This project seeks to create a community of practice among prairie restoration specialists, technical service providers and landowners and land managers that is focused on prairie contour strips. Through its Prairies on Farm Project, the Tallgrass Prairie Center hopes this network can establish demonstration sites on farms and develop educational materials, including an online seed mix calculator, that will lead to broader awareness and use of prairie and prairie contour strips in Iowa. The network will include the ISU STRIPS research team, Pheasants Forever and other organizations that encourage the re-introduction of prairies back into the Iowa landscape.
Laura Jackson is director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center, set up in 1999 at the University of Northern Iowa. Jackson also is professor of biology at UNI where she teaches and studies biological diversity in agricultural landscapes and the dynamics of seeds and seedlings in prairie restoration. She has led several on-farm research projects, collaborating with farmers in northwest Iowa. She is co-editor of The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems, and current serves on the steering committee for the Monarch Joint Venture. She has served on advisory boards for the Society of Ecological Restoration, Iowa State Preserves System and the Leopold Center.