More than 200 students in the Red River Basin will soon celebrate the 20th anniversary of the River Watch Forum.

Students from more than 25 schools will show posters they've created highlighting their watershed research March 17 in Crookston, according to the Fargo-based International Water Institute. The event will be held at the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus.

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Students will also share their observations from kayak trips they made to better understand river conditions and watershed health.

Natalie Warren, one of the first two women to paddle 2,000 miles from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay in 2011, will be a keynote speaker. She'll talk about how communities can embrace rivers as assets and how to make them more "paddle friendly," according to the Institute.

Forum

Throughout the year, River Watch teams monitor their local streams and measure snow depth then showcase their research at the forum.

The event gives students a chance to talk with resource professionals about topics such as ecology, climate change and invasive species.

Since 1995, the River Watch program has grown from four schools in Fertile, Minn., to more than 30, according to the Institute. Similar programs have also started in North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada, where students use the same methods and equipment to make sure data is sound.

On the web: Student posters will be available for viewing March 17 in the Bede Ballroom at the Crookston campus. But you can also check them out on the IWI website after the forum at iwinst.org/riverwatchforum.htm.