The Center for Rural Community and Economic Development at Northern Michigan University, created in 2007-08, is developing new projects and programs that study and enhance living in the Upper Peninsula through the combined efforts of local government, non-profit and private sectors. As the center implements these programs, they will be described here.
As part of our mission to increase research on policy and economic issues in the Upper Peninsula, The Center for Rural Community and Economic Development has selected two projects to support for the 2011-2012 academic year. Dr. Cornell DeJong and Dr. Timothy Hilton
(Sociology) will conduct an extensive survey of homelessness in the Upper Peninsula. This study will help policymakers and service providers design and deliver services to this invisible population.
In the second study, Dr. Steve Nelson (Political Science and Public Administration) will examine the economic impact of local food systems in Upper Peninsula. This study will produce policy relevant information that can be used to improve state and federal programs/ policies that impact the local food systems and the local economy.
Western Marquette County District Library Survey
In the late summer 2007, Northern Michigan University was approached to conduct research and assess the potential interest in forming a district library in the 10 western municipalities and townships of Marquette County in Upper Michigan. Open forums were held in the fall of 2007 to determine the public’s satisfaction with their library services and accurately gauge interest and feasibility of a district library. Surveys were distributed in March 2008. The results are expected to be tabulated by mid-May 2008. The results will be provided to each of the 10 municipalities and townships, as well as other stakeholders, in order to determine whether or not enough interest exists to continue the pursuit of starting a district library. The research project is being conducted by professor Steven Nelson and student Rachel Rutherford of NMU’s Political Science and Public Administration Department.