2015 Michigan Tech Magazine: Issue 2

Dismantling a Mesocosm

By Allison Mills

Some students aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Harttung is willing is dive elbow-deep into sopping wet peat and slice off chunks using a bread knife. She did just that over the summer while helping US Forest Service researchers and ecology faculty, including her advisor Evan Kane.

They dismantled a peat mesocosm experiment that spanned four years as part of ongoing ecology research to better understand global carbon cycles. A mesocosm, Harttung says, is the balance between micro and macro—the perfect size for a big- to-do kind of experiment.

"Climate change is very real and no one person can stop it. However, I'm doing the best I can to further humanity's understanding of this global process through research."Sarah Hartung

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.