Researchers speak at statehouse about rising temperatures


Photo from Radio Iowa | Bill Gutowski speaks while Peter Levi listens in

Tyler Chalfant | September 24th

Professors from Iowa universities spoke at the statehouse last Wednesday, Radio Iowa reported. The 216 climate educators who issued the ninth annual Iowa Climate Statement represent 38 colleges and universities in the state. 

This year’s statement warned of the increased intensity and frequency of heat waves that Iowa will experience in the coming decades. The group projects that the number of days exceeding 90 degrees will more than double within the next two decades, and nearly triple by mid-century.

The scientists spoke about how these increased temperatures will put Iowans at greater risk of heat related illnesses, including heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke, or death. Scientists have predicted that rural areas will likely be hit the hardest by rising temperatures, and that the Midwest will see the greatest number of premature deaths caused by heat. 

Peter Levi, an Environmental Science professor at Drake University, said that those facing the most danger “include our friends and neighbors who work outside on a regular basis, older adults above age 65, infants and children, those individuals with chronic conditions, low-income households and our athletes.” 

Levi also said that extreme heat will harm the state’s livestock industry, as confined livestock are at increased risk of death, and won’t reach a marketable weight as quickly when stressed by high temperatures. 


“It’s not hopeless,” added Bill Gutowski, an Atmospheric Sciences professor at Iowa State University, indicating that there is still time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “I want people to realize it’s not hopeless and there are adaptations that we can do as well.”

Drinking water symposium scheduled for September


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Jenna Ladd| August 23, 2017

A symposium examining issues related to drinking water in Iowa and across the U.S. is set to take place in Des Moines next month. Challenges to Providing Safe Drinking Water in the Midwest: A Symposium will feature presenters from Iowa as well as nationally-renowned speakers.

The event’s agenda includes panel discussions concerning the human health impacts of nitrate in drinking water, new and emerging drinking water threats, and communicating about water quality with the public, among other topics. The symposium is co-sponsered by the The University of Iowa Environmental Health Sciences Research Center and the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination along with Drake University.

What: Challenges to Providing Safe Drinking Water in the Midwest: A Symposium

When: September 21 from 8 am to 5 pm, September 22 from 8 am to 12 pm

Where: Drake University, Des Moines

Those interested in attending the symposium can register here.

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.

LEADING IOWA SCIENTISTS: Climate Change Threatens Iowa Farms


Photo by Joe Bolkcom
Photo by Joe Bolkcom

Our state has long held a proud tradition of helping to “feed the world.” Our ability to do so is now increasingly threatened by adverse weather conditions, according to a statewide group of Iowa scientists. “Our climate has disrupted agricultural production during the past two years and is projected to become even more harmful in coming decades as our climate continues to warm and change,” said Gene Takle, Director of the ISU Climate Science Program at Iowa State University. “Iowa’s soils and agriculture remain our most important economic resources, but these resources are threatened by climate change,” Continue reading

On the Radio: Drake and Coe Lower Bottled Water Waste


Water bottles
Photo by Bryan Peters; flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment here, or read the transcript below. This week’s segment covers the efforts of Coe College and Drake University to reduce bottled water waste on their campuses.

Drake University and Coe College are among the many Iowa schools cutting down on bottled water waste.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

Drake and Coe cut down on bottled water waste


Photo by djwaldow, Flickr.
Photo by djwaldow, Flickr.

Similar to the University of Iowa’s efforts, Drake University and Coe College are cutting down on bottled water use.

At Drake, a student initiative has led to a bottled water ban on campus starting next fall. All new Drake students will receive a reusable bottle at the start of the school year.

Coe College has been giving out reusable bottles to its students for the past five years. Both Coe and Drake have installed “hydration stations” on campus that make it easy to refill bottles.

Read more here.

On the Radio: Drake University aims to become a more sustainable campus


Drake1

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s segment discusses the sustainability efforts of Drake University.

Through their “Blue is Green” initiative, Drake University is becoming a more sustainable campus.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading