UW-Eau Claire: Thursdays at the U speaker to discuss Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck

Dr. Steve Ackerman is the featured speaker for the next Thursdays at the U presentation at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County.

Ackerman, professor emeritus of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UW-Madison, will present “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald: The Ship, the Storm and the Song” from 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 11 in the Blue Hills Lecture Hall in Ritzinger Hall. The presentation also will be livestreamed at ricelaketv.com.

Ackerman will explore the November 1975 catastrophe from his unique perspective as a weather expert. He also will discuss the 1976 hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot.

Ackerman moved from New York to Wisconsin in 1987 to serve as a research scientist in the Space Science and Engineering Center at UW-Madison. In 1992 he joined the atmospheric and oceanic sciences faculty at the university. He directed the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, a collaboration between UW-Madison and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from 1999-2019. He then served as interim vice chancellor for research and graduate education from 2019-2023.

Ackerman, along with Dr. Jonathan Martin, is one of the “weather guys,” who appear monthly on Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss the weather and climate. They also write a weekly blog and a column for the Wisconsin State Journal, which answers people’s weather questions.

The Thursdays at the U weekly series is free and open to the public thanks to support from the UW-Eau Claire – Barron County Foundation. Neither seating reservations nor parking permits are needed for in-person attendees. There also is a livestream option and recordings are archived on the Thursdays at the U webpage.

The next lecture in the series will be April 18, with Gail Francis presenting “Bliss(ters): Hiking Mexico to Canada.”

For more information, call the campus at 715-788-6244 or email Dr. Linda Tollefsrud, the series organizer, at tollefla@uwec.edu.