Iowa Public Radio receives EPA grant

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Last Thursday, the EPA awarded $25,308 to Iowa Public Broadcasting. They will use this money to help instruct 100 middle school science teachers. Continue reading

On the Radio: UI to adopt wind energy education program

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 Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below.  It discusses a new educational oppertunity that the University of Iowa is creating to assist in wind energy development. 

With the help of a recent grant, the University of Iowa hopes to educate the next generation of wind energy experts. Continue reading

New Pioneer Food Co-op turns 40

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Iowa City’s New Pioneer Food Co-op is celebrating a major milestone. The co-op has now been around for 40 years.

Their success is attributed to their member-focused style of business. Anyone who signs up for the co-op has the opportunity to offer their input on the organization’s decisions. Continue reading

Wind energy installation numbers on the rise

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The American Wind Energy Association released numbers yesterday that indicated wind farm installs are continuing to grow.

Read more from Reuters below:

The U.S. wind industry installed just over 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind power in the third quarter, and about 3,360 MW on the year so far, the wind industry trade group said Tuesday. Continue reading

UI hosts first “Telling Your Research Story” seminar

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Last Thursday the Center For Global and Regional Environmental Research helped sponsor a communication seminar entitled “Telling Your Research Story.” The event took place on the University of Iowa campus, and encouraged faculty members to discuss issues and solutions to reaching a wider audience with their research.

UI professors Jerald Schnoor, Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Amy E.T. Sparks and Don Gurnett led the discussion by sharing their success stories in communicating their studies. Afterwards the seminar opened to the audience who expressed their concerns of talking with the press and the potential for some research topics to be misunderstood by the public.

Suggestions for increasing the clarity and distribution of research included:

  • Reach out to on-campus publications
  • Prepare for interviews with reporters; anticipate the questions
  • Be ready to communicate ideas succinctly
  • Realize that your audience may have a limited understanding of the topic
  • Make yourself readily available to reporters post-interview so they can reach you to clarify any complicated statements

Arsenic in Iowa groundwater to be discussed

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Arsenic was recently found in almost half of Iowa’s private well water.  So the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is hosting a conference to educate and assist those interested.

Read more from the DNR below:

Information and help are available at a Nov. 9 conference for private well owners and others affected by arsenic found in Iowa wells. Continue reading

Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center set for early 2012 completion

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Construction continues to press-on for the Mississippi River Eco Tourism Center. The center, located near Camanche, IA, is scheduled for a February completion. It will house an aquarium, reptiles and amphibians found on the Mississippi, information on river history and uses and an environmental education classroom.

The Quad-City Times reports that the center needs to raise more money in order to complete the final phase of the project:

The $1.8 million project still is short about $500,000 as fundraising efforts continue, said Walt Wickham, the executive director of the Clinton County Conservation Board.  

“We’re working on a couple of grants right now, but we can always use private donations, no matter how big or small,” he said. “They all add up.”

On the Radio: New Iowa City recycling center takes green construction to new levels

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Listen to our latest radio segment here.  It features the efforts of our latest sustainable community – Iowa City.  You can also read the transcript below.

With considerable attention to details including the use of waterless urinals, a new Iowa City recycling center hopes to become the city’s greenest building. Continue reading

Iowa is now the 11th most energy-efficient state

Photo by Will Merydith

Iowa moved up from the 12th most energy efficient state to 11th over this past year. These rankings come from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Six criteria are used to rank the states: transportation, government initiative, spending and policies by utilities and government to encourage efficiency, building codes, combined heat and power systems and efficiency standards for appliances.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that Iowa’s commitment to energy efficient utilities propelled the state to their high ranking:

[The report’s principle author Michael] Sciortino said Iowa’s move from 12th to 11th is noteworthy for staying ahead of the general progress by all the states in such energy efficiency concepts as giving incentives to weatherproof homes, setting standards for appliances, encouraging combined heat-and-power systems, setting statewide energy-saving goals and supporting new “green” technologies.

Iowa scored high in utilities encouraging energy savings, Sciortino said. “Their utilities are very committed to energy efficiency, and they also have support from the (state) regulatory commission to really go ahead and do these types of things.”

Weather continues to impact Iowa pheasant population

Photo by Glen Munro, Flickr.
Photo by Glen Munro, Flickr.

Pheasants were once found in abundance across Iowa’s landscape, but if new weather trends continue their numbers will continue to dwindle.

Read more from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources below:

An extra inch or two of spring rain. A few more inches of winter snow. Each by itself raises short term concern for Iowa pheasants. Strung together over multiple years, though, they spell major trouble for Iowa’s pheasant population, as well as our tradition of pheasant hunting and the economic boost it provides rural Iowa. Continue reading