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Green Infrastructure

EPA STAR Grants: Moving Green Infrastructure Forward 

EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program funds research grants in numerous environmental programs, including stormwater management. This webcast featured the work of two STAR grantees who are working to achieve new insights and promote continued green infrastructure implementation and innovation in communities across the country. Don Katnik and Amanda Shearin with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife illustrated how urban planners can use geospatial information systems (GIS) to map regional development for the purpose of preserving and enhancing green infrastructure. Robert Traver and Cara Albright with Villanova University focused on the performance monitoring of urban green infrastructure practices in Philadelphia.

Watch this webcast on YouTube Exit


March 29, 2017 
2:00 - 3:30 pm EDT 

Don Katnik and Amanda Shearin, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Converting natural landscapes to impervious surfaces negatively impacts storm water runoff and water quality. Traditional project-by-project reviews have limited ability to address cumulative impacts on the landscape due to a lack of data on the growth of impervious surface cover over time. This grant was a first step toward creating a statewide, high resolution (1 meter) map that displays geographic patterns in impervious surface growth from 2004 to 2007. This data helps planners and conservation practitioners make land use decisions that preserve green infrastructure networks and protect water quality.

Robert Traver and Cara Albright, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Villanova University

The successful implementation of green infrastructure can help cities manage stormwater runoff and improve the quality of life for residents, yet green infrastructure design has not developed a clear, data-driven understanding of the advantages of infiltration and evapotranspiration. This research seeks to monitor, develop, and demonstrate high-performing next generation green infrastructure practices. Project results are improving scientific understanding of infiltration and evapotranspiration processes and helping shape new design criteria that will meet the needs of the next generation of green infrastructure practices.


Don Katnik has been a GIS specialist for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife since 2002. He spends most of his time digitizing wildlife habitat areas for species management, landscape planning, and environmental reviews. He has a Ph.D. in natural resource sciences and an M.S. in wildlife management.

Amanda Shearin is a Wildlife Biologist and the Habitat Outreach Coordinator at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.  Prior to joining the Department in 2014, Amanda worked on multiple natural resource issues across Maine, New England, and internationally.  She holds a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences from the University of Maine, Orono.

Cara Albright is a current PhD candidate in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Villanova University, and formerly a biogeochemistry field/research technician (Villanova and Alberta, Canada), high school Physics teacher and Surface Warfare Officer (U.S. Navy).  Ms. Albright’s dissertation topic is using atmospheric dynamics, local-to-regional climate patterns and urban rainfall-runoff response data to establish the dynamic, resilient nature of green stormwater infrastructure systems in Philadelphia.

Robert Traver is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Villanova University, and Director of both the Villanova Center for the Advancement of Sustainability in Engineering, and the Villanova Urban Stormwater Partnership. His current research is to advance the performance of green stormwater infrastructure through understanding the engineering unit processes. Dr. Traver subscribes to the Teacher-Scholar model of bringing his research to his students and initiated the Stormwater Control Measure Demonstration and Research Park on the Villanova Campus. Dr. Traver served on the American Society of Civil Engineer’s (ASCE) external review panel of the Army Corps of Engineers’ investigation of Hurricane Katrina, and was a member of the National Academies Committee entitled Reducing Stormwater Discharge Contributions to Water Pollution. Dr. Traver received his BSCE degree from the Virginia Military Institute, his MCE from Villanova, and his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. He continues to serve the profession as an associate editor of the ASCE Journal of Sustainable Water in the Build Environment, and as steering committee member of the Water Environment Federation’s Stormwater Institute.