Kristen Greteman


Office:603 Ross
527 Farm House Ln.
Ames IA


Originally trained as an architect and planner, I have been working towards a PhD in rural environmental history. I focus on the environmental and agricultural history in the rural spaces of north central Iowa. Currently, I am researching the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the Des Moines lobe, in Iowa and beyond, into the six states and three provinces that the wet prairie used to exist within. I tell the stories of small, rural places with complex histories using interdisciplinary methods. Discussing the science of the prairie through an historical lens makes it relatable to non-scientists like me. My work helps people to better understand, and ultimately, care about the places they live.

Area of Research

Connections between natural and built environments, the meaning and value of place over time, reconstruction of historical ecologies

Publications & Presentations

"Lake Cairo," Printed Presentation, National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Conference, Des Moins, Iowa, 2023

"Conservation and Historical GIS in the Prairie Pothole Region," Paper Panel, North American Prairie Conference, Altoona, Iowa, 2023

"Flyover State: Whooping Cranes in Iowa's Past and Future," Paper Panel, Agricultural History Society Conference, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2023

Reconstructing the Lost Lakes: Using Historical GIS in the Prairie Pothole Region, 36th Annual GAFIS Symposium, Madison, Wisconsin, 2023

Reconstructing the Lost Lakes, Agricultural History Society Conference, Stavanger, Norway, 2022

Greteman review of Hediger, 'Homesickness: Of Trauma and the Longing for Place in a Changing Environment', H-Environment 2021

Lost Lake: A Deep Map of a Farm Field, 2020

The Pursuit of Happiness: The Shifting Narrative of Suburbia and the American Dream, 2016


Master of Arts, History, Iowa State University, 2020
Master of Science, Architecture, Iowa State University, 2016
Master of Community & Regional Planning, Iowa State University, 2016
Bachelor of Architecture, Iowa State University, 2011