Please join the Environmental Change Initiative for a virtual seminar presented by David Cwiertny, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering/Chemistry at the University of Iowa.
His seminar title is "Far from heaven: Challenges to safe drinking water in Iowa."
Abstract: Iowa leads the nation in the production of corn, pork, and eggs, while ranking among the leaders in many other commodity crops including soybeans. Achieving these outputs has required extreme chemical inputs often at the expense of water quality. In this talk, we'll explore the unique water quality challenges posed by agricultural intensification in Iowa. The leading exporter of nitrogen that fuels the anoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, Iowa struggles closer to home with communities threatened by unsafe levels of nitrate in their drinking water. Unregulated contaminant classes including pesticides widely used in agriculture are also frequently detected in drinking water sources, with poorly characterized health risks. Among those most vulnerable are the over 300,000 Iowans that rely on private drinking water wells, which fall outside of regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act yet are highly vulnerable to both naturally occurring (e.g., arsenic, manganese, radium) and land-use derived contaminants. Highlighting recent research at the intersection of environmental engineering, public health and policy, this talk will draw upon original research conducted at the University of Iowa and through the state-funded Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination.
Bio: Dr. David Cwiertny is the William D. Ashton Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Iowa. His research specializes in the development of nanomaterials based approaches for resource sustainability and the environmental occurrence, fate and effects of emerging pollutant classes. At UI, he directs the state-funded Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, which conducts research to identify, measure, and prevent adverse health outcomes from exposure to environmental pollutants. He also serves as the director of the Environmental Policy Research Program through the University of Iowa Public Policy Center, which leverages his role as a Congressional Fellow for the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2016. David holds a BS in Environmental Engineering Science and a minor in Chemistry from U.C. Berkeley (2000), and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University (2006).