Category Archives: Graduate Studies

Torch Lake Public Action Council Hosts Statewide Meeting at Michigan Tech July 16 and 17

The Torch Lake Area of Concern Public Action Council (TLPAC) will host the Statewide Public Advisory Council (SPAC) meeting in Houghton, Michigan on July 16 and 17, 2019 at Michigan Technological University’s Great Lakes Research Center in Room 202. Sessions are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. both days. In addition, there will be a tour of Torch Lake on July 16 after the end of the morning session. The Office of Great Lakes (OGL) staff who assist the SPAC will be in attendance to update the Council on Michigan and federal actions which affect the progress of cleanups in the Great Lakes.

Areas of Concern (AOCs) are highly polluted sites on bodies of water that pose a danger to their communities. There were originally fourteen AOCs in Michigan. The pollution problems of AOCs are specifically identified as Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs) for each AOC. The role of a public advisory council is to identify the problems, do community outreach and develop a network of government and non-governmental groups to address the concerns of their communities. Torch Lake has recently been active in seeking solutions to the stamp sands dumped into the lake by former mining companies which have made it difficult to have healthy benthos, or aquatic life, due to the spread of sands throughout the bottom of the lake. New efforts are underway to revive Torch Lake’s benthos that could lead to a major clean up within the next decade. Along with the work being done by the state’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Remediation Division to remove toxic chemicals along the west shore of Torch Lake, funding is being sought from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to find ways to repair the damage created by copper mining companies since the latter part of the nineteenth century.

The public is invited to the SPAC meeting on both days to hear about progress being made by the advisory councils in the entire state. The OGL and the Great Lakes Commission will update council members on state, federal and international activities. Research currently being conducted at the University of Michigan and Michigan Technological University will also inform council members of effective ways to engage their communities. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community will have its President, Chris Swartz, explain the importance of Torch Lake to their community under their treaty rights and the work they have done to improve water quality on their reservation. SPAC meetings are an opportunity for members to network and to find out not only what concerns an AOC has, but also to see the host community and its attractions.

For information, contact Horst Schmidt, Vice-Chair of the SPAC at horsthear@yahoo.com or 906-369-3797.

by Kelley Christensen (Social Sciences)


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.



Sophia Ford– First Place Winner in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s Community Art Exhibition

Sophia Ford- “Mine Waste: A quilt to mend”

Congratulations to graduate student, Sophia Ford (MS EEP), who was the First Place winner in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s community art exhibition “Shaft Series” inspired by mining heritage.


First place – Sophia Ford “Mine Waste: A quilt to mend”

Second place- Charlie Eshbach “Delaware”
Third place- Tammy Gajewski “Champion Hen House”
This art exhibit piece links to Sophia’s larger research project that integrates anthropology, geography, environmental policies and GIS and indigenous research methodologies to connect the legacy of mining legacies to contemporary social justice, gender, environmental and sovereignty issues. One way in is that she is examining the history of these issues with ongoing processes related to mining property and law and she shows how the appropriation of lands and resources depends on the erasure of rights and access to lands. Drawing on her training in geology, and her insights into the process of mineral deeds and mapping – she layers these understandings to investigate the anthropology of erasures. That is, extraction is always about exclusion. Her approach weaves multiple knowledges/data sets – including this art exhibit where she create a  ‘quilt’ using mining waste, to investigate the multiple valances and impacts of mining on communities.


Wurst and IHA Students Investigate Camp Au Train

On the weekend of September 29, archaeologists from the Department of Social Sciences’ Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program , directed by Dr. LouAnn Wurst, along with the Hiawatha National Forest investigated Camp Au Train in Alger County near Munising. The weekend field work was highlighted in the article, Camp Au Train archaeology,  featured in The Mining Journal.

Our research also focuses on aspects of the everyday life of the CCC enrollees and the German POWs while they lived at Camp Au Train. Historic records and oral histories provide a great deal of information about both camps. Archaeological data adds information about mundane aspects of everyday life by recovering the objects that the occupants had, used, or threw away.

 


Burkett Awarded a Michigan Sea Grant Graduate Student Research Fellowship

erin-burkettErin Burkett, Environmental and Energy Policy PhD student, was awarded a $78,497 Michigan Sea Grant Graduate Student Research Fellowship. As a fellow, Erin will work with her faculty advisor Dr. Richelle Winkler and an agency sponsor at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (Tracy Kolb) on a project that supports existing Great Lakes research. The awarded project, titled “I once caught a fish “THIS BIG”: Using Participatory Photovoice to Understand Michigan’s Great Lakes Anglers”, will explore the reasons Michigan residents participate in Great Lakes recreational fishing.


Graduate Student Prehoda In the News

image144321-persABC-10 News aired a story, about the potential for using solar energy in the UP, quoting Michigan Tech graduate student Emily Prehoda.

She is working on a survey that will be conducted in L’Anse next fall, a collaborative effort of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region, the Village of L’Anse, WPPI Energy, and Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center and Department of Social Sciences.

Residents of the village buy their power from WPPI Energy, a non-profit company.

Prehoda was also featured in USA Today (“The US could prevent a lot of deaths by switching from coal to solar“), and on NBC and CBS with researcher Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE).

Also in print, Joshua Pearce (MSE/ECE) and social sciences PhD Student Emily Prehoda coauthored, potential lives saved by replacing coal with solar photovoltaic electricity production in the U.S., in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews that can be read here.

 

 


Will Solar Power Work in the U.P.?

Emily Prehoda
Emily Prehoda

ABC-10 News aired a story about the potential for using solar energy in the UP, quoting Michigan Tech graduate student Emily Prehoda. She is working on a survey that will be conducted in L’Anse next fall, a collaborative effort of the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region, the Village of L’Anse, WPPI Energy, and Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Research Center and Department of Social Sciences. Residents of the village buy their power from WPPI Energy, a non-profit company. See here.


Pischke Receives Graduate Student Leader Award and Graduate Student Service Award

PischkeAward3
Erin Pischke, Jessie Knowlton, and Jill Fisher.

Erin Pischke (EEP) received two graduate student awards at the Graduate Research Colloquium Banquet held on February 16, 2017.  Pischke won a Graduate Student Government merit award for Exceptional Graduate Student Leader and the Graduate Student Service Award.

Congratulations Erin!

Read more and watch the video at ABC10 UP, by Rick Allen.

Complete list of winners:

Oral Presentation Competition

  1. 1st Place: Kevin Sunderland, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  2. 2nd Place: Teresa Wilson, Department of Physics
  3. 3rd Place: Andrew Chapp, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  4. Most Attended: Muraleekrishnan Menon, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  5. Most Attended: Niranjan Miganakallu, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics

Poster Presentation Competition

  1. 1st Place: Matthew Kilgas, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  2. 2nd Place: Brian Page, Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics
  3. 3rd Place: Zichen Qian, Department of Biomedical Engineering
  4. People’s Choice: Mugdha Priyadarshini, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Graduate Student Service Awards

  1. Gorkem Asilioglu, Department of Computer Science
  2. Hossein Tavakoli, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  3. Kate Glodowski, Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology
  4. Erin Pischke, Department of Social Sciences

The GRC is held each year by the Graduate Student Government at Michigan Tech.