Northland College will host a four-day Lake Superior Youth Symposium, April 27-30, offering a dynamic menu of field experiences, programs, presentations, and entertainment.

The Symposium is a biennial event—this is the 12th—open to teachers and students in grades 8-12 throughout the Lake Superior watershed——Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the province of Ontario. Registration deadline is April 15.

“What affects Lake Superior anywhere around her 1,800 miles of shoreline affects the Lake everywhere,” said Mark Peterson, executive director of the Northland College Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. “As citizens who live, work, or play by the Lake, we are all tied together in an invisible web of life.”

With an eye to the challenges and opportunities ahead, the mission of the Symposium is to increase understanding of challenging environmental and scientific issues, enhance appreciation for Lake Superior’s beauty and history, promote personal involvement in creating solutions, and encourage participants to build upon their symposium experience in their schools and communities.

Northland College faculty and staff, local natural resource professionals, artists, writers, historians and educators will present on Lake Superior-related issue from the return of wolves to Wisconsin and Michigan to adapting to climate change in the Great Lakes Region.

The weekend, co-sponsored by the Conserve School, offers more than twenty presentations and field trips–from a field trip touring ecological restoration on a critical Lake Superior stream to enjoying the arts with a performance of Songs for the Wild: A Concert Celebrating Stewardship of Planet Earth.

Three keynote presentations include:

Peter Annin, co-director of the Burke Center and author of the Great Lakes Water Wars, delving into the long history of political maneuvers and water diversion schemes that have proposed sending Great Lakes water everywhere from Akron to Arizona. Through the prism of the past, his talk analyzes the future of Great Lakes water diversion management, which is now controlled by the Great Lakes Compact, a legal document designed to keep Great Lakes water from being diverted to far-flung destinations.

Jeff Rennicke, photographer, writer, and instructor at Conserve School, will talk about how nature needs voices and the power of finding inspiration in nature to speak up on the issues you care about.

• Six Northland College alumni will present, “Circumnavigating Lake Superior: A Collection of Stories from Lovers of the Lake,” about their stories of circumnavigating Lake Superior by bike, car, canoe, and on foot.

“Participants will leave with a new understanding of the Lake Superior Basin—its people, history, culture, and science—and their relationship with it and with each other as future caretakers,” Peterson said.

For more information contact 715-682-1223.

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