LSSI hosted the 2023 Western UP Summer Institute with themes including Climate Impacts: Relationships with Land & Water and Digging Deeper into Soils
June 27 - Changing Climate, Changing Culture (Baraga County)
Participants integrated place-based evidence with science to reveal how climate change is affecting our communities and economies. Weaving in Indigenous knowledge, this session provided a baseline for evaluating how climate change is affecting all cultures and relationships with place. We are grateful to Cat Techtmann (Environmental Outreach State Specialist, University of Wisconsin Madison-Division of Extension) who shared the G-WOW model with us at the KBIC Debweyendan Indigenous Garden.G-WOW” is a unique climate literacy, communication, and leadership model for increasing climate change awareness and encouraging action for youth to adult learners. G-WOW investigates climate change through its impact on cultural and economic practices we value based on how it is affecting sustainability of species and habitat conditions that support those practices. The model integrates “scientific” climate research, “place-based” evidence we can observe, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of the Lake Superior Ojibwe, a culture with a long relationship with the environment. "G-WOW promotes community level action to increase resiliency to a changing climate and reduce its impacts, no matter your location or culture.” To learn more about G-WOW curriculum CLICK HERE
June 28 - Coastal Hazards & Inland Flooding
Participants visited McLain State Park and the site of recent flood damage near Lake Linden to explore how climate impacts are affecting coastal erosion and increased flood hazards in the Keweenaw. We also learned about mitigation plans and resources to know more about the hazards in the place that we live. We were joined by Evan Lanese
(GIS technician, Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region), Guy Meadows (Great Lakes Research Center, MTU), Christopher VanArsdale (Director Emergency Measures, Houghton and Keweenaw County), and Ryan Williams (Assistant Director, Geospatial Research Facility. Great Lakes Research Center, MTU).
Aug 15 - Digging Deeper into Soils (Houghton)
Participants were able to dig into soils to explore the complex interactions between water, air, living, and non-living things. This session provided opportunities to steward this precious resource in backyards, school yards and school forests. We were joined by Evan Kane (Associate Professor, College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science) and Abbey Palmer (MSU Extension Educator).
This institute was presented by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative & Western UP MiSTEM Network, with the support of area teacher experts. We are grateful to NOAA B-WET, Michigan Space Grant Consortium, and the MiSTEM network for funding!