Wherever you grew up, wherever you live today, chances are there is a river that is part of your story. For the University of Minnesota, the river is the Mississippi.
One of the world's largest and hardest-working waterways, the Mississippi runs right through the heart of the Twin Cities campus. Scientists conduct research here. Rowers practice their strokes. Students enjoy the sun-sparkled waters as they walk, bike or bus from class to class. And IonE's River Life program builds from it a foundation for understanding and appreciating rivers everywhere.
In River Life's words: "Rivers represent perhaps the most complex biological and physical systems in the world. And worldwide, great rivers are threatened: Water quality and quantity both are at peril from overuse, from competing uses, and from a generalized failure to recognize how valuable and imperiled the resource really is. Our work is grounded in a conviction that future river managers will need to be conversant in the sciences, public policy, design, planning, and in the engagement programs that reach the broadest sectors of the populace."
Like to learn more? Check out River Life's new website, launched just last week. The site is a strategic hub for scientists, policymakers, educators, citizens and others who want or need to understand and synthesize the many dimensions of rivers and river issues. Using social media, a digital atlas, and case study reports, River Life develops and share knowledge about science, planning, engagement, inclusion, sustainability, and river issues in a spatial, thoughtful, and timely manner. Through the website you can explore a list of river resources, view river-related news items, read river stories, learn how you can make the river a part of your curriculum, and use the program's signature River Atlas to get a bird's eye view of rivers and river issues. Take a look!