Wetland Ecosystem Function Is Focus of Iowa Learning Farms Webinar

Presentation will highlight ongoing research regarding watershed ecosystem effects on water quality

October 13, 2021, 10:53 am | Liz Ripley

Sara McMillan.AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place Oct. 20 at noon will feature Sara McMillan, associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University. McMillan’s research focuses on the impacts of agriculture and urbanization on how nutrients flow through living systems and their physical environments. She also studies the impact on ecosystem function in transitional areas between the land and water such as wetlands, floodplains and small streams.

Iowa Learning Farms is based at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

In the webinar, “Ecosystem Function of Wetlands in Midwestern Agricultural Landscapes,” McMillan will draw on her field and laboratory-based approaches, as well as data-driven modeling experiences to highlight watershed ecosystem effects on downstream users. 

She will share ongoing work from her group as well as others in the Midwest who are studying the role wetlands play in an agricultural landscape. The session will also provide insights into identifying the environmental factors that control ecosystem functions to enable better management of existing wetlands, as well as inform decisions on construction or restoration of wetlands for uses including irrigation, animal watering or recreation.

“Wetlands, floodplains and small streams are hot spots that have more positive impacts on water per land area than most other land uses,” said McMillan. “These wetland ecosystems are often the most vulnerable to changing land use and climate but also have a disproportional impact on downstream users, including flood storage, water quality, biodiversity and climate regulation.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar Access Instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT Oct. 20:

  • Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser: https://iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172.
  • Or, go to https://iastate.zoom.us/join and enter meeting ID 364 284 172.
  • Or, join from a dial-in phone line. Dial +1 312-626-6799 or +1 646 876 9923 with meeting ID 364 284 172. 
  • The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time.
  • A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Shareable photo: Sara McMillan

About the Authors: 

Liz Ripley

Iowa Learning Farms and Water Rocks!