USNC Professional Program

The USNC Professional teams are composed of agency, industry, academic, and NGO participants interested in USNC project disciplines. Depending on participant' interests, week-long agendas reflect the focus of the team.


The Kingdom of the Netherlands, long known for their expertise in the area of water management, have expanded their knowledge base into the area of climate change adaptation. USNC teams visit the City of Rotterdam as an example of adaptation innovation and the national “Building with Nature” program, which is gaining world-wide attention as a environmentally friendly approach to sea-level rise adaptation and resilience.

With the reputation of the most advanced country in the world in dealing with water, the Netherlands have been working on water challenges for over 1,000 years. USNC teams visit with Rijkswaterstaat, which is the US Army Corps of Engineers equivalent in the Netherlands, view the Delta Works projects, which are the largest engineering projects in the world, and spend time at Deltares, the world-famous Dutch research institute.

Innovative building with nature projects such as "Room for the River" display world-class stakeholder engagment strategies. Involving potential opposing parties in a meaningful way encourages cooperation and buy-in from all sides.


  1. Through Florida Earth's extensive network in the Netherlands, team members have the opportunity to not only visit the world’s most advanced water infrastructure and management sites, especially as they relate to coastal adaptation and resilience, but also to connect and engage the engineers, administrators and operators that built those sites.
  2. Team members are a part of a group that has a mission of collaboration with other members of the team from all over the world.
  3. Team members utilize the time with those facing similar challenges to compare notes and improvise common solutions they can bring back.
  4. Although there is tremendous value in seeing solutions to coastal challenges firsthand, an even greater value is gained by learning the Dutch processes of planning, stakeholder engagement and governance, which is very different than that utilized in the United States.
  5. Team members come back to the US after their experience with new ways of thinking and different ways of problem solving.
  6. Alumni from the program generally form collaborations that are working on resilience. These collaborations often continue after the trip, turning into long-term connections that enable participants to keep each other updated on possible opportunities for further collaboration. Without USNC, collaborations would take much longer to form or would not form at all.


The team spends the week in many locations throughout the Netherlands but operates out of UNESCO-IHE, located in Delft.

For information and registration for the 2017 USNC Professional Program click here.


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