Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

MS 52
Iowa Academy of Science
Records, 1875-[ongoing]

Descriptive summary

creator: Iowa Academy of Science
title: Records
dates: 1875-[ongoing]
extent: 62.37 linear feet (148 manuscript boxes, 1 half-manuscript box, 1 item in artifact collection, 1 item in map case)
collection number:

MS 52

repository: Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Iowa Academy of Science Records, MS 52, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.


Historical note

The Iowa Academy of Science (IAS) was founded in 1875 and incorporated in 1955. Its central office is located at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A Board of Directors administers the IAS through standing committees, an executive director, director of meetings and programs, and a director of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science (IJAS.) It is an affiliate of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and shares the AAAS’s objective of furthering the work of scientists, improving instruction in the sciences, and increasing public understanding of the role of science in society.

The IAS is composed of sections representing the following sciences and allied fields: agriculture; anthropology; cellular and molecular biology; botany; chemical education; conservation; earth science teaching; elementary science teaching; engineering; geology; inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry; physiology and linguistics; nursing; organic and biological chemistry; physics; physiology; psychology; science teaching; and zoology.

In addition to the above pursuits, IAS also sponsors other major activities related to the advancement of science in Iowa, the Iowa Science Teachers Section and the Parish Farm.

Iowa Science Teachers Section

The Iowa Science Teachers Section (ISTS), whose mission is to advocate for excellence in science education by promoting professionalism, influencing policy, and enhancing learning, is an affiliate of the IAS. The IAS also administers the Iowa Science Foundation (ISF), which provides small grants of up to $5000 to support one-year projects proposed by individuals or organizations for the purpose of furthering science in Iowa.

Parish Farm

Upon her death in 1954, Dr. Jessie Augusta Parish left the 240-acre Parish Farm, which is located 1 3/4 miles north of Reinbeck, to the IAS. The farm and its use remained with Dr. Parish’s husband until he died in 1960.

For the first ten years that the Academy owned Parish Farm, it took a minimal role in its management. The Academy hired the Parish’s lawyer as farm manager and Nelson Sager and his sons lived on and worked the farm. The lease agreement gave full control of the farm and its operations to the tenants and lasted for ten years, when the Academy membership started to become more involved with farm matters.

In 1970, the IAS created a “model farm” on Parish Farm. They combined modern agricultural practices and innovative conservation practices as well as a set-aside program. This was designed to provide an optimum income. The Academy hired Hertz Farm Management Service to manage the farm and hired Melvin and Janet Schildroth as tenants.

During the years that the IAS owned the Farm, it was used as a showcase of conservation and management practices for groups locally and internationally. School and community groups visited the Farm, and Hertz Farm Management (Nevada, Iowa) used it for seminars for clients, prospective clients, and employees. In 1985, a celebration was held at the Farm to commemorate 25 years of Academy ownership.

Parish Farm consists of about 200 tillable acres, primarily in a rotation of corn and soybeans. The Parish Farm committee oversaw the activities of Parish Farm until the IAS sold it in December 2000 and established an investment program as the Jessie A. Parish Memorial Endowment.


Collection description

This collection contains administrative records, information about awards given by the IAS and other related organizations, information about the IAS’s Centennial celebration, committee records, information about annual conferences, correspondence, financial records, information about grants, records of the Iowa Junior Academy of Science (IJAS), the Iowa Science Teacher’s Section (ISTS), and other organizations, information about the Iowa Science Talent Search, membership records, Parish Farm records, information about Academy-sponsored programs, publications, section records, and photographs.

The administrative records include annual reports of the IAS, information about the Board of Directors, and drafts of and information regarding the IAS constitution and bylaws.

The awards given by the IAS and other organizations include the Excellence in Science Teaching Award (ESTA), the Outstanding Science Student Award (OSSA), the President’s Award for Excellence (PAE), the Distinguished Service award, the Distinguished Fellow award, the Distinguished Iowa Scientist award, IJAS scholarship awards, and various other awards.

The Centennial records include information about the Centennial medallion, arts contest, banquet, exhibits, publicity, and the Centennial committee.

The committee records include information on various committees of the IAS, including the ad hoc committee, the algific slopes advisory committee, the advisory committee for project ASSIST, the annual meeting committee, the articulation program committee, the auditing committee, the committee on committees, the public education committee, the conservation committee, the controversial issues committee, the education committee, the election committee, the executive committee, the farm committee, the finance committee, the ISTS committee, the local arrangements committee, the long range planning committee, the membership committee, the nominating committee, the Parish Farm committee, the public information committee, the public relations committee, the recognition and awards committee, the resolutions committee, the section committees, the short course committee, the social implications committee, the special farm committee, and the student program committee.

The conference records include programs, exhibitor information, membership reports, attendance records, workshop information, information about speakers, future meeting ideas, local arrangements, papers presented, publicity, and registration materials.

The correspondence includes letters about controversial issues such as science and creationism and letters and emails sent to and from IAS executive committee members.

The grants section includes grants funded, grants not funded, information about grant recipients, and evaluations of grant proposals by the ISF grant committee.

The records of the IJAS include annual meeting information, award information, the IJAS constitution, handbook, and mailing lists, newsletters, research grants, scholarship winners, minutes and reports from various meetings, information about the National Youth Science Camp and the Physics Olympics, issues of the Proceedings, and symposia information.

The ISTS records include information about elections, the executive board, fall conferences, mailings, members, the newsletter, publicity, registration for workshops and conferences, financial reports, publications, membership, and science teaching awards.

Other organizations with papers included in the IAS collection include the AAAS, the AJAS, the SESE, the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), the Council for Elementary Science International, the Florida Academy of Science, the Governor’s Science Advisory Council, the National Association of Academies of Science, the National Governor’s Association, and State Science Education and Technology (SSET.)

Parish Farm information includes reports, photographs, correspondence, information about crops planted, history of the farm and its donation to the IAS by Jessie Augusta Parish, job openings, quarterly reports, and papers from the Parish Farm committee.

The programs records include information about symposia and various other programs, including Iowa Prairie Heritage Week, Mines of Spain, the NYSC, the Visiting Scientists Program (VSP) and publicity for these programs.

The publications section includes information on fund contributions, correspondence, subscriptions, and editorship, as well as copies of various publications such as the Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science (JIAS) and the Proceedings.

The sections records include mailings, meeting plans, reports, and information about each of the sections: agricultural sciences; anthropology; biotechnology; botany; cellular and molecular biology; chemical education; organic and inorganic chemistry; conservation; earth science teaching; economics; elementary science teaching; engineering; geology; linguistics; mathematics; nursing; physics; physiology; psychology, science teaching, and zoology.

The photographs in this collection include candid shots at conferences and other meetings, photographs of individuals and groups at awards ceremonies, photographs of Parish Farm, and publicity shots of individuals. There are also some slides from presentations made at conferences and other meetings in the collection, as well as an OSSA medal that was awarded to James Weighton in 1987 and which is housed with the artifacts (2002 R-008), and medallion designs from Medallic Art Company for IAS Centennial medallion, which are housed in the map case (C406 D2.)



This collection is arranged in alphabetical order.


Container list

The full finding aid is available as a PDF file: Iowa Academy of Science Records Finding Aid.