Iron Mountain, Michigan

The U.S. Geological Survey, with assistance from Michigan Technological University, hosted the 49th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology on May 7 – 11, 2003 at the Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain, Michigan.  The meeting consisted of two days of technical sessions with two pre- and two post-technical session field trips.  John Gartner and Ted Bornhorst provided pre-meeting assistance.  Sally LaBerge, Gretchen Klasner, and Suzanne Nicholson provided valuable logistical assistance on-site at Pine Mountain. Connie Dicken was media czar for the technical sessions, keeping all presentations on track while ignoring all needless advice.  Pre-meeting registration was 104 students and professionals with an additional 61 on-site registrations, for a total of 165 registrants.  

Proceedings Volume 49 was published in two parts.  Part I – Program and Abstracts, edited by Laurel Woodruff and Ted Bornhorst – the volume contains 45 published abstracts, for 33 oral and 12 poster presentations; and Part 2 – Field Trip Guidebook, edited by William Cannon, with assistance from Connie Dicken and Stacy Saari.

The 49th meeting marked the first time in its history that an ILSG meeting was held in this part of Michigan.  Field trips visited areas new to the ILSG, which may have resulted in the excellent subscription for all the trips.  On Wednesday, May 7, Bill Cannon and staff from Cleveland Cliffs Mining lead a field trip to the Republic Mine, where the life cycle of the deposit, from ore genesis to mining and restoration, was covered.  Three other field trips were developed to examine exposures along and on both sides of the Niagara suture zone, a major structural and geologic feature that marks the boundary between the Superior craton and the Wisconsin magmatic terranes.  Klaus Schulz and Gene LaBerge lead the Wednesday field trip to the Wisconsin magmatic terrane on the southern side of the suture zone.  On Saturday and Sunday, May 10 and 11, Bill Cannon, Gene LaBerge, John Klasner, and Dick Ojakangas were co-leaders for successive field trips through the Menominee Iron District (Saturday) and the Iron River – Crystal Falls area (Sunday).  The Field Trip Guidebook for these three trips drew on previous studies in the area and the more than 100 cumulative years of Lake Superior geology expertise of the field trip leaders to provide a comprehensive and definitive compilation of the Paleoproterozoic stratigraphy and structure of the Niagara suture zone in this part of Michigan and Wisconsin.

One hundred and twenty participants attended the banquet on Thursday night.  This year’s banquet speaker was Susan Martin of Michigan Technological University.  Dr. Martin is a professor of industrial archeology at Michigan Technological University and the author of the book Wonderful Power: The Story of Ancient Copper Working in the Lake Superior Basin.  The title of Dr. Martin’s post-banquet talk was:  The indigenous people of the Lake Superior Basin:  understanding the links among environment, geology, and religious belief.  As always, a highlight of the banquet was the presentation of the 2003 Goldich medal to Klaus Schulz of the U.S. Geological Survey, recognizing his long and productive career as a geologist in the Lake Superior region.

The technical session began with three invited presentations. The first was by Harold Bernhardt of the Menominee Range Historical Foundation Museum on the mining history of the Menominee Iron Range.  The following two talks, by Bill Cannon and Klaus Schulz, were on the Paleoproterozic rocks of the Niagara suture zone, established the context for the three field trips on that topic.  The student paper committee had a difficult job this year.  Twenty of the presentations in the technical sessions were from students – 15 oral and 5 posters.  In the end, three awards were given:  Best Student Paper ($300) went to Karoun Charkoudian (University of Wisconsin-Madison) for her talk titled: Strike-slip separation of the Burntside trondjemite and the Wakemup Bay tonalite, Northern Minnesota.  In recognition of the large number of excellent student presentations, two additional students were chosen for Honorable Mention ($100 each) - Amy Garbowicz (Lawrence University) and Stephanie Hocker (University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh).  The Student Paper Award fund was supplemented by silent auction of an original volume of the classic Butler and Burbank USGS Professional Paper 144 on Copper Deposits of Michigan.  Eisenbrey Student Travel Grants were given to 15 students: Greg Joslin and Phillip Larson – University of Minnesota, Duluth; Merida Keatts and Mary McKenzie – Kent State; John Marma and Karoun Charkoudian, – University of Wisconsin, Madison; Amy Garbowicz – Lawrence University; Daniela Vallini – University of Western Australia; Stephanie Hocker – University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; and Becky Rogola, Geoff Heggie, Justin Johnson, Riku Metsaranta, Eric Potter and Adam Richardson, all from Lakehead University.  All awards were presented at the conclusion of the technical sessions.

The Institute’s Board of Directors met on May 8, 2003 and a brief overview of the meeting is provided below:
1.Accepted the Report of the Chair for the 48th ILSG from Peter Hinz and minutes of last Board meeting, May 14, 2002 from ILSG secretary-treasurer, Mark Jirsa.
2. Accepted the 2002-2003 ILSG Financial Summary from Mark Jirsa.
3. Approved one co-chair from the 49th meeting, Laurel Woodruff, as on-going board member.
4. Nominated George Hudak of the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh to replace Frank Luther on the Goldich Committee, a position that George later graciously accepted.
5. Approved Duluth, Minnesota as the location for the 2004 (50th annual) ILSG and co-chairs Steve Hauck and Mark Severson.
6. Discussed the transition of the Secretary Treasurer position from Mark Jirsa to Peter Hollings and accepted a proposal that both be appointed co-treasurers during the transition period.
7. Discussed the transition and evolution of the ILSG webpage and procedures required to move the ILSG into the electronic era.
8. Discussed possible activities related to 50th meeting to commemorate the longevity and impact of the ILSG.

The 49th ILSG meeting was a great success and we wish to thank all the people who contributed to that success.  The staff of Pine Mountain was professional and responsive to the needs of a large group.  Kleiman Pump and Well Drilling, Iron Mountain, MI, Prime Meridian Resources, Ltd., Fond du Lac, WI, and Coleman Engineering Co., Iron Mountain, MI provided generous monetary contributions. The field trips this year had a large number of participants, and thanks are due to field trip leaders, van drivers, and everyone else who stepped up when needed to drive, hand out lunches, unlock gates, or keep the crowds moving. As always, everyone who attended the 49th ILSG was willing to help as necessary or adapt to any situation that developed.  The meeting this year was well attended and we are heartened by the excellent student participation and attendance, a trend we hope continues.  Because of the outstanding response to the meeting and field trips, the 49th ILSG generated several thousand dollars for the ILSG general fund.

We both are very happy with the outcome of the 49th meeting and hope that others think it was a success.  An ILSG meeting requires a lot of work and time for all involved, but the assistance of the larger ILSG community makes the job of the co-chairs almost bearable, and we encourage others to take on the task.

Laurel Woodruff and Bill Cannon
Co-Chairs, 49th Institute on Lake Superior Geology

Photos from 2003 Meeting

Return to Institute on Lake Superior Geology Main Page