The idea of incorporating academics into the BRD network came up a year ago and has been gaining interest and momentum. The idea behind River Intellectuals (RI) is simple; to bridge the gap between academics and river conservationists. Research can prove the value of free flowing rivers but often does not reach the NGO’s that need this academic backup. Moreover, research is dependent on funding and the interest often lies elsewhere. Luckily, many students and an increasing amount of professors are eager to have an impact with their research and want to use their studies for a bigger cause. Information is a powerful tool and our RI network funnels research and data to the locals and organizations fighting on-the-ground battles for their rivers.
The idea behind River Intellectuals is simple; to bridge the gap between academics and river conservationists.
The River Intellectuals (RI) network is also a way that students can connect, learn from each other and motivate each other. There are many approaches of river conservation in the Balkans. When students can work together on the same topic from a different point of view it is motivating and eye opening. Only by involving many disciplines it is possible to get an overview of what is at stake to be lost by the threat of hydropower and what alternatives are out there. Therefore, RI engages students of biology and ecology as well as law, economics, anthropology and more.
Every student needs to do a master thesis or an internship. RI helps students complete their studies outside more generic topics. The free flowing rivers in the Balkans are not the easiest to research; limited data is available and the politics are unpredictable, which can discourage research in this region. However, these are the exact reasons that more research is needed here and why RI is encouraging students and profs to consider the Balkans as a research location.
By becoming part of BRD’s RI network, students will meet many interesting, motivated and like-minded people along the way and can contribute the required research necessary to obtain a degree, to a bigger cause; the protection of the wild rivers of the Balkans.
BRD proves that river conservation can be fun, action-packed and effective – true Rock’n Roll! And our River Intellectuals network proves that river-related research is a exciting and worthwhile. We look forward to hearing from more students and professors that want to direct their research towards free flowing rivers, sustainable energy alternatives and uncovering the driving forces behind hydropower development.
Find more information on how to get involved with River Intellectuals here.
Students for Rivers Camp
With the River Intellectuals network, we aim to encourage river-related research in the Balkans and also connect students from different disciplines in order to draw more academic interest towards the free flowing rivers there. What better way to accomplish this then to physically get them together!
The week will be packed with lectures and workshops from experts in various fields of river conservation.
From July 7-13, 2019, Kamp Koren in Kobarid, Slovenia will be the playground for 30 students from the Balkans and the rest of Europe to come together for the Students for Rivers (SFR) Camp. They will gather to learn about the background of hydropower development, the value of free flowing rivers and the opportunities to address these challenges through research. The week will be packed with lectures and workshops from experts in various fields of river conservation. Students will learn with each other and from each other and get their hands dirty by creating their own initiatives. The highlight will be a two-day River Experience where the group will float down the Soca River in rafts, packrafts, kayaks and on SUPs, learning through immersion about all the life and livelihood that the river provides.
We look forward to getting creative brains together and to kicking off the River Intellectuals network! In true Balkan River Defence style, the SFR week will concluded with a huge party to ignite and excite this rich research field and location!
Are you currently a Master or PhD student? Check out our RI page.
Applications for Students for Rivers Camp will open mid March. Sign up for the BRD newsletter (in the webpage footer) to stay informed!