Young Dawg Spotlight: Gretchen Hinger

Meet the latest Young Dawg part of the IRIS team: Gretchen Hinger.

The UGA Young Dawgs program is a high school internship program designed to prepare highschool juniors and seniors for college-level research.

Hinger joined the IRIS team from Clarke Central High School. During her time at UGA, she worked with Dr. Matt Bilskie, helping to study how natural infrastructure can help protect coastal resources, such as the Tyndall Airforce Base, from storms.

Hinger aided the research team in designing and testing several natural infrastructure solutions for Tyndall, in the form of barrier islands and dunes. Her research found that an offset island design performed best in helping to reduce water levels during a storm the size of Hurricane Matthew, which caused $5 billion worth of damage in 2016.

To read more, check out the powerpoint of her presentation, here.

What is infrastructure?

When most of us think about infrastructure, we envision the bridges, roads and network of pipes that help our communities run. However, there are all kinds of natural systems that provide support to our society, including the forests that help purify our drinking water and absorb run off to prevent flooding to the marshes that absorb the energy from storms to protect our communities.

Head to our Instagram stories to learn more!

Natural Infrastructure Recognized in American Society of Civil Engineers’ Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

We’re excited by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s announcement that natural infrastructure is recognized as a key solution for building resilience and raising the grade across all infrastructure sectors in the ASCE Report Card for America’s Infrastructure!

This historic addition will encourage planners and designers to consider natural infrastructure as an essential tool as they work to make their communities safer and more resilient. The ASCE Report Card also highlights natural infrastructure as an integral part of strengthening America’s stormwater infrastructure.

“The inclusion of natural infrastructure in the ASCE Report Card is a sign that it’s becoming recognized as a powerful tool for strengthening our overall infrastructure system and increasing the resilience of our country,” said Institute for Resilient Infrastructure Systems (IRIS) Director, Dr. Brian Bledsoe.

Every four years, the ASCE releases a report card evaluating the state of infrastructure in the United States. The report card assesses its current and future condition, maintenance needs, safety, and contribution to community resilience, among other factors. It also provides recommendations for how states and cities can improve their grade in the future.

Natural infrastructure can work together with conventional infrastructure to protect people, their livelihoods and their communities from severe weather impacts and climate change.