Coastal Dunes Across the Globe

We tend to think there’s nothing like our Lake Michigan coastal dunes. Not so. Coastal dunes are found throughout the world, providing a wide variety of dune forms, shapes and ecosystems. This summer, faculty and students from the Departments of Geologic and Environmental Sciences and Mathematics

Skunk Cabbage

Early Emergent Recently I was on the banks of the Pere Marquette River and noticed a familiar plant crawling from the earth – skunk cabbage. It’s one of the early risers from the banks of rivers and wetlands in West Michigan and beyond. The plant actually

It’s Dark Sky Week

In my previous job, working for a nonprofit in Northern Michigan, I lived on a dirt road ten miles outside of any population center. When walking outside at night, I was immersed in the inkiest black of night – until I looked skyward. Free of

Spring Connections

Spring is the time of year when I take the chance to get back outside and renew my connection with nature especially after this past winter of little snow and not much cross-country skiing. I’ve discovered a new walking route that takes me along the

Spring Arrivals

This morning I stopped by Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve to prep for some upcoming fieldwork (we’re restoring more than 7 acres of prairie and savanna this year). As I stepped out of the truck, a primordial squawk from just overhead led me to pick

Lake Michigan Ice Mountains

The following post is from guest blogger, Mary McKSchmidt. The post originally appeared on her blog where you can find more photos of the ice mountains. *** When the first chill of winter settles like a mist upon my shoulders, I cannot remain indoors for fear of

Cutting Trees for Love of Forests

I was taught early in my life to love trees. I have been called a tree hugger many times and I have found a few occasions to actually hug trees. My love of trees led easily to a love of long uninterrupted forest. Forests, being

Prairie Meditations at Saul Lake Bog

A winter visit to Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve There aren’t many bogs near Grand Rapids and Saul Lake Bog has everything a good bog needs. It has insectivorous plants, those fantastical species that lure insects with their sweetness and devour them for their nutrients. It

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