Skip to main content

Advanced Topics (450-0-02)


Lake Michigan and Climate Change


Yarrow Larue Axford
Technological Institute F394/F395
Office Hours:

Meeting Info

Technological Institute F391: Fri 1:00PM - 3:50PM

Overview of class

The overarching goal of this seminar is for participants to develop an evidence-based understanding of diverse ways in which anthropogenic climate change will affect natural systems within and around Lake Michigan. Students will also consider how those shifting natural systems will impact people in Chicagoland and beyond.

Registration Requirements

Open to graduate students in all fields (or by instructor permission). Background in Earth science, environmental science, ecology, aquatic sciences, climate science or physical geography is recommended.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
1) hone skills at reading and analyzing the primary scientific literature;
2) learn key principles of physical, chemical and biological limnology as they pertain to Lake Michigan;
3) gain familiarity with projected physical and societal impacts of climate change in the Midwest U.S. and Chicagoland;
4) understand key aspects of Lake Michigan's human history and long-term (late Quaternary) paleoenvironmental history; and
5) practice distilling and summarizing primary research and government scientific reports, for a range of audiences.

Teaching Method

Discussion, short lectures

Evaluation Method

Grades will be based mainly upon class participation, leadership of class discussions, periodic writing assignments, and a final research project.

Class Materials (Required)

Students should acquire one paperback book: The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. By Dan Egan, 2017, W.W. Norton & Company. (A copy will be held on reserve in the EPS Department for student use.)

Other course readings will be posted to Canvas.

Class Attributes

SDG Climate Action

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for Graduate Students.