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River Semester

“There is an element to this trip where we never leave class. It’s amazing to be able to have conversations with people that not only make you question and think about yourself and what you believe, but also think about what you have never thought about before. I have never wanted to learn so much more about everything.”
                                                                         — River Semester student, Fall 2015

A unique, life-changing, educational experience.

  • travel the length of the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans by canoe, bus, boat, and train
  • develop a field research project on topics such as water pollution, the Clean Water Act, agriculture in the watershed, political organizing around environmental issues, race relations and social justice, or urban riverfront revitalization
  • explore the history, literature, food, music, and culture of the Mississippi River from the headwaters to the Delta
  • gain skills tailored to fit the needs of partner businesses and institutions including graduate schools, nonprofits, and government agencies
  • meet with local experts, “river rats,” and environmental organizations along the river
  • hear from guest lecturers on Twain and Faulkner, ancient river civilizations, American Indian communities and their fight for justice, and the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico

Program partners include Wilderness Inquiry, the Wild River Academy, Quapaw Outfitters, Louisiana Marine Consortium, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, Friends of the Mississippi River, America’s Waterway, Augustana College (Rock Island, IL), the University of Minnesota’s River Life Program, and  Works Progress.

Check out the River Semester Prezi.

Blog post on why we have a river semester.