John Chick, aquatic ecologist stationed at NGRREC’s Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station, lectures during Jenna Kassis’ sophomore biology class at Marquette Catholic High School in Alton on March 15. Chick stressed the environmental and economic importance of the Mississippi River locally and nationally. The National Great River Research and Education Center’s scholars and scientists study the ecology of the big rivers, the workings of the watersheds that feed them, and ties to the river communities that use them. NGRREC aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education and outreach related to the interconnectedness of big rivers, their floodplains and watersheds, and the human communities that depend on these ecosystems. Photo by Louise Jett, Lewis and Clark Community College media specialist.