• 08 Apr 2019
    • 7:00 AM (CDT)
    • 11 Apr 2019
    • 6:00 PM (CDT)
    • Chicago, Illinois -- Hilton Chicago Hotel

    Second City – Second Chances: Stories of Rehabilitation, Modification, and Revitalization

    April 8-11 -- Chicago Hilton

    Conference Eligible for 1.25 CEUs or 12.5 PDHs

    Workshops CEUs / PDHs Vary

    Local Host:
    Federal Energy Regulatory

    Dams and levees continue to provide essential public benefits including flood control, water supply, renewable energy, recreation, navigation, and habitat and environmental enhancement.  The need to maintain and improve our aging infrastructure has been well publicized, making it important to also share the great success stories of restoration and upgrades for dams and levees.

    The “Second City” of Chicago is the site for the 2019 USSD Annual Conference.  The conference theme echoes Chicago’s history of rebuilding and modernization to adapt to changing public needs.  Rehabilitation, modification, and revitalization of dams and levees give new life to these existing structures through increased public safety and new or enhanced benefits. Papers and presentations addressing the conference theme and other technical topics remind ourselves and the greater community of the value of, and need for, dams and levees in society.
    Technical session and workshop attendees eligible for PDHs as well as CEUs from Colorado State University.

    Technical Committee Meetings

    Interested in or curious about our technical committees? Then plan on arriving Monday to attend the Legacy Lecture Series and then attend any committee meeting of interest Monday or Tuesday afternoon. Technical committee meetings are open to any conference attendee and are a great opportunity to meet the committee chairs and other committee members. View committee meeting schedule

    Legacy Lecture Series
    Eligible for additional 0.35 CEUs or 3.5 PDHs
    On Monday, April 8th, Dr. Donald Bruce, President of Geosystems, L.P. will be the  speaker for this continuing series designed to provide an opportunity for esteemed professionals to discuss projects, people, thoughts, and paradigm shifts that led to their advancements. View description of Legacy Lecture here

    CEUs and PDHs vary
    Several workshops developed by the USSD Technical Committees are scheduled for Thursday, April 11th and are included with your full conference registration 

    Field Tours

    The $3.6-billion Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) Project in Chicago is a mega project, one of the largest civil engineering projects ever undertaken in terms of scope, cost and time frame.

    There will be two 1/2-day options  on April 11th at an additional cost of $50.

    View tour details here.

    Conference Closing Party

    The conference closing party will take  place at The Crystal Gardens, an indoor 1-acre botanical garden at historic Navy Pier. Event ticket is included with all full conference and guest registration fees.

    Exhibitor Booths Available                                                           

    The Exhibit Hall promises to be a hub of excitement and activity in 2019.  Almost 50% of booths were pre-sold in Miami, so don't miss out on your chance to be part of the action!

    Already have your booth in Chicago? Download the Freeman Exhibitor Kit

    Booths sell out every year; don't miss out on yours! Purchase here

    Download the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus

    Current Exhibitors

    See a list of current Exhibitors as well as a map of the Exhibition Hall.

    Conference Sponsorships Available

    Expand your marketing efforts and increase your ROI by supporting USSD through an exclusive sponsorship. Join these companies that support USSD and the industry.





    Download the Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus for detailed information.

    5k FUNds Run

    Run, walk, or be a virtual runner and sleep in. The 5th Annual 5k FUNds Run will take place in Grant Park on Wednesday, April 10th. Net proceeds benefit the USSD Scholarship Program. Registration is separate from the conference registration and will open on Nov. 14th. Race registration is $40 until March 27th; $50 after March 27th. Register and pay for the 5k FUNds Run separately.  Register here

    Become a Partner in Education Donor and support the USSD Scholarship Program!  For $350, donors will get their logo on the 5k Race poster that will be displayed on the conference website, on the event mobile app, and at the conference. Partner in Education Donors also receive one free race registration. 

    Your STEM donation supports the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School (YWLCS) in Chicago, the site of the 2019 conference. The school has an enrollment of 150 students, of which 90% are on the free or reduced lunch program; 33% are special education students.  The school is focused on STEM education and works to get all students ready and accepted to college. To learn more 

    Hotel Information and Registration

    The conference hotel is the Hilton Chicago with an additional room block at the nearby Congress Plaza Hotel.  Room blocks are filling up quickly, so don't delay. Hotel information and reservation link

    The room blocks for Hilton Chicago is full. Congress Plaza Hotel just opened a small block of additional rooms for $179 a night. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS TODAY!

    Information on Alternative Hotels near Chicago Hilton.

    Information for Confirmed Authors/Presenters

    Log in to your Catalyst Dashboard

    Oral Presentation Guidelines

    Poster Presentation Guidelines and Poster Template

    Cancellation Policy

    Conference attendee cancellations must be received by email in order to receive full refund (less cancellation fee) prior to March 15, 2019. No refunds after March 15th, however substitutions are permitted. Cancellations between January 1-March 14, 2019 without substitution will incur a $50 cancellation fee.

    For More Information:

    Conference Technical Planning Chair: Rachael Bisnett,  

    USSD Executive Director Sharon Powers:

    USSD general or conference information:  Tonia Bengtson, Member Services Coordinator:; 303-792-8753

    • 14 May 2019
    • 9:00 AM (EDT)
    • 15 May 2019
    • 5:00 PM (EDT)
    • FEMA Conference Center, 400 C St SW, Room A, Washington, DC 20024
    • 12


    Workshop Description:

    pdf of workshop description

    This workshop, offered by FEMA and presented with the assistance of the United States Society of Dams (USSD), will teach dam safety professionals, dam safety regulators, community officials and emergency managers to understand how to rapidly identify the potential flood hazard areas downstream of dams, why it is important to evaluate the consequences of potential dam releases or failures, what steps can be taken before a dam failure incident to mitigate flood risk and manage the risk that remains.

    Whether you are responsible for preparing dam breach mapping, preparing dam safety emergency action plans, want to identify critical infrastructure at risk prior to dam incidents, assess flood risk during incidents, or to prepare evacuation plans, the DSSWISE Lite tool will give you a cost-effective means of improving public awareness and safety.

    Workshop Goals:

    Upon completion of this course, participants will understand the use of FEMA’s DSS-WISE Lite toolset and its use in dam safety preparedness, mitigation, flood response, and post disaster planning to reduce flood losses and increase public safety.

    Specifically, participants will:

    ■ Understand the concepts associated with dam risk and consequence assessment.

    ■ Understand the application of DSS-WISE Lite to rapid assessment of dam safety.

    ■ Understand the data preparation needed prior to using the toolset.

    ■ Run a successful DSS-WISE Lite dam breach model and review model results.

    ■ Introduce the concept of flood hazard classes and lethal flood zones for evacuation


    ■ Determine the population at risk downstream of dams.

    ■ Applications of how rapid assessment is applied by local communities as part of their emergency management and dam safety program to reduce or manage flood risk. Case studies will include California, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and other communities.

    Target Audience:

    This workshop is intended for: State Dam Safety and Emergency Management Agency Staff, Community Officials, Emergency Managers, Dam Safety Professionals, FEMA HQ Staff, FEMA Insurance Actuaries and FEMA Contractors.

    Attendees must have some basic computer skills and a laptop computer. No specialized software is required.

    Training Level: Basic

    Continuing Education Credits (CEU’s): 1.6 CEUs awarded by Colorado State Univ.

    Professional Development Hours (PDH): 16

United States Society on Dams
9975 Wadsworth Pkwy., K-2,145 • Westminster, CO 80021 - USA

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