I-GAWS Past Projects

The projects which have been done for I-GAWS in previous years are as varied as the students who have completed them.  As, hopefully, it was suggested on our other pages, this opportunity allows students to conceived of their own research from the beginning.  This is not an instance where you come onto campus and are handed a project to work on, but rather YOU get the opportunity to develop, with your mentors, your own work.


Projects and Descritptions: (in no particular order)

Dirt Lobsters: In field variability of soil arthropod diversity
An exploration of the mechanisms underling soil arthropod diversity in an agricultural field, and attempting to use hyperspectral data to assess those mechanisms.

Wetland suitability in the Des Moines lobe  
An attempt to produce replicable methods for selection of best suited wetland restoration sites to improve water quality given physical and economic criteria, in the Des Moines lobe area of north central Iowa.

Developing an ABM in Netlogo
Development of an agent-based-model to explore decision-making process associated with converting to organic farming, examine how micro- (agent-) level decisions affect macro system and identify environmental and economic repercussions of farming systems.

Influence of topography on soil moisture and infiltration
Field-based assessment of influlences of micro-topographical changes on potential for soil moisture and infiltration of water.

Organic agriculture in Iowa - what's driving growth?
Exploration of the factors driving the growth of organic agriculture in Iowa, including growth in organic farms, organically produced corn and soybeans, and shifting trends in consumer support for said products.

A Living Legacy: Agricultural drainage in Iowa
A look at the historic and contemporary language surrounding concepts of "drainage" and how semantics have driven the discussion and understanding of the value (or lack there of) of wetlands.

The effects of microtopography on phosphorus dispersal and crop yield
A look at microtopography and it's effects on phosphorous and possible effects on crop yield as explored using remotely sensed data.

Fingerprinting the spatial variation of riparian vegetation using close-range remote sensing techniques
Exploring the utility of near-range remote sensing to identify spatial patterns in vegetation along riparian areas. 

Reading soil moisture through a wireless sensor network
A look at applying wireless sensor networks to automation of data collection for soil moisture at the field level.

Identifying cover crops in Iowa by using remote sensing
Using cover crop types by looking at large-scale remotely sensed datasets.

Investigating anthropogenic influences on stream development in the headwaters of the Clear Creek watershed
Looking at factors impacting formation of stream headwaters in Clear Creek, an agricultural landscape.

Observing the socio-ecological effects of a Nitrogen tax
How would a Nitrogen tax effect, disproportionatly or not, socio-ecology factors in Iowa. Who would it help, and what are the trade-offs?

Examining the relationship between Nitrate levels and agriculture in the Corn Belt
A look at how nitrogen/nitrates are used in crop production in Iowa, and how that impacts pollution.

Characterizing ditch soil composition based on adjacent landcover runoff via testing for N, C, bulk density, and heavy metal contents
An attempt to gain understanding of ditch contents relative to adjacent landcover and develop an understanding of the role ditches play in the hydrology of a watershed.

Social vulnerability and flood risk
A look at the potential for impact and vulnribility of persons/areas relating to income.

An analysis of corn stover production with hyperspectral sensors across an agriculture field
A look at corn stover (debris from previous year harvest) using hyperspectral sensing techniques. 

Spatial patterns of best management practice in Iowa: Economic and social factors
An exploration of best management practices (BMPs) and their economic and social effects in Iowa.

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