Winter 2018 Distinguished Professor - Dr. Nancy Langston

| December 6, 2018 | Theme: Water Resources |

Nancy Langston


Distinguished Professor Nancy Langton


Sustaining Lake Superior
TechTalks presented by Great Lakes Research Center affiliates:

This special iteration of the Research Forum series will be a combination for a Distinguished Lecture (20 minutes) and several TechTalks presentations (2 Minute. 2 Slides) 

Research Statement

How can communities help sustain the health of Lake Superior in the face of climate change?  The challenges facing Lake Superior are many—yet local, regional, and international communities overcame enormous threats to the lake's ecosystems in the past century. My research asks: What can we learn from the recoveries around Lake Superior over the past century, as we face new interconnected challenges from climate change, synthetic chemicals, and forest change?

Six Questions with Professor Langton



Sarah Fayen Scarlett
Department of Social Sciences
“Community-Engaged Historical GIS and the Politics of Place”

Cultural repair work in post-industrial communities like Michigan’s Copper Country must attend to the individual politics of place. A community-engaged historical GIS project called the Keweenaw Time Traveler is an online interactive atlas built to engage descendent communities in residence and on the web with place-based story-telling and intergenerational conversations about shared landscapes. Countering the forced forgetting that accompanies deindustrialization and enfranchising historically excluded groups, which generally divide along class lines, requires long-term public history programming to create meaningful conversations today about the legacies of the past that continue to shape our communities.

Casey Huckins
Department of Biological Sciences
“Migratory Coaster Brook Trout Face an Upstream Battle”

Adfluvial Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, commonly known as coasters, were abundant in Lake Superior until the late 1800s when human actions reduced populations to the scattered remnants that persist today. While we actively work to find and restore these populations, they provide opportunities to understand the ecology and implications of this life history form. As with all the work we do in my research group we strive to develop synergy between basic research, restoration, and monitoring to help sustain our aquatic ecosystems.

Sarah Green
Department of Chemistry
“Teaching global climate change and regional impacts”

Our students will live on a planet very different from the one on which civilization has developed. I am teaching the science and policy aspects of this transition in an interdisciplinary course that includes both science and non-science participants. Understanding and responding to our changing world are becoming essential for all students and could be better incorporated throughout the Michigan Tech curriculum.

Donald Lafreniere
Department of Social Sciences
“Building Community Resiliency through Geospatial Technologies and Big Data”

Deindustrialization, climate change, globalization, resource extraction... the list of pressures and challenges to communities of the Great Lakes is vast.  In this talk, I will outline two concurrent community-based projects that use geospatial technologies and big data to help communities in Michigan become more resilient to the changes in neighborhoods, economies, and the environment.  The GRACE Project (GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education) has recently completed its fifth year of training Michigan teachers and high school students in the use of GIS technologies to solve community and economic development issues.  The Copper Country Historical Spatial Data Infrastructure project has been developing a space-time linked big dataset of the built and social environments of the region from the 1850s to present to aid researchers and policymakers alike in understanding the legacy effects of industrialization and the subsequent impacts of deindustrialization on our communities.