This past Feb. 23rd, students from this year’s SUST 220 Water classes at RU (both fall and spring) joined Prof. Mike Bryson at the Chicago River Student Congress, convened annually by the environmental conservation organization Friends of the Chicago River. This 2013 celebration of river conservation and environmental education was held at Marie Curie Metro High School on Chicago’s SW Side, and featured Bryson as the morning’s keynote speaker.
SUST majors Ron Taylor and Ken Schmidt co-presented a workshop with Bryson entitled “Sustainability and the Chicago River: from Urbanization to Pollution to Restoration,” which they ran twice during the course of the Congress. Meanwhile, roaming the halls of the Congress was fellow SUST major Angi Cornelius, who indulged her theatrical side by dressing up as one of six “Super Villians” who represented ecological/social threats to the biodiversity and water quality of urban rivers. Angi’s character was “Z. Mussel” (the zebra mussel, naturally), an invasive bivalve species that she refashioned into the persona of a Russian femme fatale. Along with her fellow Villians, Angi worked the crowd throughout the morning by engaging students in small group conversations about the impact of invasive species on rivers, streams, and the Great Lakes ecosystem.
For more on the Congress as well as the Spring 2013 Water class field trip that same day to selected sites of interest along the South Branch of the Chicago River, see this post on Prof. Bryson’s faculty blog.