The Iowa Journal explores Iowa's role in the preservation and conservation of the state's and the nation's natural heritage.
In the first half hour of the program, Dan Kaercher takes viewers around the state to learn about people who have made and are making a difference to Iowa’s environment, in the past, the present and the future. Kaercher introduces viewers to four early Iowa conservationists: John F. Lacey, Charles Reuben Keyes, Ada Hayden, and Margo K. Frankel.
He also travels the Loess Hills in western Iowa and learns what people are doing to save the unusual topographical formation there. The program also visits Lakeside Lab on West Lake Okoboji. Founded in 1909 to teach students about “nature in nature,” Lakeside Lab offers opportunities students can’t find anywhere else.
The second half-hour also features host Paul Yeager discussing environmental issues in the studio with Chuck Gipp, Director of the Division of Soil Conservation in the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Pat Boddy, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources; former Congressman Neal Smith who served Iowa for 36 years in the U.S. House; Connie Mutel, from The University of Iowa, ecologist and author of Fragile Giants about Iowa’s Loess Hills and The Emerald Horizon: The History of Nature in Iowa; and Chad Graeve, natural resource specialist at the Hitchcock Nature Center near Honey Creek.