Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
Kansas City District Regulatory Project Manager Justin Hughes explains the many roles the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plays in permitting, regulation and development mitigation throughout the country and in the Kansas City area. Many development projects involving our rivers and streams require permitting or approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Nicholas P. Money, Ph.D.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Faith in our senses has led to fundamental misunderstandings about the meaning of life. We see an elephant but the amoeba in the mud beneath its feet is more important for the health of the planet. We miscast ourselves too, regarding Homo sapiens as the principal marvel of creation. In fact, we are complex ecosystems, part animal part microbe, with trillions of bacteria in our gut that fuel our metabolism and even influence our thoughts. In this presentation, Professor Nicholas Money offers an overview of the microbial hegemony on earth and describes his recent research linking fungal spores to rainfall.
Nicholas P. Money, PhD, is an Anglo-American gentleman of letters and professor at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is an expert on fungal growth and reproduction. Nicholas has authored a number of popular science books that celebrate the diversity of the microbial world, including “Mr. Bloomfield’s Orchard” (2002), and “The Amoeba in the Room” (2014). His first novel, “The Mycologist: The Diary of Bartholomew Leach, Professor of Natural Philosophy,” is a comedy of errors and will be published in 2017.
Diana Papoulias, PhD.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017.
Diana Papoulias was part of an all-women crew that sailed the Atlantic Ocean sampling for distribution and environmental impacts of plastic on our oceans. This video is a screening of the film about her expedition, followed with an update on the science and a discussion with the audience.
Tuesday, April 25th, 2017.
The Big Muddy is deep and mysterious. One can’t just look down and see what is on the bottom the way you can in a clear Ozark stream. Scientists from the US Geological Survey at the Columbia Environmental Research Center have developed a variety of tools to see through the murky river and watch what is happening on the bottom. They use precise measurements to watch and measure the migration of sand dunes and we can see details like rocky outcrops and large trees on the bottom of the river. Through the use of sonar they image fish like the pallid sturgeon as they swim upstream and even spawn in fast deep areas near the bottom of the river.
USGS Geologist Caroline Elliott reveals what she’s learned about the hidden world of the bottom of the Missouri River, and share images of this murky and shifting environment. Caroline’s research is part of the Comprehensive Sturgeon Project. Her team is measuring bedload transport rates and mapping out the parts of the river that are moving and parts of the river channel that are stable. The research questions for pallid sturgeon recruitment and survival involve determining if the places where pallid sturgeon are currently spawning in the Missouri River are stable enough to support successful incubation of sturgeon embryos. When pallid sturgeon spawn they release eggs that adhere to rocky substrates in the river and scientists think these eggs require stable substrates for four to eight days before they hatch. Other questions related to bed and sand dune movement involve understanding how sturgeon move upstream through the river during their pre-spawning migrations and how drifting invertebrates many bottom-dwelling fish feed on move along the bed of the river. The USGS geomorphologists use sonar, specifically a multibeam echosounder and survey-grade GPS to map the bottom of the river. They use an acoustic Doppler current profiler to map velocity flow fields in the river channel and several types of sonar and underwater cameras to view fish and sediment in the river. They’ve made measurements at the bottom of the river in many places along the 811 miles of the Lower Missouri River downstream from Gavins Point Dam and on the Yellowstone River, a Missouri River tributary upstream in Montana and North Dakota.
Dave Heimann, USGS
Tuesday, May 23, 2016.
The movement of sediment plays a huge role in the ecology and hydrology of the Missouri River. With bank stabilization and massive upstream reservoirs blocking sediment flow, the Lower Missouri River carries about 1/5 of the sediment load that it did historically. Dave Heimann will look deeper at where that sediment is in the system, and how that effects other aspects of the river.
Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
In this video Sara Dykman, biologist, educator, & adventurer shares stories from her recent source to sea, education-linked canoe adventure on the Missouri River. Learn how she connected the river to classrooms and conservation efforts, and what it is like to travel with the river 3,500 miles from Montana to the Gulf of Mexico.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Joe Bachant discusses the past and future struggles to maintain water quality, stream integrity and a sustainable public water trust.
Joe Bachant retired in 2002 from a 30-year career as Resource Coordinator at Missouri Department of Conservation. As a Research Ecologist, a temporary role, he was instrumental in establishing the Missouri Stream Team Program. He continues to fight for citizens’ rights to clean water and the importance of natural stream processes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016.
What happens when you combine pure energy, positive thinking, and a love for rivers? You get a powerhouse advocate like Vicki Richmond, Executive Director of Healthy Rivers Partnership. For over 20 years, Vicki has been a champion for the health of rivers in her community. She has taken on projects that seemed unconquerable and made them a success, such as riparian restoration, water quality, and river cleanups.
Tuesday, April 26th, 2016.
We all interact with the Big Muddy on a daily basis through the infrastructure of pipes, pumps, and treatment plants. This has been a constant dynamic in Kansas City from the first drainage pipe in OK Creek to the recent decisions concerning Combined Sewer Overflows and Stormwater Management. Our uses of the river and our attitudes have changed with time.
John Dunn will share a short history of how our city grew, and how our water infrastructure grew with it. The Clean Water Act brought about big changes in the national picture and Kansas City was no exception. He will talk about the basics of our current water and waste water systems and the water issues facing the KC Metro.
John Dunn, is an EPA Engineer with over 25 years of water experience. The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment.
Christopher M. Riggert
Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Crawdads, crawfish, freshwater lobsters, river lobsters, mudbuggers, and even ditch crickets…all have been used to describe the fascinating crayfish, Missouri’s state invertebrate. Crayfish species fill niches all over Missouri, from the gravel of our smallest streams to mud banks in our biggest rivers. Some even live on dry land, in holes on the prairie.
Chris Riggert, biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, scratches the surface on all things “crawdad.” He covers such topics as distribution, morphology, life histories, ecology, conservation status, and more! Crayfish Missouri's state invertebrate!
Tuesday, June 28, 2016 .
Have you ever wondered what happens to the water you use? Where does it go, how is it treated? With lots of pictures, we will take you from your home, through the collection system, and to a treatment plant. This will be an easy way to see a lot of treatment technology and will explain how your sewer rates are used.
John Dunn, is an EPA Engineer with over 25 years of water experience. The mission of the United States Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment.
Missouri River MR340 Race
July 19-22, 2016.
Don't be surprised to see a steady stream of boaters mid-week on the Missouri River in Jefferson City.
It's time once again for the annual Missouri American Water MR340. The endurance race goes 340 miles across the state.
Competitors will start Tuesday morning in Kansas City and finish in St. Charles. They have until Friday to complete the race.
Participants are allowed exactly 88 hours to complete the course. There are nine checkpoints along the route, where paddlers are required to sign in and sign out. Cut-off times will be associated with these checkpoints based on the 88-hour pace. Failure to meet checkpoint deadlines is grounds for disqualification. To finish this race in 88 hours is a huge accomplishment, as only two-thirds of the teams were able to do that last year. July 18th, 2016 by Jeff Haldiman, Jefferson City, News Tribune.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016.
Get ready to get inspired by author and adventurer Canadian Rod Wellington, who in 2013 paddled the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers from Source to Sea, will return to Kansas City to share his newly self-published book “River Angels”, a behind the scenes look at the people that make modern adventure possible.
Lieutenant Colonel Knott discusses how to do more with less by burning solid wastes in power plants. Then he reads the words of Chief Seattle. The words that inspired him to become an evironmentalist.
Lieutenant Colonel Knott was born in Nebraska, raised in Iowa and currently lives in Missouri. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in teaching Industrial Technology, from the University of Northern Iowa; and a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from the University of Texas. At the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, he worked as Senior Field Biologist for 10 years before joining the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, retiring as Senior Enforcement Biologist in 2006. He has 37 years of experience working on and for the Missouri River and its tributaries in the central Midwest, Nebraska, Iowa Kansas and Missouri.
Just west of the Missouri River in South Dakota is the Badlands, a semi-arid region of spires, buttes and inaccessible cliffs in southwestern South Dakota adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation. Drained by the White, Bad and Cheyenne Rivers, the region is also the final resting place for the skeletal remains of a vast array of mammals that lived in the Late Eocene Epoch about 30 million years ago. At that time, the climate was sub-tropical, with lush vegetation and sluggish meandering streams.
Classes of budding paleontologists from the Dept. of Geosciences, UMKC have for many years collected specimens from the Badlands near Scenic, S.D. under Special Use permits issued by the U.S. Forest Service. The finds include the skeletal remains of tiny mouse-sized creatures to massive rhino-sized beasts and numerous tortoises.
Dr. Richard Gentile, professor of Geosciences at UMKC gives us a window into this unique world of mud and bone that lies upstream from us and share a glimpse into the past of our ancient watershed.
Water burns? Water has a memory? Water can be effected by cell phones? It seems that there is much more to know about water than what we are taught about in science class at school. In this video you will learn about how water is effected by electricity and microwaves and that the water will carry that information and pass it along to other water. You will learn about an Austrian inventor by the name of John Grander who invented a way to "revitalize" dead water.
"Wayne City Landing,"
Tuesday, January 27, 2015.
These dedicated local historians talk about the pioneers, gold prospectors, traders, goods and wealth that came out of Wayne City Landing, one of the first steamboat landings in western Missouri to connect to the Santa Fe Trail. Sugar Creek, Missouri is the only location in the country where four National Historic Trails – the Lewis and Clark, the Santa Fe, the Oregon and the California – overlap.
Tuesday, February 24th, 2015.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge preserves a unique and important slice of Missouri River habitat. This 7,350 acre refuge, part of the National Wildlife Refuge system, includes 3,400 acres of wetland habitat and lies adjacent to the Loess Hills.
These wetlands serve a crucial stopover point for waterfowl on their migration path. More than a million birds (especially snow geese and bald eagles) can be seen at various times during the migration. The wetlands combine several natural wetlands and several managed impoundments.
"Measuring Success of Integrated Conservation Practices in Northern Missouri,,"
Tuesday, March 31, 2016.
Since 2010, the USGS, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has been monitoring stream water quality in the Lower Grand River Basin. Previous work demonstrated that substantial quantities of sediment and nutrients were exported from the basin each year and that these contaminants ultimately contributed to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia. Simultaneous with the monitoring effort, and in attempt to reduce deleterious effects on stream water quality, farmers in the Lower Grand River Basin have been encouraged to implement integrated conservation practices. This talk will focus on approaches to understanding how such conservation programs may affect water-quality, illustrate approaches for determining long-term trends in water quality, and explore how the lingering effects of drought may challenge assumptions about conservation effectiveness.
"Replacing a Missouri River Bridge," Tuesday, April 28, 2015
The southbound Route 69 Bridge, commonly referred to as the Fairfax Bridge, was built in 1933. The northbound Route 69 Bridge, commonly referred to as the Platte Purchase Bridge, was built in 1957. Both were built to accommodate the type, size, and weight of vehicles at the time of construction, and were not designed for the high volume and heavy weight limits of truck traffic that you typically find today within the heavy industrial zone where these bridges are located. Narrow lanes and load limitations restrict the use of each bridge by overweight and oversized vehicles. Because of their age, both structures require frequent maintenance and costly repairs, causing motorists further delay.
Lanny gives an overview of the US69 Missouri River Bridge Replacement project and discuss the project construction to date with particular emphasis on the old Fairfax Bridge demolition.
Patrick Dobson, PhD
"Canoeing the Great Plains – A Missouri River Summer,"
Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
Tired of an unfulfilled life in Kansas City, Missouri, Patrick Dobson left his job and set off on foot across the Great Plains. After two and a half months, 1,450 miles, and numerous encounters with the people of the heartland, Patrick arrived in Helena, Montana. He then set a canoe on the Missouri and asked the river to carry him safely back to Kansas City, hoping this enigmatic watercourse would help reconnect him with his life.
Patrick discusses his new book, "Canoeing the Great Plains: A Missouri River Summer," and a journey undertaken nearly 20 years ago that proved to be transformative. Dobson, a novice canoeist when he begins his trip, faces the Missouri at a time of dangerous flooding and must learn to trust himself to the powerful flows of the river and its stark and serenely beautiful countryside. He meets a cast of characters along the river who assist him both with the mundane tasks of canoeing—portaging around dams and reservoirs and finding campsites—and with his own personal transformation. Mishaps, mistakes, and misadventures plague his trip, but over time the river shifts from being a frightening adversary to a welcome companion.
Tuesday, June 22th, 2015.
Biography: William Gilliland is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Geology, teaching Kansas Historical Geology. He is a licensed geologist in the States of Kansas & Arkansas. He has worked for 35 years in Kansas as a geologist in a variety of fields. He is currently an Environmental Scientist Division Of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture. He writes "Throughout my professional career, I have been interested in the interaction between the people of the State of Kansas and the land that they have settled. As a part of the Kansas Studies Center, I will have an opportunity to share with students how geology has developed and shaped the land that became Kansas, and how plants, animals and humans have utilized it."
Richard J. Gentile, Ph.D.
"Life in Kansas City 300 Million of Years Ago,"
Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Dr. Richard Gentile takes us for a peek beneath the surface and back in time to help us comprehend the geologic forces that determined the destiny of Kansas City: the effect geology had on the Cities development, and our lives today.
Millions of summers ago, Kansas City was beachfront property: oceans, rain forests, palm trees and giant ferns. Not to mention a strange array of giant creatures — mastodons, mammoths, grizzly-sized sloths — stomping through town. Cruise even further back in time – oh, say 300 million more years, and the area was a shallow sea teeming with aquatic life. Now, fast forward to the start of summer of 2015, when the geology of Kansas City is hidden by a forest of buildings and rivers of concrete and asphalt.
"Missouri River as a Wildlife Highway,"
Tuesday, August 25, 2015.
Rivers have always served as biological highways, connecting together different locations in a kind of riparian web. As humans continue encroaching on habitat throughout the Midwest, the Missouri River has become an even more important corridor of wildlife dispersal.
Meese talks about tracking the movement of the increasing number of mountain lions sighted in the state (55 confirmed sightings since 2002). By detailed DNA analysis, he and his colleagues determine most of these are juvenile cats that originated in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Evidence points to the animals using the Missouri and Platte River (NE) corridors as their dispersal highway.
"Drinking the Big Muddy,"
Tuesday, September 22, 2015.
Michael Klender (aka Michael H. Klender), Plant Manager for Kansas City Water Services shares some of the unique engineering and water quality challenges that Kansas City Water Services faces on a daily basis turning the Muddy Missouri into quality drinking water for their customers.The Kansas City water treatment plant, transforms the silty Missouri River into drinking water for a huge metropolitan area.
"The Missouri River: Starting Point for the Western Trails,"
Tuesday, October 27, 2015.
For many pioneers headed west, the Missouri River served as the first leg in their journey to the Western Trails. Travis Boley,, rethinks the Missouri River in terms of its unique status as a waterway that doubles as a National Historic Trail.
His grander vision includes opening up wide swaths of the Missouri River shoreline to allow similar non-motorized access to our metro area’s riverfront, including trails that connect the remaining historic sites from the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the old riverboat landings for the wagon roads. This concept would fully realize the idea that Congress established in the 1968 National Trails Act, which called for the building of “retracement” trails in such corridors to forever preserve these corridors.
"Ultra Marathon Paddling,"
Tuesday, November 24, 2015.
Ultra Marathon Paddling: Tips on preparing for the MR340 and other irrationally long races. Presentation by Bryan Hopkins, MO. Dept. of Natural Resources and veteran kayak racer.
One of the premiere paddling race courses is right in Kansas City's backyard – the Missouri River. This July will be the 11th Annual Missouri American Water MR340 – a non-stop ultra-marathon paddle race across the state of Missouri from Kansas City to St. Charles. When the first MR340 was run in 2005, there were 16 boats. Last year there where over 400 boats in the race. In 2005 the MR340 was the first race of its kind on the Big Muddy. Since then, there’s been an explosion of races up and down the Lower Missouri and the Missouri River paddling community, once a bunch of isolated groups of people crazy enough to paddle the big river, has found a way to find each other.
"The Ins and Outs of Water at Power Plants on the Missouri River,,"
Tuesday, December 22, 2015.
When people think about important uses of the lower Missouri River, they often overlook the largest water user. The largest use of water from the river is for steam condensation (cooling) by power plants. Of the 15 active power plants on the river between Sioux City and St. Louis, 14 withdraw large quantities of water that are passed once through steam condensers then discharged back to the river 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer.
Dr. Howick will present highlights of the rules for power plant intakes and discharges, and describe the work he has done on the Missouri River to help power plant owners comply with these regulations.
"Nutrients in Our Streams,"
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014.
At another meeting with this group, I talked about the history of water and waste water pollution in the Kansas City area, one of the first talks in the series. This time, we are broadening the scope, moving from the local area to the national issue: nutrients in water.
"Jameson Island Project,"
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Zach White and Laurie Farmer from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) will cover the Jameson Island SWH project currently under construction in the Big Muddy Wildlife Refuge near Arrow Rock, Missouri. The Corps will discuss the overarching Missouri River Recovery Program and how it relates to the Missouri River, and historic actions on the river leading to three listed species.
"Kansas City Sewer System,"
Wednesday, March 12, 2014.
Work has begun on an unprecedented 25-year, $2.5 billion project to reduce overflows from Kansas City’s combined and separate sewer systems. Kansas City’s largest ever infrastructure project, it is utilizing a laundry list of green surface projects to reduce stormwater as well as underground infrastructure to separate combined sewer systems.
Lara Isch, Water Quality Educator for Kansas City Water Services, will discuss the history of Kansas City’s combined and separate sewer systems, the development of the federally mandated Overflow Control Program and how the program aims to improve water quality and reduce sewer overflows over the next 22 years.
Dr. Bill Worley
"Indians and Rivers,"
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Prior to European contact, the Missouri and Kansas Rivers were the center of travel and commerce for the native groups that settled the area. In this presentation local historian Dr. Bill Worley will focus on these networks of connection.
Until the late 15th century, the Missouri Valley was predominately the domain of the Missouria and Oto. As that century drew to a close, the Osage and Kansa (along with the Omaha and Ponca who moved further up the Missouri; and the Quapaw who moved downstream on the Mississippi) arrived in today’s central and western Missouri as well as eastern Kansas.
"Going Fishing with Captain, John 'Captain Catfish' Trager,"
Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
The Missouri River has lately become a destination for trophy catfish. All up and down the Big Muddy, anglers are pulling huge fish from the turbid waters. Tonight's presentation is by someone who makes it possible for other people to land monster cats.
‚ "Captain Catfish‚" Trager runs a fishing guide service on the Kansas and Missouri Rivers focused on giving people to opportunity to fish the Big Muddy's big catfish.
"Bringing People Together to Protect the Big Muddy,"
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014.
In the fall of 2009, the topic of a proposed coal ash landfill in the Missouri River floodplain monopolized the conversation at a local book club meeting in the small river town of Labadie, home of Ameren Missouri’s largest coal-fired power plant. Within one month, the group had organized as a nonprofit and held its first meeting in the basement of a local church.
The group is now called Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO) . The group has been a key force in mobilizing local opposition to permitting of coal ash storage in the Labadie Bottoms, a section of Missouri River floodplain upstream of the St. Louis area.
Missouri River Race
August 12-15, 2014
230 boats with 344 paddlers showed up at Kaw Point Park for the 9th annual MR340.
Temps were mild, even a bit chilly at night, with fog in the early morning hours. River levels were perfect and the Persied meteor showers peppered the night sky with gorgeous streaks. As always, the determination of the racers was inspiring and the hard work and dedication of the race volunteers was impressive. For some, this was the perfect race conditions. 190 boats finished.
"Recreation & the Development of Water Trails,"
Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
Bryan Hopkins, a self-proclaimed paddling addict who funds his need for boating gear by working on interstate river issues for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, will discuss the growth of large river water trails on the Missouri and Mississippi River.
The Missouri River, which means “River of Big Canoes”, is named for the historical boat of choice on this massive river. After a couple of centuries of trying out steamboats and barges, paddlecraft is making a comeback on our Great Rivers.
Bryan will share some tips on getting started paddling these majestic rivers as well introduce the exciting race scene that has expanded in recent years.