Tending Iowa’s Land

Join us at 7 PM on Friday, Feb 10 to dive into Tending Iowa’s Land, which features work from several Ames authors, with readings and a Q&A!

In the last 200 years, Iowa’s prairies and other wildlands have been transformed into vast agricultural fields. This massive conversion has provided us with food, fiber, and fuel in abundance. But it has also robbed Iowa’s land of its native resilience and created the environmental problems that today challenge our everyday lives: polluted waters, increasing floods, loss and degradation of rich prairie topsoil, compromised natural systems, and now climate change.

In a straightforward, friendly style, Iowa’s premier scientists and experts consider what has happened to our land and outline viable solutions that benefit agriculture as well as the state’s human and wild residents. 

Tending Iowa’s Land contains essays by Ames authors Pauline Drobney , Bill Gutowski, and Marlene Ehresman, who will join us to read their work at Dog-Eared Books. After the reading, there will be a short Q&A moderated by the book’s editor, Cornelia Mutel.


Featured Ames Authors

Pauline Drobney is a prairie biologist with four decades of experience in restoring prairie remnants and reconstructing planted prairie and savanna throughout the Midwest and particularly in Iowa as the first biologist at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. Recently retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, she has authored book chapters as well as numerous scientific papers and technical reports.  Pauline continues the work of healing the prairie and savanna ecological on 130 acres of land with her husband and son, and continues to provide consultation to others on similar journeys.

Marlene Warren Ehresman is a woman, wife, mother, wildlife biologist, licensed wildlife rehabilitator, co-founder of multiple conservation nonprofits, executive director of The Iowa Wildlife Center, writer, and life-long learner and conservation volunteer. Born and raised in Ames, Marlene has returned to settle in an oak savanna near a lovely urban park with her husband for this part of her journey.

Dr. William Gutowski is a climate scientist who has worked in research and global leadership roles to understand regional climate processes and climate-change information. He was a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports, as well as climate reports for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Climate Change Science Plan by the Pres. G. W. Bush administration.  He is a fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Cornelia Mutel is the editor of Tending Iowa’s Land and author of other books on nature in Iowa, including The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa, and A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland. Before retirement, she was a Senior Science Writer at the University of Iowa’s IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering. Connie lives with her husband in an oak woodland that they are restoring to its native biodiversity and health.