The Great River Research Center at Culver-Stockton College

The Great River Research Center at Culver-Stockton College will transform the region and beyond by cultivating innovation, promoting interdisciplinary problem-solving, fostering the expansion of academic-industry partnerships, and developing an environment for collaborative impact to study, research and address the current and emerging economic, and social importance of the Mississippi River.

Community Impact

Activities and learning opportunities are meant to impact the region in significant ways, including engaging and informing community members on the importance, significance, and value of the Mississippi River to current and future economic and infrastructure development, transportation, and the advancement of capital growth initiatives in our region.

Learning Opportunities

Through innovative and distinct curriculum and learning opportunities, students will be engaged through teaching and collaborative activities so that they are prepared to contribute to the local community as a trained workforce knowledgeable about regional topics and able to contribute to businesses, local government, and community organizations.

Research Solutions

The Great River Research Center will coordinate and support research by faculty and students impacting the Tri-State and Upper Mississippi areas. This research will emphasize solutions to contemporary issues of economic development, public policy, and local capacity building. Research will be presented through symposiums, events, and regional and national submissions.

Great River Collaborative Conference

Culver-Stockton College is excited to announce the inaugural Great River Conference. Held on the campus of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri April 7-9, 2022. 

The Great River Collaborative Conference site is now LIVE. To visit the conference site, click here.

We are inviting presentations of broad topics related to the Mississippi River and our general conference theme of "Changing Currents." To submit your proposal, click here.

For questions about proposals or site-specific information, please contact conference co-chairs Scott Giltner ( or Matt Osborn ( with the subject line "Changing Currents Conference Question."

Areas of Focus



developed through relationships with local business professionals, organizations, entrepreneurs, visiting faculty, alumni, and experts from around the globe will come together to participate in various discussions and problems-based learning opportunities.



are the focus of The Great River Research Center at Culver-Stockton College. Investments from the community and strategic partners will provide ongoing program support, help fund projects of promise, and allow for scholarship support. Student research will help elevate and promote the Great River Research Center.



will be a signature approach cultivated through The Great River Research Center. An Expert-in-Residence will be named annually to assist faculty in outlining meaningful discussion and exercises while also working directly with interdisciplinary groups of students. The vision is to choose a significant problem for students to solve each semester or year.



will transform learning within the Great River Research Center as Culver-Stockton College commits to visionary academic leadership. Professional faculty development with an emphasis on teaching practices will be a professional objective among the Center faculty.



to encourage the next generation of geologists, business professionals, social change-makers, community advocates, innovators, and entrepreneurs will increase the growth of our programs and extend the reach and impact of the importance of our region to the national well-being through the programs and research conducted at the Great River Research Center.

Our Vision

The vision for the Great River Research Center extends far beyond our campus. We will embrace our communities in the Tri-State area, engage with knowledgeable business leaders, policy-makers, and invested groups of citizens who desire, like we do, to utilize our natural resources in a responsible and productive way so that we and the generations after us may benefit.

Through the work of the Great River Research Center, we hope to bring together a broad and motivated constituency to exchange ideas for the benefit of the economic, cultural, artistic, political, spiritual, environmental, and academic life of the region. Ultimately we hope conversations generated there will foster innovative and collaborative solutions to the various challenges facing the river and the communities it impacts.

– Dr. Scott Giltner, Professor of History

The Great River Research Center

A cultural jewel, the Mississippi River is a leading historical character in the stories of towns settled along its path throughout the Tri-States region. It is ONE OF THE MOST AWESOME AND SIGNIFICANT WATER HIGHWAYS ON THE GLOBE. In 2017, according to the Army Corps, barges transported close to 35 million tons of soybeans or more than 1.2 billion bushels. The establishment of this academic Center, devoted to river studies with an emphasis on the HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE AND FUTURE SUSTAINABILITY of our region, will have a powerful impact on our communities and beyond.

  • The Great River Research Center will cultivate and share academic knowledge, research, and outcomes through lectures, discussions, research, symposiums, and projects.
  • Community-wide public events are planned to share exciting topics discussed by leading experts to help educate the community about the development of projects along the riverfront.
  • A dedicated academic Center in our region will demonstrate the importance of our prominent location among the riverways throughout the country. Our faculty and local leaders will be known as experts in the field, drawing attention to the needs and resources of our area.
  • The Great River Research Center will signal investment in the economic health and growth of our unique and beautiful landscape, its people, and the commerce that it supports.

Now is the time for us to invest in the ideas, resources, promises, and possibilities of our unique area. Rural living is becoming more desirable, and we are prepared to partner with local leaders to show off the attributes that this region offers. We hope our graduates will stay in the Tri-State area and contribute to the local economy. To draw them and others to invest in the region, we will offer perspective on the historical significance of the river and our river towns, along with research opportunities, and access to economic development initiatives that will provide a sense of community investment.

The Great River Research Center will honor, uphold and establish the importance of all of us joining together to understand, invest in, and protect our natural resources and infrastructure. We are excited about what the future looks like.

- Douglas B. Palmer, PhD
President, Culver-Stockton College


READ MORE: Palmer featured in Waterways Journal as C-SC Introduces River Research Program