The Sugarbush Diaries: 73 Taps, 500 Gallons, 12 Dozen Bottles of Made-in-Alberta Deliciousness

Plonk. Plonk. Plonk. The sap drops hitting the bottom of galvanized buckets in Preacher Park are louder than the raindrops on an April weekend at Michigan Tech's Ford Forestry Center.

The buckets aren't full yet. But across US-41, Tara Bal's (SFRES) Maple Syrup Management and Culture class is collecting from the sugarbush maples that line the streets of Alberta Village. The trees look a little like hospital patients receiving IV drips. Some bear rectangular blue sacks; you can see the clear liquid inside. Flexible, thin blue tubing protrudes from the tap holes on others, snaking down into white plastic buckets.

"Tapping doesn't hurt the trees," says Bal. You can pinpoint her location by following the smoke billowing above the Sugar Shack, out back of the research, education and conference center's dining hall and dorms. This year's sugarbush sap boil is in full production mode.

A lot had to happen beforehand. Read the full story.

Project Management Courses Offered Online During Track A

Project management is an important skill in any discipline. Take advantage of your benefits and enroll in an online project management course this summer during Track A, either graduate (BA5650) or undergraduate (OSM3200).

Both are three-credit courses and have a prerequisite of statistics. The courses are designed for those who are working. If you are interested in taking either course, email Dana Johnson for more information and/or a syllabus.

ROTC Commanders Complete Their Time at Tech

This spring, the commanders of both the Army and Air Force ROTC detachments will complete their tours of duty on the Michigan Tech campus.

Lieutenant Colonel Adam Melnitsky arrived in 2013 to direct the Army training program, while Major Jason Engler took over the Air Force detachment a year later. It is unusual for both commanders to depart at the same time, although regular rotations are part of the plan for all military officers.

It is a bit more out of the ordinary that both will retire from their services after twenty years on active duty. The College of Sciences and Arts is marking their retirement from 3 to 4 p.m. Monday (April 24) in the conference room in the ROTC Building. 

Melnitsky entered the Army after completing the ROTC program at Norwich University in New York in 1997, and served in a number of positions with the First Cavalry Division, before serving in a recruiting position in Salt Lake City and in the Boston Military Entrance Processing Station. Subsequently he deployed to Iraq in 2008 and again in 2011 — the latter with one of the last units in Iraq.

Engler joined the Air Force through ROTC at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Phoenix, with a degree in space studies. He began his career as a “missileer” at Vandenberg and later served as a missile officer at an ICBM base in Montana.

Among his later appointments was time at NORAD headquarters in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. The connection to space remained a part of Engler's efforts in various Air Force staff assignments before coming to Tech.

Bruce Seely, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts said, "Adam and Jason have been marvelous leaders of the ROTC units under their command, which at times can be a difficult task of serving the Army, Air Force and the University — they have done so with distinction. Both have academic appointments to match their military rank — Adam as Professor of Military Science and Jason as Professor of Aerospace Studies. The length of their appointments was longer than the normal two-year tour, which was a good thing for Tech and for the cadets, as we gained additional stability from the continuity of their leadership. We will miss their steady hands and commitment to training the next generation of military officers."

Melnitsky and his wife Teresa intend to move to Salt Lake City, while Engler and his spouse Leah (who works as a grants analyst in the Sponsored Programs Office) are heading to Arizona to launch a brew pub.

Both couples say they're excited at the prospect of having their own homes.

We extend best wishes from everyone at Michigan Tech to them and their families in their future endeavors, as they transition from military to civilian life.

Redesigned Permanent Residency Cards and Employment Authorization Documents

US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a redesign to the Permanent Resident Card (also known as a Green Card) and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Next Generation Secure Identification Document Project on Wednesday. USCIS will begin issuing the new cards on May 1.

For more information about the redesigned cards, visit this webpage.

Campus Store Book Buyback

The Campus Store will run the spring semester book buyback and rental return Monday (April 24) through Friday (April 28).

The book buyback will be in the Datolite room on the first floor of the Memorial Union Building, just outside the Campus Store.

Outdoor Gear Swap

Swap old outdoor sports gear for new, while supporting our state champion Ski Team, our up-and-coming Development Team and our Adventure Team of skiers who just love to ski. Among the Ski Tigers' coaches are Sigrid Resh and Rod Chimner (SFRES).

The ski swap will take place from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow (April 22) in the Houghton High School Multi-Purpose Room.

Drop-off items for sale from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. today (April 21) or
 from 9 to 9:45 a.m. tomorrow (April 22). Pick-up unsold items from 1 to 2 p.m. tomorrow (April 22).

There will be a 15 percent commission charged on all sales and a $50 max commission per item.

You can also get your skis waxed. Summer storage wax is $10 for cross-country skis and $15 for downhill skis and snowboards.

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk Tomorrow at Rozsa

"Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk" is a Steampunk-inspired performance where the audience can experience the excitement, artistry and thrill that occurs when a wacky bike shop mechanic interacts with cyclists and bikes and he repairs more than broken pieces.

He creates wondrous machines and inspires the cyclist in all of us to become a Pedal Punk.

"Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow (April 22) in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts.

Cirque Mechanics was founded in 2004 by Boston native and German wheel artist, Chris Lashua, after the success of his collaborative project with the Circus Center of San Francisco, Birdhouse Factory. Cirque Mechanics quickly established itself as a premiere American circus, with its unique approach to performance, inspiring storytelling and innovative mechanical staging. Spectacle Magazine hailed it as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil”.

Tickets are available online, by calling 7-2073, in person at the Central Ticketing Office or at the Rozsa Center Box Office an hour before show time.

Biomedical Engineering Faculty Candidate Seminar

Biomedical Engineering Faculty Candidate Lian Tian will present a seminar titled "Cardiovascular Mechanobiology and Mitochondrial Dynamics and Metabolism in Pulmonary Hypertension" at 3 p.m. Thursday (April 27) in M&M U113.

Tian is currently a Post Doc in the Department of Medicine at Queen's University.

CEE Senior Design Colloquium

The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department invites the University community to attend the Spring 2017 Senior Design Colloquium. This semester students have undertaken a wide range of interesting projects to fulfill the department's design project requirement.

The colloquium will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, April 28 in Dow 641 and 642. Refreshments will be served.

See this poster for details.


Proposal Defense — Anindya Majumdar

Biomedical engineering student Anindya Majumdar will present his PhD Proposal Defense at 8:30 a.m. today (April 21) in Fisher 101.

His presentation is titled "Optical Phase Singularities as Indicators of Biophysical Dynamics."


MEEM 4201 Intermediate Thermodynamics Poster Session

Students from MEEM 4201 "Intermediate Thermodynamics" will present the results of their semester-long projects related to the course from 10 a.m. to noon today (April 21) in the Memorial Union Commons.


C-Cubed Week 14

C-Cubed lunches are held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Fridays in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. Faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.

Pasta with Artichokes, Sundried Tomatoes and Feta (GF, V)
Snap Pea and Radish Sauté (VE, GF)
Herbed Quinoa and White Bean Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing (VE, GF)

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

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


SFRES Research Scientists and Awards

The School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences Research Scientists will be presenting their research at this week's Friday forum. The lecture will take place at 3 p.m. today (April 21) in Forestry G-002. A social will follow in the atrium from 4 to 5 p.m.

Glenn M. Larkin, senior research scientist, will present "Love and Early Decay Are Hard to Find." Joseph Shannon, research scientist, will present "EAB in Black Ash Wetlands: Impacts and Lessons from Simulated Infestation."


Bon Voyage South Africa

The Rozsa Center welcomes the choirs of Michigan Tech which will present their year-end concert, “Bon Voyage South Africa,” at 7:30 p.m. tonight (April 21).

The concert will feature music that has been prepared for the Michigan Tech Concert Choir international tour to South Africa.  According to Choirs Director Jared Anderson (VPA)“The evening will include performances of sacred motets, African-American spirituals, American folk songs, music about the displaced as well as beloved songs from South Africa. 


ICC Distinguished Lecturer Series

The Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) will host Kalyan Perumalla from 3 to 4 p.m. tomorrow (April 21) in Rekhi 214. He will present a lecture titled "Effective Exascale Computing using Computational Cloning." Refreshments will be served.

In Print

Michigan Tech volcanologist Simon Carn (GMES) was an author on a report released by the National Academies this week. He also served on the committee that prepared the report "Volcanic Eruptions and their Repose, Unrest, Precursors and Timing." See the report here.

In the News

The Isle Royale Winter Study, co-authored by Michigan Tech's Rolf Peterson (SFRES) and John Vucetich (SFRES), was featured in Science, Science360 and other national publications.

Job Posting

Job Posting for Friday, April 21, 2017

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.

System Administrator, 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.  

On the Road

Jim Baker, executive director of Innovation and Industry Engagement and co-director of the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, and Lorelle Meadows, dean of the Pavlis Honors College, accompanied students Reggie Dillingham (SBE), Sachin Fernandes (ECE), Joseph Ryan (CS and PSY), Cedric Kennedy (SBE), Kyle Ludwig (ECE), Adam Weber (CNSA), Nick Dubiel (ME), Morgan Crocker (STC), Emily Jensen (SBE) and Brandon Talaska (ChE) who competed in the Central Michigan University New Venture Competition. The competition was held March 24. 

Multi-Dimensional Manufacturing, a 3-D printing technology company founded by Nick Dubiel  with support from Morgan Crocker and mentored by Jim Baker finished as the Best Overall Venture with a $30,000 cash prize and a year of mentoring from Blue Water Angels in Midland. The team is also a recent graduate of Michigan Tech's National Science Foundation I-Corps Site Program.