Wawa, Ontario

The 63rd Institute on Lake Superior Geology (ILSG) was held in Wawa, Ontario, Canada on May 8-12, 2017 with headquarters at the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre. This was only the second time in the 63 year history of ILSG that the annual meeting has been held in Wawa, the first time in 1987. The meeting was held completely during regular work days (M-F) with technical sessions on Wednesday and Thursday breaking with past tradition of technical sessions being on Thursday and Friday with post-meeting field trips on Saturday. The meeting was co-chaired by Anthony Pace (Ontario Geological Survey, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario), Ann Wilson (Ontario Geological Survey, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Timmins, Ontario) and Ted Bornhorst (A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan). Margaret Hanson (A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan) was registrar for the meeting and co-editor and co-compiler of the two parts of the Proceedings Volume.

The meeting was attended by a total of 135 registrants, which exceeded our expected 100 registrants. This included 37 students which is near 30 %, similar to but slightly less than student participation in recent past meetings. The technical sessions and field trips are equally important components of the annual ILSG meeting. The two days of technical sessions included a total of 28 oral presentations (15 by students) and 22 poster presentations (11 by students). The oral presentations included a wide variety of geologic topics from across the Lake Superior region. They were organized to provide a mix of professional and student presentations rather than by themes. There were no student oral presentations scheduled on the afternoon of the second day to facilitate the decision making for the Doug Duskin Student Paper Awards. A separate block of time was set aside during the technical sessions for poster presentations rather than the past practice of poster sessions being held during the social and coffee breaks. The best student oral presentation was by Ross Salerno (University of Minnesota, Duluth) who presented on the Vermilion Granitic Complex of northern Minnesota; the best student poster presentation was by Morgan Sanger (University of Wisconsin, Madison) who presented on seismic interpretation of the Midcontinent rift. We are especially grateful to the members of the Student Paper Awards Committee who must attend each and every talk and truly listen to them! Each year overall presentations by students are improving and this makes the task of identifying the best among them more and more difficult. We thank Mark Puumala (Ontario Geological Survey), Amy Radakovich (Minnesota Geological Survey), and Laurel Woodruff (U. S. Geological Survey) for being willing to  judge the student papers.

Field trips are an essential and important part of the ILSG annual meeting (you can check out some photos from the meeting available here). All of the field trips were filled to capacity with 85 participating in at least one field trip. There were six field trips for the Wawa meeting, three pre-meeting and three post-meeting. The pre-meeting field trip #1 was a two day trip on May 8 and 9, 2017 that was based in Marathon, Ontario, about 190 km driving distance northwest of Wawa: Archean and Proterozoic geology of the Marathon-Hemlo area led by Allan MacTavish (Panoramic PGMs Canada Ltd), Mark Puumala, Mark Symk, and Tom Muir (Ontario Geological Survery), David Good (University of Western Ontario), and John McBride (Stillwater Canada Inc.). The other two pre-meeting field trips, #2 and #3, were one day on May 9, 2017 based out of Wawa: More unusual diamond-bearing rocks of the Wawa area led by Ann C. Wilson (Ontario Geological Survey) and Geology of the Wawa gold project led by Jean-Francois Montrueuil, Quentin Yarie, and Conrad Dix (Red Pine Exploration Ltd.). Two of the three post-meeting field trips (#4 and #5) were one day on May 12, 2017 based out of Wawa: Geology of the Island Gold Mine led by Doug MacMillan, S. Comtois-Urban, and Harold Tracanelli (Richmont Gold Mines Ltd.) and Geology of the Renabie area led by Lise Robichaud (Ontario Geological Survey) and Jordan McDivitt (Laurentian University). The other post-meeting field trip (#6) was for one day on May 12, 2017 but relocated late afternoon for overnight in Chapleau, Ontario: Kapuskasing structural zone and Borden Lake Gold deposit led by Pierre Bousquet (Ontario Geological Survey) and Jason Rickard (Goldcorp Inc.).
The annual ILSG banquet was held at the Michipicoten Memorial Community Centre on Wednesday evening, May 10 and was attended by 81 individuals. The attendees were treated to a home cooked banquet meal followed by awarding of the the 2017 Goldich Medal to Philip Fralick of Lakehead University. Mark Smyk (Ontario Geological Survey) presented a summary of Phil's contributions to the understanding of Lake Superior geology to banquet attendees prior to awarding him the Goldich Medal. Phil has made significant contributions to the ILSG since 1985; he co-chaired the annual meeting in 2000 and has contributed to more the 75 ILSG abstracts and field trip guidebooks. The banquet presentation was by Johanna Rowe (historian and author from Wawa) who enlightened us on people involved in the long mining history of the Michipicoten area. Several in the local community came to the talk including Mickey Clement who was the first person to bring a sample of diamonds to the Wawa field office; the attendees gave him a round of applause.

At the 2016 Board of Directors meeting in Duluth the board adopted a new award, Pioneer of Lake Superior Geology, at the suggestion of Gene LaBerge, 1995 Goldich Medalist and Chair of the 1984 ILSG. The co-chairs selected Douglass Houghton (1809-1845) as the first ILSG "Pioneer of Lake Superior Geology." As the first formal presentation, Ted Bornhorst introduced the new award program and encouraged nominations to be sent to the 2017 co-chairs and followed his introduction of the award by a biographical sketch of honoree Douglass Houghton focused on the attributes that led to his success at such a young age. Pioneers of Lake Superior Geology have contributed to the understanding of geology in the Lake Superior region primarily before the inception of the ILSG in 1955.

The Eisenbrey Student Travel Awards are supported by the Institute on Lake Superior Geology and by generous donations by corporations, societies, and individuals. A total of $2,500 US was awarded to students with varying amounts based on distance from Wawa, being senior author on a presentation, traveling with another senior author student presenter, and/or traveling with another student. Only students who applied by the deadline were given an award. This year we thank Argonaut Gold, Geological Society of Minnesota, Mary Kay Arthur, Gordon Medaris, and Ron Seavoy for providing funds, in addition to ILSG, to help us support student participation in the annual meeting of ILSG. The following students were provided financial assistance to attend the meeting in Wawa: Stephen Hanson, Ann Hunt, Ross Salerno, Margaret Upton (University of Minnesota, Duluth), Munira Afroz, Kira Arnold, Brittany Ramsay (Lakehead University), Morgan Sanger, Luke Schranz (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Juliana Olsen-Valdez, and David Wilkes (Lawrence University).

The Institute’s Board of Directors met on Thursday May 5th to discuss the business of the Institute. The meeting was attended by meeting co-chairs Anthony Pace, Ann Wilson, Theodore Bornhorst, Rob Cundari (2018), Jim Miller (2017), Treasurer Mark Jirsa, Secretary Peter Hollings and guests Esther Stewart, Laurel Woodruff, and Bill Cannon. Secretary Hollings took the minutes of the Board meeting that are as follows:

  1. Accepted report of the Chairs for the 62nd ILSG, Duluth, Minnesota; as printed in the Proceeding Volume (Miller), and minutes of last Board meeting, May 5, 2016 (Hollings)
  2. Received, discussed, and accepted 2015-2016 ILSG Financial Summary (Jirsa).
  3. Received, discussed, and accepted 2015-2016 report of the Secretary (Hollings).
  4. Approved Anthony Pace as on-going ILSG Board member.
  5. Discussed and approved renewal of Mark Jirsa as Institute Treasurer (end of term 2020). This was later approved by a vote of the membership.
  6. Approved Iron Mountain as the site for the 64th annual ILSG meeting. The meeting will be hosted by Esther Stewart, Laurel Woodruff and Bill Cannon.
  7. There was discussion as to future meeting locations in Wisconsin with suggested possibilities of Wisconsin Dells and Terrace Bay. Discussion of other locations included mention of Sudbury.
  8. Discussed and approved replacing Helene Lukey as the “member from industry” on Goldich Committee (end of term 2017) with Dan England
  9. Discussed the possibility of co-hosting ILSG 2020 with the NCGSA meeting – item was tabled pending further discussion with NCGSA organisers.
  10. It was agreed that Amy Radakovich (MGS) would be the second signatory on the ILSG accounts.
  11. It was agreed that the local chairs would have the final decision as to whether or not to allow silent auctions in support of the ILSG or affiliated student groups.
  12. The topic of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum serving as registrar (by electronic and check payment) instead of the meeting Chairs running registration through an outside paid service such as Eventbrite was introduced for discussion by Ted Bornhorst. It was agreed that Ted would provide an estimate of the costs involved.
  13. It was agreed that the hosting of the ILSG volumes would be relocated from the PRC server to Hollings’ account on Lakehead University servers. Hollings to complete the move ASAP.

The dedication and perseverance of the local businesses played an important role in the success of the 2017 ILSG meeting. The co-chairs thanked the community of Wawa through a letter to the Mayor of Wawa, Ron Rody: The staff of the Wawa Economic Development Corporation for providing us with a list of motel accommodations, community contacts and providing all participants with a bag Wawa souvenirs. The staff of the Michipicoten Community Centre, who provided us with the venue to host this event and the staff that worked the bar during our evening social and banquet. We express our sincere gratitude towards Judy Moore and her staff, who catered the event. Many who attended complimented on the food and service she provided. A job well done! The staff of the local Subway shop, who provided the lunches for 5 of the 6 geological field trips during the week. Larry Lacroix of Lloyd’s of Wawa who provided the school bus transportation that was needed for the geological field trips throughout the Wawa and Chapleau areas. Matt Larrett from Michipicoten High School, who provided us with the speaker system for the two days of technical sessions. We thanked the local motels and lastly, Johanna Rowe, who was our guest speaker at the banquet.

We the 2017 co-chairs would like to again thank all those who continue to make ILSG one of the best regional geoscience meetings in North America: participants, presenters, field trip leaders, session chairs, best student paper committee members, Goldich committee members, ILSG Board members and the incoming 2018 chairs. We appreciated all of support and positive comments about the Wawa meeting and look forward to seeing many of you at the 2018 ILSG in Iron Mountain.

Respectfully submitted,
Theodore J. Bornhorst, Anthony Pace, and Ann C. Wilson
Co-chairs, 63rd Institute on Lake Superior Geology



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