University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Going to school in a national park

The next generation of professionals involved in river and water management will need to be able to gain information about scientific knowledge, community engagement, and resource management. They will have to get material from diverse sources and widely varying knowledge basis. We help train you, the next generation, through community based curriculum and special projects.


How do I participate?

How about a class based on the Mississippi River, heritage, or inclusive planning?  Or you can make a course in nearly any major a “river course” by doing a service learning project, or setting up a term paper on a river subject.  The Twin Cities area also offers a range of recreational opportunities to get you out on the river.

Find out more about recreational and engagement resources to help you explore the river.

Pulling up invasive species at Father Hennepin Island Park in Minneapolis MN

Why is this worth it?

We obviously think the Mississippi River is a pretty big deal, and if it has “gotten in your blood” too, then maybe you want to set out to make a career out of working on the great river.  You don’t have to be a scientist or an engineer, (although they are always welcome).  The Park Service and its partners have recently hired planners, landscape architects,  education specialists, and biologists.  In fact there are at least 8 students who have been involved with River Life in the past three years who are now working professionally in river-oriented careers.

Water Walk

What have others done?

Check out the projects on this page, which are student work from a 1000 level class and a 3000 level class.  The 3000 level project was a group project involving students from multiple colleges, while the 1000 level class material was developed by individual students and compiled for a later course exercise.

To learn more about how you can be a part of the exciting opportunities send an email to

New Voices on River Issues : Student Guest Blog Series


Contact Us!
Send us a note at to make suggestions for other places we should look, media to track, and stories to tell!
River Life in Video
Come Along for a Water Walk with Kare11 and River Life, and see Gifts at Work: The Mississippi River by the University of Minnesota Foundation
Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi
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.