Conference Program

2019 Iowa Water Conference


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Tuesday, March 12, 2019Print the program

8:00 AM

Registration desk opens


Exhibitor setup

Research and educational poster setup

Display boards are numbered and spaces are assigned. Check poster listing in conference program upon arrival. There will be a designated area for student contest posters. Only pre- registered posters may display at the conference.

Opening session
10:00 AM

Welcome and opening comments

Transformational leadership for One WaterRadhika Fox, chief executive officer , US Water Alliance

Water is the defining issue of our time. It is essential for our health, prosperity, and global environment. At the same time, the water sector faces unprecedented challenges like soaring operating costs, aging infrastructure, affordability for vulnerable populations, and how to make water systems resilient in the face of climate change just to name a few. The old ways of managing water, quietly and safely in our silos, are inadequate to meet the demands of 21st century realities. The US Water Alliance is fostering a paradigm shift in water management. We believe communities and the environment will see the best outcomes when all water is valued and managed in a way that is integrated, sustainable, and inclusive. We call this innovative, silo-busting approach One Water. For One Water to become the new normal in the United States, water leaders need to forge new ways of doing business. Transformational leadership for One Water is an important step in charting towards a sustainable water future for all. Join this session for insights on what these leaders do and offer to the One Water movement.

Presentation of Iowa Watershed Awards, Iowa Stormwater Awards and essay contest winners.

11:45 AM


IFSMA lunch and membership meeting

IFSMA members will gather in 299 Scheman for a working lunch and membership meeting after going through the buffet line. IFSMA is an organization of professionals whose members are involved in floodplain management, flood hazard mitigation, stormwater management, the National Flood Insurance Program, flood preparedness, warning and recovery. At this meeting members discuss IFSMA activities and events and hold board member elections. For additional information visit

Concurrent session A (select one)
12:45 PM Track: Moving toward healthy rivers and streams

Estimation of tile drainage contribution to streamflow and nutrient loadsAntonio Arenas, assistant research engineer, IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa

We will show the results of using end- member mixing analysis (EMMA) together with high temporal resolution water quality and streamflow data collected in two watersheds in Iowa. Otter Creek (122 km2) in northeast Iowa and Clear Creek (256 km2) in east-central Iowa. We estimated the contribution of three endmembers (groundwater, tile drainage, and quick flow) to streamflow and nitrogen loads.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

Social science research on conservation practice adoption: A brief history and backgroundJ. Arbuckle, associate professor, Sociology, Iowa State University

This presentation will give a brief background on social science research on agricultural technology adoption. It will provide a short history of adoption studies, tracing evolution from the study of hybrid corn adoption in the 1930s to the current emphasis on conservation practice adoption. It will review major conceptual frameworks and highlight strengths and weaknesses of adoption research.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy farmer survey: Influential organizations and information sources for nutrient reductionLaurie Nowatzke, measurement coordinator, Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, Iowa State University

Based on data from a five-year survey of farmers to help track the progress of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS), this presentation describes analysis of the levels of influence of various organizations—private, public, and NGO—on farmers’ nutrient management decisions, as well as farmers’ information sources for learning about the NRS.

Track: Watershed-scale community solutions for flood resiliency

Three decades of floods in IowaWitold Krajewski, director, Iowa Flood Center

The author will discuss a county-wise compilation of flood-related Presidential Disaster Declarations. He will address the cost of these floods in terms of the damages and recovery expenses. The data will include crop insurance due to lost yields. The author will illustrate the inconsistencies between the number of actual and expected disasters based on the flood frequency estimates for Iowa.

Track: Stormwater quality and green infrastructure implementation

Road salt in urban watersheds: Where does it go and how long does it stay there?Ben Janke, research associate, University of Minnesota

In the watershed of a Twin Cities (MN) metro area lake, road salt retention (application amount vs. transport in surface runoff) was studied year-round at several roadway sites, residential watersheds, and detention ponds. Chloride loss to infiltration was found to be surprisingly high (>50%) across sites, with late summer and fall transport indicating residence times of several months or more.

Track: Predicting and documenting nutrient reduction

Mapping conservation practices through GIS surveysAdam Schnieders, water quality resource coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa is the first state to analyze every watershed within its borders using LiDAR and aerial imagery to create a detailed assessment of conservation practice implementation. With this inventory completed, it provides a benchmark for measuring progress. Additional benefits and uses of this information, including updates of ongoing research and collaborations, will be shared.

Concurrent session B (select one)
1:20 PM Track: Moving toward healthy rivers and streams

The Hungry Canyons Alliance: River restoration in western IowaJohn Thomas, fluvial geomorphologist, Hungry Canyons Alliance

The Hungry Canyons Alliance is Iowa’s oldest river restoration program formed locally in 1992. Our singular focus is to research and implement solutions to the problem of stream channel degradation through the use of grade control structures in a 19 county area of the deep loess soils region of western Iowa.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

Do conservation plans make a difference in practice adoption? – Evidence from Iowa farmersChris Morris, graduate research assistant, Sociology, Iowa State University; J. Arbuckle, associate professor, Sociology, Iowa State University

This study analyzed data from the 2016 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll to examine the relationship between having an NRCS conservation plan and farmers’ implementation of selected soil and water conservation practices in three general categories. The study also examined farmer perceptions of the barriers to conservation planning. Implications for NRCS conservation planning are discussed.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

Testing the efficacy of a field experiment in promoting adoption of cover crops on rented farmlandPranay Ranjan, postdoctoral research associate, Purdue University

We will present survey results from non-operating landowners (NOLs) enrolled in a field experiment in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa. Our findings will provide useful information for scholars (e.g., by testing the efficacy of field experiments in motivating conservation behavior on rented farmland) and practitioners (e.g., by providing ready to use interventions for effective outreach with NOLs).

Track: Watershed-scale community solutions for flood resiliency

Linking nutrient reduction to flood control: Examples from IowaMark Imerman, senior consultant, Regional Strategic, Ltd.

Nutrient pollution and flood issues are inextricably linked with agricultural runoff. This presentation will utilize data on Des Moines River discharge and farm drainage and agricultural runoff data from the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to illustrate nutrient reduction funding and efficiency challenges that could be alleviated by tying nutrient reduction to comprehensive runoff flood control.

Track: Stormwater quality and green infrastructure implementation

Strategies for social engagement and green infrastructure for stormwater managementCasey Byers, landscape architect, Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Storm water BMPs are designed with the tightest margin for water quality and channel protection. Yet these systems become the responsibility of city or grounds staff once constructed; staff who may not have been involved during design. How do we ensure success of these systems, promote longevity with lower maintenance input and not lead to a “weedy mess” with limited function, disdained by the public?

Track: Predicting and documenting nutrient reduction

Using models and costing data to guide a targeted conservation approach to watershed planningDrew Kessler, project manager, Houston Engineering, Inc.; Mark Tomer, soil scientist, USDA-ARS

Iowa, and much of the upper Midwest, is faced with numerous water management challenges. This presentation will highlight results from the Middle Cedar River Watershed, where water quality and quantity benefits were estimated for conservation practices targeted with ACPF utilizing the Prioritize, Target, and Measure Application (PTMApp).

Concurrent session C (select one)
1:55 PM Track: Moving toward healthy rivers and streams

Iowa River Restoration Toolbox - Clear Creek Assessment Case StudyAaron Gwinnup, professional engineer, HR Green

Clear Creek in eastern Iowa drains about 100 square miles before joining the Iowa River in Coralville. The Clear Creek Watershed Coalition and the City of Coralville wanted to explore options for restoring the final six miles, so a variety of assessment techniques were utilized, including the Iowa River Restoration Toolbox. This case study will cover the process and results of the assessments.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

Social values and rented agricultural land: Are landlords from Mars and tenants from Venus?J. Arbuckle, associate professor, Sociology, Iowa State University

In the Upper Midwest non-operator landowners own most farmland. In the most fertile areas, the percentage can reach 80%. There are gaps in knowledge about landlords-tenant relationships, especially around soil and water conservation. This presentation shares results from a survey of Iowa and Ohio landlords and tenants from the two counties with the highest percentage of rented land in each state.

Track: Watershed-scale community solutions for flood resiliency

Community based planning techniques to address flood resiliency and water quality on a watershed scaleAdam Rupe, environmental planner, JEO Consulting Group

A community-based planning approach elevates traditional stakeholder involvement. This approach opens the door to partnerships, ensures local stakeholder values are reflected, increases community buy-in, and leads to successful implementation of watershed and flood resiliency plans.

Track: Stormwater quality and green infrastructure implementation

District green infrastructure to encourage economic developmentNathan Campeau, water resources engineer, Barr Engineering Co.; Marcy Bean, capital Pprojects and stewardship specialist, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization and Barr Engineering completed the Towerside District Stormwater System (Minneapolis, MN) in 2017, implementing plug-and-play green infrastructure to encourage brownfields redevelopment, serving 8 acres of new multi-unit market rate and affordable housing. The system cleans, stores and reuses stormwater in an urban park setting.

Track: Predicting and documenting nutrient reduction

Paired watershed monitoring to measure water quality improvements from conservation – mixed success in IowaKeith Schilling, state geologist, Iowa Geological Survey

Detecting water quality improvements from best management practices (BMPs) at the landscape scale has been difficult. Paired watershed study designs have been used with mixed success in Iowa to measure water quality improvements. Four examples from Iowa demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of paired designs to measure water quality improvements in watersheds.

Concurrent session D (select one)
2:30 PM Track: Moving toward healthy rivers and streams

Easter Lake channel restoration: Using Iowa's river restoration toolboxEvan Del Val, civil engineer, ISG; Nathan Gruver, landscape architect, ISG

Near the south entrance of Easter Lake Park, a degraded, ephemeral tributary flows towards the lake. ISG worked with Polk County Conservation to analyze the existing channel, determine the features that created the instabilty, and design a stabilized reach using some of the design concepts from Iowa's River Restoraiton Toolbox.

Track: Social science: Agricultural BMP adoption

Meta-review of barriers and motivations related to farmer adoption of conservation practicesPranay Ranjan, postdoctoral research associate, Purdue University; J. Arbuckle, associate professor, Sociology, Iowa State University

Summary of results from a meta-analysis of 35 years (1982 to 2017) of quantitative and qualitative social science research papers examining motivations of and barriers to adoption of conservation practices in US agriculture. After a brief discussion of the study’s rationale and methods, we will present findings and discuss implications for conservation outreach and suggestions for future studies.

Track: Watershed-scale community solutions for flood resiliency

A case study for flood resilienceSharon Gaul, resiliency coordinator, Housing and Community Development, City of Dubuque; Christina Muñoz, graduate student, Geographical and Sustainability Sciences, University of Iowa

This presentation will focus on how Dubuque’s Bee Branch Watershed is building a healthy and resilient neighborhood after suffering years of repeated flash flooding events. Many residents in the watershed have experienced six Presidential Disaster Declarations since 1999. As a result, they are living with residual structural issues, electrical hazards, and chronic mold and moisture problems.

Track: Stormwater quality and green infrastructure implementation

Emerging approaches: Stormwater harvest and use/reuse is the best kept secretBrett Emmons, water resource engineer , Emmons and Olivier Resources,Inc.; Paula Kalinosky, water resources engineer, Emmons and Olivier Resources,Inc.

We are beginning to rediscover the age-old value of capturing rainwater. This provides an integrated paradigm, rather than the unsustainable “waste product” approach. But what barriers still exist? Experience in both planning and design have illustrated how water quality and design tools can be addressed to yield successes at multiple levels.

Track: Predicting and documenting nutrient reduction

Livestock concentration and stream nitrateChris Jones, research engineer, IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa

Here we quantify the effects of livestock density on stream nitrate using high-frequency stream nitrate and discharge data coupled with commercial N fertilizer data and data for manure-generated N. Our analysis shows higher stream nitrate related to animal density, and little difference in commercial fertilizer inputs related to availability of manure N.

3:00 PM


Refreshments available in the 1st and 2nd floor lobby areas.

Research and educational poster session

Poster displays about current water topics will be located in the 2nd floor lobby area. Poster authors will be present during the afternoon break. A full listing of poster topics will be available in the final program.

Exhibits and displays

Learn about the products and services available from the exhibits and displays on 1st floor.

Concurrent session E (select one)
3:25 PM Track: Panel discussions

The city beautiful- Storm Lake: Clean water and community-building through creative approachesKevin Griggs, senior environmental scientist, EOR Iowa, LLC

Journey through the history of water management in the City of Storm Lake, a community currently serving as a leader in Iowa’s water quality initiatives following their success in managing the aggregate effects of urban and rural development among a uniquely diverse demographic.

Track: Panel discussions

Success and challenges of watershed resiliencyJohn Rathbun, project coordinator, Clear Creek Watershed Coalition; Jennifer Fencl, director, environmental services, ECICOG; Heather Thomas, project manager, CGA; Dan Holderness, city engineer and IWA urban planner, City of Coralville

The Clear Creek Watershed Coalition was formed in 2015 and is part of the Iowa Watershed Approach. This panel discussion addresses common and unique examples of challenges that have been encountered thus far and looks ahead to ways of ensuring long-term sustainability and watershed resiliency. Bringing together boots on the ground, planning, stakeholder engagement, infrastructure, and community.

Track: Panel discussions

Assessing the past and planning for Ankeny's future: Lessons learned and a series of unfortunate eventsGregory Pierce, PE, CPESC, water resource engineer, RDG Planning and Design; Amy Bryant, civil and environmental engineer, City of Ankeny

With the help of a team led by RDG Planning and Design, the City of Ankeny embarked on an effort to assess watershed conditions and develop an action plan for their community. The goal: identify existing issues and lessons learned to guide future investments and shape policies in one of the fastest growing communities in the nation. In the midst of this, ten inches of rain falls in one night.

Track: Panel discussions

On-farm experiences with prairie and crops: Farmers and landowners talk about Prairie Strips Program and Prairie on Farm ProgramOmar de Kok-Mercado, STRIPS project coordinator, Iowa State University; Ashley Kittle, Prairie on Farms Program Manager, Tallgrass Prairie Center, University of Northern Iowa; Matt Stephenson, graduate student, Natural Resources Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Rob Stout, farmer; Tim Smith, farmer

Farmers and landowners are active in the ISU Prairie Strips Program, and the UNI Prairie on Farms Program, which integrate native prairie with crops to protect water, improve soils, and meet farm and family goals. Three farmer panelists will talk about their experiences. Program researchers will describe supports, data collection, and legal agreements that make cooperation a success.

Track: Panel discussions

Operationalizing the One Water approach: Innovating and collaborating to improve water management in IowaRoger Wolf, director of environmental programs, Iowa Soybean Association; Jessica Turba, Executive Officer, Disaster Recovery Operations/Planning, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management; Jonathan Gano, director, Public Works, City of Des Moines; Clare Lindahl, Soil and Water Conservation Society; Darcy Mausby, farmer, Calhoun County

Across Iowa, there are examples of the One Water ethos: water management that is innovative, inclusive, and integrated. Join this panel to hear about operationalizing the One Water approach in Iowa. By collaboratively reducing flood risk, treating wastewater, improving conservation, and leaving a land legacy, the value of the One Water approach seeks to achieve the best outcomes for all Iowans.

Afternoon General Session
4:30 PM

Watershed citizenship: The key to expressing our duty to the water and landNeil Hamilton, professor of law and director, Agricultural Law Center, Drake University Law School

We all live in a watershed and our actions directly impact the quality of water - and life - for neighbors and those living downstream. The talk examines the unique role watersheds can play in helping identify and deliver on the duty we owe as farmers, landowners, and citizens to our water and land. Watersheds offer a convenient, visible, and meaningful tool to evaluate the practices we employ.

5:30 PM


Please join us for a fun time of socializing and networking! Hor d’oerves are provided, full bar and restaurant menu items available for purchase. Parking is available on Main Street and in the public lot behind the building, south of Main Street.

5:30 PM

Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) examination

Advance registration is required to take the CFM exam. For more information about the exam, visit the ASFPM website at Registration for the exam is separate from conference registration and not included. Exam registration must be completed 2 weeks prior to the examination.

8:30 PM

Examination closes

Wednesday, March 13, 2019Print the program

7:30 AM

Registration desk open


Research and educational posters

Exhibits open

Morning general session
8:00 AM


8:15 AM

"We Are Water MN:" One model for building relationships with waterJennifer Tonko, program officer, Minnesota Humanities Center

Building relationships with water and with each other is the core of "We Are Water MN," a partnership that tells Minnesota’s water stories collaboratively, bringing together personal narratives, historical materials, and scientific information. Combining these ways of knowing water strengthens Minnesotans’ relationships with and responsibilities to water.

Concurrent session F (select one)
9:20 AM Track: Workshops

Community solutions for flood resiliencyJim Marwedel, hazard mitigation planner, Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division; Cara Marker-Morgan, coordinator, East and West Nishnabotna River Watershed Project; Rick Wilson, leader, Integrated Water Management Service, JEO Consulting Team; Adam Rupe, environmental planner, JEO Consulting Group

Innovative planning efforts are underway in the East and West Nishnabotna Watersheds to integrate hazard mitigation planning with watershed planning. This workshop will provide a demonstration of a “flood resiliency tournament”, which was successfully used to increase the participation and understanding of the public and community officials in the planning process.

Track: Workshops

Iowa Flood Information SystemIbrahim Demir, assistant professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa; Breanna Shea, public relations coordinator, IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa

Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) is a one-stop web- platform to access community-based flood conditions, forecasts, visualizations, inundation maps and flood-related data, information, and applications. IFIS helps communities in Iowa make better-informed decisions on the occurrence of floods, and alerts communities in advance to help minimize flood damages. Participants are encouraged to bring laptop computers to interact with IFIS on their own and ask questions during the session.

Track: Workshops

Performance of iron enhanced sand filters: Laboratory, urban, and agricultural studiesAndy Erickson, research associate, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota

Iron enhanced sand filtration (IESF) is an advanced stormwater treatment practice designed to capture particulate pollutants by filtration and soluble phosphorus (phosphate) by sorption to iron oxide. This presentation will summarize performance results from laboratory, urban, and agricultural applications of IESF, maintenance considerations, and expected lifespan.

Track: Workshops

What's your water story?Jennifer Tonko, program officer, Minnesota Humanities Center

Go deeper with "We Are Water MN" and experience how stories and storytelling can be a compelling community engagement tool. You'll hear others' water stories, tell some of your own, and learn more about the Minnesota Humanities Center's Absent Narratives Approach--putting the narratives of marginalized people at the center for effective engagement.

Track: Workshops

Ag retailers engagement strategies for conservation delivery Roger Wolf, director of environmental programs, Iowa Soybean Association; Kent Klingbeil, regional sales manager, Landus Cooperative; Gregg Schmitz, marketing manager, Nutrien; Harry Ahrenholtz, chairman, Agriculture's Clean Water Alliance

Surveys indicate ag retailers are trusted and dominant resource where farmers get information. Ag retailers are engaging watershed coordinator’s and farmers in projects and efforts may be key strategy to scale-up conservation and water quality programming. Speakers will share experiences and will facilitate small group discussions covering challenges, strategies and action steps for the future.

10:20 AM



Concurrent session G (select one)
10:35 AM Track: Ecosystem services

Maximize the benefits of trees and woodlandsEmma Hanigan, urban forestry coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Trees have a very important relationship with water, which is often underappreciated and utilized. Trees are one of the best and most cost effective ways of slowing, storing and cleaning water. This session will discuss what is putting our forests at risk and how we can maximize the benefits of trees.

Track: Water and livestock

Reducing pollutants in livestock saturated watershedsNeil Shaffer, project coordinator, Howard SWCD

Staff, Beaver and Silver Creeks are all tributaries of the Upper Iowa River located in NE Iowa. Staff and Beaver had a goal reached over 7 years by reducing Nitrates and Phosphorus 45% and Silver Creek is currently reducing bacteria levels in a high livestock area. In this presentation we will describe how using multiple approaches and best management practices have led to these success stories.

Track: Prairie strips

Birds, pollinators, and other wildlife: New findings from Prairie Strips Biodiversity Research Matthew O'Neal, associate professor, Entomology, Iowa State University; Jordan Giese, graduate student, Natural Resources Ecology and Management, Iowa State University; Matt Stephenson, graduate student, Natural Resources Ecology and Management, Iowa State University

In addition to protecting water quality, prairie strip can provide ecological benefits such as reversing the decline of “species of conservation concern.” This session will share new findings on birds, pollinators, and other wildlife in prairie strips, revealing how prairie strips can contribute to increasing biodiversity.

Track: Point source nutrient reduction and wastewater

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Exchange: A demand driven approachDustin Miller, attorney, Nyemaster Goode PC

The Iowa League of Cities began the development of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Exchange following the release of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The focus of the development was on providing incentives to municipalities to encourage investment within their larger watersheds.

Track: Current research

Evaluation of different flood mitigation strategies using GHOST: The Iowa watershed modelAntonio Arenas, assistant research engineer, IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa

Researchers at the IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering have developed a one of a kind new model to simulate hydrologic response in watersheds over time periods on the order of decades. GHOST stands for Generic Hydrologic Overland-Subsurface Toolkit and was used to assess a variety of flood mitigation strategies in the watersheds participating in the Iowa Watershed Approach project.

Concurrent session H (select one)
11:10 AM Track: Ecosystem services

Back to by-products: Promises and opportunities for layering benefits of water-resource conservation to restore wildlife in rural IowaAdam Janke, assistant professor, Natural Resources and Ecology Management, Iowa State University

This session will explore how a production system that conserves soil and water is also one that, when designed with wildlife in mind, restores habitat to make wildlife beneficiaries – or by products—of land stewardship in Iowa once again.

Track: Water and livestock

Livestock production, water scarcity and potential for collaborative water governance in northwest IowaMaggie Norton, graduate research assistant, Sociology, Iowa State University

The 2012 drought stressed water suppliers in northwest Iowa. Since that time, demand has increased with the growth of the livestock industry. Are stakeholders prepared for the next drought? Stakeholder interviews indicate a mixture of perspectives on the issue.

Track: Prairie strips

Integrating prairie strips with other BMPs for greater impact on water qualityMatt Helmers, Dean’s Professorship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University

Prairie strips research has reached the demonstration and adoption phases in Iowa and other states.This situation has enabled us to understand how prairie strips combines with other conservation practices on the land, suggesting ways to design for synergy in management of water, nutrients, and soil. The session will show instances where BMPs interact with strips.

Track: Point source nutrient reduction and wastewater

Choosing between improved water quality or fiscally responsible sewer rates: A false dichotomyJohn Dunn, director, Water and Pollution Control Department, City of Ames

Presents the conclusions from the Nutrient Reduction Feasibility Study at the Ames Water Pollution Control Facility, including a recommendation to phase in biological nutrient removal over a period of 20 years while funding an increased commitment to watershed-based best management practices; all while maintaining sewer rates below the statewide median.

Track: Current research

Application of a boat-deployed water quality sensor systemMatt Meulemans, graduate student, IIHR - Hydroscience and Engineering, University of Iowa

Researchers at the University of Iowa developed a continuous boat-deployed sensor network that measures water quality automatically as a boat is driven. The steps taken to create this system will be discussed as well as a preliminary study of Storm Lake, IA. The system was used to assess spatial water quality in the lake and the NO3- removal in Little Storm Lake.

Concurrent session I (select one)
11:45 AM Track: Ecosystem services

Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor: Stream restorationLuke Monat, civil engineer, Shive-Hattery, Inc.; Jim Pease, Story County Conservation Board; Ted Tedesco, former mayor, Ames, IA and Story County Conservation Board

The Tedesco Environmental Learning Corridor incorporates Story County Conservation’s mission of connecting people with nature and improving natural resources. Approximately 1 mile of stream restoration was completed in the 38 acre park. The project demonstrates bio-engineering bank stabilization and floodplain reconnection. Trails, boardwalks, and stream access offer opportunities for exploration.

Track: Water and livestock

Inland fish farming: Public opinion and social media trendsLaura Witzling, assistant professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University; Saige Heyer, graduate assistant, Journalism and Mass Communications, Iowa State University

Some view aquaculture, or fish farming, as a sustainable way to meet seafood demand. Others have food safety and environmental concerns. We will share results from a Wisconsin public opinion survey about inland aquaculture and discuss potential implications for other Midwestern states, with a focus on Iowa. We will also share preliminary results from a related Twitter analysis.

Track: Prairie strips

Prairie strips establishment and the crucial first three yearsMatt Liebman, professor, Agronomy, Iowa State University; Tim Youngquist, agricultural specialist, Agronomy, Iowa State University

Adding prairie strips to corn and soybeans has the potential to reduce the amount of soil leaving fields by 90% and the amount of N leaving fields through surface runoff by up to 85%. Good establishment means good results. Learn how to further bolster outcomes in the crucial three establishment years for this diverse native perennial planting, including stand health and weed management.

Track: Point source nutrient reduction and wastewater

City of Muscatine’s nutrient reduction strategyJon Koch, president, Iowa Water Environment Association

This presentation will outline the City of Muscatine's 2015 NPDES permit that contained new nutrient reduction requirements for the treatment plant. This talk will focus on aligning EPA goals with Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy focus for wastewater treatment facilities by working in the watershed, as well as the Muscatine Area Resource Recovery for Vehicles and Energy project that will receive food waste from regional generators as a means to generate renewable natural gas and a natural fertilizer in the form of liquid biosolids from anaerobic digesters.

Track: Current research

New technology uncovers pathogens and potential sources in northeast Iowa ground and surface waterEric Baack, associate professor, Biology, Luther College; Jodi Enos-Berlage, professor, Biology, Luther College

DNA molecular analysis was performed on northeast Iowa recreational and private well water samples collected during the summer of 2018 under increased risk conditions. Half of the wells and two-thirds of the surface water samples were positive for at least one pathogen. Source markers included ruminant, cow, and human.

12:15 PM


Spencer Awards

Book signing (1st floor lobby following lunch)

David Montgomery will be present for signing his book, Growing a Revolution. Copies will be available for purchase.

Closing session
1:30 PM

Growing a revolution: Bringing our soil back to lifeDavid Montgomery, professor, Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington

Growing a Revolution cuts through debates about conventional and organic farming, showing how a soil health revolution could bring farmland soil back to life. Combining ancient wisdom with modern science, Montgomery offers a vision to profitably rebuild soil organic matter, cultivate beneficial soil life, smother weeds, and suppress pests while relying on far less fertilizer and pesticides.

Closing comments

2:30 PM

Conference adjourns

Book signing (1st floor lobby)

David Montgomery will be present for signing his book, Growing a Revolution. Copies will be available for purchase.

Post-conference workshop (additional fee applies)
2:45 PM

Iowa's stream mitigation methodTim Hall, hydrology resources coordinator, Iowa Department of Natural Resources

A revised version of the Iowa Stream Mitigation Method (ISMM 2.0) has just been released by the Army Corps of Engineers (Rock Island District). The goal of the ISMM is not only to prevent the net loss of stream function when impacts are unavoidable, but also to encourage users to plan carefully, to make changes that address the underlying causes of stream instability and contribute to the long-term health of Iowa’s waterways. The most successful projects will be those that consider the long-term evolution of stream channels and their surrounding landscapes, and aim to mimic natural systems. This workshop will take attendees through using version 2.0 of the ISMM. Staff from the DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, DOT, and other local experts will be on-hand to discuss changes to the ISMM and the current status of stream mitigation banks and in-lieu fee programs for stream mitigation in Iowa.

5:00 PM

Workshop adjourns