Centers and Institutes
The Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University is affiliated with a number of innovative, world-class research centers & institutes. These research centers and institutes are signs of entrepreneurial activities that promote interdisciplinary work involving faculty from several academic and administrative departments on campus.
A list of all Research Centers and Institutes is here.
Biotechnology Research Center (BRC)
"The Biotech Research Center fosters interdisciplinary research at Michigan Tech."
Biotechnology encompasses the applications of various science and engineering disciplines for industrial utilization of living organisms or their products. The mission of the Biotechnology Research Center (BRC) at Michigan Tech is to promote education and research in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, human health, and biotechnology at both the graduate and undergraduate levels for the benefit of society and the environment.
The multidisciplinary nature of the BRC is reflected in the diverse expertise of the BRC faculty. Participation includes faculty from the Biology; Chemistry; Mathematics; Biomedical Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics; and Forest Resources and Environmental Science departments. Faculty, staff, and students are open to collaborating on research projects and joining together for research symposiums, seminars, and conferences. Working together helps to achieve their common goal: the advancement of biotechnology.
Center for Water and Society (CWS)
The mission of the Center for Water and Society (CWS) is to support research, education, and outreach in all disciplines at Michigan Technological University related to water issues. The goal is to establish Michigan Tech as a state, regional, national, and international leader in these disciplines and, in particular, in interdisciplinary approaches to solving water-related problems. The objectives of the CWS are:
- to serve as a focal point for instructional and research activities in water-related fields and water-related outreach activities across the Michigan Tech campus;
- to provide an organizational structure that supports continuing growth in water-related fields and outreach activities and encourage interdisciplinary projects;
- to support interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate education and research in water-related fields; and
- to pursue external funding opportunities to support these objectives and to facilitate CWS-participating faculty to obtain external support.
Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI)
The Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) is a focus for interdisciplinary activities in earth, atmospheric, oceanographic and space sciences at Michigan Technological University. EPSSI's purpose is to enable its members to offer programs and pursue research opportunities in those disciplines that go beyond the scope of individual academic departments.
Remote sensing comprises not just instrumentation or measurement tools, but represents a perspective that employs a broad morphology of disciplines and demands interdisciplinary breadth. For example, current members collaborate on projects spanning imaging science, atmospheric science, data/signal processing, data visualization, and remote sensing instrumentation. These are typically applied to a specific problem in earth system science, ecosystem studies, limnology/oceanography, global change, and a host of other areas. At least nine different departments currently have faculty members participating in EPSSI.
EPSSI's goals are to work by consensus to promote remote sensing and related topics on the Michigan Tech campus through:
- interdisciplinary coursework and programs,
- group funding efforts for equipment and research,
- interdisciplinary seminars and short courses, and
- development of a campus culture that actively supports trans-disciplinary activities.
Ecosystem Science Center (ESC)
To promote understanding of ecosystem function through education and research at Michigan Technological University.
The Ecosystem Science Center (ESC) is designed to advance our understanding of how ecosystems function and how human activities influence ecosystem processes. The Center's two main objectives are to:
- foster ecosystem research and
- educate graduate and undergraduate students in the area of ecosystem science.
These two objectives will be met through collaboration among faculty, staff, and students interested in ecosystem science.
Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC)
To be a leader in interdisciplinary aquatic science and engineering focused on the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin in its entirety through excellence in research education and outreach.
The vision of the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) is to become a world-class institute in interdisciplinary aquatic sciences, policy, engineering, and technology. We will develop unparalleled strength and expertise in four core areas: aquatic ecology and ecosystem dynamics, marine engineering and technology, aquatic resources and human dimensions, and education and outreach. Research at the GLRC will not only advance our knowledge in these four areas of focus but will also inform resource managers and the general public, enabling them to advance the sustainable use of freshwater resources.
Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI)
To create and disseminate new scientific knowledge and engineering products in support of sustainability research and education.
The Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) will assimilate the multiple skills and capabilities required to support a new metadiscipline of sustainability science, including:
- the fundamental physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics needed for environmental assessment;
- ecological economics, including sustainability criteria in economic input-output analysis;
- industrial ecology and design at the process, plant, firm, regional, national, and global scale;
- information technology for real-time monitoring of processes, remote sensing of the environment, and geographical information systems;
- human and environmental impact modeling and risk assessment;
- social and behavioral research tools, and
- professional and K-through-gray educational programs, including assessment of their impacts on choices made by design engineers, policy makers, and consumers.
By advancing this metadisciplinary endeavor, the Institute will combine information and insights across multiple disciplines and perspectives.