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For The Love of Rivers

January 6, 2017

We thought we’d start the new year with an inspiring video. Dr Kurt Fausch, a stream ecologist and professor at Colorado State University, has recently published a book, For the Love of Rivers, which draws readers into an international collaboration among freshwater ecologists to discover the hidden connections between rivers and their surrounding forests.

In the video above, Fausch provides a poetic and persuasive case for why rivers are so important, for humans and non-humans alike. He says, “Like trees and music and good health, streams and rivers are a gift to us as humans… In the end, I believe we will need to understand how and why we love rivers, if we hope to conserve them.”

Dr Fausch’s career in freshwater ecology has generated many novel and influential contributions to our understanding of habitat use by freshwater fishes, individual fish movement, and the landscape ecology of riverine fishes. His 2002 BioScience paper ‘Landscapes to Riverscapes’ (pdf) outlined a new approach for management and conservation of stream fishes, describing the scale at which ecological studies and restoration activities can be most effectively accomplished. Fausch recently received the Award of Excellence from the American Fisheries Society (AFS) at its 2016 Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

The For the Love of Rivers book follows Fausch’s previous art-science communication project, RiverWebs, a feature-length film by Freshwaters Illustrated about the life and work of Dr. ShigeruNakano to explore how streams and forests depend on each other. After Nakano’s tragic death, Fausch and colleagues collaborated to follow the path along Japanese watersheds forged by Nakano and discover deeper truths about the critical roles that streams play in the wider landscape.

Find out more about the For the Love of Rivers project and the RiverWebs film here.

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