Gary E. Belovsky
Martin J. Gillen Director of the Environmental Research Center
The Martin J. Gillen Director of the Environmental Research Center
The University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, or UNDERC for short, is situated on 8,000 pristine acres straddling the Michigan/Wisconsin border, an undisturbed parcel of land surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres of public conservation lands.
As the director of UNDERC, Gary Belovsky leads teams of students and researchers from Notre Dame and elsewhere in utilizing this natural laboratory, as well as locations in Montana and Puerto Rico, for the study of ecosystems that have experienced little or no human degradation—and, significantly, as a baseline for comparison with environments that have been impacted heavily by humans.
With degrees from both Harvard and Yale, Belovsky has studied animals and ecosystems around the Western Hemisphere—from bison in Montana and brine shrimp in Utah’s Great Salt Lake, to the rainforests of Puerto Rico and the tundra of Alaska. His research has done a great deal to further conservation efforts and the move toward sustainable harvesting.
When he died in 1943, longtime Notre Dame friend and 1935 honorary alumnus Martin Gillen willed most of his assets to the University, including his estate near Land O’Lakes, Mich., now home to UNDERC. A portion of his assets created this directorship, as well as the deanship of the business college and a professorship in biological sciences.