Friday, October 30, 2009

Kayaking at Trotwood Madison

On Wednesday the 28th, the River Stewards took the kayaks to Trotwood Madison to teach the high school's Swim and Dive class the basics of kayaking. We stressed the importance of safety first and the need to ALWAYS wear a PFD while in the water. We covered the correct way to hold the paddle and the basic forward, reverse and sweep strokes. Some of the students participated in this event last year and were excited to see us again, while others had never been in a kayak. The students had races, played bumper boats and practiced their strokes. Their overall excitement and enthusiasm made the experience very rewarding and it was great that one of the students actually recognized us from the Mayor's Float from this summer.
We look forward to working with Trotwood again next semester.
Special thanks to all the River Stews who participated in this event!

RLC Seminar: Student Learning Outcomes Brainstorm Session

Last Saturday, October 24th, students, faculty, and community partners, met at ArtStreet for the RLC Student Learning Outcomes Brainstorming Seminar. Approximately 30 students, faculty, and community partners came together for a half day session of brainstorming. Dr. Steve Wilhoit from the LTC facilitated the brainstorming. He introduced student learning outcomes (SLOs), how they can be beneficial, and how to formualte them. There were small group discussions as well. Many great ideas were generated by the groups. Within the larger group, individuals indicated which outcomes they found most important to the curriculum. Now, the SLOs will be condensed based on those that were indicated as important. Once the list of SLOs are complied and condensed (down to four or five), we will be able to make the next steps in the curriculum development.

Thanks to all who attended the seminar!
Please see the link below for minutes from the seminar as well as other RI meetings:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pictures from SunWatch Indian Village

Here are a couple pics from the 2012 cohort's visit to SunWatch Indian Village to discuss Water, Civilization and the Common Good.

Friday, October 23, 2009

2011 Cohort: Senior Project Brainstorm Session!!

Hey all!
This week in our mini-course meeting the Juniors started brainstorming ideas for our Senior project. We threw out a lot of ideas for projects and for goals we wanted to accomplish. Remember, these are just quick notes and we will flesh out the ideas we like the best later. Comment on any ideas you particularly like and would like to see implemented!

Senior Project Notes
Goal: You can do individual projects or use something river stewards related for thesis or a independent projects.
-build on the other seniors project

The River’s Institue:
1) Brining Dayton to the river
2) Undergraduate research- connect what you’re studying to the river
3) UD to the river

- Canoe/kayak, run, bike triatholon
- -Children’s education
- River-mobile
- Dayton Photo-saturation – do a photo contest
- Beyond brown but specifically for enviro stuff and outdoors things
o Website for events
- Make portage improvements- and boat launch improvements
- Mural- …. Judy Baca- contact her about that kind of stuff. Garden Station is looking for people to do murals as well.
- Kids in city school do an (art) project along the river. Work with inner city schools
- Nolan says we have a lot of Marble and materials from the McMurf Center.
- Terrace levees- Betsy Damon
- Ferrying students to the bball game……not practical

Insight: We need more service stuff not just outdoor stuff. Think bigger than the recreation stuff.
- Continuing education stuff, adopt a classroom
- Go to a community near a river and talk to them about how they can connect to the river
- Bioremediation- plan for dorm waste-water treatment.
- Monitoring storm water runoff as a research project – city of Dayton dept of water.
o You can turn this into an edu outreach thing and have kids do the work
- Campus west land- have river access nearer to here.
- Having a concert on the river- amphitheater in the river- do something with that
o In c-bus there was a fire and water show way cooler than lasers
- Floating gardens/wetlands
- NCR land – “boat the moat” –races or something\
- Boathouse- do something with that- fix it up

Insight: we could have multiple project teams and bring everything together at the end.
- River week- re-format that. People really liked going out on the river. We could do that more often and do a trip every other week (river club much?)
o You could do bio stuff with this- every time you go out do some water testing stuff.
o People have to get training for that
o There is training in May on the Fitz Center’s tab!!
- River club but with kids

What do we want to accomplish:
- Bring students (younger) down to the river
- UD students to get off of campus – you don’t hear much about the rivers unless you are in the river’s institute
- Raise money for stuff (maybe)
- Make the river more accessible for people in general
- Reasonably accomplishable – don’t make it so big that people drop out. Don’t leave it off for others to finish.
o but at the same time you also want a legacy or tradition. Not a one time event.
- Service-centered project
- Benefit city of Dayton

Monday, October 19, 2009

Water, Civilization & the Common Good.

This Friday we are testing the first module of the River Leadership Curriculum, at SunWatch Indian Village. The teaching team includes faculty member - Brother Don Geiger, Community Partner - Nancy Nerny, River Steward - Sarah Peterson, and of course the staff of SunWatch. Below is a description of the module we will be testing:

Water, Civilization, and the Common Good: Water, as a common good, needs to be available, and equitably distributed. This involves the rights of nations, religious groups, cities, and individuals. Fresh, clean, surface water is needed for drinking, and irrigation. We are now finding ourselves with a limited quantity of water. This module talks about access to water, water rights and use (for irrigation and drinking), ethical uses of scarce water, and the relationship that civilizations have with water in the past, present, and future. Specific topics include legal aspects such as: riparian rights, prior appropriation, wetland mitigation, the clean water act, consumption, water as a commodity, control of availability, control of distribution, and the impact of the Great Miami on Sunwatch.

Most of you have already watched the documentary FLOW; For the Love of Water this semester, which also addressed the issue of water as a common good. As you continue to think about this subject, in preparation for this week's mini-course, check out this recent event in California: Gov. Schwarzenegger Calls Special Session to Address California's Water Crisis

Interesting.....where does Dayton or your hometown fit into this picture? Please take time before Friday to look further into this subject, find some of your own resources, and jot a couple thoughts down in your journal!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Busy Week for the Rivers Institute!

On Tuesday October 13th, a group of representatives of the Rivers Institute gathered at Cox Arboretum for a reception, where we accepted a grant from the Great Dayton Conservation Fund (GDCF) to expand our river education and recreation outreach programs in the Dayton area. A big thanks to Emily Klein for writing the grant proposal and to all those who contribute to the GDCF. We look forward to bringing more people to the river and the river to more people, over the next two years!

It's also Environmental Science Week at UD and you'll be able to find the River Stewards on Thursday Oct. 15th in Humanities Plaza, where they will have a River Awareness Table set-up from noon to 4pm. UD students will have the chance to sign up for a Friday river clean-up with the Stews and then participate in a kayak fun day on Saturday at Eastwood MetroPark. Hope to see ya there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Swedish Delegation visits Dayton and the Rivers Institute

Check out this Dayton Daily News Video about the Swedish Delegation that visited Dayton last week to learn about what we are doing to protect and conserve out water resources in the region.
We enjoyed the opportunity to interact with them throughout the week, including a paddling trip down the Mad River.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Hey guys! I was in the second group of new stews for paddling and got to see Flow last Friday (Sept. 26th). I loved it!! This was right up my ally, being an Int'l Studies/Human Rights double major. The effects of water control and water pollution are just astounding. I knew, in some countries, it was bad - but I didn't realize it was this bad. Flow was a great informational movie about those effects and definitely makes me think about the privatization of water and companies who use water (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, etc.), especially on the communities which need the water and economic benefits. I was so excited to hear how Dayton could get some great business with the aquafer, but now that I've seen Flow, I see how progress, without the check of morals and human rights, can be devastating. I think it's really important to keep in mind how much water we consume. Also, the movie reminded me of an AWESOME organization called Charity: Water ( which helps give clean water, by means of a town well or plumbing to schools etc., to third world countries. They are not in the U.S., but this is a great organization if anyone wants to check it out.

Smile! You're on River camera!

Just a few photos from paddling on Friday.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

more of the Rivers Institute in the news!

Below are links to two more news articles that came across my desk this week about the Rivers Institute and the University of Dayton. Great work everyone - enjoy!

September issue of Ohio Magazine: "College Greens"

September 20, 2009 edition of Catholic Times in Columbus, Ohio