Tag: Forest Ecology and Management

Dow Chemical Hong Kong – Michigan Scholarship Program 2010-2011

U.S. doctoral students or recent Ph.Ds from a Michigan university who are studying in the
following areas Environment, Energy, Sustainability, Education,
Transnational Relations, Science and Technology and policy issues
related to these topics.  are eligible for the Dow Chemical Hong Kong- Michigan Scholarship Program.

The award is for the 2010-2011 academic year
to engage in dissertation research while affiliated with Hong Kong
University of Science and Technology.

Only U.S. citizens and permanentresidents (Green Card holders) are eligible.

The scholarship is modeled along the lines of a Fulbright Grant in Hong
Kong as it provides approximately $17K stipend, $5K travel, and $13K
living allowance, plus health insurance.  The total value is over
US$35,000.

For more information about the scholarship opportunity please visit:  Dow Chemical Hong Kong Program Information

If you are interested in applying, please contact Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu)


Final Dispatch from Copenhagen

Graduate student Adam Airoldi and undergraduate Catherine (Cate) Cogger visited Copenhagen during the UN’s international climate change conference. Here is their report.

“Our last day in Copenhagen was devoted to finding the Bella Center, which is located approximately 10 kilometers from the Copenhagen Centrum and is the main conference center of the conference. Here diplomats, world leaders and journalists convene daily to discuss the many issues confronting the global community in relation to climate change, social justice worldwide, and the global market crisis and its pertinence to climatic changes.

“Upon finding the Bella Center, we were a bit disappointed by the facilities. Having expected a site a bit more grandiose, we found the Bella Center to be a large complex of modern buildings located in the “Green Living” sector of Copenhagen. Adjacent to the Bella Center was an apartment complex with the same futuristic look to it; many of the apartments were adorned with banners and placards urging political leaders to take significant and swift action. Although it was Sunday, we did see journalists entering the center as the talks inside continued.

“Being in Copenhagen was certainly an experience that we will remember for a lifetime. We witnessed a variety of different viewpoints concerning climate change, ranging from indigenous perspectives to polar explorers presenting scientific data.

“The general feel in Copenhagen is perhaps less pessimistic than much of the rest of the globe. We have heard from many people not in Copenhagen that they are not hopeful that much will develop out of this conference. Many are doubtful that any concrete resolutions will be reached about the direction the global community should take to mitigate the effects of global warming. In Copenhagen, however, the demonstrations and vigilant hopefulness continue on.

“It is certainly difficult to say what the outcome of these talks will be. The main change may stem from those who were in Copenhagen to simply show support of the cause of curbing global warming. It is uncertain whether or not worldwide policy will develop, but it seems as though those citizens in Copenhagen will bring home a message of conservation, energy efficiency and personal responsibility to their communities, wherever they may be in the world.”

Published in Tech Today


Climate Change Conference: Graduate Student Dispatch from Copenhagen

Two Tech students are visiting Copenhagen this week during the UN’s international climate change conference. One of them is Adam Airoldi, a graduate student in forest ecology and management. His advisor is Associate Professor Andrew Burton (SFRES). Airoldi is doing research in Norway this semester, collaborating with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, on changes in the alpine tree line around a small copper-mining town in central Norway. Airoldi earned his bachelor’s in forestry in 2008. He is in Copenhagen on a graduate travel grant from the Ecosystem Science Center.

Read his entire report and see pictures from Copenhagen.


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Carrie Andrew
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Erik Lilleskov
Dissertation title: Response of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi to Elevated Atmospheric CO2 and O3 within Northern Deciduous Forests

Yolanda Beltran Vargas
Master of Science in Industrial Archaeology
Advisor: Patrick E Martin
Thesis title: Industrial Archaeology of the Hacienda Santa Brigida, Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato, Mexico

Abigail Clarke-Sather
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Co-advisors: John W Sutherland, and Qiong Zhang
Dissertation title: Decentralized or Centralized Production: Impacts to the Environment, Industry, and the Economy

Gregory Albert Galicinao
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Martin T Auer
Thesis title: Determination of Methyl mercury Flux from Onondaga Lake Sediments using Flow-Through Reactors

Russell Johnson
Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Erin Marie Smith
Thesis title: “Father I had a Feeling Today”: Postmortem Educational Media Fandom

Ming Ning
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Co-advisors: Richard E Brown, and Bahne C Cornilsen
Dissertation title: Molecular Interaction between Perthiolated Beta-cyclodextrin(CD) and the Guests Molecules Adamantaneacetic Acid (AD) and Ferroceneacetic Acid (FC); and the Effect of the Interaction on the Electron Transition of CD Anchored Particles

Lucas Spaete
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Ann L Maclean
Thesis title: Utilizing FIA Data for Mapping Standing Biomass in the Upper Great Lakes Region: An Evaluation

Andres Tarte
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Co-advisors: Kurtis G Paterson, and Qiong Zhang
Thesis title: Identifying Indicators of Sustainable Development Using the Global Sustainability Quadrant Approach

Laura Walz
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Michael Robert Neuman
Dissertation title: Microfabricated Thermal Sensors for Skin Perfusion Measurements

Jing Zhong
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Chunxiao Chigan
Thesis title: Development of NS-2 Based Cognitive Radio Cognitive Network Simulator

Peng Zhou
Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science
Advisor: Soner Onder
Dissertation title: Fine-grain State Processors


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

R Adam Blankenbicker
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Video Analysis of Small Vulcanian Explosions at Santiaguito, Guatemala

Elizabeth Boisvert
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: Thomas Grant Pypker
Thesis title: Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands

Daw Don Cheam
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Integration of Room Temperature Single Electron Transistor with CMOS Subsystem

Brandon Dilworth
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Identification of Ground and Environmental Effects to the Pass-by Noise Testing of Snowmobiles

Varun Gouthaman
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Reza  Shahbazian Yassar
Thesis title: Micro-Fabrication of a Bio-MEMS Based Force Sensor to Measure the Force Response of Living Cells

Erik Hayenga
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Marilyn M Cooper
Dissertation title: Ethics in Illustruction: Safety Cartoons in John Deere Tractor and Combine Harvester Operator’s Manuals, 1945-2007

John Hribljan
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Janice M Glime
Thesis title: The Influence of Moss and Litter Chemical Traits on Bryophagy in a Northern Temperate Forest Invertebrate, Porcellio scaber LATR.

Nicholas Jensen
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher Raymond Webster
Thesis title: Ungulate Winter Habitat Selection as a Driver of Heterogeneity in Ground-Layer Plant Communities

Samuel Johnson
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Donald Naber
Thesis title: Premixed Lean Gas Combustion and HPCR Rate of Injection used with a Constant Volume Combustion Vessel

Eric Kalenauskas
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Calibration Methods of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler & Investigations of the Critical Wavenumber in Unstable Evaporating Thin Films

Keong Aik Lau
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Tony Neal Rogers
Dissertation title: Theoretical and Experimental Studies of the Temperature Dependence of the Henry’s Law Constant of Organic Solutes in Water

Shannon Lerner
Master of Science in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Co-advisors: Marilyn M Cooper and Jnan Ananda Blau
Thesis title: Martin Buber and Luce Irigaray: Liminality and Historical Spiritual Moments

Kathryn Marlor
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Rodney A Chimner
Thesis title: Determining the Role of Environmental Factors and Disturbance in the Distribution of Reed Canary Grass within Wetlands

Benjamin Melitz
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Charles D Van Karsen
Thesis title: Feasibility Assessment of Inverse Frequency Based Substructuring to Obtain Automotive Powertrain Mount Properties

Jonathan Mellor
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: David W Watkins
Thesis title: Water and Sanitation Accessibility and the Health of Rural Ugandans

Bode Morin
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology
Advisor: Terry S Reynolds
Dissertation title: Reflection, Refraction, and Rejection: Copper Smelting Heritage and the Execution of Environmental Policy

James Nugent
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: United States Certificate Programs in Technical Communication: A Feminist-Sophistic Investigation

Paul Pawelzik
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Qiong  Zhang
Thesis title: A Life Cycle Analysis Methodology: Incorporating Technological Advances Over Time A Study of the Environmental Impact of Cellulosic Ethanol with Technological Advances over Time

Russell Stacy
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey  Allen
Thesis title: Contact Angle Measurement Technique for Rough Surfaces


New theses and dissertations in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the arrival of new theses and dissertations from our recent graduates in the J. R. Van Pelt Library and John and Ruanne Opie Library.  The names of our graduates, their degrees, advisors, and titles of their research are listed below.

Manoranjan Acharya
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Dissertation title: Development of Room Temperature Operating Single Electron Transistor using FIB Etching and Deposition Technology

Susan H Balint
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Federal and State Policy Influence on Woody Biomass Utilization

Genevieve M Borg
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Carol A MacLennan
Thesis title: EPA’s Council for Regulatory Environmental Modeling: A Case Study of Science Policy Implementation

Carmelo Davila
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Samuel R Sweitz
Thesis title: A Space for Production and a Space for Communality: Socio-Historical Study of Central Aguirre and its Industrial Community, Salinas, Puerto Rico: 1949-1970

Seth C DePasqual
Master of Science in Industrial Archeology
Advisor: Patrick E Martin
Thesis title: Winning Coal at 78 Degrees North: Mining, Contingency and the Chaine Operatoire in Old Longyear City

Robert S Donofrio
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: Development and Validation of Selective and Differential Enumeration Methods for Brevundimonas diminuta

Jason T Dreyer
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Co-advisors: Sudhakar M Pandit and Mohan D Rao
Dissertation title: Binaural Index for Speech Intelligibility via Bivariate Autoregressive Models

Ingrid D Fedde
Master of Science in Geology
Co-advisors: Jose Luis Palma Lizana and William I Rose
Thesis title: Application of Probabilistic Tools and Expert Elicitation for Hazard Assessment at Volcan de Colima, Mexico

Travis J Hansen
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Daniel A Crowl
Thesis title: Estimation of the Flammability Zone Boundaries with Thermodynamic and Empirical Equations

Daniel E Haskell
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Advisor: David J Flaspohler
Thesis title: `Restoration in Northern Wisconsin

Stacie A Holmes
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Dissertation title: The Influence of Concurrent Disturbances on Plant Community Dynamics in Northern Hemlock-Hardwood Forests

Ashwini S Kashelikar
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Veronica W Griffis
Thesis title: Identification of Teleconnections and Improved Flood Risk Forecasts using Bulletin 17B

Justin D Keske
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
Advisor: Jason R Blough
Dissertation title: Investigation of a Semi-Active Muffler System with Implementation on a Snowmobile

Paul J Koll
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Martin F Jurgensen
Thesis title: Effects of Conifer Sawdust, Hardwood Sawdust, and Peat on Soil Properties and Bareroot Conifer Seedling Development

Andrew T Kozich
Master of Science in Environmental Policy
Advisor: Kathleen E Halvorsen
Thesis title: Wetland Mitigation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula: Compliance with Site Monitoring and Invasive Plant Species Standards

Kateryna Lapina
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Co-advisors: Richard E Honrath and Judith A Perlinger
Dissertation title: Boreal Forest Fire Impacts on Lower Troposphere CO and Ozone Levels at the Regional to Hemispheric Scales

Joseph W Lechnyr
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey Allen
Thesis title: Imaging of Fuel Cell Diffusion Media Under Compressive Strain

Angela K Lucas
Master of Science in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Jason R Carter
Thesis title: Effects of Pediatric Adiposity on Heart Rate Variability

Lawrence J Mailloux
Master of Science in Chemistry
Advisor: Dallas K Bates
Thesis title: A 1,2,4-Triazole to Thiazole Transformation

Meghan E McGee-Lawrence
Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Engineering
Advisor: Seth W Donahue
Dissertation title: Skeletal Preservation by Hibernating Bears

Diane M Miller
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: Speaking (of) Community: An Ethnographic Study of the Relationships Among Communication, Community, and Everyday Experience at an Organic Foods Cooperative

Min Nie
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Desheng Meng
Thesis title: Fabrication of Nanoparticles by Short-Distance Sputter Deposition

Brian A Ott
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Gerard T Caneba
Dissertation title: Fluid Phase Equilibrium as Modeled by the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT) Equation of State

Robert C Owen
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Richard E Honrath
Dissertation title: Long-range Pollution Transport: Trans-Atlantic Mechanisms and Lagrangian Modeling Methods

Jeannie A Patrick
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Diane L Shoos
Dissertation title: Not Your Mother’s Latinas: Film Representations for a New Millennium

David M Pauken
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Statistical Modeling of the Ford Superduty Brake Pedal Feel Attribute

Melissa J Porter
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Thesis title: Detection and Landing Behavior of Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis, at Low Population Density

Mark D Rowe
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: Judith A Perlinger
Thesis title: Modeling Contaminant Behavior in Lake Superior: A Comparison of PCBs, PBDEs, and Mercury

Ryan W Schweitzer
Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
Advisor: James R Mihelcic
Thesis title: Community Managed Rural Water Supply Systems in the Dominican Republic: Assessment of Sustainability of Systems Built by the National Institute of Potable Water and Peace

Xiaoning Shan
Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Jeffrey B Burl
Dissertation title: Time-Varying System Identification in the Transform Domain

Sarah E Stehn
Master of Science in Forest Ecology and Management
Advisor: Christopher R Webster
Thesis title: Influence of Exogenous Disturbance on Bryophyte Community Assemblage and Tree Regeneration Dynamics in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests

Xiang Sun
Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering
Advisor: Jiann-Yang Hwang
Dissertation title: Charge Induced Enhancement of Adsorption for Hydrogen Storage Materials

Iltesham Z Syed
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Abhijit Mukherjee
Thesis title: Experimental Study of Forced Convection Heat Transfer to Water Flowing through a Short Micro Duct at the Tip of a Cutting Tool at Turbulent Reynolds Number

Jacob T Vermillion
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Lawrence L Sutter
Thesis title: Absorption Correction for the Determination of the Water Content of Fresh Concrete Using the Microwave-Oven Drying Method

Dennis K Walikainen
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Robert R Johnson
Dissertation title: What’s It Like There? Toward a Rhetoric of University Maps and Tours

Cheryl L Williams
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: John W Sutherland
Thesis title: Optimization of Conversion of North American Left Hand Drive Vehicles for Importation into Right Hand Markets


Oh Deer: Grad Student Studies Effect of Whitetails on Hemlock

Published in Tech Today
by Marcia Goodrich, senior writer

Nicholas Jensen likes hemlocks. “They’re my favorite tree,” he says, both for their graceful, arching tops and branches and for the shady, uncluttered forest floor they create.

But hemlocks are in trouble, down about 99 percent throughout their regional historic range. So Jensen, a master’s student in forest ecology and management, is studying how one particular animal species might impact the survival of the remaining 1 percent.

In winter, whitetail deer–lots of them–gather (or “yard up”) in groves of hemlock and cedar to escape the deep snow. They do eat hemlock, but they also deposit plenty of scat. Jensen wondered if their presence in high numbers was in effect fertilizing the local ecosystem and changing what types of plants were growing there.

Eastern hemlock thrives in poor soils that most other forest trees can’t abide. If those soils become fertile, Jensen thought, they might be colonized by other trees, like sugar maples, that could displace the hemlocks.

Three years ago, he began his study of 39 hemlock groves in the Lake Superior basin, conducting “pellet counts” and tracking the types of plants growing on the forest floor. Locally, he visited hemlock groves near Point Abbey and Big Eric’s Bridge, in Baraga County.

Hemlock groves let very little light through to ground. Only a few species of low-growing plants, including wild lily of the valley and wood ferns, grow under these conditions. However, Jensen discovered that different species of plants grow in hemlock groves that shelter lots of deer in the winter.

Just why this is happening isn’t clear. Maybe these new plants like the richer soils, maybe the deer are eating saplings and making way for additional low-growing plants.

What is clear is that something is going on, Jensen says. “It’s important to understand this. Hemlocks are an important resource, and they are really under pressure,” he says. “My hope is that we’ll be able to raise awareness of the effect deer may be having, and that our findings will someday be considered in forest management. It could be relevant to the persistence of this forest type.”

Jensen presented his work at the Graduate Student Council Research Colloquium, held April 2-3 at the Rozsa Center. His advisor is Associate Professor Chris Webster (SFRES).


ESC/BRC Research Forum Awards Announced

Published in Tech Today

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center have announced award recipients of the Fifth Annual ESC/BRC Graduate Research Forum, held on Feb. 27.

Two Grand Awards, six Merit Awards and three Honorable Mention Awards were presented.

$500 Grand Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Elizabeth Boisvert (SFRES) for “Initiation and Development of Three Lake Superior Coastal Peatlands”; advisor: Assistant Professor Tom Pypker

Biotechnology Research Center

Eric Minner (Biomedical Engineering) for “Hydrogel System Delivers Glutathione and Interleukin-10 to Mitigate Secondary Injury following Spinal Cord Damage”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

$100 Merit Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Lucas Spaete (SFRES) for “Aspen Biomass Assessment for MI, WI and MN: A GIS and Regression Approach for Quantifying Biomass”; advisor: Associate Professor Ann Maclean

Sarah Stehn (SFRES) for “Altitudinal Gradients of Bryophyte Diversity and Community Assemblage in Southern Appalachian Spruce-Fir Forests”; advisor: Associate Professor Christopher Webster

Biotechnology Research Center

Jared Cregg (Biomedical Engineering) for “The Role of Aligned Fiber Density in Axon Motility”; advisor: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert

Jill Jensen (Chemical Engineering) for “Selection for Improved Hybrid Poplar Via Dilute Acid and Enzymatic Hydrolysis Using Mini-Reactors”; advisor: Professor David Shonnard

Dalila Trupiano (SFRES) for “Activation Tagging of A Poplar AP2/ERF Transcription Factor Involved in Lateral Root Formation”; advisor: Associate Professor Victor Busov

Han Bing Wang (Biomedical/Chemical Engineering) for “Axonal Guidance Conduits Containing Aligned, Electrospun Poly-L-Lactic Acid Fibers Direct In Vitro Neurite Outgrowth”; advisors: Assistant Professor Ryan Gilbert (Biomedical Engineering) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering)

Honorable Mentions, Ecosystem Science Center

Chris Miller (SFRES) for “The Economic Feasibility of Aspen as a Coal Co-Firing Component”; advisor: Assistant Professor Robert Froese

Matthew Metz (SFRES) for “Summer Predation Patterns of Yellowstone Gray Wolves”; advisor: Assistant Professor John Vucetich

Max Henschell (SFRES) for “Do the Birds Care? Avian Community Response to Floristic Quality”; advisor: Associate Professor David Flaspohler