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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 9, 2012

At A Glance

Butler appointed to board of directors of The Wind Alliance

P. Barry Butler, executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, has been appointed to the board of The Wind Alliance, a nonprofit organization consisting of representatives from the energy industry, academia, and the federal government.

The organization studies nationwide transmission, distribution, and storage requirements; identify the needs for next generation wind turbine research, development, manufacturing, and installation; and explore opportunities for research, education and industry partnerships.

Butler, who is also professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the UI College of Engineering, serves on the board of the American Wind Energy Association, the national trade association for some 2,000 companies engaged in the U.S. wind energy industry.

He is also a board member of the Iowa Alliance for Wind Innovation and Novel Development (IAWIND) -- a collaborative project of government, private industry, and educational institutions -- led by the UI College of Engineering, funded by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, and focused on attracting wind energy companies and related industries to the Midwest and, in particular, the state of Iowa.

Funded by member fees and donations, The Wind Alliance is managed and supported in part by the University of Houston.


Magna Carta encasement project features UI-handmade cotton paper

The National Archives in Washington, D.C., unveiled the newly restored and encased 1297 Magna Carta last week. This historic document, said to have inspired the United States Constitution, rests on cotton paper made at the University of Iowa's Oakdale Paper Research and Production Facility.

The only original Magna Carta permanently in the United States -- one of 17 Magna Carta documents issued by 13th century kings in existence -- was taken off display in 2011 to undergo conservation treatment and to be re-encased. This new enclosure was fabricated to National Archives requirements by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This encasement, filled with humidified argon, is based on an original design used to protect the Charters of Freedom, re-encased in 2003. This new exhibition of the Magna Carta will open to the public on Feb. 17.

Tim Barrett, director of papermaking facilities at the UI's Center for the Book, and his team originally produced this cotton paper during the National Archives' re-encasement of the Charters of Freedom.

The paper, crafted from textile quality American-grown cotton, is placed under the original parchment document. It helps enhance the light appearance of the translucent parchment, provide a soft stable cushion between the document and the perforated metal plate below, and stabilize the humidity within the encasement.


Iowa City Darwin Day evolves with new events
The sixth annual Iowa City Darwin Day celebration, scheduled Friday through Sunday, Feb. 10-12, with free, public events celebrating the life of Charles Darwin and featuring the theme "Bird Origins & Evolution," has expanded.

In addition to previously publicized activities, new events include:

--First editions of several of Charles Darwin's books on evolution will be displayed in Macbride Hall at the UI Museum of Natural History (MNH) -- with writings by Erasmus Darwin, Charles' grandfather, and former MNH curator and Darwin scholar C. C. Nutting, in the MNH's Iowa Hall from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 9-12.

--"Laura the Kid Dinosaur," a fossil dinosaur, will be on display, courtesy of the Eastern Iowa Paleontology Project, at MNH Saturday, Feb. 11.

--Fossils, replicas and models of feathered dinosaurs from the collection of Don "Fossil Guy" Johnson will be displayed at MNH, and Johnson will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to answer dinosaur-related questions.

--The Mid-America Paleontology Society will present a talk by Julia McHugh, UI Geoscience doctoral candidate, titled "Amphibian evolution as a window to terrestrial ecosystems during the Permian-Triassic mass extinction" at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in Macbride Auditorium.

--"The Rap Guide to Evolution," a critically acclaimed off-Broadway show featuring Canadian rap artist Baba Brinkman, will conclude the events with a free, public performance at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, in the Englert Theatre.


Author Pico Iyer reads Feb. 15 at the University of Iowa

Renowned novelist, essayist, and world traveler Pico Iyer will present a free reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Van Allen Hall.

The British-born writer of East Indian descent moved to America at the age of eight, and subsequently journeyed all over the world. He has written several works of both fiction and nonfiction inspired by his travels. Now a resident of suburban Japan, he has described himself as "a global village on two legs."

A frequent contributor to The New York Times, Time, National Geographic, The New York Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and other publications, Iyer has developed a style that Indian writer Pradeep Sebastian has likened to "Thomas Merton on a frequent flier pass." Utne Reader has named him one of of "100 Visionaries Worldwide Who Could Change Your Life."

Iyer's latest book, The Man Within My Head, explores his own feeling of kinship with the English author Graham Greene, who had a lifelong case of wanderlust.

His visit is sponsored by the University of Iowa Nonfiction Writing Program, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Prairie Lights books.


Pittard reads from new novel Feb. 16 at

Hannah Pittard will read from her novel, The Fates Will Find Their Way, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Prairie Lights Books, streamed live on the University of Iowa's website.

Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing, and as the days and years pile up, the mystery of her disappearance grows kaleidoscopically. A collection of rumors, divergent suspicions, and tantalizing what-ifs, the story is a shadowy projection of teenage lust, friendship, reverence, and regret, recounted in the plural voice of the boys who still long for her.

Pittard's fiction has appeared in McSweeney's, the Oxford American, Narrative, the Mississippi Review and StoryQuarterly, and was included in 2008 Best American Short Stories.

She is the recipient of 2006 Amanda Davis Highwire Fiction Award, and she currently teaches fiction at DePaul University.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.