RU hosts New River Symposium

The Radford University Environmental Center (RUEC) hosted the New River Symposium May 30-31.

The goal was to celebrate the ecological and social values of the river, bring together a diverse group of constituents and provide a forum for partnership, research and policy development. The program included a broad spectrum of presentations from the sciences, arts and humanities, said Richard Roth, RU professor of geospatial science and RUEC director who helped organize the event.

Among the numerous presentations and poster topics were sustainable economic development on the New River, threats to human or biological health, cultural and archaeological histories of the river, studies of flora and fauna, and plans and programs for land and water conservation.

The purpose of the symposium was to "provide a forum at which researchers, river managers, river users and the general public can gather, share information and knowledge, network and learn from each other about the New River, its community of life, its history, its uses and abuses, and its future," Roth said.

More than 60 people registered for the symposium, which RUEC plans to host again in 2015. The symposium historically has been held at an institution of higher learning within the New River watershed region, and this year the symposium’s steering committee chose RU, Roth said.

In addition to the RUEC, the symposium was sponsored by Friends of the New River, New River Watershed Roundtable and the National Committee for the New River.

Photos from the event can be found on the New River Symposium's Facebook page.

RUEC was formed in 2004 to create a central place on the Radford campus for research and other activities related to environmental studies, sustainable practices, and teaching and learning in these areas. 

In previous years, the RUEC has hosted a series of wetlands symposiums and sponsored lectures on global climate change, biodegradable plastics, mountaintop removal mining and other subjects related to human-environment interactions. In 2006, the RUEC was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to research and develop undergraduate learning activities around a constructed storm-water wetland on the RU campus.

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Jun 18, 2013
Chad Osborne
(540) 831-7761