Grand River Campus-to-Campus Cleanup

As part of the annual Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup effort, Making Waves sponsored a Grand River Campus-to-Campus River Cleanup on September 11 and 13.  We collected over 1/4 ton of trash.

Kayaking cleanup


Trash collected

LGROW Spring Forum

The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), sponsored in part by the Making Waves Initiative, held their Spring Forum from June 10th to June 20th. Events included (but were not limited to) paddle trips, rain barrel workshops, green infrastructure tours, and virtual workshops and presentations. Check out some of the photos from the events below!

We Are Water Workshop - July 9th-11th

We Are Water Workshop

"In this collaboration between youth poetry non-profit, The Diatribe, and the Lower Grand River Organizations of Watersheds (LGROW), We Are Water is offering students a unique opportunity to deepen their understanding and connection with their local waterways and nature as a whole. Through multimedia presentation and hands-on activities, participants will learn about the history of environmental justice and how to envision themselves within the movement to fight climate change; all while using poetry as a tool for digestion of the workshop’s content, conversation and self-expression. This weekend experience, immersed in the beautiful scenery of Blandford Nature Center, is an invitation to see yourself, and humans of all identities, as an inseparable and remarkable part of the interconnected webs that make up life on our planet."

The workshop is geared towards ages 11-18. More information here.

Confluence Conversation - May 12th

Confluence Conversation Flyer

Thank you to those who were able to join us for our Virtual Spring Confluence Conversation: Robotic and Real-time Technology for Great Lakes Ecosystem Observations on May 12th. If you could not make the event, we are working to share a recording of Steve Ruberg's talk for those who are interested.

Steve Ruberg shares his expertise on emerging robotic technologies that are providing immediately available information year-round and under ice.

While research vessels with human crews will always be an important component of Great Lakes research and monitoring, robotic vehicles show promise for collecting routine ecosystem information and for operations in extreme environments.

View past and upcoming Confluence Conversations here

Students kayaking

Dr. Peter Wampler and his students preparing to kayak on the Grand River

Making Waves hosts kayaking on Grand River for Earth Day

Fitting for Earth Day, Grand Valley students and faculty members spent time April 22 kayaking on the Grand River, launching from Grand Ravines North County Park, near the Allendale Campus. They were joined on the shoreline by President Philomena V. Mantella and Provost Maria Cimitile

GVNext article

AWRI director featured on national television morning show for expertise on climate change and Lake Michigan erosion

Alan Steinman, the Allen and Helen Hunting director and professor at the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon, was featured on Good Morning America April 22. Steinman was asked about climate change and Lake Michigan coastal erosion.

GVNext article

Al Steinman


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Building new ways to think about water at GVSU and beyond

Making Waves is a University initiative to create collaboration across campus among students, faculty, and staff, as well as with the community. The goal of the Initiative is to explore and investigate the many ways that water touches our lives, from being a life-force to defining GVSU in relation to the Grand River and Lake Michigan. The Initiative has the potential to clearly define GVSU: a liberal education institution where we integrate theory with practice to prepare students for the challenges of our world.

Winterfest with Making Waves

Watch as the ice carver turns a block of ice into art, and watch as students and community members get involved with the Winterfest events. It was a freezing and snowy weekend, but plenty of people got out there to enjoy the festivities.


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GV Gallery Art Pieces

Gallery Water Works

Grand Valley's online collection of over 12,000 works features many works with the subject and themes of water. These pieces range from oil paintings to sculptures to photographs and capture both realism and abstraction in their subject matter. The list on the webpage is expansive but is still just a sample of the many works related to water that are a part of our collection. 

Check Them Out Here

Social Justice and Water

The Making Waves Initiative is committed, alongside Grand Valley, to speaking out against racial injustices. We have made an effort to explore the racial, socio-economic, and environmental factors that limit access to clean water and water spaces that people experience locally and abroad. Take a moment to look at the Social Justice and Water page.

Class Connections

Making Waves Classroom connections


Now is the time to take advantage of our Class Connections! This resource provides ways to

  • learn more about the water issues impacting diverse communities
  • explore media and art relating to themes of water
  • get involved with opportunities for advocacy online and elsewhere
  • discover what others are saying about important issues of water
  • and much more

Visit our Class Connections tab above or click here to explore.

Making Waves Logo

Logo designed by Sarah Tibbe, GVSU alum

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