Category Archives: News

Vye receives 2014 Chrysalis Scholarship

Erika Vye has received the 2014 Chrysalis Scholarship. This award provides degree-completion funding for women geoscience graduate students whose education has been significantly interrupted by life circumstances. The awards are intended to cover costs associated with completion of her thesis/dissertation, beyond what is traditionally covered by primary research funding.

Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps Program #1 Again

For the 9th consecutive year, Michigan Tech’s Peace Corps program is ranked 1st in the nation for having the largest number of Peace Corps Master’s International students. This clip (http://abc10up.com/michigan-tech-garners-national-acclaim-for-peace-corps-program/), which aired on ABC 10 News Tuesday, May 13, 2014, included interviews with two of our department’s returning Peace Corps Volunteers. Edrick Ramos and Tyler Barton were able to share their experiences. The clip also featured photos courtesy of Jay Wellik and Brie Rust.

Senior Design Petroleum Group Invited to Present

In May 2014 this year’s senior design capstone group focusing on petroleum engineering was invited to the Northern Michigan Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) and the Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA) meetings. Their talk, “A Technical Evaluation of the Sycamore Limestone Formation in the Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma” was presented at the SPE meeting where they were commended for the amount of work they were able to accomplish over two semesters. Data for the project was provided by Vitruvian Exploration LLC, and student travel was funded by Apache Corporation.

These meetings allowed the group consisting Garvie Crane, Audrey Hutton, & Charles Breithaupt an opportunity to network with alumni and employees in the oil and gas industry.

Geoscientists Without Borders Sponsors Michigan Tech Project

Geoscientists Without Borders®, the humanitarian program launched by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) six years ago, will sponsor a Michigan Technological University project concerned with predicting activity at the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala that erupted as recently as 2 March this year. Michigan Tech will perform the field work under the leadership of principal investigator Professor Thomas Oommen. The main goal is to improve the ability of local organizations in Guatemala to more accurately monitor the activity of the volcano to facilitate early warning and to improve the quality of the information available to local leaders in crisis situations. “In the past, several faculty and students from the department have contributed to the study of volcanic hazard at Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala. However, lack of data and instrumentation at Pacaya has remained as a challenge. This project provides an opportunity to overcome this challenge and acquire geophysical instrumentation to monitor the hazard at Pacaya. These datasets obtained from this instrumentation will be extremely valuable to build the capacity of local emergency agencies, improve our understanding of volcanic hazards at Pacaya, and validate and advance the remote sensing based research carried. This is, undoubtedly, an exciting opportunity. It brings together a multi-disciplinary team of Geological Engineer (Dr. Thomas Oommen, Assistant Professor), Geologist (Dr. Rudiger Escobar-Wolf, Post-doctoral Fellow), and Geophysicist (Dr. Greg Waite, Associate Professor) to study one of the most active volcanoes in the Central America with long history of eruption and edifice collapse/landslide. The activity at Pacaya also poses a great humanitarian need considering that about 9,000 people live less than 5 km from the active cone and were evacuated 11 times in the past 24 years.” – Thomas Oommen. Other participating organizations are Instituto Nacional de Sismologia, Vulcanologia, Meterolocia e Hidrologia (INSIVUMEH), Pacaya Volcano National Park, Centro de Estudios Superiores de Energia y Minsas – San Carlos University, Instituto Geografico Nacional.
Information source

Jeremy Shannon wins Outstanding Faculty Award

On April 13, about 250 students gathered for the 2014 Greek Life Awards in the MUB Ballroom representing the Michigan Tech Fraternities and Sororities. This is the eighth year of the awards ceremony, but it was the first year for the Outstanding Faculty Award to be included in the program. The Outstanding Faculty Award for 2014 was presented to Jeremy Shannon.

Order of Omega, the Greek Life Honor Society that coordinates the awards, wanted to find a way to recognize the faculty members that the students consider to be the most outstanding. There are almost 500 students in fraternities and sororities at Michigan Tech, and Order of Omega really wanted to emphasize that this award would be coming directly from the students.

The following faculty members were nominated by members of the Greek community and were recognized at the 2014 Greek Life Awards Ceremony:
* Mari Buche (SBE)
* William Sproule (CEE)
* John Durocher (Bio Sci)
* Jeremy Shannon (GMES)
* Marika Seigel (HU)

Rachael Pressley wins 1st place

Congratulations to Rachael Pressley, Senior Geology student on winning 1st place in the Undergraduate Student Poster competition last Friday. Her project

“Questioning Uplift Rates for Suwannee River Basin, Florida”
was under the direction of Dr. Jason Gulley.

She will present this again for World Water Day on Wednesday, March 26, from 4-5pm in the Dow Lobby (campus side).

Very proud of her accomplishment!!

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development

Environmental Engineering Seminar: Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing
Wayne D Pennington, Interim Dean, College of Engineering, Michigan Technological University
Mon Mar 24, 2014 3pm – 4pm, Dow 642
Watch the seminar Video on Vimeo: Unconventional Oil and Gas Development: Technology and Practice of Hydraulic Fracturing

Over the past couple of decades, technology has been developed to produce oil and gas from geological formations that had been overlooked previously due to the lack of appropriate engineering techniques for those types of formations. As a result, the energy picture for the USA and for the world has been seriously modified, and the impact is being felt.
These “unconventional” deposits contain hydrocarbons in significant quantities, but they were locked up in microscopic pores that were at best poorly connected to each other, limiting or preventing flow through the rocks. Existing technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing (in use since 1948) and extended-reach horizontal wellbores were used independently, and then merged, for a highly successful, efficient, and safe method of oil and gas production.
The geologic formations, and the production techniques used in each, that are described in this presentation include: (a) “tight” gas sandstone deposits (produced through multiple-stage hydraulic fracturing in vertical wells); (b) coal deposits (methane produced by drawing down water pressure to release gas from the coal structure; also the source of many “flaming faucets” from domestic water-wells); and (c) shale deposits (generally using multiple-stage hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells).

GMES 2014 MSGC Awardees Announced

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $71,175 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Graduate students receiving $5,000 graduate fellowships are:

Emily Gochis (Geological and Mining Engineering): “Increasing Native American Involvement in Geosciences Through Interdisciplinary Community-Based Student Investigations”

Brice Grunert (Geological and Mining Engineering): “Impacts of Physical Drivers on Phytoplankton Community Composition in the Bering Sea”

Faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 or more for pre-college, public outreach, teacher training, and/or augmentation programs are:

Alexandria Guth (Geological and Mining Engineering): “Teacher Institute: Exploring the Geology of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula”

John Gierke (Geological and Mining Engineering): “Professional Development for Teachers to Incorporate Place-Based and Culturally Centered Earth System Investigations in Pre-college Curricula at Native American Community Schools” (Includes Augmentation funding)

For other awards see Tech Today

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education, and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years. For more information, please contact Robert Warrington or Paige Hackney in the Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

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

###

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.