Friday, October 29, 2010

Junior River Stewards visit Miamisburg

On Friday, October 15th, the Junior River Stewards took a trip to the City of Miamisburg to continue learning about Ohio's Great Corridor, including the communites living along it and their wonderful river and downtown opportunities. A big thanks to Katie Frank, the Miamisburg Downtown Development Coordinator, who organized a great program! The Stewards met with the Mayor of Miamisburg and listened to him talk about the city's history all the way to the present and their vision for the future. We also heard from Debbie McLaughlin, the Director of Parks and Recreation of Miamisburg, who explained the current and longterm plans for their riverfront park project.

We ended with a great tour of the downtown and met with merchant owners who are actively involved in the Miamiburg Merchant Association. It was interesting to hear what drew each of them to opening up their business in the historic storefront of Miamisburg. We all had a great time and appreciate the wonderful hospitality we received from everyone....not to mention the yummy cookies from Star City Cafe and the free hamburger coupons from the Hamburger Wagon. We also stopped by Great Miami Outfitters and A Tase of Wine. Looking forward to our next visit.....Thanks!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

News from Maine

Hello All!
I hope this post finds you well. I've sent out an email through Leslie that has a video update I've prepared for your viewing pleasure.
But, in case you haven't seen this already, here's a little something I've been up to in Maine.
Love and miss you all!

p.s. You can't see the description for this video I put on YouTube so I'll copy it here:

"Ok, so this is proof that I have indeed learned to roll, but that I also need lots more practice.
Keep in mind, this was definitely not my best roll, especially because I knew the pressure was on from the camera recording (and also because my instructor was cute!)"

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sophomore Mini-Course - Tree Tour!

Last Friday, the sophomore Stewards went on UD's tree tour. The tour was created by senior Steward Nolan Nicaise.

The tour guides you to 20 trees around campus providing interesting information about each tree species.

The Stewards spent some quality time together learning about each tree and enjoying the fall colors.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

ASI 345 - Week 7

After learning about Pittsburgh and Dayton’s plentiful water resources, week 8 examined water law and the development of Los Angeles with a scarcity of water. Blake Watson, a professor from UD’s School of Law, led the class through a case study he developed for understanding water law in the United States. The class explored the differences in prior appropriation and riparian right and how water laws developed differently in the east and the west as a result of quality and quantity issues. The session called on the class’s understanding of groundwater, how water moves through the aquifer and ecosystem services.

The article California Scheming and video clips from the documentary “Cadillac Desert” provided an in depth look at the development of Los Angeles and how the city secured its future by draining the Owens Valley. Unfortunately, more and more cities around the world are facing water shortages and must find new ways of securing water. The class will build upon this topic later in the semester as we examine global water issues.

Friday, October 15, 2010

ASI 345 - Week 6

Staying true to an experiential nature, the class went on its fourth fieldtrip in six weeks. How else could we expect the class to experience the power of river city without taking them downtown? The majority of the class took place in Five Rivers Recreation Department’s offices.

Dr. Janet Bednarek began the class with a discussion of the reading and presentation on the evolution of Pittsburgh as a river city. Greg Brumitt, Director of Recreation at Five Rivers, led the second part of the class examining Dayton as a river city and recent efforts to revitalize the region through our water resources. More specifically, the Greg chronicled the evolution of the low dam removal discussion in recent years.

The session ended with a walk along the levy walls at RiverScape and a discussion of options for making our rivers safer and more accessible in the future.

ASI 345 - Week 5

After learning about and experiencing the river, it was time to take a step back and learn about the flood plains. For this class, the students ventured to a goat prairie overlooking the Great Miami and Hills and Dales MetroPark. The session began in the classroom reviewing aerial maps of the sites we were about to visit in relation to the river and aquifer.

At Calvary cemetery, a short hike through a wooded area brought the class to a relict goat prairie with a great view of the activity on the flood plain. Bro. Don Geiger led the class in imagining the changes that have taken place since Dayton was founded and understanding the impact of developing on the flood plains.

At Hills and Dales, Susan Byrnes led the group in an observation activity. Looking through a square cutout, each student focus on a single area in front of them noting first the physical attributes, then looking a little deeper using knowledge to make assumptions about those attributes. The final task was to look at the same area with a third eye; a greater appreciation of what they saw without looking to explain or classify it. The first two tasks proved to be much easier.

Through the fieldtrip, the class saw a great comparison between the developed flood plains of the Great Miami and the natural headwater area in Hills and Dales. They learned a valuable technique for making observations and an appreciation for reflection. Finally as the class traveled back to campus, the students were shocked to learn just how close Hills and Dales is to UD and what a great place it is to reconnect with nature.

ASI 345 - Saturday field experience

To gain a better understanding of the river science material and to witness the power of Dayton as a river city, the class paddled down the Mad River making a few key stops along the way. After launching the kayaks at Harshman Rd. in Eastwood MetroPark, we paddle downstream until reaching a gravel island in the middle of the river. Waiting there was Dr. Kavanaugh and Dr. Benbow. The class was split into two groups for fish shocking and macro-invertebrate sampling.

Dr. Kavanaugh reviewed the river continuum concept and talked to the students about habit, biological indicators, and what they mean for the health of the river. Each student took turns holding the shocker and rotated between holding the live well and scooping up with the stunned fish with axillary nets. The diversity of fish species we found and their intolerance of pollution indicated a vibrant and healthy river.

The results from macro-invertebrate sampling painted a similar picture. Students divided into groups of two and used D-frame nets to collect as many species as possible. The cool, clear water passing quickly over a small ripple provided a great habitat for macros; many of which are pollution intolerant.

After eating lunch on the island, the group continued paddling down to the convergence of the Mad and Great Miami and took out at RiverScape (after playing in the fountains of course). The paddle provided an opportunity for students to see Dayton in a whole new light preparing them to begin learning about river cities the next week.