Connie Mutel Releases Article Comparing Climate Change to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Via Flickr

Author Connie Mutel released “COVID-19: Dress Rehearsal for a Climate in Crisis,” earlier this month.

Connie Mutel is a retired UI Senior Science Writer and climate change activist who recently began to research the parallels between responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. In the beginning of her article, she discusses the slow response administrations in the United States had to the early warning signs of both crises. She then goes on to explain the importance of taking direct measures to combat the issues sooner rather than later and the ways COVID-19 could help solve Climate Change.

“COVID has shown us what a runaway crisis looks like and feels like. It reveals a lack of predictability,” Mutel said in a Zoom conference Tuesday.

The talk revolved around the intersection of the two issues and potential paths forward. Mutel believes the crises are heavily intertwined and COVID-19 is providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fast track efforts to combat climate change.

“One crisis magnifies the other. COVID is expressed more in areas with more air pollution.” Mutel said. “Like with COVID, we need global solidarity and collective action to solve climate change.”

Click here to read “COVID-19:Dress Rehearsal for a Climate in Crisis.”

Update on the Mutel woodland burn

Last fall,  UI senior science writer and archivist Connie Mutel along with her husband, UI professor Robert Mutel, held a controlled burn of their oak woodlands near Iowa City.

The above video showcases the before and after effects of the burn by comparing an unburned section of the woodlands to a burned section.

The burn was also featured in the September issue of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ Iowa Outdoors magazine. Read the full article here.

Also, check out the Iowa Environmental Focus’ interview with Connie Mutel on oak woodlands and controlled burns, and our On the Radio segment discussing the benefits of controlled burns.

Video of oak woodlands controlled burn

University of Iowa video producer Ben Hill took this footage of the controlled burn conducted on Connie and Robert Mutel’s oak woodlands near Iowa City.

To view a slideshow of the burn, click here.

To read an interview with Connie Mutel about controlled burns, click here.

Photos from oak woodlands controlled burn

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On November 17th, UI senior science writer and archivist Connie Mutel and her husband, UI professor Robert Mutel, held a controlled burn of their oak woodlands near Iowa City. The fire lasted about three hours and was a success. Mrs. Mutel was kind enough to share photos of the event with the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Environmental Experts Speak: Connie Mutel and Iowa’s oak woodland

Photo by Carl Kurtz

Cornelia “Connie” Mutel is a senior science writer and archivist in Iowa’s Institute of Hydraulic Research. She has completed eight books, many of which focus on Iowa’s ecology. Connie and her husband, UI professor Robert Mutel, live on 18 acres of oak-hickory woodland near Iowa City. Within the next week they will perform a controlled burn on part of the oak woodland.

Connie spoke with Iowa Environmental Focus and discussed the history of Iowa’s ecology and the importance of controlled burns: Continue reading

Photos from Delhi

Thanks to this summer's flooding, Lake Delhi is no longer a hot spot for vacationers. - Photo by Brian Cook/Manchester Press

Along the way to Tuesday’s flood preparation seminar in Elkader, Sen. Joe Bolkcom, ecologist Connie Mutel, flood researcher Nathan Young, and Wayne Peterson of the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship stopped by the former site of Lake Delhi to check out the destruction caused by this summer’s flooding.

Below is a sampling of Bolkcom’s photos.

A Watershed Woman: Connie Mutel

Photo by Tim Schoon.

IT’S EASY to sum up Connie Mutel’s complexity. Simply put, she’s a renaissance woman.

Tucked away in her office in the IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering Institute’s archives, Mutel enjoys the hundreds of years of history and scientific research at her fingertips.

But she’s the antithesis of what one might expect from a historian and archivist. She does more than just preserve and organize documents in a stuffy room. Outside of her office, she engages with Iowa’s natural landscape and with her pen, campaigns vigorously, yet eloquently to help protect it.

An eternal liberal arts student, Mutel dons many figurative hats atop her shortly-cropped hair. Beyond her archival duties at the IIHR, she is also an ecologist and accomplished writer and editor.

Mutel has edited the soon to be released A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008 – her twelfth book – a diverse collection of essays that scientifically dissect the Iowa floods of 2008. The compilation includes works from many of Mutel’s colleagues at IIHR.

Continue reading