Archives—December 2013

Winkler’s class presents on geothermal heating from mine water

Prof. Richelle Winkler’s class on community engagement reported their findings on the feasibility of using billions of gallons of water flooding area copper mines as a reservoir for geothermal heating in Calumet.  Their study, though largely nontechnical, was well received by an audience at the CLK commons, many of whom wanted to know more about the technical possibilities and limitations.  Winkler emphasized that it was up to the community to decide how to pursue the ideas — whether doing it as a public utility, a publi-private partnership, or however — and referred them to the class’s report on the topic and to a number of experts in the room, including staff from the Keweenaw Research Center, which has already installed geothermal mine water heating and cooling system.

The public event was picked up by numerous news outlets: on campus, locally, as far away as Indiana, and by various tech and mining blogs.



Schelly delivers Green Lecture on Technology

Asst. Prof. Chelsea Schelly presented a lecture last night in the 2013 Green Lecture Series on, “Technology, Nature & Society: Seeing the Social in the Material of Everyday Life.”

Read coverage of the event from the Daily Mininnig Gazette.

About the Lecture:

The technologies that we use in our everyday life – from electricity and transportation technologies, to cell phones and computers, to foods – impact the environment and the ways we relate to one another and to our communities. These technologies also shape the social and political organization of our society. We learn what “normal” life is, through our interactions with the materials that make life possible and comfortable. However, our use of those materials is shaped, and often limited, by factors outside our control, such as the policies that influence their use. In this talk, I will present some of the reasons people adopt alternative technologies (related to broad lifestyle choices and the policies that influence our choices) and some of the potential implications of these alternative technologies for how we meet our material needs and comforts. By recognizing that these technologies have social implications, we can begin to question how to best use these technologies to promote sustainable communities.


Green Lecture: Technology, Nature & Society: Seeing the Social in the Materials of Everyday Life

Chelsea SchellyGreen Lecture: Technology, Nature & Society: Seeing the Social in the Materials of Everyday Life
By Dr. Chelsea Schelly, Assistant Professor, MTU Dept. of Social Sciences
Date & Time: Wednesday, December 11, 7:00—8:30 pm
Location: G002, Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building, Michigan Tech

Cost: FREE Enjoy coffee & tea! (Participants are encouraged to bring cookies!)

The technologies that we use in our everyday life – from electricity and transportation technologies, to cell phones and computers, to foods – impact the environment and the ways we relate to one another and to our communities.

Read more at the College of Engineering Blog.

Lecture to address technologies’ impacts on everyday life TONIGHT, Dec. 11, at Michigan Tech

Her talk is sponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences, the Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Keweenaw Land Trust.

Read more at Keweenaw Now.


Presentation on Feasibility of Minewater Geothermal Energy Development in Calumet

Minewater Geothermal Presentation InvitationExploring the Social Feasibility of Minewater Geothermal in Calumet
Public Presentation
Thursday, December 12, 2013
7:00 pm
CLK Schools Commons

A class of Michigan Tech undergraduate and graduate students have partnered with Main Street Calumet to conduct a research project investigating the social feasibility of tapping into the minewater beneath the village of Calumet for geothermal energy. Students in the class worked together with Calumet community members to understand the demand for energy use within the village, to measure distances between mine shafts and key locations, and to summarize opportunities and challenges for community development associated with using the legacy of mining in the community as a sustainable and independent energy source.

Students will present the results of this project in a free public presentation on December 12 at 7:00pm at the CLK Schools Commons. A discussion and social will follow the presentation with coffee and snacks. Please join us! Everyone is welcome! CLK Schools is located at 57070 Mine Street in Calumet. Enter through the west entrance off Red Jacket Road. For additional information or questions please contact Dr. Richelle Winkler at rwinkler@mtu.edu or 906-487-1886.

Michigan Tech students to present study on feasibility of minewater as geothermal energy for Calumet Dec. 12

The public is warmly invited to a community gathering and presentation of the results of a research project assessing the social and economic feasibility of tapping into mine shafts for geothermal energy in Calumet. The presentation will look at the opportunities and challenges associated with using the legacy of mining in the community as a sustainable and independent energy source. The project is the result of a collaborative effort between Main Street Calumet, Dr. Richelle Winkler and students at Michigan Technological University.

The purpose of the presentation and discussion this Thursday is to help people in the community decide whether this is something they would like to do, Winkler explained.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bourdieu.

Class Investigates Tapping Mines for Geothermal Heat: Presentation Tonight

Richelle Winkler, assistant professor of social sciences, taught the class of undergraduates and grad students and says that they learned much from the project.

“This was a real-world research project,” Winkler says. “The students learned a lot about the community: how they work together, how to empower people to ask questions and get excited about a project.”

As Winkler’s group looks at the social aspects, an Enterprise team is looking at the technical side. That group is advised by Jay Meldrum, director of the Keweenaw Research Center, which is currently using mine water geothermal for heating and cooling.

Read more at Tech Today, by Dennis Walikainen.

Class Investigates Tapping Mines for Geothermal Heat in Calumet

Richelle Winkler, assistant professor of social sciences, taught the class of undergraduates and graduate students. She says that they learned much from the project.

“This was a real-world research project,” Winkler explains. “The students learned a lot about the community: how they work together, how to empower people to ask questions and get excited about a project.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Dennis Walikainen.

MTU students present Calumet proposal to heat buildings with mine water

With 37 mine shafts holding billions of gallons of water beneath the village of Calumet, the researchers took it upon themselves to see it put to use.

“This is a sustainable resource, and we have so many around the area that one possible thing that we could save on is cost, and that seems to be a huge issue around this area,” said student researcher, Carrie Karvakko.

Read more and watch the video at Upper Michigans Source, by Sarah Blakely.



Film Premiere of Red Metal

Red MetalFilm premiere of Red Metal: The Copper Country Strike of 1913
Friday, December 6, 2013
7:00 pm, Calumet Theatre

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections presents the premiere of Red Metal: The Copper Country Strike of 1913, a documentary film by Emmy award-winning producer Jonathan Silvers & Saybrook Productions.

Admission is free. Donations will support the Calumet Theatre and the Michigan Tech Archives.

Social sciences emeritus faculty Larry Lankton and Kim Hoagland appear in this film.

Read more at Michigan Tech Archives Blog.



Reindeer Ride for Mary Durfee

Reindeer Sledding in Finland
Reindeer Sledding in Finland

Associate Professor Mary Durfee tells us about her experience in Rovaniemi, Finland:

It was even better than I expected. We met at the business place and they gave us insulated boots and snow-mobile suits. Drove us about 20-25 minutes into the country side until there were pretty much no lights. We stood around the farm with the reindeer and then they had us walk to a different area. There were two young couples and me. The couples each got a sled with a reindeer and I got the last one. The reindeer are tied together in a little reindeer train. It was quite cold -20c/ -4 F maybe even colder. Stars were out and ever so bright. A diffuse white glow was towards the North, though at first I thought it might be lights from Rovaniemi. We went through woods and fields, stopping now and then. Got back to the farm and we went into a log cabin that had a nice fire going. They served us piping hot cloudberry tea (I think) and gave us a sausage to heat over the fire (probably reindeer, but I didn’t hear). The herders let in two dogs–a 7 month old puppy learning to be a bird dog and a 7 year old that helps herd reindeer. The owner of the older dog had him do tricks–beg, roll over (both ways), speak, drop dead. After a bit one of the herders came in and said come quick. Lovely wavy curtain of Northern Lights. People who were taking photos got a lot of green color and it seemed tinged with that to my eyes. Then the lights became arcs–three of them in concentric arcs. Then they got more unstable and started twisting and reforming. We followed the herders as they fed their working reindeer and some that were near a fence. We were cold and went back in the cabin for more warmth. Back out to return, but we watched the lights for another 5-10 minutes and then home. Memorable.