Kankakee Paleo Project

Project Overview

The Grand Kankakee Marsh once covered 1000 mi2 of northwestern Indiana and was known as the “Everglades of the North” for its rich biodiversity. Late 19th century resource exploitation and drainage included channelizing the Kankakee River, irreversibly disturbing the Marsh. How has deposition and vegetation varied across the Kankakee Marsh over millennia in response to climate change? My approach to this question involved a field campaign to northwestern Indiana in June 2019 with students, who have since developed senior capstone projects of their own. In Spring 2020, an interactive map of land-use change and geography K-12 curriculum on our results will be developed. This work is funded by National Geographic Society grant EC-55150R-18 and is planned for 2019-2020.

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Research updates

November 2019

Webinar on project overview, fieldwork outcomes, and student Jack Ferrara presents the results of his capstone project entitled “Impacts of Dredging on Soil Properties of the Kankakee River System 150 Years after Perturbation”

Watch online – video and transcript hosted at Zoom

download video file [.mp4] warning! This file is 253 MB

download audio transcript [.pdf]


June 2019

Dispatches from the field! Here are a series of twitter threads during fieldwork:

[ June 13 ]  [ June 15 ]  [ June 17 ]  [ June 22 ]


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