Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Deploying Large-scale Green Infrastructure Projects Requires Public-Private Collaboration

The Oct. 11 presentation by Craig Clarkson of ISG, Inc. will discuss the importance of public-private partnerships in implementing green infrastructure as an integral part of urban development.

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April 26 Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Field-scale Mapping of Evapotranspiration

In the webinar, “Mapping Evapotranspiration at Field Scale,” Arenas will discuss the analysis and estimation of water consumption by crops at one quarter acre resolution. Sharing evapotranspiration data spanning 2016-2021, he will discuss the correlations between understanding water consumption by crops and water resource management practices.

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Dennis Todey’s Twitter Takeover

Dennis Todey, the director of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Midwest Climate Hub, took the reigns of our Twitter account on April 23rd to discuss the ongoing conversation around climate and water issues in Iowa.

The climate hubs were created in 2014 by the USDA and consist of 10 hubs spread around the United States. Each hub develops the latest information regarding topics including climate change, agriculture and forestry. The hubs also help to develop new tools, work on adaption efforts in ag-climate change and several other areas of regional agriculture and forestry.

The Midwest Climate Hub (MCH) includes the states: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. A main objective of the MCH is working hand in hand with the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center (NWSCPC) to compare and contrast current information with the information presented by NWSCPC to make accurate predictions of future climate issues. The MCH also revolves heavily around work with agriculture climate issues, especially impacts on specialty crops.

The MCH also collaborates with many services, including federal and regional partnerships. Some of these partnerships include National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC), National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA Farm Service Agency and USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The MCH works with many extension programs across the Midwest as well to discuss climate issues and land grant programs.

Todey explains that one of the largest issues the Midwest sees in regards to climate is increased precipitation. Precipitation totals have increased 10-15% in the central United States in the last 100 years, with this causing wetter springs and falls that lead to various agriculture issues including floods and increased surface runoff. With more wetness comes with the possibilities of soil and nutrient loss, as well as an interest for more agriculture draining systems.

Picture attached in tweet:

Of course, another “hot” topic in this discussion was the increase in temperature. The temperature is rising year by year, with positives and negatives in result. One positive is that now Iowa winters are not as painful – it is still cold, but not as severe or lasting as long.

Pictures attached in tweet:

To end the Twitter takeover, Todey inquired about the community’s favorite weather based songs. Here is a link to a Spotify playlist of all of the replies – as well as some of my own additions.

Todey received his Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Iowa State University, his Master of Science in meteorology from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and earned his PhD in agriculture meteorology from Iowa State University. He served as the South Dakota state climatologist for 13 years at South Dakota State University and has been in Iowa working with the USDA since 2016.

You can follow Dennis’ personal Twitter account, @dennistodey, the USDA Climate Hub Twitter account, @USDAClimateHubs, and of course, the Iowa Water Center account @IowaWaterCenter to see the Twitter takeovers in live action.

A Message from the Iowa Water Center

There’s not much we can say to fully capture the whirlwind of the last few weeks and what’s to come as we prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Iowa Water Center staff is fortunate in that we can work remotely, continuing to advance water science to meet Iowa’s water resource needs. We applaud those who are doing their part to practice social distancing and are eternally grateful to those providing essential services outside the comfort and safety of their homes.

We will greatly miss hosting the Iowa Water Conference this year. We know that the conference is more than just a professional development opportunity – seeing each other face-to-face, provoking critical thought, and engaging in productive dialogue with our colleagues is an invaluable activity that is difficult to replicate virtually. At the One Water Summit in Austin, TX this past September, Pisces Foundation President David Beckman said something that resonated with us: “Relationships ARE infrastructure!” This statement is the crux of the work that we do.

To that end, we encourage you to stay connected with each other, and with us, over the coming weeks and months. We planned to use the conference hashtag #IowaWater2020 on Twitter and Facebook for the rest of the year in an effort to keep the conversation going. Now, we’ll use it as we introduce you to water scientists and practitioners, produce and promote virtual learning opportunities, and engage you in the water conversation all year long. We hope you will use it, too.

Our focus will remain on building a robust and connected water science community. We look forward to adapting and innovating during these challenging times.