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

Monday, March 31st, 2014

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

Arresting the Spread of Eurasian Watermilfoil

Friday, March 7th, 2014

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.

New Funding for Great Lakes Research

Friday, February 7th, 2014

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.”

IVER 3 Maiden Voyage – Sept 10, 2013

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

IVER 3 - Michigan Tech's new fully Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)

IVER 3, Michigan Tech’s new Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)  arrived at the GLRC on Saturday, September 7.  It’s first debut into the Keweenaw waterway is happening today (Sept 10).

The IVER 3 was manufactured by Ocean Server Technology, Inc. in Fall River, MA, and   represents a new generation of far more advanced and capable AUV’s for underwater exploration and research.  Once  a mission is programmed, the AUV executes that mission ( 8 – 12 hours in duration) with no human intervention.

Basic Specs of the IVER 3
Max depth:  100m
Mission speed:  2.5 kts
Duration:  8-12 hours
Sensors:
  • Advanced EdgeTech, 3-D mapping sonar with simultaneous 600 and 1600 kHz frequencies. Provides Side Scan Sonar plus a full digital depth map over a swath of 10 X the height above the bottom.
  • RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and Doppler Velocity Log
  • Speed of sound sensor
  • HD video (not yet installed)
  • GPS, WiFi, four onboard computers and data mass storage

Video about the new IVER 3, Michigan Tech’s new Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) is in use at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Michigan Tech's new IVER 3 at work

Norm Yan Presents Seminars about Environmental Stress on Lakes

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Norm Yan of York University, Ontario, Canada is visiting Michigan Tech, presenting seminars and working on collaborations. On Monday September 9th , he presented “Regulators of recovery of acid and metal-contaminated lakes in Sudbury, Canada” for the Environmental Engineering Seminar Series. He also will present another seminar, 2:00pm Friday, September 13 in Dow 642 entitled “The widespread threat of calcium decline in Canadian Shield lakes.”

Norman Yan’s long-term professional goal is to understand the impacts of multiple environmental stressors on the biota, particularly the animal plankton, of Canadian Shield lakes. He completed his Master’s degree at the University of Toronto on the effects of acid rain on phytoplankton, and his doctoral degree at University of Guelph on the factors regulating the accumulation of toxic metals in zooplankton. After working for the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for 25 years, Yan joined York University in Toronto in 2000, and he now splits his time between the university and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Dorset Environmental Science Centre. Yan’s current areas of research are: 1) determining the individual and joint impacts on lake ecosystems of invading predators, and changes in climate, metals, acidity, calcium and nutrients; and 2) quantifying the regulators of recovery of lakes from past environmental damage. Yan has authored or co-authored over 200 publications, a body of work that has been acknowledged with both provincial and national awards of excellence in fundamental and applied research on Canadian lakes. In 2012, he was inducted as a Fellow into the Royal Society of Canada.

Video clip about Norman Yan’s visit to Michigan Tech

Antibiotic Contamination in Aquatic Sources Paper Earns Award

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Aparupa Sengupta, a PhD student in biological sciences, took third place for her oral presentation “Using a Biological Remediation System to Address Antibiotic Contamination in Aquatic Sources” at the International Conference on Medical Geology Annual Meeting 2013, held Aug. 25-29 in Arlington, Va. She was selected from among 30-35 student presenters from around the world. Sengupta received a certificate, a book and $100 prize. Her coauthors were Adjunct Professor Dibyendu Sarkar and her advisors, Professor Emerita Susan Bagley and Associate Professor Rupali Datta (Bio Sci).

UMD Glider Missions in Lake Superior, Summer 2013

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Slocum Glider visits GLRC from University of Minnesota-Duluth

The Slocum Glider, owned by the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD), was brought to the GLRC by Dr. Jay Austin for extended times to follow the Ranger III route across Lake Superior from the North entry to Isle Royale. A 13-day mission resulted in 2 round trips to Isle Royale where the glider gathered profile data of the water from the surface to the lake bottom.  A second 5-day mission was a single round trip across the same route.  The data gathered by the glider will complement data gathered by instrumentation on the Ranger III on every trip it makes to Isle Royale.

The glider is programmed to move vertically as well as horizontally in the water to collect profile data. When the glider periodically surfaced, it transmitted data back to the operations computer, so researchers could monitor its progress. At the end of each mission, the glider surfaced and transmitted its current location coordinates to the pick-up crew on the S/V Polar for retrieval.  This is the beginning of a great collaboration between the GLRC and the Large Lakes Observatory at UM-D.

Record Number of days at sea with the R/V Agassiz, Summer-Fall 2013

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

The R/V Agassiz has had a record number of launch days scheduled for summer and fall 2013.  Over 70 days have been scheduled out on the water for research, outreach, and course lab work. Researchers include Drs. Mouw, Fahnenstiel, Kerfoot, and Urban. Outreach activities include community and K-12 class tours and the GM Ride the Waves program with Joan Chadde, Rob Handler, and Dr. M. Auer. Drs. Urban, Marcarelli, and Rose have scheduled the R/V Agassiz for lab courses and field trips.

See Photos and Videos at “Ride the Waves with GM” and Public Learns how Scientists Assess the Health of the Great Lakes

More Photos: Teachers on RV Agassiz

Research on the NOAA Research Vessel Storm

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

R/V Storm (on right) visits the GLRC from NOAA

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) visited the GLRC with the R/V Storm for 2 weeks in August, with another opportunity for Michigan Tech researchers to take advantage of longer excursions into the Great Lakes. Drs. Gary Fahnenstiel and Colleen Mouw began a long-term water quality-monitoring program with trips in northern Lake Superior towards Canada. Charlie Kerfoot was able to expand his sampling in the Buffalo Reef near the Gay shore. Dr. Kerfoot was able to position the R/V Storm and the R/V Agassiz in the same vicinity at the same time, and was able to use a Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) to obtain video coverage of the Gay stamp sands encroaching on Buffalo Reef.

See a video about the RV Storm

NOAA Marine superintendent Dennis Donahue talks about the RV Storm and Dr Gary Fahnenstiel talks about the research work on Lake Superior.

Research on the USGS Research Vessel Sturgeon

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

June 23-30, 2013
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) visited the GLRC with the R/V Sturgeon for a week in June, giving Michigan Tech researchers the opportunity to conduct overnight sampling trips, and to explore the possibilities of extended boat time that has currently been restricted to single day excursions with the facilities on the R/V Agassiz. Nancy Auer was able to perform some night time research, and the R/V Sturgeon also assisted in some work on the instrumented buoys located near the North and South entries into Lake Superior.

R/V Lake Sturgeon (USGS) visits the GLRC

Researchers on the R/V Sturgeon (USGS) on Lake Superior

R/V Lake Sturgeon (USGS) ready for overnight voyages

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