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Thinking Like A River Initiative

Thinking Like A River is a three-year initiative funded by a $383,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation that aims to shape a culture of sustainability centered on local waters by offering unique, hands-on experiences with area rivers for students, faculty and area residents.  The project will integrate perspectives from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities and arts in experiential learning environments to connect, protect and reflect on rivers.  Thinking Like A River encompasses three central components - a floating seminar series, a curriculum designed to encourage and engage visitors at the Goodall Center, and a Fellows program.

Visit our Thinking Like A River Website 

Seminar Series

 

  • October 9-10, 2014 - Thinking Like A River Symposium - "Blueways: An Inquiring Gaze" 

October 9th - 2:30pm - Anna Todd Wofford Center, Andrews Field House - A panel discussion on rivers and "blueways" featured guest speakers, T.S. McMillin, Professor of English at Oberlin College, and Leslie King, Director of the Rivers Institute, The University of Dayton.

October 9th - 7:00pm - McMillian Theater, Campus Life Building - Guest speaker, T.S. McMillin, Professor of English at Oberlin College - "Am I Blue? The Strange Ways of an Urban River"

October 10th - 3:00pm - Gray-Jones Room, Burwell Building - Coffee and informal conversation with guest speakers.

October 10th - 6:30pm - Gray-Jones Room, Burwell Building - Guest speaker, Leslie King, Director of the Rivers Institute, The University of Dayton - "Rivers Institute at the University of Dayton; Partnering on the River"
 
See press release in the Wofford Newsroom.  *Due to illness Dr. John Cronin was unable to speak as scheduled.  See the departmental newsletter for a write-up of their visit.
  • October 3-4, 2013 - Thinking Like A River Symposium II -  
October 3rd - 2:30pm - Anna Todd Wofford Center, Andrews Field House - A panel discussion on "Undiscovered Tributaries" with guest speakers, Margo Farnsworth, a consultant in strategic sustainability development, an adjunct faculty at Lipscomp University's Institute of Sustainability, and an Fellow for Biomimicry 3.8; and Jon Calabria, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Georgia.

October 4th - 7:00pm - Gray-Jones Room, Burwell Building - A continuation of our panel discussion, "Undiscovered Tributaries II", with guest speakers, Hal Crimmel, professor of writing and literature at Weber State University; and our guests from the previous panel discussion, Margo Farnsworth and Jon Calabria.  See press release in the Wofford Newsroom.

  •  October 11-14, 2012 – Thinking Like A River Symposium –  

October 11th - 2:30pm - The topic of “Thinking Like A River? A Roundtable Discussion & Workshop,” moderated by Professor John Lane and Dr. Kaye Savage, included an introduction of our four guest panelists: Susan Fox Rogers, author of My Reach, A Hudson River Memoir; Mike Freeman, author of Drifting, Two Weeks on the Hudson; Allison Hedge Coke, author of Blood Run; and David Furbish, hydrologist at Vanderbilt University and author of Fluid Physics in Geology and many research articles.  The afternoon event concluded with a workshop.

October 11th – 7:00pm - Our topic of “Confluence Thinking: A Science/Humanities Conversation,” featured a dialogue between two of our guest panelists, Allison Hedge Coke and David Furbish, and was moderated by Dr. Laura Barbas Rhoden, associate professor of Spanish.

October 12th – The symposium continued with an afternoon visit to the Goodall Center with ENVS students and a 7:00pm program “The Hudson: One River, Two Voices” which featured a dialogue between Susan Fox Rogers and Mike Freeman and was moderated by Dr. Gerald Thurmond, professor of sociology.

October 13th & 14th – An overnight float trip down the Pacolet River with a group of 12 including three of the visiting authors, three ENVS students, faculty from two departments, the Goodall Center outreach coordinator, and our outfitter. 

  • Fall 2012 - ENVS 203 and 101 Lab Classes on River Floats 

  Dr. Savage and Professor Lane both took their ENVS students down the Pacolet River during lab classes. 

Outreach at the Goodall Center

  • Freeman Owle – “Native Americans & Natural Resources” 

September 27, 2012 - Freeman Owle, a recognized Cherokee folklorist and educator, visited Wofford this past week to talk about “Native Americans and Natural Resources.”  He walked and visited with students from several Wofford classes at the Goodall Center in the afternoon and also told stories to a group of Cleveland Elementary School students as part of the “Three Sisters Garden” project.

  • Three Sisters Garden 

Three Sisters Garden project works with local youth from the Boys & Girls Club to develop and expand their knowledge of our region and further their appreciation of our environment and natural surroundings.  The project is coordinated by Melisa Emkjer.  Melisa is an environmental education instructor and has a B.A. in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Science and ELA.  She also has experience in the visual arts and working with at-risk youth.  As a strong believer in environmental education, she loves to share her enthusiasm for nature and active living in the great outdoors.

  • Halloween Program  

October 30, 2012 - We welcomed the Glendale community to the Goodall Center on Tuesday evening for a Halloween program for the kids.  Goodall outreach coordinator Haley Briel put together a program full of snakes, spiders, crafts, and goodies. Dr. Gerald Thurmond (Wofford Sociology Department) and Rev. Stuart Jones (Fernwood Baptist Church Associate Pastor & Youth Minister) both brought a variety of beautiful non-venomous snakes that could be handled.  In addition to the nature component of the event, there were also two craft projects for the children to make and decorate – a pumpkin photo frame and a bat with moveable wings. They had a great time decorating while munching cupcakes and candy.

  • Dedication of "The Aldo" 

February 20, 2013 - Professor John Lane introduced Clemson professor, Dr. Drew Lanham, who addressed the crowd gathered to dedicate the Aldo Leopold Shack for outreach education in the Carolyn Converse Garden at Glendale Shoals.  "The Aldo" was researched, planned, designed, and sited by ENVS students Rob Kennedy, Rob Richardson, and Steven Bearden as their capstone project then built as an independent interim project during January 2013.   A reception and dinner followed the ceremony along with a screening of "Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic of Our Time" (2011).  The film, by the Aldo Leopold Foundation, explores the life and legacy of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold and the many ways his land ethic philosophy lives on in the work of people and organizations all over the country today. 

  • Star Gazing  

March 12, 2013 - Goodall outreach coordinator, Haley Briel, and Wofford professor, Steve Zides, held a star gazing event at the Goodall Center.

  • Easter Egg Hunt 

March 23, 2013 - The Glendale community was invited to bring their children to the Goodall Center for an afternoon Easter Egg Hunt.

  • Fall Kids' Camp 

September 24-27, 2013 - 4-evening camp teaching kids about animals of the Shoals, Glendale mill history, and arts and crafts.  Jack Turner from USC-Upstate did a forging demonstration on how to make nails.

  • Blessing of the Animals 

October 6, 2013 - Revs. Ron Robinson and Heidi Campbell Robinson officiated the ceremony at the Glendale Amphitheater.

  • Fall School Field Trips 

October 17, 2013 - Dorman High School STEM group participated in a water quality lesson and learned how to take water samples and study them.

October 25, 2013 - AP Environmental Science students learned about geology, river mechanics, and stream ecology.

November 1, 2013 - 20 students from Cleveland Academy worked in Three Sisters Garden.

  • Shoals Fun Run 

November 2, 2013 - Wofford's Fierce Green Fire student group hosted a 2-mile scenic run/walk through historic Glendale.  Participants also enjoyed rock climbing provided by Glendale Outdoor Leadership School and kayaking on the Lawson's Fork.

  • Intro to Geocaching 

November 16, 2013 - 10 participants were given GPS units to help them locate the four different treasures that were hidden around Glendale Shoals.

  • Nature Walk 

January 26, 2014 - Many signs of nature and life are hidden in the cold winter months, but if you know what to look for there is a lot going on!  Participants walked the Shoals and looked for signs such as animal tracks, burrow holes, buried insects, and nests.

  • River Clean Up Day 

May 4, 2014 - Wofford students organized a river clean up day in memory of Wofford graduate, Martha Cammack '13.

  • Hammock-a-Thon 
May 11, 2014 - Over 1000 people gathered at Glendale Shoals for live music by Zac Parks and Rachel Chalmers. In collaboration with Local Hiker, an outdoor sporting goods store in downtown Spartanburg, hammock were made available for purchase and over 20 hammocks were put up all over the Shoals.
 
  • Spring Field Trips 
February 25, 2014 - 47 Clifdale Elementary 3rd graders visited the Goodall Center for a geology lesson.
 
April 25, 2014 - 60 students from Cowpens Elementary visited the Goodall Center.
 
May 14, 2014 - 40 Cannons Elementary students visited the Goodall Center to learn about water quality.
 

Thinking Like A River Fellows

Creating a culture that embraces river sustainability requires that community leaders be informed about conditions that threaten river health, and enthusiastic about watershed protection. The Fellows program will invite citizens including business leaders, governmental representatives at several levels, and nonprofit agents as well as Wofford alumni to participate in the floating seminars and other events. The Fellows will develop projects to improve river awareness and/or water quality.

2012-2013 Fellows: 

Renee Phillips – Literacy Coach, Spartanburg School District Three

Peyton Howell – VP of Project Development - Yeargin Potter Shackelford Construction

Ned Barrett – Partnership Coordinator, Partners for Active Living

Alissa Ritzo Duncan – Program Manager, Ten at the Top

2013-2014 Fellows: 

Bonnie Webster - Upper School Environmental Science teacher - Spartanburg Day School

Shelley Robinson - Sustainable Communities and Clean Air Associate - Upstate Forever

Winthrop Allen - Senior Associate - Pacolet Milliken Enterprises

Ben Palmer - Outdoor Recreation Coordinator - Spartanburg Parks Commission