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UPEC Livestreams: Keeping you connected with the UP environment

Our series of livestreams, co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann, keeps you up-to-date with environmental issues facing the Upper Peninsula.

Please note: as of November 2021, you can view all archived recordings of the livestreams anytime on UPEC’s Facebook page. Earlier posts below link to UPEC’s YouTube channel, which is no longer being used for this purpose.

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On the next UPEC Livestream, environmental historian Nancy Langston explores how climate change and the legacies of settler colonialism threaten the future of wildlife in the Anthropocene. She focuses on three “ghost species” in the Great Lakes watershed—woodland caribou, common loons, and lake sturgeon. Ghost species are those that have not gone completely extinct, although they may be extirpated from a particular area. In centering Indigenous efforts at restoration, Langston argues for a measure of hope.

Our guest

Nancy Langston is an environmental historian who explores the connections between toxics, water, climate change, and wildlife in northern watersheds. Author of 5 books, 52 peer-reviewed articles, and public-facing journalism, she served as President of the ASEH and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environmental History. Recent awards include the Distinguished Scholar Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Environmental History (ASEH); the Mellon Foundation Award in Environmental Humanities; a Fulbright Research Scholar Award (Canada); an Honorary Doctorate from Umeå University, Sweden; the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professorship from Sweden; and awards from the American Council of Learned Society and the American Philosophical Society.

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A delegation from Michigan Tech participated in the COP26 International Climate Negotiation meeting in Glasgow in November 2021. The group was part of the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH), which supported students to present several events at the Climate Summit. The students were also able to observe formal and informal presentations by the U.S. delegation, meet people from around the world, and observe the negotiation process. COP26 featured some successful outcomes, but left major challenges for the future.

On the next edition of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream Series, our guest is MTU Professor Sarah Green. Dr. Green led the university’s delegation, and will share a general overview of what the group did (student presentations, etc.) and some of the key outcomes of COP26. There will be plenty of time for Q&A and discussion.

Our guest

Sarah Green, Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University, is interested in all aspects of environmental chemistry from molecular analytical methods to global climate change, including the science policy interface. Dr. Green has been a member of the Chemistry Department at Michigan Tech since 1994 and served as Department Chair from 2004 to 2013. She was awarded a Jefferson Science Fellowship to serve in the Bureau of East Asia-Pacific Affairs in the U.S. Department of State (2013-14). Dr. Green served as co-vice chair for the Scientific Advisory Panel on the Sixth Global Environmental Outlook, United Nations Environment Program.

The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Livestream Series keeps the public up-to-date with environmental issues facing the U.P. The livestreams are co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann. This livestream and all archived past events are available at For more about UPEC, visit

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When an industrial-scale wind energy project is proposed, should nearby communities accept it, fight it, or seek another alternative? Some have touted wind power as a simple move away from the pollution of fossil fuels. In the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream, Professor Jim Mihelcic will make the case that his personal and professional journey as a civil and environmental engineer has led him to the conclusion that simple technological solutions don’t exist for a complex global problem like climate change. Mihelcic will discuss a protest movement he helped found in the western UP, called Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge, where residents rejected plans for a large wind farm. There are other areas around the country that are facing similar challenges. Does an overly technical approach to solving the need for green energy lead to a dead end by ignoring the social and economic problems that come with all forms of large-scale electric power generation?

James Mihelcic was Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech for 19 years and still resides in the UP part of the year. Jim is currently a professor at the University of South Florida (Tampa) where he holds the Samuel L. and Julia M. Flom Endowed Chair in Civil Engineering. He has achieved Fellow status with two national organizations (AEESP and WEF), is a board certified environmental engineering member with the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists, and served two terms on U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board (nominated by the EPA Administrator). Professor Mihelcic is well known for his teaching and research in the area of sustainability and design of critical infrastructures. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for two prestigious scientific journals, including Environmental Science & Technology, and is lead author for several engineering textbooks focused on sustainability, including Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design (3rd Edition, John Wiley & Sons, 2021).

This livestream and all archived past events available at

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