State and local environmental efforts would take a big hit under the last-minute budget agreement reached by Congress last week.
Terms of the deal, which ended talks of a government shutdown, include cuts of $1.6 billion from the EPA’s budget – over $1 billion of which would be taken from community efforts to comply with federal environmental rules. Continue reading →
A new report from the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Chicago-based environmental advocacy organization, shows just how much the wind industry impacts Iowa’s economy. It reaches more than 80 local business and provides 2,300 manufacturing jobs, which likely leads the nation, the report states.
With over 25,000 wind turbines at 80 sites, about 20% of the power Iowa generates comes from wind. Continue reading →
Elementary educators (grades K-6) are expected to be content experts in many different areas -– from math and literacy to science.
Yet few of them have the specialized training and support necessary to excel in this critical content area, according to Cory Forbes, science education assistant professor in the University of Iowa College of Education.
However, thanks to a grant of more than $250,000, Forbes is launching a project in the Davenport Community School District this fall that investigates how and why elementary teachers use existing science curriculum materials to teach science. The goal is to help educators teach science in ways that best promote student learning.
The district is one of Iowa’s largest high-needs school districts, Forbes said, and this project will engage 60 elementary teachers in evaluation, planning and instruction. Continue reading →
This week marks the beginning of CGRER’s new radio segment (unsurprisingly) called the Iowa Environmental Focus. Below is the audio and transcript of our first clip. For more information on the segment, check out our “On the Radio” page.
How can we improve science education in Iowa’s schools?
This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.
As Iowa kids head back to school this fall, we would like to highlight a group of Iowa researchers working to make our classrooms better places to learn.
During the next two years, Cory Forbes, a U of I education professor, is leading a team that will engage 30 Davenport teachers to study how to improve the way science is taught in our schools.
Right now, many American kids are falling behind in science, showing little interest in the material. This project looks to change that by promoting interactive learning.
If more kids get the chance to DO science, kids may decide they like it. And if we see more interest in science here, our kids will better equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century and to keep Iowa prosperous.
For more information visit us at Iowa Environmental Focus dot O-R-G.
Welcome back to school, everybody. Let’s make this another great year in our local schools.
I’m Jerry Schnoor from the University of Iowa Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.
On Sunday, outgoing Iowa DNR director Richard Leopold shared some final thoughts about the state of Iowa’s environment in a Des Moines Registerguest column. There, he lamented about the state’s lack of progress in cleaning its rivers, it’s underfunded state parks, and the politicization of science (“Sadly, many of the scientific “debates” of today are not scientific debates; they are about power and money.”).
Leopold also shared a startling statistic about Iowa’s increasing infertility: Continue reading →
If you have yet to read it, be sure to check out Richard Doak’s outstanding editorial in last Sunday’s Des Moines Register. In it he convincingly argues that, like it or not, we are now knee-deep in the unpredictable, hardship-ridden reality of “post-climate change Iowa,” and local and state policymakers need to address it.
Doak, a retired Register editor who lectures at Simpson College and Iowa State University, suggests a wide range of proactive measures we could take to mitigate some of the disastrous effects of Iowa’s changing climate, including restoring wetlands and “getting out of the way” of flood waters by limiting development in flood zones.
The warm, soggy summer of 2010 in all likelihood is not an aberration. It is the new normal.
Henceforth, more summers will be like 2010 than not. And, if climate change is just in its early stages, we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Iowa is working to help people cope with the floods of 2010, even as others are still recovering from floods and tornadoes of 2008. Helping neighbors is the first priority, but this should also be an occasion for long-range thinking about how to mitigate future disasters.
What adjustments should our state be making to live in a new climate era where the abnormal has become normal?
It’s a question the state’s would-be leaders should be discussing in this election year.