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University of Iowa News Release

 

Feb. 22, 2010

Mutel's book from the UI Press examines the flood of 2008

book cover"A Watershed Year: Anatomy of the Iowa Floods of 2008," edited by Cornelia F. Mutel, will become available March 1 from Bur Oak Books series of the University of Iowa Press.

In June 2008, the rivers of eastern Iowa rose above their banks to create floods of epic proportions. In some places the rivers flowed at a rate nearly double that of the previous record flood, and the rapidity of their rise ruined farmlands and displaced thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses. The rapidity of their rise ruined farmlands and displaced thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses.

In Cedar Rapids, the waters inundated more than nine square miles of the downtown area; in Iowa City, where the flood was also the most destructive in history, several buildings on the UI arts campus were destroyed.

By providing of scientific and technical information and a wealth of supporting illustrations, the contributors to the book, many of whom dealt firsthand with the 2008 floods, provide a detailed roadmap of the causes and effects of future devastating floods.

While the book draws most of its examples from one particular region, it explains flooding throughout a much larger region. By examining the relationships among rivers, floodplains, weather and modern society; by stressing matters of science and fact rather than social or policy issues; and by addressing multiple environmental problems and benefits, "A Watershed Year" educates all those who experienced the 2008 floods and all those concerned with the larger causes of flooding.

UI President Sally Mason commented, "'A Watershed Year' is a superb example of a public university in action. Grounded in the best science yet also telling a compelling human story, this book brings to bear the perspective and talents of many experts in the university and broader communities. It is a fascinating historical document, a substantial contribution to our knowledge about floods and an invaluable tool for the future when the rivers rise again."

Mutel is the historian and archivist for IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering at the UI College of Engineering. She is the author of "Fragile Giants: A Natural History of the Loess Hills" and "The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa," co-author of "From Grassland to Glacier: The Natural History of Colorado and the Surrounding Region," and co-editor of "Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments and Peoples of the Loess Hills" and "The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook for Prairies, Savannas and Woodlands."

Recognizing the richness of midwestern heritage, the original and reprinted Bur Oak Books, named after the state tree of Iowa, represent the UI Press's dedication to preserving the literature, history, geography and culture of the region.

The book is available at bookstores or directly from the press, 800-621-2736 or http://www.uiowapress.org. Customers in the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East or Africa may order from Eurospan Group at http://www.eurospanbookstore.com. It is also available as a pdf e-book: http://www.uiowapress.org/search/browse-by-subject/browse-EBOOKS.html.

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: http://calendar.uiowa.edu. Exhibitions are searchable at http://calendar.uiowa.edu/exhibitions. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Allison Means, UI Press, allison-means@uiowa.edu. Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu

UI arts events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar: http://calendar.uiowa.edu. Exhibitions are searchable at http://calendar.uiowa.edu/exhibitions. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/acr-news.html and click the link "Join or Leave ACR News," then follow the instructions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, University News Services, 319-430-1013, winston-barclay@uiowa.edu