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Scientists and farmers write about tending Iowa's altered landscape

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Iowa, like the rest of the world, is facing serious environmental challenges, but the state also has it's own unique set of problems.

As an agricultural state, we are dealing with soil loss and degradation, and multiple water quality challenges.

Iowa is the most altered state in the nation when it comes to natural habitat and that has meant a loss of biodiversity along with the impacts of climate change, but that doesn’t mean there's no hope.

The book Tending Iowa’s Land: Pathways to a Sustainable Future is a blend of natural history, human history, personal stories, science, agriculture and solutions. It brings together 28 contributors who represent many different walks of life and many different parts of Iowa.

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with the book's editor, Cornelia Mutel, and two other contributors to discuss what's happened to our land, the viable solutions to benefit agriculture as well as the state's human and wild residents.


  • Cornelia Mutel, author, former science writer for IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa
  • Seth Watkins, cattle producer from Clarinda
  • Larry Weber, civil and environmental engineering professor, Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics, and director, IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.