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CARD: Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Resource and Environmental Policy

Research Projects

Watershed Studies

Iowa-wide Iowa Landform
Boone Maquoketa
Raccoon Walnut Creek/Squaw Creek
Sny Magill Creek/Bloody Run Creek
Upper Mississippi River Basin

Nonmarket Valuation

Iowa Lakes

Iowa Rivers


Carbon Sequestration

Exploring options for reducing carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, particularly using economic incentives in the agricultural sector to sequester carbon.

Climate Change

Impacts of climate variability and change have far-reaching implications on water resources and aquatic ecosystems with possible effects including increased occurrences of floods and droughts, water quality degradation, and ecosystem impairments. The economic and environmental modeling strength at CARD, which includes integration of watershed models such as SWAT, econometric models, GIS based interfaces, and other supporting software and databases, was coupled with an array of climate models to evaluate the possible impacts of climate change on water resources both in terms of water quantity and quality.


Economic Value of Outdoor Recreation Activities in Iowa
Daniel Otto, Kristin Tylka, and Susan Erickson
Department of Economics, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University
Commissioned by the Nature Conservancy with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
September, 2012

Interactive Iowa map with river trips, spending, and activites data

Iowa State Wins $20 million Grant to Research Impacts of Climate on Corn-based Cropping Systems
Catherine Kling and Philip Gassman of CARD to participate in the project.

Fact Sheet: Iowa Rivers and River Corridors Survey 2009

Nearly Half of Iowans Surveyed Visit Iowa's Rivers and Streams (news release)

Final project report: "Understanding the Usage Patterns and Most Desirable Characteristics of Iowa's Rivers and Streams"
October 2010

NSF Funding Advances Iowa State Team's Research on Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia

Economic Incentives to Improve Water Quality in Agricultural Landscapes: Some New Variations on Old Ideas
Catherine L. Kling
Fellows Address presented at the 2010 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO

New Invited Paper in Transactions of the ASABE
The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) has published The Agricultural Policy Environmental EXtender (APEX) Model: An Emerging Tool for Landscape and Watershed Environmental Analyses in Transactions of the ASABE as part of the journal’s ongoing invited paper series established by the ASABE Soil and Water Division. CARD researcher Philip Gassman was lead author of the paper; co-authors at other institutions were Jimmy Williams, Xiuying (Susan) Wang, Ali Saleh, Edward Osei, Larry Hauck, César Izaurralde, and Joan Flowers. The paper provides an overview of the APEX structure and describes several innovative applications of the model that have been reported in the scientific literature.

New Research Initiative on Northern Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia and Land Use in the Watershed
The annual extent of the seasonal oxygen-depleted hypoxic (dead) zone that forms in the Northern Gulf of Mexico is about three times the target goal of the Hypoxia Action Plan. The 2007 scientific reassessment of causes and consequences of these hypoxic conditions suggests that both nitrogen and phosphorous loadings from the Upper Mississippi River Basin and Ohio River Basin stream systems are significant contributors to the size and duration of the zone, accounting for about 70% of the total nitrogen and nearly 60% of the phosphorous loading to the Gulf. Read more.

CARD Gets Grants from U.S. EPA to Evaluate Water Quality Trading
Art Spratlin, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 7, shakes hands with Gerald Miller, ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, after an announcement of $600,000 in grant funding to CARD-ISU from the EPA to evaluate land conservation practices and the effects on three Iowa watersheds.

The Economic Value of Iowa's Natural Resources
Daniel Otto, Dan Monchuk, Kanlaya Jintanakul, and Catherine Kling
Department of Economics, ISU Extension, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, College of Agriculture, and Iowa State University
Commissioned by the Sustainable Funding for Natural Resources Study Committee, Iowa General Assembly
December, 2007

Conservation Practices in Iowa: Historical Investments, Water Quality, and Gaps
Catherine Kling, Sergey Rabotyagov, Manoj Jha, Hongli Feng, Josh Parcel, Philip Gassman, and Todd Campbell
A Report to the Farm Bureau, Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, July 22, 2007

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool: Historical Development, Applications, and Future Research Directions
P.W. Gassman, M.R. Reyes, C.H. Green, and J.G. Arnold
Invited Paper Series, Transactions of the ASABE, Vol. 50, Number 4

The Cost of Clean Water: Assessing Agricultural Pollution Reduction at the Watershed Scale
Silvia Secchi, Philip Gassman, Manoj Jha, Lyubov Kurkalova, Hongli Feng, Todd Campbell, and Catherine Kling
Report on research supported by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
July 2005