Beavers: Superheroes for Water Quality?

Iowa Learning Farms Virtual Field Day Scheduled for February 9, 2022 at 1pm (Virtual Field Day)

Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day on February 9 at 1 p.m. Join us for a live discussion with Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist at Iowa State University and Andrew Rupiper, graduate research assistant in Natural Resources Ecology and Management at Iowa State University.
The virtual field day will explore a unique research project, located at the Ann Smeltzer Trust Iowa Learning Farm in Webster County, looking at a free in-steam conservation practice tying together water quality, wood and wildlife.

Funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, the team is working to quantify hydrologic impacts of beaver dams in the stream system and their effect on nutrients and sediment to determine the influence, positive or negative, these ecosystem engineers have within their watershed.“Many of the stream channels in Iowa aren’t able to assist with nutrient and sediment reductions and may be sources instead due to the straightening of streams, removal of riparian vegetation, removed in-channel wood and added artificial drainage to the landscape,” noted Beck. “While contentious, beaver dams are a free-instream conservation practice that could help improve water quality and reduce nutrient and sediment loads within the watershed.”

Virtual Field Day Access Instructions:
To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CT on February 9 to learn more, click this URL: or visit
Or, join from a dial-in phone line:
Dial: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592
Meeting ID: 945 3331 7620

The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at

Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU). Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.

About Iowa Learning Farms:
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc