Haleigh Summers

Haleigh Summers

  • Alumni
  • PhD, Sustainable Agriculture & Environmental Science, 2023
  • Now with the Sand County Foundation
Background: I grew up in a small rural town in east-central Illinois before coming to Iowa State to receive my B.S. in Agronomy and Seed Science. After graduation in 2017, I moved to State College, Pennsylvania to pursue a master’s degree at Penn State University in Agronomy. While there, I studied integrated weed management techniques for sustainable management of herbicide-resistant weeds. In both Iowa and Pennsylvania, I saw nutrient pollution into waterways, growing my interest in water quality issues.

Research Interests: During my PhD, I will use modeling software to assess soil health benefits and water quality improvement resulting from integrating prairie strips or cover crops into row-crop systems across the landscape. Both ecosystem costs/benefits and economic aspects will be studied.

Personal Interests: I love hiking and walking outdoors with my lab/beagle mix, Sadie. I rescued her from a shelter in Pennsylvania where I was a dog care volunteer and still serve as an adoption counselor. I enjoy cooking, baking, and spending time with friends and family.


  • B.S., Agronomy, Iowa State University, 2017
  • M.S., Agronomy, Penn State University, 2019
  • PhD, Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Science, 2023