December 29, 2016
Lisa:Who were your mentors?
Barbara: My first mentor was my father, E. P. Reineke, a research scientist at M.S.U. in the physiology dept. He did some important original research there. I learned to love and appreciate nature from him. My husband, Norm Spring has been a long time outdoorsman and conservationist. I have learned a great deal about nature and the democratic process from him.
Lisa:What are some books that have changed your life?
Barbara:Silent Spring by Rachel Carson opened my eyes to what we are doing to the environment. After reading the book and recommending it to my husband, we both became activists on behalf of the environment before the first Earth Day in 1970. I also loved A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I required my students to read it when I taught writing classes at Grand Valley State University.
Lisa:Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?
Barbara:I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes for a general audience.
I spoke to school children this week. I opened my talk with a space photo of Planet Earth and explained that the water they saw was 98% salt water-only about 2% is freshwater. “Dang!” said a kid in surprise.
The audience for my book is really adults, but school age kids will find it interesting, too. It is an up to date reference to the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters: their fishes, dunes, wetlands, seasonal changes and changes caused by people. The Dynamic Great Lakes will be an eye-opener for anyone.
Lisa:Why is the Dynamic Great Lakes an important book?
Barbara:The Great Lakes are important but often misunderstood. They are about 20% of all the fresh surface water on this planet. People need to understand their dynamics in order to make sound decisions about them. Recently a grassroots movement in Michigan blocked oil companies from further oil exploration under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The risk of polluting the lakes with oil and noxious gases was intolerable. There will be more schemes that threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Armed with knowledge, people will demand the right thing of their government. They will also be careful of what they do in their personal decisions. The lakes’ water is low this year, but it will rise again. People who know this is a natural cycle will not build too close to the water.
Lisa:Why is this book a good choice for Earth Day?
Barbara:The book encourages people to think globally and act locally. Everything is connected to everything else. This means that what we burn, what we release in the water and land and what we eat are all connected. We often forget that we are part of the whole and flowing web of life. Our actions will affect us now and in the future.
Lisa:How is your book different from other books about the Great Lakes?
Barbara:I limited my topic to changes in the Great Lakes, both through natural forces and through changes caused by people. There have been a great many changes and I believe people will be interested in learning about the Pacific salmon planted in the lakes to feed on the pesky alewives that invaded them through the canals around Niagara Falls. They will be interested in other exotic species such as the zebra mussels and how they got into all five Great Lakes
Lisa: How did you research the book? Barbara:I began with observations. We live within view of Lake Michigan. I can observe the change of seasons and what kinds of fish are being caught. I have also observed all the other lakes and their connecting waters. I then set out to find out authoritative information about the lakes by interviewing experts. The book is interdisciplinary. I interviewed a geologist, fish biologists, and naturalists. I asked them for good sources in print. I went out on Grand Valley State University’s research vessel, Angus to see what research was being done. I enjoyed working on the Dynamic Great Lakes because there was always something new.
Lisa:What else have you written? Barbara:As a journalist, I have written articles for the Grand Rapids Press, a major newspaper in West Michigan. These articles were about travels, profiles of interesting people, and outdoor subjects. I also have had articles published in Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Muskegon Magazine, Field & Stream and many other publications.
March 6, 2016
click the link above
This critically acclaimed book is also available in paperback from many bookstores and online at Amazon.com, bn.com and many other places.
December 14, 2011
The Dynamic Great Lakes is available in the new edition at Barnes & Noble online or in stores. It is also available at Schuler Books and Music, The Bookman, Amazon.com (paper and Kindle edition) and many other fine stores.
September 8, 2011
To learn about the Great Lakes and their interesting features, The Dynamic Great Lakes is for you.
Now updated in a fourth edition, Amazon has made the book available on the Kindle e reader as well as in paperback. The book is concise and suitable for all readers.
June 7, 2011
I live on Lake Michigan and I have lived on Lake Huron. I have traveled to Lake Superior, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where I watched a meteor shower while camping. All this freshwater has led me to write. I wrote a non fiction book, The Dynamic Great Lakes that is critically acclaimed. It shows how each lake has changed and changes. It is especially about what lies under water. These lakes are magnificent.
I have included many Great Lakes inspired poems in my books, The Wilderness Within and Sophia’s Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below
January 5, 2011
The Dynamic Great Lakes
Many of us know very little about the five Great Lakes other than perhaps being able to name them. As Barbara Spring states in her introduction to her outstanding primer The Dynamic Great Lakes they are “a flowing river of seas left behind by Ice Age glaciers and are nearly twenty percent of the world’s supply of fresh surface water; the world’s greatest freshwater system.”
The ecosystem of this great body of water is very complex and unfortunately due to pollution and the fallout of modern industry and agriculture they have gone through a gradual transformation.
One of the unique characteristics of this compact book is that it is written in a language devoid of esoteric explanations. The eight chapters of the book reflect the author’s teaching and journalistic aptitudes in knowing how to unravel the mystery of the Great Lakes and the many painful dangers it has faced and continues to face.
Each of the five Lakes is introduced with a brief synopsis of important elements distinguishing one from the other such as: elevation, length, breadth, average depth, maximum depth, volume, water area, retention time, population and outlet. From this point of departure the author deals with the various changes that have taken place as well as the various major issues affecting the Lakes.
There are also brief descriptions of the various animal life found in each of the Lakes and how they have been affected by pollution and the appearance of harmful species, such as the Lamprey Eel.
However, we are also reminded throughout the reading of the book that “people power” can have an effect and if we band together and make our voices heard we could exert influence in reversing some of the harmful trends that have caused ecological disaster.
For example we are apprised of the situation that occurred in relation to Lake Erie. In 1969 a tributary river of Lake Erie, the Cayahoga, caught on fire due to being heavily coated with oil and debris. As a result, the Federal Water Quality Administration launched a one and half billion dollar municipal sewage treatment program for the Erie Basin which included the five surrounding states: Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.
The conclusion of the book most appropriately reminds us that: “we are all challenged to use our knowledge, creativity and common sense to keep the Great Lakes great. Can you think of ways to think globally and act locally?” We are also warned “life on earth is only possible as long as our limited life support system works.”
Copyright 2002, Bookideas.com. Originally published at Bookideas.com.
December 14, 2010
Surfing the outlet of the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River this time of year looks pretty chilly. These surfers are near Montreal Canada The current gives them quite a ride.
August 2, 2010
The Dynamic Great Lakes, a non-fiction book about changes in the Great Lakes ecosystems, has just been updated and released in a fourth edition.
And there is more good news: the price is now $12.95 plus shipping and handling when ordered from the publisher. The book has been critically acclaimed and is under the Independence imprint. It may be ordered from the Publish America bookstore.
July 29, 2010
Enbridge, a Canadian Oil company, is responsible for a broken oil pipeline that is gushing oil into the Kalamazoo River. If the toxic oil reaches Lake Michigan 80 miles away, it would be a disaster of tremendous proportions for all living things in and around the water. I am heartsick about this.
There is an unparalled sports fishery for salmon and other fishes. I hope the EPA can prevent the oil from reaching Lake Michigan. These waters flow into Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It’s the greatest freshwater system on this planet.
Update: The EPA stepped in to contain the spill before it reached Lake Michigan. The oil spill has destroyed property along the Kalamazoo River, wildlife and marshes. This should not have happened.
Update September 21, 2010. Looks like a pipeline is being proposed to go through the Straits of Mackinac. Enbridge again: http://michiganmessenger.com/42060/state-approves-work-on-oil-pipeline-under-mackinac-straits