For the fourth year in a row, the Biological Station is hoping to make a big mark with online giving during Giving Blueday. The name is a twist on “Giving Tuesday,” a philanthropic counterpoint to the consumer focused, post-Thanksgiving “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.”

This year’s Giving Blueday is Tuesday, November 28. All phone and online gifts to UMBS made from 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EST on that date will count toward our total. And what is that total? For 2017 we are hoping to raise $18,000 for student scholarships.

We have undertaken an experimental expansion of our course offerings, thanks to funding from the Provost’s Transforming Learning in the Third Century Initiative. Our new “Transforming Learning” courses are giving environmental literacy and ecological appreciation to a broader group of U-M students and it’s diversifying the disciplines represented at UMBS. Future artists, engineers, chemists and pharmacists are learning how their interests intersect with, and can help address, environmental challenges. At the same time, our ecologists, entomologists, foresters, phycologists and limnologists have the opportunity to interact with humanists, policy makers, and geologists. Year one was a win-win.

To sweeten the deal for Transforming Learning students – who come for 2-4 week extensions of Ann Arbor-based classes – we are covering their UMBS room and board. In this first year, we found that this resulted in a younger (more first- and second-year students) and more racially diverse group of students experiencing the wonders of Bug Camp.

Our $18,000 fund-raising total is ambitious. But we are feeling pretty confident about it because of YOU! UMBS has developed a reputation at the University for dominating the departmental fundraising. Even though we’re small, it seems our friends are a very loyal group. Out of more than 60 units in the university’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts last year, we came in third, only behind Student Recruitment (i.e. College-level scholarships) and the Exhibit Museum of Natural History (yay dinosaurs!). We raised 3 times what bigger units like Psychology did, and even double what Camp Davis, with all of those oil prospectors, did.

There are many ways to help us on November 28:

The Biological Station, on behalf of our students, researchers, facilities and property, appreciates any support you are able to offer. Let's show them how it's done!