FRM-PCX) focused on
helping PDTs with current and relevant challenges on their FRM Planning studies through
tips, tools, and lessons learned.
- Overview of QC/QA and Policy & Legal Compliance Review Procedures (4 April)
- This webinar discussed the review process which USACE has developed to address the
Information Quality Act and the OMB Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review.
Ms. Karen Miller (Regional Technical Specialist for LRD, CELRH) presented information on
Quality Control and Quality Assurance, including some best practices. Ms. Fay Lachney
(Plan Formulation Team Lead for the Office of Water Project Review, HQUSACE)
presented an overview of the Legal and Policy Compliance and State and Agency reviews.
The presenters also provided an overview of EC 1165-2-217 and ER 1105-2-100, which
establish the procedures to ensure the quality and credibility of USACE decision and
- 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.
- SAD Supplemental Alternatives Milestone Meetings After Action Review (8 March)
- This webinar provided an overview of lessons learned from an After
Action Review (AAR) conducted by the South Atlantic Division (SAD)
on the first 90 days of and the Alternatives Milestone Meetings for
their Supplemental studies, presented by Mr. Pat ODonnell (Acting
Chief, SAD Planning and Policy). The emphasis of the AAR was on both
complying with guidance and various issues related to how guidance is
disseminated and the consistency among different guidance
documents. The webinar provided useful information for study teams
and vertical teams on the intent of quickly starting feasibility studies,
and the lessons learned from the AAR are applicable to both
Supplemental studies and typical feasibility studies.
- Director's Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance Review (21 February)
- This webinar addressed the recently released Directors Policy Memorandum (DPM 2019-01): Policy and Legal Compliance
Review. Mr. Michael Hallisy (Economics Section Chief, Los Angeles District) provided an overview of of DPM 2019-01, which
establishes procedures to ensure consistency in the conduct of policy and legal compliance reviews across USACE. It was
developed to aid implementation of DPM 2018-05: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery,
which delegated policy and legal compliance review for draft and final planning decision documents to the MSCs. The webinar
described the purpose, key provisions, and anticipated benefits associated with the implementation of DPM 2019-01, as well as
potential challenges and next steps.
- Exemption Procedures for Planning Studies Exceeding Cost and Schedule Limits (24 January)
- This webinar addressed the recently released Planning Bulletin 2018-02: Exemption
Procedures for Planning Studies Exceeding Cost and Schedule Limits. As outlined in law
and policy, the majority of USACE Planning studies should be completed in 3 years and
cost less than $3 million. PB 2018-02, issued on 11 December 2018, clarifies the
procedures for requesting an exemption to these cost and schedule limits. Ms. Amy
Frantz, HQ Senior Policy Advisor, discussed when exemption requests should be made;
how they are processed; who has approval authority; and roles and responsibilities for
those involved. Participants also learned about policy changes resulting from WRDA
- Teaching Ourselves Risk Informed Planning (13 December)
- This webinar featured MSC, District, and Planning Core Curriculum efforts to
"Teach Ourselves Risk Informed Planning." The webinar will be presented by
Judy McCrea (SPD Plan Formulation Specialist), Matt Rea (NWD Plan
Formulation Specialist), Tim Fleeger (NWD District Support Planner), Leigh
Skaggs (Plan Formulation Reviewer, OWPR), and Susan Conner (Planning
Branch Chief, Norfolk District). From regional workshops and book clubs to
hands-on sessions on rapid planning iterations, the presenters discussed
various ways that MSCs and Districts provide formal and informal training on
the evolving feasibility and planning process. The webinar also addressed
updates to the Planning Core Curriculum to reflect risk informed planning
- Policy and Legal Compliance Review (28 November)
- Mr. Jeremy LaDart (HQ Office of Water Project Review) and discussed the rollout of the
One Policy Review team policy and the new policy and legal review Planning Bulletin
2018-01. The webinar addressed roles and responsibilities of One Policy Review team
members (both MSCs and Headquarters), expectations for review comments, and how to
deal with issues when they arise.
- Recent Environmental Streamlining and Risk-Informed Decision Making (One Federal Decision) (1 November)
- Ms. Lauren Diaz (HQ OWPR), with the support of the other environmental reviewers
within the Office of Water Project Review (Mr. Mark Matusiak, Ms. Evie Haberer, Mr. Jeff
Trulick, and Ms. Julie Alcon), provided an overview of recent initiatives focused on timely
environmental compliance, including Executive Order 13807 on "One Federal Decision"
and Section 1005 of WRRDA 2014. The webinar tied these initiatives together in the
context of risk-informed decision making within the environmental discipline, so that
environmental compliance can be conducted in a timely manner and fully integrated into
a 3x3 compliant study.
- Incorporating Risk-Informed Decision Making for Costal Storm Risk Management Studies (18 October)
- Mr. Steve Couch (New York District), Ms. Carrie McCabe (Fort Worth District Regional
Planning and Environmental Center at Galveston District) and Mr. Jeff Gebert
(Philadelphia District) provided an overview of the Coastal Storm Risk Management
(CSRM) business line, and discussed business line specific policies and guidance relevant
to these studies as well as common challenges and risks. The presentation was
moderated by Larry Cocchieri, CSRM Planning Center of Expertise (North Atlantic
Division). The presentation addressed conducting iterations of risk informed planning in a
CSRM feasibility study with a focus on the various areas where CSRM studies differ from
other types of business line studies.
- New Guidance: Implementing Risk-Informed Decision Making in Civil Works (4 October)
- Ms. Karen Miller (WRCP, LRH), Mr. Eddie Douglass (HQ RIT Planner), and Mr. Aaron
Hostyk (HQ Office of Counsel) discuss recently signed guidance developed in response
to the Implementation Plan for the Directors Policy Memorandum Civil Works Programs
2018-05 SUBJECT: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project
Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities). DPM CW 2018-05 provided direction to
incorporate risk-informed decision making in project development. A cross-discipline
Civil Works Implementation team has been working together to provide additional CoP-
specific guidance to further assist PDTs to improve efficiency and effectiveness in project
delivery. This webinar focused on the 31 August Office of Counsel's memo, The Role of
Counsel in Operationalizing Risk-Informed Decision Making During Project Development,
and the recently signed Planning Bulletin 2018-01, Feasibility Study Milestones.
- Inland Flood Risk Management Studies: Risk-Informed Business Line Introduction (16 August)
- Mr. Nick Applegate, Economic and Risk Analysis Section Chief, Sacramento District; Mr.
Peter Blodgett, PE, Senior Hydraulic Engineer, Sacramento District; Ms. Sara Schultz,
Senior Water Resources Planner, Sacramento District; and Mr. Eric Thaut, Deputy
Director, FRM-PCX provided an overview of the Flood Risk Management business line.
The presenters discussed specific policies and guidance relevant to flood risk
management studies, as well as common challenges and risks in flood risk management.
The presentation addressed conducting iterations of risk informed planning in a flood risk
management feasibility study, including practical examples. This webinar was the second
in a series of seven business line webinars presented in the PCoP webinar series.
- Feasibility Study Initiation: Fundamental Steps and Documentation (13 August)
- Overview of key steps to initiating a feasibility study: processes, documentation, and decisions in the first 90 days of a new
- Water Management and Reallocation Studies: Risk-Informed Business Line Introduction (2 August)
- Ms. Cherilyn Plaxco, Technical Director, Water Management and Reallocation Studies
Planning Center of Expertise, provided an overview of the Water Management and
Reallocation business line, specifically discussing business line specific policies and
guidance relevant to water reallocation studies as well as common challenges and risks in
water reallocation. The presentation addressed conducting iterations of risk-informed
planning in a water allocation feasibility study including analysis of a case study, and
focused on the various areas where water allocation studies differ from other types of
business line studies.
- Risk 101 - Common Understanding of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning (1 August)
- This webinar aims to develop a high-level common understanding of the goals of implementing an Enterprise Risk Management
System at the Corps of Engineers, and specifically about applying to risk management to planning activities to improve project
delivery. The presentation covers how the Planning Community of Practice is applying recent direction from the Director of Civil
Works to operationalize risk in delivering an effective and efficient Civil Works Planning Program. The presentation reinforces that
the tenets of enterprise risk management have are a cornerstone of SMART Planning (the "R" in SMART is "Risk-Informed").
Together with the presentations "Risk Informed Planning Tools for Project Delivery Teams" and "Implementing Risk Informed
Decision Making in Planning", this series describes how the Corps of Engineers is operationalizing risk- informed decision making
in planning project delivery. This webinar was presented to the DPMs in a joint PPM CoP and PCoP Webinar.
- Risk Informed Planning Tools for Project Delivery Teams (1 August)
- This webinar aims to orient planning project delivery teams to risk informed planning tools, including rapid iteration and the risk
register. The deck provides links for more information about these tools that teams will find useful. Together with the
presentations "Risk 101 - Common Understanding of Enterprise Risk Management and Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning"
and "Implementing Risk Informed Decision Making in Planning", this series describes how the Corps of Engineers is
operationalizing risk- informed decision making in planning project delivery. This webinar was presented to the DPMs in a joint
PPM CoP and PCoP Webinar.
- IWR Planning Suite II (26 July)
- Ms. Laura Witherow (Institute for Water Resources) and Ms. Monique Savage (St. Paul
District) provided information on the IWR Planning Suite II, the latest certified version of
the IWR Planning Suite Software used to conduct Cost-Effectiveness and Incremental
Cost Analyses and Annualize Ecosystem Outputs for ecosystem restoration, impact
analysis, and mitigation planning. The webinar highlighted the new capabilities of IWR
Planning Suite II, including multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA), uncertainty, and
watershed wizard. Additional topics included how the software is used in planning, a brief
review of each module within the software, and instructions on downloading the software.
- 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.
- Director's Policy Memorandum: Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and Planning Activities) (31 May)
- Mr. Joe Redican, Chief of HQ Planning and Policy Division (Acting), Ms. Sue Hughes, HQ
Planning and Policy Division, Deputy for the Planning Community of Practice, and Mr.
Wes Coleman, Chief HQ Office of Water Project Review provided an overview of the
Directors Policy Memorandum Civil Works Programs 2018-05 SUBJECT: Improving
Efficiency and Effectiveness in USACE Civil Works Project Delivery (Planning Phase and
Planning Activities). DPM CW 2018-05 provides direction on incorporating risk informed
decision making in project development.
- Using 3-D Drawing Software in Civil Works Planning (5 April)
- Mr. Stephen Stello (MVN) shared his experience and successes using 3-D drawing
software in Civil Works planning documents. Mr. Stello has been using Sketchup and
other 3-D drawing software to create 3D models of USACE projects including flood risk
and navigation projects, and provided information on how these 3-D software tools can
be useful in the planning process.
- LRD and SPD Sharing Lessons on CAP Execution (1 March)
- Mr. Mike Saffran (LRD) and Mr. Mark Bierman (SPD Regional CAP Production Center)
shared information on efforts in LRD and SPD to improve execution of the Continuing
Authorities Program (CAP).
- Agency Technical Review Document Templates (15 February)
- This webinar, presented by Mr. Miki Fujitsubo with the Flood Risk Management Planning
Center of Expertise, includes an overview of the types of ATR, roles and responsibilities,
and how to document the review. ATR is a key component of ensuring the technical
quality of our products. The presentation will also share some new templates for
documenting ATR - the ATR Work Plan and ATR Summary Report.
- Operationalizing Risk-informed Decision Making in Planning (18 January)
- Ms. Sue Hughes, Planning Community of Practice Deputy, provided an update to the
community of ongoing activities to operationalize risk-informed decision making in
- WRDA 2016 Section 1184: Consideration Of Measures (7 December)
- Implementation Guidance for WRDA 2016 Section 1184 was recently completed. This provision defines natural and nature-based
features and requires USACE to consider these features and measures, as appropriate, when conducting feasibility studies for
flood risk management, hurricane storm damage reduction, and ecosystem restoration.
- 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
- Utility Relocations for Harbor Projects Pipelines, Cables and Related Facilities (7 September)
- Ms. Mayley Boyce, USACE HQ Assistant Counsel for Real Estate, presented information on upcoming updates to Policy Guidance
Letter 44 for Relocation and Removals of Utilities at Navigation (Harbor) Project, which broadens the definition of utilities and
allows credit to some sponsors for relocation costs they were legally obligated to pay under state law or the terms of non-Federal
permits and agreements.
- Planning Manual Part II: Risk-Informed Planning (17 August)
- This webinar introduced Risk-Informed Planning and the new publication available from IWR titled Planning Manual Part II: Risk
- Planning Training and Planner Database (6 July)
- Ms. Jodi Creswell, Environmental Planning Branch Chief, St. Paul District, provided an update on Planning Training, the Planning
Associates Program and the Planner Database. The webinar gave an overview of the three core planning PROSPECT courses that
all planners are required to take. Ms. Creswell encouraged planners to update their profile in the Planner Database and provided
information on the FY18 Planning Associates Program.
- 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.
- Environmental Resource Significance in Civil Works Planning (2 February)
- Ms. Camie Knollenberg, Plan Formulation Branch Chief, Regional Planning and Environmental Division North, St. Paul District
described how the significance of environmental and other resources are determined, and how this information is used in civil
works planning. Resource significance drives plan formulation in the aquatic ecosystem restoration mission and drives mitigation
planning in other civil works mission areas.
- Southwest Coastal Louisiana NED/NER Multi-Purpose Study: Lessons Learned (15 December)
- Andy MacInnes, (MVN Plan Formulation), Brian Maestri (MVN Economics) and Bill Klein (MVN Environmental), and Eddie Douglass
(HQ MVD Regional Integration Team) shared key insights related to plan formulation, real estate, economics and environmental for
this large project that recommended $1 billion in non-structural and $2.4 billion in ecosystem restoration for the 4,700-square-
mile study area. The team shared how they overcame challenges unique to formulation and evaluation of non-structural
- Social Vulnerability: Overview and Analysis (3 November)
- Ms. Susan Durden and Dr. Seth Cohen, both with the Institute for Water Resources, provided a review of the "Other Social
Effects" account and described socially vulnerable populations and factors that make them vulnerable during an flood or storm
event. Dr. Cohen provided an overview of the IWR primer on social vulnerability entitled "Identification and Engagement of
Socially Vulnerable Populations in the USACE Decision Making Process." Ms. Durden shared information on the Social
Vulnerability Index Explorer (SOVI-X), a tool that performs social vulnerability analyses of populations at risk under with and
without project conditions.
- Flood Risk Management and New Risk Communication Tool in The Netherlands (20 October)
- Ms. Vera Konings from Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands presented on Flood Risk
Management and the new Risk Communication Tool in the Netherlands. Ms. Konings is working with the USACE Risk
Management Center as part of a partnership between USACE and the Netherlands. She explained the Dutch water system and
provided information on the three circles of flood risk management activities including operations and maintenance, periodic
assessments and long-term strategies. Ms. Konings demonstrated the Netherlands risk communication website: residents input
their zip code and receive specific information regarding the flood risk to their home and helps them decide whether to stay or
evacuate during a flood. The website also provides visual information to communicate the risks associated with flooding.
- Project Success in 6 Easy Steps: Risk Management (15 September)
- All PDTs will encounter risk. Successful PDTs will manage risk. Project Managers will learn best practices across the life cycle that
save time, money & relationships. When Risk Management is integrated with the organizations culture and every day PDT
activities, project delivery outcomes significantly improve and project objectives are achieved. Doris Marlin, HQUSACE Project
and Program Management CoP, presented this webinar for the PPM and Planning Communities.
- SMART Planning & USACE Feasibility Studies: Guide to Coordination and Engagement with the Services (7 September)
- This webinar provided an overview of the SMART Planning process, and demonstrate how key environmental compliance
activities, such as the Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, and Magnuson-Stevens Act, are integrated
into the process. The webinar provided lessons learned from the Seattle District
- Plan Formulation Strategies for Ecosystem Restoration Projects (1 September)
- This webinar presented formulation strategies that have been successfully applied on ecosystem restoration studies. It was
presented by Mr. Leigh Skaggs, HQ Office of Water Project Review.
- Cherry Creek Dam Safety Modification Study (16 June)
- This presentation by Mr. Jeff Greenwald, Lead Planner/Project Manager, Omaha District, provided information and background on
the Cherry Creek Dam Safety Modification Study and compare/contrast these type of studies against typical feasibility studies. It
also covered formulating alternatives to address problems associated with and to reduce consequences of dam failure. Mr.
Greenwald provided lessons learned for each topic well as public meeting tips specific to dam safety modification studies.
- Watershed Planning Fundamentals (2 June)
- Cindy Tejeda, SPD's Watershed and Floodplain Program Manager, presented an overview of watershed planning at the Corps, and
detailed how Watershed Planning fits into a SMART planning process. Ms. Tejeda was joined by Cindy Barger from the Office of
the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), who shared her experiences reviewing watershed plans in the Secretary's
- Shared Vision Planning through the Multi-Hazard Tournament Framework (5 May)
- Dr. Harvey Hill (IWR), Marcia Hackett (Ft. Worth District), Michelle Hamor (Baltimore District), and Jason Smith (Rock Island
District) shared their experiences with using the Multi-Hazard Tournament framework developed at IWR to engage communities
and other state and federal agencies in planning and problem solving across multiple hazards / objectives.
- Preparing and Submitting Proposals for the Annual Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development (WRRDA Section 7001) (28 April)
- Lisa Kiefel provides an overview for non-Federal interests for preparing and submitting proposals for the Report to Congress on
Future Water Resources Development. Additional information on the Report to Congress is available on the HQ website, http://www.usace.army.mil/Mis
- Initial Plan Formulation Strategies (7 April)
- Mr. Leigh Skaggs, HQ Office of Water Project Review, presented this webinar focusing on Planning Step #3 of the six-step
planning process Formulation of Alternative Plans, and specifically, developing initial plan formulation strategies. Leigh discussed
tools and helpful tips for this step, engaging the audience with polls, feedback via chat, etc.
- Nonstructural Policy Clarification (PB 2016-01) (17 March)
- Mr. Jeremy LaDart, Office of Water Project Review, and Ms. Maria Wegner, Senior Policy Advisor, provided a review of the policy
clarifications regarding nonstructural activities in flood risk management and coastal storm risk management feasibility
studies/project planning, including special considerations during formulation, evaluation, and when recommending buyouts.
- USACE Infrastructure Strategy: UIS Overview and P3 Review (3 March)
- Mr. Edward (Eddie) Belk, Jr., P.E., SES, Director of Operations and Regulatory, Civil Works Directorate, discussed the challenges
and opportunities the Corps has with its infrastructure and presented an overview of alternative financing approaches. Alternative
financing approaches, including P3s (public-private partnerships) and P4s (public-public-private partnerships), are a key
component of the Corps
- Cost Allocations (2 March)
- Mr. Jim Fredericks presented an informative webinar on Cost Allocation, with a focus on water supply cost allocation. The
information presented will be particularly helpful to plan formulators and economists who deal with multi-purpose projects.
- 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).
- How to Effectively Write and Respond to Review Comments (3 December)
- Camie Knollenberg from MVDs Regional Planning Division North, and Eric Thaut of the FRM-PCX, encouraged good habits for
reviewers and reviewees, including understanding and using the 4-part comment structure; key components of comment
responses; and tips for discussing and back-checking comments.
- 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.
- Planning Training Updates (17 September)
- The Planning Essentials and Plan Formulation and Evaluation Capstone Development/Instructor Teams, represented by Jodi
Creswell (HQ Planning CoP), Tim Fleeger (LRP), and Leigh Skaggs (HQ OWPR), provided an overview of the new Planning Core
Curriculum courses and shared details about the Planning Essentials and Plan Formulation and Evaluation Capstone Courses.
- 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.
- Section 106, Cultural Resources and SMART Planning (20 August)
- Nancy Brighton, Supervisory Archaeologist and Chief of the Watershed Section in New York District, walked through the steps in
the Section 106 process with the required information needed at each milestone under SMART Planning. The presentation will
assist Cultural Resources Specialists with planning cultural resources activities at each phase, and assist planners in
understanding the determination of "appropriate level of detail" throughout the progress of the study. Nancy's talking points are
included in the PDF, if you missed the presentation. To view the talking points in Adobe Reader, right click on the comments icon
in the top left of the slide and "Show Comments List" - this will make it easier to expand each slide's notes.
- Risk-Informed Decision Making (6 August)
- Dr. Charlie Yoe shares his informed perspectives on Risk-Informed Decision Making in the context of Planning. This webinar
highlights why risk management is vital to the agency
- SMART PLANNING & Effective Stakeholder Collaboration (9 June)
- Gigi Coulson (New Orleans District) and Joel Benegar (San Francisco District) provides updated recommendations on how to cost
effectively and efficiently incorporate vital public and stakeholder involvement into our diverse array of SMART planning projects.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution and we understand that without proper consideration of public involvement and stakeholder
collaboration, our projects can be left with significant risks and uncertainties during our formal public reviews. This webinar will
offer background about the challenge and importance of incorporating public involvement into our projects. It will also provide
suggestions and possible strategies on how we might use existing collaborative tools to implement public involvement strategies
and help your project avoid common pitfalls.
- USACE Tribal Engagement and SMART Planning (2 April)
- Chris Koeppel, RPA, Mississippi Valley Division Archaeologist and Tribal Liaison, discussed opportunities and tools to integrate
government-to-government consultation with Federally recognized tribes within the SMART Planning framework. His presentation
also includes talking points for communication with Federally recognized tribes.
- Environmental Evaluation & Compliance in SMART Planning: A common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members (19 March)
- A webinar presenting a common understanding for PMs, Planners, and Environmental team members on integrating the NEPA and
environmental compliance tasks associated with planning milestones in the SMART Planning framework.
- Regional Coordination with Natural Resource Agencies: Tips & Lessons Learned (5 February)
- David Bauman from the Corps South Atlantic Division (SAD) provides tips, lessons learned and examples of coordination tools, as
well as suggests ways to positively engage with the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
- WRRDA Overview Section 7001: Annual Report to Congress (4 December)
- An overview of recently signed Implementation Guidance for WRRDA Section 7001, which creates a new Annual Report to
Congress listing studies and projects for consideration for Congressional authorization.
- Strategies for Scoping 3x3x3 Studies (2 October)
- Tips for scoping a 3-year / $3 million (3x3) compliant study with recent examples from Seattle District (Navigation) and
Sacramento District (Flood Risk Management) studies.
- Reclamation Managing Water in the West - Reclamations Water-Supply Activities (24 September)
- This presentation to the USACE Water Supply Working Group by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation provided an overview of
Reclamations history, mission, project purposes and activities; its water-related contracts and contracting authorities; project
cost allocation and water pricing; and newer Reclamation directions and programs.
- Moving from the Study Phase to Preconstruction Engineering and Design (10 June)
- This webinar included speakers from the Headquarters Office of Water Project Review (OWPR) and the Deep Draft Navigation
Planning Center of Expertise (DDN-PCX) who addressed moving from the study phase to the preconstruction engineering and
design (PED) phase of a USACE water resources project.
- Utilizing Risk Assessment Methodologies for Public Safety and Flood Risk Management (15 May)
- An overview of life-safety risk assessments and how they are incorporated into flood risk management studies, particularly in the
dam and levee safety programs. The presentation describes tools and procedures for assessing safety risks and shows example
- Endangered Species Act Biological Opinions (1 May)
- An overview of interagency coordination and consultation and the development of Biological Opinions under the Endangered
- Sutter Basin: A Lessons Learned Webinar (6 March)
- A presentation by members of the Sutter Basin PDT on lessons learned in completing their Planning Pilot feasibility study that are
informing the development / implementation of the SMART Planning process.
- AAPA - Project Cost Limits (WRDA 1986 Section 902) (28 October)
- This webinar was a joint presentation between USACE and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) on project cost
limits under WRDA 1986 Section 902. Presenters Jim Walker (AAPA), Jeremy LaDart (HQUSACE economist), and Kim Callan
(Walla Walla Cost Engineering Mandatory Center of Expertise) discussed Section 902 requirements and discussed a Section 902
limit example and relevant guidance.
- Documenting Decisions: Tips, Tools, Techniques and Lessons Learned in Report Writing (19 September)
- This recorded webinar included tips from the field on technical story telling: How are those in the field writing integrated
feasibility study and environmental compliance documents that are both technically complete and readable? Jacksonville and
Little Rock Districts shared recent experiences and lessons learned as they prepared and released draft reports for public - and
concurrent internal - review.
- AAPA - Contributed Funds (23 August)
- This webinar was a joint presentation between USACE and the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) on non-federal
project sponsor contributed funds. Presenters Jim Walker (AAPA) and Jan Rasgus (USACE) discussed accelerated funds,
advanced funds, contributed funds, the congressional committee notification process, and model agreements.
- SMART Planning and USACE Feasibility Studies: Agency to Agency Coordination (1 August)
- This webinar focused on the ongoing coordination between HQUSACE, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Presenters from all three agencies discussed application of SMART
Planning principles and process within the context of their agency mandates.
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Summary Series Wrap-up (1 May)
- Bill Frechione
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Navigation Economic System Modeling (24 April)
- Buddy Langdon
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Great Lakes Vessel Operating Costs (17 April)
- This webinar, presented by Roger Haberly, Stephen Stalikas (both Regional Economists, Buffalo District), and Bill Frechione
(Regional Economist, Pittsburgh District) discussed the Great Lakes fleet and vessel types and also provided an overview of
inland navigation vessel operating costs.
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Elasticity of Demand - Shipper Responsiveness (10 April)
- Michael R. Hilliard, Ph.D.
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Navigation Component Engineering Reliability (3 April)
- Gabriela M. Lyvers
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Engineering Reliability (27 March)
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Transportation Rate Analysis and Externalities (20 March)
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Waterway Traffic Projections (13 March)
- Wes Walker
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Navigation Data Resources Webinar (6 March)
- Dick Ash
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Great Lakes Navigation Economics 101 (27 February)
- This webinar, presented by Roger Haberly (Regional Economist, Buffalo District) discussed the Great Lakes fleet and vessel types
and also provided an overview of inland navigation vessel operating costs.
- SMART Planning Charette Facilitation Webinar (21 February)
- Inland Navigation Economics Webinar Series: Inland Navigation Economics 101 (20 February)
- Mark Hammond
- Foundations of SMART Planning (15 November)
- This 17 minute video provides an introduction to the foundations of SMART Planning and the SMART planning feasibility study
process. The video is hosted by the USACE Corps Connection YouTube channel.
- Nonstructural / Flood Proofing Webinar (12 June)
- NFPC Committee
- Civil Works Feasibility Study Program Execution and Delivery (28 February)
- Introduction to Planning Modernization and Feasibility Study execution improvements
- Assuring Quality of Planning Models: EC 1105-2-412 Rollout (14 June)
- Information for the field in implementing EC 1105-2-412, Assuring Quality of Planning
Models. This circular established the process and the requirements for assuring the quality of planning models. Per Planning
Bulletin 2013-02 (March 2013), EC 1105-2-412 remains in effect until permanent planning model guidance is issued.