Each year since 2011, scientists at Iowa universities and research institutions have signed a one-page statement describing how climate change affects Iowans. The most recent version of this document has nearly 200 signees, a large increase from the more than 30 signatures in the statement’s first year.

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David Courard-Hauri, Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Drake University and a lead author of the climate statement, hopes that the document will encourage Iowans to engage with local experts about the changing climate.

Courard-Hauri: “We felt like if people saw names of someone who maybe they knew or maybe they were at least at a college that’s nearby, that would allow them to engage in conversations.”

This year, the team of scientists is encouraging Iowans to ask visiting presidential candidates about their plans to address climate change.

Courard-Hauri: “People can hear how the presidential candidates think about science. How do you take data that scientists have put together – but how do you take that in the real world and make policy choices based on it?”

With Iowa hosting the first caucus in the nation, the scientists’ campaign could influence the 2016 presidential election.

Reporting credit: Nick Fetty, Climate Narrative Project, University of Iowa-Iowa City, IA and ChavoBart Digital Media/Aren Zolninger.
Photo source: 2016 Iowa Caucus website.

More Resources
Iowa Scientists to Presidential Candidates: Climate Change ‘Is Not An Issue That Can Be Ignored’
Iowa Climate Statement 2015 calls for presidential hopefuls to address climate change
2015 Iowa Climate Statement: More Mosquitoes and More Allergens
Iowa Climate Statement 2015: Time for Action