Margaret Palmer, distinguished university professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, is set to speak at Iowa State about the condition and restoration of streams, rivers and other bodies of water at “Healing America’s Streams.”
The lecture is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.
Palmer will be speaking about the water sustainability in the United States. Grace Wilkinson, an assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology at Iowa State, said Palmer is a world renowned expert in stream restoration.
“She has gone on diplomatic missions and she has [testified] in Congress and other court cases when it comes to stream restoration and the ecological issues there,” Wilkinson said. “[She’s] very well known for her work, very respected. We are very excited to have her here.”
Palmer’s lecture is part of the Forbes Ronald lecture series. Wilkinson said the series of lectures specifically supports female leaders in water sustainability.
“It’s a really unique opportunity to be bringing women who are leaders in the United States and around the globe in water sustainability issues,” Wilkinson said.
Palmer’s area of expertise is in mountaintop mining. According to earthsjutice.org, mountaintop mining is a destructive mining practice which ruins drinking water for millions of people.
Though there are not issues with mountaintop mining in Iowa, there are other ways human activities affect our water supply in the state. Wilkinson said nutrients leave Iowa’s soils through streams and rivers and end up in the Gulf of Mexico.
“We have a lot of work to do here, thinking about how we can restore streams and water on our landscape in order to handle those nutrients,” Wilkinson said.
Palmer is expected to bring a different perspective to the concept of water sustainability to listeners. With Palmer’s background in mountaintop mining and the issue of nutrient reduction in the state of Iowa, Wilkinson predicts an engaging lecture.
“I think there is going to be a fantastic opportunity to learn from Palmer,” Wilksinson said. “The ways she thinks about stream restoration in mountaintop mining is a lot different than the high nutrient pollution that we have here in the state, but there is some similar issues as well, so [it will be] a great opportunity to learn and exchange ideas.”