Happy 2020! After the success of our first workshop (back in October) we were excited to lead a second WICDI workshop, this time with a slightly different focus. The WICDI team, along with around 20 fearless participants, braved the cold to congregate in Superior, Wisconsin.

Located on the St. Louis River Estuary, the Lake Superior NERR (National Estuarine Research Reserve) accommodated our group beautifully. Karina, the Coastal Training Program coordinator, helped us set up and stayed to welcome our guests.

Inside the Confluence Room.

Like our last workshop, we started off with an overview of the WICDI project and a brief discussion of our goals, as well as participant introductions. We also covered what we’d learned from the last workshop – both as a refresher and as a way to bring new participants up to speed.

We also heard from several participant speakers, including from one of our northwestern neighbors, the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program! I will be linking slides and presentations here as speakers send them to me, so if you’re interested in learning more about individuals’ talks, keep an eye on this post.

After lunch, we got into one of the meatier discussions of the day. Genevieve, our research specialist, reviewed all of the submitted culvert data and schemas that WICDI has received so far. She walked us through her process of mapping the data fields (all 88 of them) onto 11 distinct categories, combining fields when they were synonymous.

Genevieve’s mapped culvert data fields.

The range and variety of fields sparked a long discussion of which attributes are most important for which types of culvert inventories – and how to anticipate the needs of as many use cases as possible when collecting culvert data. Our group ultimately decided to put these questions to the CoP at large, in the form of a survey. We hope to send this survey out around the end of February, so stay tuned!

Genevieve holding court.

NOAA Coastal Fellow Emma Cutler covered the next hour of the workshop with another valuable discussion, this one about risk and vulnerability. Emma has been researching various approaches to assessing flood risk, and outlined several of those approaches for the CoP. WICDI is currently planning to do some pilot studies on risk next field season if all goes well with the project.

Emma walking us through some vulnerability approaches.

We closed the day with some talk of WICDI’s future plans. The group also brainstormed ways for the CoP to stay involved with the project, like forming a small workgroup to put together the culvert data survey.

GIO Jim Giglierano wrapping things up.

Once again, I would like to extend a huge thanks to all of our CoP participants, including those who participated and/or presented remotely! For those who couldn’t make this workshop, feel free to download the agenda below, as well as presentations when they become available. Questions, comments, and conundrums can be sent via the contact information here. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful rest of your week!

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