With the precautions being taken to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on our NREM and Iowa State community, most of our spring 2020 events have been cancelled. Additionally, faculty and staff will be telecommuting until further notice and may be unavailable by phone. For up-to-date news on what’s happening on campus, visit the Iowa State University homepage.
AMES, Iowa – Birds captured Adam Janke’s imagination years ago.
Janke recalls how he and his brother fashioned their own makeshift trap to net dark-eyed juncos, a species of small gray sparrow, that visited their mother’s feeder during their childhood in northwestern Indiana. The young brothers built a contraption that resembles a bownet trap, a common device used to safely snare various species of birds.
The homemade trap never worked, which Janke calls a blessing today. But the desire to study birds up close never diminished. Janke followed that passion to Iowa State University, where he serves as an assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management and a wildlife specialist for ISU Extension and Outreach. He studies the conditions that help birds thrive on the Midwestern landscape, and he works with Iowans across the state to protect wildlife and natural resources. Janke’s work equips Iowans to take better care of soil, water, plants and animals for generations to come.
His passion for birds has led him across the Corn Belt, and his experiences in the outdoors have taught him lessons that go far beyond ecology and biology. Hunting and camping expeditions with his friends and family reinforce his most important relationships, and the solitude he finds in nature provided him with clarity on his identity as a gay man.
Wherever his love of the outdoors takes him, he never goes long without looking up, his eyes scanning the skies for flapping wings and his ears attuned to birdsong.
“Birds, specifically, bring me joy everywhere I go,” he said.
Update December 5: we are sold out for the season!
Join us in the Reiman Gardens parking lot to find your 2021 tree!
1st Weekend: November 27th and 28th
2nd Weekend: December 3rd, 4th, and 5th
3rd Weekend (cancelled): December 10th, 11th, and 12th
Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Fridays 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.