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August 2023

Cheers to a successful season of discovery!

We have so much to celebrate as our Douglas Lake operations slow down for the fall and winter seasons.

I am amazed by the number of people — over 100 — who visited our scientific field station in northern Michigan for our Open House. The continuous flow of guests coming down State Street was exciting to see. The entire community felt such honor in showing off our science and place to new faces and long-term Douglas Lake neighbors.

The community members, including many families, talked science with our researchers and viewed organisms collected that weekend during the 2023 BioBlitz, our first in 16 years. Watch the inspiring video and view the breathtaking photo gallery.

The three-day BioBlitz was an incredible opportunity to strengthen our connection with the U-M Natural History Museum in Ann Arbor. The U-M Herbarium and Museum of Zoology sent experts north to help us create this historic record assessing biodiversity and ecosystem health — together, we logged 503 species that call this part of northern Michigan home. Our growing partnership is going to transform learning and discovery across the state including Pellston and Main Campus.

UMBS is using the information gathered during the BioBlitz to build an online field guide in the fall that will serve as a community resource so our neighbors know the scope of what is in their own backyards. We’ll share that with you when it’s completed.

Next month we look forward to welcoming external reviewers from across the country to our Pellston and Ann Arbor campuses as part of the U-M College of LSA self-study process. It’s our first in more than a decade and my first as UMBS director. The team is examining our operations and helping inform our future.

We continue to work with campus planners about the path forward to take UMBS carbon neutral, expand to year-round programming and address new cabin and facilities needs for our next 100 years. Progress is being made, but we don’t have a final plan yet or any timeframe or information about the sequencing of construction phases. Options are still being evaluated by U-M, UMBS and the campus planners.

We’re already making plans for the 2024 season. Please mark your calendars for our next Science Open House: Sunday, July 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’d love to see you if you’re in the area!

If you’re craving a feast for the eyes and a rewarding glimpse of why we do what we do (experiential learning and discovery at its finest), watch the video and read the story about UMBS students who sailed Lake Michigan on a research vessel.

One more treat: Want a stunning view of northern Michigan forests from the top of the UMBS AmeriFlux Tower? Go to our UMBS Facebook page and tap and drag the 360 photo or move your phone to explore what it’s like to be Dr. John Lenters, the senior research specialist at UMBS who regularly climbs the 150-foot tower that keeps watch over northern Michigan forests. Brace yourself before you look down!

Read our full August 2023 UMBS Newsletter for updates on what is happening right now as we head into fall. 


Dr. Aimée Classen

UMBS Director