Category Archives: Notables

Durfee Co-Authors Book on Arctic Governance

Arctic GovernanceMary Durfee (professor emerita at Michigan Tech) and Rachael Lorna Johnstone’s (University of Akureyri, Iceland and the University of Greenland) have published a new book, Arctic Governance in a Changing World with Rowan and Littlefield.

Arctic Governance in a Changing World provides a succinct yet precise account of the contemporary Arctic in the context of international relations and international law to explain the people and processes that govern the Arctic.

The book begins with an overview of the Arctic in light of its inextricable relation to the wider world. An explanation of environmental and political change in the Arctic follows. The book shows how various players in Arctic decision-making influence different spheres of governance. Security in the Arctic is analyzed in terms of both national and human security. Arctic economies are presented and then explored from a political economy perspective, including free trade issues and the influence of China. The book is strong on human and indigenous rights and explains how these rights constrain state and corporate behavior. It shows how the law of the sea in the Arctic determines resource allocation. Unique in a textbook about international relations is a chapter on Arctic shipping. The book explains how (and to what extent) international environmental law protects the vulnerable Arctic and its inhabitants in times of climate change. It concludes with an analysis of resilient governance in the Arctic.


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.




Keweenaw Time Traveler featured in American Quarterly

American QtrlyThe Keweenaw Time Traveler project is featured in the current issue of American Quarterly, the academic journal of the American Studies Association. This special issue, dedicated to Digital Humanities, highlights eight publicly-engaged projects using digital and spatial technologies to engage important issues in American culture today. The collaborative nature of this project is reflected in the group of authors: Sarah Fayen Scarlett (SS) and Don Lafreniere (SS); Dan Trepal and John D. M. Arnold, PhD candidates and recent graduate in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology; and Robert Pastel (CS). The article is open-access for three months, and the other projects are listed here.



Students Create Web Map using GIS

summer 2018

Student interns from Calumet and Houghton High Schools, under the guidance of Don Lafreniere (SS/GLRC), Ryan Williams (GISP/GLRC) and students from the Department of Social Sciences, recently launched a new WebGIS for the Calumet and Laurium region. The map can be found at calumetmap.com.

The WebGIS is the beginning of a multi-year partnership between many local organizations including Michigan Tech Social Sciences, the Geospatial Research Facility, Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR), Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) and local municipalities to create a regional geographic information system (GIS) for local planning, economic development, heritage management, tourism and health promotion.

The WebGIS is an output of the NSF-funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, “GRACE- GIS Resources and Applications for Career Education” project. GRACE is a multi-institution collaboration to bring GIS technologies to Michigan’s high school educators and intensive community-based internship experiences to high school students.

More about the GRACE project at Michigan Tech can be found in Unscripted.

Summer 2018-2


Keweenaw Time Traveler Introduces GIS Technologies to 4th Graders as Part of the KNHP Copper Traces Program

CopperTraces1 CopperTraces2IHA PhD Student Michael Bleddynn and undergraduate students from the Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab used the Keweenaw Time Traveler to introduce 4th graders from around the region to how to use GIS technologies to see how communities change through time.  The activity was part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park’s CopperTraces program.


Robins Awarded Research Excellence Fund (REF) Scholarship and Creativity Grant (SCG)

Jonathan RobinsThe Vice President for Research Office announced the 2018 Research Excellence Fund (REF) awards and thanked the volunteer review committees, as well as the deans and department chairs, for their time spent on this important internal research award process.

This year we congratulate Jonathan Robins for receiving a Scholarship and Creativity Grant (SCG).

The REF Scholarship and Creativity Grant (SCG) provides support to encourage faculty to engage in scholarly research, learning, and creative activities to enhance professional development.