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Workshop focuses on cross-discipline collaboration

The Twin Ports Systems Thinkers Workshop takes place Wednesday and Thursday in Duluth.

Artists and scientists will work and learn together at the Environmental Protection Agency's Mid-Continent Ecology Division in Duluth.

This workshop is designed for the science and arts communities with the goal of benefiting from multiple intelligences through a shared framework and collaborative process.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension/ThinkWater, Minnesota Sea Grant, Duluth EPA, city of Superior, University of Minnesota Duluth Fine Arts Academy and Duluth Art Institute sponsor the workshop.

"I am excited to work alongside other scientists and artists from the Twin Ports on addressing topics of water security," said Andrea Crouse of the Superior Environmental Services Division and a member of ThinkWater's inaugural school. "Many of us live in the Twin Ports because we are inspired by and care about the rivers, lakes and especially Lake Superior. This workshop not only moves us toward a goal of protecting these resources but helps us build interdisciplinary collaborations that can last for decades."

Systems Thinking provides a practical framework with simple techniques to improve communication across disciplines by sharing understanding and ultimately creating a systems thinking community. Four simple rules comprised of distinctions, systems, relationships and perspectives, provide the structure for a dynamic way to make meaning and reveal possibility. The approach was developed by the Cabrera Research lab under the direction of Derek and Laura Cabrera. It is being applied and taught across the country through initiatives such as ThinkWater.

Those interested can find more information and register at www.seagrant.umn.edu/news/2017/07/12.

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