Since the formation of the Iowa Geological Survey in 1892, a fundamental mission of our organization has been to “investigate the character of Iowa’s natural resources.”

IGS conducts foundational research to provide Iowan’s with the knowledge needed to effectively manage natural resources for long-term sustainability and economic development (IGS mission statement). Research has always been an important component of IGS work and the list of publications, reports and maps produced by IGS staff over the last century is, indeed, quite impressive. We encourage everyone to visit our publications page to get a glimpse of the scope and breadth of research conducted by IGS on Iowa-centric topics.

Today, IGS continues to conduct applied and foundational research on many topics and focus areas that impact all Iowans.  Our research spans a geologic and hydrogeologic continuum from gaining new understanding of fundamental soils, geology and stratigraphy, to evaluating landscape and watershed processes, to assessing water quality and impacts of non-point source pollution. The best IGS research is conducted collaboratively, both within the IGS organization and through partnerships with researchers from other universities, colleges, agencies and organizations.

A list of research topics is provided below to highlight recent projects and initiatives. We encourage anyone interested in pursuing geologic and hydrogeologic research in Iowa to contact the IGS for information and potential collaboration on projects.  More than a century-worth of data, new research tools and Iowa-based expertise provided by IGS staff is available to anyone looking for advice or assistance on research projects.