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On the River, Learning from the River: Discovering the Missouri by Canoe

Presentation by biologist, educator and adventurer Sara Dykman

This month Sara Dykman shares stories from her recent source to sea, education-linked canoe adventure on the Missouri River. Learn how she connected the river to classrooms and conservation efforts, and what it is like to travel with the river 3,500 miles from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico.

white cliffs

The On the River Expedition paddles through the famous White Cliffs area of the Missouri River in Montana. photo courtesy of Sara Dykman.

Time and Place

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
7:00 pm

Westport CoffeeHouse Theater
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Presentation by biologist, educator and adventurer Sara Dykman

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Watch a video of this presentation here. (produced by KCDV. View other BMSS videos here)

Where – Westport Coffeehouse Theater – 4010 Pennsylvania Ave. Kansas City, MO

6 p.m. – Social Hour
7 p.m. – Presentation. Presentation will be filmed – After 7 PM, Please enter through Green Room Burgers

PLUS – This presentation audio will be streaming live on KCDV.tv!
(See past videos here)

Presentation is FREE and open to the public!

Last summer, Kansas City native Sara Dykman and a group of adventure-loving friends began a 160 day expedition on top of Triple Divide Peak in Glacier National Park. They hiked and biked down the mountain, then hopped in canoes and paddled their way down a series of creeks, the Marias River and then the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico. They met with students and teachers along the way, sharing the story of their journey and of the river highway they were following. Stuffed into their two canoes with all their gear were also four bicycles and trailers for hauling the boats to and from classrooms and resupply stops.

Sara would use her herpetological powers to find critters to share with students she met along her trip. photo courtesy of Sara Dykan

Sara would use her herpetological powers to find critters to share with students she met along her trip.
photo courtesy of Sara Dykan

In addition, the group produced a series of short educational videos designed for teachers to use in the classroom, telling not only the story of their journey, but also the ecology of the river as they traveled.

Sara will be sharing the story of this 3,500 mile journey, tips on getting students outside the classroom and tools for bringing the outside world into the classroom.

Sara divides her time between working seasonal amphibian and reptile jobs, teaching outdoor education, and going on adventures. Her latest adventure was a source to sea canoe trip on the Missouri and Mississippi River (www.ontheriver.org). During the 3,500 mile journey she linked her trip to classrooms to inspire the next generation of stewards and explorers. Before her canoe trip Sara traveled from Bolivia to Texas by bike (spoonintheroad.org), walked from Mexico to Canada, and completed a 49-state bike tour (bike49.org) that gave presentations to students across the country about her trip. She is also building a website called “Beyond A Book” that will serve as a resource for teachers looking to integrate adventure into their classrooms. Originally from Kansas City, she is excited to be a part of the ever growing community of Missouri River supporters and enthusiasts.

pedal powered portage

The “On the River” crew did all their portaging with pedal power. Here they are moving their canoes through the streets of Kansas City.
photo courtesy of Sara Dykman.


Westport CoffeeHouse – 4010 Pennsylvania Kansas City, Mo – www.westportcoffeehouse.com

The Westport CoffeeHouse is in the Westport entertainment area, midtown KC, south of downtown and north of the Plaza.  The main intersection is Westport Rd and Broadway.  From this intersection, go west on Westport Rd one block to Pennsylvania. Turn north (right).

OR you can get there from the intersection of Southwest Trafficway and Westport Rd.  Go east on Westport Rd to Pennsylvania. Turn north (left).

Westport Coffee House is approximately one block down on the west side of Pennsylvania.  Parking can be had either south of the coffee house in the large parking lot or just north of the coffee house alongside the building.  Enter through Green Room Burgers or Westport CoffeeHouse.

Resources and Links

Dig deeper into this topic –

The Big Muddy Speakers Series in Kansas City

is hosted by these wonderful partners!

Thanks to all of our venue hosts for making this possible! Click here for a list of upcoming presentations» The Big Muddy Speaker Series is also held monthly in Rocheport and St. Charles.

Recordings of Presentations

Kansas City Digital Video has been recording Big Muddy Speaker Series presentations. These are available on their website at this link. Some contain synchronized powerpoint presentations. We will be posting these to the archived presentation pages on bigmuddyspeakers.org. Thanks Micheal Morgan and crew for putting this important archive online!