GLRC News and Announcements

Earth Day at Michigan Tech Today

Posted by ehgroth under News

by Erika Vichcales, student writer

With the sun shining and the mounds of snow disappearing, it is starting to feel like spring–just in time for Earth Day. Today is Earth Day and Michigan Tech is celebrating with activities all week long, including a Lake Superior Celebration and a rainforest reptile show.

The Lake Superior Celebration, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center, will feature hands-on activities, a new PBS video on the Great lakes Stewardship Initiative, school-community projects, local foods, “Wildflowers of the UP” by Bob Wild and the “Water’s Edge Art Exhibit.”

A new PBS video will be aired at the celebration. It features local participants in the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. The event is free and open to the public and all are welcome. The Lake Superior Celebration is sponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and Michigan Tech’s Western UP Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Earth Day was started in 1970 to help raise awareness, channeling the energy of the anti-Vietnam War protest movement to help bring environmental issues to the forefront. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was inspired to establish Earth Day after witnessing the aftermath of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, in 1969.

Earth Day activities are designed to promote awareness of environmental issues faced on a daily basis and to get people involved in environmental action. “We should try to make every day Earth Day by constantly being vigilant of the Earth, minding where we throw our trash, how much energy we consume and how much water we use,” said Allen Price, president of the Students for Environmental Sustainability. “It is important to recognize these days because it highlights one day of the year to truly think about one’s impacts on the Earth and about how every human being is connected to and sustained by the same planet. If we do not change, we will have poisoned what we know to be the only home to complex life in our galaxy and possibly the universe.”

Other Earth Day activities include:
* Rainforest Reptiles Show, 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., today at the Rozsa Center. Part of the Rozsa Center’s popular “Class Acts” series, the reptiles show features more than 200 exotic reptiles including Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, iguanas, lizards, turtles and alligators. Most Copper Country Intermediate School District schools are bringing students.

* An electronics recycle drive starts Monday at Finlandia University’s Maki Library and continues until April 30. Michigan Tech will have an electronics and battery recycling drive in the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building today, sponsored by the Students for Environmental Sustainability.

* A seminar on the topics of “Three Systems Thinking in the Lake Superior Watershed,” “The Centrality of Community for Sustainable Development” and “The Origins of Sustainable Development theory is scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday, April 24, in Fisher 135.

* An animated film of Dr. Seuss’s “The Lorax” will be shown in Fisher 135 at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 24.

Celebrate the unique assets of the Lake Superior Region

Posted by ehgroth under News, Outreach

Come to the Lake Superior Celebration
Celebrate the unique assets of the Lake Superior Region.

More information

-Displays of the work of Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative School-Community teams.
-Wildflowers of the U.P. presentation by Bob Wild, Porcupine Mountain State Park
-Local foods
-Music by local musicians
-Tours of GLRC
-Waters Edge Art Display: Amy Arndse
-Hands on activities, displays and exhibits
-New PBS ” Grow Up Green” film about the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.
-Birthday cake & lemonade

The Lake Superior Celebration is April 22, 6-8pm at the GLRC. It is open to all and free for the public.

This event is sponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) and Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education in recognition of the Initiative’s 6-year anniversary.

More information

World Water Day 2014 at Michigan Tech and Great Lakes Research Center

Posted by ehgroth under News, Outreach, Research

Article by Erika Vichcales, student writer, from Tech Today, Updated March 28, 2014

In recognition of World Water Day, Michigan Tech sponsored a variety of events through March 27. This year’s international event focuses on water and energy and the connections between them.

World Water Day was started by the United Nations to raise awareness about the problems surrounding water on our planet. The world is more than 70 percent covered in water, yet less than 1 percent is available for people to use.

“Given our location, with water surrounding us, it is important to recognize the significance of water and the threats being faced by that water,” said Professor Noel Urban (CEE), the director of the Center for Water and Society. “Because we have so much water here we may not think that it is a scarce resource, but even within the Great Lakes Basin water scarcity occurs. Water quality is also an issue throughout the region.”

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events included the following:

Monday, March 24
* Seminar by Interim Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington on the “Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development (Including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing)” 3 p.m., Great Lakes Research Center 202.

Wednesday, March 26
* World Water Day student poster session, 4-7 p.m., Dow Lobby. The posters will illustrate their research and course work that involves water.
* Water’s Edge Art Exhibit, Great Lakes Research Center. On display will be the work of three different artists. The exhibition will run through April 23.
* Lecture by Robert Howarth of Cornell University on environmental impacts of hydraulic fracking, the practice of injecting water underground to release deposits of oil and natural gas, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday March 27
* A panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing, 10 a.m.-noon, Great Lakes Research Center 202.

* Lecture: Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan
“When can we drink the water? Reflections on Indigenous water rights and sovereignty”
Guest lecture in Emma Norman’s World Resources Development class
“The main things students need to think about is how important water really is to humans and to all of our economic and cultural activity, and the need to preserve that for future generations,” said Urban. “It’s a time to think about how well we are doing that task.”

World Water Day events are sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, Sustainable Futures Institute, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, Great Lakes Research Center, Visual and Performing Arts, and Finlandia University. Partial funding was provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. through a grant from the Johnson Family Foundation for a Let’s Talk About Water event.

Link to More photos and individual Poster Photos

World Water Day Poster Awards

The Center for Water and Society thanks all of the students who participated in the CWS World Water Day Poster Competition. The poster session is a significant part of our World Water Day events, and is a great opportunity to share the water research taking place at Michigan Tech. The electronic version of the posters will soon be on the CWS website for those of you who missed the poster session, or would like to review them more thoroughly.

Congratulations to our award winners!

Original Research Awards

Jennifer Fuller – 1st place – $250
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Developing a Sustainable Treatment Solution to an Urgent Problem: Synthetic Hormones in the Water Cycle

Marcel Dijkstra – 2nd place – $150
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ecosystem function in Lake Superior: Impacts of an episodic climate anomaly

Alex Collins – 3rd place tie – $100
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Inter-annual Differences in the Water Use of Mature Sugar Maple in Response to Experimental Warming and Irrigation

Ashley Coble – 3rd place tie – $100
Biological Sciences
Nutrient Limitation and Temporal Variability of Dissolved Organic Carbon Mineralization in a Lake Superior Tributary

Coursework/Informational Awards

Mary Moritz – 1st place – $250
Civil & Environmental Engineering
The Barro Blanco Dam: 30 years of engineering and politics

Jennifer Fuller – 2nd place – $150
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Performance Evaluations on the Removal of Synthetic Hormones by Advanced Oxidation Processes in Drinking Water Treatment

Laura Gallagher – 3rd place – $100
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Pseudo-steady State Evaluations on the Removal of n-propylbenzene from Water by Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Processes

Link to More photos and individual Poster Photos

Lecture Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Howarth, Cornell University

Panel Discussion on hydraulic fracturing

World Water Day poster competition

Michigan Tech Students Head to Detroit for Alternative Spring Break

Posted by ehgroth under News, Outreach

Students from the Michigan Tech National Society of Black Engineers will visit seven middle and high schools in Detroit to promote college and engineering. In the evenings, they will conduct Family Engineering Night events at three K-8 schools. NSBE’s Alternative Spring Break is conducted in collaboration with the Detroit Public Schools Office of Science and Detroit Math & Science Center, and funded in part, with a grant from John Deere.

More information

Arresting the Spread of Eurasian Watermilfoil

Posted by ehgroth under News, Research

Casey Huckins (Bio Sci), Amy Marcarelli (Bio Sci), Rodney Chimner (SFRES), Guy Meadows (GLRC) and Colin Brooks (MTRI) have received $272,364 of $499,887 for a two-year research and development project “Arresting the Spread of Eurasian Watermilfoil in Lake Superior,” from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Family Transportation Activity Night

Posted by ehgroth under News, Outreach

A Family Transportation Activity Night was held recently at Ocean Springs Upper Elementary School near Gulfport, Miss.
Two CEE graduate students traveled with Joan Chadde, education/outreach program coordinator, Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, and presented an activity called “Packaging Bananas” that they helped to develop. The students were Irfan Rasul, graduate research assistant (advisor Pasi Lautala) and Adriano Rothschild, graduate teaching assistant (advisor Jeff Lidicker).

Find out more about the many Outreach programs of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach

New Funding for Great Lakes Research

Posted by ehgroth under News, Research

Guy Meadows (GLRC) has received $25,000 for the first year of a potential two-year project from the University of Michigan for “Restoring, Retrofitting and Recoupling Michigan’s Great Lakes Shorelands in the Face of Global Climate Disruption.”

Colleen Mouw (GMES/GLRC) has been awarded a four-year, $82,739 research grant from the National Science Foundation for “Collaborative Research: Continuation and Enhancement of MPOWIR.”

Governing Transboundary Waters Canada, the United States and Indigenous Communities

Posted by ehgroth under Uncategorized

Emma S. Norman, assistant professor of geography (SS/GLRC) has just been named a research associate with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. This affiliation will allow her direct access to Smithsonian materials for research and educational purposes and also provide her the opportunity to collaborate with Smithsonian employees. The first project she is undertaking is to work with their staff cartographer and senior geographer to create a series of maps that show the changing settlement patterns of indigenous peoples along the Canada-US border (pre- and post-contact) and how those patterns impact access to and governance of water. These maps will appear in her forthcoming book, Transboundary Water Governance: Canada, the United States, and Indigenous Communities (Routledge) and will also also be made publicly available through the Smithsonian. Read about it online Governing Transboundary Waters.

Project Learning Tree workshop in Detroit

Posted by ehgroth under Outreach

Joan Chadde, education program coordinator, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, conducted a Project Learning Tree workshop for 15 Detroit Public School teachers on Feb. 1, in Detroit at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, as part of the third year of a US Forest Service grant to integrate urban and community forestry into the middle/high school curriculum, including the benefits of trees, how to assess forest health, forest stewardship and careers in forestry and natural resources.

Green Film Series Spring 2014

Posted by ehgroth under Outreach

Spring 2014 Green Film/Lecture Series
The Green Film Series takes place once a month, January through May 2014. The films will highlight a wide variety of engaging topics, from the miniature house movement to genetically modified foods. Following each film, a facilitator knowledgeable on each topic, will lead a discussion.

Green Film Series Webpage and Schedule (PDF available)

The Green Film Series is cosponsored by:
Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative ♦ Michigan Tech Center for Water & Society ♦ Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship ♦ Keweenaw Land Trust
With partial funding from the Keweenaw Community Foundation Environmental Endowment

The films will be shown in Hesterberg Hall in the Michigan Tech Forestry Building. The films will begin at 7:00 PM with discussion lasting until 9:00 PM. The event is free and open to the public, though there is a $3 suggested donation. Coffee and desert will be offered during the facilitated discussion – please bring a reusable mug to save resources!


Jan. 23 – Fuel A shrinking economy, failing auto industry, rampant unemployment, out-of-control national debt, and an insatiable demand for energy weigh heavily on all of us. “Fuel” points the way out of this mess by explaining how to replace every drop of oil we now use, while creating green jobs and keeping our money here at home. Not dwelling on the negative, the film shows solutions already within our reach. (112 min.)


Feb. 20 – Tiny: A story about living small The “tiny house” movement can be traced back as far as Thoreau’s book, Walden. Thoreau’s ideal of simplifying life, considering which comforts and possessions can be done without in order to live a life that is “more deliberate” rings true for many. Whatever their motivation, Tiny House owners have come up with some inspiring designs and innovations for living comfortably in small spaces. (62 min.) Website for Tiny: A story about living smal


March 20 – Gasland Focusing on US communities impacted by natural gas drilling (fracking), the producer spent time with citizens in their homes and on their land as they relayed stories of natural gas drilling including a variety of chronic health problems directly traceable to contamination of their air, of their water wells or of surface water. Throughout the documentary, Fox reached out to scientists, politicians, and gas industry executives. Find out why hydraulic fracturing was exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. (100 min.) Movie website


April 17 – Thin Ice Climate science has been coming under increasing attack. In this documentary, geologist Simon Lamb takes his camera to climate science colleagues around the world to find out what’s really going on and reveals the human face of climate science. The film provides an accessible introduction to the latest Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (114 min.) Thin Ice Website


May 8 – GMO OMG Explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds, investigating how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. Following one family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system. Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked, or can we take back our food, heal the planet, and live sustainably? (85 min.) Movie Website

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer

1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295

Michigan Technological University

1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295

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