Integrating Social and Biophysical Indicators of Nutrient Reduction Progress

Funded by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center (Grant #2019-14) for 2019-2021.
Website: Link
Project Director: Laurie Nowatzke
Principal Investigators: Lori Abendroth, J. Arbuckle, Jamie Benning, Zhengyuan Zhu
Team Members: Stephanie Bowden, Giorgi Chighladze, Suraj Upadhaya, Jiaming Qiu.


This project sought to identify the primary indicators for predicting nutrient reduction effectiveness at a watershed scale. Indicators which were examined ranged from a variety of operational categories, participation by diverse stakeholder groups, extent of outreach work among farmers and the wider community, and the extent of conservation practices in use. This research examined a subset of key watershed projects funded through the Iowa Water Quality Initiative, known as the WQI.


This study harmonized data across hydrologic unit code-12 (HUC12) watersheds. We accomplished the following:

  • Inventoried and compiled publicly available data sources measuring watershed project efforts and outcomes,
  • Inventoried and compiled relevant social (e.g. survey research) and biophysical (e.g. land use) data,
  • Made datasets available for analysis and external partners, and
  • Assessed relationships between the identified indicators and modeled nutrient reduction progress on a watershed project scale.

Access Data

Data are published at the Iowa State University Data Repository: LINK TBD


Website: Link
Refereed Journals: Will be posted when published

Contact Laurie Nowatzke with questions: USDA Midwest Climate Hub.