INRC Launches Spring Seminar Series on “Water Research Past, Present and Future”

Riparian buffers along Bear Creek in Iowa. Photo by Lynn Betts, courtesy of USDA NRCS.

UPDATE: Seminars scheduled for March and April will not take place due to campus efforts to reduce the potential for COVID-19 exposure. INRC plans to reschedule the presentation (details to be announced). 

The Iowa Nutrient Research Center at Iowa State University launches a set of seminars on “Water Research Past, Present and Future,” beginning Wednesday, Jan. 22. The sessions will take place from 3:10-4:00 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, except for May, when a field tour will be held on the third Wednesday. Sessions January through April will be held in Elings Hall, Room 1306, on the Iowa State campus.

“We are excited to launch this seminar series for the spring,” said INRC Director Matt Helmers. “This is a new initiative for INRC. I think we have a line-up of speakers who are uniquely qualified to put today’s water and ag issues and research needs into context.”

The series begins with a presentation by sociologist Pete Nowak, a professor with the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Nowak is widely known as an expert on the complex relationship between agriculture, soil and water resources, and environmental policy. Other speakers scheduled include national leaders in soil and water conservation research from West Virginia University and Iowa State University. 

Presentations will be: 

  • January 22 - Looking in the Rearview Mirror: Some Thoughts on the Future of Nutrient Management in Iowa
    Pete Nowak - Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin
  • February 26 - History of Water Quality Research with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment
    Dan Jaynes - Soil scientist, USDA Agriculture Research Service, recently retired
  • March 25 - History of Buffer Research at Iowa State University
    Tom Isenhart - professor, natural resource ecology and management, Iowa State University
  • April 22 - Lessons from the Chesapeake to the Mississippi
    Jason Hubbart, director of the Institute of Water Security and Science,
    West Virginia University
  • May 20 (3:10-5:00pm) - Field Tour of Wetlands near Ames
    William Crumpton, University Professor, ecology, evolution & organismal biology, Iowa State University
    (Transportation will be provided for the tour. Please RSVP to INRC Program Coordinator Malcolm Robertson, at 

Sessions are free and open to the public. They can be accessed live at during the presentation and will be recorded and posted on the INRC website at with permission of presenters. Download the flyer. For questions, contact Malcolm Robertson.

Elings Hall is located on the west side of the Iowa State campus. Off-campus attendees are encouraged to park in the Memorial Union parking ramp, 2229 Lincoln Way, due to limited public parking near Elings Hall.

The Iowa Nutrient Research 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 areas that include evaluating the performance of current and emerging nutrient management practices and providing recommendations on implementing the practices and developing new practices. Iowa State leads the partnership that includes the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa. Since its inception, the center has supported more than 92 projects.