Theme Semesters have been an integral part of the teaching and learning experience at the University of Michigan for more than two decades. They provide intellectual and cultural immersion in a particular topic across the University. The Winter 2020 Semester is focused on the Great Lakes. English Department Chair David Porter, director of the Great Lakes Theme Semester Steering Committee, envisions it as creating “a space for conversation on campus about the region we live in.”
The semester’s title, Lake Effects, connotes the Great Lakes’ ubiquity and impact. The kickoff event on January 25 was a panel discussion entitled Dynamic Lakes & Lake Dynamics. An interdisciplinary exploration of how the environmental, political, and social issues facing our region have been shaped by the Great Lakes, it also examined how human activities continue to impact them in turn. Jackson Riegler’s presentation on February 26 will be our Club’s participation in this conversation. He will tell us about one person’s initiative to remediate plastic pollution in the marine environment of the Great Lakes.