Berry Scholars Get Wet

08.10.2005 | Students, Service and GivingStudents in the University of Dayton's most prestigious academic program, the John W. Berry Sr. Scholars, will participate in the University's second annual, weeklong "River Stewardship and Global Responsibilities" program from Aug. 14-18. The 31 sophomores and juniors will take an intense, interdisciplinary look at the environmental, historic, economic and social issues related to the Great Miami River Watershed.

Students will brainstorm ways the Berry Scholars program and the University community can positively impact water resources. These ideas will be incorporated into a watershed action plan allowing the University and its community partners to protect, preserve and promote water resources. The watershed action plan likely will grow to incorporate the efforts of the city of Dayton, Montgomery County, Five Rivers MetroParks, The Miami Conservancy District and others. Some of the students also will evaluate the potential value of including in the plan a local rivers institute, which would facilitate scientific research, community education and public policy development.

The program is sponsored by UD's Brother Raymond L. Fitz, S.M., Center for Leadership in Community in partnership with the Conservancy District and MetroParks.

Organizers said the river program will help Berry Scholars serve as ambassadors to interest other students and the community in environmental and water-quality issues.

Highlights of the program schedule follow.

Monday, Aug. 15
* 12:45 p.m.: Students tour Dayton's wastewater treatment plant, 2800 Guthrie Road in Dayton.
* 7 to 8 p.m.: Dusty Hall, program development manager for The Miami Conservancy District, delivers a dinner lecture in the Kennedy Union Ballroom on UD's campus concerning ownership and conservation of water resources.
* 8 to 10 p.m.: Students view the film "Cadillac Desert: Water and the Transformation of Nature."

Tuesday, Aug. 16
* 11:15 a.m.: Students launch two-day canoe trip from Taylorsville MetroPark, off of U.S. 40. River guides, UD professors and river experts will teach students about river safety, low dams, urban storm water and the river's role in the development of Dayton. The group will visit Dayton's Miami Well Field treatment plant and collect samples of aquatic insects along the way to gauge the health of the river.

Wednesday, Aug. 17
* 11:30 a.m.: Group arrives at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton, where students will participate in a fish shocking demonstration. Electrical prods will be placed in the river to temporarily stun the fish, which float to the river's surface. The number and variety of fish found will help students gauge the river's water quality.

Thursday, Aug. 18
* 3 to 4 p.m.: Students present their ideas about forming a local rivers institute and developing a watershed action plan at The Miami Conservancy District's administrative headquarters, 38 E. Monument Ave. in downtown Dayton.

For a detailed program schedule or for more information about the program, contact Amber Rose, program coordinator, at (937) 229-5352.
For media interviews, contact Dick Ferguson, executive director of the Fitz Center, at (937) 229-5400; Steven Dandaneau, director of the Berry Scholars Program, at (937) 229-4615; the Conservancy District's Dusty Hall at (937) 223-1278 ext. 3210; and Charlie Shoemaker, director of Five Rivers MetroParks, at (937) 275-PARK.
For more on the Berry Scholars Program, see