Forthcoming Iowa memoir connects personal life to climate change


Connie Mutel (Photo: Tim Schoon)
Connie Mutel (Photo: Tim Schoon)
KC McGinnis | February 16, 2016

Iowa City ecologist Connie Mutel’s new memoir will reflect on the effects of climate change on her personal life and the lives of those around her.

Mutel, senior science writer for IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering at the University of Iowa, has been working on the memoir, A Sugar Creek Chronicle: Observing Climate Change from a Midwestern Woodland, since 2011, according to an interview with The Gazette. The book, to be released in March, combines climate science with personal stories to help readers connect with the material in new ways.

Mutel named the book after an unnamed stream on land near her home that she calls Sugar Creek. Changing climate conditions including heavy rainfall and increased extreme weather events have eroded the banks of the creek, changing a landscape that holds fond memories for the author. The idea that the landscape she loves could disappear forever due to the effects of climate change made writing the book particularly difficult.

The book integrates daily reflections on Mutel’s personal connections to nature with scientific writing that emphasizes the need to move away from fossil fuel emissions. Mutel will discuss and present readings of the book at two events in March, one at Celebration Farm outside Iowa City at 7:30 p.m. on March 10 and another at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City at 7 p.m. on March 30.

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