Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Assessment of environmental services of CREP wetlands in IA and the midwestern corn belt


September 2007 - December 2009


1. Conduct Iowa CREP environmental service assessment at several tiered spatial scales.
i. Site specific modeling of 33 completed CREP projects. Vegetation community assessment used as appropriate to enhance wildlife model predictions and to establish baselines for longer-term monitoring of successional change.
ii. Modeling of 435 sites identified by the Iowa Department of Agricultural and Land Stewardship that satisfy current CREP site criteria. This assessment will include an investigation of the variation in individual and integrated predicted environmental services as a function of site attributes, e.g., wetland size, buffer size, and landscape context.
iii. Model predictions for simulated populations of wetland sites that would result in a 30% reduction in nitrogen load to the Mississippi River. Populations will vary as a function of alternative site criteria as in ii.
2. Use modeling techniques and results developed in Objective 1 to design a similar assessment of the potential environmental services that could be provided under a variety of scenarios for future implementation and expansion of the CREP program throughout the Midwestern corn belt.
3. Develop for review by FSA, appropriate sampling design and protocols, and a process to implement them to address information gaps.
4. Provide technical documentation to FSA on studies conducted.
5. Protect the confidentiality of landowners and proprietary data.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • David OtisPrincipal Investigator

Funding Agencies

  • Farm Services Agency

Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey