Tag: Forest Science

Two Michigan Tech Students Receive DOE Graduate Fellowships

The US Department of Energy Office of Science has awarded graduate fellowships to two University students.

Colin Gurganus, a PhD student in atmospheric science, and Carley Kratz, who is earning her doctorate in forest science, are among the 150 fellows nationwide selected by the DOE from among 3,300 applicants. They will each receive $50,500 per year for up to three years to support tuition, living expenses, research materials and travel to conferences or to DOE scientific facilities.

“Competition for the DOE fellowships is intense; applicants are drawn from the nation’s finest universities,” said David Reed, vice president for research.  “The fact that two of our students were selected speaks both to the excellence of Michigan Tech’s research program and to the students’ outstanding qualifications, as well as their dedication and enthusiasm. I congratulate them both.”

The new DOE fellowship program is designed to strengthen the nation’s scientific workforce by supporting young students during the formative years of their research.

Visit the Michigan Tech News for the complete story.

Published in Tech Today.


New Theses and Dissertations Available in the Library

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations from the following programs:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Policy
  • Forest Ecology and Management
  • Forest Science
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library.


PCA Inducts New Members and Honor Students

On Friday, April 16, nine alumnae were inducted into the Presidential Council of Alumnae (PCA). In addition to the nine new inductees, 30 PCA members were also on campus for their annual business meeting April 14-16.

The PCA advises the President on campus climate issues, provides suggestions for enhancing the University’s environment for students, and assists the President by identifying programs and activities that will benefit Michigan Tech. PCA works with the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Advancement area and the academic departments to help implement their ideas and support the University’s strategic plan.

The inductees are as follows:

  • Nancy A. Auer (Arnold), Biological Sciences, ’95 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Ellen M. Bauman (Barrett), Electrical Engineering, ’90 and ’93 (MS Alumna Graduate)
  • Elzbieta G. Berak, Civil Engineering, ’81, Engineering Mechanics, ’85 (PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Michelle-Anne Christensen (Irmen), Geological Engineering, ’84, Civil Engineering, ’86
  • Kathleen Haselmaier (Calder), Computer Science, ’84
  • Wendy L. Kram (Davidson), Mechanical Engineering, ’91
  • Catherine A. Leslie (Kuchta), Civil Engineering, ’83
  • Barbara K. Lograsso (Kiiskila), Metallurgical Engineering, ’80 and ’82, Metallurgical and Materials Science, ’91 (MS, PhD Alumna Graduate)
  • Erin A. Zimmer (Atwell), Chemistry, ’98

Another component of the PCA program includes the annual Women of Promise awards. This award recognizes current female students from each academic department who go above and beyond what is expected of them in terms of being a well-rounded student. The award goes to students who have demonstrated academic achievement, campus and community leadership, good citizenship, creativity and other characteristics of high-achieving individuals.

The honorees are as follows:

  • Anne E. Aho, Social Sciences
  • Ashley N. Benjamin, School of Technology
  • Kaitlyn J. Bunker, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Danae N. Danen, Mathematical Sciences
  • Heather L. Dickey, Computer Science
  • Andrea Dixon, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Roxane Gay, Humanities (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Krista M. Kasuboski, Exercise Science, Health and Physical Education
  • Chelsea R. Leighton, Visual and Performing Arts
  • Britta C. Lundberg, Material Science and Engineering
  • Amanda L. Malburg, Civil Engineering
  • Jaclyn E. Nesbitt, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (MS Alumna Graduate,  PhD Candidate)
  • Annie L. Putman, Chemistry
  • Leslie M. Sabbann, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics (undergraduate)
  • Erin M. Scanlon, Physics
  • Alison J. Springer-Wilson, Chemical Engineering
  • Danielle M. Stoll, Biomedical Engineering
  • Anna A. Uhl, Biological Sciences
  • Donieka R. Walker, Cognitive and Learning Sciences
  • Katherine R. Waring, Environmental Engineering
  • Jill C. Witt, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (PhD Alumna Candidate)
  • Katie L. Wysocky, School of Business and Economics

Published in Tech Today


Award Recipients Announced for Graduate Research Forum

The Ecosystem Science Center and the Biotechnology Research Center have
announced award recipients for the Sixth Annual ESC/BRC Graduate Research Forum, held on March 26. Two grand prize awards, five merit awards and four honorable mention awards were presented.

The recipients were selected from among the 43 posters and abstracts submitted by students conducting research related to ecology, the environment and biotechnology at Michigan Tech.

$500 Grand Prizes

Ecosystem Science Center

Meagan L. Harless (Biological Sciences) for “Effects of Road Salt (NaCl) Pollution on the Survival and Growth of Larval Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvatica).” Her advisor is Casey Huckins.

Biotechnology Research Center

Eli Vlaisavljevich (Biomedical Engineering) for “Magnetoelastic Materials as Novel Bioactive Coatings for Control of Cell Adhesion to Prevent Implantable Biomaterial Associated Fibrous Overgrowth.” His advisor is Rupak Rajachar.

$100 Merit Awards

Ecosystem Science Center

Rita Koch (SFRES) for “Insect and Disease Response to Prescribed Burning and Wildfire in Pine Forests in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.” Her advisors are Linda Nagel and Andrew Storer.

Mickey Jarvi (SFRES) for “Temperature acclimation of fine roots to soil warming in a sugar maple dominated northern hardwood forest.” His advisor is Andrew Burton.

Kayla Griffith (SFRES) for “H2O18 as an Analyzer of Phragmites australis Invasion from Wet to Dry Sites” Her advisor is Catherine Tarasoff.

Biotechnology Research Center

Christopher Rivet (Biomedical Engineering) for “Development of a Composite Hydrogel Containing Electrospun Fibers for Spinal Cord Injury.” His advisor is Ryan Gilbert.

Jonathan Zuidema (Biomedical Engineering) for “Incorporation of Chitosan and Dextran into Hydrogel Blends Improves Neuronal Adhesion.” His advisor is Ryan Gilbert.

$50 Honorable Mention Awards

Ecosystem Science Center

Emmanuel Ebanyenle (SFRES) for “Impact of Shoot Borer (Hypsipyla robusta) on the Wood Anatomical Properties of Plantation Grown African Mahogany Species (Khaya ivorensis A. Chev).” His advisors are Andrew Burton and Andrew Storer.

Biotechnology Research Center

Yiru Chen (SFRES) for “Overexpression of auxin efflux carrier PIN9 gene alters secondary xylem development, gravitropic response and apical dominance in Populus.” Victor Busov is the advisor.

Natalie Hartman (Biomedical Engineering) for “Vaporized Bioglass Polymer Composites for Interfacial Tissue Regeneration.” Her advisor is Rupak Rajachar.

Sarah Kiemle (Biological Sciences) for “Land Plant Polymer Homologs in Primitive Taxa of the Charophycean Green Algae, Chlorokybus atmophyticus and Klebsormidium flaccidum.” Her advisor is Michael Gretz.


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.

Brian Beachy
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Andrew J Storer
Dissertation title: Impacts of the Exotic Beech Bark Disease Complex in Michigan

Jessica Beachy
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Science
Advisor: Andrew John Storer
Dissertation title: The Development of Trapping, Survey and Educational Tools for the Exotic Invasive Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilusplanipennis Fairmaire) (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Luke Bowman
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Community Perceptions of an NGO’s Impact on Disaster Preparedness in Los Planes de La Laguna, Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador

Venkat Donuru
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry
Advisor: Haiying Liu
Dissertation title: Design and Synthesis of Novel BODIPY Polymeric Dyes, and Redox-active Tetrathiafulvalene-Carbohydrate Conjugates for Potential Biosensing Applications

Chad Fortin
Master of Science in Applied Ecology
Coadvisors: Christopher Raymond Webster and David James Flaspohler
Thesis title: Floristic Quality as a Potential Driver of Vegetative Diversity-Productivity Relationships and Arthropod Habitat in Restored Grasslands

Bryan Franklin
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Steven R Seidel
Thesis title: Analysis and Performance of a UPC Implementation of a Parallel Longest Common Subsequence Algorithm

Valerie Fuchs
Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering
Coadvisors: John S Gierke and James R Mihelcic
Dissertation title: Nitrogen Removal and Sustainability of Vertical Flow Constructed Wetlands for Small Scale Wastewater Treatment

Alex Joseph Varghese
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Paul L Bergstrom
Thesis title: Fabrication of Piezo Resistive Strain Sensor for Orthopedic Fracture Implant System

Jodi Lehman
Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication
Advisor: Patricia J Sotirin
Dissertation title: International Teachers in the American Classroom: Deposing the Myth of Monolingualism

Ruben Otoniel Matias Gomez
Master of Science in Geology
Advisor: William I Rose
Thesis title: Volcanological Map of the 1961-2009 Eruption of Volcande Pacaya, Guatemala

Julian Mills-Beale
Master of Science in Civil Engineering
Advisor: Zhanping You
Thesis title: New Test Procedures for Aggregate Specific Gravities and Absorption

Srichand Pendyala
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Robert Louis Pastel
Thesis title: Sketch Recognition through Shape Based Interaction

Ratul Saha
Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences
Advisor: Susan T Bagley
Dissertation title: UV Disinfection of Metalworking Fluids: Analysis Using Molecular Tools

Steven Vormwald
Master of Science in Computer Science
Advisor: Steven M Carr
Thesis title: Predicting Remote Reuse Distance Patterns in Unified Parallel C Applications

Fuyu Xu
Doctor of Philosophy in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
Advisor: Chandrashekhar Pralhad Joshi
Dissertation title: Molecular Mechanism of Cellulose Biosynthesis in Plants


Spring 2010 Finishing Fellowships Awarded

The Graduate School has awarded its Finishing Fellowships for spring 2010.

The following PhD candidates have received a one-time award:

  • Shreehari Elangovan, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Margot J. Hutchins, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Aaron David LaLonde, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Sara Robinson, Forest Science
  • Yuejun Yin, Civil Engineering

The fellowships are made possible by the Graduate School.

Application procedures for the Graduate School fellowship programs and photographs of recent recipients can be found online. Nominations are currently open for Finishing Fellowships and Dean’s Fellowships.

If you have any questions, contact Debra Charlesworth.


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)


Fall 2009 Finishing Fellowship Recipients

The Graduate School has awarded its Finishing Fellowships for fall 2009.

The following PhD candidates have received a one-time finishing fellowship:

  • Venkat K. Donuru, Chemistry
  • Valerie J. Fuchs, Environmental Engineering
  • Steven Johnson, Chemistry
  • Sarah N. Kiemle, Biological Sciences
  • Mark D. Rowe, Environmental Engineering
  • Madhana Sunder, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Zhonghai Wang, Electrical Engineering
  • Jill C. Witt, Forest Science

The fellowships are made possible by the Graduate School.

Application procedures for finishing fellowships, photographs of recent recipients, and descriptions for all of the school’s fellowship programs can be found on the Graduate School’s web page.


Michigan Tech Graduate Student Aids International Bird Rescue Effort

By Jennifer Donovan

Michigan Tech News

November 16, 2009—

Conservation could be Amber Roth’s middle name. She loves anything to do with nature. Birds, trees, grasses, ecosystems: she’s fascinated by it all.

So after tucking a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology and International Relations and a Master of Science in Wildlife Ecology under her belt, the Green Bay native came to Michigan Tech to earn a PhD in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES).

Roth studies how to manage aspen forests to produce the maximum amount of biomass per acre without harming wildlife habitat. “It’s a management trade-off question,” she explains, and the basis of her PhD research

But Roth was raised by a devoted bird-watcher, and a tiny songbird that is facing hard times has also captured her heart. She has become an active member of the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group, an international conservation organization that spans two continents.

Weighing only 9 grams (equal to 4 dimes), the golden-winged warbler incredibly flies thousands of miles twice a year, migrating from its breeding grounds in the northern Midwest to its winter home in Central and South America.  The tiny bird makes the long migration 6 to 10 times in a lifetime.

Its fuel efficiency is the equivalent of several hundred thousand miles per gallon,” Roth says with a smile.

But the far-flying warbler is in trouble. There used to be as many as half a million of the birds, and now there are fewer than 200,000. “Its numbers are declining sharply, and we don’t know why. We don’t know where the patient is bleeding,” says Roth.

The Golden-Winged Warbler Working Group got a small grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to try to determine what’s happening to the bird. Their research is a collaborative effort involving American, Canadian and Latin American scientists.

Some of the researchers are examining the bird’s genetics, to locate genetically pure populations. Only one has been found so far, in Manitoba, Canada. Others are studying the biochemical signature in the golden-winged warbler’s feathers, which can reveal where the young birds go after their first migration. And a third group is working to connect where the birds winter in Central and South America to where they breed.

It’s a real skin-and-bones project,” says Roth. But money isn’t the only resource the researchers need.

Michigan Tech has contributed 21 mist nets—fine nylon nets used to safely capture birds for study before releasing them.  “These are older, damaged nets that I have in my lab, and the Latin American scientists know people who can repair them so that they can be reused,” SFRES associate professor David Flaspohler explains. Flaspohler is one of Roth’s PhD advisors, the other being Chris Webster.

If the nets were purchased new, they would cost as much as $100 each.

Like most of the other things she’s ever done, Roth says her work with the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group is helping prepare her for her dream career.  With work experience in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and her PhD from Michigan Tech, she’s looking forward to climbing what she calls her “career triangle”—comprising research, education and conservation management.  “I like being involved in all three,” she says, “the research, the outreach, and the management on the ground.”


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