Science Sundays is a speaker series that welcomes you to expand your mind on water related topics. Every Sunday at 2pm in the St. Mane Theatre auditorium, an expert will share their knowledge and stories with you through film and presentations. These events are family friendly thanks to a children’s companion activity that occurs at the same time in the upstairs studio room of the St. Mane. The children’s activities relate to theme in a fun, educational way. This series is free of charge, but donations will be accepted in the lobby and will go towards supporting Friends of the Root River and Lanesboro Arts.
Sunday, January 8 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"River Sojourn" Film with Sara and Ken Lubinski
Children’s Activity - Fish Printing
River Sojourn takes viewers deep into one of North America’s natural treasures, the Driftless Region along the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Untouched by glaciers, this region’s bluffs, ravines and rivers are home to flora and fauna unchanged since the Ice Age. KSMQ’s new documentary, River Sojourn, follows artist Sara Lubinski, an experienced botanist into the Driftless Region to document this fragile environment through art and scientific observation.
Sunday, January 15 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Touring Fillmore County from the Underside: Wild Caving" with Bill Brueck and Glenn Hisey
Children’s Activity – Exploring a Karst Landscape
This presentation will celebrate the history of cave exploration in SE Minnesota, as well as the value of our caves as a living laboratory for geological history and for studying and understanding water quality issues. Fillmore County has an estimated 300 caves and the presenters have explored about 30 of them. We will demonstrate and explain cave exploration and survey techniques along with caving safety, and will share many slides of the beauty of our local cave formations, or speleothems.
Sunday, January 22 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Contaminants - What the Data shows" with Terry Lee, SEMN Water Quality Lab
Children’s Activity – Raptors and Owl Pellet Dissection with Eagle Bluff
Terry Lee from the SE MN Water Quality Lab in Rochester, MN, will share how basic water chemistry data from thousands of private well water samples analyzed at the lab over the past 35 years is helping understand groundwater quality trends in southeast Minnesota, as well as the source and age of the water.
Sunday, January 29 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Swimmable, Fishable, Fixable?" with Cathy Rofshus, MN Pollution Control Agency
Children’s Activity – Build a Stream
How are our watersheds? Water quality is a reflection of what happens on the surrounding land. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has reached the midpoint of its first comprehensive look at water quality — and what is needed to protect and restore it — throughout the state. The agency and its partners have used a watershed approach to take an in-depth look at the lakes and streams in half of the state’s 81 major watersheds. Let’s explore if our water is swimmable, fishable, and fixable.
Sunday, February5 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Improving Water Quality with Land Conservation" with Kevin Kuehner, Field to Stream Partnership
Children’s Activity – Let’s play with dirt!
The Root River Field to Stream Partnership (RRFSP) is engaging farmers and residents in the Root River watershed. The program uses intense water quality monitoring and the latest research to measure and improve water quality. The RRFSP includes farmers and individuals from agricultural groups, conservation organizations and state agencies. The Partnership works in three sub-watersheds chosen to represent the diverse landscapes of the watershed. Since 2010, sediment, nutrient and hydrologic data have been collected in-stream at each sub-watershed outlet and at edge-of-field runoff flumes. Kevin Kuehner from the MN Department of Agriculture will share project findings and progress. Learn the results from the first six years of baseline monitoring and the practices producers are installing to protect and improve water quality.
Sunday, February 12 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Minnesota’s First Superfund Site" with Gary Peterson from Ironwood Landfill
Children’s Activity – Recycling Games & Art
The Ironwood Landfill, located south of Spring Valley along the banks of the South Branch of the Root River, was the first Superfund site in the state of Minnesota with the discovery of over 1400 barrels of hazardous materials found buried there in 1980. Gary Peterson, former and also newly elected Fillmore County Commissioner, was a leader in exposing the danger and in the efforts to clean up the site in an investigation that reminds one of an Erin Brockovich story. He will share the landfill’s history and legacy that helped shape Minnesota legislation for solid waste disposal and groundwater protection.
Sunday, February 19 at 2pm St. Mane Theatre
"Mysteries of the Driftless" Film with George Howe, Film Co-Producer
Children’s Activity – Attend the film showing, then Art in Nature
What strange forces saved one isolated section along the Upper Mississippi River from the repeated crushing and scouring effects of glaciers during the last two million years? And what pre-Ice Age throwbacks survived here in this unique geologic refuge that holds more Native American effigy mounds, petroglyph caves, strange geological features, and rare species than anywhere in the Midwest? These questions and more are answered in this captivating new documentary. A team of scientists embarks on a journey of exploration to expose both the science and threats behind three unique features of the zone - rare plants and animals, odd geological phenomenon, and striking remnants of a Native American pilgrimage like no other.