Category Archives: News

Rouleau receives funding for degrading organic compounds


Mark Rouleau
Mark Rouleau

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $330,000 for a three-year project to Daisuke Minakata (PI: Civil & Environmental Engineering) and  Mark Rouleau (Co-PI: Social Sciences) for a project on “Coupling Experimental and Theoretical Molecular-Level Investigations to Visualize the Fate of Degradation of Organic Compounds in Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Systems.”  Rouleau’s contribution will be to design and implement an agent-based computer simulation to forecast the fate of organic compounds during the process of waste water treatment. His goal is to develop a simulation that will be capable of “grading” treated waste water for potential chemical contaminants prior to public reuse. For the full abstract see NSF Award Abstract #1435926.

slide 4
visualization of decay process


Wellstead compares policy workers in Canada and the Czech Republic


Adam Wellstead
Adam Wellstead

Assistant Professor Adam Wellstead has written an article on “Comparing Sub-National Policy Workers in Canada and the Czech Republic: Who are they, what they do, and why it matters?”  The article, written with co-authors Arnošt Veselý (Charles University in Prague) and Bryan Evans (Ryerson University, Toronto), appears in Policy and Society 33.2 (2014): 103–115.

From the abstract:

This article compares profiles and policy-related activities of policy workers in 13 Canadian provinces and territories with PWs in the Czech Republic regions. In the two countries the proportion of men and women is similar and PWs are equally highly educated. [However,] when compared with the Czech PWs, Canadian PWs tend to be older, more often having social science educational backgrounds, more frequently recruited from academia, stay in a single organization for a shorter period of time and anticipate staying in their current position for only a short time. Canadian PWs are much more involved in evidence-based work, especially in evaluation and policy research. They also deal more with policy analysis activities such as identification of policy issues and options. In contrast, Czech PWs are more engaged in consulting with the public and briefing managers and decision-makers.

Download a pdf copy of the article at ScienceDirect.

Schelly publishes new article on residential dwelling


Chelsea Schelly
Chelsea Schelly

Chelsea Schelly, assistant professor of sociology in Social Sciences, has had her article on “Are Residential Dwellers Marking and Claiming? Applying Concepts to Humans Who Dwell Differently” appear in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32(4) 672-688.  

From the abstract:

 the typical and mainstream modern home dweller is contrasted with several different empirical case studies of people who dwell differently, using alternative technologies, practices, and forms of organization in residential dwelling.

Read the Full Abstract at EPD: Society and Space


Frontiers and Fortresses blogs summer school

Carlisle Castle, Carlisle, UK
Carlisle Castle, Carlisle, UK

This year marks the fifth year that Prof. Carl Blair has run the Frontiers and Fortresses summer study abroad program in Cumbria, England, and the first year that he has had the students blog their experiences.  The Track B summer program has just wrapped in Carlisle, their base of operations, but you can read all about the experience through the four-week experience on their Weebly blog.

Presley talks about local food systems

Lee Presely speaks at Paavola
Lee Presely speaks at Paavola

Paavola: From Farming Community to Wetlands Preserve

On Thursday 24 July PhD candidate Anna Lee Presely presented a walk-n-talk at the Paavola Wetlands Nature Area in the “Fourth Thursday in History” series, presented by the Keweenaw National Historical Park.  Presley talked about her work this summer with the Keweenaw Land Trust researching the history of the Paavola settlement, its population, relationship to area mining, the village businesses, ethnic background of the people, cultural practices, and farming––especially dealing with the wetlands. The Land Trust is continuing to raise money to stabilize the one remaining farmhouse (shown in the pictures), and her work will become part of the exhibits that describe the history.

Her talk was also covered by the local paper in Houghton, the Daily Mining Gazette, and was featured on the front page: Program focuses on agricultural history [subscription required].

—Photos and synopsis courtesy of Melinda Quivik.

Paavola farm house and Lee Presley
Paavola farm house and Lee Presley


Archaeologists receive a grant for Fort Wilkins

Cannon at Ft. Wilkins

Prof. Patrick Martin and Ph.D. candidate Sean Gohman of Social Sciences have been awarded a two-year grant for archaeological surveys at Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor.  The grant, for  $19,487 each year (total of just under $39,000), comes from  the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and will be used to support graduate students investigating the remains of the Pittsburg and Boston Copper Harbor Mining Company sit, now located on the Fort Wilkins property.  This summer and fall the crew of archaeologists from Social Sciences will survey the site, and next year do some selected test excavation and recordation. If funding becomes available in 2016 and beyond, the team hopes to continue similar work on the Copper Harbor Range Lighthouse site.

Fort Wilkins was built in 1844 by the fifth U.S. Infantry Regiment to keep order in the Michigan copper mining district, though it was abandoned two years later (but re-garrisoned from 1867-70). In the absence of the military (1847-66 and 1871-1923) civilians frequently occupied fort buildings as residences and later as hunting camps and cottages until the property became a state park in 1923. Today Fort Wilkins State Park interprets three primary themes: early Keweenaw copper mining by the Pittsburgh and Boston Copper Harbor Mining Company, Lake Superior maritime history with the Copper Harbor Lighthouses, and nineteenth-century military history at the fort itself.

Since 1974 the Michigan Historical Museum has been responsible for historical activities within the park. Today, there are nineteen historical buildings: twelve original structures from the 1840s and seven reconstructions based on the historical and archaeological record. Archaeological research has been carried out intermittently at the fort from 1975 to present under state contracts and over that time various projects have investigated a number of the military buildings, the fort’s blacksmith shop, the Copper Harbor lighthouse, various trash and dump sites (often excellent windows into past material culture) as well as parts of the Pittsburgh and Boston Copper Harbor Copper Mining Company activities. This current grant will support phase I and II (surface survey and selected test dings, respectively) archaeological projects in the P&BCMC site along the northern boundary of Fort Wilkins State Park along the southern shore of Copper Harbor.

Proposals in Progress for July 15, 2014

PI Patrick Martin (SS) and Co-PI Sean Gohman (SS), “Archaeological Surveys, Fort Wilkins State Park,” Michigan DNR.

PI Timothy Scarlett (SS), “pXRF Study of Antique Pottery in Two Utah Museums,” Utah Humanities Council.

PI Richelle Winkler (SS), “Angler Demographics–An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis,” Great Lakes Fishery Commission.

PI Adam Wellstead (SS), “Measuring Policy Capacity in the Great Lakes Fisheries Sector,” Great Lakes Commission.

Read more at Tech Today.

Schelly’s article on Early Solar Adopters published

solar panelsChelsea Schelly is just back from Munich where she participated in a workshop on “Greening of Everyday Life” at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Univeristät-München.  There she spoke on “Everyday Household Practice in Alternative Residential Dwellings: The Non- Environmental Motivations for Environmental Behavior.”

She has also recently had an article on her research on people who install solar energy panels published in Energy Research & Social Science.  The article is based on interviews with 48 Wisconsin residents who installed solar and Schelly looked at how the environmental and economic motivations related to the demographic characteristics of the adopters.  As she states in her abstract, the research “offer[s] general insight for understanding investment in renewable energy technologies at the residential scale, suggesting means of improving environmental and energy policy and highlighting avenues for future research.”  Read the abstract and article at “Residential Solar Electricity Adoption: What Motivates, and What Matters? A Case Study of Early Adopters,” Energy Research and Social Science 2 (2014:) 183-191.

Gorman: Before There Was C, There Was N

Gorman, Story of N book cover
The book also made #1 on Carl A. Zimring's Best Books of 2013!

A recent article in the Michigan Tech News highlighted Hugh Gorman’s book, The Story of N and how our current need to fix the nitrogen cycle bears a striking resemblance to problem in the carbon cycle that needs fixing.  Read the full story in the article entitled: “Before There Was C, There Was N: How Humans Derailed the Nitrogen Cycle and Are Trying to Put It Back on Track

It also mentions that his article that came out of his work on the book, “Learning from 100 Years of Ammonia Synthesis: Establishing Human-Defined Limits through Adaptive Systems of Governance,” Gaia 22.4 (2013): 263-270, that won second place in Gaia’s Best Paper competition for 2013.  Congratulations, Hugh!