"Our book summarizes changes in the status, distribution, conservation needs, and future prospects for ~60 species of Iowa wildlife during the last 30 years."
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
book cover with small animal

Each semester, the Writing University hosts the 5Q Interview series with authors from the University of Iowa Press. We sit down with UI Press authors to ask about their work, their process, their reading lists and events. Today we are speaking with Stephen J. Dinsmore, co-author of Iowa's Changing Wildlife.



Hello Stephen!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about your new book Iowa's Changing Wildlife?

Our book summarizes changes in the status, distribution, conservation needs, and future prospects for ~60 species of Iowa wildlife during the last 30 years. These changes are a mix of positive and concern, with a few that are stable.

2. What was the inspiration for this work?

The inspiration came mostly from James J. Dinsmore, but was our observation that recent changes (last 30 years) were profound enough that there was a story to tell.  

3. Do you have any plans for readings or events for this book, either in person or virtual?

None yet, but I have had a couple of program requests.

4. What are you reading right now? Any books from other university or independent presses?

I read a lot of history books, mostly related to places like Antarctica, the Arctic, Africa, etc. These are not typically published by university presses and most come from larger commercial presses.

5. What is your writing routine? Do you have a daily routine?

I write when I have time, which comes in dedicated blocks around my work and personal schedules.


Thank you Stephen!

Stephen J. Dinsmore is a Professor of wildlife ecology and Department Chair in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State University. He received a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University (1990), a M.S. in Zoology (minor in Statistics) from North Carolina State University (1994), and a Ph.D. in Fishery and Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University (2001). Prior to his move to Iowa State, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at Mississippi State University. His primary interests are avian ecology, population biology, capture-recapture analysis, and monitoring animal populations. His research program at Iowa State University emphasizes studies of avian population biology although his work encompasses other taxa too. He currently supervises one research scientist, two post docs, and six graduate students working primarily on issues of demography and habitat management of birds. In addition to projects involving graduate students, he maintains his own research program with Mountain Plovers and collaborates with scientists on projects related to avian ecology, population biology, and sampling and study design issues. His teaching responsibilities include a graduate course in avian ecology and study abroad courses to Antarctica, Madagascar, and Tanzania. He gives seminars and scientific presentations nationwide, and enjoys teaching workshops on the use of Program MARK and the analysis of wildlife demographic data. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife (Karen) and daughter (Lena), bird-watching, and traveling.