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Why Attend a Conference

In a time when a lot of research is done by Googling and using online websites, one might ask, “why should I attend a conference in person?” We are sure we have the answer, and why you should attend River Action’s Upper Mississippi River Conference, “Changing Climate-Evolving River”, October 19 and 20, at the Stoney Creek Inn, Moline.

The answers are many:

  • A conference is an ideal way to network with like-minded people. Where else can you have lunch with an organization’s executive director, a college professor,  and an engineer from the Army Corps?
  • You can discover what you did not know, but thought you knew.  There are some surprising, new studies to consider.  For example, western states that are dry are looking  Midwest water to save them.
  • You will meet people you did not know, but need to know. We have youth activists attending the conference.
  • You’ll get a first look at ongoing research prior to publication in scientific journals.  Want to start a project?  Get the handbook, timetable, and opportunity from the Corps of Engineers!
  • You’ll approach complete strangers because of your common interests in a place where it’s encouraged.  And that’s fun!

The October Upper Mississippi River Conference will spark opportunities through networking receptions, field trips, luncheons and workshops. It opens with a keynote address from Ray Wolf, National Weather Service meteorologist. Panelists will discuss how city climate action plans are written and we will hear about success stories from cities who have written them. It is not only the federal and state governments that are addressing climate, but the private sector, too. Representatives from John Deere and Mid-American Energy will report on their initiatives. A Pulitzer Prize winning author, Art Cullen, publisher of the Storm Lake Times will address dinner guests with his reporting on the lawsuit between the Des Moines WaterWorks and the Racoon River watershed.

If there is once central tenet to learn from focusing on the Mississippi River during these challenging times, it would be that few, if any, stakeholders can go it alone. Help must come from every quarter, from volunteers to government agencies, from farmers to city planners. You can connect with all of these at this year’s conference, “Changing Climate—Evolving River.” Register for one event, one day, or both days at riveraction.org/umrc or call River Action at 563-322-2969.