Blake Whitman, PhD, PE, CPESC
Assistant Professor
Middle Tennessee State University

Analyzing Flow Characteristics of Wattles Using a State-of-the-Art Hydraulic Flume

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
10:20 - 11:20AM

Join IECA 2021 Technical Paper of the Year Award Winner, Blake Whitman for the presentation of his award winning paper. Standard testing methodologies for evaluating wattle performance mainly focus on parameters such as sediment retention and turbidity reduction. While these parameters are certainly applicable, could additional metrics be used to quantify and evaluate in-field performance capabilities? This study aimed to develop a testing methodology for evaluating wattle performance strictly based on hydrodynamic parameters (i.e., impoundment depth and subcritical flow length) measured using a 40-foot state-of-the-art flume. Results from this study ultimately suggest that wattles can be categorized based on hydrodynamic properties and that wattle fill materials play an important roll in hydraulic performance.

Blake is an Assistant Professor in the School of Concrete and Construction Management at Middle Tennessee State University. He specializes in construction site erosion and sediment control design and implementation, heavy civil project management, and MS4 analysis. Blake earned his Ph.D. (2018), M.S. (2014), and B.S. (2012) in civil engineering from Auburn University. He has experience as a project manager within the private construction industry, as well as with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He developed and implemented a methodology for surveying and analyzing the MS4 infrastructure at Fort Benning, GA, and has conducted research focusing on small- and large-scale testing techniques for improving the performance of sediment barrier practices. His current research efforts focus on evaluating and improving erosion and sediment control practices installed on DOT construction sites, evaluating the hydraulic performance of wattle ditch checks, using RTK GNSS and LIDAR to analyze sediment transport, and improving educational outreach within the construction industry.

Re-Wilding Streams and Floodplains to Enhance Ecosystem Services

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
3:20 - 4:20PM

Join IECA 2020 Speaker of the Year, Greg Jennings for his session focusing the process and outcomes of re-wilding streams and floodplains, including daylighting piped streams, stream channel realignment and floodplain reconnection, removal of barriers to aquatic organism passage, in-stream habitat enhancement structures, and planting native riparian vegetation. Through case study presentations and interactive dialogue, participants will learn about methods for enhancing stream connectivity and natural ecological functions in various watershed conditions.

Greg Jennings founded Jennings Environmental PLLC following his retirement from the Biological & Agricultural Engineering faculty of North Carolina State University to apply ecological engineering solutions to address environmental challenges. He has provided leadership and technical support for planning, implementation, and evaluation of more than 200 ecosystem assessment and restoration projects in the Southeast. Greg is committed to advancing the science and practice of ecological engineering through collaborations with Universities, government agencies, and practitioners working to solve environmental challenges.

Greg Jennings, PhD, PE
Jennings Environmental

Dr. Blair Feltmate
Head, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation
Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo


Hotter, Wetter, Wilder: How Canadian Society is Preparing for Irreversible Climate Change and Extreme Weather Risk

Tuesday, February 23, 2021
3:20 - 4:20PM

Join Dr. Blair Felmate, Head of Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation at the University of Waterloo. He will discuss the impacts of climate change and extreme weather across Canada, with a primary focus on flooding (i.e., the biggest cost associated with extreme weather is flooding, followed by fire). He will highlight climate change and then look at insurance costs of flooding being realized across the country, followed by new standards and guidelines that have been (are being) developed to mitigate those risks at various levels: (1) the home, (2) new community design, (3) existing communities, and (4) the role that natural infrastructure plays in flood risk mitigation.

Blair is the Head of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo. Previous positions he has held include Vice President, Sustainable Development, Bank of Montreal; Partner, Sustainable Investment Group/YMG Capital Management. Blair has written textbooks on Sustainable Banking (University of Toronto Press), and Aquatic Ecology (CAB International). He is generally interviewed by the media 100 times per year. He is a member of the Sustainable Finance Advisory Council, Global Risk Institute. Blair is Chair, Adaptation Committee, Canadian Institute for Climate Choices (Environment and Climate Change Canada). He is on the Advisory Board, Climate Change, Minister of Environment (Ontario). He was Chair, Federal Government of Canada Expert Panel on Climate Adaptation; and, Chair, Electricity Transmission and Distribution Adaptation Standard, Canadian Standards Association. He is former Chair, Pollution Probe, and he was Chair, Sustainable Electricity Program, Canadian Electricity Association. Blair was an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Waterloo. He holds a Ph.D in Theoretical and Applied Ecology (University of Toronto), Master’s in Sustainable Development (Wilfrid Laurier University), Master’s in Zoology (University of Toronto), and Hon. Bachelor’s Biology (University of Toronto),