Category Archives: Alumni

Bornhorst Teaches Last Field Course

Dr. Ted Bornhorst has taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for 31 years. This will be his last year and so we provide a photo gallery of the last field geology exam which was followed by a nice late day snack brought by Dr. John Gierke into the field for all to enjoy after a hard day’s work. Dr. Bornhorst surely has taught several hundred students in this essential field course over the years.

Bornhorst said “Field Geology at Michigan Tech has been going on for over 70 years. An important component of Michigan Tech field geology is mapping, I found over the years that students who take this class can be successful mapping anywhere in the world… This class is a great preparation for a life-long career in geology.”

If you are an alumnus of our department and graduated after 1982, then you likely were a field geology student of Professor Ted Bornhorst. He has taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for the past 31 summers. Pictured here are snippets from his last field course roster on their culminating day at Big Eric’s Bridge in Baraga County. Dr. Bornhorst has been the director of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum for the past 11 years and a professor in the department since 1981. Professor Chad Deering will be teaching field geology next year.

We are preparing for the next departmental newsletter a more thorough history of his leading field geology and placing it in the perspective of the department’s history of educating geologists (over 100 years), geological engineers (over 60 years) and geophysicists (over 40 years since geophysics moved into its current department). We wanted to share these pictures and the news now, since the next newsletter is several months away. If anyone has some old pictures from previous classes, please send them to the department (geo@mtu.edu; dates, places and names would be greatly appreciated!). Congratulations Ted!

Professor Bornhorst’s last full field class, 13 June 2014. First Row (l-r): Brittany Blood, Carly Siko, Ben Pletcher, Dr. Bornhorst, Emma Zellmer, Kara Donahue, Britteny Szabo; Second Row: Elizabeth Seiberlich, Joseph Lawinger, Jacob Tresnak, Audrey Hutton, Charlie Breithaupt, and Research Scientist/Engineer Bob Barron; Third Row: Laura O’Connor, Cara Hemmila, Kaitlyn Voet, and Austin Fisher; Back Row: Blake Joseph, Ronnie Knoll, Ben Kramka, Evan Birkett, and Chris Carefoot.

After the students turned in their maps of the complex geology, Dr. Bornhorst explains the geologic setting, including the implications for the presence of uranium minerals and the history of the formations.
Never one to pass up an opportunity for a party, Interim Chair and Professor John Gierke arrived at the conclusion of the day with provisions (sandwiches and sparkling grape juice and sodas) to toast Ted’s last class.
Dr. Bornhorst confirming (or correcting?) Austin’s rock/mineral identification.; Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech

More photos at Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech

Video Michigan Tech Engineer Channel on YouTube:
Michigan Tech Engineer·Dr. Ted Bornhorst taught Summer Field Geology at Michigan Tech for 31 years. In this video clip he reflects on the history and the benefits on the program for students.

Keweenaw Geoheritage–Tours by Water and Land

Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula is known as a place of natural beauty with a fascinating mining history. Join local expert Bill Rose to learn how to read this landscape and how it came to be the way it is today. The Copper Country has a strong geoheritage comprised of five major events in Earth’s history. Rose has designed several two-day field trips that address each of these specific themes. Participants can look forward to covering lots of ground and being outside all the time with travel by boat, van and short walks.

1 Lavas, July 21-22: This trip focuses on the Keweenaw’s black rocks and its deep earth volcanic past; the site of Earth’s largest lava outpourings. We will visit massive lava flows and learn how they shape and influence the Keweenaw Peninsula.
2. The Keweenaw Fault, July 23-24: This trip focuses on the magnificent Keweenaw Fault, a massive thrust fault which split the peninsula lengthwise and uplifted rocks, including native copper, to a place where people could find it. This feature has shaped and beautified the Keweenaw but is no longer an active hazard.
3. Jacobsville Sandstone, July 25-26: The red rocks of the Keweenaw originate from the ancient, and once massive, Huron Mountains that eroded and filled the great valley of the Keweenaw rift. We will visit important fossils in the area, an ancient window to the origins of life on Earth.

Each two-day trip costs $325 and includes lunch. Full more information, trip highlights and registration please visit: Geoheritage Tours.

For specific questions email: keweenawgeology@gmail.com

A story about Faculty Emeritus Bill Rose’s summer geoheritage program was picked up by the Associated Press and shared with the San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, San Antonio Express, Washington Times, and other media outlets.

Former Peace Corps Volunteer and Geoscientist Welcomed as New Geoscience Communication Fellow

Alexandria, VA – The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) and Schlumberger welcome former Peace Corps volunteer and geoscientist, Stephanie Tubman as the AGI/Schlumberger Geoscience Communication Fellow. Through a generous donation from Schlumberger, a global service provider to the oil and gas industry, Tubman will be working with AGI’s Critical Issues Program to disseminate geoscience information to help support decision making at the federal, state and municipal levels.

“The goal of the Critical Issues program is to provide decision makers with clear, relevant and quickly digestible information about the geosciences, without oversimplifying the science.” Tubman said of her new post. During the first month of her fellowship she has already written a factsheet that was distributed at a congressional briefing commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Good Friday Earthquake. Throughout her fellowship, Tubman will be investigating other topics and ways to deliver geoscience information to decision makers.

Tubman pursued geoscience because of her passion for connecting with the environment and her desire to help others do the same. Following her undergraduate degree at Colgate University she completed an internship at the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory and enrolled in Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Master’s International program in Geohazards Mitigation. During her two-year tour in Guatemala with the Peace Corps, she was assigned to a municipal environmental office, collaborating with local officials on water management, environmental science education and ecotourism projects. Her experience working at the municipal level made her an ideal candidate for her work with the Critical Issues program.

Tubman first heard about the fellowship when attending a reception hosted by AGI at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting.

“Science is an important tool,” Tubman stated, “I’m looking forward to engaging with different decision-making communities to understand how they use information and how we can help to meet their needs for geoscience information.”

For more information on the Center for Critical Issues: http://bit.ly/1fFF2uw

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society’s use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with
the environment.

Michigan Tech Alumnus Tackles Graduate School in Israel

Many Michigan Technological University students at this moment are trying to decide what to do after graduation, and a common question is: graduate school or a job? But, Nathan Sankary, who graduated from Michigan Tech last spring, added another layer of complexity to the question: Could he complete more schooling in a country where he did not know the language, one that is riddled with turmoil over the Western perspective of their international political problems?

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Michigan Tech Students Win First Place in National Mining Competition

The National Mining Competition announced the three winners from the 2013 event. First place Michigan Tech, second place University of British Columbia, and third place Edwards School of Business.

The winning Michigan Tech Mining team, “the fabulous four,” was Cora Hemmila, Matthew Younger, Matthew Schuman and Matthew Schwalen. The team advisor is James Murray Gillis, Instructor, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Director, Mine Safety and Health Training Program. Continue reading

Peace Corps Master’s Student Tackles Water, Waste, Volcanoes, Earthquakes in Panama

To the people of Peña Blanca, Panama, Chet Hopp must seem like a godsend. He’s helping them get cleaner water, improve sanitation and understand their local volcanic hazards.

“I’m an environmental health extensionist, which means that my main responsibilities to my community of Peña Blanca deal with sanitation,” says Hopp, a Peace Corps Master’s International student in geology at Michigan Technological University. “Specifically, we work to improve access to potable water through development and construction of gravity-fed aqueducts, as well as improving sanitation practices through education and access to various types of latrines.”
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Landslide monitoring, social research protect San Vicente in El Salvador

Soil around San Vicente volcano in El Salvador has always been rich, leading farmers to plant coffee, beans and sugar cane on its slopes. In times of heavy rain, the loose soil and volcanic rock on the steep slopes washes down, covering the villages nearby in heavy mud.
Find out more about the work of John Gierke and Luke Bowman in the article published in Environmental Monitor

Remote Sensing and Hazard Modeling Workshop Video

Taller de Sensores Remotos y Modelacion de Amenazas en El Salvador