David Susko, associate professor of biology, has been appointed to serve as director of the campus’s Environmental Interpretive Center through June 2012

August 6, 2009

Susko

DEARBORN / Aug. 6, 2009---David Susko, associate professor of biology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, has been named director of the campus’s Environmental Interpretive Center.  His appointment will run through June 30, 2012.

“David brings to this position the right combination of scientific expertise, leadership skill and energy along with a clearly articulated vision that will not only strengthen and advance the mission of the EIC, but transform it into the premier environmental education center of its kind in the metropolitan area,” said Kate Davy, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, when she announced Susko’s appointment to the campus.  “I am confident in David’s abilities, excited about his vision, and wish him every success in his new administrative role.”

Susko, who joined the UM-Dearborn faculty in 2003, plans to build on the foundational leadership of the center’s former director, biology Prof. Orin Gelderloos, who helped to establish the EIC in 2001.

“The EIC would not exist as it is today without the efforts of Orin Gelderloos,” Susko said.  “We will be indebted to him for his service for many years to come.”

In his new role, Susko hopes to bring a lot of energy to the center as he works to further its environmental stewardship, conservation efforts, educational outreach and urban ecology research initiatives.

A plant biologist who studies the influence of maternal environmental effects on the structure of weed populations and the reproductive viability of invasive plant species, Susko would like to increase the presence of urban farming at the center during his leadership.

“The community garden has been quite successful.  The garden is always full.  There’s always a waitlist of participants,” he said.  “I would love to develop a program in urban farming, expand the garden and encourage other units on campus to participate and collaborate on research using our natural resources.”

Susko joined the Department of Natural Sciences in 2003 as assistant professor of biology and was promoted to associate professor this year.  In addition to publishing 17 papers in prestigious international plant science journals, Susko received UM-Dearborn’s Distinguished Teaching Award in the non-tenured category in 2008.  

Susko has served on a number of campus committees, including the Faculty Senate, the Faculty Senate Council, the Research Support Committee and the Graduate Board.  Within the Department of Natural Sciences, he has served on faculty search committees, the Environmental Science Graduate Program Committee, the Department Grievance Committee and as senate liaison to the Natural Sciences Department Executive Committee.

In addition, Susko has served as a manuscript reviewer for 15 different research publications, including Annals of Botany, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Evolution, International Journal of Plant Sciences, Natural Areas Journal, Oecologia, Plant Ecology and Seed Science Research.

Susko received his Ph.D. at the University of Windsor, and he served as a post-doctoral scholar in the Department of Crop Science at North Carolina State University before moving to the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Western Ontario as an NSERC research fellow in 2000.  

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