Indiana Wetlands Forum


Indiana Wetlands II: Where are We Know?

Much has happened since our first co-hosted forum with Purdue in February. First, the passage of SEA 389. This was followed by the establishment of Governor Holcomb’s Wetland Taskforce. Lastly, the repeal of the Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a 2020 rule that narrowed the definition of “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” which left isolated wetlands and ephemeral streams at risk. In this follow up forum, researchers from several Indiana universities join with environmental management professionals and policy experts to discuss wetland hydrology and ecology, how wetland footprints are affected by changing legislation, and how resulting ecosystem services are lost or gained. The speakers will also address recent legislation and identify future management issues.

October 5, 2021
3:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Virtual Platform

View the Agenda


Meet the Speakers

Sara McMillan
Associate Professor of Agriculture & Biological Engineering, Purdue University
Sara McMillan is an Associate Professor in Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Her research focuses on the impacts of humans on water quality and ecosystem function in agricultural and urban lands. She studies the transitions between land and water – wetlands, floodplains, and small streams. These ecosystems are often the most vulnerable to changing land use and climate but also provide important watershed scale services such as nutrient removal and flood storage. As an interdisciplinary researcher, she frequently collaborates with social scientists and ecologists to identify the factors that contribute to healthy ecosystems and communities.
Tyler Hoskins
Postdoctoral Researcher, Purdue University Department of Forestry & Natural Resources
Tyler Hoskins is a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of Professor Marisol Sepúlveda in the department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University, where he studies per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and its impacts in amphibian models. He also researches constructed wetland ecosystems across the state. His research lies at the intersection of basic ecology, physiology, and conservation, and addresses a broad question of how environmental changes associated with human activity alter ecosystems across multiple levels of organization. He focuses primarily on environmental contaminants and their implications for human and environmental health.
Amy Romig
Partner at Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP
Amy Romig joined Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP as an associate in 2000 and became a partner in 2009. The focus of Amy’s practice is environmental and natural resource counseling. Amy represents clients in permitting, enforcement actions, complex litigation and other adversarial proceedings before administrative and judicial forums. Amy councils clients on a broad variety of air, water, solid waste, natural resource, agricultural, and other environmental issues. Amy has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville, a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University Mauer School of Law. Amy lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with her children and her two spoiled golden retrievers.
Heather Parsons
Special Projects Coordinator - IDEM Office of Water Quality
Heather Parsons currently serves as the Office of Water Quality Special Projects Coordinator. Heather holds a master’s degree in environmental science focused on Applied Ecology and Water Resources and an undergraduate degree in Geography with a focus on GIS and Environmental Sciences. Heather has been with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management for ten years, seven of which she served as a Wetland and Senior Wetland Specialist covering the northeast part of the state. Now, more specifically, Heather spends much of her time following federal rule changes and analyzing how they affect the state of Indiana and Indiana’s regulation of wetland and stream impacts. Additionally, Heather dedicated a lot of time to providing information on the State Regulated Wetland Law during the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions. Heather was heavily involved in the development of the Waterways joint application project done with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources which recently was awarded the Outstanding Floodplain Project Award from the Indiana Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management. Along with her strong focus on wetlands and streams, Heather has assisted on Stormwater General Permit transitions, GIS tasks and serves as a point of contact on other technology-based agency tasks.
Sarah Keller
Regulatory Specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Sarah Keller is a geologist who works as a Regulatory Specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District. She is responsible for implementing Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, including requests for Department of the Army permits, jurisdictional determinations, and compliance actions. Sarah has worked in the USACE Indianapolis Regulatory Office since 2009. Prior to USACE, Sarah worked for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management as a Project Manager implementing Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and the state isolated wetlands law. She has also worked for the Indiana Department of Transportation as an Environmental Scientist developing NEPA documents, regulatory permit applications, and performing ecological assessments/delineations. Sarah holds a B.S. degree in Geology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.
Adam Ward
Associate Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Adam Ward, Associate Professor at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, specializes in quantifying the transport of water, energy, and pollutants through hydrological landscapes, and the ecological implications of these fluxes. Ward's research focuses on hydrological connections between streams, their landscapes, and their aquifers as a control on biogeochemical processes and ecosystem function, particularly the transport and fate of compounds in the environment. Specific interests include transport of nutrients in agricultural landscapes, contaminants of emerging concern in streams and wetlands, and carbon export from catchments.
Jake Hosen
Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue University
Jake Hosen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry & Natural Resources at Purdue University. He researches microbes and water chemistry of freshwater wetlands, leveraging emerging computing and sensor technology to collect more environmental data at lower costs. Hosen has used these tools to understand how seasonal wetland connections to stream networks influences the health of these ecosystems. He works with a broad group of researchers and stakeholders to develop environmental solutions based on ecological principles.

Indiana Wetlands II Recording