Students in ENV 100, ENV 330, and POL 241 for Fall 2019 will have the opportunity for a set of immersive experiences on the Mississippi River and at various locations in and around the Twin Cities. The courses examine our relationship to the river as one part of the larger set of environmental challenges we face today, particularly related to climate change, environmental justice, and the concept of the Anthropocene.
Most site visits in Minneapolis will take place on Thursdays from 12 – 6 (during an extended class period that day). We will visit sites in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, local environmental organizations, and spend time along the Mississippi and its tributaries. We will partner with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and other local organizations (Friends of the Mississippi River, Tamales y Bicicletas, the Upper Harbor Terminal Action Team) on the study of our local watershed, exploring ways to reduce our impact on the river.
Students will also take a four-day canoe trip from La Crosse to Bad Ax in Voyageur canoes, camping along the river. That trip will take place from Sept. 22 – 25. Students have a $250 lab fee for ENV 100 and POL 241, plus receive a scholarship from the Pentair Foundation to cover the costs and equipment for this trip. There is also an optional four-day paddle from Lake Itasca to Bemidji from Aug. 28 – Sept. 3 (contact Prof. Underhill if you are interested in participating in this). A few students, along with a group of scholars from the “Mississippi, An Anthropocene River” project will be traveling from the headwaters at Lake Itasca all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Students on campus will work with students in the field in collective investigation of climate change and environmental justice in the Mississippi watershed.