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Posted 1/13/2012

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ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - January 13, 2012. The 2012 Planning Associates (PA) Program is in full swing as January classes began this week. The class attended the “Planning Foundations” course in San Francisco, California January 9-13.

The Planning Foundations course teaches the basic foundations of planning so that the class has a common, minimum basis of understanding of the various aspects of the planning process. They move on to Vicksburg, Mississippi from January 31 to February 3 to tour the Mississippi Valley Division (MVD) and U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) offices. The 4-day visit provides an opportunity to understand the roles of MVD and ERDC and the many ways they support the Corps missions.

The Planning Associates Program held three weeks of orientation, team building, and team leadership/communications courses during September 2011 in Deerfield Beach, Florida, to begin the 2012 curriculum. The initial session began with the orientation, including introductions between the Planning Associates, Course Owners and Planning Associates program management. Program updates, needs and expectations were also addressed. The remainder of that session focused on Team Building, Team Leadership and Communications for the Planning Associates.

The PA Program is an advanced training opportunity in water resources planning offered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to broaden planners’ competencies in solving water resources problems and challenges, and to strengthen their leadership talents. The program is targeted to journeyman-level professionals in water resources, and it consists of approximately 20 weeks of rigorous training scheduled in one- to three-week blocks.

Activities are planned around the United States and include:

  • Planning Foundations (San Francisco, CA)
  • MVD/ERDC Tour (Vicksburg, MS)
  • Deep Draft Navigation (Mobile, AL)
  • DC Experience (Washington, DC)
  • Ecosystem Restoration (New Orleans, LA)
  • Flood Risk Management (Sacramento, CA)
  • Inland Navigation (Huntington, WV)
  • PCoP Conference (NWD area)
  • ESA, Recreation, Water Supply, Hydropower (Portland, OR)
  • Planning Associates Awards Presentation Dry Run (Anchorage, AK)
  • Small Boat Harbor/Intergovernmental Coordination (Anchorage, AK)
  • Cultural Resources and Tribal Affairs (Anchorage, AK)
  • Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Watershed (San Antonio, TX)
  • Presentations and Awards Ceremony (Washington, DC)

The course ends with a Presentations and Awards Ceremony. The 2011 ceremony was held on September 12-13, 2011 and included team presentations to a Mock Civil Works Review Board. As those presentations were based on a real-time ongoing study, they are not available to review at this time.

The members of the 2012 class are:

  • Idris Dobbs, Economist, Jacksonville District
  • Steven Johnson, Study Manager/Plan Formulator, St. Paul District
  • Martin Kuhn, Planner/Program Manager, Detroit District
  • Fay Lachney, Planner/Chief of the Flood Risk Management Studies Section, Plan Formulation Branch, New Orleans District
  • Mark Mendenhall, Planner, Walla Walla District Boise Office
  • Heather Morgan, Landscape Architect/ Archeologist, New York District
  • Sara O’Connell, Research Hydraulic Engineer, Hydrologic Engineering Center/Institute for Water Resources
  • Nancy Parrish, Senior Archeologist, Fort Worth District
  • Tiffany Vanosdall, Lead Plan Formulator/Project Manager, Omaha District
  • Traycee Verdun, Study Manager/Lead Plan Formulator/Project Manager, St. Paul District

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