University of Michigan EARTH eNews: June 2016 Camp Davis Highlights

Dear Alumni and Friends,
Summer is officially just around the corner (unofficially, it arrived in Ann Arbor a couple of weeks ago), and courses at Camp Davis are off and running. EARTH 344, Energy and the Environment, has been in session for two weeks, and is just the beginning to a busy summer in which 8 courses will be offered to 150 students by 15 U-M faculty! Plans are also underway for a major re-development of student accommodations at Camp Davis. We invite all alumni in the Jackson area, or passing through, to stop by for an open house at Camp on the evening of July 13 to learn more about our plans for the future. And, if you’re visiting Wyoming at any point this summer, feel free to stop in and say hello. We’re looking forward to a great summer, and we’re thrilled at the impact a Camp Davis class continues to have on Michigan students.

Sincerely, Nathan Niemi

A Major Renovation of Camp Davis is Planned
After 85 years, it is time to renovate the student cabins, bathrooms and showers at Camp Davis. While these cabins have served us well for years and hold many fond memories, ongoing maintenance costs, safety concerns, and infrastructure decay require major upgrades to continue Camp operations, and to serve UM students for another century. We have developed a comprehensive renovation plan in collaboration with a local architect to redevelop the student cabins, connect Camp to high-speed internet service, and renovate the mess hall. College, Department and alumni contributions have gotten us almost halfway to our $5 million target. Our goal is to complete fundraising for this project by January 1, 2017, so that we can break ground on the new cabins in the fall of 2017.  You can read more about why this is such a needed, and important, project for Camp Davis and for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Camp Davis Renovation Web page. Please read below about ways you can contribute.

Camp Davis Open House in July and Public Activities
We are planning an Open House at Camp Davis from 6 – 8 pm on July 13, 2016 for Jackson area alumni, and any others who might be passing through the area. Please stop by for a cookout dinner with students and faculty, see the recently renovated faculty cabins, and learn about our plans for the future of Camp Davis.

If you plan to be passing through the Jackson area at another time and would like to stop by, please let Camp Manager Chris Malvica ( know of your plans. Camp Davis will be open from May 20 – Aug. 19 this summer.

Professor Nathan Niemi will be giving a public lecture at the Teton County Library at 6 pm on July 19, 2016, titled “The Greater Caucasus Mountains: A Natural Laboratory for Understanding the Initiation of Continental Collision.” Alumni in the region are welcome to attend.

Fossil and renewable energy class has begun
EARTH 344 explores "fossil and renewable" energy resources, including quantitative assessments of internal and external costs, geologic constraints on production and consumption trends, geologic constraints on raw materials needs for renewable energy infrastructure, and political and public policy challenges. Site visits make energy come alive by allowing students an up close view of where the energy comes from on the other end of their gas hot water heater or the outlet they plugged their iPhone into. This year, visits include the Pinedale natural gas fields, Duke Energy's Campbell Hill wind farm and Idaho Falls Gem State hydroelectric facility. The academic diversity of the class includes majors from business, economics, finance, environmental science, engineering and philosophy. Read more about EARTH 344.

Camp Davis Enrollment Continues to Grow
Camp Davis enrollments have grown dramatically over the past 20 years, from an average enrollment of 30-40 students in the late 1990s to well over 100 students each year for the past several years. This summer, we project our largest Camp participation yet, with 150 students enrolled for courses. Read more.

Donate to Camp Davis
The Camp Davis renovation fund is a unique opportunity for alumni and friends to help support and continue the educational mission of Camp Davis, and to improve the facilities at Camp for generations to come. There are many ways to contribute towards the Camp renovation that will help us reach our fundraising goal for this project. Importantly, plans for future contributions or gifts can be counted now towards our target.

Ways to Donate to the Camp Davis Strategic Fund

If you are interested in making a pledge or a planned gift, please contact Camp Director, Nathan Niemi (; 734.764.6377) or LSA Development Liaison Jenny Howard (; 734.615.6239).

Fellowship Funds Help Students Attend Camp Davis
We’re grateful for the support that we receive from industry and alumni that allow us to offer fellowships to Camp Davis students. While most students find Camp Davis to be a highlight of their Michigan experience, enrolling in summer courses is a financial hardship for many of these students. Over the past five years, the Shell Corporation and Lee Kornfield have provided generous annual gifts specifically aimed at defraying student costs to attend Camp Davis. Two new scholarship funds established recently will also help students attend Camp Davis. The Richard F. Sidder Fund was established in memory of Richard F. Sidder (’38, MBA ‘39) by his grandson Aaron Sidder and his son Gary Sidder (EARTH 116 ’73) and will support under-represented students in participating in Camp Davis courses. The Jillian Drow Fellowship Fund was established in memory of Jillian Drow (EARTH 116 ’11) by her parents, Mark and Debra Drow, and was fully funded by an alumnus this year to be awarded to students attending Camp Davis. We are also greatly appreciative of alumni and friends who donated to the Harry Bouchard Memorial Fund in memory of Bea McLogan (Bouchard). With these generous gifts, we have been able to award ~$30,000 in scholarships each summer to Camp Davis students.

Alumni Support Kicks Off Camp Davis Fundraising
The Alumni Advisory Board, chaired by Steve Henry, has made fundraising for Camp Davis renovations a key priority for the coming year. The Camp Davis Fundraising Committee, chaired by Steve Glass and Fred Metzger, will be reaching out to alumni of the Department and Camp Davis about ways they can contribute to our upcoming renovation project. We are grateful for the commitments that have already been made by Steve Henry, Steve Glass, Larry Davis, and Fred Metzger to this fundraising campaign, as well as the ongoing support that Camp receives from our students, faculty, friends, alumni, and industry partners.

To be removed from this email group contact Contact us