Iowa Resources

These links are all Iowa-based environmental / conservation education or natural resources management agencies, organizations, or websites!

Conservation, Education, or Science Organizations

Hawkeye Fly Fishing Association (HFFA)
The HFFA is an affiliate of the Federation of Fly Fishers, FFF, an international fly fishing organization devoted to the promotion of all types of fly fishing and the protection of fly fishing water and their inhabitants.

Iowa Academy of Science
The mission of the Academy is to further scientific research, science education, and public understanding of science and to recognize excellence in these endeavors. The Academy accomplishes its mission through many programs and activities including the Iowa Science Teaching Section (ISTS) is the equivalent of a state science teaching association in other states.

Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation (IALF)
IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. IALF seeks to improve student achievement by applying authentic, agriculture-based content to teach core concepts in science, social studies, language arts, and nutrition. Resources available include standards-aligned lessons, the My Family’s Farm book series, Iowa Ag Today student magazine, and professional development opportunities for educators.

Iowa Association of Naturalists
The Iowa Association of Naturalists (IAN) is a professional organization that promotes the development of skills and education within the art of interpreting the natural and cultural environments.

Iowa Audubon
The mission of Iowa Audubon is to identify, protect and restore Iowa’s bird habitats, to educate Iowa’s citizens toward a greater level of conservation awareness, and to promote enjoyment and greater pride in Iowa’s natural ecosystems, birds, other wildlife.

Iowa BASS Nation
Since the early 1970s Iowa B.A.S.S. Nation has provided a Grassroots connection to Bass Anglers Sportsman Society. BASS established conservation and a focus on building youth programs in addition to fishing competitions as areas critical to the viability of the sport and a fishing lifestyle.

Iowa Conservation Education Coalition (ICEC)
ICEC is a non-profit organization with a long-standing tradition of providing professional development to formal and non-formal educators in conservation and environmental education.

Iowa Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Learn about local conservation efforts for wetlands and grassland habitats, plus waterfowl biology and research and waterfowl ID.

Iowa Environmental Council
The Iowa Environmental Council is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state. They unify Iowans to advocate for clean water and land stewardship, clean energy, and a healthy climate.

Iowa Museum Association
The Iowa Museum Association provides support and resources for Iowa’s museums—art centers, history museums, botanical gardens, children’s museums, historic sites, historical societies, living history sites, nature centers, natural history museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
INHF is a statewide member-supported, non-profit conservation organization that works with private landowners and public agencies to protect and restore Iowa’s land, water and wildlife.

Iowa Ornithologists Union
The IOU is a group that encourages interest in the identification, study, and protection of birds, unites all those persons who have this interest in common, collects and preserves knowledge on the occurrence of birds in Iowa and promotes bird study in Iowa.

Iowa Prairie Network
The IPN is a grass-roots, volunteer, organization dedicated to the preservation of Iowa’s prairie heritage.

Iowa Recycling Association
This membership-based organization is dedicated to advancing effective recycling by sharing resources, education and advocacy opportunities.

Iowa Rivers Revival
This Iowa-based non-profit is a statewide leader in river education and advocacy and is committed to protecting some of our most precious natural resources – our rivers and streams.

Iowa Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is a volunteer-led, with a staff director/lobbyist, and attend to issues of statewide importance. Together, our volunteer leaders and staff work with state agencies, the Iowa Legislature, and other environmental organizations to protect Iowa’s environment.

Iowa Wildlife Federation
The Iowa Wildlife Federation is an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. They are a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists.

Iowa Young Birders
Founded in 2011 to encourage young Iowans ages 8-18 to study and enjoy birds and birding, Iowa Young Birders has offered nearly 40 field trips all around Iowa. More than 600 participants have included over 300 young birders, 200 parents and 100 volunteer trip leaders.

Izaak Walton League, Iowa Division
The Izaak Walton League restores wetlands and streams, establishing wildlife refuges and parks, fights for cleaner air and healthier forests, and teaches outdoor ethics to thousands of outdoor recreationists.

KinderNature – A Resource for Early Childhood Educators
KinderNature, a part of ICEC, is a website targeting preschool teachers, parents, and childcare staff to assist in learning, developing, and implementing a well-balanced environmental education preschool program with developmentally appropriate activities that incorporate a variety of learning styles and stimulate within the child an excitement for learning.

Loess Hills Alliance
The Loess Hills Alliance provides grassroots, broad-based representation for land use management and stewardship in the Loess Hills region. The Alliance communicates, cooperates, and coordinates conservation efforts in the Loess Hills.

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Fun and learning flow together at this 10-acre river campus at the Port of Dubuque. Two buildings and outdoor plaza include 12 aquariums, dynamic exhibits, a 4D theater and more.

National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)
NWTF Iowa is committed to improve water quality and forest health and restore grasslands.

The Nature Conservancy, Iowa Chapter
The TNC vision is for Iowa to have healthy lands and waters and sustainable agricultural systems that support fish and wildlife and provide for the needs of people here and around the world. The Nature Conservancy partners with agricultural experts, community leaders and policy makers, resulting in standards and practices that benefit both people and nature in a number of ways.

Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge & Prairie Learning Center
The Refuge actively protects, restores, reconstructs and manages the diverse native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and sedge meadow. See wildlife, native flowers and grasses, elk and bison along the auto tour and hiking trails. The Prairie Learning & Visitor Center offers state-of-the-art audiovisuals and exhibits, as well as an art gallery. Project Bluestem Curriculum, The curriculum is from the Friends of Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Staff at the refuge are working on the on the curriculum to reflect the most current philosophies and methodologies of environmental education.

Northeast Furbearer Technical Committee
Professional wildlife biologists that monitor and evaluating the status of furbearer populations on a regular basis, and respond with appropriate management options.

Pheasants Forever (PF), Iowa Chapter
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.

Practical Farmers of Iowa
Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing.

Saving Our Avian Resources (S.O.A.R.)
SOAR is an Iowa-based 501(c)(3) organization established in 1999 dedicated to saving our avian resources through raptor rehabilitation, education, and research.

Trees Forever
Trees Forever is an organization with a mission to plant and care for trees and the environment by empowering people, building community, and promoting stewardship.

Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited Conserves, protects, and restores North America’s cold water fisheries and their watersheds. There are three chapters in Iowa: North Bear, Spring Creeks, and Iowa Driftless.

White-tails Unlimited
Whitetails Unlimited is a national nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of the white-tail deer and it’s environment. Search the website for local chapters or reach to Iowa’s two field directors.

State Agencies and Associations

Conservation Districts of Iowa
Conservation Districts of Iowa informs, educates and leads Iowans through our local soil and water conservation districts to promote conservation of natural resources.

Iowa Area Education Agencies
AEAs work as educational partners with every public and accredited, nonpublic school in Iowa to improve the learning outcomes and well being of all students. Science consultant pages:

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Offers information and reports about farming, soil and water conservation, farmers’ markets, auctions, and events.

Iowa Department of Education
From this link find information about education within state of Iowa agencies, their services, and related links

Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The Iowa DNR is responsible for maintaining state parks and forests; protecting the environment; and managing energy, fish, wildlife, land resources, and water resources of Iowa.

Iowa DNR REAP Program
The Conservation Education Program (CEP) is a key provision of the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) Act of 1989. A five-member board implements the CEP and annually they allocate approximately $350,000 in grants for conservation education in Iowa.

Iowa Division of Tourism
Your one stop shop for things to see and do in Iowa.

Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund
Through the Trust, the Iowa Department of Transportation promotes and educates the public about the need for an integrated approach to managing the vegetation along Iowa’s roadsides. Be sure to check out the Resources tab.

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa
NRCS works with landowners through 100 field offices on conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems. NRCS works through local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) overseen by locally elected boards.

US Geological Survey (USGS)
The USGS stands as the sole science agency for the Department of the Interior. The USGS focuses on four major areas: natural hazards, resources, the environment, and information and data management. USGS provides a host of informational and educational resources available through their web site.

Colleges and Universities

Iowa Geographic Image Map Server
This site provides free access to Iowa geographic map data through an on-line map viewer and through Web Map Service (WMS) connections for GIS.

Iowa Learning Farms
Iowa Learning Farms is building a culture of conservation, calling attention to the importance of improved water and soil quality through conservation farming practices.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Wildlife and Natural Resources Publications
A resource for education materials, publications and multimedia resources put out through the Iowa State University Extension Office.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Wildlife Extension
Wildlife Extension provides information and education that helps people to appreciate and enhance wildlife resources; wisely manage wildlife resources so that they are sustainable over time; manage habitat for wildlife; and manage interactions between people and wildlife.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Through research and education, the Leopold Center helps to identify and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Leopold Center is located on the campus of Iowa State University.

State Hygienic Laboratory
The Environmental Health Program performs diverse sample testing of everything from air to wastewater, including clinical specimens, fish, foods, soil and sediment, and water.

Tallgrass Prairie Center – Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management
IRVM provides technical assistance, training and education to Iowa’s county roadside programs.

Water Rocks!
A site creating a new public awareness toward the many issues surrounding water, from Iowa State University.

University of Iowa Division of Recreational Services
The University’s Division of Recreational Services offers environmental education programs for schools and campers at various Iowa State Parks, plus a raptor education center and the Iowa Raptor Project housed at Macbride Nature Recreation Area.

University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education
Links and resources to help you learn and teach about energy and the environment.

County Conservation Boards

Discover Iowa’s County Parks
Search this site to find environmental education programs, cabin rentals, shelters, trails and more throughout the state of Iowa.

Demonstration Models including Enviroscape, Stream Table, and Groundwater Models may be available near you in Iowa. Check the My County Parks website for your nearest county conservation board naturalist to see if they have materials to borrow!

Nature Podcasts
Polk County Conservation (Iowa) created nature podcasts to educate listeners about wildlife and conservation issues affecting Iowans.


Online field guide to Iowa amphibian and reptiles offering photos and information on habitat, range, diet, identification, and behavior.