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Author Nancy Langston book talk

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The Washburn Public Library is hosting a book talk with noted author Nancy Langston on Thursday, June 28th  in the basement meeting room beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Among other notable works, Langston is the author of Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World. (Yale University Press, Oct. 2017) The book has been described as a compelling exploration of Lake Superior’s conservation recovery and what it can teach us in the face of climate change

Lake Superior, the largest lake in the world,  has a remarkable history, including resource extraction and industrial exploitation that caused nearly irreversible degradation. But in the last 50 years it has experienced a remarkable recovery and rebirth. In this engaging book, leading environmental historian Nancy Langston offers a rich portrait of the lake’s environmental and social history, asking what lessons we should take from the conservation recovery as this extraordinary lake faces new environmental threats.

In her insightful exploration, Langston reveals hope in ecosystem resilience and the power of community advocacy, noting ways Lake Superior has rebounded from the effects of deforestation and toxic waste wrought by mining and paper manufacturing. Yet, despite the lake’s resilience, threats persist. Langston cautions readers regarding new mining interests and persistent toxic pollutants that are mobilizing with climate change.

Langston is Distinguished Professor of Environmental History in the Department of Social Sciences, the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University. Her research examines water policy, history, and governance. Former president of the American Society for Environmental History and former editor-in-chief of Environmental History, she is author of four books about environmental change, 52 research papers, and numerous grants, awards, and honors, including the King Karl Gustaf XIV Professorship in Sweden, an honorary doctorate from Umea University, the best book award prize from the Forest History Society, the best paper award prize from Environmental History, and the Distinguished Service Award for lifetime service to the profession from the American Society for Environmental History. She lives during the academic year on the Keweenaw Peninsula near the shores of Lake Superior, and she has spent 15 summers in Cornucopia, close to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.


“Recommended reading for all concerned about preserving our natural heritage, wherever we are.”—Natural History

“An engrossing cautionary tale for lovers of nature and the Great Lakes in particular.”—Library Journal

“Handsomely produced: a wealth of photographs and useful diagrams accompany the text . . . a valuable resource.”—Choice

Earlier Event: June 28
Summer Reading Program
Later Event: July 4
Closed for the 4th of July