Central College becomes fourth Iowa school to join Alliance for Resilient Campuses


Nick Fetty | July 10, 2014
Central College Pond on the Central College campus in Pella, Iowa. Photo by Central College Alumni; Flickr
Central College Pond on the Central College campus in Pella, Iowa.
Photo by Central College Alumni; Flickr

Central College has become the most recent higher education institute in Iowa to join the Alliance for Resilient Campuses.

Central – a liberal arts college with 1,486 undergrads located in Pella, Iowa – is among 35 other colleges and universities across the nation that aim to “respond to the challenges of climate change and work to ensure greater community resilience.”

In 2003, the Vermeer Science Center at Central College became the first building on an Iowa campus to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The Alliance for Resilient Campuses is an initiative by Second Nature, a nonprofit Boston-based organization that aims “to create a sustainable society by transforming higher education.” The group was founded in 1993 and the Alliance for Resilient Campuses was started in May of this year.

Three other Iowa institutes are members of the Alliance for Resilient Campuses: Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Drake University in Des Moines, and Iowa Lakes Community College with campuses in Algona, Emmetsburg, Estherville, Spencer and Spirit Lake.

Climate change – a divider of Iowa politics


Photo by Inspired in Des Moines; Flickr

Despite the strengthening consensus among scientists, climate change continues to be an issue that Iowan Democrats and Republicans disagree on. 

Democrats say that disagreement has impeded progress on measures that would encourage energy conservation and development of renewable energy.

They also say Republicans are dragging their feet on efforts to make Iowa less vulnerable to future floods.

To learn more, visit The Gazette. 

On the Radio: Ecovative Coming to Cedar Rapids


Photo by mycobond; Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers the arrival of Ecovative to Iowa. Listen to the audio below, on continue reading for the transcript.

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Cedar Rapids flood protection to take a decade


Photo by Dan Patternson; Flickr

The Cedar Rapids City Council’s Infrastructure Committee, the city’s engineering staff, and Sun Valley neighbors signed off on a final $1-million plan to construct a flood-protection berm along Cottage Grove Parkway SE to protect the Sun Valley neighborhood from Indian Creek.

To learn more, head over to The Gazette.

On the Radio: Iowa Flood Mitigation Board Funding


Photo by w4nd3rl0st (InspiredinDesMoines); Flickr

This week’s On the Radio segment covers a new plan by the Iowa government that will assist financially with flood recovery. Continue reading for the transcript, or listen to the audio below.

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On The Radio: Living With Floods


Iowa Memorial Union
Iowa Memorial Union

Read this week’s radio transcript below, or listen to the audio here. This week draws focus to the upcoming Living With Floods events.

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UI study finds high concentrations of compounds in Chicago’s air


Photo by Mastery of Maps, Flickr.
Photo by Mastery of Maps, Flickr.

A study out of the University of Iowa finds high levels of the compounds D4 and D5 in Chicago’s air.

D4 and D5 are compounds found in many personal care products including deodorants, soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners.

The study found that concentrations of the compounds were 10 times higher in Chicago than West Branch, IA and four times higher than Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

There is no evidence that high concentrations of D5 pose health concerns to people. However, not much is currently understood about the compound.

D4 is toxic to wildlife, and caused tumors, reproductive problems and altered organ size in studies of lab animals.

Read more here.

The fifth annual Recycling in Style Fashion Show showcases sustainability through clothing


Participants in the EPA Earthfest Recycled Fashion Show in Dallas, TX. Photo by  steevithak, Flickr.
Participants in the EPA Earthfest Recycled Fashion Show in Dallas, TX. Photo by steevithak, Flickr.

On April 6, Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency and Goodwill of the Heartland will host the fifth annual Recycling in Style Fashion Show.

The fashion show features used clothing that has been turned into stylish outfits by clothing designers.

The runway for the show also supports sustainability. It was made from broken pallets at Goodwill’s Cedar Rapids facility.

To find out more about this event, click here.

IISC connects University of Iowa to Iowa communities


Dubuque. Photo by SD Dirk, Flickr.
Dubuque. Photo by SD Dirk, Flickr.

The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities (IISC) continues to build partnerships between the University of Iowa and Iowa communities.

Over the past two years, the IISC has worked with Dubuque on a series of sustainability projects. Now the IISC is working on three new projects in Muscatine and Dubuque. The IISC also has plans for other projects during the 2013-14 school year in Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and Washington.

Learn all about IISC’s plans here.