Tag: Geology

MSGC Awards Announced

Faculty and students have received awards totaling $72,500 through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Michigan Tech submitted 30 proposals, 16 of which received funding.  See the Tech Today posting for all awardees.

Graduate students receiving $5,000 fellowships are:

  • Dulcinea Avouris (Geology, GMES): “Triggering of Volcanic Activity by Large Earthquakes”
  • Baron Colbert (Civil Engineering, CEE): “Using Nonmetals Separated From E-Waste in Improving the Mechanical Properties of Asphalt Materials”
  • Sarah Gray (Mechanical Engineering, ME): “Bear Parathyroid Hormone as a Treatment for Osteoporosis in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”
  • John Moyer (Mechanical Engineering, ME): “Effect of Simulated Low Gravity on Compressive Material Properties of Porcine Meniscus”
  • Alicia Sawdon (Chemical Engineering, ChE): “Production of Astaxanthin by Haematococcus pluvialis for Astronauts”
  • Christina Ylitalo (Biomedical Engineering, BME): “Controlling Inflammation Following Traumatic Injury Will Help Prevent Osteoarthritis”

New Theses and Dissertations Available

The Graduate School is pleased to announce new theses and dissertations are now available in the J.R. van Pelt and Opie Library from the following programs:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental Policy
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Scholarships In Industrial Health and Safety

The U.S. Office of Postsecondary Education is soliciting applications for the Erma Byrd Scholarship Program, which funds students pursuing industrial health and safety studies.  Scholarships of up to $10,000 are available for domestic graduate students and $2,500-5,000 for domestic undergraduate students; scholarships are tied to a service obligation requiring graduates to work in a position related to their studies for at least one year.  Approximately $200,000 is available for 41 awards; applications are due April 25.

More information is available at: ed.gov/programs/ermabyrd/index.html.

Spring 2011 Finishing Fellowship Recipients Announced

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the following students have earned Finishing Fellowships to help complete their doctoral studies:

  • Amalia L. Anderson, Physics
  • Ning Chen, Chemistry
  • Linsheng Feng, Chemistry
  • Heather L. Jordan, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
  • Partha P. Pal, Physics
  • Radheshyam Tewari, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics
  • Helen E. Thomas, Geology
  • Wenjie Xu, Electrical Engineering

The fellowships are made possible by the support of the Graduate School.

Details on the summer 2011 competition may be found online, as well as photographs of our recipients.

American Geological Institute – Minority Geoscience Scholarships

Deadline: 3/15/2011

The goal of the American Geological Institute’s Minority Participation Geoscience Scholarships is to develop the professional corps of underrepresented ethnic-minority students in the geosciences. Recipients of AGI Geoscience Student Scholarships are provided with small financial awards and matched with a mentor from the geoscience community to foster whole professional development of the awardee. Each award will consist of both scholarship support as well as support for professional development experiences for successful candidates. Professional development experiences that qualify include field camp, professional society memberships, and/or travel and registration to a professional meeting of one of AGI’s member societies.


A. United States citizens only. Permanent residents (green card) or applicants for U.S citizenship are not eligible.

B. Verifiable ethnic-minority status as Black, Hispanic, or Native American (American Indian, Eskimo, Hawaiian, or Samoan).

C. Financial support is for full time students only, who are currently enrolled in an accredited institution as a graduate student majoring (i.e., degree candidate) in geoscience, including the geoscience subdisciplines of geology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, physical oceanography, planetary geology, or earth-science education. This program does not support students in any other area of study.


American Geological Institute
4220 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22302-1502
(703) 379-2480 (Voice)
(703) 379-7563 (Fax)

Email: mpp@agiweb.org.

Url: http://www.agiweb.org/mpp/application.html

Science and Engineering Expo on National Mall

Michigan Tech will have a dual presence at the first annual USA Science and Engineering Festival, Oct. 23-24, on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

The Science and Engineering Expo is the grand finale of a two-week event promoting public interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. More than 1,500 interactive activities for all ages, hosted by more than 350 of the nation’s leading science and engineering organizations, will expose attendees to a broad spectrum of science. All events are free and open to the public, and hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to attend.

NSF Program Answers Burning Questions About Volcanoes

How can you tell if a volcano is about to blow? What tools do you use to monitor a volcano? What’s so important about volcanoes, anyway? The world–including thousands of school-age youngsters–will get hands-on answers from Michigan Tech.

Tech’s volcano exhibit is in Freedom Plaza (Section PA-13, Booth #1317). Graduate students Luke Bowman, Kyle Brill and Anieri Morales Rivera will demonstrate equipment and techniques used by field researchers to monitor volcanic activity. By doing this monitoring, volcanologists can learn more about volcanic processes and identify potential precursors to eruptions.

The team hopes its exhibit will get people interested in geology. “Geology is a science full of wonders, excitement and lots of things to discover,” says Morales Rivera, “from understanding natural processes that may become a hazard to humans, such as volcanoes, to improving our knowledge of Earth and planetary sciences.” People are “exposed to geology in a daily basis,” she points out, “from the use of mineral resources to the location of petroleum and water supplies.”

To help illustrate what they look for when monitoring volcanoes, the Tech team is bringing an accelerometer and a Forward-Looking Infrared, or FLIR, camera. To demonstrate the accelerometer, which measures seismic activity, guests will be invited to jump on the ground, creating earthquake-like vibrations that the accelerometer will pick up and display as a seismogram.

The graduate students will also show visitors pictures of themselves taken with the FLIR camera, which measures an object’s radiant energy, translates it into temperature, and displays an image using light intensity or color brightness to show levels of heat.

“Scientists can’t predict eruptions,” says Morales Rivera, “but we can talk about the probability of one based on changes in the volcano’s behavior, such as increased seismicity, changes in gas concentrations coming out of the volcano, and deformation of the volcano itself.”

The exhibit will also explain the kinds of hazards posed by a volcanic eruption, from ash clouds that can block sunlight and interfere with airline flights, to lava flows that can burn everything in their path.

The Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences is one of only 15 National Science Foundation-funded projects invited to participate nationwide. Tech’s project is part of the NSF’s Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Tech operates PIRE programs in Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Peru.

“The NSF Office for International Science and Education, which manages the PIRE program, was very excited about our selection,” says Chair John Gierke (GMES). “We were the only PIRE project that was selected.”

Does the Tech team feel intimidated? Of course not, says Bowman. “We hike active volcanoes. We can handle the Mall.”

Tech’s MindTrekkers are also traveling to the National Mall. The group, which is a traveling science road show produced by Youth Programs, will share some of the stranger mysteries of science.  Read the complete article in Tech Today

by Jennifer Donovan, director of public relations

Inter-American Foundation (IAF) Grassroots Development Fellowship Program

IAF Fellowships are available to currently registered students who have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. in the social sciences, physical sciences, technical fields and the professions as related to grassroots development issues. Applications for clinical research in the health field will NOT be considered.

Awards are based on both development and scholarly criteria. Proposals should offer a practical orientation to field-based information. In exceptional cases the IAF will support research reflecting a primary interest in macro questions of politics and economics but only as they relate to the environment of the poor. The Fellowship Program complements IAF’s support for grassroots development in Latin America and the Caribbean, and preference for those applicants whose careers or research projects are related to topics of greatest interest to the IAF.

IAF’s Fellowships provide support for Ph.D. candidates to conduct dissertation research in Latin America and the Caribbean on topics related to grassroots development. Funding is for between four and 12 months. The Inter-American Foundation expects to award up to 15 Doctoral Field Research Fellowships in 2011. Research during the 2011-2012 cycle must be initiated between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012.

  • Round-trip economy-class transportation to the field research site from the Fellow’s primary residence. Fellows must comply with the Fly America Act.
  • A research allowance of up to $3,000, pro-rated monthly.
  • A stipend of $1,500 per month for up to 12 months.
  • Accident and sickness insurance
  • Attendance at a required “mid-year” Grassroots Development Conference to discuss each Fellow’s progress with members of the IAF’s academic review committee and meet with IAF and IIE staff.

For more information please visit:


First In Series of Federal Funding Workshops – Sept 15th and 16th.

A federal fellowship/scholarship writing workshop will be held on Wednesday, September 15th  and Thursday, September 16th at 4:00 in Fisher 135.

You will only need to attend one of the workshops, as they are the same workshop, different days and time.

During the workshop we will review 3 samples of NSF GRFP personal statement essays. Tips will be given on how to organize your essay, utilize wording, and meet the merit criteria expected by reviewers

Prepare for the workshop by:

1. Understanding how NSF defines “broader impacts”

2. Brainstorming answers to NSF “personal statement” questions

    If you (or someone you know) plan on attending, please RSVP to Jodi Lehman (jglehman@mtu.edu).

    NSF Program Helps Guatemalans Prepare for Volcanoes

    When Rudiger Escobar-Wolf, a PhD candidate in geology, traveled to Guatemala under the sponsorship of the National Science Foundation (NSF), he never imagined that he would be meeting the nation’s vice president–let alone be asked to counsel the nation’s science advisors.  But because of his knowledge of volcanoes and volcano risk management, that’s exactly what he wound up doing.

    Escobar-Wolf’s recent presentation to the National Disaster Reduction Council and Rafael Espada, vice president of Guatemala, outlined volcanic risks and the benefits of an early warning system.  Wolf also pointed out the importance of international cooperation between Michigan Tech and Guatemalan volcanologists.

    “This is a great example of what the NSF envisioned when they created this unique funding program called PIRE (Partnerships in Research and Education) to develop international partnerships with researchers and universities,” said John Gierke, interim chair and professor of geological and mining engineering and sciences and director of PIRE at Michigan Tech.

    For the full story and photos see the volcano.

    Published in Tech Today.

    New theses and dissertations in Library

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

    • Applied Ecology
    • Applied Natural Resource Economics
    • Biological Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology
    • Geology
    • Mineral Economics
    • Rhetoric and Technical Communication

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