EAST ALTON, IL – The National Great Rivers Research and
Education Center’s (NGRREC)Illinois RiverWatch Network
and Education Department were both recently awarded $7,500 grants to produce
short films focusing on freshwater science and education.
The RiverWatch film will tell a story of
the volunteers who represent both the energy and diversity of people
participating in a freshwater mussel community science program, and what a
small group can accomplish when people work together to understand what is
happening in their local environment.
“We hope the film will encourage viewers
to consider the importance of freshwater mussels and other animals living in
their local streams” said Danelle Haake, RiverWatch Director and Stream
The film will also highlight the
biodiversity and unique traits of freshwater mussels found in the Sangamon
River and the importance of healthy water quality to protect these important
Perceptive Visions, Inc. will produce the
film, which will feature volunteers with the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy
“Although we would love for everyone to
have an opportunity to work with us in-person to experience the excitement of
finding their first mussel, we know that just isn’t possible,” Haake said. “We
hope this film will help us bring that joy to classrooms and computer screens
across the region.”
The NGRREC Education Department’s film
will capture the transformation of students as they start to learn about and
understand how water is integral to their lives and community.
“Viewers will go with the students on
this journey and observe the changes in this student group as they explore what
water means to them,” Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher said.
The education team’s film will feature
student exploration of science and ecology through experiences with local
waterways in the Alton region. It will track their progression through
different classroom and outdoor educational activities and will demonstrate the
power and impact of place-based education and outside learning opportunities on
students overall engagement with and excitement about science.
Route 3 Films, out of St. Louis, Missouri
will produce the film, and partners on the project include Swarovski
Waterschool and Watershed Cairns artist Libby Reuter. Reuter will work with
students to channel their creativity while learning about and creating found
art pieces with recycled materials.
“The purpose of this film is to look into
how this community of students relates to water in their lives, and explore how
that relationship changes as they learn more about the ecological and social
issues surrounding water” Fisher said. “This film will be used to demonstrate
the power behind connecting students to sense of place and understanding of the
complex interactions between water, humans, and the environment.
Both of the projects are being funded by
the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc
(CUAHSI) through their “Let’s Talk About Water” grant program. They will both
be publicly available through NGRREC’s YouTube channel, as well the center’s
social media channels.
For more information, contact Haake at email@example.com (618) 468-2784 or Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org (618) 468-2783.
National Great Rivers Research and
Education Center (NGRREC )
Founded in 2002 as a collaborative
partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis
and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river
systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in
scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of
large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.