Category Archives: News

SS Students and Faculty Published in Land Use Policy Journal

S02648377Students Jennifer Lind-Reihl, Shelly Jeltema, Margaret Morrison, and Gabriela Shirkey and  SS faculty Audrey Mayer, Mark Rouleau, and Richelle Winkler published a paper, “Family legacies and community networks shape private forest management in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan (USA)” in Land Use Policy.

Abstract

Nonindustrial private forest (NIPF) owners make thousands of uncoordinated land use decisions that collectively and critically impact forest ecology. Prior research generally assumes private land use decisions adhere to the rational choice paradigm, driven primarily by cost–benefit calculations, such as financial considerations. Thus, when aiming to coordinate land use change in landscapes dominated by private property, policy makers often use economic or educational incentives to encourage enrollment in voluntary programs. Despite these incentives, enrollment in voluntary programs is notoriously low. The current study offers a possible explanation for this problem. It highlights the role of social influence in shaping NIPF land use decision-making. Our research draws on qualitative data gathered from interviews with 37 landowners in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan, USA, to discover how social influence affects land management practices, such as decisions to join voluntary programs. We find evidence that family traditions, community relationships, and locally defined social norms play key roles in shaping the land use decision options available to individual landowners. Local norms against clear cutting and trust (or lack thereof) in local experts and organizations were found to be particularly important. We also found evidence of cognitive dissonance associated with conflict between Scandinavian versus American traditions of public access to private lands.

Schelly Publishes on 3D Printing for Education

3DPrinterFrom Tech Today:

Chelsea Schelly (SocSci), Gerald Anzalone (MSE), Bas Wijnen (MSE), Joshua M. Pearce (MSE/ECE) published a paper on “Open-source 3-D printing technologies for education: Bringing additive manufacturing to the classroom” in the  Journal of Visual Language and Computing.

 

ABSTRACT:

Objective

3-D printing technologies have the potential to improve both Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and Career and Technical Education (CTE), as well as integrating these two educational emphases and providing opportunities for cross-curriculum engagement. The objective of this study is to investigate the potential of open-source (OS) technologies in an educational setting, given the combination of economic constraints affecting all educational environments and the ability of OS design to profoundly decrease the cost of technological tools and technological innovation.

Methods

This paper reports on a 3-day workshop augmented with online instructional and visual tools designed for middle school and high school level educators from a wide array of disciplines (including traditional science, math, and engineering as well as computer, shop, and art). Teachers (n=22) submitted applications to participate in the workshop, the workshop was observed for both evaluation and research, teachers participated in focus groups (n=2) during the workshop in order to discuss their interest in OS 3-D printing technology and its potential role in their classrooms, and teachers completed a voluntary post-workshop survey and responded to follow-up after printers were in the classroom for one year.

Results

During the workshop teachers built 3-D printers using OS technologies that they were then able to take back to their schools and into their classrooms.

Conclusion

Through workshops augmented with online instructional and visual tools designed to provide facilitated yet self-directed engagement with a new, relatively unknown, and relatively complex technology, paired teacher teams were able to successfully build and use RepRap 3-D printers based on OS design in just three days.

Practice

Here, we discuss both what the teachers learned and what we learned from the teachers regarding the potential for educators to construct OS 3-D printing technologies as a tool of empowering and transformative education.

Implications

Open-source 3-D printing technologies have the potential to improve education through a sense of empowerment resulting from active participation, as well as through cross-curriculum engagement.

Solomon Published in Environmental Practice Journal

From Tech Today:

EPCoverProfessor Barry Solomon  published a paper, “Socioeconomic Analysis Options for Pesticides Management in Developing Countries: A Review” in Environmental Practice, March 2015.

Abstract:

“Many factors must be considered by environmental officials tasked with managing pesticides. Several socioeconomic analysis techniques can be used to quantify these issues and help improve management, including the full consideration of alternatives. The most popular and commonly used techniques are Cost-Benefit Analysis and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, and additional guidance and reference materials are readily available. Another group of methods, known as Rapid Rural Appraisal and Participatory Rural Appraisal, can be more appropriate, faster, and have lower cost to use in developing countries. Finally, qualitative decision making under uncertainty, such as through the use of the Precautionary Principle (not a socioeconomic analysis technique), also can be valuable. The precautionary approach requires that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action. Ideally all of the analytical techniques will need complete and reliable socioeconomic data, though in reality, data are often incomplete and fraught with uncertainties. In these cases, the application of the precautionary principle decision rule may have strong justification. The application of these techniques in several decision contexts for pesticides in developing countries will be discussed.”

Susan Martin: Human History of the Keweenaw Lecture February 24

indianart
Click here for event flyer.

FROM TECH TODAY:

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, Tech Professor Emerita Susan Martin, expert on prehistoric archeology and ancient copper, will lead a discussion about ancient cultural elements of our region. She will be joined by Seth DePasqual, cultural resource manager at Isle Royale National Park. The event is part of a monthly series of sessions on the Geoheritage and Natural History of the Keweenaw, at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton. The discussions are aimed at the general public but also discuss current research and science.
The Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw is located at Huron and Montezuma in downtown Houghton. Seminars are held in the Community Room on the ground level. Lectures are free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. The museum will open at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments; lectures and discussion run from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Please contact the Museum for further information at 482-7140.

SS Talk: Durfee on “Evaluating Conditions for the Development of the Arctic”

MaryDurfee4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 13th in AOB 201. 

Mary Durfee will present on “Evaluating Conditions for the Development of the Arctic”.

 

ABSTRACT:

The crash in oil prices has changed much of the media’s discussion of the potential for the Arctic. Yet, of course, people live and work there, so the Arctic hardly disappears. Meanwhile the US will be taking over the Chair of the Arctic Council and has announced its themes, which are primarily oriented to technologies to cope with the changing environment. The EU is in the midst of consultation on its policy for the Arctic—despite considerable reluctance on the part of EU member states who are also Arctic states. And, of course, the economic collapse of Russia is in progress even as its policies in the Ukraine continue to provoke concern. This talk will evaluate proposed policy prerequisites made in the past decade about conditions necessary for the “development” of the Arctic.

SS Graduate Students’ Energy Plan Makes Semifinalist Status

Houghton_County_Energy_PlanThe energy efficiency and conservation plan for Houghton County, authored by four MTU graduate students, has made it to the semi-finalist level in the national competition for the Georgetown University Energy Prize of $5 million.  The primary authors were Brad Barnett, Brent Burns, and Edward Louie all graduate students in the Department of Social Sciences.  In addition, Abhilash Kantamneni, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science contributed.  The competition is limited to communities with a population between 9,000 and 250,000, and Houghton County is the smallest-sized semifinalist.

During the fall 2014 semester Barnett, Burns, and Louie were the given the assignment of writing the energy plan in Professor Barry Solomon’s advance seminar course on Energy and Climate Policy (SS6100).  The plan  focuses on energy efficiency improvements and was driven by community outreach efforts, receiving significant input from the community through public meetings.

The next step for Houghton is to hire a manager to lead the effort over the next two years (a foundation grant will fund the position).   Each semifinalist community will compete for two years to reduce their utility supplied energy consumption in a way that is likely to yield continuing improvement within their own community and replication elsewhere.  For purposes of this competition,  community energy consumption measurements are limited to energy supplied by gas and electric utilities directly to all homes and municipal customers in Houghton County.

To read the Keweenaw Now article on the celebration of semifinalist qualification for the Georgetown Energy Prize, click here.

 

Quivik Expert Witness in BP Oil Spill Trial

 

FredQuivikProfessor Fred Quivik, an expert witness in the BP oil spill trial, was mentioned in an article published on NOLA.com titled In BP oil spill trial, U.S. witnesses to detail disaster’s economic effect .

As written in the article:  Fred Quivik, a history professor at Michigan Tech University and an expert in environmental litigation. He is to testify that BP XP was treated as part of the larger BP group, with no employees of its own to drill an oil well or respond to a spill.

Click here for the full article.

Solomon Publishes on Biofuel Sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean

FROM TECH TODAY:cover

Professor Barry Solomon (SS) published a paper “Biofuel sustainability in Latin America and the Caribbean–a Review of Recent Experiences and Future Prospects,” in the journal Biofuels, online January 2015. It was coauthored with Robert Bailis (Yale University), Christine Moser (Leuphana Universitat, Germany) and Tina Hildebrandt (Edeka, Hamburg, Germany).

ABSTRACT:

The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region is a leader in global biofuel production, accounting for 27% of supply. This is driven by a proliferation of mandates and targets calling for increased use of biofuels around the world. Unsustainable biofuel production can alter landscapes and stress social-ecological systems. To mitigate impacts, different types of governance mechanisms have been introduced including national regulations, voluntary certification schemes, sustainability standards, meta-standards, and codes of conduct. Voluntary certification has gained prominence in the region, with over 220 producers and processors in 12 LAC countries obtaining certification. However, given the potential social and environmental impacts evident in the region, voluntary certification may be insufficient and stronger sustainability mechanisms may be justified.

Trepal Authors Book Review

Catocin_Furnace_front_coverIndustrial Heritage and Archaeology PhD student Daniel Trepal authored a review of the book Catoctin Furnace: Portrait of an Iron-Making Village by Elizabeth Yourtree Anderson that appears in the latest issue of IA: The Journal for Industrial Archaeology (Volume 38, Number 1).

The book presents a social history of a southern iron plantation that produced pig iron and finished cast iron products intermittently between 1777 and 1903.

Schneider receives grants to support his M.S.(I.A.) thesis project

Daniel Schneider at work
Daniel Schneider (MS-IA student) works on a measured drawing of a 19th-century border stamping machine that was used to manufacture wood type for printing decorative borders.

Daniel Schneider, a master’s student in the Industrial Archaeology program has received funding through two grants totaling $2,800 for his master’s thesis project at the Hamilton Wood Type Museum in Two Rivers, WI.  A grant from The Kohler Foundation, Inc. of Wisconsin supports a series of oral history interviews with workers who produced wood printing type in the type shop of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company. Another grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council supports a public archaeology component of Schneider’s thesis research, which involves the experimental operation of an 19th-century stamping machine that produced wood type for printing decorative borders.  These borders would have been used on posters and other large-scale printed matter such as flyers and handbills. He has made a number of trips to the museum to document and rehabilitate the machine, meet with former employees, and use the museum’s archives.  He also attended a Wayzegooze event there last in November where he interacted with leaders in the current wood type printing community.

Schneider will demonstrate the machine’s operation March 10-14, 2015, at Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. The museum is in Two Rivers, WI, 40 miles southeast of Green Bay, and is the largest museum devoted to wood type printing in the country (and perhaps the world).  He is also in charge of the letterpress studio at the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock, MI.