IIHR has been involved in river-related research since the lab’s beginnings. Some of the earliest experiments capitalized on IIHR’s experimental channel, which drew water directly from the adjacent dam on the Iowa River.
The image in the right represents IIHR’s research related to rivers, watersheds, and the landscape. Our many researchers include experts in hydrometeorology, hydrology, hydraulics, geology, hydrogeology, climate change, remote sensing, statistics, physical and computational modeling, hydroinformatics, and resilience and vulnerability. IIHR is especially successful in developing and fostering multidisciplinary programs that provide unique opportunities for collaboration both within IIHR and UI, and with colleagues around the globe.
Dating back to 1855, the Iowa Geological Survey (IGS) is IIHR’s oldest program. IGS staff continue to collect, preserve, and interpret geologic and hydrogeologic data in Iowa. The IGS moved from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to the University of Iowa in 2014, and this integration within IIHR supports systems-scale research related to Iowa’s landforms and watersheds.
Established in 2009, the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) is the United States’ first and only academic center devoted solely to flood-related research and education. IFC staff and students develop some of the most advanced projects and tools to improve Iowa’s flood preparedness and resilience. Most of these tools can be accessed by the general public via the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS).
IIHR is a key partner in the Iowa Nutrient Research Center (INRC), which brings together researchers from Iowa’s three public universities and several government agencies to better understand how nutrients move through the landscape and waterways. A major facet of IIHR’s contributions to the INRC program is to develop, deploy, and maintain the largest water-quality sensor network in the country.
The Iowa Watershed Approach (IWA) is a statewide project funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It focuses on nine watersheds from the southwest to the northeast corners of the state that had recent Presidential Disaster Declarations related to flooding. IIHR/IFC students and staff are working with many dedicated partners and landowners to reduce flooding and improve community resilience to flooding.
LACMRERS is the first university-owned research and education center on the Upper Mississippi River. Located just north of Muscatine, Iowa, on the Mississippi River, LACMRERS was designed and equipped to support research and education relating to the Mississippi River and large river systems in general.