Nancy Auer

Nancy  Auer
  • PhD Biological Sciences 1995

Nancy earned a PhD in Biological Sciences from Michigan Tech in 1995. She completed a bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Minnesota in 1973 and a master’s in Natural Resource Ecology from the University of Michigan in 1997.

Nancy’s career began in 1978 when she was employed as a zooplankton/fishery biologist at the University of Michigan Great Lakes Research Laboratories. From 1978-1981 she progressed from being a laboratory technician to supervising a field and laboratory team for a study of the ecological effects of two power plants located on Lake Michigan. She also edited and co-authored a large volume on the Identification of Larval Fishes of the Great Lakes published in 1982 by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

In 1984 she joined Michigan Tech as a part-time lecturer in Biological Sciences. Nancy worked at both teaching and research, as well as beginning a project on habitat and abundance of a native lake sturgeon population which is still ongoing in 2010. She also participated in the pilot year of the Perspectives on Inquiry in 1999 and has taught over 20 sections of the class in 10 years. After achieving tenure at Michigan Tech, she now teaches Fish Biology and General Biology among other subjects. In General Biology BL1010 (a class for fall incoming freshman biology majors) Nancy is refining new teaching methods using inquiry-based approaches to promote greater thinking skills and participation by students. Nancy continues her research on lake sturgeon, and also on Lake Superior Diporeia food web studies. Currently, she is participating in a new project at the Bering Glacier in Alaska.

Nancy has been an active member of, and held leadership positions in, the American Fisheries Society since 1978 and has published and reviewed for many journals in her field. In her community, she is involved as a board member on the Superior Watershed Partnership, a member of the faith based Earthkeepers, which won the Binational forum's environmental stewardship award in 2006. She has served the Episcopal Church as a lay campus-minister and member of a mutual ministry team. Both she and her husband serve on teams for the ecumenical U.P. Cursillo movement.

During her years as a student at Michigan Tech, Nancy obtained research support for her own thesis project, acted as campus chaplain for Trinity Episcopal Church, in addition to volunteer work for the Western U.P. Health Department.

Nancy and her husband, Martin, live between Ahmeek and Eagle River, Michigan in a log home they built and finished. They have one son, Thomas, a 2009 graduate of Penn State University with a master’s degree in Geography.

In 2010, in recognition of her significant achievements, Nancy was inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae.

This profile appeared in the 2010 Presidential Council of Alumnae induction program.