University of Iowa hosts activities and events to commemorate Earth Month
Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The People's Weather Map

This is a crowd-sourcing web project sponsored by the UI Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities that will (when complete) invite the public to add personal photographs and stories about extreme weather events in Iowa—like the 2008 floods—to a digital map of the state. Three UI faculty and staff developed the project to make visible patterns of extreme weather, create a historical context for weather, and provide a new, more personal, way for Iowans to understand and discuss climate change.

Contact: Mark NeuCollins, Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities,, 319-560-9360.

Climate Narrative Project

Bringing together science, humanities, journalism and the arts, the Office of Sustainability has launched the Climate Narrative Project. Through this media arts initiative, three undergraduate fellows have explored the Iowa River and its historical and contemporary connection to environmental, agricultural, sustainability, and climate topics relevant to the UI community, Iowa City, the state of Iowa, and the Mississippi River. See their blog for updates on the project.

Contact: Jeff Biggers, Sustainability Writer-in Residence,

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Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability

This is one of the most popular certificate programs at the UI, with 133 undergraduates currently enrolled. Founded in 2009, the program "aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need to contribute to the development of sustainable systems." It requires hands-on research, across four areas: changing environments and human health; energy, climate, and built environments; the power of culture and society; and ethics, economics, and public policy.

Contact: Franklin Yoder, Academic Advising,, 319-353-5700

Earth Month Commuter Bike Challenge

Bicycles will be taking over the streets this month as part of the Earth Month Commuter Bike Challenge April 6-27. Cyclists can form teams or track their progress individually and those who log the most miles and days biked will take home trophies and other prizes. The challenge is intended to encourage biking as healthy and environmentally sound way to commute.

Contacts: George McCrory, Office of Sustainability, Andrew Lynch, Bike Advisory Committee

Reusable Bag Campaign - April 22

The campaign takes place in the Ped Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 22. Plastic shopping bags can be exchanged for reusable ones. The event is sponsored by the UI Environmental Coalition and 100 Grannies.

Contacts: Ilsa DeWald, University of Iowa Environmental Coalition; Barbara Schlachter, 100 Grannies.

Climate Festival illustration of Iowa
Illustration courtesy the Department of Chemistry.

Iowa Climate Festival –
April 26

This is a free, public event on climate science, held at the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History. The public is invited to panels and Q&A sessions with climate experts from the UI, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State Hygienic Laboratory, who will discuss how a changing climate may affect Iowa's agriculture, public health and water supplies.

Contact: Amy Charles, Department of Chemistry,, 319-353-2348

To read a related story, visit UI gears up to celebrate Earth Month 2014.