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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.


Have you ever wondered what it is like to live under water? How noisy it is? Are there fish there or not? What other aquatic life exists down there? Join us to hear Professor Lynne Heasley tell how she found the answers to those questions and more in her new book, “The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes.” She explores how sturgeon are thriving in a polluted St. Clair River, how a husband and wife team have an intimate relationship with the river and its inhabitants, and what has been done to clean up the river. Questions about diverting water from the Great Lakes to feed the dry West’s thirst. How important the international boundary has been for protecting the Great Lakes. The chapter entitled “A Not-So-Objective Introduction to the Fish Consumption Advisory” turns the question of consumption on its head. Professor Heasley presents her story in unique ways. The beautiful illustrations throughout the book add an aura of mystery.

Lynne Heasley is a professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. She earned her Ph.D. And M.S. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Dept. of Forest and Wildlife Ecology). Her other works include “A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley” and (as co-editor) “Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship.”

This livestream and all archived past events available at

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What if one day your employer told your union you were redundant because of climate change? On January 13 at 8 pm EST Professor Emily Eaton will talk about how an unjust transition happened in Saskatchewan at an oil refinery. She’ll discuss the corporation’s campaign to destroy the workers’ union before and after it went on strike under the cover of climate change. Professor Eaton will explain the dynamics of the province’s oil economy, which led to the creation of the union-corporation dispute. We will get an update of what has happened at the refinery since July 2021.

Our guest in the first UPEC livestream of 2022 is Emily Eaton, an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. She studies the oil industry’s influence on rural institutions and culture in oil-producing municipalities in Canada, and examines the influence of oil and energy interests in K–12 education. Emily is currently involved in a community-engaged research project pushing to prioritize justice and equity principles in renewable city strategies.

This livestream and all archived past events available at

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Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Peter Sinclair, Videographer and Publisher of

Large-scale wind energy is a hot topic in Houghton County these days with the Scotia Wind project proposed in Adams Township. Those of us who are concerned about climate change welcome the transition to renewable energy, but many have questions about the efficacy and impact on our landscape of large wind turbines. The controversy over the Scotia Wind project, which echoes the arguments that were made in the abortive Summit Lake project in Baraga County, shows that issues around large-scale wind power in the U.P. are complex and contentious. The next UPEC livestream will tackle this issue with the help of Peter Sinclair, a Midland-based videographer who specializes in environment and renewable energy issues. For a decade, Mr. Sinclair has produced a monthly video series for the Yale University School of Environment, and has interviewed hundreds of the world’s leading scientists and engineers. His videos are recognized by experts internationally, and have established Mr. Sinclair as a frequent presenter on climate, renewable energy, and science communication. In 2017, the National Center for Science Education recognized Mr. Sinclair as a “Friend of the Planet."

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