Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert McFarlane

Water Scholars Book Club 2021 July Book. Follow along as we post book reviews, resource lists, and content each month to support learning about a particular water topic.

By Laura Frescoln, Iowa Water Center

Quick Summary of the Book: Robert McFarlane takes us on a journey to the “underland” as he explores locations around the world that lie beneath our feet. This voyage is exquisitely detailed through our human senses and a cast of characters he meets along the way.

Why we selected it: Water is a fundamental force in the formation of the earth and the underland. Through the authors eyes, the reader gets a sense of the water’s presence and importance both in the formation and evolution of our culture and the physical aspects of our world over ‘deep time’.

I love exploring. Every summer I choose a new place for my two daughters and me to break from routine and experience something new. I do admit though, that apart from some “cave tours” that provided a sense of security through the sheer number of visitors that participate, we have not considered exploring the vast underworld. For one, I am sure I would be traveling alone, abandoned by my less adventurous kids who have a strong desire to survive. Secondly, I do have some claustrophobic tendencies. In fact, I cannot wear a hood.

Despite these challenges to explore the “underland” myself, I was intrigued by this book and the author’s experiences. McFarlane attributes the reluctance of “explorers” to dive into this world as intuitive and societal.

“Why go low? It is a counter-intuitive action, running against the grain of sense and the gradient of spirit (Pg. 11)…An aversion to the underland is buried in language. In many of the metaphors we live by, height is celebrated but depth is despised. To be ‘uplifted’ is preferable to being ‘depressed’ or ‘pulled down’.” (Pg.12)

McFarlane uses “deep time” as a metric to understand the evolution of this world.

“‘Deep Time’ is the chronology of the underland. Deep time is the dizzying expanses of Earth history that stretch away from the present moment. Deep time is measured in units that humble the human instant: epochs and aeons, instead of minutes and years. Deep time is kept by stone, ice, stalactites, seabed sediments and the drift of tectonic plates. Deep time opens into the future as well as the past. The Earth will fall dark when the sun exhausts its fuel around 5 billion years. We stand on our toes, as well as our heels, on a brink.” (Pg. 15)

Considering the metric of ‘deep time’ is almost unthinkable and certainly overwhelming to us humans who have such short memories and focused attention on the present. The author recognizes this and writes…

“There is dangerous comfort to be drawn from deep time. What does our behavior matter, when Homo sapiens will have disappeared from the Earth in the blink of a geological eye?…We should resist such inertial thinking; indeed we should urge its opposite – deep time as a radical perspective, provoking us to action not apathy.” (Pg. 15)

McFarlane uses quotes from other notable writers and scientist to introduce and sometime emphasize relevant points along this journey. As he notes, we are in the Anthropocene age which is largely influenced by human activity.

“But the Anthropocene, for all its faults, also issues a powerful shock and challenge to our self-perception as a species. It exposes both the limits of our control over the long-term processes of the planet, and the magnitude of the consequences of our activities…The Anthropocene asks of us the question memorably posed by the immunologist Jonas Salk: ‘Are we being good ancestors?’” (Pg. 77)

In the chapters that follow the introduction, McFarlane recounts expeditions in Britain, Europe (including “invisible cities”), Norway, Finland and Greenland. The adventures that follow throughout the pages are a rich collection of vivid descriptions of the both the physical world beneath our feet and the shared world of the people around us and beside us. This community is made up of the guides/friends who accompanied the author, those who came before and left their mark and those still to come. This community added layers of color, clarity and complexity.

The following excerpts from the introduction gives the reader a glimpse of what can be expected in the journey ahead…

“The way into the underland is through the riven trunk of an old ash tree. …Near the ash’s base its trunk splits into a rough rift, just wide enough that a person might slip into the tree’s hollow heart – and there drop into the dark space that opens below.” (Pg. 3)

We soon discover that the old ash is but one of the many passageways into the underworld. Each entrance formed through “deep time” as a footprint marking the geological and human forces at play.

“…down in the labyrinth beneath the riven ash. The same three tasks recur across cultures and epochs: to shelter was is precious, to yield what is valuable, and to dispose of what is harmful.”(Pg. 8)

Throughout the book as a whole, the author explores all three as he weaves humanity and the landscape together in a way that allows the reader to think, feel and wonder about the invisible world where few have traveled.

Taming America’s Waterways

Water Scholars Book Club 2021 June Book. Follow along as we post book reviews, resource lists, and content each month to support learning about a particular water topic. 

In Tyler J. Kelley’s book, “Holding Back the River: The struggle against nature on America’s Waterways,” the author explores the history of the US attempting to tame its rivers through engineering and infrastructure policies, as well as gives an in-depth look at the people working to hold the water within the streambanks.

By Hanna Bates, Assistant Director, Iowa Water Center

Quick Summary of the Book: The investigative reporting of the author provides an in-depth look at the history of water infrastructure in the Midwest and the policies that sought to conquer and control our waterways. But as we face climate change, we may need to think beyond rebuilding old systems and considering a new mindset as we consider the power of our waterways.

Why we selected it: There has been increasing focus on the aging infrastructure that supports transport and commerce in the US with the introduction of the American Jobs Plan. This book explores the aging infrastructure that makes the water systems in the US navigable for commerce, particularly agriculture commodities. This book heavily focuses on the complexity of work the Army Corps of Engineers has to secure streambanks with levee systems along Midwestern waterways to minimize risk and damages. In 2019, Iowa was subject to breached levees that led to billions of dollars in damages due to flood waters in Southwestern Iowa.


When I was a kid growing up in Southwest Iowa, I lived on a farm about a mile from town. A major divider between us and access to groceries, the post office, and school was the Nishnabotna River. One summer the river crested so high it spread into nearby low-lying fields, a nearby business or two, and eventually spread over the highway, our only access to town. What was normally a 10-minute drive would become an over 40-minute to drive in the opposite direction to find a dry road on a roundabout drive to access town. These memories came flooding back as I read through Kelley’s investigative reporting on policy attempts to tame the water that often fails nature or vulnerable populations along the water.

“You don’t own the land; the land owns you” – Faulkner

Kelley explores river management of the Mississippi, the Missouri, and the Ohio rivers predominantly through the history of the Army Corps of Engineers and their purpose to maintain infrastructure on US waterways to support the navigation of commodities along with providing risk reduction for flooding disasters along waterways and coastal lines.

The author also explores belief systems regarding flooding and flood management that dictate decision-making for those along the river, often showing that our perspectives of water has not kept pace with the ever-growing threat of climate change and increasing rain events throughout the Midwest. The typical approach in the past is that when fields and homes flood, we rebuild again. Significant floods are considered rare, and so once an event happens some may assume that it will never happen again. The prelude opens with the story of a farmer in Southwest Iowa. Following a previous flood event in 2011, the farmer cancelled his flood insurance in 2018 and assumed that the protection measures in the area had been robust to protect his land. He states in the book that he would not anticipate a flooding event like in 2011 until after he was dead. Then the 2019 floods happened and there was little he could do except move the grain that he could from his storage bins and abandon his farm and home.

Throughout the history of water management, the author tells the stories of individual farmers as well as communities that are impacted by flooding disasters. The author describes that risk reduction for flooding is often on a cost-benefit analysis that does not necessarily always take in the disproportionate impact land ownership and access has on communities within a floodplain. A significant example of this was a 2011 flooding event that impacted Pinhook, Missouri and disproportionally impacted a small community of black farmers. To reduce the risk of flooding in higher density areas, the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was activated, which meant deliberately breaching a levee in the floodway. According to reports, residents of Pinhook were given very little to no warning or assistance to evacuate.

Through these stories and the policies that led to them, the author concludes with a focus on river geomorphology and argues that no amount of engineering and maintaining the infrastructure approach of the past can keep the river in place and tamed for our functional use. Rather, as the last chapter is titled, we must “retreat and fortify.” Kelley states that the best approach can be learned from nations such as The Netherlands, who take both a resilience and an anticipatory approach to watershed basin management. This takes a new mindset when considering flooding. Kelley states, “… give up something, or lose everything.” (193). An approach such as this involves thinking within a watershed approach for water management and taking in all voices of those within those watershed communities.

Communities can establish a balance between what the water will take and benefits the community may gain through trade-offs that the federal government can broker to protect them. To incentivize leaving land behind, policies could fund community-building assets such as parks and other recreational benefits. Lastly, this approach also means not being afraid to leave places and practices behind. These are things we may have emotional and cultural attachments to, which in the end, letting them go could mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Follow the Water

Water Scholars Book Club 2021 May Book. Follow along as we post book reviews, resource lists, and content each month to support learning about a particular water topic. 

In David Owen’s book, “Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River,” every drop of water is spoken for whether it exists or not from the top of the Colorado River to the bottom.

By Hanna Bates, Assistant Director, Iowa Water Center

Quick summary of the book: David Owen, a writer for The New Yorker, takes the reader on a journey along the Colorado River, including the politics and law dictating how the water supplies cities and industries to the point where it runs dry in the Southwest. Access to water supply is often under contention between states, cities, and neighbors for who has the right to the water.

Why we selected it: Water availability is a significant topic as we move towards hotter climates and other environmental impacts that shrink available water supply, particularly in the Western United States. As of April, the federal government could issue a landmark water shortage declaration for upcoming water availability projections that could even threaten hydropower at the Hoover Dam. The State of Iowa is not immune to water shortages with the 2021 growing season expected to have ongoing drought issues in parts of the state that impacts productivity in one of the most fertile landscapes.

It was not too long ago I took my first plane ride out West to Denver, Colorado. As I traveled across states, grids in Iowa changed to perfect irrigation circles in Nebraska and Colorado like a quilted patchwork of verdant circles within a background of a brown, dry landscape. Although a bird’s eye view from the sky of agriculture is an obvious view of how water is allocated out West, there is much more to how water is used that reaches cities, suburbs, and many other industries.

Owen’s storied journey along the Colorado River gives both a bird’s eye view from a plane tour and an on the ground perspective of how water is claimed and given utilitarian purpose to support infrastructure throughout the Southwest. Water availability for household use, electricity, farming, recreation, industrial uses, and entertainment (think water fountains in Las Vegas) are all categories the Colorado River is diverted to support. In this book, Owen explores the state and federal laws that led to how water is diverted for these purposes and how the solution is not always simple as shutting off the tap to certain water uses.

Each chapter in the book explores a region or an important focal point to the story of water in the West. Early laws and management often set the context for how water is managed in modern day. The approach to water, and to the environment in general, by policymakers in the early US was not to protect natural resources, but to tame natural resources for the purpose of putting it to functional use to support settlers and expanding industry in the West. Starting in the Rockies and Denver area, Owen describes the 143 years of complex water law that factors in use by public agencies and private persons wherein an individual can have water rights by seniority over others along the river. This includes stories of over appropriation within the book where the “paper” right to water is more than the “wet” water that is available for use.

Owen’s exploration of water efficiency in the book touches on the history of water as being seen as something that only has utility to humans and not the greater role that water has within an ecosystem. The book encourages the reader to think of themselves as citizens of a watershed to have a better approach to water management. Water conservation and being more efficient with resources is not always a simple answer to protecting water resources. Owen states, the more people tend to conserve in one area, they tend to spend it in another area. Additionally, the more efficient a process is, the more affordable it is, which results in greater use of that particular thing. For example, Owen states in the book:

“A few years ago, I made a serious effort to get better about turning off the lights in my house, and my wife’s and my electricity consumption went down by a noticeable amount. But our overall energy consumption didn’t fall, because the money we saved on our electric bills helped to pay for a big anniversary trip that we took to Europe, and that means that the real impact of our reduction in household electricity use was merely to transform natural gas into jet fuel. As we get better at doing things, we do more things.”

― David Owen, Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River

The decline in water availability is often outpaced by efforts to conserve water. Lake Mead, a reservoir established with the creation of the Hoover Dam is the largest within the US. Almost 100% of the inflow comes from the Colorado River, but according to Owen, the lake levels have been declining at a staggering level. This not only impacts the recreation economy on the reservoir, but accessibility of the water for users downstream. The declines in water availability have led to contention among many Southwest states over the right to water, which often turn to litigation to protect their right to water to support growing populations and sprawling cities. Most importantly, by the time the river reaches Mexico, the river is a dry delta which highlights disparities related to water accessibility that expand beyond economics.

The book concludes with many potential solutions for how to address water availability, although the solutions are much larger than a single chapter at the end. Owen provides a thoughtful reflection on history reaching out the present to shape our mindset around water as something that should provide function for society, otherwise it should be considered a waste. The reader is challenged to consider the value of water outside of economic purpose. Water provides external value to the vitality of ecosystems within a watershed as well as connects people to a sense of place within their environment through play, recreation, identity, and improved mental health.

Up Next in June: Holding Back the River: The struggle against nature on America’s Waterways – Tyler J. Kelley

Book Club Discussion: Alex Braidwood

We interview Alex Braidwood, Iowa State University, regarding his work as a designer and sound artist. This was part of our Water Scholars Book Club June pick, Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols.

Braidwood Moderates the Iowa Water Scholars’ June 2020 Book Club Discussion

By: Meghan Hanley, Outreach and Engagement Assistant


The Iowa Water Center started the Iowa Water Scholars Book Club where members of the Iowa Water Scholars community read and discuss novels on pressing water issues.

For the June 2020 book club discussion, the Iowa Water Scholars Book Club read Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, or Blue Mind for short, authored by Wallace J. Nichols. This novel delves into the science behind why people are drawn to water, as well as the many benefits this has.

Alex Braidwood is a professional sound artist, designer, and educator. He records sounds found in nature and the relationship between art and science.

Just as music exemplifies emotions, Braidwood explains that sounds in nature also hold a lot of information. This information, presented in a unique platform, creates an opportunity for new discussions to happen in several communities, especially in the art and science communities.

While people may typically think art and science are two separate worlds, they often collide without anyone noticing. Braidwood views artists and scientists to have jobs that complement each other.

A similarity that Braidwood has found throughout the years working with both artists and scientists is that both occupations have comparable starting processes.

First, they start with a question, then they go through a process to figure out how they can find their answer. Although both fields of work start from different perspectives, they both require detailed observations, documentation, questions and methods in order to reach their end goal.

Both occupations come along with very in depth concepts and information. Because of this, it can be very difficult to disseminate the information found with people outside of their field. This is when scientists and artists can collaborate to help each other. In Braidwood’s view, scientists and artists have a cyclical relationship. Since both occupations derive from varying perspectives, this can allow a scientist to review an artist’s work, and vice versa, and create the opportunity to bring up new viewpoints, as well as help make the information more accessible for the public to understand.

One of Braidwood’s intentions of his work in acoustic ecology is to help people be more aware and appreciative of their surroundings. Braidwood commonly refers back to the term “active listener.” He explained that the act of hearing is the mechanical process ears go through, but listening is when the mind is involved and engaged. In order to help people become more aware of their environment, Braidwood tries to implement several participatory projects in his work, such as walking tours.

In Blue Mind, mindfulness is discussed frequently, and Braidwood shared that he had to learn several lessons about being able to just sit in silence. He also presented a few tips for people to practice if they are wanting to improve their active listening skills. He said that simple exercises are the best way to start. First, start off small, and just pay attention to your ears and the sounds you are retrieving. Then, start testing yourself. What is the smallest sound you hear? What is the farthest sound? What are you hearing to your left? To your right? Being able to center the mind on hearing comes with different psychological calming effects that everyone can benefit from.

Braidwood has always been drawn to sound. He grew up playing in bands and always enjoyed music, then started studying as a graphic designer and would incorporate sounds within motion designs. His interest in electronic music spiked his curiosity to research how sound and communication coincide. Along with playing music in his younger years, Braidwood also spent a lot of his time outdoors. It wasn’t until around the time that he was starting graduate school that he realized he could combine these two parts of his life.

Braidwood has done sound projects all over the world, ranging from Australian national parks to Iowa farms. A major area that Braidwood often returns to is the Iowa Great Lakes region in Northwest Iowa. With all of the prairieland, wetland and lakes, Braidwood explained that he is able to retrieve very rich and diverse soundscapes. He also shared that his favorite nature sound is a thunderstorm.

“It’s my favorite sound for a bunch of different reasons,” said Braidwood. “I have done enough [self] investigation of this and it comes from growing up in Michigan and having epic thunderstorms rip through, and then living in Southern California with very few thunderstorms, and to now come to Iowa and experience the Midwest Plains version of a thunderstorm … it doesn’t even compare.”

Blue Mind brought up the idea that everyone is drawn to water in some capacity. Braidwood agreed with this theory, and mentioned that he was initially drawn to the novel because of this idea. He explained that he had never thought of water as in depth of a concept as that before, but after reading this novel, it helped him have an understanding of why this is.

If you would like to watch the full recorded discussion with Alex Braidwood, here is the link.

If you are interested in joining the Water Scholars community, visit our Water Scholars page.

You can view some of Alex’s work here.

Compare and Contrast of “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan

The Iowa Water Center started a monthly book club, called Iowa Water Scholars Book Club, where members of the water community can read novels surrounding around current water quality issues, as well as have Zoom discussions regarding these novels with an “expert of choice” on the topic of the month.

May was the first month that the Iowa Water Scholars Book Club was put into action, kicking off with the novel “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan.

“The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” is a novel that discusses the past, present and future of the Great Lakes, the dangers they face and the ways people can take action to repair and protect them.

We turned to Jeff Kopaska, a biometrician for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to compare and contrast the events and management techniques of aquatic invasive species that Iowa has experienced with events discussed in the novel. Kopaska’s areas of expertise involve fisheries, data and analysis of fisheries, water quality and applications of technology to natural resource challenges.

A popular issue that Iowa is currently dealing with in regards to invasive species is invasive carp. They first originated in the Mississippi River and then made their way up into Iowa’s interior rivers. There are a few different types of carp, including bighead, silver and hybrid, but all carp try to relocate quickly once in water. Bighead carp seemed to pioneer this invasion, but silver carp are more commonly found. In the past, invasive carp have found their way in Iowa lakes through Missouri drainage systems as well. This caused East and West Okoboji Lakes to have several carps.

Another common invasive species that Iowa encounters are mussels. The two types of invasive mussels are zebra and quagga; Iowa mainly has issues with zebra mussels whereas “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” frequently discusses issues with quagga mussels. As mentioned in the novel, quagga mussels have a much deeper depth range than zebra mussels. Iowa does not have many lakes that are deep enough for quagga mussels to become a major issue, so zebra and quagga mussels are typically treated in the same way instead of separately handled.

There are a few different methods of tracking invasive species. One way to track zebra and quagga mussels is by going through veliger sampling, which consists of testing a water sample through a filter, showing the possible toxicities in the water. Another way to keep track of intruders is to be checking hard surfaces. When docks are pulled out every fall, they are inspected for any sign of an invasion.

In addition to invasive creatures, Iowa also deals with invasive vegetation. Each summer, interns travel around Iowa and take surveys of lake water to view the aquatic vegetation, what types of species there are and if any of them need extra management.

In “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes,” past experiences of managing aquatic invasive species in the Great Lakes are explained, allowing readers to understand the history of this issue and the progress that has been made. Kopaska then shared some of Iowa’s past experiences with invasive vegetation and grass carp.

In the early 1970’s, there was some extra research done Red Haw Lake, near Chariton, Iowa. It was decided that this lake would be best to use as a “guinea pig” of sorts to test the lifespan of grass carp. Staff placed grass carp in that system (“Probably too many,” Kopaska added) with the expectation that the vegetation would only survive around 10-20 years. In 2004, there were renovations made at Red Haw Lake, and there was still a large number of grass carp there, over 30 years later. They have since stopped stocking grass carp and have turned to chemical and mechanical management.

The use of chemical and mechanical means to manage vegetation has come with some controversy. The public does not seem to be fond of adding chemicals to water to solve invasive species issues. The disagreement with chemical use may lead to the resurgence of grass carp to control invasive vegetation. When asked what dealing with the management of aquatic systems is like, Kopaska replied,

“It’s kind of like managing a forest,” Kopaska said, “except you can’t see any of the trees, and they’re all moving around.”

With as many management techniques there are, there is a lot of information collected with each situation to ensure that the best decision is made for that specific body of water. Some management techniques are more of a resource or economic investment, so it is important to feel confident in the management process chosen.

Kopaska not only shared his knowledge on invasive species in Iowa with us, but also how his passion for fisheries started. Fishing has always been one of Kopaska’s favorite things to do since he was a child, even though he mentioned that he doesn’t get much time to fish recreationally as much as he would like. He grew up fishing in areas around his house, and this deep rooted love for the sport led him to his career field.

Jeff Kopaska, proudly holding a freshly caught trout.


At the Iowa DNR, Kopaska serves as their fisheries data steward, oversees data management activities and how that data is distributed to the public and controls a survey that inquires what the public is thinking about current DNR activities and where there is room for improvements. Along with working for the DNR, Kopaska is also the president of the North Central Division of the American Fisheries Society and cohosts a monthly podcast on KXnO called The Fishing Report.


If you would like to watch the full video discussion with Jeff Kopaska, here is the link.

If you are interested in reading “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan, here is a link to find an independent, Iowa bookstore that carries it!


Waters of the World: Author shares Stories of the Adventurers and Expeditions that shaped Water Science

Hanna Bates, Iowa Water Center

How have our stories about water changed? What do these changes tell us about what we know or think we know about water? These are the questions the author Sarah Dry poses in her book, Waters of the World, The Story of the Scientists Who Unraveled the Mysteries of Our Oceans, Atmosphere, and Ice Sheets and Made the Planet Whole. Published in 2019, these questions are very timely: society is now at a crossroads considering the anthropogenic impacts of climate change and how to be ready for an uncertain future of droughts, floods, and coastal regions facing increasing frequency of extreme weather events like hurricanes.

Waters of the World explores the lives of scientists, their research methodology, and their relationships with others as they explore the unknown and develop new fields of research in water resources. In this book, Dry explores the lives of six scientists who each study different aspects of water – water vapor’s heat trapping capabilities, cloud formations, precipitation patterns, hurricanes, ocean currents, and ice as earth’s climate record-keeper. The book explores a time when scientists were adventurers who often wrote about their expeditions and their discoveries for the general public. As inquiries progressed, efforts in meteorology and other climate sciences became both a competition among contrasting ideas and theories as well as a community of researchers who crowd-source data, water samples, and even air from around the globe to find answers.

The book not only features the discourse over science and the development of scientific instruments that measured the skies above and the movement of water in the oceans, but also the personal lives and struggles of scientists that make them a complete person outside of their work in science. The author explores the insecurities felt by Henry Stommel who established dynamical oceanography as a new science before his 28th birthday and without possession of a PhD. Dry illustrates the challenges faced by Joanne Simpson, a woman pursuing higher education who often got belittled for her area of study. Dry quotes Simpson who stated, “To understand how a woman, or a man for that matter, creates original work in any field, it is necessary to penetrate the emotional masks, and my masks have intentionally been hard to penetrate.”

One of the most important aspects of the book is the role larger systems of society and governments played in pushing the boundaries of water science in particular directions. The author explores the study of weather forecasting (which is better noted to be foreshadowing) in the book. This inquiry was critical to agriculture in India due to the life and death of millions that were dependent on the monsoon season to grow crops during colonization. Passages in the book show that it is not just the weather, but also governing systems, that can enable the fragility of a food system.

Furthermore, ethical considerations play a role in the study of science to not only understand, but to also try and control natural resources. In the 1940s, General Electric (GE) scientists, including Bernard Vonnegut, discovered the ability to manipulate little clouds to produce rain within GE freezer units. This led to US government-funded research into cloud seeding with silver iodide in active hurricanes to see if they could be modified with human influence. This research would create shock waves across society and popular literature because Kurt Vonnegut, a writer and teacher at the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, was Bernard’s brother. The research conducted at GE significantly influenced the topics and ethical explorations within several of his award-winning books.

In this book, Sarah Dry makes the argument that science is more than facts and statistics, but is shaped by civilizations, governments, and most importantly, by the scientists themselves. Those interested in history, interdisciplinary research, climate science, and the human dimensions of research should read this book. Content of this book is mostly accessible to a general audience, but a little background in climate science would be helpful to understanding some of the terminology used.

Water Scholars is a Water Resources Research Learning community at the Iowa Water Center. This community offers programming to Iowa water resource researchers and professionals throughout the year that spans a book club, monthly communications, and professional development sessions. To learn more or to join, please visit our website.


Hanna Bates is the Acting Assistant Director for the Iowa Water Center. She holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa and an MS in Sociology and Sustainable Agriculture from Iowa State University. Follow on Twitter @hannatbates or email hbates@iastate.edu.