Cloud in a Box

When it comes to climate change, clouds are the wild card. Atmospheric physicists at Michigan Tech use a turbulence-generating cloud chamber to better understand the details and droplets.

There are few absolutes in life, but Will Cantrell (Physics) says this is one: “Every cloud droplet in Earth’s atmosphere formed on a preexisting aerosol particle.”

And the way those droplets form — with scarce or plentiful aerosol particles — could have serious implications for weather and climate change.

It’s been known for decades that cleaner clouds tend to have bigger cloud droplets. But through research conducted in Michigan Tech’s cloud chamber, which was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cantrell, graduate student Kamal Kant Chandrakar, Raymond Shaw (Physics) and colleagues found that cleaner clouds also have a much wider variability in droplet size. So wide, in fact, that some are large enough to be considered drizzle drops.

Dirtier clouds, Shaw explains, not only have smaller droplets, but also much more uniformity in droplet size, with no observable drizzle drops.

“If clouds have more aerosols in them, the drops would be smaller and more similar in size,” Shaw says. “It would be harder for the cloud to rain, and the cloud would then last longer. If a cloud rains, or has less water in it, it won’t be there to reflect sunlight.”

Read the full story.

Staff Search Committee Certification

As announced in 2015, if you would like to serve as a member of a staff search committee, you'll need to complete Staff Search Committee Certification training. 
The two-part certification covers best practices and legal aspects of conducting a dynamic search and successfully hiring the best candidate. If you plan to serve on a staff search committee, attend the following certification training.

Part 1 — Recruiting and Hiring Workshop—2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 6,) Memorial Union Alumni Lounge 

Part 2 — Legal Aspects —This is an on-line course through Canvas. Once part one is completed you are automatically enrolled in part two.

SPECIAL NOTE — If you have staff members who might serve in the future, please encourage them to attend this training. The training is provided on a quarterly basis in September, December, March and June.

To sign up for one of the training, follow this link

Diversity Council Launches Website

As part of the charge given by President Glenn Mroz, the Diversity Council has launched a new website outlining council goals, membership and initiatives.
One of the initiatives put forth by the council was the creation of the Diversity Liaison Program. This program was created to address the need for monitoring and reporting on the progress of various diversity-related initiatives that are intended to meet Strategic Plan goals. 
The purpose of the Diversity Liaison program is to share information regarding diversity initiatives and/or goals to and from the area represented. The council does not critique or edit these goals, we simple house the information.
Each semester the designated liaison will report their areas diversity goals, initiatives and progress to the appropriate Diversity Council sub-committee, as well as share opportunities and best practices across campus to enhance our diversity initiatives. The new website will be updated with the information provided from each area regularly.
You will find all information pertaining to the Diversity Council by following this link. If you have any questions, contact Jill Hodges or Kellie Raffaelli.

Pearl HarboróLessons of Nature and War

Mary Durfee (SS) and Carol MacLennan (SS) will give two short lectures on Pearl Harbor Day to discuss the less well-known aspects of its significance to the U.S. and Hawai'i.
MacLennan will discuss the native Hawaiian perspective on Pearl Harbor and its environmental history.
Durfee will speak about the lessons of Pearl Harbor in American defense policy. 
The lectures will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 7) in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Refreshments will be served.

Continuous Improvement Connection

Are you part of a process where no one seems clear about who is responsible for what? Try using a RACI Chart.

RACI is an acronym for "Responsible, Accountable, Consult, Inform." A RACI Chart is a table that lists the tasks that must be done to complete a process as rows (for example, enter the customer reservation into the system, pre-event setup and deliver food) and the functions or people involved in the process (like Rozsa Rentals, Custodian, Catering) as columns.

A representative from each function attends a working session and together they fill in the table. Every row must have an "R," or person/function responsible for performing the task. An "A" is the person ultimately accountable for the task. There can be either 0 or 1 As in each row. Anyone who must be consulted prior to a decision being made or a task completed gets a "C." Anyone who must be informed after a decision is made or the task is completed gets an "I." There can be zero or more Cs and Is in a row. To see a RACI Chart example and get a template, visit our webpage.

Looking for Students to Become RAs

Housing and Residential Life is looking for new staff to join our team in 2017-18. We are hiring resident assistants. As a resident assistant, you will be seen a leader within the community, you will  help to build a strong, diverse and inclusive community, and you will promote learning inside and outside of the classroom.

For a more detailed description of the job, visit the Housing and Residential Life hiring webpage.
New applicants are required to attend one short information session before receiving their link to apply. Those sessions will be held at 6 p.m. tonight (Dec. 2) and 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9 in Fisher 138.
Applicants are required to have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative and semester GPA to be considered. Contact the Housing and Residential Staff at if you have any questions.

Redmond Named Rookie of the Month

Michigan Tech freshman goaltender Angus Redmond was named the WCHA Rookie of the Month for November.

After assuming the starting reins in the last series of October, Redmond was between the pipes for all eight games in November and backstopped Michigan Tech to an NCAA-best six wins and a .812 winning percentage (6-1-1), good for a tie for third nationally.

Michigan Tech hosts No. 13 Bemidji State this weekend in a battle of the top two teams in the WCHA. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. tonight and tomorrow. 

Read the full story and find out more about Michigan Tech sports at

5 Soccer Players Named All-Region

Five Michigan Tech soccer players earned NSCAA NCAA Division II All-Midwest Region honors, announced by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America on Wednesday. Junior goalie Kirsen Hudak, senior defender Emily Morin and senior forward Jaci Mielke were named to the second team. Junior midfielder Kat Farkas and senior midfielder Jess Splittgerber garnered third team honors.

Read the full story and find out more about Husky Sports at


Doyoung Park, a sound designer with Hyundai Motors and visiting researcher in CLS, will present "Sound Designers in Car Companies" from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday (Dec. 5) in Meese 109.

Do you know what sound designers do in a car company? They design various sounds for product, space and brand to make better auditory experiences within coherence. In this talk, Park will present what kind of efforts are being made for auditory displays, and how they have been progressing.

ICC Distinguished Lecturer Series

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) will host Zhiru Zhang from 1 to 2 p.m. today (Dec. 2) in Rekhi Hall Room G009. He will present a lecture entitled "Enabling Software-Defined Reconfigurable Computing."

Zhang is an assistant professor in the School of ECE at Cornell University and a member of the Computer Systems Laboratory. His current research focuses on high-level design automation for heterogeneous computing.

The abstract can be found online. Refreshments will be served.

SURF Proposal Workshop

Will Cantrell, coordinator of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, will conduct a workshop for students on the SURF application process, including writing an effective SURF proposal. The workshop will take place at 6 p.m. Monday (Dec. 5) in Fisher 132.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to notify students interested in applying for SURF funding to attend. For more information, see the SURF webpage.

The deadline for SURF applications is 4 p.m. Jan. 27.


C-Cubed Week 13

C-Cubed lunches are offered from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. 

Quinoa Black Bean Burritos (V)
Steak and Quinoa Burritos
Roasted Poblano Creamy Rice (V, GF)

V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan, GF- Gluten Free

Send any suggestions to Christina Fabian or fill out a feed-back form online.


Asian Combo at Khana Khazana

Today's Khana Khazana in the Memorial Union's North Coast Deli will feature an Asian Combo. Serving is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The menu features:

  • Chicken Teriyaki (Japan) 
  • Hot & Spicy Tofu (China) (Vegetarian)
  • Mon Tod (Thailand)—Dish of fish, beans and spices
  • Payasam (India)—Pudding made of milk, rice and tapioca seasoned with cardamom, raisins and saffron.

The cost is $7.95 and includes a fountain beverage. Visit Khana Khazana on Facebook.


Chemistry Seminar

Nabanita Saikia, postdoctoral research associate in Physics, will present "Interactions of Biomolecules with Nanomaterials: Insight from First Principles and Molecular Dynamics Methods" at 3 p.m. today (Dec. 2) in Chem-Sci Room 101.


KIP Fall Seminar

The final KIP fall seminar will be held from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. today (Dec. 2) in Rekhi G09. KIP Department Chair Jason Carter will present "Sleep and Cardiovascular Health in Humans."


Biological Sciences Seminar

John Vucetich (SFRES) will present "The Loss of Wolf Predation on Isle Royale" at the next Biological Sciences Seminar from 4 to 5 p.m. today (Dec. 2) in Dow 642.


December First Friday Social

Faculty, staff and graduate students are invited to join the Athletic Department from 5 to 7 p.m. today (Dec. 2) at LampLighters in the MacInnes Ice Arena for December's First Friday Social. Complimentary beverages will be served along with some great appetizers.

If you are interested in hosting a social for the 2017-2018 academic year or learning more, contact Christina Fabian at 7-2543.


Film Board Presents "The Magnificent Seven"

This weekend, Film Board presents "The Magnificent Seven."

Today, Dec. 2—2:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Tomorrow, Dec. 3—2:30, 5:30, 8:30, 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 4—2:30, 5:30 p.m.

Located in Fisher 135. Tickets are $3 and concessions are $1 each.


Econo Foods Kids Day

Saturday is the annual Econo Foods Kids Day at Michigan Tech. Tadych's Econo Foods of Houghton purchased and distributed 500 youth tickets for Saturday's Michigan Tech Athletic events.

Michigan Tech Athletics and Econo Foods have partnered together annually for more than a decade on Econo Foods Kids Day.

Fans attending Saturday's game are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for a Food Drive that will benefit the Salvation Army. There is a Teddy Bear Toss tonight that will benefit Toys for Tots. 


EPSSI Seminar

John Selker, professor in the department of biological and ecological engineering at Oregon State University, will present “Looking at the Earth through New Eyes:  Opportunities for Advancement in Instrumentation” at 4 p.m. Monday (Dec. 5) in M&M U113. 

On the Road

Pasi Lautala (CEE) gave an invited presentation on Michigan Tech's grade crossing research as part of Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Annual Freight Railroad Conference in Madison. The presentation was titled "Driver Behavior at Grade Crossings—Do Drivers Behave as Engineers Expect Them to Behave?"

A Metacognitive Moment

As we head into the home stretch, instructors might consider any of a number of metacognitive ways to wrap up a course. Linda Nilson, in her book “Creating Self-Regulated Learners”, suggests asking students to write and submit course reflection.

This could focus on the degree to which students accomplished specific course objectives or a more free-form prompt asking students to analyze skill and knowledge development.   Alternatively, such a reflection could challenge students to anticipate “future uses” of their favorite course materials either in an employment or broader life context.

Kimberly Tanner suggests a more targeted “Reflective Post-assessment” that asks students to compare their conceptual understanding before the course with their current ways of thinking. This works best with large themes developed throughout a course or unit; her example prompt is “Before this course I thought that evolution was …. now I think that evolution is … ”

Finally, students might review a portfolio of course materials, discuss their approach to the course, analyze the amount of time dedicated, or explain what they might do differently if they could start again. This can be done either with a direct prompt for review or by asking students to “give advice” to future students about how best to approach the course. Students are currently prompted generally for this kind of “advice” as part of their course evaluation surveys, but doing this as a class assignment offers opportunities for peer discussion, deeper reflection, and, perhaps, a focus on specific coursework.

In all of these techniques, the key is to encourage students to think about where they started, what they’ve learned, and how it can be applied in future endeavors. If you’d like to discuss other ways to accomplish this sort of end-of-term reflection, please stop into or contact the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.  

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, December 2, 2016

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in the Human Resources Department. For more information regarding staff positions call 7-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions contact the academic department in which the position is posted.

Help Desk Support Specialist, Information Technology. Apply online.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Education Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

In the News

Michigan Tech was listed among the 11 Public Colleges Where Grads Make Six Figures, an article in Money.
The article says a Michigan Tech graduate's mid-career salary averages $101,000. Tech was #10 on the list. The University of California-Berkeley topped the list with a graduate's mid-career salary average of $116,000.

In Print

Adam Feltz (CLS) co-authored a paper titled "Decision Making Skill: From Intelligence to Numeracy and Expertise." It was featured in Cambridge University Press's Handbook on Expertise and Expert Performance.


Priscilla Addison (GMES), Pasi Lautala (CEE) and Thomas Oommen (GMES) published a paper, "Utilizing Vegetation Indices as a Proxy to Characterize the Stability of a Railway Embankment in a Permafrost Region," in AIMS Geosciences. The paper can be accessed here.