Invited Speakers

Stan Bronson
Executive Director
Florida Earth

Tjeerd Blauw
Province Zeeland

Ria Geluk
Founder & Director
Watersnood Museum

Jitske Bromet

Pim Nijssen
Project Manager
Twynstra Gudde

Dick Kanters
Principle Engineer
Riverland Waterboard

Jan Luijendijk

Dimitri Solimartin

Edward Melgar
Program Manager

Jaap Kwadijk
Director of Science

2016 USNC Details

Detailed Agenda

Click for a detailed brochure

This year’s program starts on Monday the 9th of May at UNESCO-IHE, the largest international graduate water education facility in the world, located in Delft. After the introduction, participants spend the afternoon at Rijkswaterstaat in The Hague. This national agency, part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, is responsible for the execution of the public works and water management, including the construction and maintenance of waterways and roads, and flood protection and prevention (the Dutch equivalent of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). At the end of the day, participants get the chance to explore The Hague with Stan Bronson.

The program on Tuesday is focused on the Province of Zeeland, a province of which large parts are below sea level.  In the morning we will visit the Watersnood museum (the Flood Museum) where we will learn about the 1953 North Sea Flood and talk to Ria Geluk, the founder of the museum, who was six when the storm engulfed Capelle, the hamlet where she lived. We will also visit Neeltje Jans (Delta Works; one of ASCE’s 7 world wonders) where we will have a guided tour through the inside of the Stormsurge Barrier Oosterschelde and be given a presentation on its construction.

On Wednesday we will visit Kinderdijk, a small village situated in a polder at the confluence of two rivers, which harbors the largest
concentration of old windmills in the Netherlands. To drain the polder, a system of 19 windmills was built around 1740. After an introduction at the visitor center, a local expert will give us a tour of the site, and participants will be able to visit one of the windmills. After lunch, we will continue the program at the Biesbosch museum where we will discuss the Room for the River program. The Biesbosch is a national park, and one of the few remaining fresh-water tidal areas in Europe. The Room for the River program aims to give the river more room to be able to manage higher water levels. After the introduction, we will be joined by Pim Nijssen, a management consultant of Twynstra Gudde with extensive experience with stakeholder management and collaboration strategies related to water management. Before we leave, we will go on a boat tour of the national park.

On Thursday we will visit FutureLand at Maasvlakte II, an information center on the extension of the Port of Rotterdam. We will then take a ferry across the water, to visit the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier (Keringhuis). A professional guide will talk about Flood Risk Management in the Netherlands, from the 1953 Flood Disaster to the Delta Works and the latest developments. After this, we’ll visit the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier itself. We will then travel to the city of Rotterdam, for a presentation by Arnoud Molenaar, Program Manager of the Rotterdam Climate Proof Program on ‘Rotterdam and Climate Change’.

On Friday we will visit Deltares, an independent, institute for applied research in the field of water, subsurface and infrastructure. They are known for innovative and pioneering projects on coast and sea, rivers, lakes and groundwater, soils and subsurface, policy and planning. Friday afternoon we will have the evaluation session.


  In my work with indigenous people I often have to sit down with different stakeholders, amd seeing how the Dutch developed a process to address significant issues has been very instructive and applicable to my work.   - James Charles, Lewis, Longman & Walker



Why should you join a Team?

Study the history and future of water governance, and engineering.

Explore centuries old water governance standards and strategies that have constantly been refined to suit modern needs. You will learn how the Dutch maintain a safe society in a country that is largely under sea level by visiting Water Boards, speaking with engineers, listening to renowned water experts, and visiting with survivors of the infamous 1953 Flood that killed thousands of people and reawakened the drive to protect communities.

Gain perspective, leadership, and communication skills.

Gain perspective from a multi-level governance system that is hundreds of years old. Acquire leadership skills and study stakeholder engagement techniques from Twynstra Gude, a leading independent consulting firm. Twynstra Gude managed
stakeholder engagement for the Room for the River project, which involved displacement of homes to reroute canals.

Expand your network and foster lasting connections.

Along with learning from the best in water management,  you will have the opportunity to network with team-members and local professionals. Many past participants have formed lasting collaboratives after USNC connected them.


There are lessons to be learned from the expertise here, and from the different perspectives of other team members. The more I understand, the better I can explain water issues to my students.” - Tom Frazer, director of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Florida



Our Sponsors



To register click the link on the left. 

See you in the Netherlands!

Contact Us

Address: 500 S Australian Ave Suite 530
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401-4237

Phone Number: (561) 281-5081
Fax Number: (561) 746-8333