Iron Mountain, Michigan

The U.S. Geological Survey with assistance from the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey hosted the 64th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology on May 15 – 18, 2018 at the Pine Mountain Resort in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The meeting consisted of two days of technical sessions with pre- and post-technical session field trips. Laurel Woodruff (USGS), Bill Cannon (USGS), and Esther Stewart (WGNHS) were co-chairs for the 2018 meeting. Tom Mroz and Tom Waggoner helped with pre-meeting logistics. Darlene Comfort and Ted Bornhorst (A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum, Michigan Technological University) handled all pre-meeting registration and printing needs. Ted also supplied the poster boards and helped with many aspects of the meeting. Mary Kay Arthur and Dave Wilhelm (Geological Society of Minnesota) provided valuable logistical assistance on-site at Pine Mountain during the technical sessions. Connie Dicken (USGS) was the media czar for the technical sessions, keeping all presentations on track with fewer glitches than normal. Generous contributions to the ILSG general fund and in support of 2018 student travel scholarships came from Lundin Mining, the Geological Society of Minnesota, Ron Seavoy, Mary Kay Arthur, L. Gordon Medaris, Jr., and Steven Baumann. Total meeting registration was 189 (37 students), an excellent turn-out.

Proceedings Volume 64 was published in two parts: Part 1 – Program and Abstracts, edited by Esther Stewart, contains 62 published abstracts for 34 oral and 28 poster presentations; Part 2 – Field Trip Guidebooks, compiled by Bill Cannon, contains descriptions of four field trips, two pre-meeting and two post-meeting.

The 64th ILSG marked the second time in its long history that the annual meeting was held in Iron Mountain. The prior meeting was in 2003. Field trips visited two areas new to the ILSG and two trips that provided new stops in areas of prior trips. On Tuesday, May 15, Bill Cannon, Klaus Schulz, Robert Ayuso, and Tom Mroz led a field trip of 46 people to examine the stratigraphy, structure and economic geology of regional Precambrian rocks in the Felch District, Central Dickinson County, Michigan. Also, on Tuesday, Tom Waggoner was the leader of 37 people for a trip that looked at the Paleoproterozoic Hemlock Formation. Most stops of these two trips were to locations and geology new to ILSG attendees.

On Friday, May 18 Tom Mroz and Bill Cannon shepherded a large crowd of 56 somewhat wandering individuals on a field trip that looked at the geology of the Menominee Iron Range. This trip had little overlap with a trip of a similar title that was given in 2003 as it included a visit to the Archean Carney Lake Gneiss, newly recognized as containing zircons with cores as old as 3.8 Ga, and an underground tour of the Iron Mountain Iron Mine. Another Friday trip led by Klaus Schulz, with a contribution from Marcia Bjørnerud, examined the granitoid rocks of the Pembine-Wausau terrane in northern Wisconsin. In addition to examining granite, the 30 people on that trip had an additional task of keeping Klaus out of jail when he was caught looking at an outcrop along a railroad line.
One hundred and fifteen participants attended the annual ILSG banquet on Wednesday night, cheerfully bringing chairs from the technical session room into the banquet room. After an excellent dessert, everyone moved their chairs back to the technical session room. The 2018 Homer award was given to Pete Hollings for his confidence in the appropriate vehicles one needs to travel around Iceland. Al McTavish, fresh off the success of last year’s Iceland trip, despite the Land Rovers, gave a short promotional presentation for a proposed 2019 trip to another volcanic island, Hawaii.
As always, a highlight of the post-banquet activities was presentation of the 2018 Goldich Medal. This year’s very deserving recipient was Val Chandler of the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS). Val’s wife and three adult children were all able to attend the banquet and award ceremony. The Goldich was presented to Val by David Southwick, Director Emeritus of the MGS and his colleague for many years. Dave’s citation described Val’s many professional contributions to the geophysical mapping and interpretation of Minnesota’s mostly hidden geology. Val’s long history with the ILSG started with a field trip when he was fresh out of Purdue, which serendipitously led to his distinguished career with the MGS.

This year’s banquet speaker was Nancy Langston, a professor in the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Langston (or Nancy, as we all called her) gave a presentation that drew on her recent book titled Sustaining Lake Superior: An extraordinary lake in a changing world. The presentation described past, present, and future environmental challenges to Lake Superior, such as logging, Reserve Mining taconite disposal, and climate change. We all were encouraged by Nancy’s final optimism that with responsible stewardship, the largest freshwater lake in the world will endure.

In 2018, the student paper committee had its usual difficult job of selecting the best among 7 excellent oral presentations and 16 excellent poster presentations for the Doug Duskin Student Paper Awards. This year’s committee included Robert Cundari (Ontario Geological Survey), Esther Stewart (WGHNS), performing double duty along with her co-chair responsibilities, and Latisha Brengman (University of Minnesota – Duluth). In the end, there was a three-way tie for first place. Poster awards ($300 each) were awarded to Samuel Hone (Slippery Rock University) for his poster titled: Olivine crystal size distribution in the Black Sturgeon Sill, Nipigon, Ontario, and William Fitzpatrick (University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire) for his poster titled: Mineral chemistries of the Tower Mountain Intrusive Complex Au-deposit, Ontario. Kira Arnold (Lakehead University) was recognized for her oral presentation titled: Geology and geochemistry of the Terrace Bay Batholith, N. Ontario ($400).

Eisenbrey Student Travel Grants were given to 19 students: Daniel Wilkes, Emily Gorner, Kira Arnold, Vittoria Smith, and Simon Dolega – all from Lakehead University; Schuyler Borages, Erica Craddock, Ryan Leonard, Walter Johnson-Geis, Lily Atkinson, and Juliana Olsen-Valdez, all from Lawrence University; Jacqueline Drazan, Margaret Upton, and Matthew Matko, from the University of Minnesota-Duluth; Victoria Stinson, University of Saskatoon; Dustin Liikane, University of Toronto, Katharine Rose and Kevin Rupp, both from Western Michigan University, and Joseph Rasmussen, University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Check out some photos from the meeting here.

The Institute’s Board of Directors met on May 16, 2018 and a brief overview of the meeting is provided below:
1. Accepted the Report of the Chair for the 63rd ILSG from Ted Bornhorst and minutes of the last Board meeting from ILSG secretary, Pete Hollings.
2. Accepted the 2017-2018 ILSG Financial Summary from ILSG treasurer, Mark Jirsa.
3. Approved one co-chair from the 64th annual meeting, Esther Stewart, as the on-going board member.
4. Nominated Steve Kissin from Lakehead University to replace Shannon Zurevinski on the Goldich Committee.
5. Approved Terrace Bay, Ontario as the location for the 2019 ILSG annual meeting with co-chairs Pete Hollings and Mark Smyk.

The 64th 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 – plenty of excellent donuts. The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too cold, not rainy, not buggy. The field trips this year had many participants, and thanks are due to field trip leaders, intrepid bus drivers, those who drove support vehicles on field trips and handled each trip’s logistics, as well as everyone else who stepped up when needed. As always, everyone who attended the 64th ILSG was willing to help as necessary and to 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.

Your co-chairs are very pleased with the final outcomes of the 64th ILSG. Organizing a meeting and compiling the two Proceeding volumes requires a significant time commitment from the co-chairs and others, and we thank our respective organizations for their recognition of the importance of the ILSG. We also thank the ILSG community and members who make the experiences of the co-chairs almost fun, especially once the meeting is over, and we encourage others to take on the task.

Laurel Woodruff, Bill Cannon, and Esther Stewart
Co-Chairs, 64th Institute on Lake Superior Geology


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