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A Sense of Where You Are: Story and Science on the Mississippi River

Date: 07/18/2013

Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Location: Continuing Education and Conference Center

Cost: $50


This summer morning seminar is offered by the College of Continuing Education's LearningLife program.


There are hundreds, if not thousands of stories about a distinct time and place along the Mississippi River, and this seminar will begin with some of the important, but not always well-known stories that convey a "sense of place" of the Mississippi in the Twin Cities. Led by the coordinator of River Life, a program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, you'll hear about St. Anthony Falls (once the center of the largest concentration of flour milling in the world), the Minnesota-Mississippi River confluence (regarded as sacred space by many Dakota people), and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary (once a railroad yard and now a point of restoration and reflection in the shadow of downtown St. Paul), among others. 

These stories will provide a foundation for a detailed discussion about the University's current research and scientific findings that are integral to the River's, and our cities' futures. You will examine how climate change has created different patterns of rainfall that may lead to an increase in damaging floods and severe droughts, and how changes in the river's aquatic ecosystem have provided a niche for invasive species that have already brought devastation to the River in the south. Will the University's quest for a solution to the Asian-carp problem be achieved before the state's waterways have been overrun by this invasive species? And what are the connections between the Mississippi and the shrinking Gulf Coast? You'll learn how this relationship is fundamentally changing the ways we see connections between rivers and their deltas.

Tuition includes refreshments.

Patrick Nunnally, Ph.D., University of Iowa; MSLA, University of Minnesota, is an adjunct professor of landscape architecture and the coordinator of River Life, an interdisciplinary program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, which strengthens the connections between the University and the communities engaged in river sustainability. For more than two decades, his work has focused on rivers, trails, and scenic byways, as well as enhancing the connections that people and communities have with places they value. He is the author of The City, The River, The Bridge: Before and After the I-35W Bridge Collapse (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and the blog River Talk. 


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LearningLife is a program of the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education. Established in 1913, the College provides high-quality continuing education and lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal enrichment, career transitions, and academic growth.


  • Name: College of Continuing Education Information Center
  • E-mail: cceinfo@umn.edu
  • Phone: 612-624-4000
  • Sponsored by: College of Continuing Education

More information: http://z.umn.edu/ddd

Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the College of Continuing Education Information Center at 612-624-4000 or at cceinfo@umn.edu.

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