Monday, March 21, 2016

Michigan Tech to host World Water Day events this week on theme "Water and Jobs"

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge. Celebrate World Water Day at Michigan Tech this week. Be aware of maintenance delays on the bridge if driving to Houghton from the north. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University) 

HOUGHTON -- "Water and Jobs" is the theme of this year’s World Water Day, held annually on March 22. The celebration grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, in an effort to bring international awareness to the quality and quantity of water.

Michigan Tech will celebrate 2016 World Water Day by examining several aspects of the United Nations-selected theme, "Water and Jobs."

John Austin -- director of Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas Foundation, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, president of the Michigan School Board and a lecturer at the University of Michigan -- will be the keynote speaker. At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, Austin, who coined the term "Blue Economy," will speak on Water and Jobs in the regional context with a seminar, "Water is our Past -- Water is our Future," in 641 Dow, followed by a reception.

Austin is well known for authoring the report "Healthy Waters, Strong Economy," which led to federal support for Great Lakes clean-up and restoration and regional understanding and actions to build on our Great Lakes and water resources as an economic asset.

panel discussion will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 23, in GLRC (Great Lakes Research Center) 202. One of the key figures in the development of the city of Marquette’s waterway, Jim Compton -- as well as Austin, Michigan Tech Professor Alex Mayer of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Erin Johnston and Debbie Williamson from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community -- are on the panel.

Through April 30, the water-related art exhibit, "On Currents and Eddies" is on display in the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC).

A poster competition will highlight water-related research done by Center for Water and Society graduate and undergraduate students. Posters will be on display from 2:30 p.m. Tuesday until 5 p.m. Wednesday in the Dow lobby. 

The Green Film, Lost Rivers, will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, in Forestry G002 Hesterberg Hall. The 72-minute film explores the hidden waterways in cities around the world and introduces us to people dedicated to exploring and exposing them. Many municipal governments are "day-lighting" their once-buried waterways -- find out how and why. The film is FREE and open to all. Enjoy refreshments (bring your own mug!) and discussion.

Jim Compton, City of Marquette hydrologist/engineer will facilitate the discussion on the film, including a short presentation on the daylighting of Whetstone Brook, a downtown Marquette stream.

Co-sponsors of the Green Film Series are Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and  Keweenaw Land Trust.*

Noel Urban, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and director of Michigan Tech's Center for Water and Society, said his goal for the events is "to draw attention to the water issues in the world and the research done here at Tech." **

* Click here for the 2016 Green Film Series schedule.

** Click here for more details on World Water Day events.

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