Category Archives: Rivers

Water Stories: Narrative, Urban Sustainability, and the Fluid Future of the Otakaro-Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand

Twenty-five years ago, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Antarctica as part of a scientific research expedition from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Taking a semester’s leave from my graduate studies at SUNY Stony Brook, I worked for two … Continue reading

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IL EPA Hears Southeast Side Residents’ Complaints about Petcoke Piles along Calumet River

Last Thursday the Illinois EPA held a contentious public meeting on Chicago’s SE Side to hear residents’ concerns and complaints about the massive piles of petcoke — a waste by-product of tar sands oil refining done in nearby Whiting, IN … Continue reading

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Piles and Piles of Petcoke: Environmental Justice along the Calumet River

Today’s Mike Nowak Show on WCPT features a segment about the petcoke controversy in the Calumet Region of Chicago’s far South Side. This waste by-product from the refining of oil from the tar sands of Canada has been piling up … Continue reading

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Presenting at SLSA 2013: Water & the Postnatural City

Yesterday I arrived at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana — my first visit to this storied campus — to participate in the annual meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts. This year the … Continue reading

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Snow on the Ground, Water on the Mind

Last Saturday, Feb. 23, my SUST 220 Water students (both past and present) joined me at a wonderful annual event here in the Windy City: the Chicago River Student Congress, convened by the environmental conservation organization Friends of the Chicago … Continue reading

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Winter Symposium on Sustainability at Augustana College

Today I head west to the city of Rock Island, which hugs the Mississippi River in northwestern Illinois (right across the water from Davenport, Iowa). I’ve been invited to give a talk on urban sustainability issues in Chicago at Augustana … Continue reading

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Canoeing the Upper North Branch of the Chicago River

This past Saturday, students in my SUST 220 Water and PLS 391 Natural Science seminars at Roosevelt University joined me for an urban ecology adventure on the Upper North Branch of the Chicago River. We convened mid-morning at Linné Woods, … Continue reading

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Assessing Water Quality on the Chicago River’s North Branch at West River Park

Saturday, Sept. 8th, was the first day of class for my Sustainability Studies 220 Water seminar at Roosevelt University. Instead of staying inside our classroom all day, though, we took advantage of excellent late-summer weather here in Chicago to take … Continue reading

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Leopold’s Shack, Wild Turkeys, and the Wisconsin River

This summer my family and I took our annual vacation to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where we camp out at the Bryson family cabin — a fairly humble one-room cottage in Hiawatha National Forest on the shores of little … Continue reading

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City Creatures: A New Blog

Here’s an exciting new blog to check out: City Creatures, a place of insightful writing about animals (and their human neighbors) here in Chicago’s urban and suburban environments. This is a project of the environmental non-profit organization, the Center for … Continue reading

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