Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI)

Environmental Systems and Ecology

Jennifer Becker

  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Affiliated Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Links of Interest

Teaching Interests

  • Water and wastewater treatment
  • Biological treatment processes

Research Interests

  • Bioremediation of Contaminated Groundwater Environments
  • Microbial Ecology and Kinetics of Chlorinated Aliphatic Solvent Biodegradation
  • Conversion of Organic Solid Wastes and Cellulosic Feedstocks to Electricity via Microbial Fuel Cells
Andrew Burton
"Every day in the woods is a good day - don't get so caught up in the work at hand that you forget to look around and appreciate where you are."

Andrew J. Burton

  • Associate Dean and Professor
  • Director, Ecosystem Science Center
  • Coordinator of Interdisciplinary, Multi-Institutional Research

Areas of Expertise

  • Forest responses to global change factors
  • Belowground processes
  • Carbon and nutrient cycling
  • Physiological ecology of tree roots
  • Undergraduate involvement in research
Rodney Chimner
"We are what we imagine ourselves to be."
—Kurt Vonnegut, Jr

Rodney A. Chimner

  • Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Peatland and wetland restoration
  • Peatland and wetland carbon cycling
  • Mountain wetlands
  • Tropical peatlands
  • Ecosystem carbon cycling
  • Wetland ecohydrology
David Flaspohler
"Hope is the thing with feathers. That perches in the soul."
—Emily Dickinson

David J. Flaspohler

  • Professor
  • Director of Undergraduate Programs

Areas of Expertise

  • Conservation biology
  • Avian ecology and reproduction
  • Cascading effects of deer overbrowse
  • Island ecology
Robert Froese
"If you can't measure it, then you can't manage it."
—G.L. Baskerville

Robert E. Froese

  • Associate Professor
  • Director, Ford Center and Forest


  • Registered Professional Forester, Association of BC Forest Professionals
  • Certified Forester, Society of American Foresters
  • Registered Forester, State of Michigan, Board of Foresters


Areas of Expertise

  • Forest Inventory, Mensuration, and Biometrics
  • Silviculture, Quantitative Silviculture, and Growth & Yield
  • Empirical, process and hybrid forest modelling
  • Biomass and Carbon Inventory, Management, and Life Cycle Assessment

John S. Gierke, PE

  • Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Affiliated Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Links of Interest

Teaching Interests

  • Hydrogeology
  • Ground water Engineering
  • Contaminant Transport
  • Subsurface Remediation

Research Interests

  • Field performance of air sparging for removing volatile organic chemicals from ground water
  • Volatile organic vapor transport in unsaturated soils
  • Sulfur dioxide interactions with volcanic ash

Sarah A. Green

  • Interim Department Chair, Chemistry
  • Professor, Chemistry

Research Interests

  • Climate change communication
  • Science-policy interface
  • Response of aquatic systems to climate change
  • Great Lakes
  • Behavior of metal-contaminated sediments in the Lake Superior basin
  • Fluorescence-based analytical methods
  • Aerosol chemistry
  • Origin and fate of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in terrestrial, lake, and marine environments
  • Methods for detection of free radicals, photochemical transformations of natural and anthropogenic organic compounds in the environment
  • integration of biological, geological, physical, and chemical data for understanding global cycles.

Kathy Halvorsen

  • Associate Vice President for Research Development
  • University Professor of Natural Resource Policy
  • Joint Appointment in Social Sciences and CFRES

Areas of Expertise

  • Climate change mitigation policy
  • Arctic climate change impacts
  • Energy conservation policy
  • Renewable energy policy
  • Indigeneity and climate policy

Casey J Huckins

  • Professor, Biological Sciences

Research Expertise

  • Ecology of lakes, streams, and their riparian interface with terrestrial systems
  • Fish ecology, biology, functional morphology
  • effects of land use on ecological systems
  • Biomonitoring for research and restoration
  • Effects of Invasive Species
Chandrashekhar Joshi
"Cellulose is the fiber of human civilization."

Chandrashekhar P. Joshi

  • Department Chair and Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Affiliated Professor, CFRES

Research Interests: Biological Sciences

  • Plant Molecular Genetics

Areas of Expertise: Biology and Forestry

  • Cellulose and lignin biosynthesis in trees
  • Wood formation
  • Tree growth and development
  • Engineering trees
  • Forest bioinformatics
Martin Jurgensen
"Soil is the basis of all terrestrial life."

Martin F. Jurgensen

  • Research Professor

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • Forest soil productivity, management and sustainability
  • Global climate change impact on soil biology
  • Organic matter decomposition and ecosystem nutrient cycling

Matthew C. Kelly

  • Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Management

Areas of Expertise

  • Forest operations
  • Forest and natural resource management
  • Human dimensions of natural resources
  • Watershed management
  • Natural resources policy

Charles Kerfoot

  • Professor, Biological Sciences
  • Adjunct Professor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Research Interests

  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Paleoecology

Nancy Langston

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

Areas of Interest

  • Toxics, forested watersheds, and northern lakes
  • Environmental history
  • Watershed change and water quality
  • Mining history
Ann Maclean
"The practical application of knowledge is what moves us forward."

Ann Maclean

  • Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Remote sensing
  • Digital image processing
  • Geographic information systems
  • Spatial modeling

Audrey L. Mayer

  • Professor of Ecology and Environmental Policy
  • Director of Graduate Studies
  • Interim Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

Areas of Expertise

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

Alex S. Mayer, PE

  • Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching Interests

  • Groundwater flow and transport and subsurface remediation

Research Interests

  • Numerical and Experimental Investigations of Contaminant Transport in Groundwater Vadose Zones
  • Mathematical Optimization of Groundwater Remediation Systems: Multi-Objective and Uncertainty Problems
  • Surfactant-Enhanced Dissolution of Nonaqueous Phase Liquids in Subsurface Systems
  • Groundwater Flow in a Fault Zone in the Vicinity of Desert Hot Springs, California
  • Simulation of Saltwater Intrusion in the Guaymas Valley, Sonora, Mexico California

Claudio Mazzoleni

  • Professor, Physics


  • Atmospheric Science
  • Aerosol properties (optical, physical and morphological) and effects on clouds and climate
  • Instrument development and environmental optics

Daisuke Minakata

  • Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Affiliated Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
  • Affiliated Associate Professor, Department of Physics

Links of Interest

Teaching Interests

  • Physical-Chemical Treatment Processes
  • Environmental Process and Design
  • Computational Environmental Engineering and Chemistry

Research Interests

  • Sustainable water and wastewater treatment and management
  • Development of assessing and predicting tools for water treatment technologies
  • Innovative water and wastewater treatment technologies for energy saving and harvesting
  • Systematic and integrated understanding of water and wastewater reuse
  • Application of computational chemistry and molecular modeling

Judith A. Perlinger

  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Links of Interest

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Transport & Transformation of Organic Chemicals
  • Boundary Layer Meteorology
  • Sustainability

Research Interests

  • Air and Water Quality
  • Atmosphere-biosphere Exchange of Chemicals
  • Micrometeorology
  • Environmental Analytical Chemistry
  • Sustainability
Sigrid Resh
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."
—Rachel Carson (1907-1964)

Sigrid Resh

  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Coordinator, Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area
  • Coordinator, Undergraduate Research Programs, Pavlis Honors College

Areas of Expertise

  • Forest carbon dynamics
  • Soil sustainability
  • Invasive species education/outreach, control, and research
James Schmierer
"Useful concepts must be placed in context and rendered operational."

James M. Schmierer

  • School Forester
  • Senior Lecturer

Areas of Expertise

  • Management and silviculture of northern hardwoods and boreal forests
  • Timber harvesting and site preparation effects on forest regeneration
  • Forest recreational development and management

Eric Seagren, PE

  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Affiliated Professor, Biological Sciences

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Environmental biotechnology, including in situ bioremediation of contaminated subsurface environments, monitoring and evaluation of the performance of biological treatment processes, development of in situ biological treatment systems for urban storm water runoff, innovative reuse of waste materials, and in situ improvement of soils properties via microbially-mediated processes.

Terry Sharik

  • Research Professor
  • Dean Emeritus & Professor Emeritus

Areas of Interest/Study

  • Academic leadership in natural resources
  • Educational reform in natural resources
  • Trends in natural resource enrollments
  • Regeneration ecology of forests

Andrew J. Storer

  • Dean and Professor

Areas of Expertise

  • Forest insect ecology
  • Insect/fungus/plant interactions in forest ecosystems
  • Impacts of exotic species on forest ecosystems
  • Interactions among fire, insects and disease in forests
  • Urban forest health

Noel R. Urban

  • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Links of Interest

Research Interests

  • Environmental cycles of major and trace elements
  • Sediment diagenesis and stratigraphy
  • Chemistry of natural organic matter
  • Wetland biogeochemistry
  • Environmental impact and fate of pollutants
  • Influence of organisms on the chemical environment
  • Role of chemical environment in controlling populations

David Watkins, PE

  • Distinguished Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Associate Director, Sustainable Futures Institute

Links of Interest

Teaching Interests

  • Water resources planning and management
  • Environmental systems analysis
  • Hydrologic and hydraulic engineering
  • Optimization methods
  • Learning through service

Research Interests

  • Integrated water resources planning
  • Hydrologic modeling and forecasting
  • Flood risk management
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation planning
  • Food-Energy-Water Nexus
  • Systems optimization under uncertainty
  • Sustainable development engineering
Christopher Webster
"Maintaining balance and stability in natural systems requires embracing their underlying chaos."

Areas of Expertise

  • Gap dynamics and disturbance ecology
  • Invasion biology of exotic species
  • Landscape ecology
  • Plant community response to herbivory
  • Restoration silviculture
  • Wildlife habitat relationships

Xinfeng Xie

  • Assistant Professor of Forest Biomaterials

Areas of Expertise

  • Carbon materials derived from wood, lignin, and cellulose
  • Integrated thermochemical conversion and fractionation of lignocellulosic biomass
  • Carbon-polymer composites and hybrid materials
  • Wood protection and preservation
  • Wood properties, quality, and modification