You are here

Midwest DEWS Communications Workshop

Event Date & Time

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 - 9:30am to Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 12:00pm
Central Time
Champaign, IL

NIDIS, in partnership with the Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC), is establishing a Midwest DEWS Communication Working Group that will include representatives from multiple states, sectors, and government/private/academic entities. The goal of this working group will be to determine and establish effective modes of communication to the broader Midwest DEWS network, with particular focus on the content, audience, frequency, and relevance of these new modes of communication. This working group will also identify ways to sustain these regular forms of communication even when drought may not be occuring. In addition, this working group will provide added capacity for existing communication and outreach to stakeholders (i.e., monthly webinars and quarterly briefings).

The first Midwest DEWS Communications Workshop was held in Champaign, Illinois on May 30-31, 2018, co-hosted between NIDIS and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. The agenda for the workshop is below, and a workshop report will be released soon.

Workshop Objectives & Goals

  • Decide effective means to communicate drought information and improve early warning across the Midwest DEWS, and how these will be implemented.
  • Learn what existing drought communication exists in the Midwest.
  • Determine effective modes of communication to implement for the Midwest DEWS, with a particular focus on the content, audience, frequency, and relevance of these new modes of communication.
  • Identify methods to sustain communication when drought is not an issue, and also strategize how communication will increase or change when it is an issue.
  • Discuss the role of the Midwest DEWS to communicate information on how heavy precipitation events can impact drought and vice versa.
  • Identify how the Communications Working Group can provide added capacity for new and existing communication and outreach to stakeholders.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018
8-9:30 AM  |  Arrival/Registration at the Hyatt Place Champaign (Downstairs)

9:30-9:45 AM  |   Welcome, Logistics & Brief Introductions
Moderator: Beth Hall, Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) Director

9:45-10:15 AM  |  Overview of the Midwest DEWS, the 2018-19 Strategic Plan, & Purpose of the Communications Working Group
Moderator: Molly Woloszyn, NIDIS Regional Drought Information Coordinator

10:15-10:35 AM  |  “Fish Bowl” Icebreaker

10:35-10:45 AM  |  Quick Break

10:45 AM-12 PM  |  Existing Drought Communication in the Midwest - Panel Session
Panelists: Tonya Bernadt, Outreach Specialist, National Drought Mitigation Center Panelists: Doug Kluck - Central Region Climate Services Director, NOAA NCEI Christina Stone - Communications Coordinator, NIDIS Tim Hall - Hydrology Resources Coordinator, Iowa DNR Todd LaFountain - General Superintendent, City Water, Light and Power Chip Zimmer - Environmental Scientist, Kentucky Dept. of Water

12-1 PM  |  Networking Lunch (provided)

1-2:15 PM  |  Brainstorm Session - World Café Activity

2:15-2:45 PM   |
Moderator: Christina Stone, NIDIS Communications Coordinator

2:45-3:15 PM  |  Break (Snacks/Refreshments)

3:15-4 PM  |  Development of an Online Midwest DEWS Stakeholder Database
Moderators: Beth Hall/Eileen Deremiah, MRCC

4-4:45 PM  |  Utilizing Social Media
Moderator: Christina Stone

5:30 PM  |  Happy Hour/Dinner (Big Grove Tavern)

Thursday, May 31, 2018
8:30-8:50 AM  |  Overview for Day 2 & Prioritization of Ideas
Moderator: Molly Woloszyn

8:50-9:45 AM  |  Communication Strategies - Group Discussion
Moderators: Doug Kluck, NOAA Central Region Climate Services Director & Ray Wolf, NWS Central Region Climate Services Program Manager
- Communication Before, During, and After Drought
- Communication about Heavy Precip/Drought Relationship

9:45-10:00 AM  |  Break (Snacks/Refreshments)

10-11:30 AM  |  Implementation of Identified Priorities - Small Break Out Groups

11:30 AM-12PM   |  Goals of the Communications Working Group & Workshop Wrap-Up
Moderator: Molly Woloszyn

12 PM   |  Workshop Adjourns



DEWS Regions

Midwest Drought Early Warning System