Category Archives: outreach

A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum Lends Geode Display

GeodeFind your own treasures at the Tulip City Gem and Mineral Club’s annual rock, mineral and jewelry show. At the show, visitors will have the opportunity to crack their own geode to find crystals. This is in keeping with this year’s theme “Geodes — Hidden Treasure.”

The A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum at Michigan Technological University in Houghton is loaning its display, “How Geodes Are Made.” It will include 10 museum-quality geodes from Mexico, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky and Argentina.

Read more at the Holland Sentinel, by Lori Timmer.


Clifford Mineral Collection Donation

The Paul and Janet Clifford Collection
The Paul and Janet Clifford Collection
Selections from the first installment

Paul and Janet Clifford continue the donation of their mineral collection to the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.

They recently donated 201 specimens, the second installment of the approximately 4000 specimens they pledged in 2003. They have now donated about half of their collection to the museum.

Paul is the former curator of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s gem and mineral collection and was assisted by Janet. An endowment has been created by the Clifford’s with the proceeds to be used to purchase specimens for the museum’s collection.

The quality, depth, and breadth of Michigan Tech’s mineral collection continues to improve through the generosity of donors such as Paul and Janet Clifford. The museum looks forward to the next installment of their minerals.

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.


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.