Nationally-known geographer Dr. Frederick “Fritz” Nelson will receive NMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award during homecoming in October. Nelson, a 1973 Northern graduate, is a permafrost expert who teaches at the University of Delaware. His highly regarded research has been published in the world's foremost scientific publications. He was named a national fellow of the Explorers Club of New York City, a status reserved for individuals "who have made significant contributions to exploration and science." At NMU, Dr. Nelson has made a difference by creating the Filmore C.F. Earney Endowment in honor of his first NMU geography professor. The fund supports geographical education and scholarship, particularly assisting student involvement in research and preparation for graduate study. On his mentor, Nelson said: "Years later when I began teaching a research methods course myself, even though details and specific tools had changed, I modeled that course after the one I took from Earney years before."