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RIVER LIFE

Adventure learning on the Big River

October 13, 2014Patrick NunnallyFormer Featured PostsComments Off on Adventure learning on the Big River

Veteran Mississippi River watchers can count on a few teams each year that will plan to navigate the full river under their own power, and will reach out to schools as they go.  Most of these trips take place in summer, so the outreach engages children through summer camps and things like that rather than formal curriculum connections.

Last winter, a couple of guys from Seattle got in touch with us, seeking advice and recommendations about a trip they were planning for fall 2014.  Jordan Hanssen and Greg Spooner make up OARNorthwest, a nonprofit group that researches and educates about water through self-propelled adventures on big waters.  They had done a couple of ocean trips in large specialized rowboats, and were thinking about a Mississippi River tour that would connect directly with classrooms in river communities as they progressed.

The result is Adventure: Mississippi River, which began September 2 and is now as of today south of the Quad Cities.  Jordan, Greg, and the rest of their team have done a great deal of advance work, lining up classes and resources the length of the river, working out where they will be gathering water samples for analysis, and scheduling their internet connections, webinars, and other communications.

Adventure: Mississippi River is turning into one of the most organized, best connected and communicated river trips we have heard of recently.  Follow them on the expedition web site, through Facebook and Twitter.  You’ll see a whole different river than the one you know!

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A joint project of River Life, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the University of Minnesota Libraries, Open Rivers is an interdisciplinary online journal that recognizes the Mississippi River as a space for timely and critical conversations about people, community, water, and place.