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“A Sip of Science” focus on agriculture and water quality

October 10, 2011Patrick NunnallyProgram & AnnouncementsComments Off on “A Sip of Science” focus on agriculture and water quality

We all know that the nexus of agricultural practice and water quality improvement is one of the most significant, and knottiest, problems facing Mississippi River policymakers and advocates.  The National Center for Earth-Surface Dynamics, at the University of Minnesota has made this problem the subject of its next “A Sip of Science” program, which is taking place this Wednesday, 1730-1900 (that’s 5:30-7:00 for laypeople like me!) at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis.

The press release below has more information and background:

A SIP OF SCIENCE bridges the gap between science and culture in a setting that bridges the gap between brain and belly.  Food, beer, and learning are on the menu in a happy hour forum that puts science in context through storytelling.


“Water is the one substance from which the earth can conceal nothing – it sucks out its innermost secrets and brings them to our very lips.”  – Jean Giraudoux

In recent decades, our growing realization of how we pollute our waterways has led to regulation of the most obvious pollution sources.  Cities have updated their wastewater treatment systems and industry can no longer dump their waste products into waterways.  But what about non-point sources of pollution that trickle into rivers, streams, and lakes from multiple different sources?  What are the cumulative impacts of that pollution on our waterways?

Historically, Minnesota has relied on voluntary incentives to reduce non-point water pollution.  Norman Senjem, recently retired from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, says that voluntary measures are no longer enough.  In our October Sip of Science, Norman discusses how non-point pollution is severely impacting Minnesota waterways and what steps can be made to address this growing problem by creating new regulation and incentives to hold polluters accountable, and broadening the context for developing solutions to agricultural pollution.

The talk takes place during happy hour at the Aster Cafe || Food and Drink Available for Purchase


Norman Senjem recently retired from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency where he spent 18 years as a project manager and scientist.  Previously he was professionally involved in Minnesota agriculture for 10 years.  Senjem holds a Masters degree in agricultural economics and has written extensively on agricultural marketing, production agriculture, and environmental policies affecting agriculture. In 2002 he was part of a team awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the American Society of Agronomy for the development of guidelines for conservation tillage in the Minnesota River basin.


A SIP OF SCIENCE is a science happy hour sponsored by the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED). It is a chance to hear about new and exciting research over beer, in a cool bar.  Come talk with the experts about their efforts to address some of the Earth’s most pressing problems. NCED’s A SIP OF SCIENCE brings the wonder of science to happy hour.

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