August 20th Stormwater Seminar

Watch recording

Presentation 1:

photo of mae davenport

Title: From Policy to Action: Community Driven Stormwater Management
Presented by: Dr. Mae Davenport, Professor, Department of Forest Resources, Director, Center for Changing Landscapes, University of Minnesota

Topic: Inspiring Community Action for Stormwater Management including recent social science assessment and findings from surveys with respondents who identify as BIPOC.

Description: Stormwater management requires not only technical solutions like the design and installation of stormwater infrastructure, but also the commitment and action of people—residents, landowners, property managers, business owners and local policy makers. Past research has identified several barriers to engagement in clean water programs and stormwater management in particular, including limited human-water connections both physically and psychologically, the lack of cultural relevance in conventional water programs/projects, and not surprisingly, resources such as time and money. Community-centered water programming requires an understanding of community capacities and constraints to engagement, as well as key determinants for action including what inspires community members and what social networks or community organizations are most influential. In this research and outreach project we (1) assess the capacity of municipalities across Minnesota to engage their communities in stormwater management, (2) examine what motivates residents, including racially and ethnically diverse residents in Minnesota metropolitan areas, to engage in community issues such as stormwater management, and (3) explore the roles community-based organizations and local government officials play in inspiring community action for stormwater management. We achieve these objectives through four activities: a) online survey of local government staff, b) mail survey of Minnesota residents, c) onsite survey with racially and ethnically diverse community members, and d) focus groups with community-based organizations and local government staff. Project findings will inform stormwater management and planning across Minnesota. Expected outcomes of this project includes a community-driven, social-science based framework of drivers and constraints to community action related to stormwater management.

Mae Davenport is a Professor in the Department of Forest Resources and Director of the Center for Changing Landscapes at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. Her teaching and research focuses on (1) human environmental values, beliefs and behaviors and (2) community engagement in environmental decision making. Her research program is particularly centered on community-based planning and policy for water protection, climate resilience, and environmental justice. She teaches courses on sustainable land use planning and policy and social science research methods.

Presentation 2:

photo of Geoff Maas

Title: Establishing a Geodata Standard for Stormwater Infrastructure
Presented by: Geoffrey Maas, Affiliation Senior Geospatial Business Analyst, Ramsey County (MN) Information Services Department

Description: Numerous agencies and jurisdictions maintain stormwater infrastructure, however, there is no agreed upon or formally approved data standard for the GIS data that represents these features. Since 2018, a dedicated group of professionals from both the private and public sector have been developing and refining a multi-purpose data standard for geospatial data representing stormwater infrastructure that hopes to meet data needs for a range of uses including modeling, regulatory, inspection, engineering and integration with asset management software. This presentation will provide an update on the status and availability of the data standard and point to documents and data that can be downloaded to enhance understanding of the work.

Geoff Maas is the Senior Geospatial Business Analyst for Ramsey County, Minnesota. He has 25 years of professional experience in the fields of urban planning, GIS, cartography, information design and project management. In addition to his work with Ramsey County, he teaches courses in GIS and Data Visualization at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He has served as co-coordinator of the Metro Stormwater Geodata Project since its inception in April 2018.