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FYRES: Research

View of Syndicate Park dunes from top of dune

Other Dune Research

Apart from FYRES research projects, other dune studies are underway at Calvin College and other institutions. We do not have the resources to describe all Michigan dune research here, but we can highlight some studies of interest. You might notice some FYRES connections!

Syndicate Park Dune Area Study: In summer 2013, Van Buren County funded an investigation of the Syndicate Park dune area. The Calvin College research team consisted of Deanna van Dijk (Professor of Geography), Lucas Vander Bilt (first-year geology major and FYRES student in Fall 2012), and James Karsten (second-year geology major, FYRES student in Fall 2011, FYRES Research Mentor in 2012-2013). The research produced a report (see below), a presentation by Vander Bilt and van Dijk to a Van Buren County Commissioners meeting, and a conference presentation in February 2014 (see below).

Report: Vander Bilt, Lucas, James Karsten and Deanna van Dijk (2013). "Investigation of the Syndicate Park Dune Area.” Report to the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners. Grand Rapids (MI): Department of Geology, Geography and Environmental Studies, Calvin College. 74 p. Report summary (pdf). Full report (pdf).

Conference Presentation: Vander Bilt, Lucas, James Karsten and Deanna van Dijk (2014). "Natural and anthropogenic influences on the dunes threatening the Syndicate Park subdivision.” Annual Meeting of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, Oakland University (Rochester, MI), 28 February 2014. Abstract (pdf).

More Information

The First-Year Research in Earth Sciences (FYRES) project involves first-semester Calvin College students in research on the Lake Michigan dunes. The first-year students are mentored in their activities by upper-level geoscience majors.

As of September 2015, 103 first-year students and 24 upper-level students have participated in Michigan dune research through the FYRES project.