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ILF webinar to play with virtual watershed tool

By Staff | Aug 14, 2016

AMES – A virtual watershed game that allows users to experiment with different land management scenarios is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms’ webinar at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Dr. Lisa Schulte-Moore,a professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University, will discuss the People in Ecosystems/Watershed Integration project, an interactive game that lets users decide how they want to manage a virtual watershed, and demonstrates how those decisions will affect water quality, soil health and habitat.

Users can choose different real-world land management options such as the production of corn and soybeans, horticultural crops, hay, pasture, prairie, forest or wetlands.

Conservation practices can be added such as no-till, cover crops, terraces, grassed waterways and buffers.

PEWI shows users how changes in land use affect yield, erosion, nutrient loss and habitat.

For more information, or to try out the game ahead of the webinar, go to www.nrem.iastate.edu/pewi.

Schulte-Moore conducts research and teaches in the areas of agriculture, ecology, forestry and human-landscape interactions. Her current research addresses the strategic integration of perennials into agricultural landscapes to meet farmer and societal goals.

The Iowa Learning Farms webinars are held the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free, and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

To log in, go to: connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m. on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the “guest” option.

Webinar participants will be able to converse with Schulte-Moore by typing their questions through the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the Iowa Learning Farms website for viewing at any time at: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/Webinars/.

ILF has hosted a webinar every month since January 2011. To date, there are 67 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, water quality, cover crops, buffers and farmer perspectives.

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