This panel will explore diversity, equity, inclusion and environmental justice in the context of the stormwater management practice and profession. After a brief report on the demographic metrics of the Bay stormwater community, a panel representing the public and private sectors will candidly discuss barriers to representation in the profession, current approaches to equitable and inclusive watershed planning, and lessons we can learn from our colleagues on fostering more diverse and collaborative workplaces.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Edward Stoker, currently serves as a Partners & Intergovernmental Affairs Specialists for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he manages national level partnerships to reach and engage communities of color and others stakeholders under-represented in the field of conservation. He possesses over 30 years of experience in the public and private sectors helping organizations achieve strategic goals and objectives through effective outreach, communications, and engagement with diverse communities. A strong advocate for inclusion, projects directed by Mr. Stoker have received commendations from the Vatican, White House, Congress, and community-based organizations. He possesses a B.S. in Agronomy from Texas A&M; a M.S. in Environmental Studies from Baylor; and an executive certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion from Georgetown.
Jennifer A. Dowdell serves as project manager and senior landscape ecological planner/designer at Biohabitats Inc., based in their Chesapeake Bay bioregional offices. For over a decade she has applied principles of ecology, landscape architecture, conservation planning, and living infrastructure to projects ranging from greenways to state parks, college campuses, and urban ecological networks. Her work merges landscape ecology, resilience strategies, and environmental justice in site design and planning. After receiving a BA in History and Creative Nonfiction Writing from Loyola University in Maryland, she earned her MLA from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (now SEAS), where she worked with Joan Nassauer in her Landscape Ecology, Perception, and Design Lab. Her writing has been published in the Wilson Quarterly, Landscape Architecture Magazine, PLACES Journal, theEarthIssue #4, and the e-quarterly, Leaf Litter. Jennifer’s experience in writing and advocacy informs her work facilitating dialogue about the social and ecological narratives that inform our landscapes. Most recently Jennifer has led Biohabitats’ work on urban ecological framework planning in Baltimore and Atlanta.
Capital Region Water
Claire Maulhardt is the City Beautiful H2O Program Manager for Capital Region Water (Harrisburg PA), an Integrated Planning approach to control wet weather. Her motto is: Design with Nature and Strong Communities will emerge! Embedding natural processes within the cornerstone of development will fuel the health of our ecosystems and communities in urban watersheds. Claire has 15 years experience in Watershed Planning and Water Resource Design. She received her degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon and is a licensed Landscape Architect in Pennsylvania.
Capital Region Water
Jarvis Brown is a born and raised resident of Harrisburg, PA and graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Social Work. Before coming to Capital Region Water Jarvis worked in neighborhood revitalization with Tri County Community Action (TCCA). During his time at TCCA , Jarvis worked with local nonprofits, city government, and community members with community beatification projects, vacant lot remediation, façade improvements, and most well known The Great Harrisburg Litter Clean Up.
It was during this work that Jarvis recognized a need for local and MWDBE businesses to be involved in the development of the communities in which they live. In 2020, Capital Region Water provided an opportunity to expand on the work that was already being done and as a result, Jarvis left TCCA to become the Diversity Program Manager with Capital Region Water.
Montgomery County, MD
Frank Dawson has been the Division Chief of Watershed Restoration Division, Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection since March 2016.
As Chief of Watershed Restoration Division, Frank is responsible for the planning, design, permitting, construction, inspection, and maintenance programs for the County’s watershed restoration program, working to meet the County’s Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements. The Watershed Restoration Division also includes the Tree Montgomery, RainScapes, Liter, and Pet Waste programs. Frank is the co-chair of the Equity and Inclusion Workgroup. Previously, Frank served for more than 30 years as a leader, administrator, and policy advisor with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources with a focus on efforts to manage and restore the Chesapeake Bay.
U.S. EPA, Chesapeake Bay Program Office
Tuana Phillips (she/her/hers) works for the EPA at the Chesapeake Bay Program Office located in Annapolis, Maryland. In her role, Tuana coordinates efforts with Chesapeake Bay Program partners to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) as well as increase local engagement in the work to restore the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Tuana has a B.S. degree in Environmental Science and a M.S. degree in urban ecology. She has previously worked on regional strategies to protect healthy watersheds, urban tree canopy and stormwater research, and outreach and restoration in coastal Louisiana and Baltimore, Maryland.