SWS Central Chapter Virtual Fall Meeting
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 (1:00 PM - 6:00 PM) (CST)
In consideration of travel, budgets, and COVID restrictions, the SWS Central Chapter will host this year's Chapter meeting online. The meeting will take place Wednesday, December 15th from 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM.
The meeting will include presentations by students and professionals, updates on current regulatory issues, open discussions about wetland topics/concerns, a Chapter business meeting, and will conclude with a BYOB "Happy Hour".
Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications
Billy Hackett has worked with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for 4 and a half years; previously drafting land disturbance permits and guidance documents and led the development of the new eDMR online system, and recently started a new position as the State’s Clean Water Act Section 401 Coordinator. As the 401 coordinator he provides water quality certification for projects that impact waters of the United States. He is also a member of the Interagency Review Team, reviewing and providing input on mitigation site proposals across the state. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in Environmental Studies. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, biking, camping, skateboarding, and reading.
A New Karst Fen Ecological Site Description
Building off of the work focused on one of Missouri's unique natural communities, we have spent time in the field and literature formalizing and developing an Ecological Site Description for Karst Fens. These are geographically isolated wetlands driven by diffuse groundwater discharge and found scattered throughout the many river hills of the Ozark Highlands of Missouri. This ecological site is defined by a complex relationship among geology, hydrology, landforms, soils, biota, and natural history. Our synthesis has articulated the ecological processes, natural variability, and potential transition states that occur on the landscape. This should help direct actions and funds towards further conservation, management, and restoration of these unique habitats on public and private land in the future. As with most lines of study, we've identified new paths for research that could further our understanding and have identified similar communities in karst landscapes within neighboring states where this collaborative research could be beneficial for groundwater wetland conservation within mid-latitude states.
Frank Nelson received a B.A. in Biology from William Jewell College and a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from University of Missouri-Columbia, where he studied wetlands systems and the breeding ecology of Least Bitterns. Over the last 17 years Frank has worked for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Wetland Ecologist where his focus has been applying research and technology to enhance wetland management, monitoring, and restoration.
Jodie Murray Burns
Status of WOTUS Re-definition Efforts by President Biden’s EPA
Upon direction by President Biden on January 20, 2021, by Executive Order 13990 - “Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis”, the EPA and Corps of Engineers have begun a 2-step process for defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) through a series of public hearings and regional roundtable discussions. Mrs. Burns will be presenting the status of those efforts and sharing her experience with past and current presentations of public comment influencing the regulatory rule-making process regarding WOTUS.
Mrs. Burns began working in the field of wetlands and environmental consulting in 1993. She currently works on a variety of projects involving the Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Educational experiences include a B.S. in Biology from Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas (1988); M.Ed. from Abilene Christian University (1993); and M.S. in Biology (emphasis in Stream Ecology) from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (2002). Mrs. Burns was certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist by the SWS PCP committee during February of 2021. She resides in Bentonville, Arkansas, with her husband, four sons, two cats and a dog.
An Open Discussion on Technology and Techniques in Wetland Delineations
Darren Mitchell will lead a discussion on current technologies and techniques that are being used in the field. This an opportunity to hear how other wetland scientists are conducting wetland delineations, collecting data, and generating reports
Darren Mitchell is a Professional Wetland Scientist with 17 years of experience in environmental compliance.