October 16, 2008
Gateway Hotel and Conference Center at Iowa State University

Keynote/Luncheon Speakers


Darrell Brown is Chief of U.S. EPA's Coastal Management Branch and National Program Manager for the National Estuary Program. In addition, he is responsible for overseeing a broad range of coastal programs, including habitat restoration, coastal research and monitoring, aquatic nuisance species, air-water initiative, and impacts of growth on water quality. He is also responsible for coordinating EPA's efforts to reduce the size of the hypoxic zone in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

Jerry Schnoor is Foundation Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Co-Director of the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa. Dr. Schnoor is a chemical engineer and environmental engineering educator. His research and writings cover a wide range of environmental problems, including toxic chemical fate and transport, water quality modeling, phytoremediation, and biogeochemistry of global change. Together with several students, Jerry Schnoor has pioneered the use of phytoremediation for cleaning hazardous waste sites. His book, Environmental Modeling, has been adopted as a text by more than 50 graduate programs throughout the U.S, Europe, Asia, and South America.

Joan Iverson Nassauer is Professor of Landscape Architecture in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Her teaching and research focus on landscape ecology and landscape perception with applications in design and planning of metropolitan and agricultural watersheds. Recent projects have included work supported by the Genesee Institute to investigate Vacant Land as a Natural Asset for Flint, Michigan, and the surrounding Genesee County, work supported by the National Science Foundation to investigate spatial land use changes at the rural-urban interface, and work supported by the USDA Forest Service to investigate alternative agricultural landscape scenarios for the Upper Mississippi River Basin. Her research has received numerous awards, including the first place award for environmental research from the Federal Highway Administration.

Luncheon Speakers

Dean Lemke is the Chief of the Water Resources Bureau for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Dean received his B.S. in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and has 34 years of experience developing and implementing research initiatives and assistance programs to address environmental concerns from production agriculture. He is a member of the national coordinating committee of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrients Task Force, and facilitates the five-state Upper Mississippi River Sub-basin Hypoxia Nutrient Committee initiative. He is also currently involved in a number of nutrient-related programs and issues including the nitrate removal wetland initiative of the Iowa CREP, watershed protection and water quality projects, agricultural drainage well research and closure, and research funding for nutrient reduction strategies. He also operates and manages family farms in north-central Iowa.

Richard Leopold became Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in January 2007. Prior to heading the DNR, Richard was the Executive Director of the Iowa Environmental Council since September of 2003. He has held a variety of biologist, naturalist, and administrative positions within the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the Minnesota and Iowa Departments of Natural Resources. From 1999 to 2002, Richard served as the coordinator for IOWATER, Iowa's statewide volunteer water-quality monitoring program. He also helped develop a new citizen advocacy program termed the Iowa Conservation Advocates' and Leaders' Link (I-CALL) for the Iowa Environmental Council. Richard holds an M.S. in Animal Ecology from Iowa State University. He obtained his B.S. in biology from Minnesota State University and an associates degree in natural resources technology from Central Lakes College in Brainerd, Minnesota. Richard is active in many conservation organizations and was the past chairperson of the Iowa Conservation Education Council and is a past recipient of the Izaak Walton League of America's "National Honor Roll Award."

Craig Cox has, for the past 10 years, served as Executive Director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the leading association of soil and water conservation professionals. Recently he was named Midwest Vice President of the Environmental Working Group and will establish a new regional office for the organization in Ames later this year. Previously, Cox was Acting USDA Deputy Under-Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, and Special Assistant to the Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service. He served two years on the staff of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, with responsibility for conservation policy including the conservation portfolio for the 1996 farm bill. Before going to the Hill, Cox was also a Staff Officer with the Board on Agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences where he managed several large-scale research projects. Prior to his career in Washington, Cox spent a decade with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a field biologist and program director.