Greatness Explained: The Great Lakes,


‘Greatness Explained: The Great Lakes,’ presented by Norman Moline. Moline grew up in the Chicago area and began a lifelong interest in the Great Lakes as a boy on the shores of Lake Michigan. The interest may have led him into geography, though this program will focus on the lakes’ impact instead of their forming.

The Great Lakes are one of the great natural wonders of the world but surprisingly often are not included on such lists. They and their connecting channels and portages have been central in the settlement history and cultural geography of this region.

While native Americans used the Great Lakes extensively, we begin with the explorations and use of these connections by the French as part of its “crescent” of settlement in which Illinois Country had a significant role.

Norman Moline, professor emeritus of geography at Augustana College, will identify the many links within the Great Lakes watershed and with adjoining watersheds, elaborate on their historical significance for the nation and for our region, and focus on some of the current environmental and political issues which impact Illinois and other states bordering these lakes. For more information on the Great Lakes, visit

Funding for this program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly.

Recorded live on March 12, 2015 at the Highland Park Public Library.