Billy Beck

billy beck headshotForestry – the science, art, and business of creating, managing, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values.

This definition of forestry from the Society of American Foresters perfectly fits Billy Beck’s approach to his research and extension programming at Iowa State. Although he’s been with ISU Extension and Outreach in his current role for just one year, Beck has jumped in with a clear approach to improving natural forest lands across the state.

“The ultimate goal of my extension programming is that trees, forests, and forestry are truly valued for the innumerable environmental, economic, and social benefits they provide to Iowans,” Beck said. “For me, this value is manifested when Iowans actively establish, manage, and protect our forest resources.”

How long have you worked for ISU Extension and Outreach?

I started in my current position with ISU Extension and Outreach one year ago on August 1, 2019. However, I previously assisted with a number of ISU Extension and Outreach forestry and water quality events during my time as a graduate student here at Iowa State.

What do you do for ISU Extension and Outreach?

I am an assistant professor and extension state forestry specialist, with responsibility for forestry extension and educational programming across all of Iowa’s 99 counties. My ISU Extension and Outreach programming focuses heavily on the impacts that trees, forests, and forestry have on water quality and flood mitigation within Midwestern watersheds.

What is the best part of working for ISU Extension and Outreach?

Two things – the opportunity to connect with and serve Iowans on a daily basis, and the fact that every connection, interaction, and project represents an incredible opportunity to learn and grow!

What drew you to Iowa State?

During my graduate student years at ISU, I was impressed by the level of support that this institution provided to the faculty, staff, and students. The people here are simply wonderful.  

Do you have any big upcoming projects or events?

Many! We will soon be announcing our virtual 2020 Fall Forestry Field Day Series, with events being “hosted live” from all corners of Iowa. These events provide forest landowners, agricultural producers, natural resource professionals, policy makers, and the general public with the resources and connections, cutting-edge science, and inspiration to effectively establish, manage, and protect Iowa’s forests! For more information, please see the Educational Opportunities section of the ISU Extension and Outreach Forestry website.

Name one fun thing about yourself that not many people know.

I was once a forester with the Kansas Forest Service - yep, there ARE trees in Kansas!

What do you do in your free time?

I love to motorcycle, garden, hunt, fish, wander public lands – any excuse to get outside!

How do you create a #StrongIowa?

I strive to empower people to make informed decisions regarding their forest resources, and work to maximize the benefits that forests provide to our state.