July 17 Public Presentation Set for Clear Creek Watershed

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The public is invited to a presentation at 6:00 p.m. July 17 at the Clear Creek Amana Elementary School in Oxford, Iowa, to learn about research exploring the ways water, nutrients, and soil interact in an intensively managed landscape. Art Bettis, soil scientist and geologist with the University of Iowa Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Douglas Schnoebelen, research engineer with IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, will  discuss their research in the Clear Creek watershed and outline activities planned in the watershed over the next few years. 

Schnoebelen and Bettis are part of a five-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation to establish the Intensively Managed Landscape Critical Zone Observatory (IML-CZO) in the Clear Creek Watershed in Johnson and Iowa counties, Iowa. The project aims to understand how present-day land management affects the ways the landscape, soil, plants, and animals work together to move water, nutrients, and other substances across the land surface, through the stream network, and into the groundwater. The IML-CZO will assess short- and long-term resilience of the crucial ecological, hydrological, and climatic “services” provided by the critical zone, which is the “skin” of the earth and extends from the treetops to the bedrock.  The overall goal of the study is to gain an understanding of how water, nutrients, and soil interact in an intensively managed landscape, such as Iowa’s row-crop agricultural system.

The IML-CZO project seeks to engage the public and a broad spectrum of students at all levels through educational programs, student internships, professional development programs, field tours and exhibitions, speaking opportunities, and partnerships with volunteer groups.  If interested in participating, please contact Doug Schnoebelen (douglas-schnoebelen@uiowa.edu).

For more information about the IML-CZO, visit: http://criticalzone.org/iml.