Anne Jefferson

Profession: Professor in the Department of Geology at Kent State University.

Connection to the river and its parts: "I've lived in northeastern Ohio for a year and a half, so I'm new to the Cuyahoga River, but one of the things that really attracted me to taking this job and moving to this region was the Cuyahoga and particularly Kent's position as [one of] the upstream-most town[s] on the Cuyahoga River."

Importance of the Cuyahoga River: "It's certainly a keystone to the identity of the people in this region, we identify with the Cuyahoga River and its influence on Lake Erie."

The river significance to the planet: "The Cuyahoga River is a pretty important national symbol of human impacts on water quality, on rivers and on ecosystems. Obviously the river caught fire multiple times in the later part of the 20th century and was really the impetuous to the public outrage that led to the Clean Water Act 40 years ago."

Greatest or most recent accomplishment: "One of the things that I'm really excited to be working on right now is looking at how stream restoration and green infrastructure have the potential to improve water quality and to reduce the storm water entering the streams and rivers around here."

Time spent caring for or researching the river: "While I'm new to the Cuyahoga River, I'm new to this region in general, Kent and the Cuyahoga feel very much like the place I grew up. So a year and a half here in Northeast Ohio, but really a whole lifetime in regions like this."

First memory of the Cuyahoga River: "I came to interview for this position about two years ago, almost exactly, it was a cold, winter day, not quite as cold as the winter we've been having this year, but I remember being very confused. Famously the Cuyahoga River is the Crooked River, but I didn't really understand the extent of the crookedness."

Why I do what I do related to the river: "I actually work a lot on streams that flow into the river."

"We're looking at the effects of small dam removals and what happens after dams are removed from tributaries to the river. Dam removal is a huge potential restoration strategy."

Favorite place along the river: "I love the section here in Kent because the Kent dam was the first dam that came out of the Cuyahoga River, and I arrived here well after the dam came out. But I know that when the dam was in place, people were really upset and outraged that they were gonna take it out and the reason they needed to take it out was to improve water quality in this section of the river. But it was also historical to the people in the town. So there was this tension between social history and the environmental history."