Scientists are parts of human communities at the family, neighborhood, town, state, federal, and global levels. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to use their skills to advance the public good. This is especially true at "Land-Grant" and "Flagship" state universities where faculty have a historic and ethical obligation to give back to the state that pays their salaries.
I meet this obligation mostly through pro bono service on technical committees, writing a column for the state’s flagship newspaper, giving frequent public lectures, and serving as a consultant for specific tasks if warranted by special circumstances.
Photo: South Higgins Lake in northern Michigan on a hot weekend in July, 2009. Contributing to the environmental management of U.S. lakes was an important purpose in writing "Beyond Walden," which was featured at two national lake management conferences.