Fine Feathers: Migration and Molt Affect How Birds Change Their Colors

A painted bunting in flight.

In late summer and autumn, millions of birds fly above our heads, often at night, winging their way toward wintering grounds. Before the journey, many birds molt their bright feathers, replacing them with a more subdued palette.

Watching this molt led scientists to wonder how feather color changes relate to the migration birds undertake twice each year.

Take flight in this Unscripted photo essay, as Jared Wolfe (CFRES) illustrates the importance of molt to how birds migrate, breed and live.

MTU Research Team Advances in DOE Solar Desalination Prize

Michigan Tech researchers, led by Sajjad Bingham (ME-EM), advanced to the next round in the $9 million Solar Desalination Prize sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The American-Made Challenges: Solar Desalination Prize is a four-stage, $9 million prize competition, providing an additional $1 million in support, designed to accelerate the development of low-cost desalination systems that use solar-thermal power to produce clean water from saltwater. 

Out of 162 applicants, 19 quarterfinalists advanced to the second phase of the competition. One of those projects advancing was Sorption-Based ZLD Technology. Led by Sajjad Bigham (ME-EM), Michigan Tech researchers teamed with researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Artic Solar Company. 

The team's project is to add an adsorption-desorption system to a multiple-effect desalination system (MED) to achieve zero liquid discharge (ZLD). They have identified a liquid that could extract all the water-vapor volume from the brine slurry of a MED system, thus enabling an energy-efficient, modular ZLD treatment.

The second phase of the competition opened Oct. 19 and closes on Jan. 12. Teams will be announced in March.

Congratulations to Humanities and Social Sciences Online Course Review Management Teams

A congratulations and "hats-off" to the Humanities and Social Sciences departments are well deserved for the great work they have done establishing their online course review management teams and for the work those teams have done over the summer and continue to do.

Each has ensured they have several Michigan Tech Certified Online Course Peer Reviewers from within their department available to perform online course reviews, have worked hard to decide which courses will be reviewed and when, and have then assigned Michigan Tech Certified Online Course Peer Reviewers to be on the Quality Matters internal informal review team reviewing that course. To date, they already have two courses successfully reviewed and seven courses currently in the review process.

To remain in compliance with Senate Policy 116.1 and Senate Procedure 116.1.1, each department interested in offering online courses will need to be managing the online course review process, including tracking and deciding which courses need to be reviewed and when, ensuring they have an adequate number of Michigan Tech Certified Online Course Peer Reviewers within their department, assigning reviewers to conduct online course reviews, deciding how reviewers will be scheduled, rewarded, and compensated, and ensuring they are.

The Provost's Office will send a memo to the cognizant dean and department chair regarding course review, and will maintain a list of online courses that have successfully completed the review process. They suggest that units consider enrollments or course sequence when determining review priority.

More information about online course reviews can be found on the CTL Online Learning For Teachers and Departments website.

A Haunted Drive-Thru at the Mine

The Department of Visual and Performing Arts and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association announce a spooky Halloween collaboration, “A Haunted Drive-Thru at the Mine.” It's taking place today (Oct. 29) through Saturday (Oct.31) at the Quincy Mine Ruins. Scheduled times are 7 to 10 p.m. each evening. The cost is a donation that can be made at the entrance to the drive-through at the mine.

According to Kent Cyr (VPA), “We’ve got a multi-layered project in the works, with built and lit scenic elements out in the mine ruins, and original scary podcast/stories produced by the Tech Theatre
Company. The sounds will play on a long loop broadcast over a low-power FM transmitter. As people drive the ruins along the path marked out, they can tune their radios to the 'Haunted Mine Drive-
Thru' Halloween broadcast.”

 Proceeds benefit the Quincy Mine Hoist Association.

KSO Presents a Special Streamed Halloween Concert Saturday: “Trolls and Cowboys”

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) under the direction of conductor Joel Neves, presents "Trolls and Cowboys" in a special streamed concert on Halloween, Saturday, October 31, at 7:30 pm. Spooky troll music is featured in Grieg's fantasy horror masterpiece, "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Aaron Copland's film music for the 1949 Hollywood western,” The Red Pony,” celebrates cowboys, circuses, and the American frontier.  Access the video stream from the Rozsa website, at, and by clicking on the "View/Stream" button in the Trolls and Cowboys event listing, or for a more interactive experience, visit the Rozsa Facebook page and look for the Trolls and Cowboys Livestream at the start of the event. This video concert is free and open to the public.

This video concert is free and open to the public.

According to Neves, "I feel excited and blessed to make music again with this wonderful orchestra during the worldwide pandemic. Sublime music inspires the soul and binds communities together - it changes lives. Join us online for some beautiful music as the KSO approaches its historic 50th anniversary!”

Founded in 1970, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra is the Upper Peninsula’s oldest orchestra. The KSO is a college-community ensemble comprising Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff, and community musicians. Most of the musicians pursue something other than music as a career, with engineers, scientists, mathematicians, educators, and retirees filling the roster. Students occupy about 60 percent of the orchestra; none are music majors.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

The next Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar takes place at 3 p.m. Monday (Nov. 2) via Zoom.

Zhanping You (CEE) will present "Volunteerism - Pavement Materials from Waste Tires: from Research to Practice."

You is a Distinguished Professor and director of graduate programs in the Department of Ciivil and Environmental Engineering.

All are welcome.

New Funding

Amy Marcarelli (BioSci/GLRC) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $67,325 other sponsored activities grant from Baylor University.

The project is entitled, "Aquatic N2-Fixation Research Coordination Network (ANF-RCN).

This is the first three years of a potential five-year project.


Fill Out the COVID-19 Symptom Tracking Form Before Coming to Campus

A reminder that no one is permitted to come to campus with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. All employees are required to monitor their symptoms daily before coming to campus. The Daily Symptom Tracking Form is a short form that will help you determine if you have COVID-19 symptoms. 

In addition, all visitors must fill out the Visitor Symptom Tracking Form each day before coming on campus. 


COVID-19 Community Town Hall Tonight

The next COVID-19 Community Town Hall takes place from 7 to 8 p.m. today (Oct. 29). This week's theme is "Impact of COVID-19 on Teaching and Learning."

An in-depth look at the many facets of the COVID-19 will be presented every Thursday evening on the U.P. COVID-19 Town Hall Series. Organized by the Health Research Institute at Michigan Technological University, the 60-minute town hall broadcasts can be heard at 7 p.m. each Thursday through Dec. 3 on 97.7 The Wolf (WOLV-FM) and viewed through a Zoom Webinar and Facebook Live.

Tonight's Town Hall will focus on the "Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Teaching and Learning”. Joining hosts Steve Elmer and Kelly Kamm will be joined by George Stockero (Copper Country Intermediate School District), Mike Meyer (William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning), Marney Polkky and Pam Brown (Nursing and Physical Therapy Assistant Programs, Finlandia University) and an additional student guest.

More information along with the Zoom link for the Town Hall Series can be found here


ETOM Virtual Fall Converence

The Educational Technology Organization of Michigan (ETOM) will hold its first virtual conference on Friday, Nov. 6. This event is free for members, and that includes Michigan Tech. The guest speaker is Norm Vaughan, professor in the Dept. of Education, Faculty of Health, Community, Education at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Our program is published and registration is open. Read the full Tech Today story.


Chemistry Seminar Tomorrow

There will be a Chemistry Seminar at 3 p.m. Friday (Oct. 30), via Zoom (password, if needed: 859189). Christo Z. Christov (Chem) will present his piece on “Computational Insight into Catalytic Mechanisms of Non-Heme Fe(II)- and 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Oxygenases.”


Physics Colloquium Today

There will be a physics colloquium at 4 p.m. today (Oct. 29) via Zoom. Caroline Chick Jarrold will present "Photodetachment Spectroscopy of High-Spin Lanthanide Oxides and the Breakdown of the Instantaneous One-electron Transition Treatment.

To register and for more information visit here.


Downtime Scheduled for Sunday

From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 1), Michigan Tech IT will update During this time, the web site and password resets will not be available. If you have any questions, we can help. Contact us at or call 7-1111.


Biological Sciences Seminar Today

The next Biological Sciences seminar will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. today (Oct. 29) via Zoom. The seminar features presentations from two biological sciences PhD students, Catherine Rono and Laura Schaerer.

Rono (advisor, Mark Tang) will present "Modeling and simulating metal uptake in Arabidopsis seedlings exposed to kanamvcin.

Schaerer (advisor, Steve Techtmann) will present "Enriched Microbial Consortia from Natural Environments Provide Novel Method for Upcycling Plastic Waste." Abstracts and more information on both presentations are available here. All biological seminars this semesters will be virtual and recorded


Stay Active with Up and Moving

A team of Michigan Tech graduate students in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology is offering an "UP and Moving" initiative for campus and community members. UP and Moving aims to keep adults physically active and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic by:

  1. Increasing awareness about the importance of regular physical activity
  2. Providing resources to keep the community informed, active, and healthy
  3. Delivering a free virtual exercise program to increase weekly physical activity

Join us on Zoom or Facebook Live for any of our guided weekly workouts (30-45 min):

  • Tuesday 6 p.m.
  • Thursday 9:30 a.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m

And for more information about staying active visit our website.


Staff Council Staff Service Award Pick Up

Congratulations once again to those being honored this year for a five-year anniversary date. The Staff Service Awards are now ready for pick-up. Since the luncheon has been postponed until the summer of 2021 when we hope to celebrate safely in person, staff members being honored this year may pick up their award this year at the Library Circulation Desk.

Please stop by this week, from 8 – 11 a.m. to pick up your award envelope. Awards not picked up by tomorrow (Oct. 30) will be delivered by campus mail. A note about the award choices: Days off will be available on Nov. 1 and Tech Bucks may be used at any time. Thank you for your service and commitment to Michigan Tech.


ME-EM Virtual Graduate Seminar Speaker

The next ME-EM virtual Graduate Seminar Speaker Series will be held at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Oct. 29) via Zoom. Ana Dyreson (ME-EM) will present “Climate and water stress in a changing power system and implications for the Great Lakes region.”

Baird Elected President of ACHS

Melissa Baird (SS), associate professor of anthropology, has been elected president of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) at its biennial conference (virtual) in London in August.

ACHS is an international association for the study of heritage and serves more than 1,600 members in more than 100 countries. The Association includes chapters across the globe, as well as professional and early-career networks. ACHS publishes a quarterly newsletter, provides awards and hosts a biennial conference to bring together people in the interdisciplinary field of heritage studies.

Baird will serve as the ACHS President until the end of its 2022 conference in Santiago, Chile.

Today's Campus Events

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Walking Gallery Tour: Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood

Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs made as part of a documentary project about modern...


LinkedIn Presentation

Use LinkedIn to establish your professional brand and communicate with your professional network. Join us to learn where to focus your efforts as you develop and update your...


Pumpkin Carving Competition

Come Participate in Beta Sigma Theta's Pumpkin Carving Competition. Carve a pumpkin and come drop it off at our front yard. It costs $5 to enter the pumpkin into the...


Building Resilience Workshop

When faced with difficulty and challenges in life, how does a person cope, adapt, and bounce back? This workshop focuses on the concept of resilience and how to build these...


Bio. Sci. Seminar - Catherine R. & Laura S.

Here is the link to see the recorded seminar. Link:...


(dis)Credit: Erasure and Scrutiny of Women in STEM

ADVANCE at Michigan Tech's Academy for Responsive Leadership, in conjunction with the ADVANCE Midwest Partnership will be hosting Donna Riley for a webinar presentation and...


Climate and Water Stress in a Changing Power System and Implications for the Great Lakes Region

ME-EM Virtual Graduate Seminar Speaker Series proudly presents Ana Dyreson, PhD Michigan Technological University Abstract: Electricity systems are changing throughout the...


Physics Colloquium - Dr. Caroline Chick Jarrold

of the Department of Chemistry at Indiana Univeristy will give a talk on "Photodetachment spectroscopy of high-spin lanthanide oxides and the breakdown of the instantaneous...


Cubing Club - General Meeting

Come to learn about, practice, compete, and take joy in solving various twisty puzzles, such as the 3x3x3 Rubik’s cube. If you plan to attend, please fill out this Google...


HuskyLead: Overcoming Organizational Challenges

This HuskyLead offers you the opportunity to learn skills in building an effective and long-lasting organization that serves the needs of all.Led by Stefani Vargus Krause,...


A Haunted Drive Thru at the Quincy Mine Ruins!

DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER THE HAUNTED MINE IS CLOSING AT 9:00 PM. Tech Theatre Teams up with Quincy Mine to present a spectacularly spooky DRIVE THRU Halloween experience at...


Adult Huskies Swim Clinic Session 2

Adult Huskies Swim Clinic provides additional attention and competitive guidance to swimmers ages 18 and up who are looking to improve their swimming skills and fitness levels...


Trick or Treat Trivia & Costume Contest

There's no better way to get ready for Halloween than some trick or treat trivia! Join us via zoom as we play Kahoot trivia from 7pm- 7:30pm. There are 3 categories and if you...


Celebrating the Creative Mind

In Conversation with choreographer Yoshito Sakuraba and composer Na’ama Zisser Featuring performances by Abarukas Dance Co. with original music by Na’ama...