World Water Day Activities at Michigan Tech

Article by Erika Vichcales, student writer, from Tech Today, Updated March 28, 2014

In recognition of World Water Day, Michigan Tech sponsored a variety of events through March 27. This year’s international event focuses on water and energy and the connections between them.

World Water Day was started by the United Nations to raise awareness about the problems surrounding water on our planet. The world is more than 70 percent covered in water, yet less than 1 percent is available for people to use.  

“Given our location, with water surrounding us, it is important to recognize the significance of water and the threats being faced by that water,” said Professor Noel Urban (CEE), the director of the Center for Water and Society. “Because we have so much water here we may not think that it is a scarce resource, but even within the Great Lakes Basin water scarcity occurs. Water quality is also an issue throughout the region.”

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events included the following:

Monday, March 24
* Seminar by Interim Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington on the “Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development (Including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing)” 3 p.m., Great Lakes Research Center 202. See the video

Wednesday, March 26
* World Water Day student poster session, 4-7 p.m., Dow Lobby. The posters will illustrate their research and course work that involves water.
* Water’s Edge Art Exhibit, Great Lakes Research Center. On display will be the work of three different artists. The exhibition will run through April 23.
* Lecture by Robert Howarth of Cornell University on environmental impacts of hydraulic fracking, the practice of injecting water underground to release deposits of oil and natural gas, 5:30 p.m. See the video

Thursday March 27
* A panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing, 10 a.m.-noon, Great Lakes Research Center 202. View the video
Moderator: Dr. Emma Norman, Social Sciences, Michigan Tech
Panelists:
Dr. Wayne Pennington, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering; Professor of Geophysical Engineering, GMES, Michigan Tech
Mr. Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan
Dr. Robert Howarth, Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology, Cornell University

* Lecture: Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director, United Tribes of Michigan
“When can we drink the water? Reflections on Indigenous water rights and sovereignty”
Guest lecture in Emma Norman’s World Resources Development class
“The main things students need to think about is how important water really is to humans and to all of our economic and cultural activity, and the need to preserve that for future generations,” said Urban. “It’s a time to think about how well we are doing that task.”

World Water Day events are sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, Sustainable Futures Institute, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, Great Lakes Research Center, Visual and Performing Arts, and Finlandia University. Partial funding was provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. through a grant from the Johnson Family Foundation for a Let’s Talk About Water event.

Link to More photos and individual Poster Photos

World Water Day Poster Awards

The Center for Water and Society thanks all of the students who participated in the CWS World Water Day Poster Competition. The poster session is a significant part of our World Water Day events, and is a great opportunity to share the water research taking place at Michigan Tech. The electronic version of the posters will soon be on the CWS website for those of you who missed the poster session, or would like to review them more thoroughly.

Congratulations to our award winners!

Original Research Awards

Jennifer Fuller – 1st place – $250
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Developing a Sustainable Treatment Solution to an Urgent Problem: Synthetic Hormones in the Water Cycle

Marcel Dijkstra – 2nd place – $150
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Ecosystem function in Lake Superior: Impacts of an episodic climate anomaly

Alex Collins – 3rd place tie – $100
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Inter-annual Differences in the Water Use of Mature Sugar Maple in Response to Experimental Warming and Irrigation

Ashley Coble – 3rd place tie – $100
Biological Sciences
Nutrient Limitation and Temporal Variability of Dissolved Organic Carbon Mineralization in a Lake Superior Tributary

Coursework/Informational Awards

Mary Moritz – 1st place – $250
Civil & Environmental Engineering
The Barro Blanco Dam: 30 years of engineering and politics

Jennifer Fuller – 2nd place – $150
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Performance Evaluations on the Removal of Synthetic Hormones by Advanced Oxidation Processes in Drinking Water Treatment

Laura Gallagher – 3rd place – $100
Civil & Environmental Engineering
Pseudo-steady State Evaluations on the Removal of n-propylbenzene from Water by Aqueous Phase Advanced Oxidation Processes

Link to More photos and individual Poster Photos

Lecture Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert Howarth, Cornell University
Panel Discussion on hydraulic fracturing; Moderator: Dr. Emma Norman, Social Sciences, Michigan Tech
World Water Day poster competition

Link to More photos and individual Poster Photos

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