Professor Mike Bryson Writes Article “Rediscover the Chicago River” in Mindful Metropolis

Last month, Professor Mike Bryson wrote the cover article “Rediscover the Chicago River” for the magazine Mindful Metropolis.  He calls the river “a once-natural waterway that humans have thoroughly transformed. Dredged, straightened, polluted and famous for having its flow reversed at the turn of the last century, the river is nevertheless a complex ecological system that fulfills an amazing array of economic, social and environmental functions—from transportation conduit to wastewater repository to recreational resource to wildlife corridor. It’s also an excellent place to observe and think about the visually arresting urban landscape and its mysterious, yet compelling blending of nature and culture.”

Included with the essay are arresting photographs of the river by Ryan Hodgson-Rigsbee, whose work is also available at

Professor Bryson will expand on his interdisciplinary perspective on the river in Roosevelt’s new course SUST 220 Water.  The course evaluates water quality and water sustainability issues through the analysis of local, regional, and global case studies. Key concepts and themes to be addressed include the science and policy of ensuring a safe water supply; water conservation strategies, particularly in urban areas; wastewater treatment and watershed management; and wetlands ecology, restoration, and management. Students will develop a thorough understanding of the water cycle and its relation to the sustainability of water systems; learn to define, measure, and sample water quality in a variety of contexts using field-based water chemistry sampling techniques; understand and assess the importance of water as an environmental as well as cultural resource; and evaluate contemporary water management and policy issues, particularly those affecting the waterways of the Chicago region as well as the Great Lakes ecosystem. Includes field trips to area locations such as the Chicago River, water and wastewater treatment plants, and natural and/or restored wetlands.

Professor Bryson will teach SUST 220 Water this fall as an online course with selected field trips.  If you are interested in enrolling, find out more by calling 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU), emailing, or sign up to attend our June 24 Info session.

This entry was posted in courses, faculty, publications, water. Bookmark the permalink.