Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences at Michigan Tech


Announcements & Notices

Continuing Programs:
Remote Sensing Seminar Series


American Institute of Professional Geologist

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Scholarship Program

Department Scholarships

Forum Dec. 6 on Eagle Project, New Mining Rules
Learn about the proposed nickel-copper sulfide mine in Marquette County and proposed rules to implement Michigan's new nonferrous mining law at a forum Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 7-9 p.m. in Fisher 135.

Panelists will discuss both the general regulatory framework and the arguments for and against Kennecott Minerals Company's Eagle Project, the proposed nickel-copper sulfide mine. They include Joe Maki, U.P. district geologist for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality; Jon Cherry, manager of environment and governmental affairs for Kennecott; Dave Anderson of Flintsteel Restoration Association, a nonprofit environmental consulting group active in the Lake Superior basin; and Ted Bornhorst and Alex Mayer, professors of geological and mining engineering at Michigan Tech.

An open discussion will follow the presentations. This forum is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw and the Michigan Tech GEM Center for Science and Environmental Outreach. It is free and open to the public.

Why this forum now? A dramatic increase in exploration for nonferrous metals (metals other than iron) in the western Upper Peninsula caused concern over protection of the environment and public health. In response, the DEQ established a multi-stakeholder work group, which drafted language that was incorporated into a new law, enacted in December 2004.

No metallic sulfide mines are currently operating in Michigan, but the proposed rules provide details on permit requirements, environmental assessments, mining and reclamation plans, financial assurance, standards for construction, operation and closure of nonferrous mines; and set criteria for water monitoring, treatment and containment of ore and waste rock, and reporting.

The DEQ has scheduled public information sessions and hearings on the rules Nov. 29 in Escanaba, Nov. 30 in Marquette and Dec. 7 in Lansing, with written comments accepted until Dec. 19. The hearings are meant to receive comments on regulation of nonferrous mining in general, not on any specific mining operation. If permit applications are submitted for new mines, such as the Eagle Project, the DEQ will hold additional public meetings and hearings to receive comments on those specific mining proposals.

Cleaning up a glacial site
Sharon Ave., near the Credit Union Bank.

close to the nature trail that is behind
Houghton High School and would possibly get visitors this way, too.

Here are the details on the clean-up:
Time: 11am (plan on it taking about 2 hours-ish)
Where: Meet behind the Dow Building down by the Portage.

We will be doing lots of dirty work outside, so dress appropriately and
warmly. Mostly, we will be removing gravel and dirt. If you have any
stiff brooms, shovels, or other helpful tools, please bring them. Also,
if you have a car, please drive and help carpool those without cars. We
will also be GPSing in the glacier site and eventually
producing a map to give to the City of Houghton. They will be cleaning it
up every spring from now on! Also, as a long-term goal, the Geology Club
will help maintain the site every spring, too.

If there are any questions, feel free to email me.

Jill Barbour

Ice Cream Social
Robbins Atrium, 6th floor Dow (Chez Robbins)
Thursday November 3
6:30pm to 8:00pm

There are several reasons for this event:
(1) to eat ice cream without guilt
(2) to mingle socially
(3) to welcome new students
(4) to allow interested students in other departments, undeclared students, and others, to get to know us and to learn a few things about the department and its programs; it is part of our recruiting effort for undergraduates

See you all then! Mark your calendars!


"The Origin of the Soda Lakes at Lake Magadi and Some Thoughts on the Nearby Carbonatite Volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai,"

Professor James Wood

Oct. 24, 4-5 p.m. in M&M U113.

Professor James Wood (GMES) will give a seminar, "The Origin of the Soda Lakes at Lake Magadi and Some Thoughts on the Nearby Carbonatite Volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai," Oct. 24, 4-5 p.m. in M&M U113. All are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

Many of the lakes in the East African Rift are "soda lakes," containing highly concentrated alkaline (pH>10) brines and precipitate sodium sesqi-carbonate (trona, NaHCO3.Na2CO3.2H2O) with minor halite (NaCl) and fluorite (NaF). One of the enduring puzzles about these lakes is the question of their ultimate origin. Specifically, how do they acquire such a large component of dissolved carbonate?

The mystery is enhanced when the carbonatite volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai is introduced into the picture. This very exotic volcano is in the same geologic setting as the soda lakes Natron and Magadi and it regularly erupts molten sodium carbonate. This ash dissolves and is transported to the topographic lows, which include Lake Magadi. It would also appear that Lengai is the source of the carbonate and that the problem reverts to a question of how a volcano can erupt nearly pure soda ash.

However, closer examination of hot springs feeding Lake Magadi shows that they also have the correct chemical composition to yield trona deposits at levels that more than account for the deposits in the lake. In addition, the hot springs can account for the presence of halite and fluorite, something Lengai alone cannot do. But why should two rare geologic features like a carbonate volcano and soda lakes occur so close geographically if they are not somehow linked?

The answer may lie in the unique geologic setting of the East African Rift, in which the upper mantle, or asthenosphere, approaches the surface so closely, within 5 km in places, as to almost outcrop. In doing so, it degasses and releases the normal volatiles associated with ordinary volcanism, CO2, HCl, HF. The degassing of the upper mantle may be the ultimate source of carbonate, fluoride and chloride. As for Ol Doinyo Lengai, it simply sits over one of these CO2 plumes.

Monday October 10th!!

International Energy Analyst Questions the Scarcity of Petroleum

You've probably heard that we are running out of oil. You may have heard that this will result in economic chaos--a return to the dark ages in some scenarios. Well, here is your chance to hear a different side of the story.

"Is That All There Is? The Scarcity of Petroleum (or Not)" is the title of a public lecture given by Michael Lynch, the president of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc. A guest of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Lynch will present his lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10, at the Rozsa Center. The lecture, which will be followed by a question-and-answer session, is free and open to the public.

Lynch rejects the claims of many scientists and observers of the oil industry that nearly all of the world's oil resources have been discovered and/or that the peak in either conventional or total world oil production is imminent. ... [for the rest, see October 5 issue]

No matter what your viewpoint on the abundance or scarcity of petroleum, a free debate is essential to avoid ignorance in judgment. This speaker presents one viewpoint, one that is rarely heard, yet his track record for predictions of oil and gas supply have been better than those of many of the doomsayers.

There are several opportunities to meet Dr. Lynch in person, and to discuss the subject with him. Students are particularly welcome!

(1) Free lecture at the Rozsa Center 7:30pm Monday
(2) Free refreshments at a reception in the Rozsa Lobby immediately after the lecture
(3) 9-10am Tuesday in the 6th Floor Atrium (lake side) of the Dow Building
(4) 10-11am Tuesday in the SBE Conference Room, 101 Academic Office Building

MONDAY, SEPT. 19th at 4:30pm in the ATRIUM,

Angela Hammond from Shell will be giving a talk in the atrium.

She is a MTU alumni and is going to be sharing her career experiences. Angela strongly encourages students to
come and ask as many questions as possible as our exposeure to large oil companies is limited. She will show a short power point presentation and it should not take much more than half an hour.

Afterwards, be sure to attend the pizza dinner and another presentation by Angela and Shell (also in the atrium).

Hope to see y'all there!
Jill Barbour

Fall 2005

Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club hosting Geology Talk
Buddy Wylie, formerly a research scientist/engineer with the GMES department, will present a lecture,

"To the Mantle and Back--A Field and Mineral Collecting Excursion through Labrador and Newfoundland with Extra Stops in Maine, New Hampshire and Quebec,"

Thursday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. in EERC 103.

The Copper Country Rock and Mineral Club would like to invite the MTU community to attend this presentation by the GMES department.

Tickets for the upcoming Agate Ball,
sponsored by the Seaman Mineral Museum Society, may be purchased until Thursday, Oct. 7. 2005

The ball will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, beginning with a cash bar social hour at 6 p.m. Dinner will be held at 7 p.m., followed by the presentation of the Charles A. Salotti Earth Science Education Award, guest speaker Don Kelman and a live auction. A silent auction to benefit the Seaman Mineral Museum is slated from 6 to 9 p.m. .

The dress for this event will be semi-formal, black tie optional.

Tickets may be purchased by contacting John Jaszczak at 487-2255 or, or Marg Rohrer at 487-2086 or

The Relationship of Geology to Cement Manufacturing
Mr. Frank Holcomb
Wednesday, August 10
10:00am - Dow 610

Mr. Holcomb has over 30 years of combined experience in the cement industry.
Three years at the old Medusa Cement plant in Charlevoix, MI and 27 years at
National Cement Company, in Ragland, Alabama. He has worked around numerous
quarries and mines during his 30 years in the cement business.

Handouts during the presentation will include:

Geology and Operations at National Cement Companies Ragland Quarry

Cement Chemists Newsletter

Portland Cement Association CD on Concrete Technical Support

Portland Cement Association CD on Cement Technical Support

Portland Cement Association CD on Design and Control of
Concrete Mixtures

Geology Club, SME, NSSGA



Megan Lefevre (President AAPG)
Beth Blessing (President Geo Club)
Kirstin Burns (President SEG)

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES)

Please note the following:

Effective December 2001 all Michigan candidates must contact the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) to register for future examinations.

The Michigan Board of Professional Engineers website is and their phone number is 517/241/9253.

The address for the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES):
PO Box 1686
280 Seneca Creek Road
Clemson, SC 29633-1686
Phone 877-536-7729 or 864-654-6824
Fax 864-654-6033


View past Announcements

Previous Announcements Spring 2005

Previous Announcements Link Fall 2004

Previous Announcements Link Spring 2004

Previous Announcements Link Fall 2003


Department of Geological & Mining Engineering & Sciences
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive - Houghton, MI 49931-1295
(906) 487-2531
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