Iowa's Loess Hills: Faunal Crossroads at the Edge of the Great Plains
On July 23, the 2014 statewide and bluffland land stewardship interns had the opportunity to participate in a program given by Dr. Bill Clark, professor emeritus at Iowa State University, near Turin in Monona County. The theme for the session was “Iowa's Loess Hills: Faunal Crossroads at the Edge of the Great Plains,” recognizing that there are quite a few species that reach either the eastern or western edge of their range. This was an interactive field trip where Bill educated the interns on the history of the area, followed by a visit to an INHF property and the Turin State Preserve, seeing species such as yucca, skeletonweed and locoweed.
The land stewardship internship focuses on maintaining and restoring native landscapes. As part of that, we want the interns to learn and grow in their education and career. This was a great way to provide an educational opportunity for them. The interns were able to learn about the geology of the Loess Hills, its natural history and the plants and animals that inhabit the hills.
Bill is professor emeritus at ISU and is still actively involved in the conservation of Iowa's natural heritage. We are very grateful that Bill volunteered his afternoon to work with our interns, and we look forward to working with him again next year. You can find more information about Bill’s work and research on his website.