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NRCS Special Emphasis Programs

Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) are an integral part of Natural Resources Conservation Service's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) program. Major factors considered in establishing a SEP include the extent of under-representation and availability of the targeted civilian labor force. SEPs have been initiated to address the employment-related concerns of groups not specifically included in other programs where a need for special emphasis or employment concerns of such programs has been demonstrated.


Iowa NRCS Special Emphasis Program Managers
Program Photo Contact
Program Description
Employee Development Committee (ED)  

Judy Martinson, Resource Conservationist, Des Moines


Phone: (515) 284-4370

This program is designed to assist the State Conservationist in identifying training needs and assisting in the development of training to meet those needs.
Federal Women's Program (FWP)  

Nichole Williams, Resource Conservationist, Grundy Center


Phone: (319) 824-3634 x304

This program is designed to create advancement opportunities throughout all occupational levels and all disciplines, to encourage the participation of women in all NRCS sponsored programs and activities, and to assure that female clients receive fair and equitable services.
Hispanic Emphasis Program (HEP) Renae Nicholson

Renae Nicholson, Area Program Specialist, Sioux City


Phone: (712) 276-4648

This program is designed to assure consideration of the needs and problems of persons of Hispanic origin in all aspects of Federal personnel management. Hispanics are persons of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.
Disability/Veterans Employment Program (DEP)  

Ava Haun, Soil Conservationist, Marshalltown


Phone: (641) 752-4521

This program contains organized action plans and procedures which promote the hiring, placement, and advancement of employees with disabilities.
Native American Emphasis Program (NAEP)  

Abby Beltz, Soil Conservationist, Osceola


Phone: (641) 342-2917

This program is designed to ensure that equal emphasis opportunities are provided for Native Americans in all personnel management policies and activities.
Asian American/Pacific Islander Emphasis Program Greg Townley

Greg Townley, District Conservationist, Malcom


Phone: (641) 528-2065

This program focuses on enhancing employment opportunities for the Asian Pacific Islander community. Program objectives include encouraging the participation of Asian Pacific Islanders in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities and providing a network of professional support for Asian Pacific Islanders, in NRCS.
Black Emphasis Program (BEP)  

Shaffer Ridgeway, District Conservationist, Waterloo


Phone: (319) 296-3262 x300

This program is designed to ensure that the Black community receives equal treatment in all aspects of employment. The BEP seeks placement of Blacks, to ensure equal opportunity for advancement in accordance with their abilities, providing the opportunity to participate in training, cooperative education, and upward mobility programs.
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Emphasis Program  

Jean Sandstrom, Civil Engineer, Des Moines


Phone: (515) 284-4357

The GLBT Emphasis Program is an integral part of the overall equal employment opportunity (EEO) program and is designed to ensure that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.