Linda Chapel Jackson

This issue of the Engaged Scholar Magazine looks at water. It's a big topic—especially this year, and especially in Michigan—and we have approached it using a variety of lenses.

Geographically, our stories range from the very local (an initiative that uses place-based education to give youth, teachers, and communities along the Red Cedar River an opportunity to learn about and appreciate local natural resources) to the very global (a partnership that is building a knowledge value chain to ensure global water safety).

As one of our project partners points out, Michigan is set in the middle of one-fifth of the world's freshwater supply. The region is a unique environment for study, so it should not be surprising that the Great Lakes and local Michigan headwaters dominate the attention of many MSU researchers. The majority of our stories pay particular attention to statewide and regional issues as well, with several articles focused on how best to manage these critical resources.

Topics range from conservation strategies and motivation to conserve, to measuring groundwater contamination, to managing fisheries and food web ecology, to environmental justice. We also convened a panel of senior water scientists to discuss what they see as the major current and upcoming challenges in water resource management.

Finally, we note that MSU's Cultural Engagement Council is creating a thematic Year of Water, similar to previous celebrations of the Year of Arts and Culture (2007-2008) and the China Experience (2015-2016), to highlight all the ways that water inspires, motivates, and affects our world. Watch for announcements about programs, discussions, arts offerings, and other events under the banner "Water Moves MSU," coming soon.

  • Written by Linda Chapel Jackson, University Outreach and Engagement

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