Water


From Northern Michigan to Costa Rica


Posted on Jul 1, 2015

Randy Webster

Randy Webster

Randy Webster

Randy is a student in the Freshwater Studies program at Northwestern Michigan College. He has been the recipient of several scholarships: Adopt-A-Student, the Global Opportunity Fund, the Science/Math Honors Merit Scholarship, and the Jensen-Lena C Scholarship.

Randy visits a waterfall near the Arenal volcano.

Randy visits a waterfall near the Arenal volcano.

Randy has many reasons to celebrate summer. One of them is his successful completion of the Freshwater Studies Internship with an international, interdisciplinary team of students and faculty from Northwestern Michigan College in the United States, and EARTH University in Costa Rica. An accomplished chef with 40 years of experience, Randy is broadening his professional outlook, exploring a new career in water. We are very pleased to feature his internship story.

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Growing female scientists


Posted on Dec 11, 2014

How do you get girls interested in STEM fields?

Consider showing them some stems.

Real, live, green ones, that is, with leaves growing. Put the girls — young women, really — in charge, from planting the microgreens to tending them to monitoring them.  Charge them with running experiments and collecting data, like whether the greens grow better under fluorescent lights or LED lights, and whether plain water or fish tank water is more nourishing. Let them harvest, and judge which kind tastes best.

From left, Taylor West, Constanza Hazelwood and Karla Vega with greens grown in their vertical agriculture project.

From left, Taylor West, Constanza Hazelwood and Karla Vega with greens grown in the vertical agriculture structure shown behind them.

That’s what intern Karla Vega and student Taylor West did this semester in a lab on NMC’s Great Lakes campus. The pair forged a research partnership that not only bridged language and cultural barriers but helps lay the groundwork for sustainable, indoor agriculture that could eventually improve the diets of millions.

“To get girls engaged in science we need to let them make decisions, give them room to make mistakes and try things out on their own,” said NMC Water Studies Institute Education and Outreach Coordinator Constanza Hazelwood, who supervised Vega and  West’s research this semester.

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Earn a two-year degree in the specialized fields of Engineering Technology and, more importantly, graduate with the skills necessary to get a job in the ever-expanding markets that bridge the gap between the engineers and scientists – the strong, vibrant technical and production workforce.

We have combined this with areas of emerging specialized fields to prepare graduates for future industrial business needs regionally, nationally, and globally.

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Alaska Day

Alaska Day


Posted on Dec 5, 2013

Paige Jehnke is a student at NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy. She is completing a sea project for the fall semester of her junior year in the engine room of the M/V Taku, a ferry which travels the Alaska Marine Highway. Paige is blogging about her adventures and has graciously allowed us to share her updates. (Please note that some updates are post-dated.)

Today is an exciting day to be in Alaska. It is Alaska Day. I don’t really know what that means though. Was this the day that Alaska was purchased? Became a state? Sarah Palin’s Birthday? I don’t know. Today on the Taku we are also giving tours of the ship in Sitka for the fleet’s 50th anniversary. The tours include the engine room.

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New Student

New Student


Posted on Nov 12, 2013

Paige Jehnke is a student at NMC’s Great Lakes Maritime Academy. She is completing a sea project for the fall semester of her junior year in the engine room of the M/V Taku, a ferry which travels the Alaska Marine Highway. Paige is blogging about her adventures and has graciously allowed us to share her updates.

Today a new engineering student cam aboard. Fred. He is from the area and has enrolled in a three month oiler training program next January. He is fulfilling his sea time for the coast guard aboard the M/V Taku. He will be here for the next 60 days.

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Hans Van Sumeren, director of the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College and Carl Shangraw, professor of surveying engineering at Ferris State University talk about the Freshwater Studies program and the Great Lakes Water Studies Institute at NMC. The program was one of three winners of the Trends in Occupational Studies’ 2013 Outstanding Educator Awards. The video is a Schoolcraft College Media Service Production.

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