2018 IECA Annual Conference and Expo Poster Winners

The International Erosion Control Association Region One (IECA) announced winners for its annual poster session contest at the 2018 IECA Annual Conference and Expo. This year’s first place winner was Abigail Haselton for her Wildflower Growth Response to Construction Site Soil Conditions poster. Second place winner, Emily Dowdeswell, presented the Climate Change Effects on Soil Erodibility poster. Third place winner, Jessica Hunter, presented the Monongahela River Causing Concerning Sediment Buildup in Tributaries poster.

Abigail Haselton, Wildflower Growth Response to Construction Site Soil Conditions Poster

Haselton, Graduate Research Assistant at North Carolina State University, explored using wildflowers to infiltrate stormwater. The poster studied how the growth of three wildflower species differed among varying construction site soil conditions. The California poppy (Eschscholzia californica), Lanceleaf coreopsis and Partridge pea were tested in a greenhouse experiment to determine how their growth responded to compaction. Pots were filled with a sandy loam subsoil, similar to soils found along North Carolina roadsides, and compacted to similar bulk densities. In comparison, the same plants were also grown in a potting soil mix as an "ideal" condition for growth. “Surprisingly, the plants grew more vigorously in the soil than in the potting mix,’ explained Haselton.

Emily Dowdeswell, Climate Change Effects on Soil Erodibility Poster

Andrew Wright, President of Wright Strategies, LLC, presented the closing keynote session. Wright explained the 2016, 2017 and upcoming 2018 elections and interpreted how those historical and predicted outcomes impact the current political climate in Washington. Wright discussed what’s happening in Washington and why. He explained what the current climate means to the environment and more specifically to IECA Members’ business and bottom line. He also discussed the 2017 Construction General Permit rules, funding for disaster relief in California and around the nation, the President’s proposed infrastructure plan and efforts to repeal and replace the Waters of the US (WOTUS) rules.

Jessica Hunter, Monongahela River Causing Concerning Sediment Buildup in Tributaries Poster

Hunter and other students at Pennsylvania State University are looking for long-term solutions to identifying the cause of excessive sediment buildup along Pumpkin Run Creek and other tributaries along the Monongahela River. The river’s water is cloudy and turbid from heavy disturbance and excessive runoff has caused increased sediment buildup along the tributaries. A visual assessment helped identify the causes of the disturbance from the riverbed being softer, towboats and barges traffic and storm events causing runoff flowing into the river. Proposed erosion and sediment control solutions include floating silt fences and Movement of Rice’s Landing boat launch to go directly into the river.

“One of the highlights at conference each year are the poster presentations made by the students and young professionals within our industry,” explained IECA board member and poster session judge, Charles R. Riling, Jr., TRETCNO, ABI, CESSWI. “The research work done by these presenters is exceptional and each year they make it more difficult to judge their work. Everyone who participated in the IECA poster contest are winners. These participants are the future of IECA. I think we are going to be in some very good hands,” concluded Riling.