129th Iowa Academy of Science Annual Meeting

April 21 - 22, 2017
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa


Proceedings of the 129th Annual Meeting

Abstracts will be published in the Proceedings and the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science.

The 129th IAS Annual Meeting Proceedings will be printed and distributed to all registered attendees at the Annual Meeting. The Proceedings will include abstracts for oral and poster presentations by scientists, graduate and undergraduate students. Also included will be research presentations by middle and high school students from the Iowa Junior Academy of science.  It will also include the Annual Meeting schedule. Attendees will be able to access additional session information using their smart phone.


General Sessions and Symposiums
129th Annual Meeting
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa
April 21 - 22, 2017


General Session I

The Polar Vortex:
Overview and Implications for Iowa Weather

Jim Lee, National Weather Service, Des Moines, Iowa

Jim Lee, National Weather Service, Des Moines, Iowa

12:15 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2017
Dr. Ken Budke Family Auditorium
Schindler Education Center, Room 220
University of Northern Iowa

Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

Graphic courtesy of the National Weather Service

Jim Lee
General Forecaster
National Weather Service
Des Moines, Iowa

Program description and speaker bio will be added soon.


General Session II

From Molecules to Satellites: A Physical Chemistry Approach to Next-Generation Spacecraft Technology

Jaime Stearns, PhD. Air Force Research Laboratory

Jaime Stearns, PhD.
Air Force Research Laboratory

Jaime Stearns, Ph.D.
Senior Research Chemist
Space Vehicles Directorate
Air Force Research Laboratory
Kirkland AFB, New Mexico


7:45 p.m., Friday, April 21, 2017
Dr. Ken Budke Family Auditorium
Schlinder Education Center, Room 220
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Abstract

The Air Force Research Lab exists to lead the discovery, development, and integration of warfighting technologies in air, space, and cyberspace. To a chemist in the Space Vehicles Directorate, this means developing cheaper and safer satellite propulsion, more efficient power sources, better spacecraft thermal control, and more accurate models of thruster plumes. Solving each of these challenges begins with a fundamental understanding of molecular-level interactions, including optical properties, molecular structure, and chemical reactivity. Our lab uses laser spectroscopy techniques to make benchmark measurements of the molecules, ions, and clusters critical to further development of each of these technologies. This talk will give an overview of our work in two main areas: 1) Spectroscopy, structure, and reactivity of ionic liquid clusters for hypergolic combustion and electric propulsion, and 2) Vacuum-ultraviolet photodissociation of small molecules for modeling solar photon-thruster plume interactions.

Biography

Dr. Jaime Stearns is a Senior Research Chemist at the Space Vehicles Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory located at Kirtland AFB in New Mexico. She received a BA in Chemistry from Northwestern in 2000 and a PhD in Chemistry from Purdue in 2005. After three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, she joined AFRL in 2008. Her research interests are rooted in fundamental molecular spectroscopy but extend to numerous topics related to space situational awareness.


General Session III

The Northeast Iowa Intrusive Complex: is it another Mineral-Rich Duluth Complex?"

IAS Gold Logo_w_blue_background-web.jpg

10:45 a.m., Saturday, April 22, 2017
Dr. Ken Budke Family Auditorium
Schindler Education Center, Room 220

University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Speakers:
Benjamin Drenth, Ph.D.
Dean Peterson, Ph.D.


Presentations

The Northeast Iowa Intrusive Complex:
What is it? Does it have significant mineral potential?

Benjamin Drenth, Ph.D.
Research Geophysicist
U.S. Geological Survey
Denver, Colorado

Webpage: https://profile.usgs.gov/bdrenth

Abstract

The northeast Iowa Intrusive Complex (NEIIC) has notable similarities to the Duluth Complex in northern Minnesota: a large volume of similar rocks, a position along the margin of the Midcontinent Rift, and a comparable extent. The rich metal endowment of the Duluth Complex naturally leads us to wonder about the mineral potential of the NEIIC. Our understanding of geology and mineral potential of the completely buried NEIIC is several decades behind that of the Duluth Complex, due to a lack of exposed rocks, few deep drill holes, no reliable age control, and until recently, a lack of high-quality geophysical data. Geophysical methods are noninvasive, and to date have been our principal tool to study the NEIIC. This session will highlight our developing understanding of the major characteristics of the NEIIC, how those compare and contrast with the Duluth Complex, and the implications for mineral potential in northeastern Iowa.

Linking Antarctic, Minnesota, and Iowa Geology: Bringing Knowledge Gained at 100% Exposure back to the North Woods and Prairie

Dean M. Peterson, Ph.D.

Natural Resources Research Institute
University of Minnesota Duluth

Abstract

The Duluth Complex of Northeastern Minnesota can be viewed as a type section of the mid-level portion of the 1.1 billion year old Mid-Continent Rift (MCR). These intrusive rocks overlie the deep-seated plumbing system of the rift, from the Earth’s Mantle into the Lower Crust, and underlie the lava flows and sandstones that filled the rift basin. The transfer of mass and energy from the Earth’s Mantle into the intrusions of the Duluth Complex resulted in the formation of extensive base (copper-nickel-cobalt) and precious (platinum-palladium-gold-silver) metal sulfide mineralization at the base of numerous mafic intrusions.

Understanding Duluth Complex geology is hindered by many factors, including the: frequency & distribution of outcrops; complexity of stratigraphy & structure; nature of topography; thickness of glacial drift; and the density of trees, shrubbery, and biting insects. Taken together, these issues have led to a scattered understanding of the igneous stratigraphy, mineralization, and the geometry of individual intrusions of the Duluth Complex and a general lack of understanding of how such systems form and what they truly are.

The most critical part of analyzing and understanding magmatic processes and ore development involves a clear and concise knowledge of the nature of the system at the outset: when it all began! The most revealing means of understanding magmatic systems is to examine unusually complete, well-exposed systems where initial conditions are especially clear, such as the End Member Magmatic Analog, the Ferrar Dolerites, Dry Valleys of Antarctica. This presentation will integrate the authors two field seasons of geologic mapping in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica with nearly 30 years of work in the Duluth Complex to further discussions and research on MCR rocks in Iowa.

Biographies

Benjamin J. Drenth received a B.Sc. (2003) in geological engineering from Michigan Technological University, a M.Sc. (2005) in geophysics from the University of Texas at El Paso, and a Ph.D. (2009) in geophysics from the University of Oklahoma. He has worked with the U.S. Geological Survey since 2003, and since 2009 has worked as a research geophysicist. His research interests include geologic interpretation of magnetic and gravity data, especially as applied to 3D geologic mapping problems. He specializes in interpretation in challenging physical and geologic environments, such as high-relief terrain and areas where the rocks of interest are concealed.

Dean M. Peterson, Ph.D is the Program Manager of the Economic Geology Group and Co-Director of the Precambrian Research Center (PRC) at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s, Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI). He had served as the Senior Vice President of Exploration at Duluth Metals Limited from 2008 to 2015 and as a Senior Research Associate of the NRRI since 2000. Dr. Peterson has 30 years' experience in mineral exploration, geological consulting, and developing economic geology research programs for a wide variety of deposit types including gold and VMS deposits; Duluth Complex Cu-Ni-PGE deposits; high-grade Cu-PGE vein systems; and Cu-Au-Mo porphyry deposits. His research interests include magmatic systems, economic geology, geological mapping, Precambrian geology, mineral potential modeling, and three-dimensional modeling of ore systems. Dr. Peterson has been an active participant in the US government’s Office of Polar Programs studying the enormous Ferrar Magmatic system in Antarctica, and holds B.Sc. Geology and a Ph.D. Geology from the University of Minnesota.


Symposium A

Flooding, Climate Change and Agriculture:
Strategies for Resilience

 
IAS Gold Logo_w_blue_background-web.jpg

Friday, April 21, 2017
2:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Room 409
Schlinder Education Center
University of Northern Iowa

 

Abstract

The upper midwest is experiencing significant changes in the season and intensity of precipitation events, while experiencing an increase in the number of frost-free days, humidity and night-time temperatures. Meanwhile land cover and drainage have been radically altered in the last century, leading to greater potential for flooding. The dominant land cover, annual row crops, promotes and exacerbates flood damage and soil erosion after intense storms.  How will climate change affect flood damage and what are the steps that can be taken to increase hydrologic resilience to climate change? We review historical climate data and model predictions for future climate changes, and compare the relative impact of flood mitigation strategies for building resilience and reducing the cost of future floods.  Two alternative farming systems—4-year crop rotations and in-field contour buffer strips of native prairie on 10% of watersheds –would increase perennial cover, provide multiple ecosystem benefits and would confer greater resilience to climate change and flooding, if adopted on a landscape scale. These systems require less fossil fuel use; implications for net carbon emissions are currently being studied.  

Presentations

Preparing for Iowa's Climate Future

IAS Gold Logo_w_blue_background-web.jpg

Gene Takle, Ph.D, Iowa State University
CF Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Science
Department of Agronomy
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

Abstract

Preparations are underway for the 4th US National Climate Assessment to be issued in late 2018.  Mandated by the Congress and signed by President Bush in 1990, the law requires periodic assessment of the impact of climate change on the US.  I will provide an update on the most recent analyses and interpretation of changes in the global climate and how these changes are affecting the US, with special attention to the Midwest.   The world has warmed globally and annually by about 1.6°F over the last 150 years.  Fifteen of the last 16 years are the warmest years on record for the globe. The spatial and temporal fluctuations of the warming have triggered many of regional changes already observed in the Earth’s climate.  Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, primarily land-use change and emissions of greenhouse gases, are responsible for recent observed climate changes.  Trends in Iowa’s climate driven by global changes include warming winter temperatures and increase absolute humidity.  While the statistical significance of some Iowa climate trends is low, the impact on agriculture, ecosystems, and long-term planning for infrastructure is high.  Examples of such climate impacts will be given that demonstrate the urgency of the need for an all-out effort to limit global carbon emissions.

Biography

Gene Takle has a BA degree in physics and mathematics from Luther College and PhD from the Iowa State University Department of Physics.  He joined the ISU faculty in 1971 and currently holds the title of Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences and the position of Pioneer Hi-Bred Professor in Agronomy. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and was coordinating Lead Co-author on the agriculture chapter of the 2014 US National Climate Assessment.

 

Iowa Watershed Approach: Enhancing Resiliency for Rural and Urban Communities

Larry Weber, Ph.D., University of Iowa

Larry Weber is an expert in flood-related research, watershed modeling and nutrient management. In 2009, he was co-founder of the Iowa Flood Center, this nation’s first and only research center devoted solely to flood-related research and education. In 2013, he worked with the Iowa Legislature and Iowa State University to found the Iowa Nutrient Research Center to advance science and understanding needed to implement the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. More recently, Weber played a leadership role in the State of Iowa’s $96.9m Iowa Watershed Approach grant awarded by Housing and Urban Development through the National Disaster Resilience Competition.  Weber holds a B.S, M.S., and PhD. in Civil and Environmental Engineering, all from the University of Iowa. For the last 12 years, he has been the Director of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, one of the nation's premier and oldest fluids-related research and engineering laboratories.  He is a member of Iowa’s Water Resources Coordinating Council and serves the state and nation on several private sector and agency advisory boards.


Cropping System Diversification Strategies for Enhanced Performance and Greater Resilience - Two Case Studies

Matt Liebman, Ph.D.
Professor of Agronomy / H.A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa

 

Abstract

Matt Liebman, Ph.D. Iowa State University

Matt Liebman, Ph.D.
Iowa State University

The development of modern, industrial agriculture has been characterized by large reductions in biological diversity, both across landscapes and within farming systems. Loss of biodiversity is particularly evident in the U.S. Corn Belt. Simplification of crop and non-crop vegetation in the Corn Belt has resulted in the production of large amounts of crop and livestock products, but also in multiple challenges, including soil erosion, water quality degradation, herbicide-resistant weeds, new crop diseases, volatility in farm profitability, and declines in populations of pollinators, natural enemies of crop pests, and wildlife species. Results of two experiments conducted in Iowa addressing the impacts of diversification on agroecosystem performance indicate that (1) conversion of small amounts of cropland to strips of reconstructed prairie provided disproportionately large improvements in soil conservation, nutrient retention, and densities of native plants and birds; and (2) diversification of the dominant corn-soybean rotation system with small grain and forage crops led to substantial reductions in agrichemical and fossil hydrocarbon use, lower herbicide-related aquatic toxicity, decreased crop damage by certain pathogens, and improved soil quality, without compromising profitability. These patterns suggest that increasing biodiversity can be a viable strategy for improving agroecosystem health and resilience in the U.S. Corn Belt.

Biography

Matt Liebman is a professor of agronomy and the H.A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. His research, teaching, and outreach activities focus on ways to use ecological processes to improve farming systems. His specific interests include diversified crop rotations, weed ecology and management, and the use of native prairie species for soil, water, and wildlife conservation and biofuel production.


 

Symposium B

Iowa's Water Quality: Scientific Solutions and Legislative Trends


Friday April 21, 2017
2:15 - 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Ken Budke Family Auditorium
Schlinder Education Center, Room 220

University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

             

Abstract

 
 

Speakers

Matthew Helmers, Ph.D. Iowa State University

Matthew Helmers, Ph.D.
Iowa State University

Christopher Jones, Ph.D University of Iowa

Christopher Jones, Ph.D
University of Iowa

Christine Nemec, Ph.D. University of Northern Iowa

Christine Nemec, Ph.D.
University of Northern Iowa


Symposium C - Workshop

Care and Management of Natural History Collections

 

Friday, April 21, 2017
2:15 - 4:30 p.m.
Schindler Education Center, Room 404
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

 

Description of the Workshop

We are planning to cover care, cleaning, storage and documentation of at least taxidermy specimens (vertebrate animals), geological collections (rocks, minerals and fossils), and mounted and packeted herbarium specimens. There will be “show-and-tell” examples, some aspects of the workshop will involve actual demonstrations of techniques, and possibly even hands-on practice by participants (depending on the number of attendees and time).

 

Facilitators

Tiffany Adrain University of Iowa

Tiffany Adrain
University of Iowa

Tiffany Adrain
Collections Manager
University of Iowa Paleontology Repository
Adjunct Instructor
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Tiffany Adrain is the Collections Manager of the University of Iowa Paleontology Repository, a collection of over one million fossils from all geological ages, worldwide in scope. She cares for large (mammoths) and small (fossil plankton) specimens, fossil plants and, occasionally, meteorites. She teaches Collections Care and Management for the UI Museum Studies Program.  

 
Deborah Lewis Iowa State University

Deborah Lewis
Iowa State University

Deborah Lewis
Curator, Ada Hayden Herbarium
Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology Department
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa State University

Deborah Lewis curates the Ada Hayden Herbarium which contains more than 650,000 specimens of plants (mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants), fungi and lichens. Her research is primarily on Iowa’s flora, botanical history, especially biographies of Iowa’s botanists, and herbarium techniques.

 
Cindy Opitz, University of Iowa

Cindy Opitz,
University of Iowa

Cindy Opitz
Collections Manager, Museum of Natural History Instructor, Museum Studies Certificate Program
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa

Cindy Opitz manages zoological and cultural collections at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and teaches collections care in the UI Museum Studies Certificate Program. Objects in her care include taxidermy mounts and study skins, dry invertebrate collections, fluid-preserved specimens, and ethnographic objects.