AMES, Iowa–A virtual watershed game that allows users to experiment with different land management scenarios is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms’ August webinar on Wednesday, August 17 at 1 p.m. Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore will discuss the People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration (PEWI) project, an interactive game that lets users decide how they want to manage a virtual watershed, and demonstrates how those decisions will affect water quality, soil health and habitat.
Users can choose different real-world land management options such as the production of corn and soybeans, horticultural crops, hay, pasture, prairie, forest or wetlands. Conservation practices can be added such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways and buffers. PEWI shows users how changes in land use affect yield, erosion, nutrient loss and habitat. For more information, and to try out the game ahead of the webinar, go to http://www.nrem.iastate.edu/pewi/.
Dr. Lisa Schulte Moore is a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. She conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions. Her current research addresses the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to meet farmer and societal goals.
The Iowa Learning Farms webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free, and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access. To log in, go to: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m.on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the “guest” option.Webinar participants will be able to converse with Schulte Moore by typing their questions through the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the Iowa Learning Farms website for viewing at any time at: http://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars
ILF has hosted a webinar every month since January 2011. To date, there are 67 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, water quality, cover crops, buffers and farmer perspectives.
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, 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 are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: https://www.iowalearningfarms.org.