A State of Michigan Historical Marker honoring Douglass Houghton was dedicated Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, in a morning ceremony led by the Keweenaw County Historical Society in Eagle River. Among the approximately 70 attendees were several descendants of Douglass Houghton. The marker was proposed by the Michigan Basin Geological Society centered in Lansing. Ted Bornhorst, executive director of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, and Larry Molloy, president of the Keweenaw County Historical Society, led a geological and historical field trip for the Michigan Basin Geological Society all day Friday and Saturday afternoon to the Keweenaw Peninsula for a group of 30 geologists and guests. As part the guided field trip, the group visited the museum on Friday evening where a life sized oil painting of Douglass Houghton is on exhibit. The painting was done in the 1870’s by Bradish and a duplicate was purchased by the Michigan House of Representatives in 1879. Mineral specimens collected by Douglass Houghton are on exhibit at the museum. These specimens are part of the University of Michigan mineral collection co-owned by the museum under the Michigan Mineral Alliance.
Ted Bornhorst, executive director and professor, A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, attended and gave an invited presentation at the 6th annual Dallas mineral collecting symposium held Aug. 20, 2016. Bornhorst’s presentation was titled “Michigan’s Copper Country and the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.”
The full day symposium included a presentation by the Curator of the U. S. National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian. One of the world’s foremost mineral dealers in fine mineral specimens, The Arkenstone, is the principal sponsor of the symposium. Robert Lavinsky, founder and owner of The Arkenstone, has donated several mineral specimens to the museum and played a role in another prominent donation.
Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES) recently published two new papers:
“Open-pit coal mine production sequencing incorporating grade blending and stockpiling options: An application from an Indian mine” in the Journal of Engineering Optimization, DOI: 10.1080/0305215X.2016.1210312
“Influence of surface tension gradient on liquid circulation time in a draft tube airlift reactor” in the journal of Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 113 (2016) 241-249
Outstanding alumni and friends will be recognized at the Alumni Reunion Awards Dinner on August 5, 2016.
The Humanitarian Award will be presented to James Tanis ’57, ’58 Geological Engineering / Geophysics and Janet Tanis, Sedona, Arizona.
The award is presented to those alumni and friends who, through their outstanding involvement and dedication, have made a significant contribution of volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to their Alma Mater.
Their 2007 honeymoon in East Africa was a life-changer for Jim and Jan. It’s also been a life-changer for hundreds of vulnerable children helped through the Bwindi Community Program they founded to bring hope to vulnerable children through the power of education.
A chat with 13-year-old Brian, who sold them a gorilla carving, led him to the Tanises helping him attend secondary school.
Eventually, he asked the Tanises if they could help these young people in the same way they’d helped him. The non-profit program sent the first 21 kids to school in 2010. BCP continues to grow—to 140 students in 2015—thanks to donors in six countries who sponsor individual students. In 2016 a sister charity was formed to focus on primary-grade students, while BCP focuses on secondary school and beyond. Jim serves as board president, Jan as treasurer.
Thomas Oommen (GMES/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $30,000 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
GMES graduate student El Hachemi Bouali is the Co-PI on the project “Landslide Life-Cycle Monitoring and Failure Prediction using Satellite Remote Sensing.”
This is a one-year project.
Tarshizi presentation for this year’s series is “Simulation and Animation of Marigold Mine with Dynamic Pit Operation.” SME Henry Krumb Lectures will be scheduled from October 2016 to May 2017.
John Gierke, GMES professor and department chair, is a co-director of Michigan Tech’s partnership with five universities on a three-year NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. This international, multi-institutional project is co-directed by Professor Alessandro Tibaldi of the Department of Environment and Territory and Earth Sciences at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Dr. Nino Tsereteli of the M. Nodia Institute of Geophysics of Tbilisi State University.
The project focus is the study of natural hazards that could undermine social and geopolitical stability of a delicate Transcaucasian region located between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia, near the Enguri dam, the second highest arch dam of the world, which provides approximately half of the electrical energy for Georgia.
The US project team consists of Gierke and Michigan Tech GMES associate professor Thomas Oommen. They are advising Master’s student Maria Diletta Acciaro, who is pursuing a joint MS in Geology with Michigan Tech and her home institution, the University of Milan-Bicocca.
Their first project mission was in early November 2015 in Tbilisi with a kickoff meeting between the project scientists. The second mission, which took place last May 11-25, 2016, was focused on mapping and characterizing landslides and hillslopes surrounding the reservoir and that pose potential hazards to the safety the Enguri dam. “Landslides and rock falls are common on the steep slopes of these highly-weathered mountainous areas. Larger events could be triggered by heavy rains and seismicity,” says Gierke. He and Acciaro worked with their Georgian counterparts to measure rock and soil strength for the different surficial formations in the reservoir area.
The team is estimating the relative risk of different slopes surrounding the Enguri Dam using computer models that forecast landslide susceptibility. Their estimates are based on the topography (slope), geology, and strength properties of the soils and rocks. “One of the codes allow us to include seismicity in the forecasting and the other will let us explore rainfall intensity,” adds Gierke.
Eagle Mine is collaborating with Michigan Tech’s Mining Engineering Program on creating a custom-made simulation program with dynamic visualization to model and analyze the effectiveness of emergency evacuation plans and equipment in the operation.
“It’s just a start. We look forward to developing our relationship with the Lundin’s Eagle Mine and conducting various simulation studies, while looking for mutual benefits,” stated Ebrahim Tarshizi, the principal investigator of this research investigation.
Eagle Mine, a subsidiary of Lundin Mining, is a high-grade nickel and copper underground mine located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
Research associate and curriculum development director Stephanie Tubman (Michigan Tech Mi-STAR) was lead author on two contributions appearing in the recently published monograph titled, “Geoscience for the Public Good and Global Development: Toward a Sustainable Future” (edited by Gregory R. Wessel and Jeffrey K. Greenberg, Geological Society of America Special Papers 520).
Postdoctoral research fellow Rudiger Escobar Wolf co-authored the Tubman paper titled, “The geoscientist as international community development practitioner: On the importance of looking and listening.”
Former project coordinator Essa Paterson and John Gierke (GMES) were co-authors on Tubman’s paper titled, “A Peace Corps Master’s International program in mitigation of natural geological hazards: Student outcomes and lessons learned.”
Curriculum development assistant Luke Bowman (Mi-STAR) was lead author on a paper in the same monograph titled, “University contributions to risk reduction following a disaster: A case study of reorienting natural hazards research efforts at San Vicente volcano.”
His paper was co-authored by Gierke and Agronomy Engineering Professor J. Fredy Cruz Centeno from the Universidad de El Salvador Facultad Multidisciplinario Paracentral.
Today, June 22, 2016, several geoscientists will host a public discussion about the Keweenaw Geoheritage Project. The event begins with a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the presentation at 7 p.m. at the Quincy Mine Hoist.
Two special guests will speak to options available for increasing awareness and economic and educational opportunities for the Keweenaw.
They are: Thomas Casadevall, the United State Geological Services chair of the U.S. National Committee for Geoparks, and Cecile Olive, project manager for the Puys de Dome and the Limagne Fault World Heritage Project in France.
The project is led by Bill Rose (GMES) and Erika Vye.