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Claire Zabel

Claire Zabel

  • Alumni
  • Food and Farm Specialist, Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development
  • Former MS Research Assistant, Graduated 2021 (Agronomy)
Background: I received my B.A. in Communication Studies at the University of Iowa in 2013. During my undergraduate education, my true passions turned out to be in my extracurricular activities. I spent a summer as an intern with the Student Gardeners and was the leader of a club called Simply Food, focused on introducing students to fresh, local, ecologically-sound food. After graduation, I worked on an organic vegetable farm near Iowa City and my serious interest in sustainable agriculture 'took root' and pushed me to seek an M.S. in Agronomy (in progress). In my career, I would like to be involved in work that helps farmers and society do a better job protecting soil and water.

Research Interests: For the M.S. in Agronomy, my current research focuses on the adoption of cover crops among Iowa farmers to address the goals put forth by the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. I am interested in assessing the effectiveness of our current efforts to promote cover crops and how we can better support farmers who want to implement conservation practices.

Personal Interests: I enjoy the outdoors (hiking and bicycling), making and eating good food, playing violin, ballroom dancing, and hands-on projects like sewing and woodworking. Also, I can often be found leading a group of adventurers in Dungeons and Dragons. Someday I would like to get some land, build a house and do some homesteading.


  • B.A., Communications, University of Iowa, 2013
  • M.S., Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2021