Data-Driven Response to Flooding, Erosion, and other Natural Hazards

July 22, 2022

About the speakers

John Billota

Leader of the Minnesota Stormwater Research and Technology Transfer Program
University of Minnesota, Water Resources Center

John Bilotta is a Research Project Specialist with the University of Minnesota Water Resources Center, where he leads the Minnesota Stormwater Research and Technology Transfer Program, including leading the Minnesota Stormwater Research Council. His efforts focus on leading and coordinating a comprehensive research portfolio of projects that seek answers to questions around urban stormwater management practices and policies. John is also affiliated with the Minnesota Sea Grant Program, co-leading the Watershed Game Program, an interactive, educational tool that helps individuals understand the connection between land use and water quality. He also co-leads the Sea Grant Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Community of Practice.

Donna Friedman

Donna Friedman is a native Clevelander with 10 years of experience in the water sector. Currently, she serves as a Watershed Team Leader for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District where she coordinates stream and sewer projects and manages community relations for 15 communities in the Cuyahoga River and Rocky River watersheds. Prior to this role, Donna conducted environmental monitoring assessments, worked in hazmat response, and collected water quality samples to ensure permit compliance. Donna has a master’s degree in Sustainable Natural Resources from Oregon State University and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Loyola University Chicago.

Joseph Wartman

Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Director of Natural Hazard and Disaster Reconnaissance (RAPID) Facility
University of Washington

Joe Wartman directs the Natural Hazards Reconnaissance (RAPID) Facility headquartered at the University of Washington, where he is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He specializes in disaster risk reduction with a specific interest in geologic hazards and their impacts on communities. He has authored over 100 professional articles on natural hazards as well as essays and op-eds that have appeared in the New York Times, the Seattle Times, and EOS, among other popular media venues.

Lilit Yeghiazarian

Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
University of Cincinnati

Dr. Yeghiazarian is a Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. She holds degrees in Electrical and Industrial Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute and the American University of Armenia. Dr. Yeghiazarian obtained her PhD from the Cornell University Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering for her work on microbial dynamics in complex environmental systems. She studied active polymer materials at the Cornell University Department of Materials Science and Engineering as a postdoctoral fellow.Dr. Yeghiazarian is a recipient of numerous awards, including a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a Ruth L. Kirschstein award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), an InterPore Rosette Award from the International Society for Porous Media, and an NSF Convergence Accelerator award on Urban Flooding. Her research portfolio covers topics ranging from watershed processes, sustainability, and environmental sensing to porous media and multifunctional materials.