People, Land, and Water
River Life was a program of the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota that created new knowledge about the relationships between communities and the waters and lands that they depend on, and that depend on them. Our work connected scholars from disciplines across campus to community work and knowledges. The program drew to a conclusion in 2020 after more than eleven years of groundbreaking work. We are immensely grateful for the support and insight provided by our many partners and friends. Program participants are continuing the work at Open Rivers, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Institute on the Environment, the College of Design, and the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences. If you have any questions about River Life and the work we did, please contact Joanne Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This site contains brief articles and links to resources that explore issues that bring together concerns for water, place, and justice, and related matters. These questions, which are some of the most complex and urgent that we face, require thinking that crosses academic disciplines and bridges the gaps between scholarly knowledge and community-based understanding. While water, land, and communities are our “subjects,” the ways we explore them are deeply grounded in understandings of reciprocal knowledge, a commitment to environmental justice, and resilience in the face of climate change.
The Challenge and Opportunity
Located on the banks of one of the world’s great rivers, the University of Minnesota, through its teaching, research, and campus practices, is a model for developing future-oriented, resilient relationships between communities and water. We are all responsible for the conditions of our water, and should understand that stresses on our water systems threaten our most vulnerable populations most heavily. Working with communities of scholars and professionals on and off campus, River Life creates knowledge-sharing programs including the digital journal Open Rivers, a blog and a vibrant social media presence. River Life uses these activities to increase interdisciplinary and cross-sector capacity to address the related issues of water and justice, two of society's greatest challenges.
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.