World Water Day Activities Focus on Fracking

by Erika Vichcales, student writer

In recognition of World Water Day, Michigan Tech is sponsoring a variety of events through March 27. This year’s international event focuses on water and energy and the connections between them.

World Water Day was started by the United Nations to raise awareness about the problems surrounding water on our planet. The world is more than 70 percent covered in water, yet less than 1 percent is available for people to use.

“Given our location, with water surrounding us, it is important to recognize the significance of water and the threats being faced by that water,” said Professor Noel Urban (CEE), the director of the Center for Water and Society. “Because we have so much water here we may not think that it is a scarce resource, but even within the Great Lakes Basin water scarcity occurs. Water quality is also an issue throughout the region.”

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events include the following:

Monday, March 24
* Seminar by Interim Dean of Engineering Wayne Pennington on the “Nuts and Bolts of Unconventional Oil and Gas Development (Including all you might like to know about the technology and practice of hydraulic fracturing)” 3 p.m., Great Lakes Research Center 202.

Wednesday, March 26
* World Water Day student poster session, 4-7 p.m., Dow Lobby. The posters will illustrate their research and course work that involves water.
* Water’s Edge Art Exhibit, Great Lakes Research Center. On display will be the work of three different artists. The exhibition will run through April 23.
* Lecture by Robert Howarth of Cornell University on environmental impacts of hydraulic fracking, the practice of injecting water underground to release deposits of oil and natural gas, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday March 27
* A panel discussion on hydraulic fracturing, 10 a.m.-noon, Great Lakes Research Center 202.

“The main things students need to think about is how important water really is to humans and to all of our economic and cultural activity, and the need to preserve that for future generations,” said Urban. “It’s a time to think about how well we are doing that task.”

World Water Day events are sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, Sustainable Futures Institute, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Keweenaw Land Trust, Great Lakes Research Center, Visual and Performing Arts, and Finlandia University. Partial funding was provided by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. through a grant from the Johnson Family Foundation for a Let’s Talk About Water event.

2014 MSGC Awardees Announced

Michigan Tech faculty, staff members and students received awards tallying $71,175 in funding through the Michigan Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) sponsored by the NASA.

Undergraduates receiving $2,500 research fellowships are:

Laura Lynch (Biomed): “Prevention of Secondary Lymphedema with Biomaterial Hydrogels”

Roger Guillory (Biomed): “Characterization of the Biocompatibility of Zinc-Magnesium Alloys for Bioabsorable Coronary Stents”

Graduate students receiving $5,000 graduate fellowships are:

Emily Gochis (GMES): “Increasing Native American Involvement in Geosciences Through Interdisciplinary Community-Based Student Investigations”

Brice Grunert (GMES): “Impacts of Physical Drivers on Phytoplankton Community Composition in the Bering Sea”

Ashley Coble (Bio Sci): “Quantity and Biodegradability of Dissolved Organic Carbon in Lake Superior Tributaries”

Daniel Cerminaro (CEE): “Management of Geotechnical Features in Transportation Infrastructure Using Remote Sensing”

Bonnie Zwissler (CEE): “Thermal Remote Sensing for Dust Susceptibility Monitoring of Mine Tailings Impoundments”

Faculty member receiving a $5,000 seed grant is:

Zhen Liu (CEE): “Phase Composition Curves in Frozen Porous Materials”

Faculty and staff members receiving $5,000 or more for precollege, public outreach, teacher training, and/or augmentation programs are:

Marlene Lappeus (MEEM): “High Impact STEM Outreach Utilizing the Michigan Tech Mobile Laboratory at the 2014 Michigan Civil Air Patrol Summer Cadet Encampment”

Alexandria Guth (GMES): “Teacher Institute: Exploring the Geology of Michigan's Upper Peninsula”

Douglas Oppliger (Engg Fundamentals): “Workshop: Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles for Teaching STEM Concepts in K-12 Classrooms” (Includes Augmentation funding)

John Gierke (GMES): “Professional Development for Teachers to Incorporate Place-Based and Culturally Centered Earth System Investigations in Pre-college Curricula at Native American Community Schools” (Includes Augmentation funding)

Steve Patchin (Youth Outreach and Engagement): “MSGC: Engineering Olympics Tournaments” (Includes Augmentation funding)

Robert Warrington (ISI): MSGC Administrative award ($3,675)

NASA implemented the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in 1989 to provide funding for research, education, and public outreach in space-related science and technology. The program has 52 university-based consortia in the United States and Puerto Rico. As an affiliate of the Michigan Consortium, Michigan Tech has been an active participant in MSGC for over fifteen years. For more information, please contact Robert Warrington or Paige Hackney in the Institute for Leadership and Innovation, or visit the MSGC website.

Employee Promotional Support Program Pick Up Final Day

Today is the last day for eligible employees who placed their order for this year's Employee Promotional Support Program in December to pick up their items at the Campus Bookstore Book Buyback Window, located in the Memorial Union. Photo ID is required when picking up your gift.

Reminder: Entrepreneurship Management Concentration Info Session Monday

The School of Business and Economics is hosting an information session on the entrepreneurship management concentration, Monday, March 24, from 3:30 to 5 p.m., in AOB 101.

It is a chance for students to learn more about the concentration, and a student panel will give presentations on their internships, co-op experiences and prospective careers. Students will also be able to meet advisers and faculty for this concentration. Pizza and pop will be provided. Students should register for the event online.

For more information, contact Saurav Pathak at

Talk on OSM/VISTA Tech Partnership Monday

Allan Comp of the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), Department of the Interior will give a presentation, “The OSM/VISTA--Michigan Tech Partnership” on Monday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in Dow 642.

Comp will discuss how OSM/VISTA partners with local organizations to provide VISTA volunteers working in economic rejuvenation and environmental restoration in legacy mining communities and watersheds. Comp directs the Western Hardrock Watershed and Appalachian Coal Country teams, the two primary organizations linking OSM to rural communities. Michigan Tech has partnered with OSM to enable students to earn a graduate degree while participating in the OSM/VISTA program.

Comp’s presentation will be directed toward Michigan Tech students and faculty with an interest in details of how the program works. The talk is free and open to the public. Pizza will be provided. More information about the program can be obtained at the Michigan Tech Graduate School web site.

Tivitz Tourney Monday

The Center for Pre-College Outreach will host the annual Tivitz Tournament on Monday, March 24, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the SDC Wood Gym.

Tivitz is a board game that combines the logic of checkers with math skills. Students in local schools spend part of the school year practicing with each other before coming to the tournament each spring. About 230 students from local elementary and middle schools will be in attendance.

Between the three rounds of Tivitz play, students will participate in several mathematics activities:
* the popular strategy game Hex,
* an exploration of surfaces with Mobius strips, and
* a presentation about geometry, architecture, and art.

The sponsors hope students will see the importance of mathematical literacy and its applications to everyday life.

For more information, please contact Cody Kangas (, 7-2219).

Art Exhibit at GLRC Focuses on Water

An art exhibit in Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) is part of World Water Day events and extends well into April.

The Water’s Edge Art Exhibition celebrates artists Amy Arntson, Joyce Koskenmaki and Bonnie Peterson now through April 23. The artists use paintings, prints and textiles.

Arntson’s watercolors explore the surface qualities of water, including the reflectivity of colors found at sunrise and dusk. Her works illuminate the first floor entryway of the GLRC. Around the corner, Koskenmaki’s lyrical and metaphorical images of waterfalls, fish and aquascapes come to life with intense, pure oil paints. The large paintings almost leap off the wall, full of life. On the second floor, Peterson’s richly embroidered, beautifully tactile, large-scale textiles depict maps and scientific data on water. Peterson investigates the changing role of water in our culture and environmental issues.

Koskenmaki and Peterson will attend a “meet the artists” event on Wednesday, March 26, at the Great Lakes Research Center from 7:30 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Center for Water and Society, Great Lakes Research Center, Finlandia University Gallery and the Sustainable Finlandia Committee, and Visual and Performing Arts at Michigan Tech.

Create a Great (Nonalcoholic) Drink for a Good Cause

Calling All Mixologists--Would you like to take part in a fun event and help out the community at the same time? Well here's your chance.

Residential Dining is looking for teams to compete in the Party in a Glass competition at the Wads Dining Room. It will coincide with our Find Your Beach special dinner, 4-6 p.m., Thursday, March 27.

How does it work? Form a team--one, two or even three people if you like and create a nonalcoholic beach/tropical beverage

Send the recipe, team name and members' names to by 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 25. Residential dining will obtain the ingredients for five gallons of your beverage. Please make sure items are common so they are obtainable locally.

Wednesday, March 26, your team will be asked to come to Wads and make five gallons of your refreshments so it is chilled and ready for the competition on Thursday.

Thursday, March 27, you will be assigned a table in the dining room at Wads. You may decorate your stand to entice voters to pick your beverage as their favorite. Dining staff will provide sampler cups and napkins.

Guests at the special dinner will have the opportunity to purchase votes for $.25 ea. All proceeds will be donated to the Copper Country Humane Society.

"12 Years a Slave": Free Film Showing, One Night Only

The Academy Award-winning movie "12 Years a Slave" will be shown Monday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in Fisher 135. Admission and concessions are free, and all are welcome. The film is presented by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Lutheran Campus Ministry and Film Board.

Tickets Available for the 2014 International Night

2014 International Night tickets are still on sale:
MUB Commons : 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fisher Hall: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

International Night will be Sunday Night, and the Facebook page has the details.

Don't hesitate to get your boarding pass to travel with our pilot to enjoy the different cultural performances and delicious food from different countries.

Celebrate the UP Today and Tomorrow

The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) presents the 6th Annual Celebrate the UP, March 21-22, at Finlandia University's Jutila Center. All events are free and open to the public.

There will be a keynote speaker on Friday evening followed by a fun meet ‘n’ greet with refreshments. On Saturday, there will be dozens of speakers talking about all things great in the UP from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., with topics that will be sure to pique your interests.

Some talks include:
Cultural and Ecological Importance of Wild Rice (Manoomin) (Roger LaBine, Lac Vieux Desert)

Climate change and UP forests--Risks, Opportunities, and Ways to Adapt (Stephen Handler, USFS)

Radical Sharing: Flex Car to Zip Car and Beyond
(Amlan Mukherjee, CEE)

These talks will be followed by a panel discussion and a closing reception on Saturday afternoon. See the complete schedule.

Railway Technology Seminar Tuesday

The Rail Transportation Program will sponsor a presentation from Matthew Dick PE, "Advancements in Railway Technology" for the Railroad Transportation Seminar on Tuesday, March 25, at 4 p.m. in Dow 875.

Dick is the staff technical manager for Ensco, Inc. and former chairman of the ASME Rail Transportation Division. The presentation will be live using Adobe Connect and is open to any interested students, faculty or staff. The presentation will include information on sensor technology and data interpretation as currently used in the rail industry and advances that may be coming soon.

Contact David Nelson at 7-1734 or dannelso@mtu for any questions.


Stephanie Tubman, an alumna of the Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) program, has been named American Geosciences Institute/Schlumberger Geoscience Communication Fellow. Tubman will be working with AGI's Critical Issues Program to disseminate geoscience information to help support decision-making at the federal, state and municipal levels.

Following her undergraduate degree at Colgate University, she completed an internship at the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory and enrolled in the PCMI program in geohazards mitigation.

During her two-year tour in Guatemala with the Peace Corps, she was assigned to a municipal environmental office, collaborating with local officials on water management, environmental science education and ecotourism projects.