Among water professionals in the upper Midwest, there is a growing understanding of the need for even more social science work, so that we can meet the economic and environmental challenges that face our region.
The 2019 Iowa Water Conference, an effort of the Iowa Water Center, had the theme of “Back to Basics: Land, Water, People.” The conference has the goal of looking for solutions to water management issues in Iowa and focuses on the entire ecosystem.
J. Arbuckle, professor of sociology, and three of his graduate students–Chris Morris, Maggie Norton and Laurie Nowatzke–presented at the Iowa Water Conference on March 12 and 13. Arbuckle, Morris and Nowatzke contributed to the conference’s first dedicated social science breakout track by presenting on their respective projects that study Iowa farmers and agricultural conservation. Norton presented in a track titled, “Water and livestock”, on her work on livestock operations and water scarcity in Northwest Iowa. Both sessions were very well attended!
In its 14th year, the Iowa Water Conference pulled in more social science presentations than it has in the past. The strong attendance at these talks speaks to the fact that social science plays a key role in helping our communities rise to these complex challenges.