UW-Madison 2018-2019 Go Big Read pick announced

UW-Madison 2018-2019 Go Big Read pick announced
University of Wisconsin-Madison, University Communications

Earlier this week, the University of Wisconsin-Madison announced its pick for the 2018-2019 Go Big Read book: “The Death of the Great Lakes” by Dan Egan.

In his book, Egan, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writes about the ecological struggles of the Great Lakes.

The chain, made up of the Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior lakes, spans 94,000 miles and supplies about 20 percent of the surface freshwater across the globe.

“This book takes a historical look at the Great Lakes with deep affection and concern for the future,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said in the release.

“This book should appeal to our students, particularly given the rapid growth in classes that address environmental issues. Plus, over 80 percent of our fall 2017 incoming freshmen come from states that border the Great Lakes, so for them this is personal.”

Egan grew up in Green Bay and spent summer weekends in Door County, where he learned to love Lake Michigan at a young age, according to the release.

He is a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences and had covered the Great Lakes since 2003. He spent his nine-month O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism at the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University investigating threats to the Great Lakes and government effectiveness in efforts to protect them.

Forbes named “The Death of the Great Lakes” as one of the 10 best environmental, climate science and conservation books of 2017. Egan’s book was also recently named the April pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times Book Club.

First-year students at UW-Madison will receive the book at convocation.

The university said in the press release that staff is working to plan how the book will be utilized in classrooms and for special events. UW-Madison is also expecting a visit from the author.