'New Voices' in water quality recognized in Iowa

Iowa State University Extension
New Voices in Water Quality graphic.

15 Iowans have been named New Voices in Water Quality for their commitment to advancing conversations, taking action and advocating for water quality improvements that benefit all Iowans during the past 10 years. This charter class of award winners has been announced by the Conservation Learning Group, a think tank based with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and dedicated to addressing conservation and environmental challenges.

“Each of these individuals was nominated by peers and recognized for their efforts, achievements and passion for improving and restoring water quality,” said Jacqueline Comito, Conservation Learning Group program director with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Even though these individuals have varied backgrounds and experiences, when we conducted interviews to prepare a profile for each one, words and phrases like ‘passion,’ ‘love of nature and the outdoors,’ ‘connection to the land,’ and ‘caring for our water and each other,’ provided a common thread underpinning the love they all share for Iowa and our waterways.”

The New Voices in Water Quality in Iowa Awards recognize individual advocacy and action in five categories. Profiles with each recipient are available online. Video interviews will be available in October. The winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon hosted by the Conservation Learning Group in October.

The New Voices honorees will have ongoing access to an array of CLG resources and opportunities for further exposure of their efforts through social media and webinars from CLG programs.

Award Winners

  • Youth and/or Community Water Education
    • Anjanette Treadway, Human Sciences program coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach in Carroll County.
    • Steve Gustafson, United States Army Corps of Engineers, environmental geologist and vice board chair for Partners of Scott County Watersheds.
    • Dan Haug, Prairie Rivers of Iowa, water quality specialist.
  • Water Quality and Wildlife
    • Ross Evelsizer, Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation and Development, natural resource projects director.
    • Milt R. Owen, Mitchell County Water Quality volunteer, retired director of Mitchell County Conservation Board.
    • Loran Steinlage, Fayette County farmer.
    • Kay Stefanik, Iowa Nutrient Research Center, assistant director.
    • Karen Wilke, The Nature Conservancy, Iowa freshwater specialist and Boone River Watershed project director.
  • Water Quality Research, Engineering and Design
    • Bethany Brittenham, ISG Inc., water resources engineer.
    • Spencer Pech, ISG Inc., graduate engineer.
  • Water Quality in Public Policy and Government
    • Alicia Vasto, Iowa Environmental Council, water program associate director.
    • Katie Rock, former Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District commissioner.
    • Susan Kozak, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Soil Conservation and Water Quality Division director.
    • Kayla Bergman, Center for Rural Affairs, policy manager.
  • Urban Water Conservation
    • Amanda Brown, Polk County Conservation, conservation ecologist.

The New Voices in Water Quality Awards are a collaboration of Iowa State University’s Conservation Learning Group and Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources (United States Environmental Protection Agency | Section 319 of the Clean Water Act).