Scientist Profile: Kevin Lutz
Kevin Lutz is an Agriculture Conservation Technician and Assistant Agriculture Program Manager with the Lancaster County Conservation District. This scientist works with farmers to protect their land and the associated local waterways. He can be found doing everything from checking the construction of a manure storage facility on a dairy farm to walking fields and developing a conservation plan on a hog farm to comparing water quality reading in local streams. Sometimes he can even be found selling trees at the Conservation District’s annual tree sale! The variety in his job keeps it exciting, while the end result keeps it rewarding.
All of the work that Kevin does prevents nutrient runoff from farms, such as manure and fertilizer, from entering the water and eventually ending up in the Chesapeake Bay. Everyday he uses science and math to estimate soil loss and develop prevention methods for fields around the county. He also helps determine the best way to use the excess nutrients coming off of each farm, ensuring that farmers can find a balance between what they produce and what can be reused. Just like there are Best Management Practices for stormwater, there are Best Management Practices for excess nutrients that Kevin helps famers put in place.
Growing up, Kevin always enjoyed the outdoors and nature. At a young age he was most interested in wildlife, but over time he has grown to enjoy everything from botany to ecology to hydrology. Following his interest in nature, Kevin earned a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Pennsylvania State University. His scientific studies and degree provided him with the tools to solve problems and restore our environment. He has integrated work in everything from GIS (Geographic Information System) to soil chemistry to public relations, all helping him to work effectively with farmers and the public to conserve land and water.
When asked what the best part of his job was Kevin said, “being able to physically see the impact your job can have.” He is able to watch farmers improve their land use, save money, and protect waterways from Lancaster County all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. However, he says the best part of all is “getting to just be outside fairly often!”