All posts by Sue Hill

NASA Funding for Volcanic Eruption Observation Study

Earth from space
Gallery image from NASA DSCOVR: EPIC, Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera.

Simon Carn (GMES/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $79,390 research and development grant from NASA. The project is entitled “Exploiting High-Cadence Observations of Volcanic Eruptions from DSCOVR/EPIC.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $267,948.

By Sponsored Programs.


NSF Funding for Aleksey Smirnov on Geomagnetic Field Strength Study

Aleksey Smirnov
Aleksey Smirnov

Aleksey Smirnov (GMS/EPSSI), is the principal investigator on a project that has received an $87,524 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The project is entitled “Collaborative Research: Geomagnetic Field Strength and Stability Between 500 and 800 Ma: Constraining Inner Core Growth.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $289,747.

By Sponsored Programs.

Extract

Earth’s magnetic field protects the planet from solar particles that would otherwise erode the atmosphere. Thus, the magnetic field is thought to be an essential factor ensuring long-term planetary habitability. Today, this geomagnetic field is powered by growth of the solid inner core. But thermal models suggest Earth has not always had a solid inner core; the time of the onset of inner core growth has ranged from 500 million to more than 2.5 billion years ago. This represents a fundamental unknown about the planet. Arguably the best way to investigate this question is to use “paleomagnetism”, the record of the ancient magnetic field trapped in rocks and crystals as they form. Such data have motivated the hypothesis that the geomagnetic field, and the magnetic shielding of the atmosphere from solar particles, almost collapsed 565 million years ago, but then the field slowly recovered. This event may record the birth of the solid inner core. This hypothesis will be tested through studies of rocks ranging in age from 800 to 500 million years old found in Australia, Canada and the United States. The collaborative work will involve a team of 5 scientists at 3 institutions (including an underrepresented minority and woman scientist), and will be integrated into education and outreach efforts at each university, including efforts to expand opportunities for first-generation and historically underrepresented individuals.

Read more at the National Science Foundation.


Luke Bowman Presents at the Geoscience and Society Summit

Luke Bowman
Luke Bowman

Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) adjunct assistant professor Luke Bowman gave a collaborative presentation titled, “Multidisciplinary, International Geological Hazards Research Experiences,” at the Geoscience and Society Summit, March 18 – 21, 2019, in Stockholm, Sweden. The Summit was part of a multi-year effort by organizers to articulate the roles of geoscientists in solving 21st Century challenges and reaching the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Summit was sponsored by the American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America and the Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

Bowman presented the evolution of disaster risk reduction research by GMES students and faculty over the past three decades. The co-authors included professor and chair John Gierke, emeritus professor Bill Rose, associate professors Thomas Oommen and Greg Waite, and research assistant professor Rudiger Escobar-Wolf. The work that Bowman presented outlined a unique history of how GMES has actively broadened its faculty and student research interests to tackle societal issues in conjunction with the geophysical aspects of natural hazards in international settings.


Study by Nathan Manser Cited by World Health Organization

Nathan Manser
Nathan Manser

A study by Nathan Manser (GMES/EF) on human pathogen destruction in resource recovery systems is cited in the World Health Organization’s recent Guidelines on Sanitation and Health.

Manser ND, Cunningham JA, Ergas SJ, Mihelcic JR (2016). Modeling inactivation of highly persistent pathogens in household-scale semi-continuous anaerobic digesters. Environ Eng Sci. 33: 851-860.

The purpose of these guidelines is to promote safe sanitation systems and practices in order to promote health. They summarize the evidence on the links between sanitation and health, provide evidence-informed recommendations, and offer guidance for encouraging international, national and local sanitation policies and actions that protect public health. The guidelines also seek to articulate and support the role of health and other actors in sanitation policy and programming to help ensure that health risks are identified and managed effectively. World Health Organization


Gem and Mineral Show Includes Wulfenite Exhibit

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum was exhibited at the 65th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show held Feb. 14 -17, 2019. The Tucson show is the largest and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world.

The theme of exhibits this year was “Wulfenite is Loved.” The museum’s exhibit fit with the theme and was titled “How does wulfenite form?” It featured text, graphics and mineral specimens to explain and illustrate the formation of wulfenite. Mineral specimens were used to emphasize how primary sulfide minerals are oxidized to form wulfenite. In addition, a suite of mineral specimens that form in the same environment and are associated with wulfenite were included in the exhibit.

The museum’s exhibit was awarded the “most educational exhibit by an institution” from Friends of Mineralogy, a non-profit, national organization founded in 1970.


A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Co-sponsors Earth Science Education Award

MiQuakes graphKazuya Fujita, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Michigan State University, has been awarded the 2019 Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award sponsored by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA).

The award is in recognition of excellence in informal Earth science education and mentoring. This award has been made since 1999, with support of the Edith Dunn and E. Wm. Heinrich Mineralogical Research Trust, the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and the Salotti family.

Chuck Schepke, a secondary teacher in Roscommon, Michigan and past MESTA President, was the MESTA Chair of the Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award committee. He cites Kazuya for his “efforts in organizing and supporting MiQuakes Teacher Seismology Network through MESTA and IRIS and providing Earthquake Workshops for K-12 teachers and these only begin to show the impact Kazuya has had on geoscience education in the State of Michigan and at the National level.

Fujita’s 25 years of service has provided teachers and their students the ability to collect and analyze “real-world” data from their own backyard through installation of seismographs in their classrooms and then mentoring teachers how to interpret data.”

Seaman Museum Executive Director Ted Bornhorst said “The museum is grateful for MESTA’s efforts at soliciting candidates for the award and selecting the awardee. This year’s awardee is most deserving of the honor. We hope that Professor Fujita’s work and this recognition may further inspire others to advance Earth science education and mentoring.”

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Musuem.


Simon Carn on the 2018 Ambae Eruption

Ambae Sulfur Dioxide plumeSimon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the story “From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: ‘2018’s  Biggest Volcanic Eruption of Sulfur Dioxide,'” in sciencesprings. The story was also covered in Long Room, What’s Up with That? and Science Daily.

From NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: “2018’s Biggest Volcanic Eruption of Sulfur Dioxide”

“With the Kilauea and Galapagos eruptions, you had continuous emissions of sulfur dioxide over time, but the Ambae eruption was more explosive,” said Simon Carn, professor of volcanology at Michigan Tech. “You can see a giant pulse in late July, and then it disperses.”

Read more at sciencesprings, by Jenny Marder.

Related:

Simon Carn Discusses the Ambae Volcano


Aleksey Smirnov is an Excellent Reviewer

Aleksey Smirnov
Aleksey Smirnov

Aleksey Smirnov (GMES) has been recognized as an Excellent Reviewer for 2018 by the Editorial Board of Earth, Planets, and Space (EPS).

EPS is the flagship journal of the Society of Geomagnetism and Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences, the Seismological Society of Japan, the Volcanology Society of Japan, and the Japanese Society for Planetary Sciences. It is an open access journal. All articles are made freely and permanently accessible online immediately upon publication.

It is essential for an academic journal to have qualified reviewers to maintain its scientific standard. EPS


Ted Bornhorst Guides Marshall Academy Geologic Field Trip

The Marshall Academy students pose with Ted Bornhorst.
The Marshall Academy students pose with Ted Bornhorst (left of center).

The Michigan Earth Scientist, journal of the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (volume 52, number 4, fall 2018) cites the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum and Ted Bornhorst, executive director, in an article by Richard Green of Marshall Academy which describes a student geologic field trip to northern Michigan.

Field Trip to Northern Michigan: Understanding Geological History by Witnessing It

When we saw a real basalt flow at Houghton the next afternoon, we were lucky enough to be guided by Dr. Theodore Bornhorst, executive director of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum of Michigan Technological University, and a recognized expert on the continental rift. He introduced the class to words like “vesicles” and “amygdules.”

When we first met Dr. Bornhorst at the Seaman Museum, he guided us through its many galleries, explaining the theme of each one and how that theme was reflected in the different exhibit cases. He also took us to the museum’s rock garden, where the students saw large examples of the rocks they’d previously known only as textbook pictures or small fragments used in their laboratory work. By showing how their physical appearance revealed the way they were created, he made the abstract academic knowledge many had already forgotten perceptible and memorable. We even saw a true specimen of our own Marshall Sandstone for the first time, buried by till where we live and concealed by it.

Read more at The Michigan Earth Scientist, by Richard Green.


Hampel Donates Significant Collection of Minerals to Museum

Example of silver and copper from the White Pine mine.
Example of silver and copper from the White Pine mine.

Nearly all of the world’s major mineral museums have one or more donated private collections that provide the foundation upon which they build a museum collection that is greater than the sum of its parts. With a recent and most generous donation of approximately 1,000 specimens, Lance T. Hampel, president of Hampel Corporation, a Germantown, Wisconsin-based plastics manufacturing company, has provided the museum with such a foundational collection and continues to be one of its principal benefactors. Hampel previously donated more than 1,600 superb specimens in 2006 and 2007, and also supported construction of the main museum building at 1404 E. Sharon Avenue.

The following descriptions highlight some of the more significant worldwide specimens in his recent donation and are already on exhibit in the museum’s Mineral Treasures Gallery. Perhaps the most significant individual specimen is a 50 cm wide by 30 cm tall group of calcite crystals from the Shullsburg, Wisconsin, lead-zinc mines, and is among the finest large calcite specimens ever recovered from the Shullsburg district. Another calcite of similar proportions from the Elmwood mine, Carthage, Tennessee, is particularly noteworthy for its size (43 cm tall) and golden color, making it a world-class specimen with considerable visual impact.

The Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico is a famous locality from which Hampel has donated a spectacular plate of yellow-green adamite crystals, 22 cm long. Trepca, Kosovo, is another well-known mining district, from which Hampel’s recent donation included an excellent suite of hydrothermal vein specimens of calcite, quartz and a variety of sulfide species. Tsumeb, Namibia, has been called the finest mineral locality in the world, and is underrepresented in the museum’s collection.

Since the closure of the mine, large museum-quality specimens are virtually unobtainable. This is especially true for an outstanding 23 cm specimen of bright green crystals of dioptase on white calcite in the donation, of which together with a 17 cm plate of duftite, results in a significant improvement for the museum’s Tsumeb holdings.

The quality, depth and breadth of the museum’s collection of crystallized native copper from the world’s premier locality, the Keweenaw Peninsula, is unmatched in the world. The Hampel donation contains a significant number of attractive native copper and silver specimens from the White Pine Mine, Ontonagon County, and several are better than the many high-quality specimens already in the museum’s collection.

Hampel has a long-standing personal and professional relationship with recent past curator of the museum and professor emeritus, George Robinson and past director Stanley Dyl. According to the museum’s Executive Director Ted Bornhorst, “Even long past their retirements George and Stan continue to enhance the quality of the museum because of the relationships they developed with many of the museum’s friends. George and Stan really deserve the principal credit for Lance’s donations.”

By the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.