Almost Alien: Antarctic Subglacial Lakes are Cold, Dark and Full of Secrets

Gathering data on the biogeochemistry of subglacial lakes is an undertaking of Antarctic proportions. Trista Vick-Majors (Bio Sci) is part of a team that gathered samples from the Whillans Subglacial Lake in West Antarctica and is lead author on a paper about the lake, recently published in Global Biogeochemical Cycles.
Using mass balance calculations, the team’s research shows that a pool of dissolved organic carbon in the Whillans Subglacial Lake can be produced in 4.8 to 11.9 years. As the lake fills and drains, which takes about the same amount of time, all those nutrients slip and slide their way to the ice-covered coast of the Southern Ocean. Based on the team’s calculations, the subglacial lakes in the region provide 5,400% more organic carbon than what microbial life in the ice-covered ocean downstream needs to survive.
To get the data, Vick-Majors and the rest of the team first have to drill through 800 meters of ice. Find out how they did it on and read the full story.

Tech Hockey Opens WCHA Playoffs at Northern

The Michigan Tech hockey team opens the postseason as the No. 6 seed in the WCHA tournament. The Huskies will take on No. 3 seed Northern Michigan for a best-of-three series at the Berry Events Center. The puck drops at 7:07 p.m. tonight, 6:07 p.m. tomorrow and 6:07 p.m. Sunday, if necessary.

Tech finished the regular season with a 19-15-3 overall record and 14-12-2-0 mark in the WCHA. The Huskies went 3-1 against the Wildcats in the regular season, including a pair of wins in Marquette. Northern was18-14-4 overall and 16-11-1-1 in the WCHA.

The games can be heard on local radio on 93.5 FM and will be broadcast on FOX-UP and TV6.

Job Posting

Job Postings for Friday, March 6, 2020

Staff and faculty job descriptions are available in Human Resources. For more information regarding staff positions, call 487-2280 or email For more information regarding faculty positions, contact the academic department in which the position is posted. 

Financial Aid Manager, Financial Aid Administration. Apply online

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.   Accommodations are available. If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or


Student Academic Photo Opportunities

University Marketing and Communications is looking for opportunities to take photos of students engaged in unique classroom or lab activities, especially if there is technology, equipment, or other gear involved as well (think drones or surveying equipment, for example).

Please let us know about these potential opportunities. We will reach out to schedule a time to take photos if your suggestion fits with our needs and availability.


PhD Proposal Defense Today

Biomedical Engineering PhD student, Ariana Tyo, will present her proposal defense at 10 a.m. today (March 6) in M&M 610.

The title of her proposal is, "An Antimicrobial Polydopamine Surface Coating to Reduce Biofouling on Telemetry tags used in Marine Conservation Practices."


Insomnia and Blood Pressure Study

Have you been diagnosed with, or think that you may suffer from chronic insomnia? Is your sleep disrupted at least three nights a week and has it been on-going for at least three months?

Chronic insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors such as sleep habits, environment, and/or medications. It can also be linked to other medical issues, like high blood pressure. Help us to study the effects of insomnia on your blood pressure by participating in our new study.

Please read this flyer for additional information with a link to complete initial screening survey.


C3 Luncheon Menu

Dining Services presents this week's C3 luncheon which will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today (March 6) in the Memorial Union Alumni Lounge. All faculty and staff, along with their guests, are invited.


  • Shrimp and Salmon Paella GF
  • Bean Paella GF VE
  • Roasted Cauliflower GF VE
  • Tomato Salad with Almond Herb Dressing GF VE

V- Vegetarian, VE-Vegan/Vegetarian, GF-Gluten-Free, P-Alternative Protein


26th Annual Student Leadership Awards Nominations

There is still time to submit your nominations for the Student Leadership Awards. On behalf of the University, we are seeking nominations for the President's Award for Leadership, Dean of Students Award for Service and various other student leadership awards. The recipient of each award will be honored at the 26th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday, April 17 in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

The nomination process is simple. All awards and their information can be found online. For each individual award, click on the award title, then complete and submit the nomination form. Nominations for the President's Award for Leadership and the Dean of Students Award for Service are due by 5 p.m. today (March 6). Nominations for all other Student Leadership Awards are due by 5 p.m. Friday, March 20.

Questions concerning the awards can be directed to Student Leadership and Involvement at or 7-1963.


Recent article co-authored by  Yoke Khin Yap (Physics) in Nature Electronics has gained significant media attention. According to Altmetric, the media attention score of this work is in the 99 percentile of more than 14 million research outputs scored by Altmetric across all sources so far. This work is highlighted in journals such as Materials Today, and Nano Today, and many other news outlets.

Deans' Teaching Showcase

Janet Callahan , Dean of the College of Engineering, has selected our eighth Deans’ Teaching Showcase member: Rebecca Ong, assistant professor in the Chemical Engineering department.

Ong was selected upon recommendation by Chemical Engineering Department Chair Pradeep Agrawal for her broad innovation and use of creative teaching tools. Agrawal emphasized Ong’s efforts to “adapt to students’ contemporary learning preferences by using short videos, instant feedback, on-line quizzes, and a design expo with active learning tools like think-pair-share, iclickers, and role playing.” Agrawal also pointed out Ong’s use of a “spiral” technique where specific concepts are revisited through spaced practice, and her efforts to “connect the dots” with topics from previous classes, including statistics and data handling, computational tools, technical communications and global issues.

Ong confirms that she makes repetition —and variation—a priority. In her words, “Repetition of material is key for retention. Even with the clearest instruction, few people will completely understand a new problem the first time that they encounter it. Students need to be exposed to important points multiple times, and in different ways.” She starts each class with retrieval practice, and she attempts to bring content back with “increasingly large gaps between the reinforcement” as her quizzes often cover a mix of new and old content.

Her work to embed skills in the discipline comes from her sense that things are “most engaging and best learned when linked to a context students care about.” One excellent example of this is a recent project where students had to conduct an environmental impact assessment regarding the overseas construction of a chemical plant. She elaborates, “Students had to interview someone from another country or with many years experience living in another country to give a local community member’s perspective on the proposed construction of the facility in their hometown.” Student feedback about this project indicates that students change their analysis from whether a plant was technically feasible to consider whether it should be built, considering the environmental and social aspects.

But perhaps the biggest reason for Ong’s selection was her affinity for trying new things in her teaching. Again, her own words say it best: “I like to try new things all the time, whether teaching styles, new activities, new assignment styles, new technology or tools in the classroom. Sometimes these work well and sometimes they don’t. I always tell the students when I’m experimenting and try to get feedback about specific things I’m trying for the first time.” One recent example was creating video interviews of other on-campus faculty to use as “guest-lecturers” in a course because scheduling them live was impractical.

Callahan summarizes her nomination by saying “Rebecca's philosophy of meeting students where they are at intellectually keeps students engaged with the material and really improves their learning. It is impressive that Dr. Ong keeps trying new things in her classes, trying to keep them fun for the students while figuring out the best way for students to learn the material.”

Ong will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members, and is also a candidate for the CTL Instructional Award Series (to be determined this summer) recognizing introductory or large-class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

In the News

Michigan Tech and MTRI were mentioned in the article "Team CoSTAR wins Urban Circuit of DARPA Subterranean Challenge," in The Robot Report.


Michigan Tech alumnus Rick Smith '81 was the subject of the article "Canyon Resources strengthens team with appointment of leading bauxite executive," in Proactive. Smith, a bauxite expert, was named chief development officer of Canyon Resources Ltd.


Research at Michigan Tech was included in stories mentioned in "Other materials stories that may be of interest" by the American Ceramic Society.


Michigan Tech was mentioned in the article "Four earthquakes rattle California as voters go to polls on Super Tuesday, USGS says. The story originated with the Sacramento Bee and was reprinted by the Daily Republic, Solano County, California.