Iowa Nutrient Research Center Names New Assistant Director

Headshot of Kay Stefanik
Kay C. Stefanik

AMES, Iowa – A water quality researcher at Ohio State University has been hired as the assistant director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University.

Kay C. Stefanik will begin work in Iowa on July 8. Currently, she is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University in Columbus.

“In this new position, Dr. Stefanik will help us fulfill the strategic direction of the center and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences research and extension mission,” said Matt Helmers, director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering.

“She brings strong skills in agricultural water quality issues and the ability to translate that information to a wide variety of audiences," said Helmers.  "I look forward to Kay joining our team and introducing her to stakeholders throughout the state and region.”

Stefanik has conducted research on the sources and fates of nutrients in Ohio surface waters and predicting and mitigating algal blooms in the Ohio River watershed. She also has administrative and teaching experience.

“I look forward to opportunities to help bridge the gap between science and the general public and to reach people who can use the center’s research-based information to improve water quality,” said Stefanik.

Stefanik earned her PhD in environmental science from Ohio State and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio.

The Iowa Nutrient Research Center currently has more than 30 active research projects at sites statewide. Since 2013, the center has committed $8.7 million to fund 76 projects led by scientists at Iowa State University, University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa.

The center was established by the Iowa Board of Regents in response to legislation passed by the Iowa Legislature in 2013. The center pursues science-based approaches to improving water quality that include evaluating the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices, providing recommendations on implementing the practices and developing new practices. INRC is headquartered at Iowa State University and operates in collaboration with the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. More at