REGISTER HERE for Zoom link to Session I
Part 1 of a two-part virtual program focusing on IIHR’s history of research and engineering on the Mississippi River and an overview of current watershed initiatives the 101-year-old institute is leading today.
In the late ’20s, research interests on the Mississippi River expanded to flood control and the impacts of agriculture on the basin. During this time, the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers, working with Nagler and others at IIHR, began the 9-Foot Channel Project, supported by an act of Congress. The goal was to make the river deeper and wider to create more safe, reliable passageways for commercial navigation. The project became the system of locks and dams we’re familiar with today. The unexpected impacts of the project are also still being felt.
During part I of this two-part program, climate expert and IIHR Director Gabriele Villarini will introduce IIHR’s history of research and engineering on the Mississippi River. Following this introduction, Augustana College Research Associate Matthew Fockler will share his project, Two Mississippi — a historical and geographic investigation of the Upper Mississippi River since its greatest manmade alteration, the 9-Foot Channel Project. Two Mississippi is an invitation to step into and along the Upper Mississippi River and explore its past, present, and future. Fockler uses repeat photography, archival research, critical GIS mapping, and oral history to examine the dramatic human and ecological landscape changes that have occurred on the Upper Mississippi River since the 9-Foot Channel Project became reality. His Mississippi River research can be previewed at www.two-mississippi.com.
This program was inspired by IIHR’s centennial exhibition, “A River Flowed Through It: Iowa’s Legacy in Fluid Mechanics,” on display through Dec. 10, 2021, at the Old Capitol Museum on the University of Iowa campus.