Working to promote & protect the Great Miami River Watershed
The Rivers Institute, administered by the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton, is an initiative to bring key partners in Dayton and surrounding communities together to promote our watershed while preserving and protecting its resources. Students, faculty and staff from the University are working with community members, stakeholders, and local organizations to build community around our rivers. The Rivers Institute's work focuses on promoting learning and undergraduate research, bringing UD to the river, and bringing Dayton to the river. Without the support and innovation of our partnerships, both within the University and the community, the Rivers Institute would not exist. The Great Miami River is located in southwestern Ohio and flows through multiple cities including Dayton and the University's campus before joining the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers further downstream.
Who are the Rivers Stewards?
The River Stewards program is the flagship program of the Rivers Institute administered by the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community at the University of Dayton. The three-year interdisciplinary program focused on leadership development and civic engagement is based on the model of learn, lead, and serve. River Stewards participate in weekly mini-courses, provide service to the community, and work together to develop a project their senior year. Interested students can apply to become a River Steward in the second semester of their freshman year. Please see the information brochure and application for more information. Currently there are over 45 River Stewards within three cohorts. The River Stewards come from over 25 different majors and represent all undergraduate academic units at the University of Dayton.
Our leadership curriculum is interdisciplinary.
The River Leadership Curriculum provides an interdisciplinary study of rivers and watersheds drawing on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, aesthetics, and public policy. Classes are taught by students, faculty, and community partners with a strong emphasis on experiential learning and leadership development. Four subject areas are integrated and applied to river systems to create this curriculum.
River Science deals with river and stream ecosystems, watersheds, and water. It also includes the importance of water quality, hypoxia, and the watershed concept.
Water, Civilization, and the Common Good talks about access to water, water rights and use, ethical uses of scarce water, and the relationship that civilizations have with water in the past, present and future.
River Cities discusses important aspects for understanding river cities including history, reasons for location, transportation, factors influencing development, role of the river in the economy, art, military strategies, and more.
Sustainability discusses sustainability as the capacity to endure, and views the hydrologic cycle as an important example that helps to sustain the Earth through water purification, moderating Earth's climate, and distributing water for use in Earth's processes.
Education is a key component of the Rivers Institute.Educational outreach has become a key component in the Rivers Institute’s work in the Dayton area. We are committed to sharing our knowledge of the Great Miami Watershed and promoting the integrative nature and untapped potential of our river system and community. We began with a series of after-school programs at a local elementary school, where students learned about the historical, ecological, sociological, and aesthetic importance of Dayton’s rivers. Our educational outreach programs continue to grow along with the Rivers Institute. We believe that if people learn to appreciate and grow to love our local watershed and its assets, they will do their part to act as good stewards and protect these assets. Education, experience, action!
The annual River Summit is a regional endeavor.
The River Summit is a regional endeavor to link cities, farmland, communities, and individuals, to develop a regional strategy which leverages our most unique asset, the Great Miami and Mad Rivers. Recognizing the need to bring communities together around the river and the watershed, the Rivers Institute at the University of Dayton and the Ohio's Great Corridor Association (OGCA) collaborate to help communities realize the untapped potential our River Corridors have for our region, both economically and socially.
The 7th annual River Summit will be Friday March 14, 2014, at the University of Dayton's River Campus, 1700 Patterson Blvd. The Ohio's Great Corridor Association is excited to announce the 2014 keynote speakers: Mike Knopp and Joe Jacobi, from Oklahoma City. A detailed schedule and registration instructions will be posted in January.
The Rivers Institute at the University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469-1480