Michigan Tech is celebrating its alumni this weekend. Some alumni got to take a tour of Tech??s new Great Lakes Research Center to see what the university is studying.
Michigan Tech??s Great Lakes Research Center has been open just over a year, and it has already proven to be a leader in Great Lakes studies across the country.
Friday, alumni got the chance to learn about the innovative research on a boat ride on the Agassiz. The leader of the tour, biology professor Wilson Charles Kerfoot, has studied the Great Lakes for nearly 40 years.
??For many of them, this is actually the first time they??ve seen the Great Lakes Research Center building since it opened last August,?? explained Kerfoot.
Kerfoot explained to passengers the different types of animals that live in the waters, like zooplankton. The tour also went by the Quincy smelter, where he talked about the progressing restoration.
??Some of the issues having to do with mining, mining restoration, exotic species, remote sensing of waters, and the effects of global climate change,?? he said.
Class of 1980 alumnus, Michael Roe, said his love of fishing and boats got him interested in the Agassiz tour. \He said though he??s been back to Michigan Tech many times since his days as a student, this is the first time he??s seen the research center.
??It was good to see them looking at how things not only affect just the immediate area, but all of the Great Lakes and all the surrounding lakes in the Midwest and inland lakes,?? said Roe.
Kerfoot said the purpose of the tours was to show alumni how the university is changing from a mining university back when it was established to a more well-rounded institution today.
??I see great progress here, and they see it, too,?? he said. ??They can see it in terms of focusing on the importance of water.??