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Points North

  • Lake Superior can change in a heartbeat; one minute it’s calm ― the next it's raging into a wild storm.When people in the water get caught off-guard, rescuers have to make critical decisions, and ultimately gamble with their own lives.
  • For the past three and a half decades, zebra and quagga mussels have fundamentally altered the ecology and hijacked the food web of the Great Lakes. Now scientists are trying new ways to put the mollusks in check, including infecting them with parasites and even crushing them with huge rollers. But will it be enough?
  • According to an Anishinaabe prophecy, manoomin – wild rice – is what brought the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples to the Great Lakes.But starting in the late 1800s, manoomin’s decline was fast and widespread. And just like the plant itself, a lot of knowledge around harvesting practices has been lost. Some Anishinaabek are changing that.
  • Lake Superior’s northern shore has been home to woodland caribou for thousands of years. But now, the species is facing local extinction. Some blame climate change for the caribou's decline. But the species has persisted through an ice age, and through warming temperatures. It’s survived climate change before. So why is it in trouble now?
  • Northern Michigan is the perfect place to be outdoors with its extensive forests and pristine rivers. The irony is, it’s also the perfect place to simulate warfare. A proposed expansion is putting some residents and the Michigan National Guard head-to-head.
  • Dan Wanschura and Patrick Shea will give fans a behind-the-scenes look into the award-winning podcast's [Un]Natural Selection series.
  • Rails are secretive marsh birds, and they’re on the decline. But a researcher playing their recorded calls over a loudspeaker could help bring them back – by tricking them.
  • Lyme disease is increasing in the Upper Midwest. The illness is caused by a bite from an infected black-legged tick. But the disease can be hard to spot. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause arthritis and nervous system problems.
  • After years of rapid growth, experts are trying everything they can to push back the leading edge of invasive Asian carp in the Illinois River. Their most recent strategy? A new name.
  • Dick Mallery is tired of quick fixes to his 50-year-flooding problem; he wants a nearby culvert replaced. But even that will only keep floodwaters away if it’s designed to withstand the new normal. As climate change brings heavier rainfall and more frequent floods to the Upper Great Lakes, our infrastructure needs an overhaul.