Category Archives: seminar

World Water Day 2018: March 27-28

Michigan Tech will celebrate the 2018 World Water Day during the last week of March with events related to the United Nations theme, “Nature-based Solutions for Water.”  Dr. Greg Kleinheinz, Ph.D., R.A., Viessmann Chair of Sustainable Technology & Professor of Environmental Engineering Technology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, will be our guest speaker on Tuesday, March 27. Dr. Kleinheinz received his PhD at Michigan Tech in Biological Sciences, and has served as a past president of the Great Lakes Beach Association. His research interests include:

Dr. Greg Kleinheinz, R.S., Ph.D.

  • Industrial Treatment Technologies
  • Water and Wastewater Issues
  • Biological Treatment of Air Emissions
  • Construction Issues and Indoor Air Quality
  • Environmental Public Health
  • Microbial Indicators of Water Quality
  • Microbial Pathogens in Recreational/Drinking Waters

Graduate and Undergraduate students of all majors are encouraged to participate in the annual student poster session, which will be held March 27-28.

Cash prizes are awarded for 2 categories:  1) Original Research posters present thesis work related to any aspect of water, and 2) Coursework/Informational posters present literature-based research assigned as coursework, or of interest to the students.

A panel discussion about Nature-based Solutions for Water is planned for March 28, and additional World Water Day activities are in the planning stages.

World Water Day links:
Return to this news blog for a developing scheduled of World Water Day events
World Water Day Forms, Flyers, and Abstracts



Nature-based Solutions for Water resources:
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Naturally Resilient Communities

World Water Day 2017

World Water Day 2017:  Wastewater

Michigan Tech GLRC celebration dates: March 20-23, 2017

Copper Country Today Radio Show focuses on World Water Day
Sunday, March 19 at

  • 7:00 am on 97.7 The Wolf, and
  • 8:00 am on 1400AM/99.3FM WCCY
  • 9:00 am on K-Bear 102.3

George_TchobanoglousLatika Gupta, Daisuke Minakata, and Joan Chadde join Rick Allen to discuss World Water Day events at Michigan Tech the week of March 20, and they also expand on the “Wastewater” theme of this year’s celebration.

Copper Country Today – March 19

Michigan Tech World Water Day News Release

Dr. George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus from the University of California, Davis, has accepted our invitation to present the World Water Day Distinguished Lecture.  His areas of interest include wastewater treatment and solid waste management, and he has been the author or co-author of 23 textbooks and eight engineering reference books.

This year’s activities will include

  1. “Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast” (GLRC, March 14 – April 30)
  2. Wastewater Footprint Display (MUB Commons Area, March 20-23)
  3. Student Poster Competition (Dow Lobby-Campus side, March 21-22)
  4. Dr. Tchobanoglous’ World Water Day Keynote Lecture (5:00 pm in Dow 641, March 21)
    “Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier”
  5. Panel Discussion “Wastewater: Health, Energy, Ecosystems, and Sustainable Communities”  (10:00 am in GLRC 202, March 22)
    Moderator: Latika Gupta, School of Business and Economics, Michigan Tech

    1. George Tchobanoglous, UC-Davis
    2. Evelyn Ravindran, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
    3. Neil Hutzler, Portage Lake Sewage Authority
  6. Dirty Water Competition (4:00 pm in the MUB Commons Area, March 22)
    Register your team of 3-4 people
  7. Green Film, “Last Call at the Oasis” (7:00 pm in Forestry G002, March 23)


The “Call for Posters” for the Student Poster Competition is out.  Download the Poster Registration form and return to Carol Asiala at by midnight on Monday, March 13, 2017.

wwd17-wastewater_8x11-flat-75newsblogStudents may enter “Original Research” posters based on their thesis work, or they may enter “Coursework/Informational” posters based on coursework or literature-based research. Additional points are earned for incorporating the World Water Day theme, Wastewater, in the Coursework/Informational posters.  Cash prizes are awarded in both categories.

Return to the Great Lakes Research Center News page for updates on World Water Day activities.

Sponsors include the Great Lakes Research Center, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Sustainable Futures Institute, Ecosystem Science Center, Biological Sciences, Visual & Performing Arts, The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.

Former Deputy Oceanographer of the Navy to Speak

Science and technology have been an integral part of the Navy for the past 70 years.  The period from 1960 to the 1980s was an important time in the history of oceanography and underwater acoustics in the Navy.  Understanding the ocean and development of new sensing and observational technologies remain as important today as they did for many decades.  In his presentation titled, “The Ocean, the Navy ad challenging career and technical opportunities” former deputy Oceanographer of the Navy, Robert S. Winokur will discuss Navy careers and the opportunity to work on key real-world challenges.  Winokur also served as the Assistant Administrator of the National Environmental Satellite Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Winokur’s talk, scheduled for Thursday, October 6 at 5 PM in GLRC 202, will provide an opportunity to discuss how civilians support the Navy, the importance of oceanography and science and technology for future naval capabilities, and a perspective from a career that included underwater acoustics and naval oceanography, environmental satellites, and ocean policy.

With 47 years of federal service, Robert Winokur has provided testimony on a number of occasions on oceanographic ships, climate services, satellite and space programs, ocean observing systems and environmental data services to Senate and House subcommittees for the Navy and NOAA.

Winokur’s visit to campus is sponsored by the SENSE Enterprise, the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, and the Great Lakes Research Center.

October 3 SENSE Seminar: Surviving a Great Lakes rip current

In the last few years, deaths in the Great Lakes as a result of dangerous nearshore currents (longshore currents, rip currents and structurally induced currents) have increased at an alarming rate, averaging 11 fatalities and 25 rescues per year.  Warmer temperatures, increased water levels and storm intensity, and more people at the beach have all contributed to this threat. Mr. Jamie Racklyeft has experienced a near fatal encounter with a Great Lakes rip current and will describe his personal experience and resulting motivation.

On Monday, October 3rd at 5 PM, Racklyeft will talk about his experience and effort to help others avoid the dangers associated with nearshore currents.  His talk, What it’s like to drown: Surviving a Great Lakes rip current, will be held in the East Reading room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.

Jamie Racklyeft leads the new Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium with members from eight Great Lakes states and Ontario who partner to increase awareness and safety to end drownings in the Great Lakes.


Racklyeft is a Lake Michigan rip current survivor. Exhausted and hopelessly battling the relentless current and waves off Van’s Beach in Leland, Michigan in 2012, he knows he’s lucky to be alive. Since then, he has dedicated himself to helping people avoid, escape, and save others from dangerous currents by applying human-centered design thinking principles and communication strategies.

Currently a Communication Director at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), Racklyeft has been in the communication profession for more than 30 years, serving research, corporate, healthcare, non-profit, academic, and entrepreneurial fields. He now leads the new Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium, with members representing all eight Great Lake states and Ontario, working together to end drowning. Racklyeft earned a Master’s in Education from Wayne State University and a Bachelor’s in General Studies from the University of Michigan, focusing on communication, psychology, and art history.

Rachlyeft’s visit and talk is hosted by the SENSE Enterprise, the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, and the Great lakes Research Center.


Seminar: The Enigmatic Biscayne Aquifer

IMG_18352Friday, July 10, 11 AM – Noon; GLRC 202

The Enigmatic Biscayne Aquifer

Michael Sukop, PhD, PG, CHg; Professor, Florida Climate Institute Executive Board Member and liaison to Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact; Lead Principal Investigator South Florida Water, Sustainability, and Climate Project; Florida International University, Miami FL


The karstic Biscayne Aquifer is an eastward-thickening wedge of limestone that serves as a designated sole-source aquifer for 5.5 million people. Its karst is eogenetic (formed during early burial) and in many cases characterized by thick and laterally extensive zones of touching-vug porosity from burrowing shrimp. The vugs are commonly about 2 cm in diameter and the porosity is commonly 50% or more, leading to very high permeability. Given its importance, the Biscayne Aquifer may be the best-studied aquifer of such high permeability, but consistent values of its hydraulic conductivity (K) have been elusive.

Our work has approached this problem with numerous methods and over a broad range of scales, including

● detailed Lattice Boltzmann Models (LBM) at pore scale,
● LBM and laboratory measurements at core scale,
● high-resolution borehole scale geostatistical and flow modeling based on borehole images,
● borehole scale slug testing, and
● aquifer test meta-analysis

Results indicate that there are systematic variations of 5 orders of magnitude in typical maximum K values obtained from these different techniques. Naturally, some of this is due to real variations in the physical samples tested, but the method used is the principal source of variation.

Frequently overlooked limitations of laboratory permeability measurements of core samples truncate the distribution of core K values. Slug tests in appropriately-constructed wells are generally underdamped and appear to underestimate K in this aquifer (returning maximum results comparable to those of a sand aquifer), possibly due to the Darcian flow assumption that underlies the available analyses methods for such tests. Aquifer tests are difficult to conduct in this aquifer and are often inconclusive.

LBM applied at numerous scales tend to converge and agree with simple pipe flow expectations and specialized laboratory measurements on a 0.1 m diameter core. LBM K results at small scale are consistent with LBM K from 2.72 m3-volume scale explicit pore/solid aquifer models based on novel geostatistical extrapolation of borehole optical images.


Recent Seminars at Great Lakes Research Center

A series of Center for Water & Society Seminars took place in September. Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; Topic: “Circulating Toxics: PCBs and the Campaign for Toxic Chemical Policy Reform” at the Great Lakes Research Center and a second seminar was presented with the Topic: “Toxic Knowledge: Race, Pollution, and Social Movements for Environmental Justice”
CWS is a co-sponsor of this visit, along with Social Sciences and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture Series

Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian ; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
Dr. Ellen Spears, Environmental Historian ; University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor, Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, gave a seminar with the topic “Factors Controlling Mercury Fate in Aquatic Food Webs”
The Center for Water & Society was a co-sponsor of this visit, along with Biological Sciences and the Visiting Women & Minority Lecture Series (VWMLS) funded by the President’s Office and a grant to the Office of Institutional Equity from the State of Michigan’s King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.
Dr. Colleen Mouw of Michigan Tech and Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor; Biological Sciences, Dartmouth
Dr. Colleen Mouw of Michigan Tech and Dr. Celia Chen, Research Professor; Biological Sciences, Dartmouth