5 days of Ecological Services and One full head.

Submitted by Arlyn McCullock on Fri, 2017-06-09 00:00

While sitting and wondering what insight I could add to the blog, that hasn’t been mentioned by the highly imaginative and intelligent people I have met this week in MILES, I couldn’t think of one clear thought.  What do I have to offer that may vary from the previous blog thoughts? Being around such a group of knowledgeable scientists could be intimidating.

This led me to thinking about the first day of MILES and the introduction of the concept of ecosystem services and which one of these services has the most personal value.

I recreate on the Portneuf, simply, because of how it makes me feel; it has high cultural value to me.

When I visit the Portneuf, I think of my ancestors and their dependence on the river for survival. I think of my grandparents meeting at a dance on its banks. I remember fishing in its clear waters as a child, and I remember first becoming aware of the cows on its banks and the changes they were causing.

I remember people telling me not to swim anywhere in it, and how I took this as a challenge.

I pick up garbage on the Portneuf without the need to tell people I do.

I drive to the Portneuf just to look and let the sounds and sights of its turbid waters clear my turbid head.

I eat the Currents that grow all around it. I put on a snorkel and enter another world of prehistoric looking sculpin, insect larvae, and crawfish.

I have a secret hot spring on its banks that I bathe in and afterwards use the sand from its bottom to remove the many little leeches that have attached to me.  

If you are my friend, I take you to the Portneuf River.

The Portneuf River is part of me. I am part of it.

MILES has rekindled my already great love for this river. As an educator and person living in its flood plain, I hope to share this love with my students in an attempt to save the river and better the lives of the peoples and the variety of living things that inhabit with this area.



Michael Helman's picture

A very nice tribute after your week of study.  Well said.


Lora Hughes's picture

I too feel intimated by all the highly educated and professionals in their fields at times. However, I hope all our future goals are the same. We should all want our future generations to have the childhood memories that we all have about our times engtossed in nature.

Shayne Hughes's picture

That is a great blog. We are certainly buddies then, you have taken me there countless times. I even know your favorite spots. :-) I have loved reading your comments this week. I can feel your enthusiasm. Wish I was there to see the responses from the crowd during your digi diary. I thought your song was perfect!

Kris Ferrin's picture

I was born in Pocatello and lived there until I was 6 years old.  My grandpa worked for the railroad and we were always walking by the channel with him on the weekends.  This class sounds like it has inspired you or rekindles your desire to better the aestetics of the river and preserve our ecosystem resources.  I had not watched the MILES project vidoes before I wrote my 200 page distital story and I chose to write on not loosing water as one of our ecosystem resources.  Since I have lived in Idaho Falls, we have played on the water at the Ririe Resevoir by boating, fishing, camping, and hiking in the surrounding area around it.  I would hate to loose water as one of our ecosystem resources because I enjoy all of the recreational activities it has created for us.  I also felt that without we may not survive because our body needs it to rehydrate itself on a daily basis.  The miles project taught me a lot about natural water purification because I researched it further to see what we needed to do to help keep makse sure we keep it around both for our survival and enjoyment.  It has been awesome to read everyones blogs on a daily basis to see what they have been learning and how they may implement it into their teaching.  This week has been great as a distance digital learner and it seems that it was amazing for all of you that were in the classroom.  Even though I did not experience it in person, I learned a lot and have also look upon how I may implement it into lessons that I create in the future.  Thanks for sharing your personal experiences.

Dani Summerill's picture

Even though you still clearly enjoy the Portneuf in more ways than most, it is a testament to the MILES workshop that it somehow strengthened your love affair with our local river (although I know that Pebble is your true girlfriend!).  I love that about workshops and conferences in general.  They remind us of what our personal and professional lives often distract us from, the things that used to be important or of interest to us as individuals.