Jump on board the big muddy with your guide Mark "River" Peoples and feel the powerful, storied currents of the Mighty Mississippi River pull at your feet and open your imagination. "May The River Be With You" focuses on how the largest river in the U.S. influences and impacts our culture, from arts and education to ecology and commerce. In each episode, we discuss how the river affects us all in unexpected ways while also featuring music, poetry, tales and myths inspired by the river itself.
Flooding and Climate Change
In this episode, Mark River interviews John Ruskey about how climate change is affecting the flooding, ecology and commerce along the Mississippi River. Learn how it is changing everything from the hatching season of mayflies to the growth of invasive plants and the migration patterns of snow geese while also disrupting the flow of barges and their cargo along the waterway. Also includes "River Time" with John Ruskey.
Flooding and Infrastructure
In this episode, Mark River interviews John Ruskey about the worsening flood events along the Mississippi River and how human engineering - in a benevolent attempt to keep the river stable for development, agriculture, commerce - has unintentionally endangered the crucial wetlands and put communities such as New Orleans at risk.
Species of the River
In our season finale, Mark River interviews Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey about the natural and invasive species of plants and animals found in and along the Mississippi River and how ecological events such as the changing climate and the current trend of flooding benefits some species while harming others. Featuring "Reflections" by Mark River, "Rivertime" by John Ruskey and a special performance of the song "Muddy Water" by John Ruskey.
The Mississippi River has inspired some of the most iconic music in the world and in this episode, we explore the importance and the reach of its musical influence. First, we meet and hear a performance by St. Louis native Lucious Spiller who is currently making waves in the Mississippi Delta blues music scene. We also present a performance and interview with Meghan Maike, a Canadian/Australian folk singer who now calls Clarksdale, Mississippi her home. Also featuring "Reflections" by Mark River and "River Time" by John Ruskey.
We talk to octogenarian paddler and hiker Dale Sanders about his Guinness record-breaking solo treks, how his active lifestyle has improved his health and his frightening "River Stories" encounter with a Minnesota lake monster. We also speak with Todd Davis, a professor and Director of Outdoor Recreation at Delta State University who has created ground-breaking outdoor programs for underprivileged students and community members in the state of Mississippi. Also featuring "Reflections" with Mark River and "River Time" with John Ruskey.
In this episode, we talk to Maya Dizack, a University of Vermont student who is spending her summer traversing the entire length of the Mississippi River to collect water samples to study water quality and micro plastics within the ecosystem. We also talk to Quapaw Canoe Company founder John Ruskey about his observations on how micro plastics could be affecting the river environment. Also featuring "River Stories" with Coop Cooper, "Reflections" with Mark River and "River Time" with John Ruskey.