Join us for an informal discussion about new directions in environmental history with Nancy Langston, a leading environmental historian based at Michigan Technological University, past editor of Environmental History and past president of the American Society for Environmental History. Langston recently finished a book on climate change and toxics in the Lake Superior basin titled Sustaining Lake Superior (Yale University Press, Fall 2017). The book will be available in September 2017, and she will discuss a chapter from her book in the Agrarian Studies Colloquium.
Langston’s next project will explore climate change and animal migrations, focused on the upper Great Lakes. How has climate change affected the movements of three iconic species of the northern forest: woodland caribou, coaster brook trout, and loons? These species were once abundant in the Great Lakes region, but habitat change, toxics, and over-hunting decimated their populations by the early 20th century. Conservation efforts recovered breeding populations of loons, but woodland caribou are now ghost species throughout much of their former range. On a few islands along the north coast of Lake Superior, vigorous populations persist, but climate change threatens their populations. Coaster brook trout are hanging on in a few runs, but their future is equally uncertain. How have the relationships between humans and these other species been influenced by climate change? How do animal migrations influence the mobilizations of toxics into distant spaces, and how does climate change in turn affect toxic mobility? Can restoring these species help in the fight against climate change?
Langston’s previous books include: