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.

Sara Schooley ’03 on Family Biking

Sara SchooleyMichigan Tech Alumna Sara Schooley was the subject of the feature article “Family biking profile: Sara Schooley is sure you’ll like e-bikes too,” in BikePortland.org. Schooley graduated 2003 with a BS in Environmental Engineering.

Family biking profile: Sara Schooley is sure you’ll like e-bikes too

Tell us a little about yourself and your family:

I’m mom in a family of four and we live in the Overlook Neighborhood. We have two kiddos – Tobin (2) and Holly (4). Jonathan (dad) works in Vancouver for the Forest Service. I work as a part-time bike and pedestrian planner for Toole Design Group downtown. Both of our kids are in daycare downtown near my work and are off with me on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Have you biked in other cities and how did it compare?

I started biking in college in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, at Michigan Tech. We were covered in snow for much of the year, but they sanded the roads, so we found that biking with zip-ties on our tires worked well. It was also a super-safe place theft-wise, so we could leave our bikes wherever all over the town without a lock. I routinely leaned mine against a random tree near campus (but a little bit off campus, so I didn’t have to bike up a hill on my way home). The only time it got moved was when my parents were visiting and thought that somebody stole it, so put it in the back of their car. Getting your bike stolen it just a horrible feeling (it’s happened to me a couple of times since), and I miss this sense of security so much!

Read the full article at BikePortland.org, by Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist).

Raine Gardner ’05 is a 2018 Young Professional of the Year

Raine Gardner
Raine Gardner ’05

MSA is proud to announce that Raine Gardner, senior project engineer for the firm, has been awarded with a Young Professional of the Year Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC).

The award recognizes the accomplishments of young Professional Engineers (PEs) who have made significant contributions to the industry and to the greater society. Gardner was recommended by the ACEC Wisconsin chapter and is the first from the state to be recognized.

Raine holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read more at MSA Professional Services.

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.

Michigan Sea Grant Funding for Pengfei Xue

Pengfei Xue
Pengfei Xue

Pengfei Xue (CEE) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $48,969 research and development grant from the University of Michigan-Michigan Sea Grant. Xue is part of the Michigan Sea Grant.

Martin Auer (CEE emeritus) is the Co-PI on the project “Cladaphora, Mussels and the Nearshore Phosphorus Shunt in Lake Michigan.”

This is the first year of a potential two-year project totaling $199,870.

Registration Open for Michigan Rail Conference

MICHIGAN RAIL CONFERENCE 2018

Registration is now open for the Michigan Rail Conference 2018. The conference will be held Aug. 7-9 on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan.  This year’s theme is “End to End Journeys: Integrating Partners.” Field trip activities include a round-trip train tour to Grayling.

Registration fees:

  • Early Registration—$200 (available through June 22)
  • Regular Registration—$250 (available June 23 – July 20)
  • Late Registration —$325 (July 21 through the conference dates)

Registration information is available from the Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech.

By the Rail Transportation Program at Michigan Tech.

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.