Iowa professor selected to serve on U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce

University of Iowa associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, associate faculty research engineer at IIHR, and Director of the Environmental Policy Research Program, David Cwiertny. (Anne Easker, IIHR)
Jenna Ladd | October 6, 2016

Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER) member David Cwiertny has been selected to serve on the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce as minority staff. Cwiertny, who is also the Director of the Public Policy Center’s Environmental Policy Research Program, received the appointment through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). AAAS creates opportunities for scientists to offer their expertise and analytical skills to legislators while also learning more about the policy making process firsthand. Cwiertny said,

“Evidence, rooted in sound science, should whenever possible be used to inform and improve decision making and new policy.  And science has never been more important for informing policy, particularly as society begins to address how best to manage and adapt to a changing climate. So in my discipline of environmental engineering and environmental science, I think there is a real opportunity for scientists and engineers to help advance policy that better enables sustainable development both in the US and around the globe.”   

As an AAAS 2016-2017 Congressional Fellow, he will serve on both the energy and power and environment and economy subcommittees. Cwiertney, who is also an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience and Engineering, will function as a technical expert within the two subcommittees, which are responsible for all legislation and regulation related to water, air, and soil quality and energy. He added, “I’m eager to see, first hand, what the major hurdles are to translating scientific discovery into evidence-based decision making, and how we can improve and evolve our craft as researchers to better help policy makers.”

Cwiertny is one of two fellows that were selected from a pool of over 100 applicants.

On the Radio: Dubuque – a sustainable city

Dubuque, IA. – photo by Jenza, Flickr

Listen to this week’s radio segment on Dubuque’s efforts to go green – our first in a sub-series on sustainable cities.  Let us know if there are other green cities in Iowa that we should should cover in the future.

How can we make Iowa’s cities healthier and more prosperous places to live?  The City of Dubuque is working hard to answer that question.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus on sustainable communities.

Since 2006, Dubuque has made sustainability a top priority.

And it’s not just talk.  Since then, Dubuque has carried out a slew of projects focused on making the city greener and healthier.

The long list includes: becoming the first city in Iowa to add an office and coordinator for sustainability, setting targets to reduce greenhouse gases, getting eleven schools certified for a “green vision,” installing low-energy traffic and street lights, and offering curbside food scrap recycling.

So congratulations to Dubuque for leading the way to a greener Iowa.

To learn more, visit

I’m Jerry Schnoor from the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Thank you.

For more on Dubuque’s sustainability, check out the city’s website.

Spotlight on Craig Just and sustainability

Check out this Daily Iowan profile on UI Professor Craig Just and his focus on sustainability:

Craig Just

Craig Just has not only raised awareness about sustainability in Iowa City, he’s also reached the small villages of Ghana.

Just, a University of Iowa associate research scientist and coordinator of sustainability in the College of Engineering, has pictures displayed around his office of his previous trips to the African country, where he’s helped fight polluted water.

This semester, Just is teaching Introduction to Sustainability and Engineers for a Sustainable World. He also works with UI Facilities Management and focuses on river and water-quality research — an issue, he said, he’s been interested in since he was a young boy.

“Well, I went fishing as a kid and always thought the water was clean,” Just said. “It just brought me to that.”…