Category Archives: Outreach

NOAA Grant for Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative

LSSI logoHOUGHTON — The Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative has received a grant totaling $74,967, according to Lloyd Wescoat, education program assistant with the LSSI at Michigan Technological University’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at the Great Lakes Research Center.

Michigan Tech, in partnership with the LSSI and Western Upper Peninsula MiSTEM Network, announced the grant earlier this month. The grant is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bat Watershed Education and Training (B-WET).

The funds will support the LSSI – Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for Rural Schools project.

The project will engage 30 K-12 teachers and 1,000 students in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontonagon and Gogebic counties in a variety of Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE), and fund school-community partnerships, to plan and implement stewardship projects that address a local need.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Graham Jaehnig.


Civil Engineering Experiences for Students

Civil Engineering Lift Bridge

HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) – Michigan Tech is hosting a group of over 20 high school students from all around the country this week as a part of their summer educational programs. The students are there on a competitive scholarship, and each student had to apply for a position in the program.

“I don’t know how many people applied, but the kids that are here we’re selected because of the qualities they possess. Every single kid seems to be interested in STEM things and the questions they ask have been pretty impressive to me,” said Tim Barron, the Instructor for the program.

The program focuses primarily on civil engineering with a focus in transportation. The group is scheduled to take field trips all over the U.P to many different spots, including the Soo Locks and the Mackinaw Bridge. Wednesday they got an inside look at Houghton County’s own Portage Canal Lift Bridge.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 News FOX UP, by Jake Swope.

The Michigan Tech story begins at 01:34 in the video.


William Sproule on Houghton’s Historic Hockey Reputation

Hockey Front CoverHOUGHTON — When Dr. William Sproule, a recently retired professor of civil and environmental engineering from Michigan Tech University, set out to discover what it meant for Houghton to claim it was the birthplace of professional hockey, he knew that he had his work cut out.

“Anyone who is going to claim that they are the first in something better be ready to back it up,” he said, “because there is going to be someone out there who is going to dispute it.”

His research into the topic of local hockey history began more than 15 years ago and has been compiled into a new self-published book entitled “Houghton, the Birthplace of Professional Hockey.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Eddie O’Neill.


Joan Chadde Presents at 2019 IAGLR

IAGLR 2019 logoJoan Chadde, Director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, gave three presentations at the International Association of Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) annual conference, June 10-14, at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. Her presentations included the following titles:

  • Creating Great Lakes Stewards and Promoting Healthy Urban Watersheds in Detroit
  • Lake Superior Youth Symposium 1995-2019: Inspiring Stewardship
  • Teacher-Created Innovative Invasive Species Lessons to Achieve State Standards.

MTU’s research vessel at Chassell Strawberry Festival on July 13

Scientific excursions aboard MTU’s research vessel Agassiz to discover ‘How scientists investigate the health of the Great Lakes?’ at Strawberry Festival, 12:30-6 pm, Saturday, July 13 at Chassell Marina

‘How do scientists investigate the health of Lake Superior’ is the focus of FREE scientific excursions aboard Michigan Tech’s research vessel, Agassiz, that will be offered at the Strawberry Festival from 12:30-6 pm, Saturday, July 13, departing from the Chassell marina.

The public is invited to reserve a space by using this link or call the Center at: (906) 487-3341, or go to the Center’s webpage:https://blogs.mtu.edu/cseo/   The public is also welcome to come to the Chassell Marina dock on Saturday from 12:30 to 5 pm, to get on the list. Spaces go quickly. Each excursion has room for 18 participants. Half of the available spaces will be saved for onsite participants.

On each scientific excursion, Dr. Cory McDonald, a Michigan Tech scientist in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at the Great Lakes Research Center, will show how data is collected on water clarity, temperature, and turbidity and explain what that tells us about the health of Lake Superior and Chassell Bay. Dr. McDonald will explain the link between land uses and the health of the Great Lakes.

Space is limited to 18 persons per excursion (children must be at least 7 years of age and accompanied by an adult). Life jackets are available for all passengers. All must wear closed toe shoes.

“Copper Country residents and visitors are encouraged to learn how scientists study the Great Lakes and which  measurements indicate a healthy lake,” explains Joan Chadde, director of the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, who has coordinated this program as part of Strawberry Festival since 2006.

“These scientific excursions for the public have been extremely popular. Youth and adults enjoy the opportunity to interact with Great Lakes scientists and get their questions answered,” adds Chadde.

The event is funded by the GM Ride the Waves Program which puts 600 Copper Country youth and adults on the water each year to learn about the health of the Great Lakes and Lake Superior, and to promote STEM careers. Financial support for the Agassiz at the Strawberry Festival is also provided by the Chassell Lions Club.

For information on Lake Superior Day festivities and the Agassiz in Copper Harbor on Sunday, July 21st, contact Lloyd Wescoat at lwescoat@mtu.edu  or call the Center at: (906) 487-3341. Center for Science& Environmental Outreach

https://blogs.mtu.edu/cseo/ Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center       http://greatlakes.mtu.edu/   Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative      http://lakesuperiorstewardship.org/


Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program Highlighted

Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth ProgramThe Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program that has been running for ten consecutive years was highlighted in the May/June Intermodal Insights, a newsletter by the Intermodal Association North America. The Program is a collaboration between the Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech and the Transportation Logistics and Management Program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Engaging IANA’s Next Generation

For 10 consecutive years, the Michigan Technological University and the University of Wisconsin-Superior have jointly hosted the week-long Rail and Intermodal Summer Youth Program for high school students. The camp attracts nearly 20 young men and women annually from as far away as California, Florida and New York.

After arriving on the Michigan Tech campus in Houghton, Michigan on Sunday, camp participants get their first look at railroad operations at the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad on Monday. They tour the company’s car and locomotive shops, and climb into the cab of a locomotive.

Read more at Intermodal Operations, Safety & Maintenance Business Meeting 2019 Recap: The Future of Intermodal.
By Pasi Lautala, Michigan Technological University, Richard Stewart, University of Wisconsin-Superior, David Nelson, Michigan Technological University and Daniel Rust, University of Wisconsin-Superior.


Michigan Tech Surveying Engineering Attends MiCareer Quest


MiCareer Quest Expo Booth

Michigan Tech Surveying Engineering participated in MiCareer Quest Northwest 2019 in Traverse City on Thursday, May 22 at the Grand Traverse County Civic Center.  MiCareer Quest is a “multi-industry career exploration event” sponsored and supported by industry, employers, trades, and educators throughout Michigan.  The event, primarily put together by Michigan WORKS!, is an effort to expose students to a myriad of career opportunities.  The Michigan Society of Professional Surveyors Outreach and Education Committee, headed by Jason Juilleret, PS, a Land Surveyor with Gourdie-Fraser and Michigan Tech grad, secured a booth for the Society, inviting Michigan Tech to participate along with two Surveyors from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  Professor of Practice, Joe Foster, was able to bring a virtual sandbox and information about Michigan Tech, specifically the Surveying Engineering program to share with the 2000 9th grade students from 30 different school districts.  The event gave the students the opportunity to experience 60 employers representing 100 different occupations.  Michigan Tech was unique as it was one of the educators in attendance, giving the opportunity to spread the word of Michigan Tech, Surveying Engineering and the Surveying Profession as a whole.

For more information on the event, visit here.


EWB Travels to Bolivia to Address Roadway Flooding and Erosion.

Michigan Tech Students with Young Community Members
Young community members receive a lesson on how to fly and take pictures with a drone. Pictured: Maria Carpita, Sarah Hirsch, and Travis Durgan.

The Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) Chapter at Michigan Tech has been working with the communities of Santa Barbara and Buena Vista, Bolivia to address the major regional problem of roadway flooding and erosion during the rainy season. When the road becomes impassable, as it frequently does in these months, it can completely cut off community members from access to healthcare, agricultural work, education, and commerce. In May of 2019, five student members and one alumni advisor traveled to Bolivia to assess the situation and the needs of the communities. During their visit, the team utilized drones to topographically map the community and 8 km of road leading to and from Buena Vista. They also met with local government officials to discuss the problem and potential solutions and held an introductory meeting with community members.

 

Students setting up a drone landing.
Students on the May 2019 Assessment Trip stage the Mavic Pro Drone for data collection along an 8-km stretch of road.
Pictured: Sarah Hirsch, Joshua Langlois, Jake Aguado, and Travis Durgan.

In the coming year at Michigan Tech, the team will use the data they collected to design and eventually implement affordable and sustainable solutions, potentially including culverts, drainage ditches, and alternative materials and road resurfacing methods.  EWB-USA community partnerships last for a minimum of 5 years and work to address basic human needs through projects in water distribution, sanitation, energy, agriculture, and transportation infrastructure.


Stan Vitton on Unique Norwood Shale

Norwood Shale showing rocky hillside

The Hayes Township Board of Trustees could cover up what is considered one of the most unique rock formations in the world because of flaking shale.

Stanley Vitton is a professor at Michigan Tech, who has a Ph.D. in civil engineering, a Master of Science in mining engineering and a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering, and also has worked for the Shell Mining Company, which is a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. He is also an expert in geometrics, along with having a long list of scholarly research and creative contributions throughout his career.

Vitton informed the board the shale wall is structurally safe, after he examined the shale inside Hayes Township Park Camp Sea-Gull.

Read more at the Charlevoix Courier, by Lonnie G. Allen.

Video: Norwood Shale at Hayes Township Park Camp Sea-Gull


Rural School Educational Grant

Lloyd Wescoat
Lloyd Wescoat

Lloyd Wescoat (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $74,967 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Joan Schumaker Chadde (CEE) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are co-PIs on the project titled “Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative – Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences for Rural Schools.”

This is an 18-month project totaling $74,967.