Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester

Class paddled more than 250 miles since leaving St. Paul on Sept. 1

River semester canoes filled with trip gear(MINNEAPOLIS) – The Mississippi River and four, 24-foot voyageur canoes are home and classroom for a group of Augsburg College students who will be in Dubuque from Sept. 28-30 as part of the nation’s first-ever River Semester.

The students, who have paddled more than 250 miles of river since departing St. Paul on Sept. 1 as part of their nearly 2,350-mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico, will earn as many as 16 credits in biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science.

“The canoes are a floating classroom where students translate into action what they learn on shore during lectures and from their reading and homework,” said Professor Joe Underhill, creator of this hands-on learning program.

“Each student also is responsible for personal research project, some in partnership with state and national agencies. Some of these projects contribute to the common good, and every project is a chance for teamwork and collaborative excellence.”

The dozen students participating in this hands-on learning program, created by Underhill, is offered in partnership with Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit and inclusive travel provider that specializes in experiential programming and outdoor travel for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

“We know that what happens in the boats transfers to the classroom and life,” said Chad Dayton, director of programs and partner relations for Wilderness Inquiry. “Students develop increased confidence, better relationships with faculty, and throughout their college careers, they have a shared experience to refer back to that can help with problem solving.” Continue reading “Dubuque a stop for college students studying and traveling Mississippi River in nation’s first-ever River Semester”

Media Advisory: River Semester launch is Sept. 1 at St. Paul’s Harriet Island

Media invited to paddle in flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from Harriet Island to South St. Paul

(MINNEAPOLIS) – A group of nearly 100 students, parents, high school students and members of the Augsburg College community will launch the nation’s first-ever River Semester on Sept. 1 at Kelley’s Landing on Harriet Island in St. Paul by paddling a flotilla of 24-foot voyageur canoes from St. Paul to South St. Paul.

Members of the media are invited to participate in the kickoff event and to paddle in one of 13 voyageur canoes with students and guests to South St. Paul.

Guests and media will be transported back to Kelley’s Landing and Augsburg College.

The 16 students in the Augsburg College River Semester will continue to travel nearly 2,000 of the 2,350-mile-long-Mississippi River from St. Paul to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The group will live and study on the river until mid-December.

Members of the media can reserve paddling spots by noon, Thursday, Aug. 27, by contacting Stephanie Weiss, director of news and media services for Augsburg College at weisss@augsburg.edu.  Continue reading “Media Advisory: River Semester launch is Sept. 1 at St. Paul’s Harriet Island”

Back-to-school for 16 Augsburg students means traveling the length of Mississippi River as part of nation’s first-ever River Semester

Students, from Sept. 1 to mid-December, will study, live, travel more than 1,795 miles on Mississippi from St. Paul to the Gulf of Mexico

(MINNEAPOLIS) – A class of 16 Augsburg College students led by Professor Joe Underhill will depart Sept. 1 in 24-foot voyageur canoes to spend the semester studying, researching and living on the river. The students taking part in the nation’s first-ever River Semester will travel nearly 2,000 miles of the 2,350-mile-long Mississippi River to New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The group will depart from Kelley’s Landing on St. Paul’s Harriet Island in a launch event that is open to the public.

Students participating in this hands-on, interdisciplinary program will earn as many as 16 credits studying biology, environmental studies, health and physical education, and political science. Continue reading “Back-to-school for 16 Augsburg students means traveling the length of Mississippi River as part of nation’s first-ever River Semester”

Starting the semester on the river

river_classThe 15 students enrolled in Political Science 241: Environmental and River Politics are getting an early start to the academic year—a start that will feature eight days of travel on the Mississippi River in canoes.

Joe Underhill, a political science associate professor at Augsburg, has taught the course that examines the politics, eco-systems, and communities of the mighty river that flows just blocks from Augsburg’s Minneapolis campus. While he has taken previous classes out in canoes for a couple of days or a weekend, this is the most ambitious river voyage yet. Continue reading “Starting the semester on the river”

Politics and the mighty Mississippi

river_politicsWhat better way to learn about the Mississippi River than to spend some time in it? In the summer, Augsburg political science professor Joe Underhill teaches students about environmental issues and policy-making using the river as his classroom. Underhill’s aim is to get students to explore the effect we have on the environment as well as how the environment affects us. He also hopes students will explore their personal and political decisions and how those decisions impact the world now and later.

Augsburg’s Minneapolis campus is just blocks away from the largest river in North America — the Mississippi. Underhill emphasizes that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul were founded in this particular location because of the industrial and commercial potential of the river and the falls of St. Anthony. He adds that over the years, our life and work has greatly impacted the river ecosystem. Continue reading “Politics and the mighty Mississippi”

The beauty of teamwork

CBDDespite soaking rains that thwarted some efforts, Augsburg’s first Campus Beautification Day was, by all accounts, a success. The soggy weather on June 11 did not prevent legions of Augsburg staff, students, and faculty from cleaning, planting, and painting on and off campus.

Projects included a team cleaning up debris along the Mississippi River and others planting a border and building a path in the community garden. There were five painting projects involving 45 faculty, staff, and students working in Marketing and Communication, Event and Conference Planning, Murphy Place, Lindell Library, and the tunnel beneath Christensen Center. Continue reading “The beauty of teamwork”

I-35W Bridge Collapse Information

bridge_e_lrgA Message from the President

The tragic event that took place yesterday with the collapse of the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River is a grim reminder of how fragile life can be. Events such as this bring the community closer together and we all feel the pain and suffering that is present. We wish to extend our thoughts and prayers to all who were impacted by this tragedy.

Augsburg College remains open on Thursday, August 2.

Events will continue as scheduled.

Road Access to Campus

For more information about detours and access to campus, visit the Minnesota

Department of Transportation’s Web site. Continue reading “I-35W Bridge Collapse Information”