Archives—June 2016

Michigan Tech’s Science and Environmental Outreach Program Hosts Summer Science Camps



Students from grades first through sixth are taking part in two summer science camps being offered this week at Michigan Tech.  The camps are being put on by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.  To see the TV6 News story on the camp, visit:

Environmental Engineering Alumna and the Tacoma Storm Water Treatment Facilty

Jessica Knickerbocker

Tacoma city engineer and ’02 Environmental Engineer alumna, Jessica Knickerbocker,  was the project manager on the $2.4 million Point Defiance Regional Storm Water Treatment Facility.  The facility was designed to improve the quality of storm water flowing into Commencement Bay by funneling storm water and filtering it before it enters the Puget Sound.  To watch Knickerbocker discuss the project, visit:

For more information on the Green Infrastructure Bill that Washington Congressmen Danny Heck and Derek Kilmer are proposing, visit:

Students Learn Environmental Stewardship at Torch Lake

Torch Lake
Torch Lake

Students learn environmental stewardship through planting, monitoring, birding at Torch Lake Superfund site

LAKE LINDEN — Despite some chilly, windy weather and predictions for snow in mid-May, Lake Linden-Hubbell High School 10th grade students spent an afternoon on the shores of Torch Lake planting red-osier dogwoods and dark-green bulrushes, bird watching and installing nesting boxes for birds, and playing disc golf just for fun.

Coordinated by Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, along with EPA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the students’ monitoring assists EPA’s efforts in charting the progress of the vegetation cap and habitat reconstruction done under the Superfund program. This project is the first of its kind to utilize students for the collection of data for use by EPA.

“Engaging students in learning about, and contributing to, the improvement of their local environment and community, is an excellent way to create lifelong natural resource stewards,” observed Joan Chadde, director, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, and a partner on the Lake Superior Stewardship Leadership Team.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bourdieu.

Environmental Engineering Alumna Named ACEC New York New Principal of the Year

Josephine Zurica


Josephine Zurica has been named the 2016 American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC New York) New Principal of the Year.  She is only the second woman to receive this award given to an ACEC New York member who has been a principal for less than five years.

Zurica received a Peace Corps International MS from Michigan Tech in Environmental Engineering in 2006 and joined Dagher Engineering in 2007 after serving in the Peace Corps in Panama.  She became principal for Dagher in 2013 at the age of 34.

For more information, visit:


Students Can Investigate Lake Superior on the Agassiz

Ride the Waves
Ride the Waves

Michigan Tech’s “Ride the Waves Program” invites Copper Country youth in Grades four to 12 to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) in the exploration of Lake Superior, Portage Waterway and Torch Lake. There are four programs to choose from that will accommodate 17 youth and chaperones. They’re fun, educational and free.

“Aquatic Food Web and Lab Investigation” (three-hour session, one and half hours on the Agassiz and one and a half hours in lab at the GLRC). Find out how scientists investigate water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab. Find out “what makes a lake trout?” All ages.

“Mine Waste Remediation and Torch Lake Restoration” (four-hour session, two hours on Agassiz and two hours on land; meet at the Lake Linden Marina). The copper mining and milling history of the Copper Country is explored by land and water. Students visit historic copper milling sites, reclaimed mine waste sites and the bottom of Torch Lake. Ideal for middle school students.

“Navigation Exploration” (Four-hour session, two hours on the Agassiz and two hours in classroom at the GLRC). Students in grades four through six will use chart dividers and compasses to make mathematical measurements of distance, angles and lines to determine the Agassiz’s position on a navigational chart. Students grades eight through 12 will use these same skills to navigate the Agassiz to a new location. Using algebra, students will be able to determine the accuracy of their navigation.

“Lake Superior’s Ring of Fire” (three to four hour session on the Agassiz). Explore an area in Lake Superior where the shrimplike organism Diporeia is up to 20 times more abundant than in any other part of the lake. How does this affect the Lake Superior food web?  Ideal for high school students.

Register online.

List all dates and times that work for you and we will reply and fit you into the earliest available slot. Groups of five or more students will be given preference in scheduling, so get with your friends and form a group.

The “Ride the Waves Program” is made possible with a grant from General Motors to Michigan Tech’s Department of Civil and Environmentanl Engineering (PI: Martin Auer) and the GLRC.

More than 3000 youth have benefited from GM’s support, now in its fourth year. For more Information email Joan Chadde or Lloyd Wescoat or call 7-3341

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

STEM Career Tour at Michigan Tech


Assistant professor Daisuke Minakata and a research engineer/laboratory director David Perram outreached high school students from Lake Linden-Hubble High School on June 1st, 2016. They provided an overview of “Cleaning Water” project, giving high school students hands-on experience in ‘ppm’ and ‘ppb’ concentrations level of chemical contaminants in water and an introduction to advanced water treatment technologies in the CEE department process lab. The outreach activity was a part of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) CAREER Tour with funding support from the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P, Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education. Joan Chadde in CEE coordinated the overall activity.


See schedule:

LLH EnvCareer Tour Schedule 06.01.16 FINAL

For more information, contact:

MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach or 906-487-3341


Made possible with funding from the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education.