About "Ask an Expert"

"Ask an Expert about the Minnesota River" is an online educational field trip designed to increase awareness about the health of the Minnesota River. You can watch video clips of scientists, conservation leaders, citizens and other experts answering questions about the Minnesota River.  This offers an opportunity to learn first hand from diverse professionals about river-related observations and research.

The project is a major feature of the recently updated and expanded Minnesota River Basin Data Center website (mnriver.net). "Ask an Expert" is organized around major river themes. Within each theme you can watch and listen to experts answering the questions listed (videos on the left) or explore supplementary information about that topic (on the right). Online educational materials are also integrated into particular themes to accompany the video interviews (educational materials). Part of this project inlcudes "Ask an Expert" computer kiosks set up in four educational centers across the Minnesota River Basin.
We hope that these inspiring researchers and diverse landscapes will move you to learn more about the river, to get out and explore this varied and fascinating landscape, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the contribution of many people who are working to better understand and improve this complex river basin.

"All thinking begins with wonder."  - Socrates

Ask an Expert about the Minnesota River was produced by the Water Resources Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato (WRC). 
Thank you to the entire WRC staff for their assistance, especially Diane Wiley, Office Manager and Shannon Fisher, WRC Director.  Much gratitude goes out to our excellent staff and student team.

Project & Website Development, Video Filming & Production, Education & Outreach
Kimberly Musser, Assistant Director
Scott Kudelka, Watershed Assessment Specialist
Rick Moore, GIS Director

Ben Boettcher, Video Production
Nicole Hogan, Research, Education & Outreach
Travis Johnson, Research
Nick Kingeter, Research & Education
Courtney Thoreson, Graphic Design, Website Development
Lina Wang, Research, Website Development, Video Production
Nicole Rietz, GIS & Mapping
Nathan Henry, GIS & Mapping
John Zehnder, GIS & Mapping

Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Minnesota River Basin Data Center redesign and update was funded by the McKnight Foundation.





Brett Arne, Pomme de Terre River Association
Audrey Arner, Moonstone Farm
Pat Baskfield, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Ron Bolduan, Regional River History Center
Dave Craigmile, Lac qui Parle – Yellow Bank Watershed District
Chris Domeier, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Mike Davis, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Butch Halterman, Montevideo High School,
Jennifer Hoffman, Chippewa River Watershed Project
Carrie Jennings, Minnesota Geological Survey
Tom Kalahar, Renville Soil and Water Conservation District
Lauren Klement, Le Sueur County
Nicole Kotasek, Minnesota New Country School
Ben Leonard, Nicollet County Historical Society
Joe Montonye, Grant Soil and Water Conservation District
Patrick Moore, Clean Up the River Environment
Mary Mueller, Pheasants Forever
Cory Netland, Hawk Creek Watershed Project
Kylene Olson, Chippewa River Watershed Project
Becky Pollack, Ney Nature Center
Katie Rassmussen, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Bernard Sietman, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Anthony Sonek, Minnesota New Country School
Art and Barb Straub, Educators
Del Wehrspann, Citizen Advocate
Joel Wurscher, High Island Creek & Rush River Watershed Projects
Paul Wymar, Chippewa River Watershed Project
Greg Wyum, Dawson-Boyd Public School


We especially want to thank the many experts who generously shared their time, knowledge and insights for this project. Thank you to the LCCMR for providing funding for the “Ask an Expert about the Minnesota River” video project. Thank you to the McKnight Foundation for funding the Minnesota River Basin Data Center website development and redesign. We appreciate the guidance and framework provided by the thoughtful and insightful Advisory Team. The project was greatly enriched by Jon Carlson and John Hickman of www.H2Ovideos.com who openhandedly donated all of their footage from their River Revival Documentary for use in this project.

With this complex river system, we realize that there are many other questions that need answering and many other outstanding experts whose perspectives will greatly enrich this project. We are currently seeking funds to continue this effort.