The Tappan Oak: A tale of life, death, and rebirth
On a sad day in November, U-M foresters felled the Diag’s decayed ‘Tappan Oak,’ so named by the Class of 1858. But thanks to a solitary student, that is not the end of the story.
For almost 80 years, until 1960, J-Hop highlighted the U-M social calendar. The dance gathered the entire student body — and some controversy, like when the 1913 event included the Tango.
The late, great 98
Tom Harmon may have been the best college football player ever. His single-handed destruction of Ohio State is the stuff of gridiron legend. But his exploits as a pilot during World War Two made him a hero not just in a game, but in life.
Sensors for bat-inspired spy plane under development
A six-inch robotic spy plane modeled after a bat would gather data from sights, sounds and smells in urban combat zones and transmit information back to a soldier in real time. That’s the Army’s concept, and it has awarded the University of Michigan College of Engineering a five-year, $10-million grant to help make it happen.
Video: U-M 'ballast-free ship' could cut costs while blocking aquatic invaders
University of Michigan researchers are investigating a radical new design for cargo ships that would eliminate ballast tanks, the water-filled compartments that enable non-native creatures to sneak into the Great Lakes from overseas.
A piece of history
Our first U-M History column tells the story of one of our crown jewels: the Clements Library
When students come to the university, they face a new world that can shake up their whole way of life. Some fear that even their religious faith will be under siege. But surveys – and students themselves, like Lizzy Lovinger (right) – say that keeping the faith is both a challenge and a blessing.
Remembering Zell, celebrating DearbornSanta J. Ono celebrates achievements at UM-Dearborn and mourns the loss of U-M benefactor Sam Zell.
What’s all this about tin shacks and trapezoids?Working on a college campus in the summer drives home that essential truth: Nothing lasts forever. Or does it?
And as a reasonable man…Reasonable use is a term frequently used in energy policy. But what does it really mean?
No bones about itIf you are older than 50, you need to know about osteoporosis.
‘Allow this place to be your haven’
Since its founding in 1909, U-M’s Biological Station in Pellston, Mich., has hosted students and researchers of all stripes, from natural scientists to future CEOs to aspiring poets. Immersive, magical, and fondly referred to as “Bug Camp,” the site features 50 one-room cabins in the woods. And thanks to their graffiti-loving residents all these years, no two are the same. “A Cabin in the Woods” at heritage.umich.edu details the cabins’ fascinating history. Enjoy this preview of images by Daryl Marshke of Michigan Photography.
Is anybody home?
For more than a century, Michigan students have been leaving their mark on the gray metal cabins at the U-M Biological Station. They have blanketed the interior walls (and doors) with names, poems, inspirational messages, song lyrics, and drawings of the natural world surrounding them.
As Kim Clarke writes in A Cabin in the Woods: “The graffiti serves as a rustic time capsule of a unique summertime experience many students say changed their lives and set the course for their careers in science and the environment.”
The BioStation’s cabins are uninsulated, with open rafters and small windows that look out at neighboring cabins and pines. Each has two or three single beds along with a wood-burning stove. Toilets and showers are in communal buildings. The first batch of cabins that rose up in 1914 predate U-M’s first residence halls. Helen Newberry and Martha Cook opened in 1915.
The Biological Station would change how U-M students would research the mystery and wonders of nature: As early director Henry A. Gleason said, “The reign of the closet biologist is over.”
“Bug Camp” is, first and foremost, an academic research environment that today offers 10,000 acres for study. Clarke cites this encouragement scrawled by a 2011 camper: “Allow this place to be your haven. See yourself as you are, without the influence of ‘home.’ Without friends, family, reputation, mistakes, corruption, society, gadgets, and manmade excuses for plastic happiness.”
Roaring, rustic ’20s
New cabins – insulated and with private baths – are being considered to complement the old, some of which will remain. The modernization, including camp-wide utility upgrades, will allow the Biological Station to operate cabins year-round.
Behind the green door
The administration also is considering preserving some of the old steel walls and their colorful graffiti to build into the new residences and display around the grounds. Doors to the modern cabins should begin opening in 2025.
Scientists are not the only visitors to Bug Camp. Last summer, a cohort of students from the Michigan Ross School of Business trekked up north to immerse in nature, self-reflect about their goals, and “push against the tide to bring about a new ethos in business.”
The BioStation is expanding its nature holdings in northern Michigan with the purchase of approximately 40 acres, a move intended to preserve the area from potential development that could adversely impact the property. The Board of Regents on May 18 approved the land purchase pending environmental review and additional due diligence.