Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flying Home

As I flew home for deep-fried Turkey day in Virginia, I "tried" to look outside my window as the plane bumped and jerked from Dayton to D.C. The rivers I saw as I was about to land were very surprising to me because I had no idea that we had so many close to my house. The time in between hitting my head from the wind and from trying to make my knees as small as possible so the angry lady in front of me wouldn't turn around again, I attempted to find out where these rivers and lakes were.
Once I finally landed and kissed the ground a few times, I decided to go home and research the names of some of these nearby bodies of water. To my surprise I found that a lot of these were public rivers and lakes that could be used for recreation. The only disappointing part that I found was how under advertised these were. Compared to Dayton and how we all love and promote our rivers, the area I live in just sees them as a 'there' and nothing special.
I remember when I lived in the Cleveland area and how everyone loved the metroparks, the lakes and rivers, and the forests we had. Everyone knew where Beartown Lakes was and how LaDue Reservoir was a great place to fish, hang out, and go boating on. Now that I live in cruddy ol' Virginia, there is none of this, even though the amount of rivers and lakes nearby are much higher than that of Cleveland.
On a brighter side of things, I found that my family kept my bass boat from when we lived in Cleveland. Even though I am still unsure of how they pulled that boat 8 hours to DC I am glad they did. It made me realize that I can take this boat out, after registering it, and go enjoy the many lakes near my house. Also, my Opa talked to me during this small break and was ecstatic when I told him I had been kayaking in River Stewards and how much I loved doing it. Since he is a big kayaker himself, he gave me tips and tricks and even some money to buy my personal kayak for the spring and summer time so I can go explore the rivers and lakes near my house.
In the end, I found out how lucky Dayton is to have this much love for its rivers and lakes. As everyone says, you don't know what you got till its gone, and it is especially true in this case.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Quick Update on the Last Few Weeks of the RLC

Week 9

This week, Dick Ferguson, the Director of the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community, spoke to the students about different leadership styles, how they work together, and how the students can use their leadership skills to complete their projects. Dick’s presentation was very valuable for the students to learn how their projects can contribute to the Dayton community.

Each student has an advisor that is a member of the Leadership Team who will work with them to finalize their project proposals by the end of the semester. The students will also be working together to give each other feedback on the project proposals.

Week 10

Stan Kegley from the City of Troy and Dr. Janet Bednarek of UD’s History Department both presented to the class during the tenth week. This class was to teach the students about localism and regionalism. Janet discussed with the students how people tend to perceive Dayton and the Dayton region and why they perceive it as such.

Stan talked about regionalism and how Dayton can act as a region to revitalize. Stan talked about how the outdoor recreation industry has revitalized other cities. He also explained what Ohio’s Great Corridor is doing to promote the region around the Great Miami River.

Week 11

Dusty Hall returned to our classroom this year but in a different role. Dusty now works for SOCHE, Southwestern Council for Higher Education as the Executive Director of Student Development and Program Innovation. Dusty returned to the classroom to again talk to the students about leadership in Dayton. A big fan of Arthur Morgan, Dusty used Morgan as an example of leadership skills. He also pointed out the flaws Morgan had as a leader (See student Ashley Neimeier’s post below about her own learning about Morgan). Dusty brought his new co-worker with him, Maggie Varga. Maggie is a former River Steward and Graduate Assistant for the Rivers Institute. She is now the Director of Program Innovation for SOCHE. Dusty and Maggie continued their presentation with discussion on hypoxia and the cap and trade program Dusty developed.

Elise McElwain from CYP Studios followed Dusty and Maggie’s presentation with an overview of Low Impact Development techniques. Several students are planning their proposals around LID so the presentation was very beneficial. CYP Studios, located in Centerville, serves the area in landscape architecture services.

Arthur E. Morgan and leadership

This semester in the River Leadership Curriculum course we are studying, among a multitude of other things, the leadership style of Arthur E. Morgan. Morgan was, at one point in his life, a Greater Daytonian, having served as president of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, OH between 1920 and 1936. In addition Morgan's ultra-successful engineering plans and strong leadership helped to shape river systems in the Dayton region.

While RLC students agreed that his leadership tactics were "visionary," most could not deny his tendency to sometimes be close-minded and uncompromising.

In a little out of class stumbling and in pursuit of my own personal inquiries into what constitutes as reasons for belief, I discovered the following essay/podcast by Arthur E. Morgan:
(as many will remember, "This I Believe" is the First Year read this academic year)

A blustery day to all

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

River Leadership - ASI 345

Here is a quick update from the RLC class....

Week 7

Blake Watson from UD’s law school discussed water law with the students this week. Blake drew on several case studies to explain how law pertaining to water works. He discussed law in terms of water use, rights to water, as well as law regarding pollution including the Clean Water Act. The students engaged in discussion online and in the classroom with Blake about these topics.

The students have also now submitted their first ideas for project proposals. The Leadership Team is working with each student individually to continue developing their idea before their proposals are final. We already have some great, creative ideas. We are excited to see the students develop them further!

Week 8

Below are pictures from the tour the students took of the buried Rubicon Creek with Brother Don Geiger. Brother Don also used this class as an opportunity to talk about sustainability. The students read about efforts in other cities to uncover buried streams and rivers and were able to relate these stories to the Rubicon Creek. In addition, the students revisited the definition of sustainability that they created in their second class. Since that class, the students have heard from many other disciplines so they took time to consider if those disciplines should be included in the definition as well.