Mississippi River Experiences

A COLLABORATION BETWEEN SCP ARTS, THE NATURAL HERITAGE PROJECT, & THE MISSISSIPPI WATERSHED MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION


Mississippi River

Mississippi River looking north from the Ford Parkway bridge.

Translating research into artwork

Students in ENVR 212 translated their experiences of the Mississippi River (L) and their analysis of people's experiences of the river (R) into illustrations with SCP Artist-in-Resident Sarah Nelson.

Elm Tree Story Booth

ENVR 212 students will also collect data through the Elm Tree Story Booth, which is traveling around to different locations across the Twin Cities, including the University of St. Thomas.


Students in Society and Sustainability (ENVR 212) are collaborating with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) and the Natural Heritage Project (NHP) to explore people's experiences of the Mississippi River.  This research will inform the MWMO's public outreach efforts and also form the basis for an interactive exhibit at the MWMO's Stormwater Learning Center in 2020. Students are collaborating with SCP Artist-in-Residence, Sarah Nelson, to translate their research findings into artwork.

 by Sarah Nelson with BNVR 212 Dahmus and MWMO; online survey analysis translation

This drawing communicates students' analysis of an on-line survey that asked respondents to describe their experiences of the Mississippi River.  The layered perspectives of this drawing convey respondents' multiple perspectives and experiences of the Mississippi River.  The three primary perspectives were a distant perspective as an onlooker from afar, a closer connection walking or biking along the river trails, or a tangible and immediate experience exploring the shores or waters of the river.   The more closely respondents experienced the river, the more salient the tension of pollution, trash, and beauty was in their experience.  The accentuated bluffs represent descriptions of the geology of the area and awe of the Mississippi River. Respondents also shared stories of the Dakota people and their sacred connection to the river.  (Drawing by Sarah Nelson in collaboration with ENVR 212 students.)