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'Let's Do Lunch!' explores pollution in the Chippewa River April 27

RELEASED: April 14, 2011

Let's Do Lunch! graphicEAU CLAIRE — A project to make the public aware of pollution issues in and along the Chippewa River will be the topic of an April 27 luncheon presentation hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Alumni Association.

Dr. Garry Running, professor of geography and anthropology at UW-Eau Claire, will share the results of a "Pedal and Paddle Tour" of the Lower Chippewa River State Natural Area from noon-1 p.m. at Sweetwaters Restaurant in Eau Claire as part of the "Let's Do Lunch!" series.

In addition to what was learned as part of an "Environmental Conservation and Action" class, students and faculty from UW-Eau Claire joined forces with local environmental agencies to create the Environmental Civic Agency learning community. The course is a collaboration among Running, Dr. Ruth Cronje, associate professor of English; Dr. Paula Kleintjes Neff, professor of biology; and Dr. Don Mowry, professor of social work and director of the Center for Service-Learning. The group created the tour to teach the community about sources of pollution that affect the Chippewa River. Senior German major Kate Ebnet, Owatanna, Minn. will co-present with Running to share information about how much pollution gets into the Chippewa River and how it affects the community. Most importantly, they will offer ideas about what can be done to help fix it.

Running conducts research on the natural history of the lower Chippewa River and uses it as an outdoor environmental classroom. In 2010, he received the outstanding formal educator of the year award from the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Educators in part for the work he does with UW-Eau Claire students and colleagues, and local elementary, middle and high schools. He is a founding member of both the UW-Eau Claire Confluence Center for Chippewa River Studies and the newly established UW-Eau Claire Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies.

The "Let's Do Lunch!" speaker series is open to the public. The cost is $10 per session and includes the presentation, buffet, beverage, tax and tip. For more information or to reserve tickets, contact the Alumni Association at alumni@uwec.edu or 715-836-3266.

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RD/DW

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