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River Life, a program at the University of Minnesota, uses social media, a digital atlas, and case study reports to develop and share knowledge on the science and professional practices that create inclusive, sustainable rivers. We discuss science and planning, engagement and inclusion, sustainability and river issues in a spatial, thoughtful, and timely manner.
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. For more information, see About River Life.
Students can participate through recreational or service projects, can apply for internships with community partners, or a select few may choose a career path that leads to graduate study, a job in the field, or both.
Faculty research, teaching, and engagement programs become “river-centric” and take up questions of how knowledge and teaching are applied in the community, and how interdisciplinary investigation address complex river and landscape problems.
River Life is a broadly inclusive program, open to students from any major, faculty from a host of disciplines, and community partners who are focused on river sustainability and inclusive planning. Join us for our fall events series, including Wednesday Water Walks and River Talk at the Aster.
Community partners are key to the success of the entire program and provide case studies for research, suggest topics for internship, thesis, or service learning questions, hire students in seasonal positions, and mentor the “next generation” of river leaders.
Rivers represent perhaps the most complex biological and physical systems in the world. Yet our 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.