Grinnell Chamber

Community Calendar

Getting to Know the Place: A Talk on Iowa's Environmental History

Event Details:

Event Type: Announcement
Location: Humanities and Social Studies Center, Room A1231, Grinnell, IA 50112
Time: Wednesday, November 9, 2022 4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Categories: Lectures & Talks

Event Description:

Want to know more about Iowa's agricultural landscape as a place? Join invited Environmental Historian Joe Otto as he talks about how Iowa's landscape changed from native wet prairie to row crop farming. Otto tells this story not from the land's perspective, but from the water. The most important and least understood man-made feature of Iowa's agro-environment is the system for managing excess water. Also known as drainage, it is the water management systems built by people in the late-19th and early 20th centuries that support the neatly aligned fields and farms you see today. 

When: Wednesday, November 9, 4:15PM
Where: Humanities and Social Studies Center, room A1231

Joe Otto is the Special Projects and Partnerships Director for the Soil & Water Conservation Society – an international nonprofit organization based in Iowa that is dedicated to advancing the science and art of natural resource conservation. In this role he directs operations for over $2 million in federal and state grants. He is also the Society’s Historian. In this role he preserves the history of the Conservation Movement and has built up the Society as a leader in that space. He is also a doctoral candidate in History at the University of Oklahoma, where he specializes in the agricultural and environmental history of Iowa, with a focus on the management of public water resources and drainage infrastructure. Otto is deeply familiar with Iowa as a place, having grown up in rural Jasper County. His scholarship is based on interactions with Iowa’s lands and waters made over his lifetime, and a desire to share his knowledge and experiences with others who would like to learn about and know this place better.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies. Everyone is welcome. If you are an individual with a disability and need accommodations, please contact Conference Operations at 641-269-3235. Minors under the age 18 need to be accompanied by an adult. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.


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