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Currents Flows On

Posted on April 3rd, 2020

by Margot Dick

A messy stack of magazines with the 2020 version on topJackie Hartling Stolze of the University of Iowa’s IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering (IIHR) has spent the last decade creating IIHR Currents, an award-winning publication. The annual magazine features stories from IIHR faculty, staff, and students about research, facilities, and IIHR history.

The year 2020 marks a watershed year for Currents, now entering its 10th year of publication with an issue celebrating the IIHR centennial.

“I often think of myself as the IIHR’s storyteller-in-chief, and I can’t think of a better job anywhere,” Stolze says.

The publication quickly expanded from the first year’s 25 pages to the most recent issue with a whopping 55 pages detailing the last century of work at IIHR. For the first time in its history, Currents features an issue-long timeline starting with the creation of the Burlington Street Dam in 1906 and ending with the announcement of IIHR’s centennial celebrations beginning in August 2020.

The timeline follows the story of IIHR, from its first director– Floyd Nagler– through building expansions, river modeling, exchange programs, and more along with notable global events. Century-old photographs accompany the dates, bringing the timeline to life. As part of a research institution, IIHR has photos documenting everything from the original one-room building to old models that have been lost to time.

“I just think it’s kind of fascinating to look at these old photos and you see the people looking back at you and they look you in the eye,” Stolze says. “What they did all those years ago is still important, and we’re still remembering it,”

IIHR’s story starts in 1920 with the foundation of the first iteration of the hydraulics lab. The lab has stayed in the same spot for 100 years, though a much larger building sits there today. The original construction was a 22-by-22-foot room with a removable floor for experiments in the river running below. The timeline includes photos along with descriptions, including pictures from construction that very first year.

A magazine open to the center page The timeline goes on to detail the accomplishments of the directors, large research projects, group photos, and finally the introduction to the upcoming celebrations in 2020. Stolze hopes the wide variety of photos and concise text create the feel of a scrapbook, something you can page through, read from, and pick up where you left off. The scrapbook look with a modern twist plays on the feel of IIHR as an organization–an old style with modern ideas and innovation.

IIHR would like to thank the following people for their hard work on the magazine, including Aneta Goska for scanning hundreds of photos, Robyn Hepker for her graphic design skills, and our student employees: Emilie Wilson, Lyndi Kiple, and Margot Dick. Thank you to our director of development and communications, Carmen Langel and IIHR’s director, Gabriele Villarini for their continued support of Currents.

An enormous thank you to Connie Mutel for her research and for her book, Flowing Through Time. Without her, this year’s Currents would not have been possible.

Please contact IIHR to let us know what you think of this year’s Currents– we would love to hear from you!

Read IIHR Currents online


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