Lake Forest Open Lands presents an informative and engaging lecture series. Join us to explore with leading research scientists the Great Lakes' most influencial environmental, biological and geological developments and how they affect our daily lives.

Thank you for helping us make this an exceptionally well-received lecture series. Please enjoy the videos on lectures past below and don't miss future lecture series and other environmentally-based events.

Gorton Community Center
400 E. Illinois Road
Lake Forest

This series is offered in partnership with Gorton Community Center and Lake Forest College and is FREE OF CHARGE thanks to funding support from the Illinois DNR's Coastal Management Program.


Wednesday, February 20

Peter Annin, Director of the Mary Griggs Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin and author.


For more than a century, the Great Lakes have been a target of controversial water diversion schemes, most recently with the highly publicized and polarizing FoxxCon deal. Joun Peyer Annin, author of The Great Lakes Water Wars, the definitive work on the Great Lakes water diversion controversy for an evening discussion to explore this and other battles to protect our precious water resource.


Wednesday, March 6
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Dan Egan, Reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a senior water policy fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's School of Freshwater Sciences.


In partnership with the Lake Forest and Lake Bluff Libraries’ One Book, Two Communities Deep Freeze Read. Join us for an evening talk and book signing with Dan Egan, author of 2017 New York Times Notable Book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes. The reading program sparks discussion around historical and current Great Lakes issues. Books available for purchase from Lake Forest Book Store.


Thursday, November 15
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Dr. Ethan Theuerkauf, Illinois Coastal Geologist, University of Illinois

Coastal geologic change occurs across time from minutes to millennia and is driven by a variety of processes, including waves, water levels, and ice. Dr. Theuerkauf will explore these processes and dynamics of coastal geologic change along Western Lake Michigan. The mechanisms and implications of coastal change will be discussed as well as the technology and instruments utilized in this work, such as drones, sonar, and sediment coring. The talk will culminate with a discussion of how this research is used to improve coastal management and assess climate change.

View past Great Lakes, Great Issues series' lectures