Future Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance (NFFA) Webinars/Conference Calls Schedule

The Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance (NFFA) is an affiliation of nonprofit and private organizations, government agencies and individuals dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural functions of floodplains, including coastal areas. For a copy of the Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance mission statement, goals and objectives click here.

If you haven’t used Go To Webinar before or you just need a refresher, please view our guide prior to the webinar here.

The Natural Floodplain Functions Alliance (NFFA) is busy working on confirmation of webinar topics and presenters for 2017.

NFFA will host bimonthly events that combine a conference call format with a webinar presentation (typically the 1st Tuesday of the month at 3pm ET).

The Iowa Watershed Approach: A New Paradigm for Flood Resilience

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 3:00 p.m. Eastern


  • Allen Bonini,  Iowa Department of Natural Resources
  • Dr. Craig Just, University of Iowa
  • Melissa Miller, Iowa Water Center
  • Breanna Shea, Iowa Flood Center, University of Iowa 
  • Jake Hansen, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship- Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality
  • Jessica Turba, Disaster Recovery Operations Bureau of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management.


From 2011-2013, Iowa suffered eight Presidential Disaster Declarations, encompassing 73 counties and more than 70% of the state. Devastating as these events were, 2011-2013 do not represent Iowa’s worst flood years. Long-term data show that heavy precipitation and flooding events are increasing in frequency across the Midwest. Under these circumstances, a new paradigm for flood resilience is needed—one that decreases flood risk, improves water quality, and increases community flood resilience.

The Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) is a watershed –scale program based on a holistic approach recognizing that 1) heavy precipitation and flooding events are increasing in frequency; 2) upstream activities impact downstream communities; 3) upstream and downstream communities need to voluntarily work together; 4) when possible, flooding should be addressed at its source, using science-based, reasonable, cost-effective practices; 5) improving community resilience to floods requires risk mitigation and community directed initiatives and planning; and 6) program strategies must also respect, protect, and sustain Iowa’s valuable agricultural economy, which provides food, fuel, and fiber for the world and sustains family incomes for many Iowans.

The IWA panelists will discuss the program objectives, their specific role in the process, and the progress made in the first year of implementation.


Allen Bonini joined the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 2005 as the Supervisor of the Watershed Improvement Section. The Section has lead responsibilities for the Department’s watershed improvement efforts, including the TMDL Program, the Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Program, supporting Watershed Management Authorities, the development of an in-lieu fee stream mitigation program and, most recently, helping carry out the Iowa Watershed Approach project.

Allen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology from the University of Illinois and has spent the past 40 years working in Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois as an environmental professional in a variety of technical and managerial positions, mostly in the areas of water quality and solid waste management.

Dr. Craig Just
is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and an assistant research engineer at IIHR – Hydroscience & Engineering. Dr. Just’s current research portfolio includes: 1) studies of freshwater mussels and their impacts on microbial ecology as it relates to the mitigation of nitrogen contamination, 2) bioremediation, phytoremediation, photodegradation, and physical-chemical transformations of insensitive munitions explosives, 3) flood resilience in watershed communities, 4) microbial community function, affordability and robustness of alternative, small community wastewater treatment systems, and 5) water resources, food security, and energy system design and implementation in resource-constrained communities. Read more here.

Melissa Miller is the Associate Director at the Iowa Water Center (IWC), a federal-state partnership administered by the U.S. Geological Survey and Iowa State University. As one of 54 Water Resources Research Institutes in the country, IWC conducts and coordinates research, outreach, and education on water issues of local and regional importance. Melissa holds a BS in community and public health and is nearing completion of an MS in community development with a focus in natural resource management.

Breanna Shea
is the Outreach Coordinator for the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) at the University of Iowa. Breanna assists in the development and implementation of communications and outreach programs for IFC projects. She is part of the IFC team working on the $96.9M Iowa Watershed Approach statewide program and serves as an effective and knowledgeable liaison between IFC researchers and external stakeholders including agency personnel, watershed management authorities, community leaders, and the general public.

Breanna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University and is currently enrolled in the Urban and Regional Planning graduate program at the University of Iowa. She joined the IFC team in 2015 after having worked with local soil and water conservation district offices.

Jake Hansen is the Water Resources Bureau Chief with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship- Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality, a position he has held since September 2013. Hansen’s responsibilities include oversight of Water Resources Bureau staff and programs, including the Agricultural Drainage Well Closure program, Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Watershed Protection Fund, and the Watershed Development and Planning Assistance Program. The Water Resources Bureau also provides staffing support for the Iowa Water Quality Initiative and the HUD Iowa Watershed Approach.

Prior to joining IDALS-DSCWQ, Hansen was employed for more than thirteen years at two regional planning councils in Iowa and Nebraska, providing planning and grant management services to local governments. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a minor in Geography from the University of Northern Iowa, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Jessica Turba (facilitator) is an Executive Officer in the Disaster Recovery Operations Bureau of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management. She is responsible for the maintenance and update of the state’s hazard mitigation and disaster recovery plans. Through the Iowa Watershed Approach, Jessica’s team will facilitate the integration of watershed planning with state and local planning mechanisms. The sustainability of the Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) will include finding commonalities in the way we value water, in both and rural environments, for future project development.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Drake University. She is currently working on certifications in project management and planning.

For more information, please contact Jeanne Christie at .

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