This year is ushering a number of changes for Jen Kader. Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, she started in a new role at Freshwater as our director for engagement and systems change. Later that same month, her peers on the state’s Clean Water Council—all of whom are appointed by the governor to serve on the council—unanimously elected her council vice chair.
Freshwater’s new Adopt a River program is up and running and already processing registrations for shoreline cleanups! Whether it’s a one-time cleanup or an adoption (a commitment to clean multiple times), a stretch of the Mississippi or your neighborhood pond, participating in Adopt a River could be a unique experience for you and your group.
At Freshwater, we have the privilege of reading public input from Minnesotans all over the state in our people-driven systems change work (like the One Watershed, One Plan efforts). Increasingly, we are reading public comments where people are noting that they have seen their weather change over the last decade, and these changes impact the health of their groundwater, surface waters, ecosystems, and wildlife.
If you really want to understand an environmental or water quality issue, it’s no secret that you have to get out from behind the computer screen once in a while and into the field. After years of editing technical reports, and writing factsheets and news releases for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, I decided to follow that advice.
Freshwater’s latest and youngest interns, high schoolers Winner Soe and Lala Vang, spent the summer of 2021 learning all about Minnesota groundwater with Freshwater Research and Policy Director Carrie Jennings. The Minnesota Groundwater Association funded this internship to give young, diverse students an opportunity to explore the field of groundwater research and conservation and to increase awareness of potential career paths.
Freshwater and the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences are cohosting a free online lecture open to the public on Wednesday, Nov. 17, from 12–1:30 pm. St. Paul, Minnesota (Oct. 25, 2021)—The public is invited the Moos Family Speaker Series on Water Resources for an event of influential experts presenting the latest research on timely and important issues.
Freshwater’s online training materials and weekly classes were a lively blend of disciplines—ecological networks, hydrological cycle, city management of stormwater and wastewater, agricultural practices contributing to excess stormwater and pollution, community organizing techniques, and so much more.