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Monday, August 13

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. | Welcome to Nashville

Shari L. Meghreblian, Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC)

Shari MeghreblianShari Meghreblian was appointed Commissioner of Environment and Conservation by Governor Haslam effective May 1, 2018.  She joined TDEC as Deputy Commissioner on May 2, 2011 to oversee the department’s environmental regulatory programs for the protection of Tennessee’s air, land and water. During her first year as Deputy Commissioner, she was selected as TDEC’s representative on Governor Haslam’s Top to Bottom Review Committee and also served as TDEC’s liaison for the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Fast Track Infrastructure Development Program. She was a primary sponsor of TDEC’s LEAN process improvement initiative and the governor’s Customer Focused Government initiative.

Recognized for her ability to provide strategic insight and analyze processes and procedures to streamline business practices, Dr. Meghreblian has been appointed to several boards and councils supporting three different departments of state government.  In 2012, she was appointed by TDOT’s Commissioner John Schroer to the Department of Transportation’s Environmental Advisory Council which focuses on enhancing TDOT’s commitment to protecting Tennessee’s natural resources while building, operating and maintaining the state’s transportation system.  Additionally, Dr. Meghreblian was chosen by TDEC’s Commissioner Bob Martineau to serve on the Board of Directors for the West Tennessee River Basin Authority and the Department of Agriculture’s Interagency Task Force on Rural Economic Development. Shari was also appointed by Gov. Haslam in Aug. 2015, to serve on his Rural Development Task Force that will bring resources together from a wide range of organizations to advance rural communities and economic development throughout Tennessee.

Meghreblian has more than twenty years of combined experience in private sector manufacturing and environmental management systems. She has been active in environmental and business advocacy across Tennessee for more than two decades, holding membership in numerous organizations such the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Air and Waste Management Association; Tennessee Environmental Council; The Nature Conservancy; and the Harpeth River Watershed Association. Shari holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Management and a master’s degree in Engineering from Vanderbilt University, and a bachelor of science in Marketing/Economics from Western Kentucky University.

8:45 – 10:00 a.m. | Opening Plenary

Joan Iverson Nassauer, University of Michigan

Joan Iverson NassauerJoan Iverson Nassauer, Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, develops ecological design proposals and investigates how human experience is affected by and can sustain socially and environmentally beneficial landscape patterns. Linking environmental performance with social benefits, she has developed green infrastructure approaches for several cities. Currently, she leads the NEW-GI project, Neighborhood, Environment, and Water research collaborations for Green Infrastructure in Detroit. She also leads social science investigations for the NSF-funded Smart and Connected Communities project: “Overcoming Social and Technical Barriers for the Broad Adoption of Smart Stormwater Systems”. The author of more than 80 refereed papers and books, she wrote about water quality and health in agricultural landscapes in From the Corn Belt to the Gulf: Societal and Environmental Implications of Alternative Agricultural Futures (2007, Resources for the Future Press), and urban green infrastructure in Placing Nature: Culture and Landscape Ecology (1997, Island Press).

A Fellow by the American Society of Landscape Architects (1992), she was named Distinguished Scholar by the International Association of Landscape Ecology (IALE) (2007) and Distinguished Practitioner of Landscape Ecology in the United States (1998). She is co-Editor-in-Chief of Landscape and Urban Planning.

Joan's presentation, entitled "A Commitment to Civic Well-being," focuses on how the installation of green infrastructure (GI) becomes more pervasive and integral to the functioning of stormwater management systems, and ways in which civic commitments implied by GI differ from the objectives of grey infrastructure deserve further attention.

Some differences stem from the expectation that GI will be multi-functional, with implied commitments to neighborhood appeal, resident well-being, and biodiversity.  Other differences stem from widespread characterizations of GI as a more “natural” way to manage stormwater, beliefs that GI can be designed to be more resilient to extreme weather events, and assumptions that its costs are lower than for grey infrastructure.  Related differences point to maintenance requirements for and functional longevity of GI for stormwater management.  Because the visible characteristics of GI in the urban landscape are essential to its appeal, she will discuss how GI design for visual effect can help to ensure that GI delivers on its implied commitment to civic well-being over the long-term, even as knowledge about GI stormwater functions grows. 

Monday, August 13

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. | Lunch Keynote

Troy Piripi Brockbank, Stormwater360

Troy Piripi BrockbankTroy Brockbank (Te Rarawa, Ngāti Hine, Ngāpuhi) is a civil engineer and the Stormwater360 New Zealand Design Manager.

With over 10 years professional experience in the stormwater industry across engineering consultancies, civil contractors & suppliers, Troy is a real asset to the Stormwater360 team.

Leading a team of talented engineers, Troy is solution-focused when designing, manufacturing, and constructing stormwater management devices for public and private developments.

Having a passion for water sensitive design, Troy aims to deliver innovative solutions that will protect and restore the quality of waterways and the environment for the future generations.

Regularly called on to contribute to water policy with government steering groups and offering technical advice to Iwi for environmental & 3-water matters, Troy is one of New Zealand’s leading stormwater management specialists.

Troy's presentation is entitled "The Importance of Water: A Indigenous Māori Perspective of Culturally Enhanced Water Sensitive Design.

The economic, social, amenity and environmental values of water sensitive design are widely understood; often seen in practice and well documented. However, cultural involvement and indigenous knowledge incorporated within these core values, either as a stand alone value or delicately weaved throughout, are often considered as a ‘last minute addition’, whilst at other times it seems they are being ignored completely. 

The indigenous Māori culture recognises that environmental management has integral links with the mauri (wellbeing) of the environment and concepts of kaitiakitanga (guardianship). Te Ao Māori (Māori worldview) further promotes stewardship and protection of these resources, through the intrinsic relationship of people to water, and Te Tai Ao (the natural environment). 

Integrating core water sensitive design values with mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge) and principles of tikanga Māori (traditional indigenous practices) would provide a holistic culturally enhanced approach to water management, and promote water stewardship. This would be to the benefit of the wider environment (people and natural) as it prioritises the mauri of the community, and their surroundings. This would ensure that cultural and social outcomes are not diminished as a result of monetary focused cost-benefit analysis. 

Whilst this approach may be considered different, a holistic culturally enhanced water sensitive design approach can be a successful, long-term solution to the effects of urbanisation. 

An example could be the importance of Kaimoana (seafood) to Māori. Continued water degradation has had a negative impact on the health and wellbeing of downstream mahinga kai (food gathering place). The inability of Māori to continue the longstanding food gathering tradition has lasting impacts to their overall cultural and social wellbeing. However, introducing mechanisms to undo the degradation in a manner that not only consider these downstream uses, but also incorporates mātauranga Māori within the solution itself, has positive effects that go beyond water management. 

The implementation of both culture and water management can be a successful, long term holistic ‘stewardship’ solution to what is becoming an increasingly important environmental objective. 

This presentation will provide an overview of the our intrinsic links to water, and explore indigenous values and cultural considerations through case studies.

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