All posts by Sue Hill

Susanna Peters Interviewed for Constitution Day

Susanna Peters Constitution Day
Susanna Peters

University Students celebrate Constitution Day

Students at Michigan Tech gathered outside for a ceremony on campus to honor the occasion. The founding document was signed on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is a federal requirement that all universities do something to mark the anniversary date.

“I think it gives students a really good reminder to think about the Constitution as the document that we all admire and has worked a long time for this country,” said Social Sciences Department Lecturer Susanna Peters.

Read more and watch the video at ABC 10 UP, by Rick Allen.


Connecting People and Geology on Volcanoes

People and VolcanoesIn October 2011, heavy rainfall poured down the sides of El Salvador’s San Vicente Volcano, nearly four feet of water in 12 days. Coffee plantation employees, working high up on the volcano’s slope began noticing surface cracks forming on steep slopes and in coffee plantations. Cracks herald landslides—places where the wet, heavy upper layers, saturated with water, slide over the less-permeable rocky layers underneath. The workers radioed downslope, keeping close tabs on the rainfall gauge network.

Luke Bowman was also there, helping direct radio calls and conducting fieldwork. Bowman, who recently defended his doctoral research in geology at Michigan Technological University, studies geohazards on San Vicente. The Journal of Applied Volcanology recently published some of his research, co-authored by Kari Henquinet, director of the Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master’s International Program and a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences. Their work combines traditional hazard assessments with social science techniques to develop a more in-depth understanding of the risks present at San Vicente Volcano in El Salvador.

Ethnography
Incorporating social science techniques—like ethnographic interviews and participatory observations of community meetings—is no easy feat for physical scientists, who have not been trained to think that way. Collaboration is important, and Henquinet worked with Bowman on his volcanology research to round out his social science data gathering methodology.

“The ethnographic approach is immersion,” Henquinet says, explaining researchers have to learn in the field and adjust their work accordingly. “It’s an approach that’s exploratory, grounded in reality and the context that people live in, so you’re not isolating or manipulating an experiment in a lab.”

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Allison Mills.


Adam Wellstead at the Midwest Public Affairs Conference

MPACAssociate Professor Adam Wellstead (SocSci) presented a paper “Beyond Adaptive Capacity: Policy Capacity and Climate Change Adaptation Assessments and Frameworks” at the Midwest Public Affairs Conference in Milwaukee on July 9-11, 2015.

From Tech Today.

Wellstead chaired the Environmental Policy session. The topic of the 2015 Midwest Public Affairs Conference was “Restructuring Governance: Emerging Solutions for Advancing the Public Interest.” The conference was hosted by the UWM Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration and the Helen Bader Institute for Nonprofit Management.


US Peace Corps’ Peace Car visits Michigan Tech

Peace CarHOUGHTON — Michigan Tech’s mascot, Blizzard T. Husky, met the challenge of squeezing into the driver’s seat of the US Peace Corps’ Peace Car, which arrived on the Michigan Tech campus this afternoon — one of many stops on a Midwest Tour by representatives from the Peace Corps Midwest Region office in Chicago. The Peace Car enables Peace Corps staff to share their mission while limiting their carbon footprint.

Michigan Tech has the greatest number of Peace Corps Masters International programs in the US. The programs — from Forestry to Environmental Engineering, Geology and more — are now in ten different MTU departments that offer a Master’s Degree combined with Peace Corps service.

Kari Henquinet, Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master’s International Program director and senior lecturer in Social Sciences, was on hand to welcome the Chicago Peace Corps team.

“They’ll come back in the fall for recruiting,” Henquinet said.

Read more at Keweenaw Now, by Kari Henquinet.




Seely Contributes Chapters on Transport and Engineering Education

Rail to RoadBruce E. Seely, Dean of the College of Sciences and Arts, contributed the chapter Inventing the American Road: Innovations Shaping the American Freeway, (pp. 233-73), in “From Rail to Road and Back Again? A Century of Transport Competition and Interdependency,” edited by Ralf Roth and Colin Dival (Ashgate, 2015).

Seely and Atsushi Akera, associate professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at RPI, contributed to the chapter A Historical Survey of the Structural Changes in the American System of Engineering Education, in “International Perspectives on Engineering Education: Engineering Education and Practices in Context,” edited by Steen Hylgard Christensen, (Springer, 2015).


Durfee Presents at Security in the Changing World Conference

KrakowMary Durfee (SS) gave a paper, “TTIP, CETA and the Arctic: Social and Environmental Indicators in the EU’s Trade Impact Assessment Process” at the Interdisciplinary Approaches to Security in the Changing World conference held in Krakow, Poland, June 18-20, 2015.

From Tech Today.

Durfee led the discussion on the Food, security, and free trade panel, as well as chairing the panel on Security of Global Commons.


Social Sciences Participates in ISSRM 2015 and 2016

ISSRM 2015Members of the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (SFRES) attended the recent 2015 International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM). The event took place in Charleston, SC, June 13-18, 2015.

Participants included nine graduate students in the Environmental and Energy Policy (EEP) program, Erin Pischke, Mayra Sanchez, Brad Barnett, Zoe Coombs, Aparajita Banerjee, Chris Henderson, Jenny Dunn, Erin Burkett, and Rhianna Williams, and Andrew Kozich of SFRES. Also attending were Professor Kathy Halvorsen, Associate Professor Richelle Winkler, and ISSRM 2016 Conference Coordinator/Ecosystem Science Center Research Scientist Jill Fisher.

The conference is the annual meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR). IASNR is an interdisciplinary professional association open to individuals who bring a variety of social science and natural science backgrounds to bear on complex environment and natural resource issues.

Michigan Tech students created the newest IASNR student chapter. The new student chapter, named the Association of Students for People, Environment and Nature (ASPEN), was represented by a team of EEP students in the ISSRM 2015 Quiz Bowl.

Michigan Tech will host ISSRM 2016 from June 22 to June 26. The symposium theme is Transitioning: Toward Sustainable Relationships in a Different World. The conference coordinator is Jill Fisher, and the co-chairs are Kathleen Halvorsen and Richelle Winkler.

ISSRM 2015 Quiz Bowl
Michigan Tech students participate in the ISSRM 2015 Quiz Bowl.