Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

February 2024


Looking over researcher applications these last two weeks, I’m pleased to report we have more new researcher applications than we have had in the past. This is great news for UMBS. Thank you to our generous donors who make it possible for us to recruit and retain new community members who are engaging in our research and teaching mission in new and innovative ways.

Word is spreading to new audiences about the Biological Station and our long-term climate research and education in northern Michigan. In February alone, we welcomed several environmental journalists from across the state to the Pellston campus to talk about our new snowpack sensor and study of changing winters. We also did a few Zoom interviews with reporters in the U.P. and northwest Ohio.

Before delving into strategic planning, I want to celebrate someone special. If you took courses or conducted research at UMBS over the last two decades, you likely know Assistant Dining Hall Manager Sharon Armock (and her delicious soup!). After nearly 17 years of caring for the people at UMBS, Sharon decided to retire at the end of January.

Associate Director Karie Slavik said it best: “Everyone who has ‘gone through the line’ or sat with her at coffee break knows that Sharon is a gem of a colleague and person.”

Though our community will miss her daily cheer, kindness and cooking along Douglas Lake, we all wish Sharon the best. She has made a huge difference in dining hall operations over the years. Thank you, Sharon, for your years of dedication and care.

They’re impossible shoes to fill, but we are looking for our next rock star in the dining hall. Please share the Assistant Dining Hall Manager job application with your networks.

UMBS also is hiring seasonal employees for the upcoming field season — a field technician, research technician, front office staff, cooks, food service assistants, maintenance assistants and a garden steward. For full descriptions of each position and how to apply, go to the UMBS Employment website.

I mentioned last month that 2024 is the year we develop a five-year strategic plan. I have updates for you on that, and they involve participation on your end to inform the Strategic Planning Committee and UMBS Advisory Board, who are tasked with defining priorities and clear goals to drive the next five years of decision-making, meet benchmarks and continue our positive momentum.

First, at your earliest convenience, please fill out this anonymous survey to help identify and prioritize goals, focus areas and opportunities for growth. The survey looks at the big picture and involves creative envisioning of the future.

Second, over the next several months attend a one-hour town hall session either in-person (in Ann Arbor or Pellston) or virtually. From March through July, we scheduled discussions for different stakeholder groups to focus on their areas of interest. View the full schedule on the UMBS Strategic Planning website.

My goal is to have a new, five-year strategic plan in place by Jan. 1, 2025. To make this a living document, we need to hear from researchers and students who have been here and researchers and students who have never been here (what is keeping you away?). We need to hear from neighbors around Douglas Lake and Burt Lake, leaders across northern Michigan, alumni around the world, and staff and faculty within our UMBS family. All voices are critical to the committee’s success.

As I write to you on another rainy February day, I’m full of confidence and hope that we are on track to lead the way from our neck of the woods in the global, collaborative effort to solve urgent problems and build a sustainable future.

Read our full February 2024 Newsletter to watch a video featuring students, faculty, researchers and alumni who talk about their experiences immersed in nature. The priority deadline for students from all universities to apply for 2024 spring and summer courses and scholarships is March 15.

Dr. Aimee Classen
UMBS Director