Distinguished Lecture Series

The Distinguished Lecture Series started in Fall 2016 to honor faculty for their research impact. Department chairs, center/institute directors, deans, and Research Advisory Council members nominate highly engaging presenters with broad topic appeal. Distinguished Lecturers are selected for their ability to increase the knowledge of our community by connecting their research with societal and community concerns. Topics are broad spanning all colleges and schools at Michigan Tech. Nominees are reviewed by committee twice per year and announced at the beginning of fall and spring semesters.

Spring 2018 Distinguished Lecturer

Dr. Sarah Green was nominated by Mike Abbott, director of the Great Lakes Research Center Operations, and was selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates from all colleges and schools on campus.

 Her lecture, Expanding Spheres: Atoms to Earth, Local to Global, Science to Society, will be presented at 4 p.m. Feb. 15, in MUB Ballroom A, in a format encouraging networking and discussions.

Abbott’s nomination touted: “Sarah has been part of several major climate-related/environmental monitoring efforts over the last 15 years, beginning with KITES, the very successful 2002 NSF-funded project that spawned nearly every other subsequent environmental monitoring effort in the upper great lakes. This work continues today with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Alliance for Coastal Technologies and NOAA/GLOS. Long a favorite lecturer on campus, Sarah Green, a 2013-2014 Jefferson Science Fellow with the U.S. State Department, relates to her audience in a concise and engaging manner.”


Past Speakers
Fall 2017 Distinguished Lecturer

 Dr. John Vucetich was nominated by Dr. Terry Sharik, dean of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. His lecture, It's Not About Wolves: Interdisciplinary Knowledge for a Sustainable, Just and Prosperous World, was presented on November 7, 2017

Sharik writes in his nomination: "John is a world-renowned researcher on predator-prey relations and especially on the role of wolves in regulating ecosystems. John's work also bridges animal population dynamics and ethics.  John has given hundreds of presentations spanning the gamut from scientists to ordinary citizens; his delivery style is one of serenity, thoughtfulness and humility." 

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Spring 2017 Distinguished Lecturer

Simon Carn

Dr. Simon Carn was nominated by Dr. John Gierke and selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates as the Spring 2017 Distinguished Lecturer. His lecture, about Satellite Remote Sensing of Active Volcanism, was presented in April 2017.

Volcanology – the study of volcanoes – is a truly multidisciplinary endeavor that encompasses numerous fields including geology, physics, chemistry, material science and social science. Arguably, Michigan Tech owes its very existence to volcanic activity, which is ultimately responsible for the area’s rich copper deposits and the development of mining in the Keweenaw. 


Fall 2016 Distinguished Lecturer

Richelle Winkler with her award.

Dr. Richelle Winkler gave the inaugural Michigan Tech Research Forum Distinguished Lecture in October 2016. She discussed Making Research Matter: Democratizing Science and Other Lofty Goals.

Professor Hugh Gorman nominated Winkler, an associate professor of sociology and demography, for “community engaged scholarship" that extends across the Michigan Tech campus.

Examples of Winkler's projects include examining the feasibility—social and technical—of using mine water for geothermal heating systems in Calumet and examining the social, economic, and technical aspects of improving recycling in Houghton County.