Press Releases

Nate Young to join the Institute in joint appointment with University of Iowa’s IIHR — Hydroscience & Engineering

Jul 21, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. (July 21, 2020) – Nate Young, Ph.D., associate director of the Iowa Flood Center and research engineer at IIHR–Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR) at the University of Iowa, will join the Institute Aug. 1 in a joint appointment with the University of Iowa.

“Dr. Young has been a thought-leader on the river modeling and floodplain mapping programs of the Iowa Flood Center since its inception in 2009,” said Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa and co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center. “Through Dr. Young’s efforts, Iowa has increased its flood resilience at the state, county, and community scales through better numerical river models and interactive mapping systems. Dr. Young’s research has led to many technological advances in Iowa and will be a great addition to The Water Institute of the Gulf.”

Young took the lead on a $12.5 million Iowa Statewide Floodplain Mapping Project in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in order to develop products for floodplain regulations, disaster preparedness and response, and the promotion of public risk awareness. In addition, he developed large-scale, two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations to support flood-related research targeting rivers and communities heavily impacted by Iowa flood events. In May 2020, Young was one of six staff members honored with the 2019 Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award for their extraordinary contributions and sustained record of excellence.

“Dr. Young’s work has impacted Iowans in many ways, including research, education, and service. For instance, he led the creation of floodplain maps for the entire state of Iowa, maps that are a critical resource to help all citizens, emergency managers, and other decision-makers identify and communicate flood hazards in our state,” said Gabriele Villarini, director of IIHR and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Iowa. “He devotes significant time to helping people understand flood risk and participates in numerous community meetings across Iowa. Dr. Young has been a great asset to the mission of IIHR and the Iowa Flood Center, and I have no doubts that he will be an incredible asset for The Water Institute of the Gulf as well.”

“Dr. Young’s vast experience in floodplain management and his work to help inform emergency managers will be an invaluable addition to the Institute team. We know that his contributions will make an immediate impact on our efforts to support initiatives in Louisiana and the Gulf and strengthen connections across the Coastal-Hydrologic Consortium,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Institute president and CEO. “We’re thrilled to welcome Nate and excited to deepen our collaboration with research hubs along the Mississippi River.”

In April 2019, the Institute joined Louisiana State University, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, and the University of Iowa in signing a memorandum of understanding to form the Coastal-Hydrologic Consortium. The MOU outlines that the partners recognize that together they are better able to develop research projects that help advance science and engineering of coastal-hydrologic processes that include connections between coastal and inland areas, with a goal to make communities and economies more resilient in the face of flooding challenges.

“Young’s expertise fits perfectly with a basin-wide approach to managing Mississippi River resources, as well as in informing regional efforts around flood control and community resilience,” said Hugh Roberts, the Institute’s vice president for engineering.