The schedule and activities is dependent on weather and other unforeseen circumstances, but the planned itinerary is as follows:
Aug. 28-30 Orientation at Lake Itasca State Park (headwaters of the Mississippi River) introduction to course topics, basics of canoeing and water safety, introduction to sustainability, Native American perspectives on the environment, and environmental justice (traveling by van to and from the State Park from the Twin Cities).
Sept. 1 Launch and Celebration at Harriet Island in St. Paul starting at 8:00am with the expedition departing in voyageur canoes at 9:30. Local musicians and community leaders, and send-off with Augsburg College and Twin Cities community.
Sept. 4 Red Wing, MN: town hall meetings and discussion of riverfront developments and meeting with Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance.
Sept. 5-7 Lake Pepin: studying water quality and impact of farming and increased sediment load on the river; sampling with fisheries biologists from the Minnesota DNR.
Sept. 12-17 Winona and LaCrosse: meeting with faculty and students at Winona State University; stream ecology labs; discussion of the impact of the lock and dam system on the river’s ecosystems
Sept. 22-24: Effigy Mounds and history of Native American communities
Sept. 28-30 Dubuque, IA: visit at the Mississippi River Museum, sleeping on the steamboat there.
Oct. 7-10 Quad Cities: meeting with Living Lands and Waters; meetings with local farmers; field lab with Prof. Reuben Heine, Geography Dept. at Augustana College.
Oct. 15-17, Kibbe Research Station: Field Research and labs with faculty and staff from Western Illinois University
Oct. 20-21 Hannibal, Missouri, the “Mythic River,” Mark Twain, Huck Finn, and the literature of the river.
Nov. 2-6 St. Louis: 680 miles of paddling from the Twin Cities), layover with study of trade, urban economics, environmental justice, and the city’s relationship to the river. Possibly making it to Cairo, IL (confluence with the Ohio) if weather permits.
Nov. 6: Transit by bus to Memphis
Nov. 7-9 Memphis: Music, history, and food; meet with researchers from the Mississippi River Project at the University of Memphis
Nov. 10 Transit by bus to Helena, Arkansas, meet up with John Ruskie of Quapaw Outfitters
Nov. 11 – 18 Canoeing on the lower Mississippi with Quapaw Outfitters; Blues Country; paddling approx. 120 miles in 7 days.
Nov. 19-20 Greenville, MS, the history of the 1927 Flood, cotton, Jim Crow, and race relations
Nov. 21 Transit by van to Atchafalaya River and Old River Control Structure; discussion of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood and river control efforts
Nov. 22-23 Natchez, bayou country and the industrial river; exploring the Atchafalaya.
Nov. 24 – 25 New Orleans, post-Katrina, music and food in the French Quarter, literature and culture of New Orleans, meetings with students from local universities; environmental justice.
Nov. 26 – Thanksgiving in New Orleans (deep fried turkey!)
Nov. 30 – Dec. 1 travel by van to Mississippi Delta, Morgan City
Dec. 2-7 Field research, marine biology, and estuarine ecology with the Louisiana Marine Consortium (including several trips out on the Gulf of Mexico)
Dec. 8-10 Return by van to New Orleans for final town hall meetings and celebration
Dec. 11 Travel by train to Chicago
Dec. 12-13 Chicago and urban waterfront developments, sustainability and the arts in the city
Dec. 14 Train from Chicago to St. Paul
Dec. 15 Welcome back celebration at Augsburg College
Dec. 17 End of semester and final papers due.