On the Road

Shan Zhou (SS) presented her paper “The Interplay between Renewable Portfolio Standard and Voluntary Green Power Market in the United States” in the session “Determinants and Challenges of Environmental Policy” at the the 78th Annual Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Conference, which was held virtually April 14-18.

This paper evaluates the efficacy of utility-based voluntary green power programs implemented in conjunction with government-led (mandatory) renewable energy policies.


2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Congratulations to all four of the Social Science majors who presented their work in this year’s Undergraduate Research Symposium!

Brooke Batterson (History) “Analysis of the Labor Market & Landscape of 1900 Lake Linden French Canadians”

Tim Stone (Sustainability Science and Society): “The Daily Spaces and Environmental Hazards for Youth in the Industrial City”

Alannah Woodring (Sustainability Science and Society): “What Are the Best Practices to Integrate Therapy Gardens into Programs Servings At Risk Populations?”

Ava Miller (Sustainability Science and Society): “Community Response to Renewable Energy Project Siting: A Case Study in L’Anse, MI”

And special congratulations to Ava Miller whose project tied for the second place award as “best undergraduate presentation” among all undergraduate presentations! 


On the Road

Industrial Heritage and Archaeology PhD students, Emma Wuepper (SS) and Kyle Parker-McGlynn (SS) presented posters at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers.

Wuepper’s poster explored the material culture of settler colonialism in Copper Harbor and Parker-McGlynn’s asked how space and place could and should be considered within the design of digital heritage.

Mark Rhodes (SS) also organized a poster session on cultural geographies, presented a paper on the living heritage of the Paul Robeson tomato, and sat on an invited panel discussing the role of critical geography at technological institutions.


Social Sciences Undergraduates Join International Geography Honor Society

Five Social Science students joined Michigan Tech’s inaugural chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geography Honor Society.
 
-Nev Indish (History)
-Brooke Batterson (History)
-Cal Quayle (Anthropology)
-Lynette Webber (History)
-Timothy Stone (Sustainability Science and Society)

Organized by Assistant Professor of Geography Dr. Mark Rhodes, the honor society will promote geography-related activities and connect students with opportunities to share research and compete for awards. The five Social Science students join twelve other undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members in founding the Michigan Tech chapter.


Recent Talks

Sarah Scarlett (SS) and Don Lafreniere (SS/GLRC) presented two talks this week related to the Trois siècles de migrations francophones en Amérique du Nord (Three Centuries of Francophone Migration in North America) project that studies the French-Canadian migration around the continent.

Scarlett spoke at the Centre De La Francophonie Des Amériques and the Québec Government Offices in Chicago, Boston, and Houston. Her presentation was on the micro-histories of Joseph Grégoire, a prominent Lake Linden resident and founder of Gregoryville. The presentation can be seen here.

Lafreniere spoke at the Centre interuniversitaire d’études québécoises about how to utilizing deep mapping techniques to map migrations. He outlined how the Keweenaw Time Traveler can be used as a model for studying populations around the continent. 

Lafreniere outlined how the Time Traveler is being used in concert with censuses from the US and Canada to uncover the French-Canadian diaspora in the Copper Country and model migration flows.


In Print

Professor Emeritus Barry D. Solomon (SS) and Shan Zhou (SS) published the article “Renewable Portfolio Standards: Do Voluntary Goals vs. Mandatory Standards Make a Difference?” In Review of Policy Research.

This paper investigates whether an obligation to meet a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) target in U.S. states affects the policy effectiveness. A voluntary RPS target can serve as a political device for signaling a commitment to certain goals, though there is no penalty if the goal is not met.

Alternatively, mandatory RPS targets have varying stringency and uneven enforcement. Our results indicate that the compulsoriness of a state RPS is an insignificant determinant of RPS‐related renewable electricity capacity additions. Factors other than compulsoriness are more important in influencing renewable electricity development, such as state political ideology, income, electricity price and electric market deregulation status.


Photo Essay: Celebrating Food in the Keweenaw

In collaboration with a class taught by Angie Carter (SS), the Western Upper Peninsula Food Systems Collaborative (WUPFSC) kicked off the Western UP Food Stories Photo Contest last fall.

The students in the course — Communities and Research SS4700 — reached out to local growers, enthusiasts, and anyone who eats to share what local foods in the Keweenaw means to them. Since a picture is worth 1,000 words, they encouraged community members to share their experiences in a visual format.

The course, which is based on transdisciplinary research methods, supports students in creating studies driven by needs identified from community members to ensure that their research would directly serve and empower the community.

The class gathered all the photos on Flickr and some of the winning images are gathered on the University research blog, Unscripted. Check them out at mtu.edu/unscripted . (By Allison Mills, University Marketing and Communications)


In Print

Don Lafreniere (SS/GLRC) and an interdisciplinary group of students recently published an article titled “Schools as Vectors of Infectious Disease Transmission during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic” in the journal Cartographica: The International Journal of Geographic Information and Geovisualization.

The article outlines how to use census and health microdata to follow infectious disease transmission between public school children during a pandemic. The paper leans on data created by public contributors to the Keweenaw Time Traveler project. The towns of Calumet and Laurium served as the case study.


Nancy Langston awarded Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Environmental History

Nancy Langston (SS/CFRES) has been awarded the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Environmental History. This award is given to one individual each year who has contributed significantly to environmental history scholarship and recognizes exceptional lifetime achievement in the field.

Langston has published five books and more than 50 peer-reviewed papers, and she has been awarded more than a million dollars in competitive external funding. Her current research, on woodland caribou and other migratory wildlife of the north, is supported with a Fulbright Research Chair, a Mellon Fellowship, a Mandel Award in the Humanities, and an NSF research grant in Science and Technology Studies.