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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 22, 2006

Talk Centers On 'Natural' Disasters In Sri Lanka, New Orleans Sept. 29

John Mutter will give the next Iowa City Foreign Relations Council (ICFRC) luncheon talk on "'Natural' Disasters and Human Development: from Sri Lanka to New Orleans and Back."  The luncheon will be held at noon Friday, Sept. 29, in the Rockwood Fellowship Hall, Congregational Church, 30 N. Clinton St. in Iowa City.

Mutter is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University. He is participating in the Engineers for a Sustainable World conference at The University of Iowa College of Engineering.

Mutter is also the deputy director of the Earth Institute at Columbia. The institute takes a comprehensive approach to understanding the nexus between the Earth's environment and the nature of the human condition. According to Mutter, it is probably no accident that most of the world's poor people live in arid or tropical environments and suffer more from variations in natural conditions than those in the temperate zones. Thus, an enhanced understanding of the relationship between natural systems and human development can be used to improve the condition of the world's poor and for the lives of all.

The program is presented, in part, with the support of East Central Iowa Charitable Trust and BDF Investment, Coralville. The event will be catered by The Cottage Bakery & Cafe. For those unable to attend, WSUI-AM will carry the program on Monday, Oct. 2, following the noon news.

Reservation forms can be mailed with a check to: ICFRC, 1111 University Capitol Centre, Iowa City, IA, 52242-5500. Reservations are $7 for members and $8.50 for non-members and must be received by noon Wednesday, Sept. 27.

For more information on this program, the ICFRC or special accommodations to attend this lecture, contact Thomas Baldridge at 319-384-2260 or Marianne Weiss at 319-335-0351.

ICFRC is a non-profit association of community and university people interested in learning more about U.S. foreign policy, world affairs and current global issues impacting world societies. The group provides members with the opportunity to hear more than 35 experts per year who visit the UI campus and the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

ICFRC is a part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026,; Program: Marianne Weiss, 319-335-0351,; Writer: Erin Vaughn