Climate Science Program

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Matthew J. Helmers

Assistant Professor and Extension Agricultural Engineer



Office: 209 Davidson Hall









Department: Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Research Interests:Surface water hydrology, subsurface drainage, climate impacts on subsurface drainage

Brief description of current research:

Dr. Helmers’ primary research focus is in the area of subsurface drainage and surface water runoff from agricultural landscapes.  Current topics include impacts of drainage design and management on subsurface drainage volume and nitrate export.  Additional investigations include evaluating the impacts of small percentages of perennial vegetation on agricultural landscapes on surface water runoff, sediment loss and nutrient export.  Dr. Helmers is interested in how potential climate change may impact agricultural best management practices and subsurface drainage.

Recent publications:

Schilling, K. E. and M. J. Helmers. 2008. Tile drainage as Karst: Conduit flow and and diffuse flow in a tile-drained watershed. Journal of Hydrology 349: 291-301. 

M. J. Helmers, T. M. Isenhart, C. L. Kling, T. B. Moorman, W. W. Simpkins, and M. Tomer. 2007. Theme overview: Agriculture and water quality in the cornbelt: Overview of issues and approaches. Choices 22(2):79-84.

Singh, R., M. J. Helmers, W. G. Crumpton, and D. W. Lemke. 2007. Predicting effects of drainage water management in Iowa’s subsurface drained landscapes. Agricultural Water Management 92:162-170.