Libby Reuter and Joshua Rowan
Mill Creek, Cobden Illinois
The organic farmers and artists who live on this farm near Carbondale, Illinois, are citizen scientists for this stream, keeping records of the water’s condition as part of the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center’s RiverWatch program.
This Cairn is named for Gaia, the personification of the Earth and the mother of all the Gods in ancient Greek religion. In the 1970s, scientists Lovelock and Margulis called their theory that the earth was a complex, self-regulating system, the Gaia Hypothesis. The Gaia Cairn, made of translucent and white glass, embodies both the spiritual side of this well-cared-for land and the scientific study of complex interaction of people, insects, and animals with the flowing water.