Category: Research

Tim Scarlett on Urban Exploration

Urban Exploration‘Urban explorers’ indulge a fascination for abandoned buildings

Even those who break in to derelict buildings “for generally benign purposes” can hurt efforts to preserve the properties if communities fear vandalism and dropping property values, said Timothy James Scarlett, associate professor and director of graduate studies in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology at Michigan Technological University.

“The local cops don’t know if the people breaking into a building are planning to ‘discover’ it or undertake illicit or dangerous activities there,” Scarlett said. “That practice of breaking in and visiting places exacerbates the fear in local communities.”

Read more at CNN Travel, by Jareen Imam.

Norman and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian


Emma S. Norman, assistant professor of geography (SS/GLRC) has just been named a research associate with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. This affiliation will allow her direct access to Smithsonian materials for research and educational purposes and also provide her the opportunity to collaborate with Smithsonian employees. The first project she is undertaking is to work with their staff cartographer and senior geographer to create a series of maps that show the changing settlement patterns of indigenous peoples along the Canada-US border (pre- and post-contact) and how those patterns impact access to and governance of water. These maps will appear in her forthcoming book, Governing Transboundary Waters: Canada, the United States, and Indigenous Communities (Routledge) and will also also be made publicly available through the Smithsonian.

From Tech Today.

Alumnus Digs Deep into St. Thomas’s Past

St ThomasHe’s digging up the past—somewhere between 200 BC and 400 AD—in an unexpected archaeological excavation in downtown Charlotte Amalie on the Caribbean island of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands

David Hayes, who got his MS in Industrial Archaeology from Michigan Technological University in 2000, is principal investigator for a year-old dig that began when he noticed pottery popping out of a highway improvement site. The highway work was stopped, and the pieces have since been dated to early ceramic makers and farmers of the Saladoid era, 2000 to 1,400 years ago.

Read more at Michigan Tech News, by Dennis Walikainen.

In the News

The Virgin Islands Source published a feature story about Michigan Tech alumnus David Hayes’ archaeological dig in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, VI.

From Tech Today.

Tech Gives Minnesota Communities’ History Back to Them

A PhD candidate in Industrial Heritage and Archaeology at Michigan Tech has given the residents of Minnesota’s Cuyuna Range a unique gift–a glimpse into the history of their own communities. Fred Sutherland is researching the history of the Cuyuna Range, an iron mining region between Brainerd and Aitkin, Minn., for his PhD dissertation. Earlier this month, he presented a summary of findings from a survey of nearly 900 historic buildings and sites along the Cuyuna Range.

Sutherland had to inventory the locations to identify potential sites for archaeological fieldwork. His architectural inventory is a model for public research advocated by Michigan Tech faculty, according to Tim Scarlett, associate professor of social sciences and head of Tech’s Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

Read more at Tech Today, by Jenn Donovan.

Learn to Model, Model to Learn

Social Sciences Colloquia Friday

John Arnold will present “Learn to Model, Model to Learn,” Friday, Jan. 31, 4 p.m., AOB 201. Arnold is a PhD student in Social Sciences and has an M.S. in Historic Preservation and M.Arch in Architecture from the University of Oregon. He will be talking about the applicability of building information modeling (BIM) as a tool to investigate and manage heritage resources.

From Tech Today.

Fred Quivik Presents Fourth Thursday in History

Fourth Thursday in History: Comparing Butte, Montana, and Michigan’s Copper Country
Thursday, January 23, 2014, 7:00 pm
Keweenaw National Park Headquarters
25970 Red Jacket Road, Calumet

Fred Quivik
Associate Professor of History
Social Sciences, Michigan Tech

Butte and the Keweenaw Peninsula were the world’s two leading suppliers of copper in 1913. At the time, Butte miners had been unionized for three decades, setting a standard Michigan miners hoped to achieve when they went on strike that year. Join Fred Quivik as he compares the mining districts, exploring ways that two different mineral deposits helped to shape two distinct mining histories.

Read more at Tech Today.

Schelly Publishes on Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards

RPSChelsea Schelly (SS) has published the following papers: Schelly, C. “Implementing Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in a Two State Comparison.” Energy Policy. Article in press; Corrected proof available online.

Schelly, C., and Price, J. (2014). “Utilizing GIS to Examine the Relationship Between State Renewable Portfolio Standards and the Adoption of Renewable Energy Technologies.” ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 3(1), 1-17.

From Tech Today.

Nancy Langston Educates about Mining Recommendations

Professor Nancy Langston (SS) produced a webinar to help educate the public about new recommendations for mining in the Lake Superior Basin, issued by the Lake Superior Binational Forum, of which she is a US member.

From Tech Today.

Mining Recommendations Webinar with Nancy Langston

Dr. Nancy Langston explains the Lake Superior Binational Forum’s recommendations for responsible mining in the Lake Superior basin in this webinar produced in December 2013.

Watch the video from the Lake Superior Binational Forum.

Responsible Mining Recommendations from the Lake Superior Binational Forum

For two years, the Lake Superior Binational Forum has been examining all aspects of mining operations in the Lake Superior basin to see how mining affects water and land resources and whether mine operations can be responsibly conducted to minimize impacts.

Read more at the Lake Superior Binational Forum.

Winkler’s class presents on geothermal heating from mine water

Prof. Richelle Winkler’s class on community engagement reported their findings on the feasibility of using billions of gallons of water flooding area copper mines as a reservoir for geothermal heating in Calumet.  Their study, though largely nontechnical, was well received by an audience at the CLK commons, many of whom wanted to know more about the technical possibilities and limitations.  Winkler emphasized that it was up to the community to decide how to pursue the ideas — whether doing it as a public utility, a publi-private partnership, or however — and referred them to the class’s report on the topic and to a number of experts in the room, including staff from the Keweenaw Research Center, which has already installed geothermal mine water heating and cooling system.

The public event was picked up by numerous news outlets: on campus, locally, as far away as Indiana, and by various tech and mining blogs.