Many Great Lakes communities have reinvented or expanded their economies from logging and fishing to travel and leisure. Tourism revolving around the scenic environment offers multi-faceted economic benefits. It also requires adequate strategic planning and investment to avoid the pitfalls of popularity such as seasonal overpopulation, natural resources degradation and pollution. Two Northern Michigan University faculty members have received additional funding for their continuing efforts to promote sustainable eco-tourism. The project—already underway in Alger County—could lead to year-round economic stability in the region and serve as an innovative model statewide.
Former NMU student Bruce Konefe joined the recent rescue effort that successfully transported a Thai boys’ soccer team and coach to safety. He has lived in the country for 24 years and is a technical diving instructor who specializes in caves and shipwrecks. A friend and Navy Seals coordinator recruited Konefe to lend his expertise to the rescue planning in Chang Rai.
Two recent NMU alumni—Collin Richter ('17 BS) and Samantha DiGiulio ('16 BS)—received a National Geographic Society Early Careers Grant for a joint study on how last year’s hurricanes impacted reptiles and amphibians on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their June project was a follow-up to independent research they completed as NMU students at the same location during an advanced field marine biology course led by Professor Jill Leonard.
NMU alumnus Barry West ('85 BS) has been named president of MicroTech in Tysons Corner, Va. According to a press release, he will be responsible for the oversight of the corporate business operations and development duties, as well as the expansion of the company's cybersecurity and cloud computing business.
Elizabeth Endelman ('16 BS) will work the sideline of high school athletic events in Tennessee this fall for Starr Regional Medical Center in Athens, which took over the sports medicine services for the McMinn County School System earlier this year. In an SRMC feature story, Endelman said completing her athletic training degree at NMU gave her opportunities most students in the field do not get to experience: "While I was there, I was lucky enough to work with Olympic athletes in weightlifting and Greco-Roman wrestling."