Fungus Among Us: MTU Student Using Native Fungi to Weaken Invasive Trees

Undergraduate researcher Abe Stone records application of a native fungi on invasive buckthorn trees in a forest near Michigan Technological University.  Stone is looking for effective ways to slow the spread of invasive buckthorn trees, which are rapidly altering the Midwest landscape.

Abe Stone can expertly identify mushrooms. The longtime forager’s affinity for fungi guided him down a research path that holds promise for suppressing two of the more dominant and obstinate invasive species in the forest.

Stone, a senior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology at Michigan Tech, is living proof that you don’t have to wait till you graduate to tackle tough and complex problems. He’s experimenting with the most effective ways to stop the widespread Midwest invasion of buckthorn trees. His not-so-secret weapon: a native fungus — lab nickname SuperPurp — that he’s propagating, processing and applying to test plots.

Come into the forest microbiology lab to learn more about his work on Michigan Tech's Unscripted Research Blog.

Provost Holding Open Office Hour

Editor's Note: The open office hours session was originally scheduled for 1-3 p.m. The time has changed to 1-2 p.m. to accommodate the March 28 vice president for research candidate vision presentation.

Provost Andrew Storer will be holding an open office hour from 1-2 p.m. Thursday (March 28) in the Library Cafe. Feel free to stop by; appointments are not required for open office hours.

Although this will be the final open office hour of the academic year, regular office hours continue to be held from 1-3 p.m. each Thursday. Faculty, staff and students are welcome to schedule an appointment by emailing Amie Ledgerwood at

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.

Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale

The Michigan Tech Friends of the Library Annual Book Sale will be held this Thursday and Friday (March 28 and 29).

This year, the sale will feature many books from the former Finlandia University library, as well as many art and photography books from the library of Joe Kirkish, longtime Michigan Tech photography professor.

Sale hours will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday for students (free admission) and Friends of the Library members ($20 memberships sold at the door), and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday for the general public.

The sale will be held in the MUB Ballroom, located on the second floor of the Memorial Union Building. Parking is available at meters and in an adjacent pay lot, and all campus parking is free after 4 p.m.

Don’t forget that during the last hour of the sale on Friday, from 3-4 p.m., we have our $5 bag sale! $5 for all the books you can fit in a brown paper grocery bag!

This Week at the Rozsa

Ryan O'Connell: Inclusive by Design — Thursday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m.
In Conversation with Darnishia Morris

Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts
A Rozsa Presenting Series and Van Evera Distinguished Lecture Series Event

Michigan Tech's own Darnishia Morris, instructor and manager of global engagement programs with the Pavlis Honors College, sits down with Emmy-nominated speaker Ryan O'Connell to break down what systemic ableism is, and discuss how to build inclusivity into classrooms, buildings and communities in ways that go beyond ADA compliance. They'll dig into why representation matters now more than ever and tell us what we can do about it. Attendees should expect some adult language.

O'Connell is an American writer, actor, director, comedian, LGBTQ activist and disability advocate. He is known for his 2015 memoir, "I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves," which tells about his life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. O'Connell adapted the memoir into the television series "Special," which premiered in April 2019 on Netflix.

Reserve your seats for this free event through the Rozsa Box Office online 24/7, or on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in person or by calling 906-487-1906.
_ _ _ _ _

Simple Machines: Poetry, Letterpress, and the Art of the Little Magazine — Exhibit Open Now through March 30
Rozsa Art Galleries A-Space
Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Simple Machines is a two-edition international letterpress poetry magazine founded and edited by Michigan Tech’s M. Bartley Seigel (HU) and featuring original poetry from a diverse array of national and international poets. The publication is funded through a Research Excellence Fund Scholarship & Creativity Grant and produced in collaboration with designer/printers at the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) and TYPA Letterpress & Paper Art Centre, Tartu, Estonia.

A-Space Gallery Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Saturday: 1-8 p.m.

RTP Announces Spring 2024 Scholarship Winners

Four students were recently awarded scholarship funding by the Rail Transportation Program (RTP).

Albert J. Reinschmidt Memorial Scholarship — $2,500
This scholarship fund was founded to commemorate Albert J. Reinschmidt’s many contributions to advancing the state of the art in railway engineering, and his support, encouragement and mentorship for colleagues and students in their pursuit of knowledge in the field. Michigan Tech is only the third university eligible for the scholarship.

Our 2024 scholarship winner is:

  • Mohammad Anas Taeb (Ph.D. student, civil engineering)

CN Endowment Fund & Michigan Tech Alumni and Friends Scholarships — $1,500
Funding is through an endowment by our industry partner, CN Railway, and through generous donations by our alumni and friends.

This year’s winners include:

  • Ryan Michael Miller (construction management)
  • Brendan Nathaniel Tanner (civil engineering)
  • Abigail Rose Smith (mechanical engineering)

CS Colloquium with Garret Gaw '99

Garrett Gaw ’99 (B.S. Computer Science) will present a Department of Computer Science (CS) Colloquium lecture on Friday (March 29) from 3-4 p.m. in Rekhi 214 and via Zoom online meeting. A social hour will follow in Rekhi 218. Refreshments will be served.

The title of Gaw’s talk is “A Wild Ride (so far).”

Join the Zoom meeting.

This talk is part of the Department of Computer Science alumni lecture series “Our Golden Years: Behind Us, Or Still Ahead?”

Read the talk abstract and speaker bio on the Computing News Blog.

Physics Colloquium with Zachary Pruett

Zachary Pruett from the American Physical Society will present this week's Physics Colloquium.

Pruett's presentation is titled "The Science Trust Project: Who We Are, What We Do, and You."

The seminar will be presented in person at 4 p.m. Thursday (March 28) in Fisher 139.

Read the abstract and speaker bio at the University Events Calendar.

CFRES Seminar with Stephen Spear

The College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES) will host a seminar at 12:30 p.m. Thursday (March 28) in Noblet G002 with speaker Stephen Spear, research biologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, La Crosse, Wisconsin.

The title of Spear's talk is "No Time to Wait: Developing Rapid, Field Portable Environmental DNA Detection Methods for Early Surveillance of Invasive Species."

From the abstract:
Recent developments in point-of-use genetic testing have created the opportunity for biologists and managers to detect environmental DNA (eDNA) of target species rapidly in the field or other non-laboratory settings. These point-of-use protocols may be especially useful for early detection and rapid response for invasive species where immediate results are needed. These workflows can be flexible with a variety of eDNA collection methods (water, air, solid substrates) but require optimization of rapid extraction techniques as well as alternative approaches to PCR, such as isothermal methods. I will highlight ongoing projects developing and testing these workflows for targets such as dreissenid mussels, invasive carp, and terrestrial insects, as well as highlight future needs and opportunities for full implementation.

In Print

Angie Carter (SS) and Hongmei Lu ’20 (Ph.D. Environmental and Energy Policy, now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands) are the authors of an article published in the Journal of Rural Studies.

The article, titled "Social determinants of rural food security: Findings from Michigan's Upper Peninsula," shares key findings about food security in the rural food systems of the six-county Western Upper Peninsula region.

On the Road

Jonathan Robins (SS) delivered the keynote address at the Palm Oil Pitfalls event at Michigan State University, held March 20-22.

The event, jointly organized by MSU and the Indonesian National Islamic University at Jambi, included three nights of talks, documentaries and art responding to the problems and opportunities created by the palm oil industry in Indonesia.

In the News

Steven Elmer (KIP/BioSci/ME-EM) was announced by the American Physiological Society as a winner of its 2024 Teaching Career Enhancement Award.


Adam Meckler (VPA) was quoted by the Keweenaw Report in a story previewing the 2024 Don Keranen Memorial Jazz Festival, held last Friday and Saturday (March 22-23) at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.


Lake Superior Magazine mentioned the Department of Social Sciences, the Keweenaw Time Traveler Project and retired Professor Theresa Ahlborn (CEGE) in a short feature article highlighting a history video explaining how the Portage Lake Lift Bridge was constructed.


The Alpena News mentioned Michigan Tech in a story exploring the ways small businesses are incorporating artificial intelligence. Ashley Kern ’15 ’17 (B.S. Mathematical Sciences, M.S. Data Science) was quoted in the story. Kern’s business SightLine, a predictive analytics company focused on higher education, was highlighted in the story. SightLine and Kern were the subjects of a 2023 Michigan Tech News story, and were also featured in the 2023 Michigan Tech Magazine.


Penn State News mentioned Michigan Tech in a profile story about Andrew Barnard ’02 ’04 (B.S. M.S. Mechanical Engineering), director of Penn State’s graduate program in acoustics.


VPR Candidate Presenting at Open Forum

The Vice President for Research (VPR) Search Committee has invited three candidates to Michigan Tech for on-campus interviews.

Candidate 1 Open Forum Presentation:
Monday, March 25, at 2 p.m. in Chem Sci 101
The first candidate will interview today and tomorrow (March 25 and 26). The candidate will present their vision for research at Michigan Tech at an open forum today at 2 p.m. in Chem Sci 101.

Information on all candidates, interview dates, open forum information and post-forum recordings can be viewed at the Office of the President's Vice President for Research Search page. A Michigan Tech login is required to view candidate information.

The search committee encourages the campus community to interact with each candidate during the interviews and to provide feedback by completing the anonymous comment form provided on the VPR Candidates page. Feedback forms will be posted immediately following each candidate's visit and will be available for 72 hours following the last candidate's departure.


CFRES Dean Semifinalist Presentation Canceled

The College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (CFRES) Dean Search Committee had invited four semifinalist candidates to Michigan Tech for on-campus interviews. However, the third candidate has withdrawn from the pool and their scheduled visit today and tomorrow (March 25 and 26) has been canceled.

Information on the remaining candidates, interview dates and open forum information can be viewed at the Academic Affairs Dean Search page. A Michigan Tech login is required to view resumes and provide comment.


Equity Advisor Program Calls for 2024-25 Volunteers

The Equity Advisor program is seeking faculty who are interested in joining the program for the 2024-25 academic year. Equity advisors (EAs) serve as nonvoting members of faculty and department search committees outside of their own department. Their role is to help the committee attend to equity and inclusion throughout the search process and assist in ensuring that federal, state and University employment laws/policies are followed.

EAs should be associate rank or higher faculty (either tenure-track or instructional-track faculty) at Michigan Tech, current on Diversity Literacy and Faculty Hiring Legal Aspects courses, and able to commit to attending an in-person training workshop that will be held on April 30 from 1-4 p.m.

The EA work is supported with monthly meetings throughout the academic year. More information about the role of the equity advisor is available on Human Resources’ Equity Advisors page. Interested faculty members should complete the interest form by Friday (March 29).

If you have questions about this program, please contact Shari Stockero, assistant provost for faculty development, at


Safe Place Registration Now Open 

Register for Safe Place Ally Training, being held Tuesday and Thursday (April 2 and 4) from 1-3 p.m. each day (attendance on both days is required for the training).

Safe Place Ally Training educates Michigan Tech faculty and staff about LGBTQIA+ identities, the needs of LGBTQIA+ students, the coming-out process, ways to create an inclusive campus environment and resources available on and off campus.

The training session is open to all faculty and staff. Seats are limited to 30 participants. Register now.

For questions, email the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at


VPR Research Series: 'Safe & Inclusive Off-Campus Research'

Save the Date: Join us virtually tomorrow (March 26) from noon to 1 p.m. at the next session of VPR Research Series: "Safe & Inclusive Off-campus Research," a panel focusing on developing safe and inclusive (SAI) off-campus research plans.

These plans are required when any MTU researcher develops a funding proposal that will include the collection of data, information and/or samples at an off-campus research site, including urban, rural and remote locations or other organizations' facilities. This one-hour panel will provide background information, examples of best practices and guidance from researchers with significant experience conducting off-campus research.

Join us via Zoom.

Any questions should be directed to


Learn About the Online TechMBA and MEM Programs

On Wednesday (March 27) at 11:30 a.m., join Mari Buche from the College of Business (COB) and David Lawrence, vice president for Global Campus and continuing education, for a 45-minute Zoom interest session that spotlights two online 30-credit programs from the COB: the TechMBA and the Master of Engineering Management (MEM).

Register for the interest session.

Buche and Lawrence will discuss the details of these programs and compare them. Learn how these programs leverage your previous undergraduate degree and expertise. Discover which degree equips you with broad, foundational business skills and which degree helps you best bridge the worlds of business and engineering.

Admissions representatives will also be in attendance to discuss curriculum pathways and the application process.


New GLRC/ICC Faculty Fellowships

For fall 2024 and spring 2025, the Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) and Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) will be supporting members with high research activity by providing funding for faculty fellowships.

The fellowships will last a semester, providing funds to assist faculty in reducing course load, enabling an opportunity to focus on developing new research and funding proposals. Cost-share with home departments or college is encouraged and will be considered in the review scoring.

More information can be found on the application PDF or on the ICC's Faculty Fellowships website.

Application reviews will begin on April 15. Late submissions will be reviewed pending funding availability. Questions and application submissions can be emailed to


ChE Seminar Series Speaker: Ahmad Al-Douri

Ahmad Al-Douri will present as part of the Department of Chemical Engineering (ChE) Research Series today (March 25) at 2 p.m. in person in EERC 214 or virtually via Zoom.

Al-Douri will present "Integrated Safer Design and Risk and Reliability Analyses for Energy Transitions and Sustainable Manufacturing."

Read the abstract on the University Events Calendar.

Al-Douri is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Maryland.


Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar with Siyuan Fang

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar will take place at 3 p.m. today (March 25) in GLRC 202.

Siyuan Fang, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Michigan Tech, will present "Turning dead leaves into an active multifunctional material as evaporator, photocatalyst, and bioplastic."


Atmospheric Sciences Grad Student Presentations

This week's Atmospheric Sciences graduate student presenters will be:

  • Zaid Bakri (Physics; advised by Claudio Mazzoleni)
  • Swafuva Varappillikudy Sulaiman (Physics; advised by Will Cantrell)

This will be an in-person event — the students will give their talks at 4 p.m. today (March 25) in Fisher 101.

Event details, including the students' presentation titles and abstracts, are available on the University Events Calendar.


PhD Defense: Praveen Hettige, Math

Ph.D. in Statistics candidate Praveen Hettige will defend his doctoral dissertation tomorrow (March 26) at 9 a.m. in Chem Sci 101. Virtual attendance is also invited via Zoom.

The title of the dissertation is "An Incremental Multiscale Non-Linear Manifold Approximation Method."

Hettige is advised by Benjamin Ong.

Today's Campus Events

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

Simple Machines: Poetry, Letterpress, and the Art of the Little Magazine Presented by Michigan Tech Art

Simple Machines is a two-edition, international, letterpress poetry magazine founded and edited by Michigan Tech’s M. Bartley Seigel, funded through a Research Excellence...


PhD Defense: Yingtong Tan

Civil Engineering Advisor: Kuilin Zhang Cooperative Driving Automation on Freeways and Arterials: Real-Time Control and Platoon Formation Attend Virtually:...


Integrated Safer Design and Risk and Reliability Analyses for Energy Transitions and Sustainable Manufacturing

Chemical Engineering Seminar Dr. Ahmad Al-Douri Postdoctoral Research Associate University of Maryland Abstract Ensuring the safety, reliability, and economic viability of...


Turning dead leaves into an active multifunctional material as evaporator, photocatalyst, and bioplastic

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar Siyuan Fang, PhD Candidate, Material Science & Engineering, Michigan Tech Abstract: Large numbers of leaves fall on the earth...


Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Student Presentations

Please join this week's Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Student Presenters, Zaid Bakri (Physics) and Swafuva Varappillikudy Sulaiman (Physics) for their in-person presentations...


Exploring Majors and Minors in the College of Sciences and Arts

Are you interested in the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences? Thinking about adding a major or minor, or possibly an accelerated master’s? Then come to this event...


Huskies Group Swim Lessons - Parent & Child Aquatics - Spring 2024 Session 2

Ages 6 months to 3 years. Come make a splash in Huskies Group Swim Lessons! American Red Cross Parent and Child Aquatics levels are being offered at the SDC Pool for ages 6...


Huskies Group Swim Lessons - Preschool Aquatics - Spring 2024 Session 2

Ages 4-5 years. Come make a splash in Huskies Group Swim Lessons! American Red Cross Preschool Aquatics levels are being offered at the SDC Pool for ages 4 to 5 years old....


SuperTour Finals & Spring National Championships (Duluth, Minn.)

SuperTour Finals & Spring National Championships (Duluth, Minn.)