Research Partners

Faculty Associates

The Environmental Interpretive Center’s Faculty Associates Initiative (EIC-FAI) is a program designed to foster interdisciplinary teaching and research collaborations between UM-Dearborn faculty across the University who are pursuing activities related to sustainability, conservation, and environmental research and education. Below is a list of EIC Faculty Associates along with their respective teaching and research interests.

 

Dr. Melissa Bowlin, Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
mbowlin@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Bowlin studies the ecophysiology of avian migration in an attempt to determine how a costly, risky life history strategy like migration can evolve. Her research involves placing small devices on migratory birds to determine how, where and when they move as well as how much energy they use while doing so. Dr. Bowlin’s teaching responsibilities include Comparative Animal Physiology and Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy. She is also the adviser for the UM-D pre-veterinarian club.

 

Dr. Christopher Burke, Associate Professor
Science Education, School of Education
cjfburke@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Burke's research focus is on issues of equity and social justice in science education. In particular his focus in on the school community interactions in urban settings and how these shape student engagement and student learning. Currently he is looking at the impact of integrating school and community gardens into the curriculum on student engagement and school community relationships. In addition, he is interested in how you effectively prepare pre-service teachers to integrate gardening and garden science into the curriculum.

 

Dr. Anne Danielson-Francois, Assistant Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
danfranc@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Danielson-Francois studies arthropod mating behavior using both ecological and evolutionary approaches. Specific research interests include the mating systems of spiders, sexual selection, and sperm competition. She is also interested in the impact of anthropogenic pollutants on local populations of arthropods in southeastern Michigan. Teaching responsibilities related to her research include Behavioral Biology, Behavior and Evolution, and Biology of Spiders.

 

Dr. Francine Dolins, Assistant Professor
Department of Behavioral Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
fdolins@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Dolins investigates navigational and foraging behavior of nonhuman primates, and how ecological challenges and environmental types alter spatial behavior using both lab and field methods. She also works on conservation education in Madagascar and Michigan schools, promoting understanding of human impacts on the environment, scientific principles of ecology, and the importance of conservation of endangered species and their habitats. Current research projects include studying wild lemur ranging behavior in southern Madagascar and the use of virtual environments to examine chimpanzee and human spatial cognitive abilities, comparatively. Dr. Dolins’ teaching includes courses on Animal Behavior, Experimental Psychology, and Evolutionary Psychology.

 

Dr. Orin Gelderloos, Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
ogg@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Gelderloos investigates the ecological communities at the different elevations of the floodplain forests of the Rouge River at and near the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Of particular interest is the change in future of the species composition due to the death of the three species of ash trees and invertebrates populations, such as earthworms in herbaceous and non-herbaceous areas. Dr. Gelderloos teaches Field Biology outdoors in the Environmental Study Area, Ornithology, Concepts of Environmentalism, Environmental Instrumentation and Analysis, Watershed Analysis, Environmental Internships, and Seminar on Environmental Topics.

 

Dr. Gail Luera, Associate Professor
Science Education, School of Education
grl@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Luera's research focuses on program evaluation in a wide variety of contexts. She is currently program evaluator for a project which involves teen-aged foster care youth participating in monthly events that include environmental activities at the Environmental Study Area and for a geoscience research institute. Dr. Luera is also a 2010-2011UM-Dearborn Academic Service Learning Fellow. Her project involves revising the Environmental Education and Environmental Interpretation courses she teaches to include service learning projects.

 

Dr. Kent Murray, Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
kmurray@umd.umich.edu

Dr Murray studies sources of pollution to the Great Lakes, land use impacts on groundwater and surface water quality, contaminant hydrogeology, and the environmental impacts of hazardous waste sites. His interests also include brownfield assessment and redevelopment, the fate and transport of metals in the environment, and how heavy metals, such as lead and arsenic, affect human health. Dr. Murray’s teaching responsibilities include Groundwater Hydrology, Environmental Geology, Energy Resources, Oceanography, Soil in the Environment, and Urban Watersheds.

 

Dr. Jacob Napieralski, Associate Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
jnapiera@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Napieralski is a surface geologist interested in environmental change. Recent research includes reconstructing glacial history, monitoring and modeling urban streamflow, and developing geospatial techniques to analyze environmental and social issues. Dr. Napieralski is also interested in enhancing field-based pedagogy and engaging students in environmental sustainability. His teaching responsibilities include Geomorphology, Remote Sensing, Field Methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Introduction to Environmental Science, Glacial Geology, and Spatial Analysis and GIS.

 

Dr. Emily Saarinen,
Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Sciences
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
esaarin@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Saarinen's research focuses on endangered and threatened species. She combines molecular and ecological work to produce landscape genetics metrics that aid in state and regional management plans for threatened species. Dr. Saarinen is currently heading a project that uses next-generation sequencing technology to develop molecular markers that will be used to assess genetic diversity in several species of state and federally endangered butterflies and moths. She collaborates with local zoos (Detroit and Toledo Zoos) in the captive management of butterflies and studies the genetics of captive-raised species before they are reintroduced to the wild. Dr. Saarinen teaches Ecology lectures and labs, Invertebrate Zoology, Environmental Science, and a graduate course in Applied Ecology.

 

Dr. David Susko, Director, Environmental Interpretive Center
Associate Professor, Department of Natural Sciences
College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters
dsusko@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Susko studies the ecology of weedy and invasive plants and how they interact with native species, as well as agricultural crops. Particular research interests include the mating systems of plants, proximate and ultimate causal factors of fruit and seed abortion and maturation, and maternal environmental effects on offspring fitness. He is also interested in evaluating sustainable agricultural practices. Dr. Susko’s teaching responsibilities include Plant Biology, Plant Ecology, Plant Physiology, and Invasive Species Ecology.

 

Dr. Sonia Tiquia, Associate Professor
Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters smtiquia@umd.umich.edu

Dr. Tiquia’s research takes a multidisciplinary approach that seeks to understand the ecology, physiology, and genetics/genomics underlying important microbial processes in nature. She is one of the pioneers of functional gene microarrays, an approach that permits the simultaneous analysis of thousands of genes involved in the processes of nitrification, denitrification, nitrogen fixation, methane oxidation, and sulfate reduction in the environment. Her research can be divided in three project areas, all of which have basic research components; several have considerable public interest and some have an applied component. These three main areas include: (1) Microbial community dynamics and diversity in natural environments and engineered systems; (2) Application of molecular tools in contaminant remediation, global climate change, public health, industrial and agricultural practice; and (3) Waste processing biology and microbiology. She teaches Microbiology, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Microbial Physiology and Microbial Genetics.

 

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Environmental
Interpretive Center
University of Michigan – Dearborn
4901 Evergreen Road
Dearborn, MI 48128
(313) 593–5338
eic@umd.umich.edu