Category Archives: outreach

Keweenaw Minerals in Lake Superior Magazine

AgateLake Superior Magazine published a feature about minerals of the Keweenaw, referencing the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech as an outstanding public minerals display.

Minerals of the Lake Superior Region

The region is world famous for vast deposits of iron ore and native copper. During the last 150 years, the rocks have yielded immense tonnages from those deposits and attracted early settlers to the iron and copper mines. Our regional ores were critical in helping the Allies win World Wars I and II. But iron and copper are far from the only commercial minerals around this vast lake. Gold, platinum, silver, nickel, and gemstones such as amethyst, agates and even diamonds have been found here.

The region holds fame in another geologic camp. Collectors seek many Lake Superior minerals for their beauty, aesthetic qualities or rareness. Outstanding regional minerals form private and public collections worldwide and close to home at the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Technological University in Houghton.

Read more at Lake Superior Magazine, by Gene L. LaBerge, George W. Robinson.

Dr. LaBerge is the author of Geology of the Lake Superior Region and is professor emeritus of geology at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Dr. Robinson is the former curator of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum and professor of mineralogy at Michigan Technological University, Houghton.


Boulder Garden Project for Elementary Students

WLUC TV6 aired a story about students at Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw Elementary School building a boulder garden. The project is funded by a Michigan Space Grant Consortium geoheritage pilot grant to Michigan Tech to create boulder gardens and rock walks at CLK and E. B. Holman Elementary Schools, using representative rocks of the Keweenaw.

Students are also designing interpretative signage to accompany the installations with info about rock types and how geology has influenced life in the Keweenaw.

Boulder Garden Wheelbarrow

Boulder Garden Students

Boulder Garden Kinders


Correspondence on the Michigan Mineral Alliance

Nature Volume 546The prestigious journal, Nature, published a correspondence last week titled “A rescue package for imperiled collection” by Ted Bornhorst, executive director of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, along with co-authors Chris Poulsen, chair and professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Michigan and Rod Ewing, professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Frank Stanton, professor in nuclear security at Stanford University.

The correspondence was in response to an editorial in Nature on how academic natural history collections can be saved from destruction by uniting them at regional hubs. The correspondence discusses “rescue” the University of Michigan mineral collection under an agreement between the University of Michigan and Michigan Tech termed the Michigan Mineral Alliance. (To learn more about the agreement see here.)

The correspondence is publicly available as part of Springer Nature Content Sharing Initiative here.


Land, Water and History: Exploring Our Geoheritage

Bill Rose and Keweenaw GeologyThe first time I saw Lake Superior, I had no words. I couldn’t describe the majesty of this tremendous body of fresh water.

Growing up on the East Coast of Canada, I didn’t think much could rival the mighty Atlantic Ocean. I discovered how wrong I was when I moved to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula seven years ago to study geoscience education at Michigan Technological University in Houghton. Since then, my love for the Lake and my curiosity about the region have grown.

Read more at Lake Superior Magazine, by Erika Vye.


Simon Carn Comments on Kambalny Volcano Activity

The Daily Mail (London) published an article about the eruption of a large Russian volcano. The article quoted Tech volcano expert Simon Carn (GMES).

Stunning footage shows a giant Russian volcano violently erupting for the first time in 250 YEARS

  • The 7,103ft tall (2.2km high) Kambalny volcano is in the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east of Russia
  • The colossal volcano recently became active and spewed out a 60-mile long ash plume visible from space

Nasa scientists warned that the volcano may have spewed out large amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2), which is harmful to human lungs.

The higher SO2 amounts downwind could be due to multiple factors, including variable emissions at the volcano (such as an initial burst), increasing altitude of the plume downwind or decreasing ash content downwind,

Simon Carn, an atmospheric scientist at Michigan Technological University, told the Earth Observatory.

Read more at the Daily Mail, by Will Stewart.

Kambalny Volcano Plume
Kambalny Volcano ash plume on March 25, 2017. Image from NASA Earth Observatory

Museum Specimen Featured on 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show Poster

Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum announces that one of its specimens is featured on the poster commemorating the 2017 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show (TGMS).

The specimen is a 13 cm copper crystal group from the Phoenix Mine in Keweenaw County. The specimen is among the finest copper specimens in the museum’s holdings. It was donated to Michigan Tech by Lucius L. Hubbard circa 1917.

Read more at Tech Today, by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.



Michigan Tech Alumnus Donates Copper Crystal to Museum

Quincy Mine
Quincy Mine

Michigan Tech alumnus Jeff Nuttall (’68) and his wife Louise have donated an outstanding copper crystal to the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

The crystal of copper, from the Quincy Mine in Hancock, has near-perfect form. The museum has the finest cumulative collection in the world of crystallized copper specimens. The Nuttalls’ donation is more than twice the size of the next-best crystal of the same form in the museum’s collection. Among the thousands of copper crystals from the Copper Country in other museum and private collections, very few show such perfect form.

Associate Curator Chris Stefano notes that “Despite its small size, this specimen is among the finest copper crystals in the museum’s extensive holdings.”

Nuttall is a semi-retired geologist running Vicksburg Petroleum out of Houston, Texas and has an extensive collection of minerals from the local region. He has a great love for the Copper Country and has collected minerals since his time at Michigan Tech.

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.


Ted Bornhorst Presents on Keweenaw Peninsula Minerals

Copper, Central Mine, Keweenaw County
Copper, Central Mine, Keweenaw County

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum exhibited at the 72nd annual Greater Detroit Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show held Oct. 14-16 at the Expo Center of Macomb Community College hosted by the Michigan Mineralogical Society. The show consisted of 56 exhibits, 40 mineral dealers selling to the attending public and presentations.

Ted Bornhorst, executive director of the museum, presented “Nature’s Mineral Masterpieces from the Keweenaw Peninsula” on Sunday afternoon to an audience of about 50 people. The museum held a silent auction as a featured Sunday event.

The museum maintains satellite exhibits at several locations around the state. The satellite exhibit in the St. Ignace Welcome Center was updated by Bornhorst en route to the mineral show. In addition, the museum’s satellite exhibit at Michigan Tech Research Institute in Ann Arbor was exchanged for a display of Variscite Nodules from Clay Canyon, Utah. The nodules were donated by George B. Robbe (1884-1963), a Michigan Tech alumnus from 1913 who pioneered in chemical extraction techniques for copper ore beneficiation while he was working for the Utah Copper Company at Bingham Canyon in the 1920s.


Geology Club T’s On Sale Now

Untitled-1
‘San Andreas isn’t my FAULT’

The Michigan Tech Geology Club is designed to allow students to discover the properties of minerals and geological environments through mineral collection excursions, mine tours, and geologically related field trips.

To order your long sleeve OR short sleeve GeoClub tee today, email Andrew at agdubay@mtu.edu.

For more information on the GeoClub visit: https://https://www.involvement.mtu.edu/organization/geology-club