About

“Good Neighbor Iowa aims to reduce unnecessary urban pesticide use and to transform lawn culture to encourage appreciation of diverse lawns as a way to protect child health, water quality, pets, pollinators, and biodiversity.”

Who We Are

Good Neighbor Iowa is a statewide public health education initiative managed in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Energy and Environmental Education. The CEEE at UNI strives to empower Iowans with the knowledge, experiences, tools, and inspiration to create a sustainable, desirable future. Our efforts extend across the state of Iowa by the work of CEEE staff, Student Fellows from UNI, and Local Champions within their communities.

What We Do

Good Neighbor Iowa uplifts pesticide-free lawn management practices, encourages appreciation for diverse lawns, and educates the public on alternative methods of lawn management. We partner with residents and community leaders across Iowa to pledge to be “Good Neighbors”, joining a collective of people across Iowa that choose to manage their lawns without pesticides for the health of children and the environment.

Why We Do It

Good Neighbor Iowa wants to protect Iowa’s children, pets, water quality, pollinators, and biodiversity from the harmful effects of urban pesticide use. Science-driven evidence has shown that pesticides pose threats to environmental and human health.

Our Story

Good Neighbor Iowa was planned, designed, and developed by students of the University of Northern Iowa’s Interactive Digital Studies Practicum in the Spring of 2017, in collaboration with the UNI Conservation Corps. The UNI Conservation Corps (discontinued since 2018) was an initiative led by the CEEE that consisted of teams of students and faculty working with community leaders to research, analyze, plan, design and implement science-driven knowledge in the context of community environmental conservation in Iowa. The goals of the UNI Conservation Corps were to elevate the role of science and it’s public value in the educational experience of UNI students, and to cultivate and support a culture of acting on what we already know through science.

The program has since been transitioned to be managed by CEEE staff.

Our Team

  • Audrey manages programs that address the overlap of ecological sustainability and human health, and is particularly interested in exposure to toxic chemicals. She holds a masters degree in Public Health from the University of Iowa.

    Audrey Tran Lam

    Environmental Health Program Director

    Audrey manages programs that address the overlap of ecological sustainability and human health, and is particularly interested in exposure to toxic chemicals. She holds a masters degree in Public Health from the University of Iowa.

  • Brittany is the program manager of Good Neighbor Iowa. From the University of Northern Iowa, she has BA's in Geography-Environmental Emphasis and Teaching. She also has a MS in Environmental Studies-Biology Conservation from Prescott College.

    Brittany Latch

    Environmental Health Program Associate

    Brittany is the program manager of Good Neighbor Iowa. From the University of Northern Iowa, she has BA’s in Geography-Environmental Emphasis and Teaching. She also has a MS in Environmental Studies-Biology Conservation from Prescott College.

  • Emma is a student at the University of Iowa studying Ethics & Public Policy and Sustainability. She is a summer AmeriCorps member and provides program support and helps with community outreach.

    Emma DeGroote

    Green Iowa AmeriCorps Member

    Emma is a student at the University of Iowa studying Ethics & Public Policy and Sustainability. She is a summer AmeriCorps member and provides program support and helps with community outreach.

  • Jamie is a student at the University of Northern Iowa studying family services. Jamie provides program support for Good Neighbor Iowa, focuses specifically on community outreach, and helps with various activities

    Jamie Ross

    Environmental Health Education Coordinator

    Jamie is a student at the University of Northern Iowa studying family services. Jamie provides program support for Good Neighbor Iowa, focuses specifically on community outreach, and helps with various activities

  • Kamyar works to turn science into action in energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. He has taught environmental studies at UNI since 1993, and is to be thanked for the initial creation of the Good Neighbor Iowa campaign.

    Kamyar Enshayan

    CEEE Director

    Kamyar works to turn science into action in energy conservation, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture. He has taught environmental studies at UNI since 1993, and is to be thanked for the initial creation of the Good Neighbor Iowa campaign.

  • Kylee is a student at the University of Northern Iowa currently majoring in Digital Media Production. Her focus as a student is as a social media manager, helping with the GNI social channels and other various tasks.

    Kylee Mrzlak

    Student Fellow

    Kylee is a student at the University of Northern Iowa currently majoring in Digital Media Production. Her focus as a student is as a social media manager, helping with the GNI social channels and other various tasks.

  • Parker is a student at the University of Northern Iowa currently majoring in Marketing at the UNI College of Business. His focus as a student is on tech support, helping with the GNI website and other various tasks.

    Parker Stevens

    Student Fellow

    Parker is a student at the University of Northern Iowa currently majoring in Marketing at the UNI College of Business. His focus as a student is on tech support, helping with the GNI website and other various tasks.

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