John Mark Gubatan Named Goldwater Scholar

The Department of Biological Sciences wishes to congratulate John Mark Gubatan (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a double minor in French and Spanish) for being name one of three Michigan Technological University students as a Goldwater Scholar

Goldwater scholarships–established by Congress to honor the late Senator Barry M. Goldwater–are based on academic merit, research experience and an intent to pursue a career in science, engineering or mathematics. Colleges and universities nominate students for the scholarships, which cover up to $7,500 in tuition and fees.


Students named to the 2009 National Ski Coaches Association National All-Academic Ski Team

The Department of Biological Sciences wishes to congratulate five student-athletes in Biological Sciences and Exercise Sciences, along with nine other students named to the 2009 National Ski Coaches Association National All-Academic Ski Team.

To be eligible, skiers had to have a 3.5 GPA for the fall semester and have participated in the NCAA Central Regional Skiing Championships.

The Biological and Exercise Science students are:

  1. Melanie Hoffman, 4.0, Exercise science
  2. Jenna Klein, 4.0, Biological Sciences/Exercise Science
  3. Nicole Lepinski, 4.0, Biological Sciences
  4. Christina Mishica, 3.7, Exercise Science
  5. Jaclyn Pribyl, 3.89, Biological Sciences

“This is a great honor for these student-athletes,” said head coach Joe Haggenmiller. “They work hard both in the classroom and in competition, and this award recognizes their hard work.”


New Faculty

Rupali Datta will be a new faculty appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences from the Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiative (SFHI). She has been at the University of Texas at San Antonio. With her collaborators, she has developed a plant-based method of detoxifying soils contaminated by lead-based paint, using vetiver grass (Chrysopogon zizanioides).

Catherine Tarasoff has accepted a joint appointment in both the Department of Biological Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science as an assistant professor. Catherine earned her BS degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia, in natural sciences and a PhD in Weed Science from Oregon State University. She is teaching botany at the Department of Biological Sciences


Bagley Named President-Elect of Society for Industrial Microbiology

by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Susan T. Bagley, professor of environmental microbiology in the Department of Biological Sciences, is the new president-elect of the Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM).

Bagley is an associate editor of SIM News and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology. She has been program chair for the society’s annual meeting and has convened and presented at numerous meeting sessions.

Bagley will serve a three-year term, with the first year (2008-09) as president-elect, the second year as president (2009-10) and the third year as past-president (2010-11).

The society is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the advancement of microbiological sciences, especially as they apply to industrial products, biotechnology, materials and processes. Founded in 1949, SIM promotes the exchange of scientific information through its meetings and publications and serves as liaison among the specialized fields of microbiology. Membership is extended to all scientists and companies in the general field of microbiology. The society has approximately 1,500 members worldwide.


Michigan Tech & Michigan Tech Research Institute Trip to Bering Glacier Project in Alaska

Dr. Nancy Auer of the Biological Sciences Department was a participating faculty member for a Bering Glacier field trip.

Since 2000, Michigan Tech Research Institute’s scientists and engineers have been conducting research on the Bering Glacier in Alaska to support a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hydrological study. The Bering Glacier is the largest (5200 sq km) and longest (190km) glacier in continental North America.terminal moraine. The camp, complete with refueling airstrip, kitchen and mess tent, command center, and restrooms, can comfortably host 25 scientists at a given time. The scientists and their staff sleep in tents or wooden floor huts.

The Bering Glacier camp is located on the edge of Vitus Lake (see Google maps: Bering Glacier map) on a former

Find out more about MTRI Projects at the Bering Glacier

View the Bering Glacier website

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