Category Archives: News

Gierke Serves as Interim Chair

Dr. John Gierke was named Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year in 2007
Presidents Council of the State Universities Article

The College of Engineering has announced that Professor John Gierke has accepted a one-year appointment as interim chair of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

Gierke takes on the duty while Chair Wayne Pennington serves as a Jefferson Science Fellow with the US Department of State.

Gierke received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering and his doctorate in environmental engineering from Michigan Tech.

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Richard E. Honrath 1961-2009 Memorial

“Richard was such a wonderful person, with such compassion and sincerity. He was a fellow student at Caltech, and we were project partners for a freshman engineering course, as well as in the same dorm. He lived a life he loved, with outdoor activities, research, and family. I remember his excitement to stay in Alaska, while his two travel companions for the summer road trip returned back to the comfort of California.”

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Geology Grad Student Wins National Recognition

by Tom Schneider, student writer

For Alex Guth, being a graduate student is hardly a passive ordeal.

Recently, the Association for Women Geoscientists awarded the Brunton Award to Guth. This award, named for a top manufacturer of high-end compasses, is a prestigious commendation for work in field mapping and data acquisition. The award will include a personally engraved compass from Brunton.

“We are very proud of Alex’s work and are glad to see it recognized by a well respected organization like the Association for Women Geoscientists,” said Professor Wayne Pennington, chair of the geological and mining engineering and sciences department. Guth is pursuing a PhD in Geology.

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“Gigantic Magnetofossils” Ruled in Ancient Global-Warming Climate

by Dennis Walikainen, senior editor, Michigan Tech

Ancient “giant” spearheads and spindles have been discovered deep within New Jersey rock formations by a team of scientists.

These biominerals are actually about four microns long–hundreds would fit on the period at the end of this sentence. But they are much larger than those previously discovered and have huge potential regarding global warming yesterday, today and tomorrow.

These magnetofossils are new to the biomineral world, according to Michigan Tech paleomagnetist Aleksey Smirnov, a member of the research team. They discovered that 55 million years ago, the earth warmed by 6 to 8 degree Celsius after huge amounts of organic carbon entered the atmosphere. Although this ancient global-warming episode–the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)–remains a mystery, it might offer analogies for future environmental impacts of possible global warming.

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