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Selecting, Planting and Caring for Native Trees in Central Iowa

MARSHALLTOWN – The second lecture of the Marshalltown Community College Shear Colbert Symposium “Selecting, Planting and Caring for Native Trees in Central Iowa” will be presented on February 25, 2021, at noon via Zoom by MCC Professor Mark Monroe.

Professor Monroe is a mathematician, computer scientist and engineer who is also an Iowa Master Gardener. After 20 years in engineering and information technology with Maytag Corporation, he changed careers to follow his love of teaching. For the last 16 years, he has been teaching math and occasionally computer science for Iowa Valley Community College. He has also occasionally taught evening courses for Buena Vista, DMACC, and Simpson College.

Professor Monroe became an Iowa Master Gardener seven years ago, and has focused mainly on native Iowa plants and trees. One of the presentations that truly influenced him during his training as a master gardener was a native Iowa plant talk given by Jim Kessler (also making a Shear-Colbert presentation in March).  Other strong influences include Mark’s parents, who have been Larimar County Colorado Master Gardeners, providing expert tree health advice for over 20 years, and Iowa DNR tree health expert Tivon Feeley who is a phenomenal source of tree pathology information. Mark and his wife Judy live in a century-old home surrounded by mature oak, hickory, river birch, and black walnut trees.

The final speaker on March 25 at noon is Jim Kessler. His lecture is entitled “Tallgrass Prairie Restoration: Restoring Biodiversity, Mind, Body, and Spirit.

The Shear Colbert Symposium lecture series was organized in 1984 by the late Marshalltown Community College history professor Dr. Tom Colbert with memorial funds for his predecessor, George Shear.

All the lectures will be available via Zoom at or by phone: 312-626-6799  (Meeting ID: 997 7951 3980). Contact Professor P.J. Colbert at 641-844-5777 if you have questions about the Symposium.

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