Teaching with Big Muddy and Old Man River: Big River Ecology at UMSL
Presentation by Jay Fish, CHERP Project Director, University of Missouri – St. Louis
Jay Fish will talk about the inspiring summer field course he leads called “Great River Ecology” and how it transforms how students view themselves and our big rivers.
Published: March 11, 2020
Hosted by Greenway Network
So, how do you educate a river rat? Or rather, how do you help develop normal, urban university students to become river rats? For the past 6 years, Jay Fish and Brian Waldrop have been teaching a summer general education science course to undergraduates at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. “Great River Ecology” is a hands-on adventure trip course with an online learning component. In this talk, Jay will be shared some of the adventures so far… what’s been working, how students have been learning, and some perspectives on “letting the river speak for itself.” It was a time for some tall tales and yarn spinning – in good river rat fashion – as we look at river education for the 21st century.
Jay Fish is a forester, urban ecologist, and environmental educator who heads up UMSL’s Campus Honors Environmental Research Project. Tom Sawyer is his spiritual mentor. Like Tom, he tries not to do what another can do. Students in his classes learn urban ecology by doing. They study natural and built environments on campus. They each do a project that advances our knowledge of local ecology or proposes restoring a wild area, planning a rain gardens or pollinator plot; or creating artwork or nature writing envisioning urban wildness.
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