Earthworms at the Root of Sugar Maple Decline

A new study suggests that non-native worms are eating up the forest floor, causing sugar maples to die back and perhaps harming other forest dwellers.

The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out and corpses aren’t the only casualties. A Michigan Tech scientist has fingered non-native earthworms as a primary culprit in the decline of an iconic American tree.

Sugar maples are prized as much for their valuable lumber as for their sugary sap and dazzling fall colors. In Michigan alone, they are the basis of a multi-million-dollar industry. But several years ago, foresters began noticing that the crowns of the big trees appeared unhealthy, with bare limbs and little new growth.

“They were losing trees before they could harvest them,” said Tara Bal (SFRES) a research assistant professor of forest resources and environmental science.  “We wondered what was causing it.” Her findings were published July 26,  in the journal Biological Invasions. Read the full story.

Retirement Supplemental Voluntary Program (RSVP) Enrollment Open

The Retirement Supplemental Voluntary Program (RSVP) is a voluntary retirement program offered to eligible Michigan Tech employees. Eligible employees who wish to retire on or before June 30, 2018 must sign their RSVP election form and communicate their intent to the Benefits Office before the deadline of Oct. 31, 2017. Prior to electing RSVP, employees must meet with the Benefits Office for a confidential meeting to verify eligibility.

See RSVP for additional information about this program.

Contact Benefit Services at 7-2517 or with any questions you may have.

Bicycle Registration on Sept. 1

The Michigan Tech Bicycle Awareness Group will have a tent set up on Walker Lawn during Orientation week.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1, at the tent they will register bicycles for incoming freshmen and any others who come to campus early. 
The group will give out safety and trail literature and have approximately 100 lights to install for free. For more information, email Roy Britz or call 7-2216.

Items Available

Counseling Services has the following items available to give away to another department on a first-come, first-served basis:

  • (Five) Four drawer file cabinets, two light gray in color and three light brown/tan
  • (One) OfficeMax brand shredder, takes 1-2 sheets at a time, shreds in small cross-cut particles and has a receptacle that holds approximately 4-4.5 gallons
  • (One) Sanyo shredder, five sheet capacity with receptacle size of 12.5" square x 18.5" height

Contact Liz Weaver at or 7-2538 if interested or to view.

As always, university property may only be transferred to to other university departments. It may not be given or sold to individuals.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human ResourcesFor more information regarding staff positions, call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Operator/Dispatcher 6, Public Safety & Police Services. UAW Posting 8/15/2017 - 8/21/2017. External applicants will not be reviewed until after all internal applicants. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

In the News

The Daily Mining Gazette ran a profile of incoming Michigan Tech hockey player Tyler Rockwell. Read the story.


Research led by Haiying Liu (Chem) focuses on nontoxic fluorescent probes and has been covered in several online science blogs including NanoWerk, Health Medicine Network and My Informs News.