Author: Amy Spahn

Options For Calumet’s Future Discussed

Calumet-Village-Office-300x169From The Keweenaw Report

The Villages of Calumet and Laurium and Calumet Township all have highlights and their own challenges.

Dwindling populations and median household incomes well below the state average–especially in Calumet Village–have reduced the availability of services to residents over the years.

A team from Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences has spent the last four months looking at the advantages and disadvantages of several options for the area.

Doctoral Student Kelley Christensen said, “We looked at five different possibilities.  We looked at keeping the status quo, we looked at intergovernmental agreements, revenue sharing, the possibility of the Village of Calumet dissolving into the township, and we also looked at the possibility of Laurium and Calumet Village becoming a city.”

Changes could take years to implement and a monumental effort would be needed by all community members involved, but Christensen says it all starts with people willing to talk about the possibilities.

Christensen said, “We just really hope that this starts a conversation.  Our purpose here was to provide information to them and give them a list of options, and then we’re hoping that it will facilitate discussion and participation in government.”

Their report is online for the public to review.

The team will also post the power point presentation from Monday’s meeting online.  Questions can be directed to Dr. Richelle Winkler of Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences.

Henquinet Publishes on International Development Agencies in West Africa

Kari Henquinet
Kari Henquinet

Kari Henquinet published an article “Production of Knowledge: International Development Agencies: Sahelian West Africa” in the collaborative project Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Online (Brill publishing).  The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures Online crosses history, geographic borders and disciplines to create a groundbreaking reference work reflecting the very latest research on gender studies and the Islamic world.  Read More

A Geospatial Approach to Uncovering the Hidden Waste Footprint of Lake Superior’s Mesabi Iron Range

Jextractive industries and societyohn Baeten, Nancy Langston, and Don Lafreniere recently published an article titled: “A Geospatial Approach to Uncovering the Hidden Waste Footprint of Lake Superior’s Mesabi Iron Range” published in The Extractive Industries and Society.

The article is available for download until January 26, 2017 at the following link:,oMyQ5uEu

Article Abstract: “For decades, the Lake Superior Iron District produced a significant majority of the world’s iron used in steel production. Chief among these was the Mesabi Range of northern Minnesota, a vast deposit of hematite and magnetic taconite ores stretching for over 100 miles in length. Iron ore mining in the Mesabi Range involved three major phases: direct shipping ores (1893–1970s), washable ores (1907– 1980s), and taconite (1947–current). Each phase of iron mining used different technologies to extract and process ore. Producing all of this iron yielded a vast landscape of mine waste. This paper uses a historical GIS to illuminate the spatial extent of mining across the Lake Superior Iron District, to locate where low- grade ore processing took place, and to identify how and where waste was produced. Our analysis shows that the technological shift to low-grade ore mining placed new demands on the environment, primarily around processing plants. Direct shipping ore mines produced less mine waste than low-grade ore mines, and this waste was confined to the immediate vicinity of mines themselves. Low-grade ore processing, in contrast, created more dispersed waste landscapes as tailings mobilized from the mines themselves into waterbodies and human communities.”

Funding Received for “Archaeological and Historical Studies at Pullman Nation Monument”

Clocktower building.

Timothy Scarlett is the principal investigator on a research and development project that has received $149,564 from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service.

Steve Walton, Don Lafreniere, Sarah Fayen Scarlett, Melissa Baird, Laura Rouleau, Samuel Sweitz, and LouAnn Wurst are co-PIs on the project, “Archaeological and Historical Studies at Pullman National Monument.”

This is a three-year project.


Robins Publishes Book on Early Twentieth Century Cotton Trade

RobinsJonathan E. Robins has published a new book, “Cotton and Race across the Atlantic,” part of the History of Africa and the African Diaspora series of the University of Rochester Press. The book shows how economics, politics and racial ideologies shaped the development of cotton agriculture in Africa and America in the early twentieth century.

Click here for more information on the book.

Wellstead Co-Recipient of Sam Richardson Award for Best Paper Published

Adam Wellstead
Adam Wellstead

Adam Wellstead (SS) and Dean Carson (Charles Darwin University) are winners of the 2015 Sam Richardson Award for the best paper published in the 2015 volume of Australian Journal of Public Administration.  The paper was titled “Government with a Cast of Dozens: Policy Capacity Risks and Policy Work in the Northern Territory.”