Category Archives: News

Anthropology Major Wins EPA Greater Research Opportunities Undergraduate Fellowship

Melissa Michaelson
Melissa Michaelson

Michigan Tech student Melissa Michaelson has been awarded two years of funding to complete her B.S. in anthropology through the EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship for Undergraduate Environmental Study. She has the honor of being one of only 34 awards given nationwide in this competition. In addition to funding her education for the final two years of her degree, Melissa will be placed in a paid summer internship at an EPA facility. She is focusing her degree in the area of environmental anthropology with the aim of doing senior thesis research on social and cultural barriers to a plastic free campus and community. Building on her experience designing a display of 600 plastic bottles collected from local trash bins to engage local community members in discussions about consumption patterns, Melissa continues to do community-engaged research in Dr. Richelle Winkler’s Communities and Research class. This year the class, funded by a separate EPA People, Prosperity and Planet grant, is creating a guidebook that former mining communities can use to evaluate the social and technical feasibility of using minewater for geothermal energy. Her sponsor for the EPA GRO Fellowship is Dr. Kari Henquinet.

Plastic Bottle Chains
Plastic Bottle Chains
Melissa Michaelson with plastic bottles.
Melissa Michaelson with plastic bottles.

Winkler (SS) and Meldrum (KRC) to Present on Minewater for Geothermal Energy in the Keweenaw

GreenEnergyLecturesFall2014Flyer 11.05Green Lecture Series:  Issues and Dialog – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 20 at the MTU Forestry Building, Hesterberg Hall.

Dr. Richelle Winkler,  Assistant Professor of Sociology and Demography, Dept. of Social Sciences at Michigan Tech and Jay Meldrum, Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center will be presenting on “Using Mine Water for Geothermal Energy in the Keweenaw”

Billions of gallons of ‘warm’ water are stored in the mine workings that underlie much of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Michigan
Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center uses this water for geothermal heating and cooling. Could expanding mine water geothermal heating projects to local communities provide a sustainable, affordable, and community-centered source of local energy?

 

SS Talk: Seth DePasqual on “Where’s the Beach? Revisiting the Archaic Along Isle Royale’s Relict Nipissing Shoreline”

seth depasqual-112:00 noon on Friday, November 21th in AOB 201. 

Seth DePasqual, NPS Cultural Resource Manager for Isle Royale National Park, will be presenting on “Where’s the Beach? Revisiting the Archaic Along Isle Royale’s Relict Nipissing Shoreline”

His talk, “Where’s the Beach? Revisiting the Archaic along Isle Royale’s Relict Nipissing Shoreline,” presents current archaeological research at the Park focused on the relict Lake Superior shoreline dating to ~5000 BP, and will place the Relict Shoreline Survey Project within the context of the Park’s prehistory and known archaeological resources.

Langston to Present at FOLK Annual Meeting

LangstonNancy Langston, professor of environmental history and social sciences, will be speaking about the Binational Forum’s work in the Lake Superior Basin at the FOLK annual meeting on Wednesday, November 19th. Langston is a member of the Great Lakes Research Center and the Binational Forum.

The presentation will take place at the Portage Lake District Library at 6 p.m. Both the meeting and the presentation are open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

From Tech Today.

Houghton County Energy Plan Entered in National Competition

Houghton_County_Energy_PlanFour MTU graduate students have authored an energy plan for Houghton County, which is a quarter-finalist in the national competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million. The prize challenges participating communities to tap their imagination, creativity, and spirit of competition and work together with their local government and utilities toward a shared goal of reducing their consumption of gas and electricity.
Houghton County’s plan, which was submitted on November 10th, focuses on energy efficiency improvements driven by community outreach efforts. The authors were Brad Barnett, Edward Louie & Brent Burns, all graduate students in the Department of Social Sciences and Abhilash Kantamneni, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science. Earlier drafts of the plan were reviewed by Professor Barry Solomon and Assistant Professor Richelle Winkler, and received significant community input through multiple public meetings. Winkler has also been a facilitator for the Houghton County Energy Efficiency Team (HEET), which is a community organization working with local utilities, public officials, and community organizations to help local residents save energy and reduce costs. There are currently 52 teams in the competition, and the winner will be announced in 2017.
For more information on HEET’s efforts, review the Houghton County energy plan, and to learn how you can get involved visit: http://houghtonenergyefficiency.com/

SS Talk: Laura Walikainen Rouleau on “Private Spaces in Public Places: Public Restrooms at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”

Walikainen Rouleau November 1412:00 noon on Friday, November 14th in AOB 201. 

Laura Walikainen Rouleau, Ph.D. will be presenting onPrivate Spaces in Public Places:  Public Restrooms at the Turn of the Twentieth Century”.

Abstract:  At the turn of the twentieth century, urbanization, industrialization, and immigration combined to draw Americans out of the private realm of the home and into public spaces. As more people spent long hours in public, they required spaces to cleanse, relieve, and clothe their bodies. In order to accommodate these bodies in public, several spaces emerged at the boundary of the public and the private.
The public restroom, as an example of these boundary spaces, was a site of confluence for issues of the body, space, and privacy in American society at the turn of the twentieth century. In order to become acceptable, these “public comfort stations” were designed to create a sense of privacy in public. This study interrogates the relationship between the physical and social construction of these sites by examining the materiality of these spaces, the bodies and activities that enlivened them, and the society that shaped them. Public restrooms were segregated by gender and race, and these spaces were “classed” as customers were often required to pay to use them. The design, creation, and regulation of these early restrooms reveal how privacy was experienced and defined at this moment of emergence.

SS Talk: Sean Gohman, Eric Pomber, and Adrian Blake on “Industrial Heritage & Archaeology in the Copper Country, 2014″

Ft Wilkins 2014_CliffMAP update-212:00 noon on Friday November 7 in AOB 201.  Sean Gohman, PhD candidate, Eric Pomber, MS student, and Adrian Blake, MS student will present on”Industrial Heritage and Archaeology in the Copper Country, 2014″.

Abstract:  Join Industrial Heritage and Archaeology students Sean Gohman, Eric Pomber, and Adrian Blake as they discuss their involvement in two field projects undertaken this summer in Keweenaw County. In May and June, Gohman, Pomber, and Blake continued an ongoing mapping project at the Cliff mine, with a new series of interpretive maps the result. These maps document the rise and fall of an historic mining landscape currently the focus of environmental remediation. These maps are evidence of the evolving nature of mining’s impact on the land, as well as speak to the decisions of mining companies as they tackle illusive mineral deposits and accommodate the domestic needs of their workforce.

In July, the team conducted a Phase II survey of property belonging to Ft. Wilkins, in Copper Harbor. Several features associated with some of the earliest recording mining in the area were documented and in some cases excavated. These features expand the physical bounds of the park’s mission, and offer new interpretive possibilities for the park going forward.

SS Talk: Chelsea Schelly on “The Rainbow Way: Participation and Experience in Rainbow Gathering Culture”

9781612057453_p0_v1_s260x42012:00 noon on Friday, October 31 in AOB 201. 

Dr. Chelsea Schelly, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Social Sciences will be presenting on “The Rainbow Way: Participation and Experience in Rainbow Gathering Culture

Her talk is based on her recently published book, Crafting Collectivity: American Rainbow Gatherings and Alternative Forms of Community (Paradigm Publishers).

Abstract : Every summer, thousands of people assemble to live together to celebrate the Annual Gathering of the Rainbow Family. Participants establish temporary systems of water distribution and filtration, sanitation, health care, and meals provided freely to all who gather, and they develop sharing and trading systems, recreational

opportunities, and educational experiences distinct to this creative social world. The Rainbow Family has invented itself as a unique modern culture without formal organization, providing the necessities of life freely to all who attend. The Annual Gathering of the Rainbow Family has been operating for more than forty years as an

experiment in liberty that demonstrates how material or-ganization, participation, and cultural connection can reshape social relationships and transform individual lives. Grounded in sociological theory and research, the book considers what kind of culture the material systems of “Babylon” reinforce and how society could facilitate the kind of social world and human welfare humans desire.

Winkler (SS) and Meldrum (KRC) Quoted in Midwest Energy News

mine shaft

From Tech Today.

Richelle Winkler (SS) and Jay Meldrum (Keweenaw Research Center) were quoted in the recent article “Abandoned Michigan Mineshafts Could Be New Energy Option” in Midwest Energy News.

Abstract:

“Mineshaft geothermal” is gaining attention here as researchers investigate the energy potential stored hundreds of feet below the ground. The water in these abandoned and flooded mines, which expand throughout the U.P., is just now starting to be used to heat and cool buildings.

SS Talk: Melissa Baird on “Mining is Our Heritage: Corporate Discourse and the Politics of Extraction”

IMG_086412:00 noon on Friday, October 24 in AOB 201.  Melissa Baird, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Social Sciences will present, “Mining is Our Heritage:  Corporate Discourse and the Politics of Extraction“.

The Pilbara Coast of Western Australia serves as a touchstone to examine how global mining industries are mobilizing the language of heritage, indigenous rights, and sustainability in their conceptions of heritage and through their corporate and social responsibility campaigns. I present preliminary insights that point to the urgency in making clear the competing claims and tracing the varied agendas of global institutions, corporations, the nation-state, and stakeholders. How exactly is heritage and the language of indigenous rights being used in claim-making and how do new iterations of corporate conceptions of heritage intersect with the rights and lands of indigenous peoples?