John Velat (CEE/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $7,500 contract from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The project is “Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Transportation Safety Management Plan Update.” This is a one-month project.
Since invading the Great Lakes, filter-feeding zebra and quagga mussels have brought increased water clarity to lakes Michigan, Huron, and Ontario. This has boosted the growth of bottom-dwelling filamentous algae like Cladophora, which washes ashore in stringy green mats to foul beaches and harbor harmful bacteria. The invading mussels also recycle phosphorus — a nutrient that feeds algal growth — through their feces. Pengfei Xue, an assistant professor in the Michigan Technological University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will lead a team building computer models to simulate how wave and current patterns influence the distribution of mussel-boosted phosphorus levels. They will investigate how that cycle affects Cladophora growth near Sleeping Bear Dunes and Grand Traverse Bay.
University Professor Mike Drewyor said his senior capstone project class of 16 is wrapping up a semester of work examining how to build an underground tunnel beneath the straits. They’ll present their findings in May on what they hope could be a way to protect the Great Lakes from environmental disaster.
Chad Brown, a civil engineering major on the class’s geological investigation team, said he thinks there’s a good potential the tunnel could come to fruition.
“I think that there’s so many concerns, environmental concerns for the public that they would actually like this to happen,” he said. “In terms of it being economical, it could have some complications there, but in terms of preserving the beauty of the Mackinac Straits, I think it’s a very good solution.”
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.
Join us from 5 to 6 p.m. today (April 12, 2018) in DOW 875 to learn about what Green Campus Enterprise has been working on all year. This event is open to everyone; find us on Facebook for more information.
- GLRC Retrofit—exploring the feasibility of using the water of Portage Lake as a heat sink for the GLRC year round with the greatest application in the warmer months
- Solar Thermal—evaluating the feasibility of installing a solar thermal collector at Michigan Tech. The solar collector would be used to preheat water for hot water usage on campus.
- Building Efficiency—investigating how energy is used throughout the DOW and M & M buildings
Next week the following teams will present at the same time and place on April 19:
- Tiny House Community
- Campus Culture
- Wind Power
- Clean Air-Cool Planet
Alex Mayer (CEE/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $130,093 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.
The project is titled “Collaborative Research: How Does Groundwater Inundation of Carbonate Island Interiors from Sea Level Rise Impact Surface Water-Aquifer Interactions and Evaporative Losses?” This is the first year of a two-year project totaling $254,330.
- Sea-level rise and coastal flooding are well-known to reduce freshwater resources. It is however less recognized that sea level rise can push water tables above the land surface to flood low-lying depressions.
- During this project, new field data will be collected, and new transient modeling tools will be developed, to test the overarching hypothesis that how groundwater flooding will impact island water resources.
- The results of this study should improve predictions of freshwater resource loss of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) from groundwater flooding.
- The modeling tools to be developed as part of this project will be freely distributed to the hydrological community.
On March 13 and 14, 2018, Jennifer Becker and Eric Seagren (CEE), along with graduate students Karina Eyre (CEE) and Tanner Keyzers (BioSci), participated in the Michigan Water Environment Association 2018 Biosolids Conference, which was held in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Biosolids are the treated solid residuals produced during wastewater treatment. They contain abundant organic matter and nutrients and can be beneficially reused as soil amendments and fertilizers to improve the sustainability of wastewater treatment.
The Michigan Tech team gave two invited presentations on their pilot-scale research evaluating low-cost, low-tech (LCLT) methods for producing what are known as Class A biosolids. Class A biosolids are essentially pathogen-free and thus can be land-applied and distributed without restriction. Increasingly, wastewater treatment facilities are seeking to produce Class A biosolids, but many lack the resources to implement the conventional processes for producing these materials. LCLT processes provide a possible alternative to Class A biosolids production for such facilities.
The presentation by the Michigan Tech researchers was complemented by a presentation by one of their utility collaborators, highlighting the benefits of the university-utility partnership.
Becker and Keyzers presented Pathogen & Indicator Organism Reductions & Biosolids Changes During Storage.
Seagren and Eyre presented Study of Low-Cost Low-Tech Treatments for Biosolids at the PLWSA.
Joan Chadde (CEE/GLRC) and Katie Closner (SBE/GLRC) were interviewed by host Rick Allen for this Sunday’s Copper Country Today radio talk show. They discuss this year’s World Water Day celebration, “Nature-based Solutions for Water.” Michigan Tech will observe World Water Day, March 27-29.
This segment will air Sunday (March 25) at the following times and FM Radio stations:
- 7 a.m. 97.7 FM WOLF
- 8 a.m. 99.3 FM LIFT
- 9 a.m. 102.3 FM K-BEAR
On this week’s Copper Country Today, Rick is joined by Joan Chadde, Horst Schmidt and author Dudley Edmondson about the Upper Peninsula’s Environmental Coalition’s Celebrate Diversity and the UP event.
Chadde and Schmidt are event planning committee members. Edmondson is presenting “Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places.”
Even co-sponsors are Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK), Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Visiting Women and Minorities Lecture Series, Michigan Tech Departments of Social Sciences and Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, Great Lakes Research Center and Outdoor Adventure Program.
Events March 22-24, 2018
- Celebrate Diversity and the UP Environment: Presentation by James Mills
- Celebrate Diversity and the UP Environment: Roundtable Discussion
- Celebrate Diversity and the UP Environment: The Adventure Gap
- 2018 Green Film Series: An American Ascent
- Celebrate Diversity and the UP Environment: Presentation by Dudley Edmondson
John Velat, director of the Center for Rural and Tribal Resilience in the department of civil and environmental engineering, recently presented work at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) 2018 annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri, a competitive, peer-reviewed conference.
Velat’s presentation, “When Cultures Collide: Considering Implications of Federal Traffic Safety Regulations for Tribal Governments,” explored how American Indian and Alaska Native governments can improve their participation in federal programs and impact the design of those programs by considering many data collection methods and offering local solutions to traffic safety problems.
Each year the CCCC Convention draws college faculty members from around the world. They gather to hear award-winning speakers, attend presentations by colleagues on the latest innovations in education and network to gain knowledge of best practices in the field.