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Chinese delegation visits INRC, IIHR to learn about water management, conservation in Iowa

May 20, 2024

AMES, Iowa – A group of Chinese academics and professionals representing water resource and forestry disciplines recently visited the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and colleagues at Iowa State University and the University of Iowa.

Group that includes Chinese visitors in jackets and backpacks in biosystems engineering lab
Andy Craig, director of the Buss Hydrology Lab in the Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University, discussing drainage structure monitoring with Chinese delegation members. 

The delegation’s visitors came to Iowa to learn more about water-related conservation practices, watershed management and flood control and related research going on in the state. They spent five days in Iowa, mostly in Iowa City and Ames, meeting with representatives of the IIHR-University of Iowa and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and its partners at Iowa State and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. They toured research facilities and field sites and met with policymakers and farmers. The group also gave presentations about the issues of interest in China to their counterparts here, including students.  

The Chinese professionals work in managed landscapes in the country’s black soil region. Their interests focused on design and implementation of best management practices for flood control, soil erosion control and water quality improvement.

The delegation included representatives of the School of the Environment at Beijing Normal University and the Northeast Forestry University of China. The group’s lead, Dr. Bo Chen, received his PhD from the University of Iowa and also collaborated during that time with faculty from Iowa State, according to INRC Director Matthew Helmers, who served as host for the delegation in Ames.

Group that includes Chinese visitors in jackets and backpacks in biosystems engineering lab on ag field tour
Delegation views and discusses monitoring being conducted by Iowa State researchers in the Walnut Creek Watershed.

“This was an exciting and unique opportunity to share information, research and best practices with university and agency counterparts in China where they face many similar challenges as we do in Iowa, with regard to water quality and agriculture,” Helmers said.  “One unique aspect to the visit was that we had recently had quite a bit of rain so on our field tour outside Ames, we were able to see conservation practices in action.”



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