Category Archives: Outreach

Kris Mattila Oversees World War I Replica Trench Construction

TrenchHOUGHTON — Construction of a replica World War I firing trench began Friday morning on the southeast corner of U.S. 41 and MacInnes Drive on the Michigan Technological University.

The replica trench is part of the centenary WW1&CC commemoration of the U.S. in the Great War, and particularly the Copper Country’s contribution to the war effort, and will be the feature of an exhibit designed to offer the public a glimpse of what life might have been like for the soldiers who lived in them.

Chris Mattila [sic], a civil and civil engineer at Michigan Tech is overseeing construction of the trench, and said he became involved with the project a couple of months ago.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.

Related:

Michigan Tech Digs Deep Into World War I History


NSF Funding for Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata
Daisuke Minakata

Daisuke Minakata (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that has recieved a $347,808 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation. Paul Doskey (SFRES) is the Co-PI on the project, “Photochemical Fate of Dissolved Amino Acids in Natural Aquatic Enviroment.” This is a three-year project.

ABSTRACT

This award from the Environmental Chemical Sciences Program in the Division of Chemistry supports Profs. Daisuke Minakata and Paul Doskey from Michigan Technological University. They study the reactions of free amino acids in natural freshwater with light. Understanding and predicting these processes is important because nitrogen-containing free amino acids and their degradation products are involved in global nitrogen-cycling. They also affect biological activity in natural aquatic environments. The effluent of wastewater contains amino acids as one of the major components. The findings from this study address the impact of nitrogen-containing contaminants to aquatic systems that receive treated municipal wastewater. The project includes outreach activities to K-12 high school students in the Detroit region through a summer youth intern program. This program promotes the participation and retention of underrepresented groups in the environmental science field. A webinar is being developed based on the findings of this study to raise public awareness of water safety and security in freshwater systems and the importance of protecting ecosystems from contaminants.

This award supports computational and experimental research and education to predict the photolytic and elementary reaction pathways of free amino acid transformation. This transformation is induced by direct photolysis and indirect oxidation by photochemically produced reactive intermediates. The researchers use computational chemistry tools to identify the fundamental elementary reaction pathways of representative free amino acids transformation. The research team then predicts the kinetics information of each identified elementary reaction pathway. Finally, a kinetic model based on elementary reactions is developed to predict the time-dependent concentration profiles of free amino acids and their transformation products in environmentally relevant conditions. The predicted concentration profiles are compared to laboratory-scale experimental observations to validate the kinetic model.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Summer Youth Explore Rail and Intermodal Transportation

Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth group standing near a rail car

Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program was featured in the story “Transportation and Logistics Research Center hosts Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program,” released by the University of Wisconsin-Superior. The story looks at a visit to the Duluth/Superior area by SYP’s Rail and Intermodal program.

The 9th annual SYP was hosted by the Michigan Tech’s Rail Transportation Program and UW-Superior. The 16 high school participants coming from as far away as New York, Florida and Colorado began the event at Michigan Tech before arriving in the Superior-Duluth region for two days of industry tours.

Scheduled field visits took place July 8-14, 2018.

  • BNSF Superior, WI Railyard Facilities
  • CN Superior, WI Inter-Modal Railyard Facilities
  • Halvor Trucking Lines, Superior, WI
  • North Shore Scenic Railroad & Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Duluth, MN

Kids Explore Copper Harbor

Kermits Keweenaw Kids
Kermit’s Keweenaw Kids on the Agassiz at the Copper Harbor Dock

COPPER HARBOR, Mich. (WLUC) – Kermit’s Keweenaw Kids explored Copper Harbor Friday. The program has provided activities for Keweenaw County youth since 1975.

Friday they partnered with Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. Through the Ride the Waves program and a ride on the Agassiz, children saw Copper Harbor from a new perspective.

“About an hour and a half exploration into the harbor of Lake Superior. They are also going out on an hour and a half walk on Hunter’s Point as part of the Ride the Waves program, which is a way to teach students about how scientists study the great lakes,” said Lloyd Wescoat of the Center for Science an Environmental Outreach.

Read more and watch the video at WLUC TV6, by Mariah Powell.


Sixth Annual Lake Superior Day

Lake Superior Day 2018 shows people painting a model ore boatCOPPER HARBOR — The sixth annual Lake Superior Day was celebrated at Copper Harbor, with kids’ games, free hotdogs and goodies and rides on Michigan Technological University’s research vessel Agassiz.

The Agassiz, with a capacity of 18, took people into Copper Harbor on 45-minute excursions, where a Michigan Tech professor spoke to the passengers on the types of research the boat is used for, including studying the overall health of Lake Superior, and the many methods used in doing so. He then showed the passengers collections of algae taken during each trip, allowing people to see how the samples are collected.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.


State of Lake Superior Conference 2018

SOLS18 logoCall for Abstracts

The Call for Abstracts for the 2018 State of Lake Superior Conference (SOLS) is now open. SOLS will take place Oct. 9-12, 2018, on the Michigan Tech campus.

The State of the Lake Conference series rotates each year and focuses on lake-specific research, policy and local implementation.

The conference is hosted by the International Association for Great Lakes Research with generous support from sponsors and local university hosts. SOLS18 is the second in an annual series of State of Lake conferences aimed at bringing together lake-specific research, policy development, management, education, and nonprofit organizations to broaden the discussion and provide diverse interaction among stakeholders.


Brian Barkdoll Comments on Runoff and Flooding

Brian Barkdoll
Brian Barkdoll

HOUGHTON COUNTY — Vegetation is a key element in preventing landslides and erosion but when it comes to road washouts like those seen during the Father’s Day flood there isn’t an easy solution.

Roots help hold soil in place with lightweight and deep rooted plants making good drainage ditch choices but plants can’t be grown in a blacktop.

Not all positive, vegetation can slow down water flowing through a ditch but this raises the water level causing it to overflow on the road, said Brian Barkdoll, civil and environmental engineering professor at Michigan Technological University. Once the ground reaches a certain level of saturation the water isn’t absorbed anymore, development can prevent saturation as well.

When we develop land we put roofs and parking lots and those surfaces don’t allow that water to infiltrate into the soil anymore 100 percent of the water runs off into streams or into sewers so whenever we develop we’re creating more runoff and perhaps flooding. Brian Barkdoll

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.


Local Students Explore the Aquatic Food Web

Kids and Joan Chadde look at a map while on the RV Agassiz.HOUGHTON — “You guys are going to be working today,” Agassiz captain Stephen Roblee informed a group of excited South Range fourth-graders.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018, was a day of scientific exploration for these students, who are among the first to participate in Michigan Technological University’s annual Ride the Waves summer programming.

When not on the water the students focused on lab learning, including examining plankton, bloodworms and demonstrating how a fish might use their swim bladders to impact buoyancy.

MTU students Sara Gustafson, Maya Geiselhart and Ryan Kibler led the lessons and will do so for the summer. All three had experience with similar testing and programs in other areas though MTU has a little extra to offer, they said.

The Ride the Waves outreach program is funded through the Great Lakes Research Center and a grant from General Motors Corporation.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.


Michigan Tech’s NSBE Student Chapter conducts 7 th Annual ‘Alternative Spring Break’ Bringing STEM and Family Engineering to Detroit K-12 schools

NSBEMembers of the Michigan Tech Student Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers Pre-College Initiative (NSBE-PCI) visited six middle and high schools in Detroit where they made classroom presentations that encouraged students to consider college and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) career. In addition, the NSBE students conducted three Family Engineering events at K-8 schools on March 12-14th.  The NSBE students reached 575 middle and high school students and 200 elementary students and their families.
These outreach programs, conducted in partnership with Detroit Public Schools Community District, target under-represented students with the goal of addressing our country’s need for an increased number and greater diversity of students skilled in math, science, technology, and engineering. The Family Engineering Program was developed by faculty and staff in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Michigan
Technological University (2011) in collaboration with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering (familyengineering.org).
“The teachers and students both thought the classroom presentations were great and want to invite the students back,” explained Mr. Kenyuano Jones, Principal at Northwestern High School. “I definitely would recommend it for next year and hopefully expand the hours to include the entire day.”
At Bethune Middle School, nearly 50% want to learn more about engineering, 35% think engineering could be a good job for themselves, and 55% want to go to college.
One student observed, “I would recommend the classroom presentation to my friends because it would give them an idea of what they want to do in life.”
This NSBE-PCI outreach effort is funded by the John Deere Foundation and the Michigan Tech Office of Admissions and College of Engineering, and coordinated by Joan Chadde, Director, Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.


mParks Community Service Award for Joan Chadde

Joan Chadde-Schumaker
Joan Chadde-Schumaker

Joan Chadde is a recipient of a mParks Community Service Award by the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (mParks). The awards were presented on April 18, 2018, at the Hannah Community Center in East Lansing.

The awards recognize individuals and groups who show outstanding support to public recreation and park programs in their community.

This award was specifically for her initiative in designing and implementing a one-week summer program, now in its 4th year, to bring 20 under-represented students from high schools in Detroit to explore environmental science and engineering majors and career paths at Michigan Tech. The mParks award recognizes Chadde’s fundraising efforts in covering costs for all students’ and exploration leaders’ transportation, their housing and meals, the recruitment and selection of  students, and the program planning, evaluation, and publicity.

Chadde, a staff member of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is the director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences.

mParks Award for Chadde