MSU Press Podcast

On today’s episode, we’re joined by Lynne Heasley to discuss her book The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes.

Show Notes

In The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes, Lynne Heasley illuminates an underwater world with a ferocious industrial history. Despite these pressures, the great lakes remain wondrous and worthy of care. From its first scene in a benighted river, where lake sturgeon thrash and spawn, this powerful book takes readers on journeys through the Great Lakes alongside fish and fishers, scuba divers and scientists, toxic pollutants and threatened communities, oil pipelines and invasive species, and Indigenous peoples and federal agencies.

With dazzling illustrations from Glenn Wolff, The Accidental Reef helps us know the Great Lakes in new ways and grapple with the legacies and alternative futures that come from their abundance of natural wealth. Suffused with curiosity, empathy, and wit, The Accidental Reef will not fail to astonish and inspire. As John Hartig puts it, “Heasley leads the reader to see, know, and understand these freshwater seas from different perspectives [which are] essential to developing a stewardship ethic.”

Lynne Heasley is a professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is also the author of A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley and a coeditor of Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship.

Lynne’s book The Accidental Reef and Other Ecological Odysseys in the Great Lakes is available at and other fine booksellers. You can find Lynne at and you can connect with the press on Facebook and @msupress on Twitter, where you can also find me @kurtmilb.

The MSU Press podcast is a joint production of MSU Press and the College of Arts & Letters at Michigan State University. Thanks to the team at MSU Press for helping to produce this podcast. Our theme music is “Coffee” by Cambo. 

Michigan State University occupies the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Lands of the Anishinaabeg – Three Fires Confederacy of Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi people. The University resides on Land ceded in the 1819 Treaty of Saginaw.

Thank you all so much for listening, and never give up books.

What is MSU Press Podcast?

Since its founding in 1947, the mission of the Michigan State University Press has been to be a catalyst for positive intellectual, social, and technological change through the publication of research and intellectual inquiry, making significant contributions to scholarship in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences. In this podcast series, we interview MSU Press authors about their research and discuss scholarly publishing with the professionals who make it happen.