Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter February 2022


This month we are highlighting our third WMU researcher, Dr. Jason Beasley, assistant professor of economics. Dr. Beasley’s area of expertise is in the study of shoreline erosion and the effects different policies have on both the shoreline owners and the public. Please reach out to him for more information or possible collaborations.

Also, a reminder ORI is very interested in hearing about the accomplishments of our faculty in the areas of research and creative activities. So please let us know about your work.


Steven M. Carr, Ph.D.
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

Meet our Researchers

Headshot of W. Jason Beasley

Dr. W. Jason Beasley

My research explores the drivers and effects of shoreline adaptations and how different policies may result in different outcomes. With over 3,200 miles of shoreline, Michigan is second only in shoreline length to Alaska among U.S. states. Erosion impacts many of our communities, particularly as lake levels fluctuate. Lakefront homeowners have a limited number of options to respond to such risk to their property. In general, these homeowners can consider permanently hardening their shoreline, such as with seawalls, temporarily installing sandbags or moving the developed structures. Many of the protective options are likely to impose detrimental impacts on the local community and environment, pitting the interests of the individual coastal homeowner against the public. 

The nature of applied microeconomic research lends itself to multi-disciplinary work. Much of the data I use is captured with the help of other disciplines. Researchers in geographic information sciences are excellent partners who can provide downscale, spatial data for my models. This includes informing me where the shoreline adaptation is occurring, the characteristics are of the particular house and how this relates to other adjacent communities. Other disciplines can help inform how the shoreline changes with differences in lake levels, beach type and other lake characteristics.

Next year, I will publish two papers furthering our understanding of shoreline adaptation along Lake Michigan. In the first paper, I explore adverse spillovers on the value of inland communities given erosion damage to the nearby shoreline. This will further our understanding of the total cost associated with shoreline hardening policies. In the second paper, I create a stated-preference survey to elicit the minimum cost needed to induce a lakefront homeowner to voluntarily participate in a managed-retreat program. This research will help inform the cost of designing managed retreat programs for coastal resiliency and help identify targets with the highest likelihood of participation.

I hope my research will contribute to optimal shoreline management policy design while identifying deviations in existing management policies.

Nominate graduate students for All-University awards
The deadline for departments to nominate graduate students for the All-University Graduate Research and Creative Scholar and Graduate Teaching Effectiveness Awards is Monday, Feb. 21. View details and links.

Libraries hosts secondary data workshops for researchers
Creating data can be expensive and time-consuming. Secondary data is a great alternative. Learn more and sign up for secondary data workshops from the University Libraries.

  • "Enhancing Your Research with Secondary Data," an ORI Discovery Acceleration workshop, on Monday, Feb. 28, from noon to 1 p.m. 
  • "Finding Secondary Data Utilizing Library Resources," on Monday, March 14, from noon to 1 p.m.
  • "Adapting Secondary Data for Analysis," on Monday, March 21, from noon to 1 p.m.

Using Cayuse for IRB
Cayuse IRB is an online platform the WMU IRB uses to manage human research studies. Access Cayuse using your WMU credentials. 

Individuals who receive a “Forbidden” message do not have access. Contact Julia Mays, associate director research compliance, to request access to Cayuse. In the email, include your full name, WIN number, email address and phone number.

View an overview of Cayuse with helpful links and Cayuse IRB guidance.

Fall ecrt confirmation period open
The fall ecrt confirmation period, Aug. 15 to Dec. 31, is now open. Please refer to the Grants and Contracts website for step-by-step instructions. Before clicking the confirmation button, please make sure all payroll, direct or cost share for the project is reflected. If not, contact Grants and Contracts. If you did not receive an email on Feb. 8, it is likely the pre-review has not been completed. Contact Grants and Contracts if there were people paid from your grant in the fall but you did not receive an email. The ecrt confirmation period will close on Tuesday, March 1.

Summer salary worksheet now available for 2022
You can now access the summer salary worksheet for faculty summer grant pay. Find it in the forms section and fill it out once Human Resources opens the submission period. Find instructions for filling out the form as well as an example.

Poster and Performance Day planned
The Graduate College is planning the spring 2022 graduate Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day event to be held in a hybrid format in early April. More details will be available soon.

Graduate student funding opportunities available
Applications are open for the spring cycle of research and travel grants offered by the Graduate College. More details are available. In addition, the Graduate Student Association offers grants for graduate students to attend a conference or training event, fund their research, or obtain a license or certification in their field. Learn more.

Interdisciplinary education features mobility engineering
Join us from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, to learn about existing efforts to provide new autonomous and electric vehicle engineering education. Dr. Zachary Asher, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will lead with a presentation which will be followed by an open discussion for involvement and expansion ideas. 

Spring Convocation set
Mark your calendars, the second annual virtual Spring Convocation is scheduled for Friday, April 15.  As the date draws near, we will be sending out more information along with a link for you to attend.

Learn about Libraries’ transformative agreements
University Libraries has transformative agreements with two major publishers, Wiley and Cambridge University Press, to provide financial support for Western researchers who publish in open-access journals. Publishing open-access gives your research more exposure, wider reach, higher citations and more downloads. It provides immediate access to your research and extends the reach so anyone in the world can access, use and cite your research. Learn more about transformative agreements.