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Aquatic Resources and Human Dimensions

The translation of scientific principles to policy—and furthering our understanding of humankind’s role in the Great Lakes ecosystem—is of utmost importance to researchers at the Great Lakes Research Center.

The Center houses a diverse set of social scientists, ranging in expertise from environmental history to sociology to economics to anthropology. Together with the talents of biophysical and biological researchers at the Center, we aim to understand the inherently complex issues surrounding the largest freshwater system on Earth.

We also focus tremendous efforts on community outreach and education programs, helping to educate the next generation of policy-makers and the general public about the wonders of the Great Lakes.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the Center, our team focuses on a wide set of topics. From analysis of multi-jurisdictional governance mechanisms to the evolution of shipping and port infrastructure to the role of information in water resource decision-making, our opportunities for research are endless.

William S. Breffle

  • Associate Professor of Economics, School of Business and Economics
  • Affiliate Professor, SFRES
906-487-1959
wsbreffl@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building G019

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental economics
  • Natural resource economics
  • International economics
  • Mathematical economics
  • Principles of economics

Research Interests

  • Non-market valuation
  • Discrete choice modeling
  • Benefit-cost analysis
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Health economics
Mary H. Durfee
"Good things come in small packages—you can get a GREAT liberal arts education from us. Our graduates get jobs and enroll in fine graduate programs at universities like Yale, Michigan, and Johns Hopkins."
—Mary Durfee

Mary H. Durfee

  • Professor Emerita
906-487-2112
mhdurfee@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 216

Areas of Expertise

  • Great Lakes of North America
  • International Law
  • Malta
  • Scholarship of Pedagogy
  • Arctic Affairs

Hugh S. Gorman

  • Department Chair, Social Sciences
  • Professor of Environmental History and Policy, Social Sciences
906-487-2116
hsgorman@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 215

Fields

  • Environmental Policy and History
  • History of Technology
  • History of Science
  • Economic History

Research Interests

  • The historical interaction between technological change, uses of the environment, and systems of governance
  • Adaptive governance
  • Sustainable energy and environmental policy

Nancy Langston

  • Professor of Environmental History, Social Sciences
  • Member of the Great Lakes Research Center
  • Affiliated Professor, SFRES

Specialties

  • Toxics, forested watersheds, and northern lakes
  • Environmental history
  • Watershed change and water quality
  • Mining history

Carol A. MacLennan

  • Professor of Anthropology, Social Sciences
  • Graduate Director, IA/H and EEP
906-487-2870
camac@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 209A

Research Interests

  • Environmental anthropology/political ecology
  • Anthropology of industry (mining, sugar)
  • Hawai`i and the Pacific
  • Anthropology of public policy

Patrick E. Martin

  • Research Professor of Archaeology

Areas of Expertise

  • Industrial archaeology
  • Industrial heritage
  • Historical archaeology

Audrey L. Mayer

  • Associate Professor of Ecology and Environmental Policy, SFRES
  • Coordinator, Peace Corps Masters International Program in Forestry
906-487-2864
almayer@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 206

Areas of Expertise

  • Landscape ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
  • Sustainability science

Mark D. Rouleau

  • Assistant Professor, Social Sciences
906-487-2039
mdroulea@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 205

Research Interests

  • Social simulation
  • Agent-based modeling
  • Land-use modeling
  • Norm evolution
  • Survey design
  • International relations
Adam M. Wellstead
"Academics are the only people I can think of for whom this sentence makes sense: 'I'm hoping to get some time off so that I can get some work done.'"
—Sidney Verba

Adam M. Wellstead

  • Associate Professor of Public Policy, Social Sciences
906-487-2115
awellste@mtu.edu
Academic Office Building 207

Areas of Expertise

  • Policy advisory systems
  • Governance and political mechanisms
  • Survey research
  • Policy process frameworks

Areas of Interest

  • Canadian Energy and Environmental Issues
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Oil Sands Development
  • Forest Policy
  • Canadian history

Richelle L. Winkler

  • Associate Professor of Sociology and Demography, Social Sciences

Areas of Expertise

  • Rural Sociology
  • Population and Environment
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Community Engaged Scholarship
  • Internal Migration
  • GIS and spatial analysis