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Brown takes on new role focused on water management

staff photo of Eliana Brown

URBANA, Ill. — Not enough rainfall puts plants at risk during dry months; on the other hand, it can be frustrating when a swift rain floods a lawn or washes away landscaping. Research shows that rainfall will come harder and faster and dry periods will be longer with our changing climate, so everyone has a stake in trying to understand how to manage water with help from University of Illinois Extension

This spring, Illinois Extension and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant welcomed C. Eliana Brown to serve in a new role as a state water quality and stormwater specialist. Brown leads the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy facilitation and implementation team and serves as director of the Red Oak Rain Garden, where she develops innovative outreach programming and materials. Her areas of expertise include water quality, stormwater programs, and green infrastructure.

“Eliana’s experience in the water quality and stormwater sector is a valuable component of Extension’s team focusing on water-related programming,” said Shibu Kar, Illinois Extension assistant dean and natural resources, environment, and energy program leader. “We are excited to have Eliana in this role as we expand our outreach and engagement on water quality and stormwater management and other related topics with communities across Illinois.”

She will continue to coordinate a rainscaping education program and serve as director of the Red Oak Rain Garden demonstration native rain garden on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus. Moving forward, her work will also include coordinating a new Master Watershed Stewards Program. She will collaborate with campus-based researchers, Extension educators, and specialists on climate issues related to water and coordinate statewide efforts on water conservation partnerships.

Brown has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from University of Illinois where she worked as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System coordinator. She also worked as a water quality engineer with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She is certified in the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program and is an Illinois Master Gardener. Brown can be reached at or (217) 265-0760.

About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.