Friday, January 29, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

AAC&U Conference!

Last week the Rivers Institute presented in Washington DC at a national meeting of the AAC&U (Association of American Colleges and University). The six person panel consisting of Dick Ferguson, Leslie King, Susan Byrnes, Emily Klein, Sarah Peterson and myself presented on the topic of “Creating Stewards of our Communities.” We presented to a small, but enthusiastic crowd. Both the orientation and senior video impressed the audience, but I think more than anything attendees were excited to see students presenting at a conference for administrators, deans and presidents. The only academic on the panel, Don Pair, was unable to make the conference, but Sarah stepped up and illustrated just how seriously we take student involvement!

One of the many running jokes throughout the conference came from the opening night speaker. During the introduction of author Jonah Lehrer, the speaker jokingly said she would recognize him as the youngest person in the room. Wrong! Sarah wins again.

While we were in DC we ate a lot of good food, met plenty of nice people (including the AV guys and the Obamas), ran into some old friends and squeezed in some much needed community building. We learned about how other schools engage their students and shared our model with them.

All in all, it was a great trip with lots laughs, learning and synchronicity!

P.S. We didn't really meet the Obamas, just cardboard cutouts.

Monday, January 25, 2010

World Water Day 2010

Hey Stews and others,

Check this out:

And maybe start brainstorming how we can plug into this in Dayton and on campus...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Comments on the Hudson Riverkeepers Video

So, after watching the documentary on the Hudson Riverkeepers, there is much to say. Please, let's make a long written discussion on the video.

I saw the amazing power that results from both governmental and citizen action. Without the government, the people could never have made as much change on the Hudson. The gov provided laws and financial punishments to those that broke the laws. The citizens provided enforcement. They were out there, on the river, fishing every day. They saw the effects of the polluters and were affected by it. The citizens used the power of the government to make change.

It's good to see that there are concerned citizens out there. They have made a difference. They said that there are now 23 riverkeeper groups in the US, and they are growing. I see the River Stewards as a type of riverkeeper group. Should we research Ohio laws and see where those laws are being broken?

"the right of the individual to have a clean waterway, to have that inheritance, to have access to it, and have free use of it" "it's called the public trust...held in trust for the next generation" "we have an absolute right [as citizens] to defend the law"

Power of the people.

"Being part of the community is painful because you have to understand what your actions are doing to others"

It was interesting to see all of the power plants too. How many plants border the Ohio River? Many, many. What are some new innovations that have helped to reduce the number of fish killed in intake lines? How intensely have the outflow waters been studied? Warm water=less oxygen=fewer plants and fish.