Isle Royale’s Old Gray Guy: How One Wolf Impacted an Entire Ecosystem

The alpha wolf of Isle Royale for several years, the Old Gray Guy is third from left in a pack of six wolves in this image capture taken by a researcher Isle Royale in winter.

In 1997, one new wolf’s arrival via ice bridge changed everything.

On the heels of co-authoring a study in Science Advances, Isle Royale wolf-moose study co-leader Sarah Hoy (CFRES) explains how one male wolf, nicknamed "The Old Gray Guy," triggered a series of knock-on events that impacted the national park’s forested ecosystem for decades.

The Old Gray Guy's legacy has implications on the future of increasingly fragmented and remote ecosystems around the world. Read more about the wolf's long-lasting impact on Michigan Tech's Unscripted Research Blog.

Water Shutoff Planned Tomorrow

The water for the following buildings will be shut off tomorrow (Aug. 25) beginning at 6 a.m. while work is being performed on the main water line. Water service is expected to be restored by 9 a.m.

  • Alumni House
  • Academic Office Building
  • Annex Building
  • ROTC Building
  • R. L. Smith (MEEM) Building
  • J. R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library
  • Memorial Union Building

We apologize for the inconvenience as we make these necessary improvements to our campus water infrastructure.

Office Hours for the Provost

Provost Storer will hold office hours from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. each Thursday during the 2023-24 academic year. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to schedule an appointment by emailing Amie Ledgerwood (

New this year, the provost will also hold open office hours, which will not require an appointment. Open office hours will be held at the Library Café on the following days and times:

  • Thursday, Sept. 14 — 1-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 1 — 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 24 — 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 28 — 1-3 p.m.

The information provided here is also available on the Academic Affairs website. To view it, click the office hours icon in the bottom right corner of the banner image.

Changes to State Mandated Instructional Staff Fire Safety and Evacuation Training Requirements

Husky safety is Environmental Health and Safety’s goal. Maintaining that overall safety, especially in an emergency, is a joint responsibility between you, the University and our local emergency response agencies.

An essential component of that safety is preparing every instructor for classroom emergencies.

The Michigan Fire Prevention Code requires universities to certify fire evacuation training for all instructional staff annually, not just when first hired. In addition, records of each instructor's training must be made available upon request from the Michigan Bureau of Fire Services.

To comply with state requirements, every instructor will be assigned the “Fire Safety on Campus” course through the Safety Skills training platform. A brief attachment with information specific to Michigan Tech will be included with the training. Training will be assigned by EHS next week.

In an emergency, students look to instructors for guidance. Michigan Tech requires classroom and laboratory instructors to familiarize students with basic evacuation routes and emergency procedures.

What should instructors do?

  1. Familiarize yourselves with the building, floor and classroom where you are teaching. Orient yourselves to the emergency evacuation postings. Email if you would like to include classroom evacuation maps (PDF format) for your syllabus.
  2. Communicate evacuation routes and assembly areas to students.
  3. Remind students to self-identify (in private if desired) if assistance is needed to exit a building during an emergency. If there are questions regarding emergency accommodations, please contact
  4. Provide leadership and follow established procedures for all building alarms and emergencies. Stop instruction and immediately proceed to the nearest exit during a fire alarm. Do not use the elevators in emergencies.
  5. Include a section of Emergency Preparation in your syllabus and revisit the plan throughout the school year.
  6. Familiarize yourselves with the University Safety Manual and individual departmental safety plans for additional information regarding emergency action and fire prevention plans.

For any questions or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us at

TELUS Health Replacing MySSP for Student Mental Health Support

The Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being is excited to announce our updated partnership for mental health support services through the TELUS Health Student Support Program beginning July 31.

The TELUS Health Student Support Program will provide 24/7/365 student support to Michigan Tech students in place of services offered through MySSP.

All features will remain the same as before: free mental health support with access to master’s level clinicians available 24/7; real-time phone, chat and text services, as well as ongoing scheduled video sessions; and emergency/crisis support services. Options for language, culture and/or shared identity matching with counselors will continue to be available as well.

Beginning in August, existing users of the MySSP app will be prompted to update the app to the new TELUS Health app.

Be on the lookout for information around campus (sidewalk stickers, bus wraps and other promotional materials), or visit our webpage to learn more!

For questions, please reach out to

Textbook Affordability Pilot Project

Purchasing textbooks can be a financial burden for students. In recognition of this challenge, the Van Pelt and Opie Library and Campus Store collaborated on a pilot project over the summer to identify course materials that are available in the library’s collections. A list of every textbook request sent to the Campus Store for the fall 2023 semester was reviewed and compared to existing library collections.

Where applicable, these “accidental textbooks” have been placed on Course Reserve and instructors have been notified of their availability. All materials currently placed on Course Reserve can be found in a special collection on the library’s webpage. An online spreadsheet identifies which courses are using each textbook. Instructors are encouraged to share this information with their students.

Course Reserve allows students to borrow materials for a span of three hours, ensuring everyone will have the opportunity to use a book for free that is assigned in a course. Instructors are welcome to provide print copies of books they’ve assigned for a class if the library does not already own a copy. They may also search the library’s catalog and submit a Course Reserve Request for any assigned texts they find. Student research consultants (SRCs) and librarians are eager to help anyone who’d like assistance with this task. Stop by the Ask Us! station on the first floor of the library or email for more information.

Please note: The library is unable to purchase copies of every book assigned in Michigan Tech classes, but identifying “accidental textbooks” in the library’s collections can help to make the Course Reserve system a valuable resource for our students. Let’s take one step closer to making a Michigan Tech education more affordable by utilizing Course Reserve!

Tomorrow we’ll continue the celebration of textbook affordability efforts with a post with concrete steps instructors can take to further our mission to make a Michigan Tech education more affordable.

Personal Pronoun Identification Option Now Available

In an effort to respect and value the identities of our faculty, staff and students, Michigan Tech has taken steps through the Preferred First Name and Personal Pronouns Policy (Policy 1.13) to provide individuals the opportunity to choose how to identify themselves within the campus community through our new pronoun selection system. Everyone at Michigan Tech now has the option to choose how to identify at MTU by adding or updating an existing preferred first name or selecting pronouns to be used across University records and communications systems, where feasible. 

Every member of the campus community has the option to indicate personal pronouns within these University systems. When such pronouns are indicated, it is respectful to the individual to use them. Although the currently offered list of pronoun options is not all-encompassing, it is a foundation to build upon. The University recognizes that faculty, staff and students have multiple, often intersecting identities, and that the language used to communicate those identities is important and ever-changing.

Michigan Tech is committed to fostering a safe, welcoming environment for all members of the campus community. For additional information or support, please email

College of Computing Closing for Retreat

The College of Computing office will be closed tomorrow (Aug. 25) for a College retreat. The office will reopen on Monday (Aug. 28).

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

BioSci Closed This Afternoon

The Department of Biological Sciences (BioSci) will be closed today (Aug. 24) from noon to 5 p.m. for a departmental retreat. The office will reopen tomorrow (Aug. 25).

If you need assistance, please reach out via email at

Charlie Berens Late Night Show Added!

Didja hear? Public tickets to see Charlie Berens' "Good Old Fashioned Tour" at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts sold out in one day.

We knew there were a lot of people who wanted to see Charlie in his first show in the Keweenaw, so with Charlie's help and some great community partners, we've added a 10 p.m. performance on Nov. 10!

This performance was added with support from:

  • Visit Keweenaw
  • Braveworks
  • Iron Fish Distillery and Copper Queen Whiskey
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Houghton
  • Michigan Tech Late Night Programming
  • Michigan Arts and Culture Council
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • James A. and Margaret C. Black Endowment Fund
  • Katherine M. Bosch Foundation 

Tickets go on sale tonight (Aug. 24) at midnight. Get tickets online, in person at the Rozsa Box Office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling 906-487-1906 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students: Learn how to get your free Student Rush ticket, sponsored by the Experience Tech fee, for this reserved seating show.

Volleyball Picked Fourth in GLIAC Preseason Poll

The Michigan Tech volleyball team is the fourth pick in the GLIAC Volleyball Preseason Poll. MTU's season gets underway next Thursday (Aug. 31) at 6 p.m. when the Huskies host Winona State at the SDC Gym.

Tech returns five key players with significant starting experience and 13 Huskies overall. Last season saw the Huskies win 20 matches for a fifth consecutive season under coach Jennings and advance to at least the GLIAC Tournament semifinal for the sixth straight year.

In the poll standings, the Bulldogs (79 points) received seven first-place votes. The Lakers (70) and Wildcats (67) were also above the Huskies (53). Wayne State (51), Davenport (44), Saginaw Valley State (34) and Lake Superior State (24) rounded out the top eight. Wisconsin-Parkside (18) and Purdue Northwest (10) were ninth and 10th.

Read more about MTU's 2023 volleyball team at the Michigan Tech Athletics website.

On the Road

The group of Tatyana Karabencheva-Christova from the Department of Chemistry participated in the American Chemical Society meeting, held Aug. 13-17 in San Francisco, California.

Graduate students, undergraduate students and a postdoctoral researcher from Karabencheva-Christova's group participated in the following presentations:

* denotes the presenter

  • "Catalytic mechanism of the collagenolysis process of matrix metalloproteinase-1 through QM/MM-metadynamics simulations"
    PAPER ID: 3915819
    AUTHORS: Koteswara Rao Gorantla*, Sodiq O. Waheed, Ann Varghese, Gregg B. Fields, Tatyana Karabencheva-Christova
    DIVISION: Division of Computers in Chemistry
    SESSION: COMP Poster Session

  • "Key role of conformational dynamics in the catalytic mechanism of collagen hydrolysis by matrix metalloproteinase-1"
    PAPER ID: 3926518
    AUTHORS: Ann Varghese*, Sodiq O. Waheed, Koteswararao Gorantla, Bella DiCastri, Ciara LaRouche, Brendan Kaski, Gregg B. Fields, and Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova
    DIVISION: Division of Computers in Chemistry
    SESSION: COMP Poster Session

  • "Multiscale computational study of human β-aspartyl/asparaginyl hydroxylase: conformational dynamics, catalysis, stereoselectivity and effect of mutations"
    PAPER ID: 3927915 
    AUTHORS: Anandhu Krishnan*, Sodiq O. Waheed, Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova
    DIVISION: Division of Computers in Chemistry
    SESSION: COMP Poster Session

  • "Catalytic mechanism of human AlkB homologue 5 (AlkBH5)"
    PAPER ID: 3928164
    AUTHORS: Fathima Hameed Cherilakkudy*, Ann Varghese, Christo Z. Christov, Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova
    DIVISION: Division of Inorganic Chemistry
    SESSION: Bioinorganic Chemistry from Cell to Organism Poster Session

  • "Mechanism of dealkylation of guanine adducts by AlkB enzyme"
    PAPER ID: 3927032
    AUTHORS: Sreerag Melayikandy*, Sodiq O. Waheed, Deyu Li, Christo Z. Christov, Tatyana G. Karabencheva-Christova 
    DIVISION: Division of Computers in Chemistry
    SESSION: COMP Poster Session

In the News

Karl Bosse (MTRI) was mentioned by Great Lakes Now, Michigan State University’s WKAR Public Media and Central Michigan University’s WCMU Public Radio in a story reviewing what scientists have learned from the many, many samples collected from Lake Erie in studies of the lake’s  toxic cyanobacterial blooms. A picture of Bosse accompanied the story, which was picked up from Michigan Radio.


Sara Cambensy (CoE) was mentioned by the Mining Journal in a story covering her new role as director of major gifts for Michigan Tech's College of Engineering. Cambensy is a former state representative who served the 109th District of Michigan from 2017 to 2022.


Rozsa Hosting GeekU.P. Mini-Con Charity Event

The fifth annual GeekU.P. Mini-Con Charity Event will be held at Michigan Tech's Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 9 from 12-7 p.m.

GeekU.P. celebrates geek culture, offering an artists' alley, vendors, cosplay contest, celebrity Q&A sessions, autograph sessions and more.

This year's charity recipient is Unite Mental Health and Wellness, located in Houghton. Unite Mental Health and Wellness is a nonprofit mental health service organization committed to helping individuals in our community connect to non-emergency mental health care. Partnering with providers both locally and remotely, they support professionals and services currently available in our community while filling in the gaps where care may be lacking.

GeekU.P. has an exciting celebrity guest lineup this year and they will take part in Q&A sessions and autograph signings for attendees. Visit the GeekU.P. website to see who's attending.

"We're very excited about what we have in store for GeekU.P. this year," said Shana Porteen, GeekU.P. co-founder and owner of Black Ice Comics & Books in Houghton. "We want to welcome folks of all ages to GeekU.P. to come have a great time. Even if it's been years since you read a comic, or you've never played a video game, we can't wait to share the fun, have folks meet our fabulous celebrities, and help us raise money for Unite Mental Health and Wellness."

"I'm thrilled to celebrate local arts and culture in the community I grew up in! I certainly hope to inspire and provide insight for budding artists who may be thinking of a related career path," said Patricia Summersett, GeekU.P. co-founder and guest celebrity. "Shana and I dreamed up this event several years ago and I'm amazed how the festival has evolved so considerably. I'm excited to imagine how it may grow and expand in years to come!"

More information and the developing schedule can be found at the GeekU.P. website. Tickets can be purchased at the door using cash or credit.


ME-EM Closed for Retreat

The Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) will be closed today (Aug. 24) for our annual departmental retreat. We will return to work tomorrow (Aug. 25) for business as usual.


EF Closing for Retreat

The Department of Engineering Fundamentals (EF) will be closed tomorrow (Aug. 25) for a departmental retreat. The office will reopen Monday (Aug. 28).

If you need assistance, please reach out via email at or call 906-487-1487 to leave a voice message.


UMC Closed for Departmental Retreat

University Marketing and Communications (UMC) will be closed all day today (Aug. 24) for a departmental retreat. We will reopen tomorrow (Aug. 25) at 8 a.m.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Today's Campus Events

To have your event automatically appear, please submit them to the University Events Calendar.

Undergraduate Fall Orientation 2023

As a first-year student, you will participate in a week-long program as a member of a team of 15-25 students who share your area of study. In 2023, the first year orientation...


CTL GTA/GTI Orientation (Thursday session)

Join the Center for Teaching and Learning for the following opportunity: Thursday August 24, 2023 at 8:30AM


Catalyst by LeaderShape

Catalyst is a one-day program focused on developing your own authentic path, connecting to groups and causes you care about, and committing to a plan to be a catalyst for...


CTL Technical Workshop- Getting Started with iClicker Cloud

Join the Center for Teaching and Learning (Technical Workshops) for the following opportunity: CTL Technical Workshop: Getting Started with iClicker...