Clean Water-Livable Communities conference next month in Fairfield

Jenna Ladd | October 24, 2017

A statewide conference titled “Clean Water-Livable Communities” is scheduled to take place in Fairfield, Iowa on Thursday, November 9th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The conference will center around strategies to make clean water a top economic priority in Iowa. Four panel sessions are scheduled including: Iowa Water Overview; Robust, well-managed soils create clean water; Funding our clean water solutions; and Economic opportunities that result from clean water.

John Ikerd will be featured as the day’s keynote speaker. After receiving his PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri, Ikerd worked in traditional agriculture for about a decade before he shifted his focus to sustainable agriculture during the farm crisis of the 1980’s. Since then, the Missouri-native has published six books about sustainable agriculture and economics, including Sustainable Capitalism: A Matter of Common Sense and Small Farms are Real Farms: Sustaining People Through Agriculture. Ikerd now lives in Fairfield, Iowa and co-teaches a Sustainable Economics course at Maharishi University of Management.

The conference is organized by the American Sustainable Business Council, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Southeast Iowa Food Hub and the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club. Tickets will be available soon at

What: Statewide Conference Clean Water-Livable Communities

Where: Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, 200 N. Main Street, Fairfield, Iowa

When: Thursday, November 9th from  9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Cost: $35 for non-students, $20 for students (includes lunch)

Hazards Research

Eric Tate, Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences
Eric Tate,
Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences

Eric Tate, a University of Iowa faculty member, is also a hazards geographer, who researches and studies issues closely related to floods.

Currently, Tate is interested in the social dimensions of floods. He models human populations to determine who is more susceptible to flood impacts and what are the underlying reasons of that susceptibility.

His research is most helpful when planning for future disasters because it gives communities modeling information that would support a disaster plan.

For the full profile on Eric Tate, head over to the CGRER website.

Nuclear waste research

Tori Forbes, Department of Chemistry
Tori Forbes,
Department of Chemistry

A University of Iowa faculty member is researching how nuclear waste moves in environmental systems

Tori Forbes specifically studies uranium, a byproduct of nuclear fuel, and how it interacts in natural waters. The team will soon study at neptunium as well.

By better understanding how uranium and other nuclear chemicals react in the natural environment, new processes can be established to remove these chemicals safely and effectively.


For the full profile, visit the CGRER webpage.

Stream Gauge Monitoring Network

Adam Ward,  Hydrogeology in the Department of Geoscience
Adam Ward,
UI Department of Geoscience

Adam Ward, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, is crowd-sourcing hydrologic data.

Signs near each stream ask people who pass by to read the ruler and text in the water level. It then goes in to the database at

The gauges are installed at Ralston Creek, as well as the Iowa City Environmental Center, and the Ciha Fen Preserve, but are a part of a larger network across the Northeastern United States.

To learn more about the stream gauge network and Ward’s research work, click here.

Water Communication and Policy Research

Kajsa Dalrymple, UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Kajsa Dalrymple,
UI School of Journalism and Mass Communication

A University of Iowa faculty member is conducting a content analysis of how water quality issues are being covered by the media in Iowa.

The findings indicate water utility issues and recreational water uses are the top stories, with little media coverage on research and ways to preserve our water resources.

Dalrymple hopes her communication research leads to policy discussions in the future, starting a conversation about water issues with legislatures, land management communities, farmers, and the general public.

To read the full profile, click here.

Water Quality Research

David Cwiertny, Assistant Professor of Water Sustainability, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa.
David Cwiertny,
Assistant Professor of Water Sustainability.

A University of Iowa faculty member is studying how different contaminants get in to and persist in surface water.

David Cwiertny from the UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering examines how pollutants in water break down in sunlight or stick to organic matter.

His research team is trying to develop new and innovative approaches for water treatment systems with hopes of finding sustainable methods of water re-use.

Read the full profile here.

CGRER Research Focus – Kajsa Dalrymple

Kajsa Dalrymple, an assistant professor in the University of Iowa’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, explains her research on communicating with the public about water sustainability issues. Dalrymple is one of ten new faculty members hired at the University of Iowa as part of their Water Sustainability Initiative.