Category Archives: Students

Emily Gochis, Ph.D. Candidate, Appointed As New MiSTEM Director

Emily Gochis, Ph.D. candidate in GMES has been appointed as the director of the MiSTEM network in Region 16 of Michigan, which covers Keweenaw, Houghton, Ontonagon, Baraga, and Gogebic counties.emilypc

The new regional network, which replaces the Western U.P. Math and Science Center, has been established to form partnerships and strategies that promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and career pathways. These careers are often difficult to experience before a student reaches college when it becomes expensive to explore different career options. Presenting K-12 students with opportunities to experience hands-on STEM applications lets them consider these careers for themselves before making a college choice.

“I’m going out and communicating with anybody and everybody that does anything with science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the region, just trying to connect with all of them in order to create these new opportunities,” Gochis said.

Emily’s PhD advisor, John Gierke, had this to say about the new role that Emily will have in our region’s schools: “While we are certainly proud of Emily’s accomplishments that led to this appointment, we are very happy for the schools of the Western Upper Peninsula and the new opportunities that Emily will facilitate.” Gierke has worked with Emily since she completed her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer and notes that, “Her skills, creativity, and enthusiasm are vast. I am always amazed at her experience in teaching, research and service and how she puts those experiences together in building new educational programs and activities. We are certainly lucky that she is in this new role.”

Read more at the Daily Mining Gazette

 

Pictured: Emily Gochis as a PCV in El Salvador, contributing to our hazards research as car-battery sherpa. The batteries are used to power monitoring equipment on the volcanoes.

 


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


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.”


Jackie Huntoon on STEM Field Mentoring

Jackie Huntoon
Jackie Huntoon

HER Magazine quoted Provost Jackie Huntoon in an article on the importance of same-gender mentors for women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The Power Of Gender Peer Mentors

A new study in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences reveals that 100% of first-year women engineering students who had women peer mentors remained in the engineering program for the second year.

“I think that all students, not just women, and not just those in STEM, need mentors,” Huntoon says. “If you look like and think like the majority of your professors and classmates, it will be easy for you to find a mentor that you feel comfortable with.”

But, she believes that students in a minority group as a result of their gender, race, country of origin, etc., might need to put forth the extra effort to find the right mentor. “A good mentor is someone who can understand what you want and need and is willing to help you figure out how to achieve your goals,” Huntoon explains. “Mentors for women in STEM do not have to be women in STEM themselves – in fact, some of the best mentors I’ve ever had have been men, and not all of them have been scientists or engineers.”

Read more at HER Magazine, by Terri Williams.


AIPG Awards Scholarship to Katie Kring

Katelyn Kring
Katelyn Kring receives the Andrew Mozola Scholarship.

Katie Kring, a third-year student in geological engineering, has received the Andrew Mozola Scholarship from the Michigan section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG). She won for her essay, “Why I Want to be a Geologist.”

Kring first discovered geology when her sophomore high school class visited a Superfund site. Most of the students were bored; Kring says she was fascinated. A summer geology program cemented her interest.

“This past spring semester was the most challenging semester of college I have undertaken to date,” Kring wrote in her prize-winning essay. “My courses included geophysics, structural geology, statics & mechanics of materials and petrology. While the classes were demanding, I did not waver from my desire to become a geologist. In fact, these classes only reinforced my passion.”

She plans to use the AIPG scholarship to fund summer field work. When she finishes her BS in geological engineering, she hopes to work in the mining field.

Students can apply for AIPG membership online.

By Jenn Donovan.


Huntoon on Diversity in Geosciences

Jackie Huntoon
Jackie Huntoon

A new report reveals that increasing numbers of women are studying and working in the geosciences, but the field continues to lag in attracting underrepresented groups.

Jackie Huntoon, the provost and vice president for academic affairs at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, has previously researched diversity in the geosciences and addresses it head-on in her current role. Increases in race and ethnicity are just not happening, she said.

The number of Ph.D.’s awarded in a field tells an important story because the number indicates what is happening at the leadership levels, according to Huntoon.

Read more at Eos, Earth & Space Science News, by Aaron Sidder.


Geology Club T’s On Sale Now

Untitled-1
‘San Andreas isn’t my FAULT’

The Michigan Tech Geology Club is designed to allow students to discover the properties of minerals and geological environments through mineral collection excursions, mine tours, and geologically related field trips.

To order your long sleeve OR short sleeve GeoClub tee today, email Andrew at agdubay@mtu.edu.

For more information on the GeoClub visit: https://https://www.involvement.mtu.edu/organization/geology-club


NATO Science for Peace Project in the Republic of Georgia

Michigan Tech/Univ Milan Bicocca MS student Maria Diletta Acciaro showing Tbilisi State Univ doctoral student Nino Kvavadze how to measure the orientation of dipping geological layers.
Michigan Tech/Univ Milan Bicocca MS student Maria Diletta Acciaro showing Tbilisi State Univ doctoral student Nino Kvavadze how to measure the orientation of dipping geological layers.

John Gierke, GMES professor and department chair,  is a co-director of Michigan Tech’s partnership with five universities on a three-year NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. This international, multi-institutional project is co-directed by Professor Alessandro Tibaldi of the Department of Environment and Territory and Earth Sciences at the University of Milan-Bicocca and Dr. Nino Tsereteli of the M. Nodia Institute of Geophysics of Tbilisi State University.

The project focus is the study of natural hazards that could undermine social and geopolitical stability of a delicate Transcaucasian region located between Georgia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia, near the Enguri dam, the second highest arch dam of the world, which provides approximately half of the electrical energy for Georgia.

The US project team consists of Gierke and Michigan Tech GMES associate professor Thomas Oommen. They are advising Master’s student Maria Diletta Acciaro, who is pursuing a joint MS in Geology with Michigan Tech and her home institution, the University of Milan-Bicocca.

Their first project mission was in early November 2015 in Tbilisi with a kickoff meeting between the project scientists. The second mission, which took place last May 11-25, 2016, was focused on mapping and characterizing landslides and hillslopes surrounding the reservoir and that pose potential hazards to the safety the Enguri dam. “Landslides and rock falls are common on the steep slopes of these highly-weathered mountainous areas. Larger events could be triggered by heavy rains and seismicity,” says Gierke. He and Acciaro worked with their Georgian counterparts to measure rock and soil strength for the different surficial formations in the reservoir area.

The team is estimating the relative risk of different slopes surrounding the Enguri Dam using computer models that forecast landslide susceptibility. Their estimates are based on the topography (slope), geology, and strength properties of the soils and rocks. “One of the codes allow us to include seismicity in the forecasting and the other will let us explore rainfall intensity,” adds Gierke.

Read more about the project online. See photos from the May 2016 trip here.


Eagle Mine Collaborates with Michigan Tech’s Mining Engineering Program

Eagle Mine is collaborating with Michigan Tech’s Mining Engineering Program on creating a custom-made simulation program with dynamic visualization to model and analyze the effectiveness of emergency evacuation plans and equipment in the operation.

“It’s just a start. We look forward to developing our relationship with the Lundin’s Eagle Mine and conducting various simulation studies, while looking for mutual benefits,” stated Ebrahim Tarshizi, the principal investigator of this research investigation.

Eagle Mine, a subsidiary of Lundin Mining, is a high-grade nickel and copper underground mine located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

From Tech Today, by Ebrahim Tarshizi.