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Urban Green Infrastructure Summit

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Creating new collaborative networks, identifying research and education priorities, and sharing existing resources.

Urban Green Infrastructure Summit

Metropolitan areas face many challenges, including those of urban flooding, storm-water management, air and water quality, urban heat islands, chronic diseases and public health issues, access to green spaces, and equity and social justice. Urban green infrastructure has a role in addressing all these urban issues.

Green infrastructure includes vegetation, soils, and other elements and practices that restore some of the natural processes required to manage water and create healthier urban environments (EPA. October, 2017). Green Infrastructure elements may be integrated in communities in single, small-scale applications or networks of practices spanning entire watersheds. Examples include land conservation, urban tree canopy, green roofs, green parking, green streets and alleys, permeable pavements, bioswales, planter boxes, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting and downspout disconnection.

Low Impact Development, Sustainable Stormwater Solutions and Green Infrastructure terms will be used interchangeably for the purpose of this Summit.

Join the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research’s Urban Green Infrastructure Summit on Feb 21 & 22 at the Embassy Suites in Tigard, OR. This summit will connect government and agency personnel, University researchers, and Extension professional, to create new collaborative networks, identify research and education priorities, and share existing resources.

Register for the 2017 Urban Green Infrastructure Summit.

When registering, if you reside in any of the following states, please register using the General – Member price: WA, OR, AK, CA, CO, ID, MI, OH.

This discounted price is available to you because your state’s Extension program is a member of the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research (WCMER).

Registration will close on February 14, 2018 – please be sure to register by this date.

Conference registration fees will cover all conference events, materials and defined meals. Hotel and transportation costs are not included in the registration fee.

Hotel & Transportation



Embassy suites logoReservations can be made online by using the following GROUP Code: XOS.

Alternatively, you can call (503) 644-4000 and request the OSE- Green Infrastructure Conference block to receive the negotiated rate ranging from $130-145+ tax per night.

The group rate for February 21-22, 2017 will be available to book through February 5, 2018.

embassy suites hotel


Embassy Suites
9000 SW Washington Square Road
Tigard, Oregon, 97223

Map: Embassy suites hotel

Hotel Amenities & Services

  • Free cooked-to-order breakfast
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Baggage Storage
  • Laundry/Valet Service
  • Gift Shop
  • Room Service
  • Lounge
  • Local Area Transportation
  • Multi-Lingual Staff
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Fitness Room
  • Pool
  • Guest Activity/Recreation Desk
  • Business Center
  • Complementary Beverages
  • Digital Key Available


  • Complementary local area transportation (1 mile radius from hotel).
  • No airport shuttle provided

If necessary, rooms must be cancelled with a cancellation number obtained 30 days prior to arrival to avoid a cancellation fee. If the reservation is not cancelled and the guest fails to arrive as scheduled, a no-show fee will be applied.

Agenda & Summit Structure


  • Three working sessions exploring the latest developments in Green Infrastructure followed by small group break-out sessions to identify resources, build partnerships and build solutions. Summit themes include the following:
    • Landscape scale challenges and management – land use planning, floods and floodplain management, climate resiliency, riparian and wetland management, open spaces
    • Traditional Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Low-impact Development – runoff reduction, water quality treatment practices, urban trees and forests
    • Non-traditional, Non-water Green Infrastructure Issues and Ideas – social justice and equity, public health, air quality and heat islands, contaminants of emerging concern, economics, regulations and incentives, outreach efforts.
  • A fourth, research and education planning session, will develop applied research projects to address needs and opportunities identified at the Summit. (Feb 22: 3:30-7:00 pm) OPTIONAL.


Feb 21: morning and afternoon sessions (8:30-5:00 pm)
  • Welcome
  • Morning Keynote: Scott Altenhoff, City of Eugene Parks and Open Space
  • Session 1: Landscape scale challenges and management (Session Chair: Derek Godwin, OSU)
    • Presentations:
      Sara Medary: High-level policy and leadership issues that can make or break GI initiatives. Incorporate the triple bottom line and collective impact.
      Bruce RollBroadening the Scope to Increase Resilience: Expanding Stormwater Management Beyond Regulated Areas
      Carrie SannemanSide Effects May Include: Cost Savings, Collaboration, Resilience – 3 stories of Integrated Water Management
    • Interactive break-out session
  • Luncheon Keynote panel: Chris Obropta, Jeramiah Bergstrom, Rosana Da Silva: Rutgers University
  • Session 2: Traditional Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Low-impact Development (Session Chair: Ani Jayakaran, WSU)
    • Presentations
      Bob Simmons: WSU Extension’s Green Stormwater Infrastructure Programming Experiences.
      Sarah Whitney: Action Through Understanding – Incentivizing Voluntary Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
      Doug Howie: Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Washington State: Status and Trends.
      Joe Cook: Economics of Green Stormwater Infrastructure.
    • Interactive break-out session
Feb 22: morning and afternoon sessions (8:30-3:00 pm)
  • Session 3: Non-traditional, Non-water Green Infrastructure Issues and Ideas (Session Chair: Kevan Moffett, WSU)
    • Presentations
      Jennifer Karps: Trees as a Tool for Equity.
      Vivek Shandas: Trees as Green Infrastructure: Implications of expanding urban canopy on urban heat, air quality, and residential energy use in the Portland metropolitan region.
    • Interactive break-out session
  • Session 4: Research & Education planning session (3:30-7:00 pm) (Session Chair: Julie Padowski, WSU)
Who Should Attend
City, county, and agency department level personnel, applied research faculty, and Extension professionals.
Summit Speakers
Headshot of Jeremiah BergstromJeremiah Bergstrom, LLA, ASLA,
Senior Research Project Manager, Water Resources Program
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Email: jbergstrom@envsci.rutgers.edu

Jeremiah is a licensed Landscape Architect with a background in green infrastructure, stormwater best management practice design, native plant materials, ecological restoration, watershed  planning, GIS and data management. He has extensive experience  in design and implementation of distributed and disconnected  stormwater management strategies in urban and suburban  landscapes.  He has an in-depth background in the inventory and  analysis of natural, recreational, historic, and scenic resources in  regional and watershed planning.  Jeremiah has been responsible  for design development, environmental permitting, construction  documents, technical specifications, cost estimating, public bidding, and construction administration of multiple landscape design, stormwater management, and ecological restoration projects. Jeremiah frequently facilitates planning and design efforts for multi-discipline collaborations and implements a majority of his work in partnership with nonprofit, academic, municipal, and county entities.  Jeremiah also conducts training programs and lectures on green infrastructure strategies, rain garden design, and water conservation as well as environmentally sensitive and sustainable site planning.


photo of Rosana De SilvaRosana Da Silva,
Program Associate,  Water Resources Program
Rutgers Cooperative Extension

Email: rdasilva@envsci.rutgers.edu

Rosana graduated in May 2011 from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Education and graduated in January 2016 from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey with an Education Masters (Ed.M.) in Science Education.  Rosana interned with the Water Resources Program from May 2010 to August 2011.  During her internship, Rosana developed and delivered educational outreach programs to urban communities throughout New Jersey.  Rosana has participated in the construction and maintenance of rain gardens, assisted in rain barrel workshops, and developed evaluation tools to measure the impact of outreach programs delivered.  As a Program Associate, Rosana continues to develop, deliver, and evaluate educational and outreach programs to address water resources issues in New Jersey. Rosana also organizes, coordinates, and builds partnerships to establish municipal action teams focusing on green infrastructure initiatives within New Jersey’s urban communities. She provides support to the Water Resources Program’s marketing and social media engagement activities to increase awareness of water resources in the state and continues to participate in the planning, construction oversight, and maintenance of green infrastructure projects. 

Headshot of Chris ObroptaChristopher C. Obropta, Ph.D., P.E.
Extension Specialist in Water Resources, Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Rutgers University
Email: obropta@envsci.rutgers.edu

Chris has a doctorate in Civil Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, an M.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Rutgers, Dr. Obropta was an environmental consultant for 12 years at Omni Environmental Corporation.   Dr. Obropta has a background in watershed management, water quality modeling, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, and coastal engineering.  His specific experience includes watershed restoration, onsite wastewater treatment system design and management, wasteload allocations and TMDL studies, stormwater management, wetland design, effluent dilution analyses, longshore sediment transport, computer-aided design, and geographic information systems (GIS). He teaches Bioresource Engineering Design I & II, where he directs student design teams to develop solutions to complex real-life engineering problems.

With his extensive and impressive background Dr. Obropta leads his highly specialized team of professional staff who are determined to create innovative solutions to water quality issues in New Jersey.  

Sara Medary HeadshotSarah Medary
Assistant City Manager, City of Eugene

Sarah was appointed to the role of Assistant City Manager on Feb. 15, 2009, after serving in an interim capacity for the previous six months. Before accepting this new challenge, Sarah held several positions at the City of Eugene and was most recently the Director of Recreation Services. Since joining the organization in 1996, she has gained a wide range of experience and increasing responsibility through her work in the Parks and Open Space and Engineering divisions of Public Works, and with the Library, Recreation and Cultural Services Department. This experience has given her a thorough knowledge of the organization as a front-line service provider and as a division leader.

Sarah headed to the Pacific Northwest after completing her bachelor’s degree at Colorado State University in 1989. After working in the Seattle area for several years, she moved to Eugene to pursue a second bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in Landscape Architecture.

Throughout her tenure as a City employee, Sarah has sought out opportunities to work with the community through efforts such as the Neighborhood Empowerment Initiative, Eugene 08 Track and Field Trials, the Homeless Initiative and early leadership in the development of the City’s Diversity program.

Though a Texan by birth, Sarah considers Eugene her permanent home and is eagerly anticipating all that our community has to offer as spring and summer approach.

Bruce Roll HeadshotBruce Roll
Watershed Management Director
Clean Water Services

Bruce has been instrumental in developing creative regulatory frameworks to address listed species under the Endangered Species Act, drinking water protection and treatment, and wastewater resource recovery with an eye to public health. Bruce holds a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences and a double Master’s degree in Public Health and Microbiology.

Carrie Sanneman HeadshotCarrie Sanneman
Clean Water Program Manager
Willamette Partnership
Email: sanneman@willamettepartnership.org

Carrie manages the Clean Water program at Willamette Partnership, a conservation non-profit that works across the Northwest. Her work focuses on demonstrating how nature can support clean water, finding new ways to fund good work on the ground, and building partnerships to support lasting change in how we manage water resources. Previous to her role at Willamette Partnership, Carrie worked in conservation and restoration with state and federal agencies and research institutions for the better part of a decade. She currently serves on the board of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. She has a Masters of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and a B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University.

Scott Altenhoff head shotScott Altenhoff
Urban Forestry Management Analyst
City of Eugene, Oregon
Email: Scott.R.Altenhoff@ci.eugene.or.us

Scott spends his days working to connect people with trees and the natural environment. His main focus is on strategic planning, program development, public education and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining the City of Eugene in 2005, Scott worked for many years as a commercial arborist and forest surveyor throughout the Pacific Northwest. Scott has a B.A. in Classics (Latin, Greek, and Ancient Philosophy) from the University of Oregon and is currently working on a graduate certificate in Urban Forestry through Oregon State University. Scott was a recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s 2017 True Professionals of Arboriculture award and currently serves on the board for the Society of Municipal Arborists.

Bob Simmons Headshot

Bob Simmons
Olympic Region Water Resources Regional Specialist
WSU Extension

and serves as WSU Extension’s Water Resources Program Leader. He has over 25 years of experience in providing community based natural resource stewardship and conservation programs focusing on water quality in the Puget Sound region. Over the past twelve years he has focused much of his work on stormwater management issues through his extension programming efforts. He has served as the chairperson of the Washington Governor’s Council on Environmental Education and led the USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s PNW Watershed Management Education Program.

Sarah Whitney headshotSarah Whitney
Landscape architect
Urban Waters and Wildlife Program
Long Tom Watershed Council

Sarah is a landscape architect with over 20 years experience designing ecologically sensitive landscapes. The last 4 years, she has managed the Urban Waters and Wildlife Program for the Long Tom Watershed Council (LTWC), focusing on Trout Friendly Landscapes which entails working closely with commercial and industrial businesses to voluntarily install green stormwater infrastructure and other water quality improvement strategies. Prior to working with LTWC, Sarah was the principle instructor for the Water Conservation Technician Program at Lane Community College after closing the muti-disciplinary firm Habitats Inc which she co-founded and was the principle landscape designer for 13 years. Sarah has a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon, and a Fine Arts Management Degree from the University of Long Island at Southampton, and is a certified Sustainable Building Advisor.

Doug Howie headshotDoug Howie
Stormwater Engineer
Washington Department of Ecology

Doug Howie has more than 30 years experience in planning, design, and construction of stormwater projects. He is a stormwater engineer for the Department of Ecology working with permit managers to assist jurisdictions throughout the state in meeting their Permit requirements. He also manages the TAPE program where Ecology evaluates emerging technologies for use in Washington State. He is the Grant Manager for several Ecology funded research evaluating treatment capabilities of bioretention and water treatment residuals. Doug is a licensed PE in Washington and Idaho, a Life Member of ASCE, and an Adjunct Professor in Civil Engineering at St. Martin’s University in Lacey, WA.

Joe Cook headshotJoseph Cook
Associate Professor, Environmental Economics
Washington State University

Joseph Cook joined the School of Economic Sciences at Washington State University as an Associate Professor in August 2017 after ten years in the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington. His research focus has primarily been on water and sanitation policy in low-income countries, water resources economics and policy, and nonmarket valuation. He has a new focus on green infrastructure and has an appointment with WSU Extension and the Washington Stormwater Center. He has conducted 12 household surveys in six countries, and is a Research Associate with the Kenya center of the Environment for Development initiative. Consulting assignments have included work for the Asian Development Bank, the Hopi Tribe in Arizona, and the Washington State legislature.

Jennifer Karps head shotJennifer Karps
Tree Program Coordinator
Bureau of Environmental Services
City of Portland

Jennifer Karps has an M.S. in biogeography, is an ISA-certified arborist and municipal specialist, and has over twenty years’ academic and practical experience in plant ecology, environmental science, and forest dynamics with a focus on urban environments.  Since 2002, Jennifer has developed and supported programs for the city of Portland’s Urban Forestry and Watershed Services groups.  Currently, Jennifer implements partnership-based tree planting and education programs for the City and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level resource management courses in the Geography Department at Portland State University.

Vivek Shandas head shotVivek Shandas
Professor, Urban Studies and Planning;
Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Solutions;
Director, Sustaining Urban Places Research (SUPR) Lab;
Portland State University

Vivek Shandas is a Professor of Urban Studies and Planning and the Research Director for the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland State University. Dr.Shandas’ research aims to address policy relevant questions by examining the feedbacks among urban form, governance systems, and human health and well being. This talk will provide a summary of over a decade of research examining the implications of development patterns on tree canopy in the Portland metro region, with a specific emphasis on the role of trees in mediating urban heat, air quality, and residential energy use. Dr.Shandas serves as Chair of the City of Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission, and is a Principal at CAPA Strategies, LLC, a global consulting group that helps communities prepare for climate-induced disruptions.

Desired Outcomes

Desired Outcomes

  • Connect communities and university faculty to share existing resources, inform education and research priorities, and build new collaborative, problem-solving networks.
  • Present research being conducted in the region.
  • Present successes and challenges for implementing best practices in communities adopting urban/suburban green infrastructure.
  • Build networks among communities and university faculty for future opportunities.
    • City/County-Researcher-Extension: establish the networks to translate and share applied research to support municipality priorities with support from their local Extension programs.
    • City/County peer-to-peer: allow sharing of lessons learned and best practices that may be adopted in other communities.
    • University researcher / Extension peer-to-peer: establishing research collaborative networks to develop grant proposals, applied research projects.
Sponsor Opportunities
Flooding, storm water management, air and water quality, public health, and social justice and equity are among the critical urban issues that green infrastructure can address.

Help further these efforts by choosing to partner with WCMER in sponsoring this event.

GI summit sponsor chart

Additional Sponsor Opportunities:

  • Supporting the recording of all sessions for after-summit placement on websites and production and publishing of summit proceedings
  • Sponsor student participation at full conference registration rate (students can register for discounted rate, sponsorship will cover full cost of attendance).

Full version: sponsorship opportunities (.pdf)

Contact Brad Gaolach for additional sponsorship information at gaolach@wsu.edu or 425-405-1734

Local Attractions
Washington square mallConveniently located near the Washington Square Mall in Tigard, Oregon, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Washington Square gives you access to the sights and sounds of an ideal Portland vacation.

Discover majestic golf courses, spacious vineyards, and eclectic shops and restaurants just a few steps from your hotel room. Enjoy a quick ride to downtown Portland and visit the iconic attractions you know and love.

Whether you are exploring wildlife at the Oregon Zoo, learning about fascinating technologies at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, or expanding your cultural horizons at the Portland Art Museum, you are bound for a series of exciting adventures throughout Portland and Tigard when you stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Portland Washington Square. (Source: embassy suites)

Popular Attractions

  • City Center
  • Downtown Portland
  • Japanese Gardens
  • World Forestry Center Museum
  • Washington Square Mall
  • The Oregon Zoo
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
  • Portland Art Museum
  • Red Tail Golf Center
  • Portland Saturday Market
  • Food Carts Dining

View full list of attractions

Thank You Host Committee!


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Thank You Sponsors!