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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 29, 2011

At A Glance

Engineer receives NSF grant to study behavior of iron nanoparticles in soil

Michelle Scherer, professor and departmental executive officer of civil and environmental engineering in the UI College of Engineering, Robert Wheeler Faculty Fellow of Engineering and researcher in the UI Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute at UI, and IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering has received a three-year, $259,884 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to study the behavior of iron nanoparticles in soils, effective Sept. 1.

Titled "Collaborative Research: Stable Isotope Investigation of Fe Oxide Reactivity and Natural Isotope Fractionation," the project involves an analysis of the molecular-level reactions of iron nanoparticles in soils. Recent work by Scherer and her graduate students has shown that metals may be reacting with more than just the surfaces of iron minerals in soils.

Scherer's colleagues on the project include Clark Johnson and Brian Beard from the Department of Geoscience at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. The work supported by this collaborative grant will bring together researchers and students from geology and engineering, applying a unique isotopic approach to understanding the behavior of iron nanoparticles in soils. The results will have direct application to studies of ancient climate changes, agricultural practices, and water quality.


Japanese cultural activities to be featured at UN Day celebration Oct. 5
Japan is the focus of the United Nations Day of Older Persons third annual celebration from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the Assembly Room of the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. The event is free and open to all ages.
The United Nations Day of Older Persons is internationally recognized as Oct. 1. The celebration focuses on international perspectives on aging and culture, and Japan is a country where people tend to live longer. Each year a country is spotlighted, and the public is invited to explore foods, traditions, language and culture from that country. Last year the program focused on India.
The event will feature guests speakers, Japanese national exercises, traditional food and green tea, calligraphy and origami, cultural demonstrations and much more.

This event is sponsored by University of Iowa International Programs, the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, the Iowa United Nations Association, and the UI Aging Studies Program in the School of Social Work in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Michelle Buhman at or 319-356-5222.


Art vs. income in India is focus of several UI events Oct. 6-8
The next WorldCanvass program from University of Iowa International Programs will explore "New Culture and New Welfare in South Asia: the Arts in India" at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol Museum. The production is part of a larger UI conference of the same name from Oct. 6-8, and all events are free and open to the public.
This series of events will explore the relationship between different sorts of art and different levels of income in South Asia . For a full schedule of events, visit
Joining WorldCanvass host Joan Kjaer will be a number of international scholars of South Asian history, traditions and arts, including UI faculty members Paul Greenough and Philip Lutgendorf, both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and playwright and theater producer Vijay Padaki.
These events are made possible with support from a UI International Programs Major Project Grant, an Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program Grant, the South Asian Studies Program (SASP), the SASP Ananthamurthy Fund, UI Pentacrest Museums, UITV, KRUI and Information Technology Services.
For more information, visit or contact Joan Kjaer at or 319-335-2026.


Photos for At A Glance items, if available, may be found at

Campus events are searchable on the UI Master Calendar:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.