All posts by Sue Hill

Mark Kulie Presents on Global Snowfall Datasets

CloudSat and CALIPSO Pairing showing illustrations of two satellites
CloudSat and CALIPSO Pairing, courtesy of NASA.

Mark Kulie (GMES) is attending the NASA CloudSat/CALIPSO Annual Science Review meeting in Boulder, Colorado. The meeting runs April 23-25, 2018.

Kulie will present a talk entitled “Modern Global Snowfall Datasets: CloudSat’s Contribution.” This talk summarizes many recent and ongoing collaborative projects to develop and optimize global snowfall datasets using satellite observations.

In Print

Mark Kulie (GMES) and Lisa Milani (GMES) recently authored a manuscript entitled “Seasonal variability of shallow cumuliform snowfall: A CloudSat perspective“. This article was published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. The study illustrated the global seasonal cycle of lake/ocean-effect snow using satellite-based radar observations.

https://doi.org/10.1002/qj.3222

Extract: Cumuliform snowfall seasonal variability is studied using a multi‐year CloudSat snowfall rate and cloud classification retrieval dataset. Microwave radiometer sea ice concentration datasets are also utilized to illustrate the intimate link between oceanic cumuliform snowfall production and decreased sea ice coverage.


Simon Carn Discusses the Ambae Volcano

Ambae Volcano
Ambae Volcano

Simon Carn (GMES) was cited in the article “Ambae volcano ERUPTION: Mass evacuations ordered as volcano threatens to blow,” in Express. The article deals with the increased activity and potential evacuation of thousands of households near the Ambae volcano on the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific.

Ambae volcano ERUPTION: Mass evacuations ordered as volcano threatens to blow

A large sulphur dioxide plume was emitted from Ambae in early April and it may have emitted the most sulphur dioxide of any eruption since the 2015 eruption at Calbuco in Chile.

It was noted by Simon Carn, a volcanologist and professor at Michigan Tech.

Dr Carn said a significant amount of ash was emitted during one of these eruptions and pictures on Twitter show the extent of ash on the island, which suggested it was a pretty large eruption.

Ambae volcano is a very large volcano and is frequently active. In its recorded history there have been many eruptions – every 10-50 years over the past 150 years.

All these eruptions have been from the summit craters, except one recorded in the 1670s.

Read more at Express.


Jackie Huntoon on Teaching Earth Science

Earth Science illustration of pollution.

Michigan Tech Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Jacqueline Huntoon was interviewed for the article “The Importance of Teaching Earth Science,” reprinted in teachmag.com. The article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2018 edition of TEACH Magazine.

The Importance Of Teaching Earth Science

Earth science has long been the poor cousin of STEM programs. It takes a back seat to technology and even among the straight sciences, rocks and rivers get short shrift alongside the physical sciences—properties of matter, motion, gravity.

“A lot of the topics that are part of an earth science curriculum are relevant to a person’s daily life,” said Jacqueline Huntoon, provost at Michigan Technological University. She has been helping to develop the new middle school science curriculum Mi-STAR, for Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform.

Her approach relies heavily on hands-on experience.

“In the past students would be asked to memorize 50 different minerals or some set of chemical formulas. That’s not really intriguing or interesting to every kid on the block,” she said. “We like to start with something tangible and concrete, so that all the students can have a shared experience. We’ll look at those ‘helicopter’ seed pods, for example. When you drop them, they spin. Why do they spin? You can make a model of that. You get the kids to figure out as of much of this on their own, with the teacher as a guide, before you start lecturing about the concepts.”

Read more at TEACH Magazine, by Adam Stone.

Jackie Huntoon
Jackie Huntoon

NRMM Project Funding for Thomas Oommen

Thomas Oommen
Thomas Oommen

Thomas Oommen (GMES/MTTI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $5,000 research and development contract from the University of Michigan. The project is “Remote Sensing Based Terrain Strength Characterization for the Next Generation NATO Reference Mobility Model Development.

This is the first year of a potential three-year project, potentially totaling $109,337.

By Sponsored Programs.

The NATO Reference Mobility Model (NRMM) is a simulation tool aimed at predicting the capability of a vehicle to move over specified terrain conditions.


Hamburg Meteorite in Mineral Museum

Hamburg Meteorite appears in the news video feed.Shortly after 8 p.m. on the evening of Jan. 16, 2018, a meteor fireball was witnessed from lower Michigan to as far away as eastern Wisconsin. You can view a news video of the fireball on YouTube.

Within two days of the fall, meteorite hunters found fragments on frozen lakes around Hamburg, Michigan, a small town Northwest of Detroit. One of the fragments that was found on Strawberry Lake has been donated to the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum by the Michigan Mineralogical Society.

The Hamburg meteorite has been classified as an ordinary chondrite by the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History. Ordinary chrondrites are the most “primitive” type of meteorites and were formed about 4.5 billion years ago from dust and small grains in the early solar system. It is generally agreed that the Earth and other rocky planets formed from the same material as chondrites.

The Hamburg meteorite is only the 11th identified meteorite to fall in Michigan and is now on public display in the Introduction gallery at the Museum as a result of the generosity of the Michigan Mineralogical Society, southeast Michigan’s premier mineralogical club.

The society hosts the Greater Detroit Gem and Mineral show held annually in October at which the museum is a regular exhibitor.

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.



Greg Waite Presents on Tracking Lava Lakes

Greg Waite
Greg Waite

The work of volcano seismologist Greg Waite (GMES) was mentioned in the article “Hawaii Volcanoes National Park March 2018 Events” in Hawaii 24/7. Waite will give a presentation on March 27, 2018, at Volcanoes National Park. His presentation “Tracking Lava Lakes with the Sounds from Bursting Gas Bubbles” will feature Waite’s work with volcanoes in Guatemala, Chile and Hawaii.

Tracking Lava Lakes with the Sounds from Bursting Gas Bubbles

Other volcanic systems around the word are similar to Kīlauea Volcano’s Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and Halema‘uma‘u craters. These churning lava lakes continuously emit gas bubbles that burst when they reach the surface. Volcano seismologist Greg Waite from Michigan Technological University uses the sounds of these bursting bubbles to investigate the rise and fall of lava lakes in volcanic conduits. Learn about his fascinating work with Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala, Villarrica Volcano in Chile and Kīlauea. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., March 27 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium


Mineral Museum Exhibit Wins Award at Tucson Show

Tucson 2018 exhibitor hall.

The A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum recently exhibited at the 64th Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show held Feb. 8-11, 2018. The Tucson show is the largest and most prestigious mineral show in the world with an international audience. The exhibit theme for this year’s show was “Crystals and Crystal Forms.” The museum’s exhibit, titled “Classic Keweenaw Copper and Calcite Crystals,” paired outstanding specimens from both Michigan Tech and the Michigan Minerals Alliance with antique wooden models of ideal crystal forms. Among the multiple museum exhibits from around the world, the Mineral Museum’s exhibit was awarded the Betty & Clayton Memorial Trophy for the best museum exhibit.

The museum’s award winning Keweenaw exhibit was collaboratively designed by Chris Stefano, associate curator, John Jaszczak (Physics), adjunct curator, and Ted Bornhorst, museum executive director. Jaszczak and Bornhorst installed the exhibit.

The museum had a second exhibit at the show titled “Merelaniite: 2016 Mineral of the Year.” Jaszczak, who designed and installed the exhibit, was a principal author in the naming of merelaniite in 2016, which subsequently was selected as Mineral of the Year by the International Mineralogical Association.

In addition to participating at the show, Jaszczak gave two presentations at the Mineralogical Symposium on Crystals and Crystal Forms sponsored by Friends of Mineralogy, Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, and the Mineralogical Society of America. His presentations were titled “Sphalerite and Wurtzite Polytypism and Morphology” and “Breaking the Law: Exceptions to the Classical Laws of Crystallography.”

By A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum.


GMES Faculty and Staff at Governor’s Summit on Extractive Industries

overnor's Summit on Extractive Industries logoGMES faculty and graduate students participated in the Governor’s Summit on Extractive Industries, which was held in East Lansing on Feb. 13, 2018.

Mining engineering PhD student Amol Painthankar presented a poster titled, “Stochastic Open-pit Optimization Under Volume and Grade Uncertainty,” co-authored by his advisor, Snehamoy Chatterjee (GMES).

The title of the poster presented by MS candidate in mining engineering Fanteri Suparno was, “Risk Quantification in Reserve Estimation: An Application from Indonesian Coal Mine,” which was co-authored by Painthankar and Chatterjee.

Professor and chair John Gierke gave an invited presentation titled, “Michigan’s Universities Prepare Students for Careers in Extractive Industries.”