Virtual Field Day February 4: Improving Water Quality and Quantity in the Karst Topography of the Upper Iowa Watershed

January 19, 2021

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day the challenges of improving water quality and quantity management in the karst topography of the Upper Iowa Watershed on Thursday, February 4 at 1 p.m. CST. Join us for a live discussion with Matt Frana, Upper Iowa Watershed Project Coordinator, and Winneshiek County landowners Tom and Maren Beard.

“The karst topography in NE Iowa creates some unique challenges when planning for water detention project sites. Shallow depth to bedrock, easily dissolvable bedrock, highly fractured bedrock, and sinkholes can become problematic if water is pooled above or near them,” noted Frana.

“By reviewing soils, bedrock, sinkhole, and terrain GIS map layers, high risk areas can be identified and avoided without wasting time on lengthy and costly in field investigations. If a site appears to have a moderate risk, methods like soil/bedrock boring and the use of Electrical Resistivity Imagery (ERI) can be used to determine if potentially problematic conditions exist below the surface as part of the planning process to better assure successful projects,” stated Frana.

To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CST on February 4 to learn more about the innovative technology used for site selection, click this URL: or visit and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.

 Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 914 1198 4892

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.

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.



Liz Ripley

Conservation Outreach Specialist