IEC and Drake partnering to share diverse perspectives on water in Iowa

posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Water and Land News

Drake students presenting their research

The Iowa Environmental Council was recently awarded two grants, totaling $30,000, to support outreach focused on water quality, climate change, and environmental justice. The project is part of a collaboration with Drake Community Press, which works with Iowa non-profits on creative storytelling projects.

This spring and summer, IEC will be organizing small gatherings of diverse people to share perspectives on water in Iowa, including issues like the costs and safety of drinking water, the Raccoon River in a droughtimpacts of agricultural pollution, and climate-related flooding and drought.

The grants, funded through the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and Humanities Iowa, reflect IEC’s increasing focus on connecting the science and politics of environmental challenges with the stories and perspectives of diverse Iowans. This project embodies our commitment to environmental justice, partnering with those most impacted

Tower at Storm Lakeby climate and water issues in our state. Stay tuned for more details as we organize community dialogues in Storm Lake, Perry, the Meskwaki settlement, and Southwest Iowa. Please let us know if you are interested in participating in the project, especially if you live in one of these areas, or if you are interesting in contributing to support this partnership.

About The Author

Serving most recently as Director of Sustainability - Education and Partnerships at Central College in Pella, Brian worked for more than six years to integrate sustainability throughout the institution, including courses across all departments; student research and internships; the college’s energy and waste management; local food partnerships with area farmers; community environmental education programs; and public advocacy for environmental and climate justice. 

Brian holds a BA from Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina; a Masters from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California; and a PhD from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

His academic training, teaching, and research have focused on the history and culture of American environmentalism, especially the values and stories that motivate grassroots engagement. Brian is co-producer of Mid-Americana: Stories from a Changing Midwest, a podcast highlighting the region’s diverse people and places. 

Brian has served on a number of local, regional, and national boards, including the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability, and the RE-AMP Network. He has been an active member of the City of Des Moines Sustainability Task Force and is the outgoing Board President of Iowa Interfaith Power & Light.

Brian grew up on the Alabama Gulf Coast and in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Since 2014, he and his wife Gina and two sons, Ian and Elliot, have called Des Moines home. Brian enjoys baking bread, playing soccer, and exploring the lakes, rivers, and trails of Iowa and the Midwest.