Category Archives: Forestry

Showcase of LSSI Projects at Upcoming Community Events

LSSI at Baraga SchoolsSummer 2017

Find out what Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) teams are doing. Many are partnered with Michigan Tech faculty and departments, including CEE, SFRES, etc.

The public is invited to attend one of these upcoming LSSI-sponsored community events.
Contact Joan Chadde or the lead teacher for more information or directions.

  • Noon to 1 p.m. May 26, 2017. Hancock Middle School Garden Planting Day at Hancock Middle School (Jen Davis, lead teacher)
  • 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. June 1-2. Houghton High School – School Forest Research Project Presentations in high school auditorium. (Lauri Davis, lead teacher)
  • Noon to 2 p.m.  June 2,  Washington Middle School, Calumet Township Park (Darrell Hendrickson, lead teacher).
  • 6 to 7:30 p.m.  June 5, Baraga Middle/High School outside the school building. Fun Run, Veggie Kabobs, Garden/Greenhouse Tours. (Lori Wisniewski and Ben Johnston, lead teachers.

Kudos to all the great stewardship work going on and the hard work of LSSI teachers to provide a rich learning environment for their students.

Natural Resource and Engineering for Genesee County Students


High School Students Can Win A FREE 6-Day Trip to:

Explore Natural Resources & Engineering at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!!

Monday – Saturday, July 10-15, 2017

(includes free transportation, meals & lodging)


OPEN to all High School students in Genesee County who want to explore engineering forestry, water quality, fisheries, more!

**Up to 15 high school students from Genesee County will be selected to participate.  Talk to your teacher!

What YOU will do …

  • In the forest, investigate invasive species, ID trees, collect amphibian data.
  • On the water, sample aquatic life & collect data aboard a research vessel in Lake Superior;
  • In the lab, examine plankton, engineer a process to clean water;
  • Tour a college campus, stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall;
  • Learn about engineering and natural resources majors and careers.
  • Experience national and state parks, wildlife refuges, and nature sanctuaries with experts at Michigan Technological University and in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!!


  • Complete application form online  2017 Michigan Tech Trip – Genesee County
  • Describe what you hope to gain from this experience and your past experience with natural resources, engineering and environmental stewardship;
  • Email or mail ONE letter of recommendation (from non-family member, such as a teacher or community member) to:
  • Deadline extended to Friday, June 9!

A team of educators, university staff, and resource specialists will select participants in mid-May.

A mandatory Parent Meeting will be held in mid- June.


Leyla Sanker| Discovering Place | University of Michigan Flint | | Tel: 248-892-9329

Joan Chadde | Michigan Technological University |  | Office: 906-487-3341

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach with generous funding from GM  and the Ride the Waves Program at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

Additional funding from Michigan Tech School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, College of Engineering, Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech Transportation Institute, Admissions, Great Lakes Research Center.

Cleaning Dirty Water Competition Winners Announced

1490293756The winners of the Cleaning Dirty Water Competition shouldn’t come as a surprise. The winners are three members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the Society of Environmental Engineering — seniors no less — Joseph Doyle, Kyle Mischler and Jeremy Luebke.

The winning trio had stiff competition from the runner up team, “The Insolubles,” three students from a Hancock High School chemistry class — Mike McParlan, Murphy Mallow and Shannon Nulf. The class is taught by a Michigan Tech grad.

Other teams that competed included Quantum Huskies, a group of international students from Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Whiz Kids, a group of three eighth-grade students from Lake Linden-Hubbell Middle School and three members of the Copper Country Recycling Initiative task force.

The competition was held in recognition of World Water Day, Wednesday (March 22). This year’s theme was wastewater, hence the cleaning water competition.

Event coordinator Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and a member of the World Water Day planning committee, made the wastewater right before participants’ eyes. The wastewater was made up of household items that go down the drain. Each team was given a cup of wastewater and directed to clean it as best they could using only the materials provided — screen, sand, gravel, activated charcoal and alum.

After 20 minutes, the results came in. Martin Auer (CEE), a local wastewater treatment expert served as judge. All members of the winning team received $25 Michigan Tech gift certificates, which they generously handed off to the second place Hancock High School students, explaining “they didn’t have time to spend it, since they’d be leaving Houghton soon with graduation just a few weeks away.”

Globally, two billion people are without clean drinking water and three billion are without wastewater treatment. After treatment, wastewater is a valuable resource that can be returned to cities for drinking water.

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events were sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and research centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

ABC News 10, WLUC TV6 and WJMN TV3 all covered World Water Day celebrations this week at Michigan Tech.

3rd Annual Natural Resource and Engineering Career Explorations at Michigan Tech and UP

Research Vessel Agassiz
Research Vessel Agassiz

High School Students Can Win A FREE 6-Day Trip to:

Explore Natural Resources & Engineering at Michigan Technological University (Michigan Tech) in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!!

Mon. – Sat, June 26 – July 1st, 2017

(includes free transportation, meals & lodging)


OPEN to all High School students in Detroit and Wayne County who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!

Michigan Tech will host a 6-day trip to explore environmental science and engineering majors. It is open to all high school students in Detroit and Wayne Counties who want to explore Environmental Science Careers: forestry, natural resources, wildlife, engineering, water quality, more!

What YOU will do …

  • In the forest, ID and measure trees, and collect frog data;
  • On the water, aquatic sampling aboard a research vessel ;
  • In the lab, examine plankton, drive a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), and design a process to clean water;
  • Tour a college campus, stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall;
  • Visit Michigan DNR Training Center on Houghton Lake.
  • Experience national and state parks, wildlife refuges, nature sanctuaries with experts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!


  • Mike Reed, Curator of Education, Detroit Zoo
  • Lisa Perez, U.S. Forest Service ~ Detroit Urban Connections
  • Bruce Ross, MI Department of Natural Resources


Detroit HS Students Natural Resource and Engineering Career Exploration


Mike Reed | Detroit Zoo | | Cell: (313) 595-9729

Joan Chadde | Michigan Technological University | | Office: (906) 487-3341

This program is funded by:

These Michigan Technological University Departments Schools and Centers:

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
School of Forest Resources & Environmental Sciences
Michigan Tech Admissions
Housing and Residential Life
Center for Pre-College Outreach
Center for Science and Environmental Outreach
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Michigan Tech Transportation Institute

General Motors (Ride the Waves)

Coordinated by Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach with Help form the Following Partners:

64px-Forestservice-shield.svg  MDNRmtu  frees


2017 Spring Outdoor Science Investigations Field Trip Program Registration Now Open!!

IMG_0131Using the outdoors as a classroom is a great way to get students excited about science and make connections to the real world!

Since 2001, the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education, in partnership with the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University, offers outdoor learning experiences in science and environmental education for K-12 students in the five western counties of the Upper Peninsula.

Field trip activities enhance classroom learning and are correlated to Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations for Science and Math.. During the activities, students utilize many science and math skills such as observing, predicting, data collecting, recording, graphing, analyzing and drawing conclusions.


Teachers should complete a Field Trip Request Form online. On the form, select a program, several dates, and a
location. Your school is encouraged to schedule multiple field trips on the same day for different classes at different
times. After we receive your request form, we will schedule your field trip and send you a confirmation letter.

Field trips are available to schools in the CCISD and GOISD school districts.

Cost: The field trips are $30 per class (up to 30 students). The CCISD will invoice each school at the end of
the season for the total number of field trips provided for each school during that season.

Program Descriptions

Please click on the activity title for a sample lesson plan. These plans are a rough idea of what teachers can expect form a lesson. Content can be customized according to class needs or Teacher/Instructor discretion

Warm Earth ½-1 hr
Students will participate in simple tests to help them understand that the sun heats up some earth surfaces more than others. They will be challenged to find warm areas and cool areas and compare them to discover why they differ and how this may affect plants or animals. Finally, they will design a structure to help keep a warm area cool. Standards addressed: K-PS3-1, K-PS3-2, K-LS1-1

Spring Alive! ½-1 hr
Students will make observations of plants and signs of wildlife to discover how both can change the environment to meet their needs. Can we find young plants pushing up through dead leaves or pavement? How about animal holes in trees or the ground? Students will make connections between living things changing their surroundings to help them survive. Standards addressed: K-LS1-1, K-ESS2-2, K-PS3-1
What is metamorphosis? Students will explore the life cycles of familiar wildlife and understand that living things grow and change. They will go on a hunt to find small insects and determine if they are adults or not. Standards addressed: 1-LS3-1

Sounds of Nature ½-1 hr
The outdoors are alive with sounds! Students will hunt to find objects that make sounds, such as leaves rustling, grasses blowing, birds singing, or water flowing. Then we’ll explore common objects that vibrate to make sound: strings, grass whistles, rubber bands and learn that even our voices and bird songs are created by vibrating parts within us. Finally, we’ll go on a bird hunt to see if we can find singing birds. Standards addressed: 1-PS4-1
Gr.2 Frog-tastic
Students will participate in a variety of activities followed by a search for frogs. Students will describe the basic requirements, adaptations, and life cycle of frogs. Standards addressed: 2-LS4-1

Who Lives in a Tree? ½-1 hr
Trees provide food and shelter to many animals. Students will develop an awareness of trees and some of the animals that live in them and make connections as to how plants help animals and animals help plants by pollination or by distributing seeds. They will also be challenged to develop a device using objects in nature that models how animals pollinate flowers. Standards addressed: 2-LS2-2, 2-LS4-1, K-2-ETS1-3
Insect Sampling 1½ hrs
How do scientists sample insects? Are sampling methods different for terrestrial vs. aquatic insects? What are the life cycles of different insects? How do insects find their mates? Students will answer these questions as they collect and study insects from terrestrial or aquatic habitats. Standards addressed: 3-LS1-1

What’s For Dinner? 1½ hrs
Students will learn about predator/prey relationships and strategies animals have developed to avoid being eaten. They will discover that some animals of the same species are better at surviving because they have slightly different characteristics that help them. They will define producers and consumers as they examine food chains and food webs. Standards addressed: 3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, 3-LS4-2
Wetland Ecology 1½ hrs
Students will investigate wetlands by studying the soil, plants, and hydrology. Students will be able to describe the essential components of a wetland and classify them. They will also learn why wetlands are such important ecosystems. Standards addressed: 4-ESS3-1, 4-LS1-1

The Secret Life of Bees 1½ hrs
Students will learn the difference between bees, wasps and hornets. They will discover that bees have fascinating lives due to their ability to sense, process and respond to information in unique ways. They will also get an up close look at a honeybee hive. Bee behavior will be further understood through outdoor games and a nature hike to observe important plants for bees. Standards addressed: 4-LS1-1, 4-LS1-2
Soil Science 1½ hrs
What is soil? How can soil be described according to texture? Does water move through different soil types faster? What kinds of organisms live in soil? Students will conduct an investigation to describe various soil types and compare percolation rates. Standards addressed: 5-PS1-3, 5-ESS2-1

Birds in Spring 1½ hrs
Spring is a busy time for birds. They are returning from migration, mating and building nests. Students will listen and look for birds and record the data, practice using binoculars and learn the names of some common birds.
Pond (or Stream) Sampling 1½ hrs
Students collect data to discover fauna, and flora of a pond. Students will sample pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature. We will discuss ways to make sure we are not negatively impacting the delicate ecosystem of a pond. Standards addressed: MS-LS2-1
Invasive Species 1½ hrs
What are invasive species? Are there any in the surrounding area? How can we slow down their invasion? Students will learn about some of the native, exotic and invasive species in our area and then investigate the surrounding area, looking for them.


Important information __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Appropriate Dress:

The weather can be very unpredictable at this time of the year.  Please have your students dress for the weather conditions!  We recommend boots for wet, muddy conditions.  Some rubber boots will be available for field trips to a wetland or pond.

Locations for Spring Field Trips:

  • Michigan Tech Recreational Trails
  • Nara Chalet and Preserve
  • Maasto Hiito Trails
  • Lake Linden-Hubbell School Forest
  • McClain State Park
  • Calumet Waterworks Park
  • Calumet Lake/ Calumet Lions Park
  • Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
  • Baraga School Forest
  • Ford Center and Forest (Alberta)
  • Bessemer City Park
  • Norrie Park
  • Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center
  • Lake Perrault
  • Your school

Cancellation Policy: the Center will not cancel any field trips due to weather, it is the responsibility of the teacher to
decide if a field trip should be cancelled. To cancel a field trip, please call the Field Trip Coordinator at (906)
370-1052 at least 2 hours in advance (3 hours for Gogebic/Ontonagon schools).


For more information, contact:

Brian Doughty, Field Trip Coordinator
Phone: 906-487-3341 (office) or 248-798-4382 (cell)
The Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics & Environmental Education is a partnership of Copper Country & Gogebic-Ontonagon
Intermediate School Districts and the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach serving schools and communities in
Houghton, Baraga, Gogebic, Ontonagon and Keweenaw Counties. The Center’s mission is to enhance the teaching and learning of Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).
Field Trip Financial Support
The Outdoor Science Investigation Field Trip Program has been funded since 2008 with a grant from the Wege Foundation to Michigan Tech.
In 2012 and 2015, snowshoes were purchased with support from the Keweenaw Community Foundation and the MEEMIC Foundation,
respectively. In 2016, another grant from the Keweenaw Community Foundation is funding technology to support outdoor investigations.



The field trip program is coordinated by the Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and the Western UP Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education. It is funded in part by the Michigan Stem Partnership and the Wege Foundation.

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education                                                                                wege                                                                             CSEO_Logo Final Feb2016

2017 Green Film for January 19: After Coal and Half Life

2017 Green Film Series Schedule

View the Flyer

FREE films promoting sustainability & environmental awareness!

Enjoy refreshments and facilitated discussion
Bring Your Own Mug!

The films begin at 7 p.m. with a discussion facilitated by Roman Sidortsov (SS) to follow. Coffee and dessert will be served.

There is no admission but a $3 donation is suggested.

Thursday, January 19 @ 7:00 PM, Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building
After Coal

After Coal (60 min)

Describes building a new future in the coalfields of central Appalachia and Wales. Welsh coalfields were shut down in the 1980s, eliminating more than 20,000 jobs while Appalachian coalfields lost 20,000+ jobs from 1994 -2014. Both regions have survived disasters associated with mining production & waste disposal, and each has explored strategies for remembering the past while looking to the future. What lessons does this film have for us?
Half Life

Half Life (12 min)

Describes the Ute tribe’s concern that toxic and radioactive contamination from the White Mesa Mill in SE Utah threatens their water supply and way of life. Why is this a common outcome of so many mines and/or mineral processing facilities? How can we change the ending?

Facilitator: Roman Sidortsov, Energy Policy, Department of Social Sciences, Michigan Tech
His research focuses on legal and policy issues related to the development of sustainable energy systems, energy security and justice, comparative and international energy law and policy, energy geopolitics, risk governance, and Arctic oil and gas.

2017 Green Film Series Schedule

Green Film Series: Issues & Dialogue ~ (mostly) 3rd Thursdays, January – May 2017

Time: 7:00-8:30 pm; enjoy coffee, dessert and facilitated discussion
Location: G002 Hesterberg Hall, Michigan Tech Forestry Bldg. (all films)
Cost: FREE, $3 suggested donation

FREE films promoting sustainability & environmental awareness!

Green Film Series Schedule

January 19: After Coal and Half Life

February 16: Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story

March 2: Death By Design – The Dirty Story of Our Digital Addiction

March 23: Last Call at the Oasis (World Water Day Film)

A 2012 documentary on the world’s water crisis, the film sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions.

Monday, April 17: The Messenger

Based upon the award‐winning book, Silence of the Songbirds, by Stutchbury, The Messenger is an investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion, and the people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning, emotional journey revealing how issues facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet.

May 11: Inhabit

Explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design process called ‘Permaculture’. Permaculture is a design lens that uses the principles found in ecosystems to help shift our impact from destructive to regenerative. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the United States, Inhabit provides an intimate look at permaculture peoples and practices ranging from rural, suburban, and urban landscapes. (93 min.)

Coffee, Tea & Refreshments

The Green Film Series is co-sponsored by:

Lake Superior Stewardship InitiativeKeweenaw Land TrustGreat Lakes Research CenterKeweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Coordinated by:

Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental EducationCenter for Science and Environmental Outreach