Category Archives: Research

Governor Rick Snyder at Great Lakes Research Center

snyder1aMichigan Governor Rick Snyder toured the Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center on Thursday August 13. He was given a presentation by GLRC staff on four current projects, including a collaboration to provide real-time environmental monitoring of the water conditions in the Straits of Mackinac.
Links to the several news media articles follow:

WJMN Video: “Governor Snyder’s U.P. tour continues at MTU”

Keweenaw Now: “Gov. Snyder visits Michigan Tech’s GLRC”

The Keweenaw Report “Snyder Visits Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center”

UpperMichiganSource WLUC TV Governor Rick Snyder views new buoy at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center

Dianda Pleased with Michigan Tech, Enbridge Partnership

Daily Mining Gazette article “Snyder Visits Tech”

Daily Mining Gazette article “Oh buoy: MTU sentinel will track state of Straits”

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Lake Superior Research Experience for Grad Students

IMG_6377BL5421 Lake Superior Explorations for Graduate Students Summer 2015

This is a field intensive Biological Sciences course at the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University with significant time spent on research vessels (R/V Agassiz or NOAA R/V 5501) where students learn the use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize biological communities and measure important physical and biological processes.

Instructors: Nancy A. Auer, Amy Marcarelli, Gary Fahnenstiel, Casey Huckins, (all Biological Sciences.) and Marty Auer (CEE) and Guy Meadows, Director of GLRC.

Explorations take students to several Lake Superior environments, weather permitting, including the Ontonagon River, Huron and Keweenaw Bays and several sites along the western shoreline of the Keweenaw Peninsula. This voyage of discovery targets ecosystem processes, seeking signals of their presence along boundaries in time and space, including day/night sampling and over gradients found at the interface between tributaries and the open lake, along the major axis of embayments and across the coastal margin.

Areas of coverage include: Collection of standard light, temperature, DO profiles, use of drogues/drifters to track current, Autonomous vehicle application, Sonar profiles, Primary production by microbes and algae, day and night comparisons of zooplankton, benthos and fish, and ROVs to observe these organisms, and standard PONAR and sediment collection.

Click here to see the Photo Gallery for Lake Superior Explorations at the Great Lakes Research Center BL5421

See videos of Lake Superior Explorations for Graduate Students

Lake Superior Explorations at the Great Lakes Research Center BL5421
Lake Superior Explorations at the Great Lakes Research Center BL5421

Great Lakes News Briefs

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Lake Superior Research Experience for Grad Students
BL5421 Lake Superior Explorations for Graduate Students Summer 2015: This is a field intensive Biological Sciences course at the Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University with significant time spent on research vessels (R/V Agassiz or NOAA R/V 5501) where students learn the use of a variety of state-of-the-art techniques to characterize biological communities and measure important physical and biological processes. Read More and see the Photo Gallery

Straits of Mackinac New Monitoring Buoy
Environmental Monitor, an environmental news service, reported on the Michigan Tech GLRC’s deployment of a buoy to monitor water conditions in the Straits of Mackinac.
Associated Press, the Sault Ste. Marie Evening News, WJMN-TV and other news outlets around Michigan covered Michigan Tech’s announcement of Enbridge’s sponsorship of a new monitoring buoy that will be deployed and operated by Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the Straits of Mackinac. Read more here “Governor Rick Snyder at Great Lakes Research Center”
See the “Finding safe harbor: Michigan Tech monitoring buoy will enhance weather forecasting in the Straits” article from Enbridge
Technology Century, a science and technology news website published by the Engineering Society of Detroit, reported on the Michigan Tech Great Lakes Research Center’s new buoy for monitoring water conditions in the Straits of Mackinac. The buoy is sponsored by Enbridge Energy Partners, the firm that owns a pipeline in the Straits.


Top 10 in the nation for bachelor’s degree programs for natural resources and conservation

College Factual, a website member of USA Today’s College Partner Network, has ranked Michigan Tech in the top 10 in the nation for bachelor’s degree programs in the general area of natural resources and conservation and 5th in the nation for its forestry programs within natural resources and conservation. College Factual lists four undergraduate degrees in three areas within the field of natural resources and conservation at Michigan Tech. The areas are natural resources conservation, forestry and wildlife management.
Most college rankings are based on surveys of deans, faculty and students. College Factual says its rankings are based on more objective data, including outcomes-based metrics, which College Factual defines as: “Can students in these programs actually make a living after graduation?” In Michigan Tech’s case, the website determined that they can.

Teachers attend Teacher Institute to better teach students
News media covered the teacher programs at GLRC and Michigan Tech. Links to an article at UpperMichigan Source It also includes a YouTube Video Teachers attend Teacher Institute to better teach students Also a group picture

Phytoplankton Distribution in a Sub-Arctic Basin
Colleen Mouw (GMES/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a student fellowship project that has received a $30,000 grant from NASA. The project is titled, CDOM Variability and its Influence on Phytoplankton Distribution in a Sub-Arctic Basin. Also involved with the project is Co-PI Bruce Grunert (GMEW/GLRC).


Foster Great Lakes Literacy, Identity and Stewardship

Joan Schumaker-Chadde (CEE/GLRC) has received $5,000 from Michigan State University for the public service project Governance Approaches to Foster Great Lakes Literacy, Identity and Stewardship: An Integrated Assessment.

Side-scan Sonar
“From wrecks to research: the work of the side-scan sonar” featured in a Daily Mining Gazette article about the work of Tech Coordinator of Marine Operations Jamie Anderson. See the article. A story “MTU finds shipwreck with side-scan sonar” also appeared in the Marquette Mining Journal. See that article here.

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Nina Mahmoudian Receives a Young Investigator Program Award from Office of Naval Research

image123120-horizOnly 36 faculty across the US were invited to join the Young Investigator Program (YIP) from the Office of Naval Research this year; additionally, only a small percent of faculty receive the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Nina Mahmoudian, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics at Michigan Technological University, is one of a select few to receive both in the same year.

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Working Together to Build Drought Resiliency

image122501-horizDrought in the southwest has left only a trickle running through irrigation ditches on farms outside El Paso, Texas. The Rio Grande — called Rio Bravo in Mexico — is what supplies that trickle, struggling to meet water demands in three US states and five in Mexico.

As drought continues, and demand grows, researchers like Alex Mayer from Michigan Technological University are looking to new models to improve the region’s drought resiliency. Mayer, a professor of environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, is part of a unique team looking at water resources along a section of the Rio Grande. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, part of the US Department of Agriculture, has awarded the project a $4.9 million grant to study water shortage and climate change for the next five years in the region.

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Amy Marcarelli Receives NSF CAREER Award

image121680-horizResearch indicates human activities have altered the global nitrogen cycle as much or more than the global carbon cycle. Yet it seems the public is far less aware of these changes.

In the world of aquatic biology, it’s a long-held belief that what goes up, must come down. As human activity causes nitrogen loads to go up along the banks of rivers and streams, nitrogen levels go down through another process. Amy Marcarelli, a Michigan Technological University associate professor in biological sciences, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study this nitrogen conversion balance.

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Listening Under the Ice

image121598-horizThe watery world under winter’s ice is a mystery. It’s also a world full of sound. Now, as the days lengthen and the ice is retreating, researchers at Michigan Technological University are wrapping up their first winter season of underwater acoustic studies.

Learning more about acoustic properties underwater — and specifically under the ice — is important for designing acoustic communication networks and quiet underwater vehicles. These networks and vehicles have a range of applications. Environment monitoring is an example, encompassing everything from ice movement to the habits of aquatic critters to keeping tabs on chemical conditions.

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Michigan Tech World Water Day 2015

IMG_3709Michigan Tech celebrated World Water Day on March 23, 2015. Professor Peter Goodwin presented a lecture on “River Restoration and Flood Management”. Goodwin is the director of the Center for Ecohydraulics Research at the University of Idaho and also served as the science director for the California Delta Program. He is the DeVlieg Presidential Professor in Ecohydraulics and Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Idaho.

The Center for Water & Society World Water Day poster competition was held at the Great Lakes Research Center. Awards were made in two categories: Original Research (presentation of thesis or project research) and Coursework/Informational (presentation of coursework or literature-based research).

Original Research
1st place: Jennifer Fuller
Developing a Sustainable Solution to an Urgent Problem: Pharmaceuticals in the Water Cycle
2nd Place: Anika Kuczynski
Shining Light on Cladophora in the Great Lakes
3rd Place: Marcel Dijkstra
Ecosystem function in Lake Superior: The impact of “big heat” (2012) and “big chill” (2014)

Coursework/Informational
1st place: Hayden Henderson group
Decentralized Wastewater Treatment (DEWATS): San Francisco del Valle, Panama
2nd Place: Erica Coscarelli group
LEED Certification of the Van Pelt and Opie Library
3rd Place: Sarah Harttung
Hawai’ian Coral Reef Sedimentation from Industry and Its Impacts

More Details, News Articles, Photos and Video

Michigan Tech Celebrates World Water Day
Michigan Tech Celebrates World Water Day
Panel "What role will dams play in future water resource management?"
Panel “What role will dams play in future water resource management?”

Mapping the Great Lakes’ Wetlands

image119918-horizFluorescent bands of color outline the Great Lakes on a new, comprehensive map of the region’s coastal wetlands. This publicly available map is the first of its kind on such a broad scale — and the only one to trump political boundaries. Both Canadian and US wetlands are shown along more than 10,000 miles of shoreline.

The Great Lakes is an important focus of Michigan Technological University research. The coastal wetlands map is an extension of that focus, expanding on previous maps created through the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI).

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