What makes Duluth Duluth?

Sea smoke rises from a patch of open water on icy Lake Superior
Sea smoke rises from a patch of open water on icy Lake Superior at Brighton Beach in Duluth on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The temperature at the time was about 20 below zero.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

People have described Duluth as a small city/big town at the tip of Lake Superior, but it's more than that. It's also an international port, home to a large population of students attending one of the six colleges either in town or nearby, and the center of a thriving arts scene.

Host Angela Davis visited Duluth for a live broadcast. One of her guests, Bob Sterner, gave her a lesson in limnology (that's the study of lakes). Sterner is the director of the Large Lakes Observatory and a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth. They talked about how the lake is holding up to climate change, pollution and invasive species.

Then Davis explored the local economy with former economics professor Tony Barrett. He knows why the city's population isn't growing and what it would take to draw a large group of workers to the shores of Lake Superior.

Davis closed the hour with an introduction to Brittany Lind, the newest member of The Current family. Lind is the host of The Duluth Local Show, an hour of music at 8 p.m. every Sunday (rebroadcast at 2 p.m. Mondays on the Local Current stream). They talked about the local music scene that has birthed Charlie Parr, Big Wave Dave and the Ripples and Trampled by Turtles.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.