Dinsmore named interim director for Leopold Center, beginning July 1

June 18, 2021

headshot of Stephen J. Dinsmore
 Stephen J. Dinsmore

Professor Stephen J. Dinsmore, chair of the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, has been named interim director for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, effective July 1, 2021. He will take over when current director Mark Rasmussen retires June 30.

“Dr. Dinsmore has a strong background in ecology and a proven track record as an administrator, as well as a deep appreciation for the Leopold Center’s mission. I am pleased he has agreed to serve during this time of transition,” said Daniel J. Robison, endowed dean’s chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State.

Dinsmore, who joined the Iowa State faculty in 2005, also helps lead the State of Iowa’s Multiple Species Inventory and Monitoring Program. His research is centered on the intersection of avian ecology and population biology and has focused on science-based management to address contemporary ecological problems.

“I am honored to be asked to take on this interim role for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, which has such a record of important work to support resilient agriculture, cleaner water and thriving communities in Iowa and beyond. I look forward to working with the board and interested stakeholders to support the center’s ongoing activities and priorities in the year ahead as resources allow.”   

An alumnus of Iowa State (’90 wildlife and fisheries biology), Dinsmore has a master’s in zoology from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in fishery and wildlife biology from Colorado State University.

Rasmussen has led the Leopold Center since June 2012. He holds a joint appointment as professor in the Department of Animal Science where he will retain emeritus status.

A native of Nebraska, Rasmussen holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from Iowa State (1996). He came to Iowa State following a career as a research microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He holds two patents related to his research on optical scanning instrumentation to detect contamination on beef carcasses, recognized as among the top patents in lifetime earnings from technology transfer activities generated for Iowa State University.