All posts by Amy Spahn

Winkler Invited to Serve on Census Scientific Advisory Committee

Richelle Winkler

Richelle Winkler was recently invited by the Director of the United States Bureau of the Census to serve as an appointee to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) on a three-year term. The CSAC consists of about 21 members from academia, public and private enterprise, and nonprofit organizations. It provides strategic perspective and advice to the Director of the Census Bureau on the full range of Census Bureau programs and activities.


Lu and Sidortsov Publish on a Co-Production Approach to Household Waste Management in Shanghai, China

Hongmei Lu
Roman Sidortsov

The article, Sorting out a problem:  A co-production approach to household waste management in Shanghai, China, published in Waste Management journal and co-authored by Hongmei Lu and Roman Sidortsov explores an innovative approach to waste management in Shanghai.

Rapid urban population growth in China has resulted in significant challenges for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management. To combat these challenges, Chinese authorities implemented a pilot program of MSW sorting in eight Chinese cities including Shanghai in 2000 but is yet to reach a widespread success. This paper uses a qualitative case-study approach to explore the potential of a community-based co-production strategy for household waste sorting as an alternative to the conventional top-down approach. Co-production implies the involvement of citizens, consumers, volunteers and/or community organizations in producing public service. We find two major drivers of the government-volunteer consortium and the peer-pressure effect help realize the potential of waste-management co-production at a lowered cost with improved efficiency and collaborative innovation. In addition, context-specific conditions including policy consistency, strong volunteer effort and compatibility with local culture to promote public participation must be present for further co-production application. We also acknowledge that the co-production approach would be most effective at the initial stage of policy implementation to foster the waste-sorting habit-formation in regions where the waste collection rates remain low.





Sidortsov Appointed to UP Energy Task Force

Roman Sidortsov

Roman Sidortsov is 1 of 19 residents recently appointed to the UP Energy Task Force by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. In early June, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-14 creating the UP Energy Task Force. According to the Governor’s office, “the task force will assess the UP’s overall energy needs and how they are currently being met; identify and evaluate potential changes in energy supply and distribution; and formulate alternative solutions to meet the UP’s energy needs – including alternatives to the current distribution of propane through Line 5, which poses an unacceptable threat to The Great Lakes”. The task force will submit a final report to the Governor in two stages with the first part being due March 31, 2020 and the remainder due March 31, 2021.


SS Faculty and Students Present at American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Sophia Ford, Don Lafreniere, Sun Nguyen, Rose Hildebrant, Dan Trepal, and Tim Stone at the AAG Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Faculty and students from MTU’s Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab, the Department of Social Sciences, and GLRC traveled to the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Washington D.C. Don Lafreniere (SS/GLRC Faculty) presented a paper entitled “Public Participatory Historical GIS to Build a Spatial Data Infrastructure of Historical Landscapes and Environments”.  Dan Trepal (IHA PhD Candidate) presented a paper entitled :Using Historical Spatial Data Infrastructures as a Tool for Hazard Assessment in Urban Industrial Archaeology”. Sun Nguyen (EEP MS Student) presented a paper entitled “Citizen Engagement in Minnesota Environmental Decision Making”. Sophia Ford (EEP MS Student) presented a paper entitled “Mineral Property Law as Exclusion: Obfuscating Mineral Ownership”. Rose Hildebrandt (Psychology Undergraduate and SURF) presented a paper entitled “Empowering Youth to Be a Voice in Neighborhood Change Through Geospatial Technologies”.  Tim Stone (Sustainability Sciences Undergraduate and Portage Health URIP) presented a paper entitled “Exploring the Social and Built Determinants of Health of Children in Early Twentieth Century Calumet, MI”.


Public Participatory Historical GIS

Don Lafreniere (SS), Dan Trepal (IHA PhD candidate-SS), Sarah Fayen Scarlett (SS), John Arnold (SS), Robert Pastel (CS), and Ryan Williams (GRF), along with Luke Weidner (Colorado School of Mines) recently published “Public participatory historical GIS” in Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History. In this article the authors call for a new approach to historical geographic information system (HGIS) study that includes public partnership to build HGIS datasets.


Henquinet Publishes on Evangelical American Aid in Korea and Vietnam During the 1950s and 1960s

Kari Henquinet

Kari Henquinet (SS and Pavlis Honors College) recently published the article “American World Visions of Vulnerabilty:  The Sacred, the Secular, and Roots of Evangelical American Aid” in Research in Economic Anthropology, Volume 38, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.199 – 222. In this article, Henquinet analyzes “constructions of and responses to vulnerability in the US government and the evangelical aid organization, World Vision, during the 1950s and 1960s in Korea and Vietnam.”