University of Iowa

Emerald Ash Borer: Monitoring and Management

Academic Year 
2014-2015
College/Department 
Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Project Partner 
Led by 

Students conducted research on Iowa City’s ash trees to help prepare for the emerald ash borer (EAB) and develop a response plan. Students used various survey methodologies to assess current ash tree condition and coverage in Iowa City, including counting the trees, recording their GPS coordinates, and measuring their characteristics. Using this data, students created a map of ash tree coverage and identified priority sites in which they recommend that the city implement monitoring and management strategies.

The EAB is an exotic beetle that feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, cutting off nutrient supplies to the tree and leading to tree's death. EAB has been found in 24 states around the country, as well as in several Iowa counties. In communities throughout the country, damaged ash trees due to EAB lead to public safety, economic, and environmental challenges.