Tag: Forest Science

Grad Student Takes Aim at Sugar Maple Dieback

Published in Tech Today

When Tara Bal brings a 12-gauge into the woods, she doesn’t worry about exceeding her limit.

Bal, a Michigan Tech PhD student in forest science, isn’t a hunter. She is more of a gatherer, using the shotgun to bring down sugar maple leaves from the forest canopy.

With Andrew Storer, a professor of forest resources and environmental science, she aims to find out why so many Upper Peninsula sugar maples are in trouble. To find out more, click here.


SFI Event Recognizes Scholars and Students

Published in Tech Today

The Sustainable Futures Institute (SFI) held its fifth annual poster session and banquet in the Rozsa Lobby last Friday.

“The event offered SFI students, staff and faculty an opportunity to review some of the many successes throughout the year,” reports Denise Heikinen.

Professor Alex Mayer (GMES) and Professor Michael Mullins (Chemical Engineering) were recognized as 2009 distinguished fellows for their long-term leadership, scholarship and support in areas central to sustainability and to SFI.

Mayer, director of SFI’s Center for Water and Society, was honored for his passion and commitment to sustainability and water issues. Mullins, director of SFI’s Center for Fundamental and Applied Research into Nanostructured and Lightweight Materials, was recognized for his contributions to energy and human health.

The keynote speaker was Charles Kerfoot, professor in Biological Sciences and director of Lake Superior Ecosystem Research Center, who spoke about the new Great Lakes Research facility and how it will facilitate research and education about pressing issues in the Upper Great Lakes.

Seventeen graduate students and postdocs were inducted into the SFI’s Scholar Program. They are: Zeyad Ahmed, Felix Adom, Brandon Ellefson, Akhilesh Reddy Endurthy, Rabi Gyawali, Jiqing Fan, Robert Handler, Christopher Hohnholt, Meral Jackson, Azad Henareh Khalyani, Jennifer Lind, Jifei Liu, Xuhong Liu, Jarod Maggio, Jacob Midkiff, Ali Mirchi, and Fengli Zhang.

The Graduate Student Council announced the People’s Choice First Place Poster Award of $150. Actually there was a tie and two awards were made. One went to four physics graduate students for a poster, “Miniature Energy Sources: Biofuel Cells Based on Carbon Nanotube Arrays,” designed by Archana Pandey, Abhishek Prasad, Jason Moscatello and Abhay P. Singh. Their advisor is Associate Professor Yoke Khin Yap. The other award went to Craig Gossen and Stefan Marek (mechanical engineering), Ashley Thode (civil engineering), and Kim Landick, Krissy Guzak, and Cara Hanson (environmental engineering), for “Improving Airflow in Ventilated Improved Pit Toilets.” Their advisors are Assistant Professor Kurt Paterson and Associate Professor David Watkins (both CEE) and Associate Professor and Assistant Provost Donna Michalek (ME-EM).

SFI’s operations manager, Richard Donovan, awarded the Inaugural Operations Manager Award of $200 to the Efficiency Through Engineering and Construction Enterprise. Members are: Ashley Brown, Dianna Cacko, Stephen Chartier, Patrick Green, Jordan Huffman, Eric Kinonen, Markus Manderfield, Andrew Manty, Michael D. Powers, and Tyler Sutkowi. The ETEC team submitted three posters: “Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad”; “Habitat for Humanity”; and “Generations of Energy.” For some of their work, these students collaborated with Melissa Davis, an SFI staff member and director of a local nonprofit called New Power Tour. Davis also was recognized as a scholar of SFI. The advisor for ETEC is Lynn Artman of the School of Technology.

In keeping with the spirit of the event, sustainability, Chef Eric Karvonen prepared a dinner of fresh roasted trout from Lake Superior, vegetables from Chip Ransom’s organic farm on the Houghton Canal, grass-fed bison from northern Wisconsin and wild blueberries from Gay. Pictures of the event are available at the following URLs: http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/index.html .

http://www.doe.mtu.edu/news/2009/sfi_october2009/posters.html .


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


Summer 2009 Finishing Fellows Announced

Tech Today

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

The following PhD candidates will receive one-time finishing fellowships:

* Carrie J. Andrew (School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science)
* Cameron Hartnell (Social Sciences)
* Emily B. McCarthy (Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences)
* Bode J. Morin (Social Sciences)
* Alicia A. Thorsen (Computer Science)
* Tongquan Wei (Electrical Engineering)
* Zijun Xu (Biological Sciences)

Application procedures for the School’s fellowship programs and photographs of recent recipients can be found at www.mtu.edu/gradschool/administration/academics/honors-awards/ .

Nominations for the fall finishing fellowships will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Friday, June 26.

If you have any questions, contact Debra Charlesworth at ddc@mtu.edu or Heather Suokas at hlsuokas@mtu.edu .


SFRES Honors Students and Faculty with Awards and Laughs

Tech Today

Submitted by Carrie Richards, SFRES

Guests enjoyed an evening of tributes and humor when students, faculty and staff gathered at the School’s atrium for the annual Forest Jubilee Night. A creative menu featured foods from the forest that ranged from elk meatballs to wild blueberry cobbler.

Dean Peg Gale presented awards to

* Marcella Campione–Outstanding Senior in Forestry

* Laura Kangas–Outstanding Senior in Applied Ecology and Environmental Science

* Daniel Wilber–Outstanding Senior in Wildlife Ecology and Management

* Chris Miller–Outstanding Graduate Student Award

* Nicholas Windmuller–Outstanding Service Award (undergraduate)

* Trevor Hahka–Outstanding Service Award (graduate student)

* Jennifer Kopinski–School Scholar

* Auriel Van Der Laar–Woman of Promise

The students recognized the hard work and dedication of their mentors by presenting awards to

* Associate Professor Robert Froese–Outstanding Teaching Award (faculty)

* Wilfred Previant–Outstanding Teaching Award (graduate student)

* Director of Recruitment and Development Chris Hohnholt–Outstanding Staff member

Some not-so-serious awards were also given with the highlight of the evening going to the “Faculty Member Who Looks Most Like a Pirate.”

* First place–Robert Froese, earning the designation of Captain

* Second place–John Vucetich (his Johnny Depp likeness was noted), earning him the designation of First Mate

* Third place–Mike Hyslop earned a mop for swabbing and the designation of Deckhand


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