Author: Sue Hill

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.”


Kulie Deploys Snow Measurement Gauges

Mark Kulie Interview
Mark Kulie Interview

NEGAUNEE — Snow. It’s part of this area that the world has learned to embrace and, to those lucky enough to live here, cherish. NASA is another one of these admirers and the agency has employed a team to research snow in Marquette County.

Mark Kulie, an assistant professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech, is one of the researchers enlisted by the agency to deploy twelve high-tech precipitation gauges between Marquette Mountain and Ishpeming.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 News, by Alyssa Lambert.

Snow Measurement Apparatus
Snow Measurement Apparatus

In Print

Michigan Tech Satellite Snowfall Research

Mark Kulie (GMES) co-authored a manuscript entitled “Evaluation of the GPM-DPR Snowfall Detection Capability: Comparison with CloudSat-CPR” that was recently published in Atmospheric Research.

On the Road

AMS 2018Mark Kulie (GMES) is attending the 98th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. Kulie is presenting a talk entitled “Profiling Radar and Snow Microphysical Properties from Extended Ground Observations in the Upper Great Lakes” in the 19th Symposium on Meteorological Observations and Instrumentation.

Carnegie Natural History program looks at science of measuring snow

HOUGHTON — Understanding and recording snowfall is a complicated and developing area of research everyone can contribute to.

Mark Kulie, a Michigan Tech assistant professor, spoke on measuring global snowfall Tuesday at the latest program of the Natural History series at Carnegie Museum.

“This is one of the premier snowfall areas in the United States that is not located at an elevation of 10,000 feet or higher,” Kulie said.
Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.

Keweenaw snow invisible to weather monitoring

Radar difficulties, shallow clouds and high variability between regions are a few of the disrupting factors.

Snowfall researcher and Michigan Tech assistant professor Mark Kulie highlighted a few of these issues at a Tuesday presentation at the Carnegie Museum.

“This is a fantastic local laboratory to study snow in,” Kulie said. “It defines life here throughout the winter months.”

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Kali Katerberg.


Chemistry Rocks Event

VolcanoChemistry Rocks!, a day of fun and learning, takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 11, 2017) in the Forestry Building atrium. Participants can:

  • Make Mineral Snowflakes
  • Grow Mineral Crystals
  • Explore “Copper and More”
  • See Local Rocks and Minerals
  • “Why do gemstones have different colors”
  • Other Fun Geochemistry Activities

There will be a volcano contest, so bring and erupt your volcano and compete against other schools for prizes.

Chemistry Rocks! is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society, Portage Lake District Library, Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative and the Geology Club at Michigan Tech.

By the American Chemical Society Upper Peninsula Local Section.