Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Are you missing that RIVER LOVE?

Here's a little clip of it (linked below) to get you through the rest of the break.

Chuck (aka Katie)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Paddling the Mississippi River Corridor...

Check out this story and blog, about one man's journey down the Mississippi River, from Canada to New Orleans.

How about that for a little inspiration as we move into 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays!

May 2010 bring a "flood" of peace, joy &
happiness to you and yours!

Best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday season,
the Rivers Institute

p.s. feel free to check out our new video!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Analysis of Water Usage at UD

This semester a group of students in the ASI 343 Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sustainability class looked at the water usage at the University of Dayton. The students created a presentation to educate those on campus about where the water at the University of Dayton comes from, explaining what an aquifer is and why it is important to take care of the aquifer. The presentation touched on the history of the University of Dayton in regards to bodies of water on campus. Interesting findings included facts that there were once wetlands, ponds, and a creek on campus that were all integral parts of student life. The presentation then proceeded to analyze how we are effectively using our water on campus. The group found that there is so much room for improvement on campus. This could begin with Founders Hall which uses as much water as VWK. The group also analyzed the runoff situation on camps and found that the University has a ratio of 2:1 asphalt to grass surface area and this creates a large runoff problem. One potential solution is to start implementing porous pavers or more porous surfaces so that the runoff is reduced. The runoff from the University runs into a pipe that drains right into the Great Miami River. By making changes on campus we could positively affect the river. Additionally, the group made suggestions for improvement on campus including implementing raingardens in effective locations to reduce runoff, creating underground storage tanks to store water for irrigation, upgrading fixtures in Founders Hall to meet more modern standard flow rates, and raising awareness on campus. Right now the University is not effectively using its water as findings show that the RecPlex (which sits on top of a burried wetland) and UD Arena are constantly pumping water out from under the buildings wasting water and energy. The group welcomes any suggestions for possible solutions and input on this situation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

River Leadership Curriculum Development: "Beginning with the End"

Below is a timeline explaining how we have been developing the RLC Student Learning Outomes over the past couple months.....

1. Student Learning Outcomes – With input from students, these are determined as a basis for the course. They articulate the minimum of what is important for each student to know and be able to do after taking the course....

126 possible SLOs were developed from a meeting with 30 people at Art Street; including students, staff, community partners and faculty.

2. First Level of Student Learning Outcomes – the core RLC planning committee established these 4 Categories amongst the 126 SLO's:

-Social Sciences
-Personal Growth

3. Second Level of Student Learning Outcomes – brainstorm session w/ a small group of Stewards, who were involved w/ the Art Street session, decided to develop these:

Integrative (Interdisciplinary) & Synthetic SLO’s – the group decided to integrate the 4 categories so the interdisciplinary nature of the course would be embedded in the SLO’s

After completing the River Leadership Curriculum, the student should be able to…

(1) develop expertise in and articulate connections among scientific, sociological, aesthetic, and public policy perspectives of a river system;

(2) explain how synthesizing scientific, sociological, aesthetic, and public policy perspectives of a river system better enable them to understand its past, evaluate its present state, and envision its future;

(3) complete a course project that demonstrates their understanding of and ability to integrate scientific, sociological, aesthetic, and public policy perspectives of a river system; and

(4) develop a service proposal which calls on them to assume a leadership role in a project that demonstrates their ability to synthesize and act upon scientific, sociological, aesthetic, and public policy perspectives of a river system.

The Student Learning Outcomes seem to be following the University’s model of educating students to Learn, Lead, and Serve.

Next Steps: Meet with the extended Curriculum Committee in January to plan the next steps of development……

Monday, December 14, 2009

River Video

For a class project this semester, I decided to create a video about how
relate to the river. I interviewed 3 River Stewards and one
photography major.
As I was doing this I took many photos that applied
to the topics addressed.
Finally I compiled all of the interviews with the
photos and some music.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Spell of the Sensuous

Just a reminder, note to self, especially as we approach exam week.

excerpts from this book by David Abram

"Today we participate almost exclusively with other humans and with our own human-made technologies. It is a precarious situation, given our age-old reciprocity with the many-voiced landscape. We still need that which is other than ourselves and our own creations. The simple premise of this book is that we are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.

Does such a premise imply that we must renounce all our complex technologies? It does not. But it does imply that we must renew our acquaintance with the sensuous world in which our techniques and technologies are all rooted. Without the oxygenating breath of the forests, without the clutch of gravity and the tumbled magic of river rapids, we have no distance from our technologies, no way of assessing their limitations, no way to keep ourselves from turning into them. We need to know the textures, the rhythms and tastes of the bodily world, and to distinguish readily between such tastes and those of our own invention. Direct sensuous reality, in all its more-than-human mystery, remains the sole solid touchstone for an experiential world now inundated with electronically-generated vistas and engineered pleasures; only in regular contact with the tangible ground and sky can we learn how to orient and to navigate in the multiple dimensions that now claim us."