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Presentation Slides

This SERDP and ESTCP webinar focused on DoD-funded research efforts to improve natural resource management by refining our understanding of how disturbance and climate variability impact DoD lands. Specifically, investigators covered modeling assessments to address flooding and rising water levels on DoD lands. 


“Comparative Assessment of Total Water Levels for Coastal Military Facility Readiness and Resilience Using Numerical Models” by Dr. Jack Puleo (ESTCP Project CR21-5028

This project supports ESTCP’s efforts to understand and predict the impact of a changing climate on U.S. coastal military facilities. Projected sea level rise (SLR) and associated storm intensity will cause an increase in total water levels (TWL). TWLs consist of the mean sea level, high tide, storm surge, and wave-induced runup. Past research efforts have focused on single modeling group frameworks and may ignore relevant wave-induced components such as setup, swash, and infragravity (IG) motions. This project compares numerical and empirical model predictions of coastal flooding at several military facilities, with the goal of identifying the best practice for a facility. The project considers a suite of open-source numerical models that can include all of the relevant physics that contribute to TWL. TWLs will be predicted for potential SLR, selected tropical cyclones, and storm events with varying tracks and intensities, to represent the full range of possible forcing. The presentation will describe the chosen modeling suites and provide preliminary results from studies undertaken for Norfolk Naval Station. 

“Hydrologic Risk Forecaster (Hydro RF): Demonstration and Validation of Forecasting Model for Flooding and Infrastructure Risk on Military Lands” by Dr. Daniel Gambill (ESTCP Project RC19-5082

Military installations consist of built infrastructure and range lands that must interact with natural riverine systems and can pose a hazard to military personnel during flood conditions. For example, in June of 2016, nine U.S. Army soldiers drowned at Fort Hood, Texas, when their light medium tactical vehicle (LMTV) was swept downstream while attempting to cross an at-grade land warfare center (LWC) during heavy flooding. There is a need for proactive safety measures that can anticipate future conditions and provide decision-makers with the information needed to implement a precautionary response before a crisis develops. The objective of this work is to create a simulation and prediction tool that uses regional-scale, near-term deterministic and ensemble precipitation forecasts to provide probabilistic forecasts of the subsequent hydrologic responses of riverine systems. This presentation demonstrates this model’s utility in providing near-term probabilistic flood hazard assessments for soldier safety, critical infrastructure failure, and installation readiness (e.g., restrictions in access to training areas, reliability of critical resources such as potable water intake and pumping stations, and training range management and degradation). Improved decision-making capabilities will allow for improved soldier safety, lower costs due to infrastructure failure or in situ warning systems, increased installation resiliency by mitigating impacts to critical infrastructure, and meeting mission parameters by limiting unscheduled training downtime. 

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Jack A. Puleo is a Professor and Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware. He has served as the principal or co-principal investigator of projects funded by SERDP, ESTCP, USACE, NSF, ONR, and other state and federal agencies. His research focuses on hydrodynamic and sediment transport in the coastal environment. Dr. Puleo received numerous awards in recognition of research, teaching, and service, including the University of Delaware Excellence in Teaching Award (2007, 2019), the Robert G. Dean Coastal Academic Award (2018), SERDP project of the year award (2018), US/UK Fulbright award (2011), and the NSF CAREER award (2009) among many others. He has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications and delivered over 200 technical presentations and posters. Dr. Puleo is the originator, organizer, and chief fundraiser for the Young Coastal Scientists and Engineers Conference – Americas. Dr. Puleo received his bachelor’s degree in oceanography and mathematics from Humboldt State University, a master’s degree in oceanography from Oregon State University, and a doctoral degree in coastal engineering from the University of Florida. 

Dr. Daniel Gambill is a Research Agricultural Engineer for at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory in Champaign, Illinois. He has over 15 years of experience working for the USACE and the Prairie Research Institute, Illinois State Water Survey. Dr. Gambill’s work focuses on military training land and mission impacts due to riverine flooding and inundation, range infrastructure vulnerability, stormwater drainage system design and management, and soil resource degradation caused by vehicle disturbance. His research also focuses on effective risk assessment methods and hazard communication strategies. He has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, a master’s degree in civil engineering, and a doctoral degree in agricultural engineering, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.