Augustana developing Upper Mississippi Studies Center


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Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2013, 11:01 pm
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Augustana College is developing a new Upper Mississippi Studies Center that will focus on sustainability science, and building relationships between people and natural resources.

The program will be led by Michael Reisner, who was recruited in a national search, and funded with a grant from the Margaret Cargill Foundation, according to an Augustana news release.

Classes could focus on better protectionof rivers and streams that flow to the Mississippi River, that could carry runoff such as pollution and sediment.The goal of sustainability science is to recognize the long-term health of waterways is critical to economic vitality and human well-being.

Dr. Reisner earned his doctorate in ecosystem and restoration ecology from Oregon State University and a law degree from the University of Oregon School of Law. In Montana, he helped negotiate an agreement between miners and conservation groups that helped create about 1,000 family-wage jobs in a rural area, without degrading the water or air quality, according to the release.

At the University of Wisconsin, his work focused on creating more sustainable energy systems for the upper Midwest, and he helped build better relationships between the academic community and businesses, neighborhoods and conservation groups.

"We have to stop looking for panaceas or silver bullets," Dr. Reisner said. "Our communities face complex challenges that involve interactions between social, economic, institutional and environmental dimensions. We need to work collaboratively to develop and implement complex solutions."

Dr. Reisner remembers visiting Cairo, Ill., as a boy and the breathtaking confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, which was spoiled by pollution, industrial waste and poverty. "Nearly three decades after I first visited the town as a third grader, things are the same, at the very least, and arguably have grown worse," he says in the release.

No one apparently had brought competing interests together to rebuild the community, he said.

Dr. Reisner will engage Augustana students in the center's projects, challenging them to think in new ways that use interdisciplinary approaches, acknowledge competing interests and find ways to compromise behind a common cause.




















 



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  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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