The Lake Superior Fellows arrived from all over the map - San Francisco, Toronto, Brooklyn, and throughout the Great Lakes Basin - on Tuesday, June 23, eager to learn as much as possible over the next four days. They kicked off their Institute experience with an opening-night gathering, dinner and discussion at Duluth's Great Lakes Aquarium.
The group got an overview of the place and the issues they'd be seeing over the subsequent days from two Great Lakes experts: Jay Austin, a professor at the Large Lakes Observatory and the department of physics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and Peter Annin, co-director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College and author of The Great LakesWater Wars.
Lake Superior is the largest lake (by surface area) in the world and the most rapidly warming. As many regions of the U.S. deal with record-setting drought, more and more attention is turned to the Great Lakes, where 1/5th of all the fresh surface water on Earth resides. Lake Superior is the headwaters of this immense freshwater ecosystem and the group had a chance to learn a little about its physical properties, how it’s changing, and what the people who live in this water-rich region have done to keep things that way.