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A Tale of Two Cities & Rockport Strong: Planning for Resilience

Featuring: Daniel Fernandez & Jeewasmi Thapa

May 1, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm CT

This webinar is part of the free #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series. As part of the transition from an in-person conference to a free, and online, event series, this webinar is open for anyone to attend. After the event ends, its recording will be posted to this page. So even if you cannot attend, you can still engage with its content.

This talk provides a look at two distinct EPIC programs: CSUMB and Texas A&M and how they tackled two distinctly different situations. Both presentations will be shorter than 10-minutes.

In the first half of the session, Daniel Fernandez of CSUMB addresses the challenges and opportunities of working with two city partners at the same time and will detail this past year’s experience in doing so.

In the second half of the presentation, Jeewasmi Thapa of Texas A&M will share about how in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the City of Rockport partnered with the Texas Target Communities (TxTC) program to update the city’s comprehensive plan mindful of the challenges and issues of recovery. TxTC connected with students and faculty to tackle a host of community-identified issues related to resilience. Seven courses in urban planning, landscape architecture, law, and public administration worked together with the community in a data-driven and participatory process. The multidisciplinary projects were coordinated with the Texas Rural Leadership Program, the American Planning Association, the Texas Sea Grant Community Resilience Collaborative, TAMU School of Law, TAMU at Corpus Christi, Texas Tech, the Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center, and the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning. The presentation will provide an overview of the TxTC community engagement process, and discuss the multiple interdisciplinary partnerships formed and the recommendations made.

Following the presentations, attendees will have time to ask the presenters questions.

Presenter Bios

Daniel Fernandez received all of his degrees in Electrical Engineering, with his BSEE from Purdue University in 1987, his MSEE from Stanford in 1988 and his Ph. D. from Stanford in 1993. He has been a professor at CSUMB for 24 years. While at CSUMB, he has served 3 years as Chair of the Academic Senate, 6 years as Chair of the Division of Science and Environmental Policy, and 3 years as Chair of the Senate Curriculum Committee Council. He teaches physics and classes in sustainability, systems thinking, infrastructure, and capstone for Environmental Studies students. He also ran, for 9 years, a yearly conference on sustainability entitled Focus On Community And University Sustainability (FOCUS) and has brought many speakers to CSUMB, including Dr. David Orr and Dr. Fritjof Capra. He coordinated the Environmental Studies program and developed and currently manages the Sustainable City Year Program at CSUMB, which partners the needs of regional governing bodies with relevant class projects. He also served on the steering committee of the California Higher Education Sustainability Committee (CHESC). His research involves collection of water from fog and he has deployed and maintains, with help from student assistants, a network of standard fog collecting devices from central to northern California. He was the recipient of the President’s Medal for outstanding service to the university in 2012 and was named a CSUMB Faculty Sustainability Champion in 2018.

Jeewasmi Thapa works with under-served communities to plan for resilience. As a program coordinator, she manages Texas Target Communities projects and serves as a liaison between community partners and the university. She designs community engagement workshops on visioning, goal setting and needs assessments.  Jeewasmi is responsible for developing and presenting planning studies and reports. She also supervises interns and guides students to explore planning principles and best practices to create place-based strategies that fit the local context. Ms. Thapa is a certified planner and serves as a planning ambassador for the American Planning Association. She received her Master of Urban Planning from the Texas A&M University, along with a certificate in Environmental Hazard Management and a certificate in Sustainable Urbanism. She also has a bachelor‘s degree in Architecture and has worked as an architect in her hometown, Kathmandu, Nepal. Her areas of interest include community engagement, environmental planning, economic development, hazard mitigation, and disaster recovery.

More about the #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series

Usually only paying EPIC-N Members can attend live tapings and review recordings of the EPIC-N Webinars. This event is different. Until June 30, anyone can engage in this contact! After June 30, recordings are posted to the EPIC-N Member Commons, a password protected space for paying member programs to access the full range of resources EPIC-N provides. Details about membership can be found here. Email questions to info@epicn.org.

View the list of all of the #2020 EPIC-Network Webinar Series events here.