Category Archives: Research

Great Lakes News Briefs

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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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Michigan Tech Deploys Under-ice Research Instruments in Frozen Portage Waterway

image118075-horizResearch partners from the University of Michigan and the University of Hawaii joined Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) scientists and engineers to deploy 17 under-ice research instruments 16 feet below the frozen Portage Waterway last Friday afternoon.

The instruments included an underwater video camera, water testing equipment, a hydrophone and an underwater light sensor. The research, which will go on through April, is part of an Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) study for which Michigan Tech was selected as the winter study site.

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Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program

IMG_8027 (1280x853)Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) provided the boat and crew and Michigan Tech provides the people who do the sampling as part of NOAA’s Great Lakes Monitoring program. Michigan Tech and NOAA share in the analysis and discovery.

Crew: Beau Braymer, Captain of RV5501; Bob Harvey, Mate of RV5501; Dr. Gary Fahnenstiel, Senior Scientist, Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech Research Institute; Dr. Foad Yousef, Post doctoral research Michigan Tech and Erin Cafferty Michigan Tech Research Institute, research in freshwater biology phycology.

RV 5501 is a vessel of the NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL); The Boat Engineering Branch of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Engineering Logistics Center designed the 55′ ANB (Aids to Navigation Boat). The Coast Guard Yard completed the detailed design and contracted the initial production of 55′ ANB. The 55′ ANB is designed primarily to service aids to navigation within the inland waters, bays, sounds and harbors of the United States. It is capable and equipped to support multi-mission operations.

View more Photos in a slide show

View the Video Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program at the Great Lakes Research Channel

Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014
Great Lakes Research Vessel NOAA RV 5501 at Michigan Tech: Lake Superior Joint Monitoring Program July 2014