Author: College of Engineering

Sue Hill is the Digital Content Manager for the College of Engineering.

Green Film Thursday

A Will for the WoodsThe 2015 Green Film Series presents, “A Will for the Woods, from 7 – 9 p.m. Thursday, June 18, 2015, in Hesterberg Hall & Atrium in Forestry Building at Michigan Tech. There is no admission charged and free refreshments will be provided by the Keweenaw Green Burial Association which will lead a discussion following the film.

About the film: Musician, psychiatrist, and folk dancer Clark Wang prepares for his own green burial while battling lymphoma, determined that his last act will be a gift to the planet. Documenting one community’s role in the genesis of a revolutionary movement, the film explores the growing movement for green burial. (94 min)

From Tech Today, by Joan Chadde.

Green film June 18, Community Forum June 20 to focus on Natural/Green Burial

In the first event, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 18, in G002 Hesterberg Hall, Michigan Tech Forestry Building, the Green Film Series will screen A Will for the Woods, a documentary about Clark Wang, a musician and psychiatrist who was determined that his last performance would be a gift back to the planet. Viewers will witness Wang preparing for his own green burial and, in so doing, creating that option for others in his community.

Two days later, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 20, at Portage Lake District Library, the KGBA will host a community forum facilitated by Michigan resident Merilynne Rush, a Natural Death Care educator and board member of the Green Burial Council International. Rush will take the audience through an examination of conventional funeral and burial practices, their environmental and social implications, and what green burial is and is not.

Prior registration is not required for either event, and both are open to the public free of charge (donations always welcome).

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz

Great Lakes Investigations Aboard Michigan Tech’s Research Vessel Agassiz from June 15 to July 15, 2015 for Students in Grades 4‐12 ~ Fun! FREE! Educational!

Ride the Waves with GM invites Copper Country youth in Grades 4‐12 to join scientists from Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center in the exploration of Lake Superior, Keweenaw Bay and/or Portage Lake.


Programs are 3‐4 hours in length—with 1.5‐2 hours on the Agassiz and 1.5 hours in the lab. The Agassiz will accommodate up to 17 youth/
chaperones (minimum of 10 is required).

Aquatic Food Web & Lab Investigation ~ Measure water quality and collect samples to examine in the lab to find out “How Do You Make A Lake Trout?” All ages.

To make reservations, call or email:
Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach
Phone: 906‐487‐3341
Email: Lloyd Wescoat
Joan Chadde
Provide number of students and 3 date/time options

From the College of Engineering Blog.

2015 Summer Science Camp


Registration is open for 2015 Summer Science Camps at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center. There are two sessions, one for grades one through three and another for grades four through six.

Grades 1-3: Wonders of Space

Explore the earth and its place in the solar system, investigate the planets, moons and other celestial objects in our galaxy, plus types of stars and other aspects of space–nebulae and black holes. Marvel over the history of space exploration and launch a rocket. Always lots of hands on activities.

Grades 4-6: Science All Around

Investigate a variety of science topics from chemistry to geology, wolf and moose to ecology. Take a trip on Michigan Tech’s research vessel Agassiz to learn about fresh water ecology, visit a limnology lab and engage in many exciting activities. Instructors include Michigan Tech faculty, staff and students.

Sessions are June 16, 17 and 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (students bring their own lunch).

Cost is $120 and space is limited to 20 students. Pay by credit card, space not reserved until payment is received.

Register Online. For more information call 7-3341.

Sponsored by the Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Summer Teacher Institute Deadlines Extended to June 19, 2015

Sustainable Future2015 Summer Michigan Tech University Summer Teacher Institutes


  • M-F, July 6-10 ED5601 Engaging Students in Authentic Science Research Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 13-17 ED5641 Global Change Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 20-24 ED 5640 Designing a Sustainable Future Teacher Institute
  • M-F, July 27-30 Keweenaw Geoheritage Tours by Water and Land

See Teacher Professional Development – Current Institutes for details about the courses.

Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative This Week

LSSI InitiativeJoan Chadde, coordinator of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach is taking part in six Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative placed-based education program this week.

Activities involve Dollar Bay Elementary, Jeffers High School, Houghton Middle School and the Washington Middle School, and take place at the Great Lakes Research Center, Marsin Center, Calumet Waterworks Park and onboard the research vessel Agassiz.

From Tech Today.

Learning in the field
Students learn about nature’s essence

LAKE PERRAULT – Jeffers High School students spent Monday learning out of the classroom.

Olivia Johnson, a ninth-grader at Jeffers, said her favorite part was measuring water quality and temperature.

“You get to actually work with the sensors and tools to learn how to do it,” she said.

Read more at the Mining Gazette (subscription required), by Garrett Neese.

Middle School students to hold Open House on stewardship projects at Calumet Township Park June 3

Each year WMS students show off their stewardship projects as presenters to parents and community partners at the township beach and School Forest areas. These place-based projects are a part of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) in conjunction with community partners Calumet Township, BHK Great Explorations, Keweenaw National Historical Park, The Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Michigan American Water Company.

Read more at Keweenaw Now.

Photos: Lake Linden-Hubbell students learn stewardship, birding, more near Torch Lake

LAKE LINDEN — Students from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School biology and English classes spent an afternoon of hands-on science activities, combined with a game of disc golf and poetry writing, on May 15, 2015, at the Lake Linden Sands Superfund site, where vegetation now covers stamp sand — a waste product left by the copper industry.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Michele Bourdieu.

Outdoor STEM experiences for local schools

On Monday, June 1st through Thurs June 4th, local school students were introduced to various STEM education and Career opportunities. Dollar Bay Elementary School had scientific excursions on the RV Agassiz, and saw science projects at 102 GLRC, and 104 GLRC. The program is funded by General Motors Ride the Waves program.

Read more and watch the video at the College of Engineering Blog.

STEM Night Attended by 300 Teachers

NSTA 2015Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science & Environmental Outreach, and Neil Hutzler, retired past chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, collaborated with the Foundation for Family Science & Engineering to conduct a STEM Night for a sold-out crowd of 300 teachers from across the country who were attending the 2015 National Science Teachers’ Association STEM Forum & Expo last week in Minneapolis.

Chadde and Hutzler are among the co-authors of the Family Engineering Activity & Event Planning Guide published in 2011. Michigan Tech received a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the guide.

Anza Mitchell, president of the Michigan Tech student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, assisted with the event.

From Tech Today.

Chadde at the Marsin Monitoring Project


Marsin Center
Marsin Center

Joan Chadde, director of the Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, was a participating scientist for a bio-inventory for the Keweenaw Land Trust Marsin Monitoring Project, conducted by the Lake Linden-Hubbell High School tenth-grade biology class. The event was held yesterday at the Marsin Center. The students monitored amphibians and insects and brainstormed native landscaping ideas for the KLT.

From Tech Today.

STEM Field Trips offered for HS Students

STEMHigh School students can visit a variety of science, engineering, and computer labs at Michigan Tech now through May 15.

The students in grades 9 – 12 can participate in presentations and hands-on activities led by Tech students, engineers and scientists to kick start students’ planning for careers in science, technology, engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Nearly 200 students from Bessemer, Baraga-L’Anse Alternative School, Copper Country Christian, L’Anse, Lake Linden-Hubbell, Watersmeet, Dollar Bay, Nah Tah Wahsh, and Jeffers High Schools are planning visits.

Select Topics / Labs to Visit

  • Green Building & Low Impact Design
  • Stream Mechanics Lab
  • Remotely Operated Vehicles
  • Computer Science
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Civil Engineering Concrete TestingLab
  • Fishy Great Lakes
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Geology & Mining Engineering
  • Human Monitoring Devices / Driving Simulator
  • Forest Insects

For more information, contact: or office: 7-3341

Made possible with funding from the Michigan STEM Partnership and coordinated by the MTU Center for Science & Environmental Outreach and Western U.P. Center for Science, Math and Environmental Education with assistance from the Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering

From Tech Today, by Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

High School Students Learn About STEM Careers

This week, nearly 200 high school students from nine schools in the western UP are spending a day at Michigan Tech, exploring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. They will visit labs and learn about green building and low-impact design, human monitoring devices, forest insects, steam mechanics, remotely-operated vehicles, computer science, materials science and engineering, civil engineering/concrete testing, Great Lakes fish, transportation engineering and geology and mining engineering.

Yesterday, students from Jeffers High School in Adams Township spent the day at Tech learning about STEM careers. Students from Nah Tah Wahsh Public Academy in Wilson will be on campus today, and on Friday the University will host students from Watersmeet High School.

From Tech Today.

Chadde to Participate in Field-Based Ecology CAREER Project

Amy Marcarelli Receives NSF CAREER Award

In the world of aquatic biology, it’s a long-held belief that what goes up, must come down. As human activity causes nitrogen loads to go up along the banks of rivers and streams, nitrogen levels go down through another process. Amy Marcarelli, a Michigan Technological University associate professor in biological sciences, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study this nitrogen conversion balance.

The CAREER awards are prestigious grants from the NSF to young faculty who effectively integrate research and teaching. Marcarelli was awarded a 5-year, $794,661 grant to continue her research into nitrogen fixation and denitrification.

Not only will her research look to affirm, or disprove, long-held beliefs, but also to create a more ecologically-savvy citizenry by integrating ecosystem ecology techniques into K-12 and undergraduate education.

The construction and operation of a mobile lab is a key part of both the research and educational components of the CAREER project. Marcarelli says accurate rates of nitrogen fixation and denitrification using common assays are dependent on accurate estimates of gas concentrations.

“To reach local (K-12) students, I will identify several classes where teachers are interested in introducing their students to field-based ecology. Before our departure, we will visit these students in their classrooms to introduce ourselves and our project,” Marcarelli says.

She plans to work with Joan Chadde, educational program coordinator at Michigan Tech’s Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science Mathematics and Environmental Education.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Mark Wilcox.