Hazard Mitigation and Plan Integration
Ronnie McDonald is currently the Executive Director of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In this capacity he serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Rural Leadership Program, Inc. The Texas Rural Leadership Program creates and delivers exciting effective leadership development programs for rural Texas. The goal of the program is to help Texans build vibrant communities through creative vision and progressive leadership.
Ronnie McDonald is also a proud graduate of the Fighting Texas Aggie Class of 1993. While at Texas A&M University, he was elected the first African American Yell Leader. After graduation he was elected at age 27 to serve as one of the youngest county judges in Texas and the first African American in the history of Bastrop County.
Dr. Jamie Rae Walker is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University. Most of her work focuses on providing educational sessions, hands on trainings, and technical assistance for communities needing to conduct citizen input sessions, systematic survey and counting methodologies, and effective planning and prioritization processes for parks and related open spaces.
Jamie Rae has worked directly on funded projects with eleven communities to implement evidence planning processes (e.g., citizen input, systematic program and land use analysis, asset mapping, feasibility studies, etc.) to improve programming and infrastructure. Collectively, this has resulted in the development and installation of seven school trails; one community trail; six park enhancement projects such as lighting, park cleanup efforts, improved maintenance, and increased safety patrol; two community built playgrounds; one fitness station area; wayfinding and trail signage for five community paths; one community pool, four park master plan updates, and one assessment for park department national accreditation. These accomplishments have increased community economies, addressed resident retention and attraction issues, increased access to physical activity opportunities, and improved community health. Dr. Walker’s online profile is available here.
Dr. Jacob is the director of the Texas Coastal Watershed Program, and Professor and Extension Specialist with a joint appointment with the Texas A&M and Sea Grant Program and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service through the Department of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Science.
John is a recognized expert on Texas wetlands and coastal habitats. He now focuses his professional work on highlighting the benefits of placemaking and natural resource conservation as a framework for town planning and hazard mitigation. Most recently, he and his staff developed the CHARM model, a GIS-based user-friendly model that enables users to develop growth scenarios and to see in real time the impact of development scenarios on safety, economics, and natural resources. For his online profile, click here.
Additional instructors will be announced as they are confirmed.
Flooding and Stormwater
Dr. Fouad Jaber is an associate professor and integrated water resources management extension specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension located at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas.
Dr. Jaber received his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University with emphasis in Natural and Environmental Resources Engineering.
He has been conducting research and extension programs related to stormwater management, stream restoration, non-point source pollution management from the urban environment and water quality studies since 2002.
Dr. Jaber is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and an Accredited Professional of the American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA). Dr. Jaber’s online profile is available here.
Aarin Teague, Ph.D., P.E., is a senior engineer for the San Antonio River Authority (SARA). Teague received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biological and agricultural engineering from Texas A&M University. Teague continued her education and received her doctorate in civil and environmental engineering from Rice University in 2011. Prior to joining SARA in 2012, Teague worked for the Gulf Ecology Div. of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development. While at SARA, Teague has managed the creation of a LID Technical design manual and is currently leading efforts to implement its second edition. She has managed projects constructing best management practices at SARA properties and is currently managing the design and construction of neighborhood BMPs and stream restoration as part of a 319 grant. In addition to providing technical support to the development of the Upper and Lower San Antonio River Watershed Implementation Plans she has lead a multi-agency team to conduct multi-hazard tournaments to educate and support planning for community risk management. Dr. Teague’s online profile is available here.
Mr. Michael F. Bloom is the Sustainability Practice Manager for R. G. Miller Engineers, Inc. a 70 person civil and engineering firm located in Houston, Texas. He designs natural drainage systems that increase operating income, reduce detention requirements, increase developable land, and provide amenity values. He recently served as an expert reviewer of the recently released ULI report Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate (April 2017).
Michael is an Envision Sustainability Professional, a Certified Floodplain Manager, and a Board Certified Environmental Engineer. Mr. Bloom serves on the Steering Committee of the Houston Land and Water Sustainability Forum, serves as Vice-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Water Environment Association of Texas, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Bayou Preservation Association. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from Drexel University. Mr. Bloom’s online profile is available here.