Extreme Weather A rise in extreme weather is impacting landscapes. Excessive rainfall in some areas is causing erosion as well as the emergence of new ephem- eral waterways. Other areas are experiencing unusual droughts. Hotter than average temperatures are impacting wetlands and waterways, threatening ecosystems, and causing instability and unpredictability. These changes impact and complicate every facet of wetland science, including hydrology (specific geomorphology in the landscape, stand- ing water, ground saturation, or underground water that is moving very close to the surface can indicate a wetland); vegetation assessment (identifying vegetation is core to the work of identifying and delineat- ing wetland borders); soil sampling (soil classification is also central to wetlands work. Scientists probe the soil to a certain depth– typically at least 24 inches– to study layering to determine whether a soil might be aerobic or anaerobic or would be an upland soil or a wetland soil). Advances and Solutions The work of several organizations is helping wetland scientists meet these challenges. From the time it was founded in 1969, the Envi- ronmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) has focused on applied computer mapping and spatial analysis to help land-use planners and land resource managers make informed decisions. Over the years, Esri has developed many of the GIS mapping and spatial analysis methods now in use around the world. Today, GIS is giving scientists the ability to map digital layers to help solve a wide variety of problems (the recently announced Esri resources to help real-time mapping associated with the Coronavirus pandemic is just one example). In the future, GIS technology integrated into the
"Internet of Things," technologies will help scientists understand and address problems using the language of mapping. The US Army Corps of Engineers' 1987 Wetlands Delineation Manual is the federal guide for identifying and delineating wetlands. Formed in 1964, the USACE's Hydrologic Engineering Center (CEIWR-HEC) has helped to institutionalize the field of hydrologic engineering through the development of various software platforms and the intro- duction of the Corps Water Management System (CWMS), a real-time forecasting and decision-support system. The Role of Technology Technology that brings advances, such as those from Esri and USACE, to scientists in the field is more critical than ever, given the challenges facing them. The Ecobot platform, for example, is designed by a wet- lands scientist for use by others in the industry to significantly reduce the time it takes for delineation work while improving accuracy. Ecobot, an Esri Emerging Business Partner, provides on-demand ac- cess to a vast library of reference materials and auto-calculates required worksheets used to determine if a parcel of land contains wetlands. The technology anticipates frictions that occur in the field and provides so- lutions, from addressing lack of internet connectivity (everything that must be done in the field can be done without a data connection) to simplified navigation for users with muddy hands. Ecobot monitors all regulatory bodies impacting wetlands, assimilating updates to ap- plications, forms and more, to more easily, electronically generate the necessary, regionally-specific USACE reports. As the industry faces growing challenges, the need to equip scientists with tools to reduce workloads and enable real-time decision-making is greater than ever. The net result of technology in wetlands delinea- tion work can be significant; from time savings to reduced errors and a reduction in the risk of site revisits, and so confers a competitive edge to engineering firms as well as ensures proper maintenance and protection of wetlands.
S t r u c t u r a l E n g i n e e r s A x i o m # 7 Structural Engineers Axiom #7
Professional Liability is essential. Overpaying is not. Professional Liabi ity is Essential. Overpaying s Not.
I t pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. At Fenner & Esler, we’re more than just brokers. We’re A/E specialists. Delivering the right coverage and value to design firms of all sizes since 1923. With multiple insurance carriers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. And a proven track record serving the unique risks of structural engineers. It pays to have the right profes- sional liability coverage. But you shouldn’t overpay.
Get a quote—overnight. Visit: www.fenner-esler.com Click “Need a Quote” Call toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK (866-737-7683 x. 208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org im@Insuranc 4Structurals.com ww .insurance4structurals.com Get a quote—overnight. Visit: w.insurance4structurals.com Click “Need a Quote” ll toll-free: 866-PE-PROTEK ( 66-737-7683 x.208) Ask for Tim Esler. Email: ti @Insurance4Structurals.com
T H E P RO F E S S I O N A L ’ S C H O I C E S I N C E 1 9 2 3
LEE LANCE and JEREMY SCHEWE PWS are Co-Founders of Ecobot.
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