Category: News

Beth Bartel Receives the NAGT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

Beth Bartel, a geology doctoral student at the Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences Department, receives the NAGT Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. NAGT recognizes outstanding teaching assistants in geoscience education.

“Teaching at Tech has been a fantastic learning experience. GMES assigned me to courses I could contribute to from my particular academic and professional experience—and yet, I have learned how much more I still have to learn in these subjects, through the planning of courses, the lead instructors, grading, and the students,” Bartel says.

“Coming into my PhD, I was curious whether I would enjoy teaching a semester-long course after having only recently taught short courses and workshops,” she adds.

“I love it!

“I appreciate being able to support students, come up with creative ways to engage students, and take time to explore material together.”

Beth Bartel pictured at Fuego Volcano, Guatemala.

MTU Students Receive DeCleene Scholarships from the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club

Pictured left to right: Elliz McClelland, Sam Johnson, and George Schriver, president, Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club.

Geology majors Elliz McClelland, a senior, and Sam Johnson, a junior, were awarded the DeCleene Memorial Scholarship by the Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club (CCRMC). This scholarship is for students in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech who have demonstrated academic achievement, and best exemplify the blending of mineralogy and mineral collecting as both a hobby and an educational pursuit.

This fund was established in memory of Nathan DeCleeene, a geological engineering student and an active member of the CCRMC.

Eight new members inducted to GMES Academy

The Michigan Tech Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES) inducted eight alumni into the GMES Academy on October 14, 2022. Held in the Great Lakes Research Center overlooking the fall foliage, sixty-two people were in attendance at the invite-only induction ceremony, including faculty, staff, current Academy members, and select students. The Academy honors alums who have made a significant impact in their professions and others who have made extraordinary contributions to the department’s advancement.

Celebrations continued on October 15 with a tour of the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum led by curator Dr. John Jaszczak, followed by a pasty luncheon and apple pressing hosted by the Gierke Blueberry Farm.

The 2022 GMES Academy members include:

David Adler ‘82 B.S. Geology
Daniel Farrell ‘60 B.S. Mining Engineering
Mary Herrmann-Foley ‘83 B.S. Geological Engineering
Terre Lane ‘82 B.S. Mining Engineering
Julie (Varichak) Marinucci ‘02 B.S. Mining Engineering
Richard Saccany ‘71 B.S. Mining Engineering
Brian Schwanitz ‘77 B.S. Applied Geophysics
Todd Stone ‘85 B.S. Geological Engineering

Congratulations on your well-deserved recognition to Dave, Dan, Mary, Terre, Julie, Rich, Brian, and Todd. You are all an inspiration to all of us!

GMES gives special thanks to those who made the event possible: MUB Catering, Great Lakes Research Center, Copper Island Engraving, Jim’s Foodmart, Audra Morse, Shelle Sandell, John Jaszczak, A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Protea Floral, Roy’s Bakery, Tony’s Kitchen, John & Lynn Gierke, and Dean Callahan’s support and high-level snapshot into the future of Michigan Tech.

Erika Vye Presents on Geoheritage Education in the Keweenaw

Erika Vye (GLRC/GMES) delivered an invited presentation (virtually) titled “Place, Partnerships, and Practice – Geoheritage Education Initiatives in Michigan’s Keweenaw Region” during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (GS), held October 9–12, 2022.

Vye and co-author Bill Rose (GMES) were invited to present as part of a Pardee Keynote Symposia titled “Geoheritage: Connecting Our Stories to Earth’s History.”

Pardee Keynote Symposia are special events of broad interest to the geoscience community. Examples of topics include those on the leading edge in a scientific discipline or area of public policy and those that address broad fundamental problems, provide new interdisciplinary insights, or focus on global problems.

Abstract

The Keweenaw Peninsula in Upper Michigan sits at the heart of the Midcontinent Rift and is renowned for the world’s largest accessible native copper deposit and Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake on Earth. The geologic underpinnings of the Keweenaw have fostered relationships with land and water for millennia and has imbued our place with significant sites that provide opportunity to broaden both Earth science and cultural literacy. Geoheritage offers opportunities to learn from the many stories, the issues impacting our community, and opportunities for sustainable economic development – all rooted in Earth systems processes.

Read more at GSA Connects 2022, by Erika Vye and Bill Rose.

Emily Street on Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Scholarships

Emily Street
Emily Street

Undergraduate Emily Street (mining engineering) was quoted by Mining Engineering Online, the official publication of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), in a story about the impact of SME scholarships on the recipients and their futures in the mining industry.

In April, Street was awarded two academic scholarships by SME: the SMEF/MMSA Presidential Scholarship and the Gerald V. Henderson Memorial Scholarship.

She heard about SME scholarships through SME e-mails and through her advisor, Dr. Nathan Manser. “Dr. Manser always offers to write recommendations and encourages students to join SME,” said Street.

Related

Jacob Maxon Receives Lord Bagri Scholarship

Jake Maxon pictured at Adventure Mine

Jake Maxon, a fourth-year mining engineering student at the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, has received the prestigious Lord Bagri Scholarship from The Copper Club for the 2022-23 academic year. This $15,000 scholarship was endowed in honor of Lord Bagri, who was the longest-serving chairman in the history of the London Metal Exchange, and unfortunately passed away in 2017. Through this program, the copper industry identifies and recognizes exceptional individuals who have excelled in the study of mining and metallurgy.

The Copper Club, Inc, formed in 1944, is the leading organization for networking, educational grants, and events for those who support the copper industry. The Copper Club Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to students majoring in geoscience or other fields related to producing copper or copper products. A $15,000 award goes to one student who shows exceptional merit demonstrated by excellent grades, with a necessity for financial aid.

Michigan Tech wins 2022 AIPG Student Chapter of the Year Award

Large group of students wearing hard hats outside of a mine entrance.
MTU AIPG Student Chapter/Geology Club Group at Quincy Mine Adit in Hancock. See the Annual Report for 2021-2022.

The 2022 American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Student Chapter of the Year Award goes to Michigan Technological University. This is the third year running for Michigan Tech!

Each year, AIPG recognizes the most outstanding student chapter for its activities, achievements, and contributions to the Institute. Nationwide there are 55 student chapters at AIPG. Some of the recent activities included a resume roast, Quincy Mine Tour, grad school presentation, poster meeting, Meet a Professional, Eben Ice Caves Trip, and group carpool to Central Michigan University for ASBOG Examination.

The 2021/2022 AIPG Student Chapter Officers: President, Elana Barth; Vice President Olivia Salvaggio; Secretary Nolan Gamet; and Treasurer Emilie Pray.

The 2022/2023 AIPG Student Chapter Officers: President Grace Ojala; Vice President Max Strange; Secretary Hannah Miller-Young; and Treasurer Emilie Pray.

The Chapter Sponsor is David Adler, CPG-11377, a Mannik & Smith Group Certified Professional Geologist (BS Geology ‘82). David Adler, inducted into the GMES Academy in October, has been awarded the AIPG Presidential Certificate of Merit for excellent contributions to the AIPG Michigan Section as chairman of the Michigan Section CPG application process.

The Chapter’s Faculty Sponsor is Chad Deering, associate professor in the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences.

The AIPG Michigan Section President is Mellisa Powers-Taylor and the AIPG Michigan Section Liaison is Cody Stoddard.

Congratulations once again on a job well done. The GMES department is proud of your continued success!

Q&A with Xin Xi: Uncovering Global Dust-Climate Connections

Dr. Xin Xi: “Surface weather observations are worth a refreshed look and can be used for improving our dust-climate modeling capability.”

GMES Assistant Professor Xin Xi’s new open-source dataset, duISD, is featured in Michigan Tech’s Unscripted Research blog. Here, he tells us more about it.

Q: How did you get started studying dust and desertification? 

XX: I grew up in humid southern China and had no experiences with dust storms when I was young. When I started college in Beijing, I had personal encounters with the “yellow dust” or Kosa (in Korea and Japan). The sky turned murky yellow every spring, while the whole city was shrouded in a cloud of dust blown from northwestern China. 

When I started graduate school at Georgia Tech, atmospheric aerosols emerged as a central theme in climate research, largely because they are capable of counteracting the warming effect of greenhouse gasses and play a crucial role in the hydrological cycle. Like many others, I became interested in my research due to the positive influence of my Ph.D. advisor, an expert in atmospheric aerosols, particularly mineral dust. 

Q: Why did you decide to revisit the use of horizontal visibility? 

XX: Primarily because of the long timespan of the visibility record from surface weather stations. It is by far the longest instrumental data record of dust, including regions near the dust source where modern-day satellites have difficulties providing reliable observations. 

Long-term, uninterrupted data records are paramount for understanding the variability of dust in response to climate and land use changes. I believe the visibility record has not been used to its full potential, so I took on the effort to develop a homogenized dust-climate record.

Q: Who do you imagine will get the most use from your new dataset? How would a researcher make use of it, and why? 

XX: This new dataset is an initial version of the dust-climate dataset I have been working on. Currently it consists of monthly records of the ambient dust burden at more than 10,000  weather stations worldwide. It is presented in an easy-to-read format, so anyone familiar with spreadsheets can use it. Dust researchers may find it useful, because they can avoid the tedious preprocessing steps with the raw data and are presented with summary statistics to help them pick the stations for their region of interest.

Dr. Xi used the dataset to characterize dust variability and climate connections around the world. The results of his study are featured in an article in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Q: Do you intend to update with future versions? 

XX: Definitely. I plan to conduct data fusion by combining the surface observations with additional climate and land information from satellites or models.

Q: What are the most unique and noteworthy aspects of this research? 

XX: It is a climate data record development project, and the ultimate goal is to create a quality-controlled dataset for the climate community to study trends, variability and relationships about dust and climate. In addition, I believe the dataset can offer other insightful information about the deficiency of current climate models. 

Q: What do you plan to research next? 

XX: I plan to take on the next step of updating the initial dataset I created, and develop new analytic results, which can convince myself — and, hopefully, the climate community — that surface weather observations are worth a refreshed look and can be used for improving our dust-climate modeling capability.

Xi’s open-source dataset, duISD, can be accessed online

A Note from the Chair

Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Alumni,

Greetings from the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences! I hope that this newsletter finds you well and in good spirits.

The long Keweenaw winter is finally over and so is another fruitful academic year at Michigan Tech. We continue to thrive in the strong pursuit of our research and educational missions. 

Professor Aleksey Smirnov, Chair, Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

With most pandemic-related restrictions lifted, our GMES faculty and students alike enjoyed in-person interaction in both the classroom and the lab, and also resumed their travel to fieldwork, conferences, and other professional activities. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we were able to fund student participation in professional meetings. One particular highlight: our faculty and students were honored and recognized for their contributions and hard work at the 2022 SME Annual Conference & Expo in Salt Lake City. 

Our central priority is to enrich the learning experiences of our students and ensure their future success. At the end of April we wholeheartedly congratulated our Spring 2022 graduates, wishing them godspeed in their future endeavors. We also celebrated the well-deserved promotions of Dr. Radwin Askari to Associate Professor of Geophysics with tenure, and of Dr. Nathan Manser to Professor of Practice in Mining Engineering. Dr. Manser also received the Robert W. Piekarz award from the Industrial Minerals and Aggregates Division of SME.

Our faculty, staff, and students have been actively engaged in a wide range of research and engineering problems, working around the globe from Central America to India. Funding for this research comes from various agencies including NSF, NASA, USGS, NIOSH, and others. I am especially proud to report the success of our students who won no less than six Michigan Space Grant Consortium awards this year!

Many of these achievements are made possible through your ongoing encouragement and support. Thank you! We strive to provide the best opportunities for our students. As we work toward our goals, with your continued support, I am certain we will get where we want to be. 

While this letter is mainly intended to share our news with you, I hope that you will in turn share your own news and achievements with our Department, so that we can celebrate the impact each of us has on the wider world.

And, if your travels bring you to Houghton, please stop by–we are always happy to see you.

Best wishes,

Aleksey Smirnov
Professor and Chair
Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Pictured here: a portion of the Keweenaw Boulder Garden on campus at Michigan Tech, a dream fulfilled for geoscientist and GMES Professor Emeritus Bill Rose.

GMES Professors Ranked Among the Top Scientists in 2022

Numerical indices support what every volcanologist knows: Bill Rose ranks among the top scientists in 2022. Research.com compiles and analyzes publication data, including citations and h-index of scholars worldwide. In the Earth science field, over 6,400 scientists were evaluated, and professor emeritus Bill Rose is ranked 97th in the U.S. and 179th globally.

Bill came to Michigan Tech after obtaining his Ph.D. in geology at Dartmouth College. His graduate studies included field studies of active volcanoes across Pacific Latin America. The eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 brought his expertise to the forefront in the US, and the geology graduate program grew in terms of number and reputation. His entire career, save for sabbaticals, has been at Michigan Tech, where he has supervised 23 Ph.D. and 57 M.S. students. He has authored and co-authored over 200 publications, which as of this ranking, were cited in more than 16,000 other publications, yielding an h-index of 81.

Bill served as chair of the GMES department from 1990 to 1998. After returning to faculty full-time, he led the development of two international programs that greatly impacted the international reputation of the department. Every volcano observatory in the US has Ph.D. scientists on staff who are former students of Bill. If you walk into a volcano observatory around the world wearing a Michigan Tech emblem, invariably, someone will ask if you “know Bill Rose.”


Professor Simon Carn in the field at Kilauea volcano (Hawaii) in 2018 (with lava in the background).

Also recognized for his contributions to Earth sciences is GMES professor, Simon Carn, who is ranked 849th in the U.S. and 1,929 globally. Simon’s work has 8,021 citations in the areas of volcanology, remote sensing, and volcanic degassing.

https://research.com/scientists-rankings/earth-science