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Wofford hosts 'Thinking Like a River' symposium Oct. 3, 4

Looking at natural and cultural impact on local rivers
Thinking Like A River 382x255
“Thinking Like a River” visiting fellows Margo Farnsworth, a consultant in strategic development, an adjunct faculty member at Lipscomb University, and a senior research consultant for Cumberland River Compact; Hal Crimmel, professor of writing and literature at Weber State University; and Jon Calabria, professor for landscape architecture at University of Georgia.
2013-09-23

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College will host its second annual “Thinking Like a River” symposium Thursday and Friday, Oct. 3 and 4, on campus. The events are free and open to the public.

The symposium will be the second of a three-year program presented by the college. The aim of the series is to integrate perspectives from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities and arts to look at natural and cultural impact on local rivers. 

“An aerial view of a watershed landscape shows a network of streams, each accumulating water, nutrients, sediment and living organisms from the smaller streams -- tributaries -- that flow into it, but these physical components are not the whole story,” says John Lane, Wofford professor and director of the college’s Goodall Environmental Studies Center at Glendale, S.C.

Lane explains that our current society has a strong impact on local rivers.

“Our minds and our culture contribute just as much to the nature of a watershed, but these influences are often unspoken and even unrecognized,” he says. “We want the community to join us as we consider how these undiscovered tributaries connect us to our rivers, and what it means both for us and for the natural environment.”

The theme of the symposium is “Undiscovered Tributaries” and the programs will feature panel discussions with three visiting “Thinking Like a River” fellows: Margo Farnsworth, a consultant in strategic development, an adjunct faculty member at Lipscomb University, and a senior research consultant for Cumberland River Compact; Jon Calabria, professor for landscape architecture at University of Georgia; and Hal Crimmel, professor of writing and literature at Weber State University.

“Thinking Like A River,” funded by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, focuses on creating a culture of sustainability by providing students, faculty, and local residents with the resources for hands-on experiences with area rivers.
Here is the schedule of events for the symposium:

Thursday, Oct. 3
2:30-5 p.m.
“Undiscovered Tributaries I”
Anna Todd Wofford Center, Andrews Field House
This panel discussion will feature Farnsworth and Calabria

Friday, Oct. 4
7 p.m.
“Undiscovered Tributaries II”
Gray-Jones Room, Burwell Building
The second panel discussion will feature Crimmel, Farnsworth and Calabria.

Biographies of the participating visiting “Thinking Like a River” fellows:

Hal Crimmel
Crimmel teaches writing and literature at Weber State University and served in 2004 as a Fulbright Scholar to Austria. He is the editor of “Teaching in the Field: Working with Students in the Outdoor Classroom” (University of Utah Press, 2003), co-editor of Teaching About Place: Learning from the Land (University of Nevada Press, 2008) and the author of “Dinosaur: Four Seasons on the Green and Yampa Rivers” (University of Arizona Press, 2007). He served from 2009-2013 as chair of Weber State's Environmental Issues Committee. Crimmel also teaches field-based classes in Dinosaur National Monument and in the Centennial Valley of Montana.

Margo Farnsworth
Farnsworth works as a consultant in strategic development for organizations, businesses and individuals; as an adjunct faculty for Lipscomb University’s Institute of Sustainability and as senior research consultant for the Cumberland River Compact where she also served as executive director for seven years. While with the Compact, Farnworth brokered a bi-state water agreement between Tennessee and Kentucky, helped build seven watershed associations to work on non-point source pollution and enabled them to proceed with projects such as measuring the carbon sequestration value of buffer zones and measuring sedimentation for restoration. She has also worked as a naturalist, science teacher from middle school to university levels, mammalogist and park ranger. With degrees in science education and parks administration, her professional accomplishments include research in environmental education, qualitative mammal studies and service on numerous local and state environmental boards and committees. Recognition of her work has come from various disciplines including a State Resource Management Award of Excellence, the “Friend of Fisheries” award, State Environmental Educator of the Year and the Freeman Tilden Award for Outstanding Interpretation. Farnworth assisted General Mills in a water reuse project and is currently looking forward to integrating biomimicry into her work at all levels.

Jon Calabria
Calabria teaches landscape architecture at the University of Georgia, where he works with students, faculty and community members on a variety of service-learning projects to improve water quality and ecological function within the human context. Prior to joining UGA, he implemented water quality demonstration projects that educated others about the benefits of storm water control measures, stream restoration and habitat enhancement.

Written by Dana Nobles, Wofford Class of 2015