Michelle Soupir

Title: Professor
Department: Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Email: msoupir@iastate.edu
Faculty Webpage

Role in the ISU ADVANCE Program 

I currently serve as the Equity Advisor for the College of Engineering. In that role I am responsible for leading the college Diversity and Inclusion Committee and providing training on unconscious bias to search committees and the college P&T committee.

Scholarly Expertise 

My scholarly expertise is related to the impact of agricultural practices on the environment. We are especially focused on understanding how agricultural production including crop and animal production and resources including manures can be managed to enhance environmental sustainability. This includes how agricultural pollutants move through the soil and water environment and designing systems or practices to reduce pollutant transport and protect water resources. I teach courses related to engineering design and movement of pollutants through agricultural landscapes.

Research Interests 

My research program focuses on soil and water quality, nonpoint source pollution control, watershed management, and water quality monitoring. My research group uses both lab and field scale studies to examine the occurrence, fate and transport of agricultural pollutants including pathogens, pathogen indicators and contaminants of emerging environmental concern (CoEECs) such as antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria to surface and drainage water systems. We also work on conservation practices to better understand how they mitigate pollutant in the environment; our current projects are related to prairie strips and carbon-based bioreactors. Findings from our work has implications to improve watershed management, identify the impact of landuse practices on water quality, and develop management practices to reduce pollutant transport. 

Motivations for Being a Part of ISU ADVANCE 

I actually first began my engagement with ADVANCE as a graduate student at Virginia Tech, where my graduate assistantship was provided by ADVANCE. During my time at ISU I have realized that many of the experiences that I have as a female faculty member are shared. While my individual experience might not seem exceptional, when I connect with other female faculty we relate to each other through the challenges we have faced. I have greatly benefited from the community and I hope to extend this beyond my own personal experiences in the hopes that this will have an overall positive impact on the workplace experience for our female and underrepresented faculty.  

Greatest ISU ADVANCE Achievement/Proud Moment/Contribution 

I began my engagement with EDI at ISU as a member of my departmental diversity and inclusion committee. In that process our committee realized the opportunity to develop a departmental-level strategy which outlined ways in which we can integrate the importance of EDI efforts into nearly all aspects of our common mission. I found it very impactful to think of the opportunities to bring EDI to the conversation in all the ways that we interact with students, build our research programs, communicate with external stakeholders, and invest our time in service activities. I am now working with the college committee to develop our college-level strategy that aligns with our strategic plan.


Michelle Soupir