Nick Fetty | August 21, 2015
Rick Cruse, a professor in the Agronomy Department at Iowa State University, has been involved with CGRER for the past six years. Much of Cruse’s research focuses on soil and agriculture, specifically erosion and tillage. While the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are rivals on the field, court, and mat, Cruse said he’s been happy to see the two entities come together for collaborations such as CGRER.
“I don’t know if it’s brought on by tight budgets but nonetheless the link between the strengths that the two institutions bring together has a synergistic effect and that synergy is really critical,” he said.
In addition to bridging the gap between the two public universities, Cruse also attempts to bridge the gap between academics and the general public through community education and outreach efforts. He works with the Soil and Water Conservation Club, a student organization at Iowa State, on a publication they call “Getting into Soil and Water.”
“This annual statement explains various water- and soil-related issues that are relevant to the people in Iowa,” he said.
Cruse said that while he serves an advisory role, students are responsible for much of the writing, editing, and designing of the publication. In addition to CGRER‘s research component, Cruse said the center has also been key in developing synergies between researchers and policy-makers.
“Often times we struggle linking what we do in science with the legislature, with people that make policy decisions. The link with State Senator Joe Bolkcom and other connections provides an avenue we wouldn’t otherwise have.”
This article is part of a series of stories profiling CGRER members in commemoration of the center’s 25th anniversary this October.