Monday Update: Iowa's Nature Series

April 5, 2021

What happens when you combine 35 talented Iowa authors, Iowa State design students and recent graduates, and fascinating stories of our state’s natural heritage? You get Iowa’s Nature Series. Did you know?

  • The series includes 10 publications covering topics such as landforms and geology, forests, prairies, aquatics, vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, and influential voices for Iowa’s nature. The educational publications feature color photography, original artwork, and creative designs. Each publication is available for free download from the ISU Extension Store.
  • Original maps and graphics developed for the project also are available for free download and use in educational applications.
  • The series was produced with funding from a Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Conservation Education Program grant administered through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Extension wildlife specialist Adam Janke says the series serves as an update to similar publications from about 20 years ago. Iowa’s Nature Series honors the spirt of the previous series and makes each publication digitally accessible, modernly accurate, and aesthetically pleasing. The new publications also are central to instruction in the Master Conservationist Program. For more information, contact Adam at 515-294-7429 or

Insights from the series will be featured in the next issue of Natural Resources News, an internal newsletter for extension professionals and council members interested in natural resources education and resources. You can subscribe at this link.

Second virtual education survey opens

Thank you to everyone who completed the Virtual Education Implementation Team’s first survey, which focused on technology-related virtual education needs of extension professionals and county extension partners. Today the team will be inviting you to complete the second survey, which will assess our organization’s virtual education professional development and capacity building needs. Staff participation is vital, as the results will inform how we approach virtual education moving forward and our corresponding professional development needs. The more information that can be gathered, the more accurately specific needs can be identified.

Please watch your email for the survey link. This comprehensive survey will take approximately 18 minutes to complete; more if you opt to share additional information using text entry fields. All responses will remain anonymous and confidential and will be aggregated. Please complete the survey by April 16 so your voice can be heard.

COVID-19 vaccine education initiative

  • The April 1 vaccine information staff preview webinar archive is available on MyExtension.
  • The next Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., April 12 on WebEx at Dr. Debra Sellers and Andrea Nelson, co-chairs of the COVID-19 vaccine education initiative, will lead the session and introduce staff to partners from Iowa Department of Public Health and University of Iowa. This is another opportunity to learn more about the upcoming virtual information sessions and your key role in bringing research-based education and information to Iowans so they can make their own decisions.

More notes

  • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Week is April 12-17. Materials are available on MyExtension to help you thank Iowans for their support.
  • In February I announced the individuals and teams who received the Vice President’s COVID-19 Exceptional Effort Awards. Now the recipients' ignite videos and award nominations are available for review.
  • County offices are no longer required to maintain a log of visitors to assist with contract tracing. Open for Iowa has archived the Collecting Contact Information resources in alignment with guidance from Iowa State University and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach