The Urban Rivers Research Institute
Dedicated to improving human-wildlife interactions around urban waterways by supporting research-based solutions that benefit wildlife and humans alike.
Our Mission and Goals
As human populations grow and wildlife populations and wildlife diversity decline at an increasing rate, The Urban Rivers Research Institute is dedicated to uncovering and implementing effective and sustainable ways to improve our urban waterways for the long-term benefit of both wildlife and humans.
We focus on urban waterways because their importance and their prevalence across the globe allow for highly scalable impact.
The United Nations estimates that over 68% of people will live in cities by 2050. Almost all of those cities are directly connected to bodies of freshwater. The Urban Rivers Research Institute is based in Chicago, but the solutions that our team and researchers validate can be applied across cities worldwide for exponential impact.
What We Do
The Urban Rivers Research Institute works with university students who are focusing their research in an ecological field.
We empower these students with:
Access to our Urban Rivers research sites in Chicago
Access to Urban Rivers citizen scientists for research assistance
Access to the Urban Rivers Research community, which includes past researchers and our academic advisory board.
Please join us as a researcher or donate now to fund a University student project and be part of the change we hope to see in the world.
About Urban Rivers
Founded by a team of environmental researchers and entrepreneurs, Urban Rivers is focused on challenging the status quo by empowering ideas that make urban waterways better environments for all organisms. The Urban Rivers Research Institute is most interested in designing, testing, and ultimately validating scalable wildlife habitat solutions with the aim of having a positive impact on urban waterways around the world.
How Urban Rivers measures the success of the Urban Rivers Research Institute with a few leading and lagging indicators of success. Our leading indicators: the number of research students supported, the number of habitat solutions developed, and the number of citizen scientists and learners engaged through our research initiatives. Our lagging indicators: the increase in abundance and diversity of native plants and wildlife.
We partner with universities and students on research projects to scale impact and insights. Below is a selection of current and completed research.
MS & PhD Projects
Through the lab of Dr. Eric Peterson, we are assessing the impact of our floating wetland habitat on water quality metrics (e.g. the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride) in the area immediately surrounding the installation.
Undergraduate & Community Projects
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
Students from the Horticulture Club are building and monitoring habi-hacking devices, designed to maximize the biodiversity on our floating habitat.
Business students collected research on similarly based organizations and created case studies, which analyzed several key aspects of said organizations that our team could potentially benchmark off of.
Want to collaborate with Urban Rivers on an academic project? We're always eager to partner on new research proposals.