Category Archives: outreach

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.

 


Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf Comments on Fuego Pyroclastic Flow

Volcan de Fuego day and night imagesOn June 3, 2018, torrents of hot ash, rock, and gas poured down ravines and stream channels on the slopes of Volcán de Fuego—Guatamala’s Volcano of Fire. More than three weeks after the eruption, the Landsat 8 satellite continued to detect elevated temperatures in some of the pyroclastic flow deposits.

“Fuego left pyroclastic flow deposits that cooled down quickly at the surface but are still very hot inside,” explained Michigan Technological University volcanologist Rüdiger Escobar-Wolf. “Cooling deposits can show surface temperatures above the background level for a long time—weeks, or even months. However, that temperature may be only slightly above the background level, as the heat from the interior slowly seeps out of the deposit to the surface.”

Read more at NASA Earth Observatory.

New Funding

Rudiger Escobar-Wolf (GMES) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $115,024 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation.

Simon Carn (GMES) and Michigan Tech alumna Lizette Rodriguez Iglesias, PhD ’07, are Co/PIs on the project “RAPID: Lethal Pyroclastic Density Current (PDC) Generation and Transport at Fuego Volcano.” This is a one-year project.

Extract

This Rapid Research Response (RAPID) award will be used to better understand the deadly eruption at Fuego volcano (Guatemala) on June 3rd, 2018, and in particular the pyroclastic density currents (PDCs) that caused the fatalities. How those PDCs initiated, what caused them to move that far, and what could be the conditions under which they may form in the future, are all poorly understood issues. By looking at the PDCs deposit, mapping them and study their stratigraphy in the field, analyzing the the chemical, petrological, and physical characteristics (density and vesicularity, grain size distribution, etc.), and by using numerical models to understand their flowing dynamics, this team hopes to be able to tell where the PDCs material came from, and how it was fragmented and transported. They will also look at geophysical and geochemical monitoring data leading up and during the eruption, particularly from the local seismic network and satellite remote sensing data, to characterize other aspects of the eruption as well (eruption intensity and duration) and put the PDC information in that context. This knowledge will improve our understanding of the formation of this kind of PDCs, particularly at basaltic volcanoes like Fuego, and could be relevant to many other similar volcanoes worldwide and in the US.

Related:

Mapping Lahar Threats in the Aftermath of Volcán de Fuego


Presentation on How the Rock Connects Us

How the Rock Connects Us coverErika Vye and Bill Rose will give a presentation on how Isle Royale and the Keweenaw Peninsula have a rich cultural, industrial, and mining heritage, all connected by their geologic underpinnings.

The topics are showcased in their new book, How the Rock Connects Us: A Geoheritage Guide to Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale, published by the Isle Royale Natural History Association, Incorporated, Nov 24, 2017 – 64 pages. ISBN 0935289216, 9780935289213

Interested in exploring the geology of the Keweenaw and Isle Royale this summer? Join Erika Vye and Bill Rose to learn about exciting geosites in our area, upcoming tours, and how to navigate their new geoheritage field guide. Daniel Lizzadro-McPherson will also join to showcase a Story Map he developed highlighting Isle Royale geology during a National Park Service Geoscientist in the Park internship. The book will be available for sale, and proceeds from this sale will support library services.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.

The book signing and presentation will take place at on Wednesday, June 27, 2018, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Calumet Public Library.

Calumet Public Library
57070 Mine St.
Calumet, MI
906-337-0311 ext. 1107
clkschools.org/library


NASA Project Funding For Simon Carn

Simon Carn
Simon Carn

Simon Carn (GMES/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $27,883 research and development grant from the University of Maryland-The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The project is titled “Extending NASA’s EOS SO2 and NO2 Data Records from Auro/OMI to Suomi NPP/OMPS.”

This is the first year of a potential three-year project totaling $96,614.

By Sponsored Programs


Bornhorst Talks About the Midcontinent Rift

Institute on Lake Superior Geology

Ted Bornhorst, executive director of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, attended the 64th annual meeting of the Institute on Lake Superior Geology held May 15 to 18, 2018, in Iron Mountain. Bornhorst gave a presentation during the technical sessions titled “The youngest magmatic activity of the Midcontinent rift at Bear Lake, Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan.”

The presentation was co-authored by Evgeniy Kulakov, University of Oslo, Chad Deering (GMES) and Jim Moore. Bornhorst also served on the 2018 institute’s board of directors that met during the meeting. Darlene Comfort, Office of the Vice President of Administration, served as registrar for the meeting through the museum.


Simon Carn on Kilauea Emission

Kilauea Emission
Illustration of the Kilauea Sulfur Dioxide Emission

Simon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the article “Sulfur Dioxide Leaks from Kilauea” in Earth Observatory. The article looks at the impact of the eruption and lava flow from the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

Sulfur Dioxide Leaks from Kilauea

Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, but in late April and early May 2018 the volcanic eruption took a dangerous new turn.

In addition to seismic activity and deformation of the land surface, another sign of volcanic activity is increased emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a toxic gas that occurs naturally in magma.

“Interpreting the satellite SO2 data for events like this is complicated because there are multiple SO2 sources that combine to form the volcanic sulfur dioxide plume,” said Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Tech.

Read more at NASA Earth Observatory.

In the News

Simon Carn (GMES) was quoted in the article “The lava striking the sea is gorgeous — and can be deadly,” in The Verge. Carn commented on the results when lava from a volcano strikes seawater. The story was picked up by several media outlets including the Las Vegas News and Dotemirates.

Simon Carn (GMES), was quoted in the article “Kilauea Lava Flows Hit the Ocean, Creating Toxic Acid Steam Clouds” which looks at the effects of lava from the Kilauea Volcano hitting the ocean. Research from Michigan Tech regarding the volcano was mentioned in Radio Canada.


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

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