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Great Lakes Theme Semester

LSA’s research takes place all around the world, but important learning and discovery also happens close to home. The Great Lakes Theme Semester held in Winter Term 2020 offered opportunities for students, faculty, and the public to join conversations about issues both critical to our region and relevant to national and international contexts.


Through courses, films, panels, exhibits, field trips, and other events, "Lake Effects" encouraged interdisciplinary exploration of how the environmental, political, and social issues facing our region have long been shaped by the Great Lakes, and how human activities continue to impact them in turn. This website serves as an archival record of the Theme Semester's activities and impact.

Featured Courses

The Theme Semester featured over 60 courses offered by departments across campus, many of which were offered again in the 2020-21 academic year.

Theme Semester Events - By the Numbers

70 graduate and undergraduate courses offered through 23 departments in 6 schools and colleges across campus

27 public lectures and forums with an average attendance of 50-100 participants

5 special exhibits on Great Lakes topics at libraries and museums across campus

5 film screenings reaching an audience of between 14-55 each

10 possible internships developed in collaboration with 8 organizations and 3 internships created for Summer 2020

Show your Support

If you are looking for a way to support LSA students during this time, please consider making a gift to the LSA Student Emergency Fund.