Going Native: Iowa Prairies Seminar

Chad Hunter is a lecturer in the landscape architecture department and design fellow for the Community Design Lab (CDL) at Iowa State University. Through his work with the CDL, Hunter is involved with community engagement efforts throughout Iowa, developing place-based design strategies and catalyst projects related to topics such as livability, green infrastructure, complete streets, and food access. Hunter’s journey into landscape architecture and appreciation for the work of Jens Jensen began while living in Chicago, investigating its large parks and their designers and studying garden design at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Hunter received his Bachelor of Art in visual art from the University of Northern Iowa and his Master of Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University. In 2013, he received the Jens Jensen Graduate Assistantship in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University for his emphasis in native plant studies. 

Jim Uthe is the Roadside Biologist for Dallas County, Iowa. He is a graduate of the University on Northern Iowa and has 15 years of experience in natural resources management while  working for The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Dallas County. His responsibilities with the county revolve around managing the vegetation in county  roadsides, with an emphasis on establishing and maintaining  native prairie vegetation. Science has shown that  utilizing native prairie in the roadsides, opposed to  traditional non-native grasses such as brome, fescue and  bluegrass provides for better weed and erosion control,  greater stormwater infiltration and improved wildlife and  pollinator habitat..All benefits that can be gained in your  yard as well.

Meaghan Anderson is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomist in east central Iowa. She is based out of the Johnson County extension office in Iowa City. After obtaining her Bachelors of Science degree in agronomy at Iowa State University, she pursued a Masters of Science in Crop Production and Physiology at Iowa State University. She focused her studies on cover crop effects on annual weed emergence and herbicide residue effects on cover crop establishment. Her current work includes research on the establishment of common milkweed in established grass, herbicide programs in Miscanthus production and educational programs in crop production and management.


Anna MacDonald is Badger Creek Lake Watershed Project Coordinator for the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District. She works with farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices that improve water quality in Badger Creek Lake. Anna has a master's degree from Iowa State University, where her research focused on how birds use prairie strips in crop fields, a conservation practice that uses small amounts of prairie planted in strategic locations to benefit water quality and soil while providing habitat for wildlife and beneficial insects.  

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