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Prairie Dedication to Honor Former Iowa State Professor

Anonymous donor funded land purchase and preservation in the name of Dr. Lois Tiffany, former Iowa State University science professor.

Dr. Lois Tiffany 

Dr. Tiffany was known fondly as "Iowa's mushroom lady." 

Linn Grove, Iowa  | September 29, 2013

The Nature Conservancy will be dedicating a portion of prairie in Northwest Iowa to Dr. Lois Tiffany during a ceremony held on September 29th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. An anonymous donor provided the funds to purchase the land, which will be called the Dr. Lois Tiffany Prairie.

Dr. Tiffany was a renowned professor at Iowa State University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree, Masters’ degree and Ph.D., and taught mycology and field botany courses. She was especially known for her research involving fungi — specifically fungal diseases of native Iowa prairie plants and a 10-year survey of Iowa’s morels.

Jean Tiffany Day, Dr. Tiffany’s daughter, said from an early age her mother expressed an interest in Iowa’s woodlands and prairies and carried that passion on into her career. She “encouraged others to look, truly see, and learn about the natural world around us, to care about conservation,” Day said. 

The Lois Tiffany Prairie occupies 80 acres in the Glacial Hills of Little Sioux Valley, home to a diverse array of wildlife. Riddled with sand and gravel deposits created by glaciers 11,000 years ago, the land is unsuitable for farming but ideal for grazing. As one of Iowa’s highest-quality native prairie and wetlands, the Little Sioux Valley is a popular area for hunting, fishing and observing wildlife — including waterfowl, shorebirds, grassland birds, butterflies and rare plants.
“I am certain [my mother] would be enthusiastic to see this area preserved, and she would be very honored it is being done in her name and memory,” said Day.

Lois Hattery Tiffany was born on March 8, 1924, near Collins, Iowa. She married F. H. Tiffany in 1945 and had three children: Ray, David and Jean, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She passed away on September 6, 2009, at the age of 85.

For more information about the event, visit Field Trips & Events

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at

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