Dr. Kelley Donham is the Third Speaker in Prairie Studies Series, "Chemical Contaminants in Our Environment"
4:15 p.m., ARH 102, informal discussion with Professor Donham
7:30 p.m., ARH 102, lecture, "Intensive Livestock Production Systems: Occupational and Environmental Concerns"
On Wednesday, February 6, the Center for Prairie Studies is sponsoring a visit to campus by Dr. Kelley Donham, Professor and Associate Head for Agricultural Medicine, Occupational and Environmental Health in the College of Public Health, The University of Iowa. At 4:15 p.m., Dr. Donham will participate in an informal discussion about occupational and environmental health issues in Iowa agriculture, including issues relating to Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). At 7:30 p.m., also in ARH 102, he will present a lecture, "Intensive Livestock Production Systems: Occupational and Environmental Concerns." The public is invited to both events. Refreshments will be served.
Dr. Donham earned a B.S in Premedical Sciences and a M.S. in Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health from the University of Iowa, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University. He practiced veterinary medicine for several years before returning to the University of Iowa as a faculty member in 1973. He achieved the rank of full Professor in 1984.
At the University of Iowa, Dr. Donham developed an MS – PhD degree and Certificate program in Agricultural Safety and Health at the University of Iowa, the first and one of the few teaching programs today in agricultural medicine. The program focuses on specialty training for health care and occupational health professionals in health and safety issues in the farming community.
Dr. Donham's research has focused on occupational and environmental health concerns relative to intensive livestock housing, having conducted the original studies in this area beginning in 1974. In addition, he studies diseases of agricultural workers, particularly respiratory diseases, zoonotic infectious diseases, and intervention methods for prevention. He has published over 140 articles, three books, and numerous chapters in these areas. With co-author Anders Thelin of Sweden, he authored the first text book for the field, Agricultural Medicine: Occupational and Environmental Health for the Health Professions (Blackwell, 2006).
Historian Thomas Dunlap is First Speaker in Prairie Studies Series, “Chemical Contaminants in Our Environment”
Monday, September 24
4:15 p.m., Grinnell House, informal discussion with Professor Dunlap
7:30 p.m., JRC 101, lecture
Refreshments will be served at both the lecture and the informal discussion, and the public is invited.
In June of 1962, a scientist by the name of Rachel Carson published, in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker, an expose, written for a lay audience, of the harmful effects of certain agricultural chemicals on plant and animal life. Published in book form as Silent Spring, Carson’s work caused a sensation, was pilloried by critics, read by President Kennedy, and ultimately provided the basis for banning the pesticide DDT. The book is often considered the herald of modern American environmentalism.
In recognition of the fiftieth anniversary of Silent Spring’s publication, the Center for Prairie Studies is sponsoring a series of programs during the 2012-13 academic year on “Chemical Contaminants in Our Environment.” All of us are constantly exposed to man-made chemicals – in our homes, our places of work, and out-of-doors. Some of the exposure is intended, while some is not. Some of the exposure falls more heavily on certain occupational groups, while some falls indiscriminately. Some of these chemicals are detrimental to human and/or environmental health, yet not all of them are regulated. Others not currently suspected may also prove to be harmful. The series focuses on chemical contaminants likely to be encountered in Iowa.
The opening program of the series is a public lecture by Thomas Dunlap, professor of history at Texas A&M University, “Discovering our Chemical World: The Legacy of Silent Spring.” Professor Dunlap is the editor of DDT, Rachel Carson, and the Rise of Environmentalism (University of Washington Press, 2008), a collection of documents, the first of its kind, which trace shifting attitudes toward DDT and pesticides in general through a variety of sources: excerpts from scientific studies and government reports, advertisements from industry journals, articles from popular magazines, and the famous "Fable for Tomorrow" from Silent Spring. Professor Dunlap is the author of four books including In the Field, Among the Feathered: A History of Birders and Their Guides (2011), Faith in Nature: Environmentalism as Religious Quest (2005), and DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy" (1983).
Second Prairie Studies Speaker on "Chemical Contaminants in Our Environment"
Wednesday, October 10
4:15 p.m., Macy House, informal discussion with Dr. Hornbuckle
7:30 p.m., SCI 2021, non-technical lecture
Refreshments will be served at both the lecture and the informal discussion, and the public is invited.
Commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, the Center for Prairie Studies announces the second speaker in its series, "Chemical Contaminants in Our Environment," on Wednesday, October 10. Dr. Keri Hornbuckle, a 1987 graduate of Grinnell College will speak on the topic, "Rachel Carson's Dirty Dozen Chemicals in Iowa Air: The Case of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)."
PCBs are a class of odorless, tasteless, viscous chemicals that were developed in the 19th century and later widely used as coolants and insulating fluids in transformers, capacitors, and electric motors. In the early years, industry released large quantities of PCBs into the environment. Their chemical nature results in their persistence in the environment, and experts say that measureable amounts of PCBs can be found in bird feathers collected over a century ago and now held in museums.
Research established the toxicity of PCBs, and Congress banned their use in 1979. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PCBs have been shown to cause cancer in animals and humans. A number of peer-reviewed health studies have shown a causal link between exposure to PCBs and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, a frequently fatal form of cancer. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), approximately 99 percent of the PCBs used by U.S. industry were produced by the Monsanto Chemical Company
Dr. Hornbuckle is professor of civil and environmental engineering and Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Her research addresses the sources, transport, and fate of persistent organic pollutants, including PCBs, in natural systems.
GRINNELL TO HOST CHINA TOWN HALL: LOCAL CONNECTIONS, NATIONAL REFLECTIONS
Monday, October 29
5:00 - 5:45 p.m., buffet dinner
6:00 p.m., David Miller, "Feeding the Dragon: China's Appetite for Iowa Products"
7:00 p.m., live webcast with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke, "Current Issues in U.S.-China Relations"
Event will feature talks by David Miller,director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and Gary Locke, U.S. ambassador to the People's Republic of China
GRINNELL, IA— On Monday, Oct. 29 Grinnell will host CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections, starting at 5:00 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center. This event is co-sponsored by The Rosenfield Program and Prairie Studies and is open to the public and all members of the Grinnell College community. A buffet style dinner will be served prior to the lectures and an informal conversation refreshments follow.
CHINA Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving 60 cities throughout the United States, sponsored by the National Committee on United States-China Relations. As the Presidential election approaches, the U.S.-China relationship is in the news for both economic and geopolitical reasons. The CHINA Town Hall is designed to help Americans understand this dynamic relationship and answer their questions on the issues.
David Miller, director of research and commodity services for the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), will attend and speak at the CHINA Town Hall. His talk, "Feeding the Dragon: China's Appetite for Iowa Products" will begin at 6 p.m. and will be moderated by Matthew Johnson, assistant professor of history at Grinnell College.
David Miller coordinates the research programs of the Iowa Farm Bureau and the various commodity services offered by the Federation. He also provides economic analysis of agricultural issues and is a primary liaison for the Federation with state and national commodity organizations. Prior to working for the IFBF, Miller served as a commodity policy specialist for the American Farm Bureau, working on agricultural policy issues for dairy, livestock and the grain industry.
The CHINA Town Hall will also feature a live webcast with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke at 7 p.m. Ambassador Locke will discuss "Current Issues in U.S.-China Relations" and respond to questions from audience members nationwide, moderated by Stephen Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Gary Locke has been U.S. Ambassador to China since August 2011. As Secretary of Commerce from 2009 to 2011, he was point person for achieving the President's National Export Initiative, which achieved a thirty-two percent increase in exports to China from 2009 to 2010. Before his appointment to the President's cabinet, Locke served two terms as governor of Washington, where he helped double the state's exports to China, and as a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, David Wright Tremaine LLP, co-chairing the firm's China practice.
FARMSCAPE: Iowa’s Changing Rural Environment
Thursday, November 8
7:30 p.m., JRC 101
Two premises underlie Mary Swander’s latest book, Farmscape: The Changing Rural Environment (2012, Ice Cube Press): agriculture is central to Iowa’s identity, and nothing is as sure as change. The questions are: how has agriculture in Iowa changed? And how has agriculture changed Iowa?
The Center for Prairie Studies at Grinnell College welcomes Mary Swander, a Distinguished Professor at Iowa State University and, since 2009, Iowa’s poet laureate, back to campus on Thursday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. in JRC 101 for a diverse program that will address these questions.
Swander’s latest book grew out of a play she and some of her Iowa State University students wrote in 2007 based on interviews they conducted with Iowa farmers and Iowans touched by farming. The book includes the play as well as twelve essays about being in agriculture, being in the play, and what the future might hold.
The November 8 program will include readings by Swander -- a nationally and internationally-known award-winning author of non-fiction, poetry, drama, and journalism -- and by Grinnellian Harley McIlrath, who authored one of the book’s essays. In addition, three Grinnellians representing three generations in agriculture – Robert Dimit, Pam McIlrath, and Mark Doty – will be panelists commenting on their lives in farming and the changes they have witnessed.
Musical entertainment just before and just after the program will be provided by Grinnell’s Too Many String Band. The public is invited and refreshments will be served. Sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies.