Month: December 2014

Faculty Position in Industrial Archaeology (Asst/Assoc/Full)

The Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University invites applications for a tenured or tenure-track position in Industrial Archaeology (

The successful applicant will demonstrate an established research program in Archaeology, Anthropology, Historic Preservation, History, and/or Heritage Studies to contribute to the department’s graduate program in Industrial Heritage and Archeology. While the rank is open, we invite experienced and/or senior candidates who will add to the breadth of the archaeology program through a program of fieldwork as well as a broad theoretical and substantive interest in topics such as industrial landscapes and communities, the processes of industrialization/deindustrialization, heritage and cultural resource management and interpretation.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

  1. Demonstrate an established research program in Archaeology, Anthropology, Historic Preservation, History, and/or Heritage Studies to contribute to the department’s graduate program in Industrial Heritage and Archeology.
  2. Teach graduate and undergraduate courses in their specialty area, as well as one undergraduate course that contributes to the University General Education program; a two-two teaching load is normal.

We desire a candidate who is knowledge in industrial landscapes and communities, the processes of industrialization/deindustrialization, and in heritage and cultural resource management and its interpretation.

Applications will be reviewed starting February 15, 2015. Full consideration will be given to applications received by that date. Interested candidates should complete the online application at, and upload required documents including:

  1. A letter of interest
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. A research statement
  4. Names and contact information for three to five references. Letters of reference will be requested for candidates making the short list.

Please direct inquiries to Patrick Martin at or (906) 487-2070.


Required Education Ph.D. in Archaeology, Anthropology or closely related field
Required Experience University teaching experience, Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on sponsored research, or direct supervisor of research within an institutional setting such as museum or government agency.


The Department of Social Sciences is home to North America’s only graduate program focused on Industrial Heritage & Archaeology, offering both MS and PhD degrees. The program began in the early 1990s and has been the institutional and editorial home for the Society for Industrial Archeology since 1995, with faculty service in leadership roles throughout the succeeding years. The core faculty group includes archaeologists, anthropologists, historians of technology, environmental and architectural historians, and an historical geographer, embedded within an interdisciplinary Social Sciences Department that also includes political scientists, sociologists and both world and European historians.

The department offers undergraduate degree programs in anthropology, history, and social science in addition to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology and in Environmental and Energy Policy. We contribute to campus-wide general education and collaborate with research partners across the university. Michigan Tech hosts the largest Peace Corps Master’s International Program (combining Peace Corps service abroad with an MS degree from MTU) and a new Office of Surface Mining VISTA Master’s program which combines one year of domestic field service with a community organization in mining (or former mining) community with an MTU MS degree. Social Sciences faculty members are directly involved in leadership and student supervision of both of these programs.

Michigan Tech, located in Houghton Michigan, is a mid-sized public research university (RU/H) with approximately 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students from across the nation and around the world. These students enroll in 130 degree programs in arts, humanities, and social sciences; business and economics; computing; engineering; forestry and environmental science; natural and physical sciences; and technology. Michigan Tech is ranked in the top tier of national universities according to U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2015.” The student-faculty ration is 13:1 and 49% of classes have fewer than 20 students. The university values cross-disciplinary faculty and student contributions to global sustainability.

Michigan Tech is an ADVANCE institution, one of a limited number of universities in receipt of NSF funds in support of our commitment to increase diversity and the participation and advancement of women in STEM.

Michigan Tech acknowledges the importance of supporting dual career partners in attracting and retaining a quality workforce. Michigan Tech is committed to offering career exploration advice and assistance whenever feasible and appropriate at the University and in the local community. See for additional information.

Michigan Technological University is an equal opportunity educational institution/equal opportunity employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disability. Applications from women and minorities are highly encouraged by both the department and the institution.


Solomon and Wellstead Publishes on Evaluating Renewable Energy Policy

1-s2.0-S2211467X14X00052-cov150hFrom Tech Today:

Professor Barry Solomon and Assistant Professor Adam Wellstead (SS) published a paper with lead author Fei Li ’13 (MS in Environmental and Energy Policy), “Michigan’s RPS Ballot Defeat: A Policy Failure or Success?” in Energy Strategy Reviews, Volume 5 (December 2014), p. 78-87.


Despite heavy reliance on fossil fuels, Michigan’s electorate soundly defeated a Renewable Energy Amendment in 2012 (Proposal 3). The proposal would have mandated that 25% of its electricity come from renewable energy resources by 2025. Prior to the election the State had legislated a 10% goal of adopting more renewable energy into its electricity system through a renewable portfolio standard. Was the defeat a policy failure? This paper employs concepts from the policy failure literature to answer the question. We argue that a traditional policy evaluation such as cost-benefit analysis (CBA) needs to be considered along with broader “political” evaluations. CBA results are complemented with political analysis, which reveal the complexity of evaluating key energy strategies.

Walton Publishes on Dynamic Conceptions of Medieval Architecture

Gothic flying buttresses
“What is Straight Cannot Fall”

Steven Walton (Asst. Prof of History) has had an article published in the journal History of Science, co-authored with his former colleague and professor of architectural engineering at Penn State, Tom Boothby.  The article is entitled, “What is straight cannot fall: Gothic architecture, Scholasticism, and dynamics.


It has long been shown that medieval builders primarily used geometrical constructions to design medieval architecture. The thought processes involved, however, have been considered to be remote from the natural philosophical speculations of the Scholastics, who, following Aristotle, had taken the basis of physics to be the study of dynamics, or change. However, investigations of the Expertises of Chartres, Florence, Milan, and other documents related to medieval building suggest that medieval architects, in speaking of their work, resort to recognizable dynamic arguments, structured similarly to the speculations of Scholastic philosophers. These dynamic explanations of structural behaviour persist at least into the 17th century, but thereafter lost out to the arguments based on statics made by modern scholars attempting to explain the endurance of these structures.


Industrial Archaeology Program Recognized for Fieldwork at West Point Foundry

WPF-Group-2004Scenic Hudson, a charitable organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Hudson River area, has received two New York State Historic Preservation awards honoring its success in protecting and connecting people to the remains of the West Point Foundry—one of America’s most important 19th-century ironworks—located in Cold Spring, N.Y.

Students and faculty in the Department of Social Sciences’ Industrial Archaeology Program were recognized in a recent Poughkeepsie Journal  article titled “Scenic Hudson Honored for Work at West Point Foundry Preserve” for fieldwork conducted at the West Point Foundry Preserve over seven years.


The historic interpretation benefited from Scenic Hudson’s sponsorship of seven years of archaeological fieldwork conducted by students and teachers in Michigan Technological University’s Industrial Archaeology Program led by Dr. Patrick Martin.

Durfee Quoted in JSTOR Daily

800px-Air_pollution_smoke_rising_from_plant_towerProfessor Mary Durfee was quoted in the recent article “EPA Announces 2014 Presidential Green Chemistry Award Winners” published in JSTOR Daily. The quote comes from Durfee’s 1999 work titled “Diffusion of Pollution Prevention Policy.”



Mary Durfee explains that “pollution control has always been the main approach in environmental regulation,” while the use of prevention techniques varied widely depending on the industry. When prevention was emphasized, according to Durfee, businesses chafed at the regulatory focus on reducing inputs— i.e., using fewer chemicals—to the detriment of other reduction strategies such as recycling chemicals from one process to another.

Durfee Lectures in Hungary and Iceland

MaryDurfeeProfessor Mary Durfee recently gave lectures in Hungary and Iceland.

In Budapest, Hungary at the Institute of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Durfee presented her lecture titled “Will Russian Cooperation Continue in the Arctic.” Despite the frequent news items on coming conflict in the Arctic, there has been a very high degree of cooperation and law-based behavior in the region. The recent events in the Crimea and Ukraine suggest a different foreign policy coming from Moscow.  Is it likely Russian behavior will change in the far north?  Using primarily geo-political argument, Durfee argues cooperation will continue in the North, though whether the other Arctic countries will separate Russian Arctic behavior from its behavior elsewhere is in doubt.

At the Corvinus Society for Foreign Affairs and Culture in Budapest, Hungary, Durfee presented “The Problem of U.S. Power and a Solution in the Rise of China.” At the end of the Cold War, the U.S. stood as the sole superpower.  But it did not reinforce the institutions it had built with allies after WWII, rather it used its power to undermine many of the institutions and to attempt to change the internal orders of states in the ways the U.S. thought would be best. At the same time, the absence of another power with an alternative view on order meant the U.S. had no reason to evaluate the strength of it’s own political system as a model to others. Ian Clark has said that hegemony is “power with a purpose.” The peaceful rise of China and that state’s new efforts to offer a different hegemonic order may help the U.S. refine its hegemonic purpose.

In the Arctic Circle, Reykjavik, Iceland, Durfee presented “Every Treaty is a Policy:  The Evolution of Norms in the Arctic.” Through an evaluation of Arctic treaties since 1920, Durfee argues there are three key norms:  1) Bend sovereignty where mutual gains are possible 2) Include Indigenous Peoples in decision making 3) Peaceful settlement of disputes (despite large military assets in many Arctic states).

Durfee is on sabbatical as a Fulbright to Hungary in Budapest.



MacLennan on Hawai’i’s Sugar Industry

Beginning of the harvest. Kïlauea Sugar Plantation, Kaua‘i, 1912. H. W. Thomas photograph album. Hawaiian Historical Society
Beginning of the harvest. Kïlauea Sugar Plantation,Kaua‘i,
1912. H. W. Thomas photograph album. Hawaiian Historical

Dr. Carol MacLennan presented to the Hawaiian Historical Society on topics in her new book, Sovereign Sugar: Industry and Environment in Hawai’i (Univ. of Hawai’i Press, 2014),  in Honolulu, Hawaii on October 23, 2014.

ABSTRACT:  MacLennan focuses on the rise of power among the sugar planters and the ecology of plantation agriculture. It is a story of land and water, community, and politics. By the 1930s, the sugar economy engulfed both human and environmental landscapes. Sugar manufacture not only transformed Hawai‘i but its legacy provides lessons for the future.

Wellstead Publishes on the Challenges of Climate Change Policy

lpad20.v037.i14.coverA paper coauthored by Assistant Professor Adam Wellstead (SS), “Addressing the Challenges of Adaptation to Climate Change Policy: Integrating Public Administration and Public Policy Studies,” was published in the International Journal of Public Administration, Volume 37, Issue 14. (from Tech Today)


With growing attention on formulating the “right” policies and programs to address climate change, the contribution that policy work will make in fostering adaptive capacity needs to be examined. Policy capacity is crucial to policy formulation and should be at the heart of climate mainstreaming. There are six hypotheses about the nature of climate-based policy work based on a survey conducted of Canadian federal and provincial government employees in the forestry, finance, infrastructure, and transportation sectors. To measure the simultaneous effects on perceived policy capacity, an Ordinary Least Squares regression was conducted. Among the key findings was that the increased demand for climate change science within an organization resulted in a decreased perception of policy capacity. Policy work was largely focused on procedure activities rather than on evaluation. The model found that networking was critically important for perceived policy capacity. Effective policy formulation will involve the participation of others normally not associated with traditional policy work. Evidence-based policy work illustrates that policy success can be achieved by improving the amount and type of information processed in public policy formulation.