News for NMU Employees

'Science on Tap' Series Begins at Ore Dock Tomorrow

A new “Science on Tap” monthly pub series will feature informal 20-30 minute presentations geared toward the general public and delivered by local scientists based on their research or areas of expertise. It is organized by the Northern Michigan University chapter of Sigma Xi-The Scientific Research Society and hosted by the Ore Dock Brewing Company. The series kicks off with “Marquette Rocks: Regional Geology of the Precambrian Era” at 7 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 15).

Professional geologist and NMU adjunct instructor Dick Ziegler will explain what the Marquette area’s distinctive rocks reveal about past environments. The presentation will include a slide show of local rock outcrops and samples of rocks to pass around the audience. A question-and-answer session will follow. There is no charge to attend.

“By bringing the science to the more casual pub environment, with short presentations and lots of time for questions and discussion, we hope to engage a broader audience than we might get with more traditional classroom lectures,” said Norma Froelich (Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences). “We had heard about similar events in other cities that are pretty successful. There’s a lot of great work going on at NMU and some existing scientific knowledge in the region that are pretty cool. I’ve got some ideas percolating about things like the science of ski wax or chocolate, and the summer lineup will likely include the science of beer with Nick VanCourt, head brewer at the Ore Dock.”

The remaining presentations for the semester are:

Feb. 12: Scott Drum and Phil Watts (Health and Human Performance) will present “How Much Fat Can a Fat Bike Bust?” They will bust embellished myths, especially relating to caloric burn and certain types of activities.

March 12: Alec Lindsay (Biology) will discuss his research on loons.

April 9: Brandon Canfield (Chemistry), topic TBD.

May 14: Psychology master’s student Bob Torrence, topic TBD.

NMU faculty or staff interested in suggesting a speaker or requesting a topic can contact Froelich at