Grinnell College to host water quality symposium


Iowa River tributary in Iowa City. Photo by Jim Malewitz.

On April 6-7, Grinnell College’s Center for Prairie Studies will co-sponsor a symposium analyzing “Iowa’s Troubled Waters: the Challenges of Quality and Quantity.”

The symposium, also hosted by the college’s Luce Program in Nations and the Global Environment, will explore the topic of Iowa’s waters, which face record levels of pollution.

“The global concerns for water—too much, too little, potable, polluted—are all right here in Iowa,” said Jon Andelson, director of the Center for Prairie Studies. “Iowa’s relationship with water has become increasingly troubled of late by growing groundwater contamination and unusually heavy rains. We’ve gathered Iowa experts to consider these challenges and potential solutions.” Continue reading

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.

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