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: Postcard view of Harriet Island and public baths/swimming beach, first decade of the 20th century.

#TBT: Layers of Landscape at Harriet Island

It’s one thing to say that our landscapes are made up of layers of past activities and value structures, but quite another thing to explore, in detail, how those layers have been put down, what has been “erased” by successive layers, what elements endure, and, perhaps most challengingly,

“Fugitive Negroes [sic] , fording Rappahannock river following Pope’s retreat, August 1862” contributed to the Umbra Search collection by @ The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection. The New York Public

Environmental History is Black History

As the official "Black History Month" comes to a close, we are mindful that environmental history is Black history, and, more specifically, that the histories of our waters are deeply intertwined with the histories of Black communities.  This 

This image shows men harvesting mussels through the ice near LeClaire Iowa around the turn of the 20th century.  The regional fishery (mussel-ry?) for mussels was in high gear at this point, with a market for pearl buttons on men’s and women’s clothing fu

#TBT: Mussels and the Mississippi

Very quick note today about one of the most-overlooked species of animals living in the Mississippi: mussels.  My friend and colleague Jessica Kozarek of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory wrote a lot more about them in this article 

Tending water and listening at Water Bar in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Open Rivers Issue 9: Innovation is now posted!

Welcome to Issue 9 of Open Rivers, which begins our third year of publication!  Our tagline, “Rethinking Water, Place & Community,” speaks to our sense that there is a conversation taking place

Mississippi River side channel during drawdown.

#TBT: Mississippi River Drawdown Reveals Much

At least, the drawn-down waters showed a lot to people who knew what they were looking at!

Ten years ago, in February, 2008, the Army Corps of Engineers drew down the water surface of the Mississippi River between Upper St. Anthony Lock, and the lower lock, so City of Minneapolis public

A view of Princeville in flood.

Rivers: Systems of People, Land, and Water Under Stress

I’ve spent a lot of time recently listening to scientists talk about water, which is always interesting and informative.  Hydrologists, aquatic ecologists, fluvial geomorphologists, and all the other disciplines and sub disciplines that focus on water share one thing: a detailed attention