The following reports are produced by researchers, staff, and students in the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Tech. All reports are public release but remain copyright of the respective author(s).

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Pandemic Migration in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 

Written by Julia Petersen and Richelle Winkler

This report describes population and migration trends in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP) historically and in the years leading up to and since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its purpose is to analyze how the pandemic has impacted UP migration. The report also reviews prevailing scholarly literature on rural economic development, amenity migration, and the relationship between the two and offers recommendations grounded in the perspective that population stabilization and growth in the UP are critical to the long-term vitality of Michigan’s best peninsula. The report was commissioned and funded by InvestUP, a regional economic development organization in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

Migration in MI's UP-one page summary (added on March 13, 2023)
Executive Summary

Contact: Richelle Winkler

Published: November 19, 2021 

Pullman National Historical Landmark Historical Image

Pullman National Historical Landmark Historic Resource Survey

Written by Laura Walikainen Rouleau, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Steven A. Walton, and Timothy J. Scarlett

This HRS summarizes the historical writings about Pullman, provides context for the significant themes identified in its founding document, collates collections of primary documents and historical resources that are important sources of information on those themes, and recommends questions that will require additional study. This report includes new historical narrative based in original archival research and presents synthetic reviews of existing publications. NPS staff will use this document and included resources as they make management decisions and design interpretive programming.

Contact: Laura Rouleau

Published: December 31, 2019 

Worker on a solar panel

L’Anse Community Solar Social & Economic Feasibility Study

The goals of the study were to determine a) whether L’Anse utility customers would be likely to buy shares; and b) how to best design an accessible, affordable program for L’Anse residents and businesses. The study team reviewed multiple existing community solar projects for best practices, investigated costs and various economic scenarios, and conducted a community-wide survey, interviews with key informants, and focus group discussions in L’Anse.

Findings show that L’Anse customers do support the Village moving forward with a community solar program and that customers may be willing to purchase enough shares to support a 100kW system.

Contact: Richelle Winkler


Published: December 13, 2017

Pullman National Historical Landmark Historical Image

Pullman National Historical Landmark Archaeological Overview and Assessment

The Archaeological Overview and Assessment is a Baseline Research Report within the National Park Service’s Cultural Resource Management system. As an industrial factory site with associated community, the archaeological resources of Pullman National Monument are evaluated here within the overlapping frameworks of Industrial Archaeology and Industrial Heritage. This report provides a short introduction to the history of the Pullman Palace Car Company, and then a summary of the geological and environmental setting of the monument with focus on the Monument’s potential to yield sites or artifacts related to ancient land use.

Contact: Timothy Scarlett


Published: November 1, 2017 

Snow removal

Exploring Opportunities for Collaboration among Calumet Area Municipalities

This report examines the demographic and fiscal pressures faced by Calumet area municipalities and explores possibilities for various forms of cooperation, service sharing, or consolidation, focusing on Calumet Charter Township, Village of Calumet, and the Village of Laurium. The goals are to:

  1. start a conversation,
  2. provide accessible and clear information
  3. examine advantages and disadvantages of multiple scenarios.

Information comes from summarizing demographic data, analyzing fiscal conditions for each municipality,
interviews with 14 community members, and reviewing case studies and Michigan laws and procedures.

Contact: Richelle Winkler


Published: December 12, 2016

Sample chart

Potential Applications of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction and Impregnation for the Stabilization and Conservation of Industrial Heritage Artifacts

Contact: Tim Scarlett 


Published: January 2016

Students assisting with waste clean up.

Waste and Recycling Programs in Hancock, Houghton, and MTU: Review and Recommendations

This report was written by a team of graduate students taking a course in Sociology of the Environment at Michigan Tech during Fall semester 2015. They were supervised by Dr. Richelle Winkler. The project was inspired by members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative.

Managing municipal solid waste is a key task for municipalities, organizations and businesses, and households given the hundreds of millions of tons of waste we generate in the United States each year. Managing waste is expensive in terms of time, money, and environmental impacts.


Contact: Richelle Winker


Published online December 8, 2015

Students at a park.

Exploring the Social Feasibility of Minewater Geothermal in Calumet

Contact: Richelle Winker


Published: December 13, 2013

Michigan Tech Social Sciences logo

First Fridays: Measuring Value using the Community Capitals Framework

Contact: Richelle Winker


2012; Published online December 13, 2013

Radar image

Documentation based on low-cost photogrammetry: Unidentified structures in Hancock, MI

Contact: Mark Dice or Tim Scarlett


Published: October 2013