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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Celebrate the UP! 2017 is underway in Marquette through March 25

Wetland of the Chocolay Bayou Preserve Project (Photo © and courtesy Christopher Burnett of the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy)

MARQUETTE -- The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) presents Celebrate the UP! 2017 in Marquette this week with evening events and -- on Saturday, March 25 -- an all-day series of presentations, followed by a panel discussion and public reception. All events are free and open to the public.

This year's keynote speaker, writer and naturalist John Bates, will talk about "A Spirit of Place and Learning to Be at Home" at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, in the Federation of Women's Clubhouse. Saturday's events will take place in the Federation of Women's Clubhouse (FWC), the Landmark Inn (LI) and the Peter White Public Library (PWPL). Click here for the schedule of presentations on Saturday.

Other highlights for Saturday include the following:

Afternoon Children’s Program, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (FWC)

Book Discussion: Half-Earth by E.O. Wilson, 11:30 a.m. Join Jon Saari, Dave Allen and Mary Martin in discussion. (PWPL)

Panel Discussion at 4 p.m.: "Making Conservation Work in Communities: Recent Success Stories" (FWC) featuring Pointe Abbaye (Keweenaw Land Trust), Pilgrim River Watershed project (Copper Country Chapter Trout Unlimiited), Chocolay Bayou Preserve (Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy), and the Yellow Dog Community Forest (Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve). A reception will follow the Panel Discussion (FWC). All are welcome for refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.

Evening Events:

Wednesday, March 22:

Putting Wetlands into Words, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at FWC: Invitational poetry reading inspired by paintings and photographs of the Wildcat Canyon Creek and Mulligan Creek wetlands. Poets include Esther Ayers, Milton Bates, Rochelle Dale, Lynn Domina, Amber Edmondson, Kathleen Heideman, Janeen Pergrin Rastall, Christine Saari and Russell Thorburn.

Friday, March 24:

UPEC Annual Membership Meeting, 5 p.m.: This public meeting will be held in the Wave Room of the Marquette Arts and Culture Center. (PWPL - lower level)

Sing the Wild UP! Songwriting Competition, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Winners of the competition will perform their compositions live at the Ore Dock Brewing Company.

For more information and maps for locations visit

 Click here for the info flyer.

Dr. Jason Oyadomari named Dean of Suomi College of Arts and Sciences at Finlandia

HANCOCK -- Dr. Jason Oyadomari has been named Dean of the Suomi College of Arts and Sciences (SCAS) at Finlandia University. Dr. Oyadomari has been serving as the Interim Dean for more than a year.

"Jason has done an exceptional job in his leadership role over the past 14 months as Interim Dean," said Fredi de Yampert, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs. "I am confident Jason will continue to professionally represent and advocate for the faculty, staff and students with SCAS and across the Finlandia campus."

Dr. Oyadomari has been with the university since 2006 when he was brought in as an adjunct faculty member. In 2008 he moved to a full-time faculty role and in 2015 he earned tenure status. His disciplines include aquatic ecology, evolutionary biology, behavioral ecology, fisheries biology and biostatistics.

"I’m honored to be appointed as Dean," said Dr. Oyadomari. "I like the small environment here at Finlandia; it allows us to respond quickly to the unique student and faculty needs."

Prior to being hired at Finlandia, Dr. Oyadomari earned his Ph.D. in biology from Michigan Technological University, M.S. in biology from Eastern New Mexico University and B.A. in zoology from University of Hawaii, Manoa. While taking on the additional duties associated with the role of dean, Dr. Oyadomari will continue to teach courses.

"That was important to me -- I love to teach," he said. "While giving up some teaching was difficult, I get to interact with a greater diversity of students now. I also enjoy planning and organizing, as well as looking at the future growth of our programs."

SCAS is the largest of the four schools at Finlandia University in terms of students and programs and includes the university’s general education curriculum. Currently the school is home to more than a dozen academic programs.

Click here for a full biography of Dr. Jason Oyadomari.

To learn more about SCAS at Finlandia click here.

Inset photo: Dr. Jason Oyadomari. (Photo courtesy Finlandia University)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Michigan Tech to commemorate World Water Day with week of activities March 20-23

Boat docking facility next to Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center boathouse and view across the Keweenaw Waterway. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) has several events planned to commemorate World Water Day 2017. While officially celebrated on Wednesday, March 22, events throughout this week on campus focus on the issue of clean water.

The theme of this year’s World Water Day is "Wastewater." Globally, 80 percent of all wastewater flows back to nature without being treated or reused. Not only does this pollute the environment, but valuable nutrients and potentially recoverable materials are lost.

Daisuke Minakata from Michigan Tech's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department says, "Wastewater is no longer a collection of liquid and solid wastes but our valuable resource so that we can create potable water from wastewater with advanced treatment technologies and recover valuable materials and even energy from waste. In this sense we no longer call it a wastewater treatment plant but water resource recovery facility."

Reuse of wastewater is the theme of Michigan Tech’s World Water Day Keynote lecture by George Tchobanoglous, professor emeritus in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Tchobanoglous will present "Planned Potable Reuse: The Last Frontier" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, in Dow 641. In his talk Tchobanoglous will address wastewater reuse by discussing water quality, technological developments, cost, and public perception. His areas of interest include wastewater treatment and solid waste management, and he has been the author or co-author of 23 textbooks and eight engineering reference books. A reception will follow the lecture.

Tchobanoglous says, "One way to meet the increasing demand of fresh water is to augment public water supplies by means of planned potable reuse of a community’s treated wastewater."

Tchobanoglous will be a member of a panel discussion at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, in the Great Lakes Research Center, room 202. The panel, moderated by Latika Gupta from the School of Business and Economics, will discuss "Water: Health, Energy, Ecosystems and Sustainable Communities." Joining Tchobanoglous will be Evelyn Ravindran and Stephanie Kuznick of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Neil Hutzler of the Portage Lake Sewage Authority, and Ratish Namboothiry and Joe Azzarello of Kohler Co.

Making water cleaner will be the aim of the Dirty Water Competition from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the MUB commons on the Tech Campus. Teams of three or four members will attempt to clean up dirty water using only the materials provided -- sand, gravel, alum and activated charcoal. Registration is free, but limited to the first 30 teams. Members of the winning team will each receive a $25 Michigan Tech gift certificate.

The exhibit "Water’s Edge: Paintings by Danielle Clouse Gast" continues at the GLRC (first and second floors) through April 30.

A Wastewater Footprint Display is in the MUB (Memorial Union Building) Commons Area, March 20-23.

The Student Poster Competition is displayed in Dow Lobby-Campus side, March 21-22.

Michigan Tech's Green Film Series will present Last Call at the Oasis at 7 p. m. Thursday, March 23, in Forestry G002.

Michigan Tech’s World Water Day events are sponsored by the following Michigan Tech departments and centers: The Great Lakes Research Center, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences, Social Sciences, Biological Sciences, the Ecosystem Science Center, the Sustainable Futures Institute, Visual and Performing Arts, and The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach.