Michael Ritter is a full professor in the Department of Geography and Geology. He joined the Department in the Fall of 1986. Dr. Ritter earned his BS in Geography from Western Illinois University, his MA and PhD in Geography from Indiana University- Bloomington. His dissertation is titled "Modeling Atmospheric Longwave Irradiance Over Alpine Tundra: Niwot Ridge, Colorado Front Range". Dr. Ritter served as department chair from 1996 to 2001.
Dr. Ritter's research interests have evolved from climatology to the use technology in geographic education. He has given several presentations to local, regional and national conferences on the use of the Internet in geoscience education. He authored the first book about using the Internet for earth science education and research, Earth Online. He has also written one of the first interactive online textbooks in physical geography, The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography. The Physical Environment received the 2011 National council for Geographic Education “Geographic Excellence in Media” award. He teaches introductory physical geography, the Geography of Wisconsin, climatology and meteorology courses.
Dr. Ritter has been a leader in online instruction at UWSP and long-time proponent of digital publishing. He hopes to change the nature of textbook publishing and improve access to education through online distance education while encouraging transformation of the role of the classroom instructor. “With the multitude of information sources, the role of faculty as the dispenser of information is changing, and so is the nature of learning. In an online course, the instructor becomes more of a facilitator of learning than a dispenser of content. It’s just as important for students to be ‘knowledge-able’ as it is knowledgeable. When presented with a problem, students need to know where they can turn to find the answer and effectively assess the information they retrieve.”
He resides in Stevens Point with his wife, Sarah, and enjoys blogging about educational technology, photography and traveling. For more about Dr. Ritter see http://www.mritter.net