Meet the Board of Directors—Michael (Mike) Retelle, President

Michael J. RetelleMichael J. Retelle

Michael J. Retelle is President of the ARCUS Board of Directors. Elected to the board in 2007, and as its president in July 2013, his term ends in 2016. Mike also served on the ARCUS board in the 1990's.

Mike is currently the Geology Department Chair as well as a Professor of Geology at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. His primary research interests are in glacial and post-glacial environments and environmental change. He and his students have worked extensively on projects in northern New England, the Canadian arctic and in the high latitude North Atlantic. His research in the Shetland Islands is part of an interdisciplinary geo-archaeology project investigating the occupation and abandonment of a 17th century farmstead, which was likely overtaken by thick windblown deposits during the Little Ice Age, and reconstructing a related paleoclimate/paleoenvironment record from local lake sediment. Mike is currently the co-director of the National Science Foundation sponsored Svalbard REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program, which is studying modern glacial and lacustrine processes and climate change in Svalbard.

Mike observes that, "In recent years we've witnessed significant environmental changes across the Arctic. Amplification of the warming climate in Arctic regions has influenced retreat of glaciers, loss of sea ice, and changes to permafrost, vegetation and marine organisms. Understanding the causes and impacts of Arctic environmental change is a challenge to the Arctic research community involved in monitoring programs and studying past changes that place recent and current changes in a longer term context.

"I was very pleased when Bates College, a relatively small undergraduate institution with a handful of Arctic researchers, was invited to join ARCUS. ARCUS programs and meetings fostered connections for my colleagues and I with researchers across the Arctic community and opportunities to help shape and participate in new and exciting Arctic research initiatives."