Monday, March 24, 2014

Speaker from Office of Surface Mining, Dept. of the Interior, to give presentations March 24, 25, at Michigan Tech

Editor's UPDATE (noon, Tuesday, March 25): Unfortunately the following two events have been cancelled, since the speaker's flight was cancelled.

HOUGHTON -- Allan Comp of the Office of Surface Mining (OSM), Department of the Interior, will give two presentations on the Michigan Tech campus -- today, Monday, March 24, and tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25.

Comp, who leads the Office of Surface Mining of the Department of Interior’s Western Hardrock Watershed and Appalachian Coal Country teams -- the two primary organizations linking OSM to rural communities -- will speak on "The OSM/VISTA - Michigan Tech Partnership," today at 5 p.m., in Dow 642.

Comp will discuss how OSM/VISTA partners with local organizations to provide VISTA volunteers working in economic rejuvenation and environmental restoration in legacy mining communities and watersheds. Michigan Tech has partnered with OSM to enable students to earn a graduate degree while participating in the OSM/VISTA program.

Comp’s presentation will be directed toward Michigan Tech students and faculty with an interest in details of how the program works. The talk is free and open to the public. Pizza will be provided. More information about the program can be obtained at the Michigan Tech Graduate School website.

At 7 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, in Room G002 of the Forestry Building, Comp will speak on "The rejuvenation of legacy mining communities in the southern Rockies and central Appalachians."

Comp's two OSM teams and their volunteers work with nongovernmental organizations in the rejuvenation and rehabilitation of legacy mining communities and surrounding watersheds.

Efforts range from business development with local Chambers of Commerce to water-quality and trout restoration with watershed groups. The talk will focus on the needs of these communities and what strategies can be used to revitalize small rural communities.

The talk is free and open to the public.

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