June 18, 2014

Richard Cruse, Iowa State University, will present the 2014 Pritchard Lecture at the Soil and Water Conservation Society 69th International Annual Conference on Monday, July 28, 2014, in Lombard, Illinois. The lecture, “Is Soil and Water Degradation Inevitable? Don’t Bet Your Life on it!” will focus on major soil and water challenges facing future food, feed, fiber, and fuel production. Cruse contends, based on recent research, that soil erosion is considerably worse than our best estimates suggest. He will challenge the status quo relative to attempts to improve soil and water resources and has said of current efforts, “Soil conservation and water quality can be improved, but to continue approaches that have been only marginally successful, or not successful at all, and believing we will have a different outcome borders on wishful thinking.” 

Cruse is a professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University and Director of the Iowa Water Center. He is also an adjunct professor of the Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Northeast Forest University (both in Harbin, China). Cruse received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota working under the direction of W.E. Larson, one of the true “giants” in the field of soil and water conservation. He was awarded distinguished professor at the Karoly Robert College of Economics and Environmental Sciences in Gyongyos, Hungary, and received the President’s Leadership Award from Soil and Water Conservation Society in 2011. He has served on the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, in an advisory capacity to the US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator from 2007−2009. He is currently president elect of the US National Institutes of Water Resources. 

Cruse’s current work was recently featured in the Des Moines Register. Find an article about the costs of erosion here and and interview with Cruse here.


Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that fosters the science and art of natural resource conservation. For more information on Soil and Water Conservation Society mission, programs, and events, visit www.swcs.org, or follow on Facebook at /soilandwaterconservation or Twitter @swcsnews.


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