Published: Sept. 23, 2019

MSU faculty to speak at 2019 Michigan Coastal Dunes Symposium

By: Madeline Kelly University Communications kellym35@msu.eduContact(s): Kristen Parker University Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709

How have Michigan’s coastal dunes changed in the last 100 years? What impact do our activities have on natural dune processes? 

Michigan State University researchers, local and state planners and decision-makers for Michigan will answer these questions and many more at the 2019 Michigan Coastal Dunes Symposium.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the MTG Space, 4039 Legacy Parkway, Lansing. 

Alan Arbogast, chairperson of the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences in the College of Social Science, will present “Assessing impacts on Michigan’s coastal dune processes.” Arbogast is one of the country’s leading experts on the geomorphology and evolution of dunes, particularly Great Lakes coastal sand dunes, and lead researcher for a comprehensive new map of Michigan’s sand dunes.

Robert Richardson, a natural resource economist and social scientist in the Department of Community Sustainability in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, will present “Mental Models: How do people perceive coastal dunes and how does that affect local, state and federal decision-making.” Richardson has extensive experience in examining values and preferences about natural resources and is the project lead for the #howyoudune survey, which provided new information about how residents and visitors use and value our freshwater dunes. 

Kevin McKeehan, graduate student in the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, will present “Sands of time repeat photography,” new research using repeat photography to illustrate how Michigan’s coastal dunes have changed over time.

Other presenters will include Brad Garmon, newly appointed by Gov. Whitmer to lead Michigan’s Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry; Kaldis Grants, the Nature Conservancy in Michigan; Tom Zimnicki, Michigan Environmental Council program director; a panel of state and local decisionmakers and many more. 

The event is $35, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch, and is open to the public. 

A full list of scheduled events can be found here.

To register for the event, click here.