Advanced Training

On Tuesday, Dec 7 at 7:00 PM, The Iowa Native Plant Society is sponsoring a Zoom session about fen restoration and the power of conservation partnerships. To register, click  HERE   See details below.  Thanks to Ben R (IMN Summer 2015) for the heads up on this great opportunity!

Conservation Partnerships: Restoring One of Iowa’s Largest Known Fens

Fens are an unusual, post-glacial landform where one often can find rare and unusual plant species. In the 1950s, one of the largest known fens in Iowa was drained for agricultural use. Thanks to a conservation easement between the landowner and the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the site is regaining a more natural condition. Iowa Lakeside Laboratory has been collecting data on the site since 2019 as a means of tracking both hydrologic and vegetative changes resulting from the reconstruction project. Undergraduate field research interns, guided by Iowa’s state ecologist and Lakeside Lab faculty, are some of the first to study the site in more than half a century. Early results give hope for a gradual but thorough success.


Rebecca Kauten, PhD currently serves as the Scientist in Residence for Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. In this role, she leads field-based research projects on Iowa’s natural resources and supervises related undergraduate research. She also teaches Prairie Ecology, GIS, and an Introduction to Research and Inquiry for Lakeside Lab, and teaches several geography courses for Montana State University at Billings. Previously, she worked in watershed management and water quality monitoring as both a statewide and local technical resource for community projects in Iowa. Dr. Kauten has been an advocate for prairies in Iowa for nearly her entire life. She currently lives in Cedar Falls and can be found hiking or paddling somewhere in Iowa whenever the chances arise.

John Pearson is an ecologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, with responsibilities for threatened and endangered plant species, the state preserve system, and environmental review. Shortly after joining the DNR in 1985, he and coworker botanist Mark Leoschke conducted a statewide inventory of fen wetlands. He is a co-author of The Guide to Iowa’s State Preserves and Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa.

John Paulin is the Iowa NRCS Wetland Restoration Specialist, charged with the restoration, monitoring and management of nearly 1,700 conservation easements across the state.  After positions on the Water Resources Planning Staff and a stint as a Resource Conservation and Development Coordinator, he was appreciative of the opportunity to return to his Fisheries and Wildlife Biology roots when he joined the Iowa NRCS Easement Programs Team in 2011.  In both his professional and recreational pursuits, John can be found in and on the wilds and waters of Iowa and across the country.