Former GRCC Biodiversity Student from Tanzania Now at Harvard Medical School

Fahmy Mamuya, a former Biodiversity Biology student from Arusha, Tanzania, is currently a medical writer and part of a multi-disciplinary research team at Harvard University in the Harvard Medical School.

After GRCC, Fahmy received his PhD in Cell and Organ Systems Physiology at the University of Delaware, followed by an MBA at the same university. He is an expert in cell culture and confocal microscopy. Fahmy has also had NIH-based research scholarships of vision physiology at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Fahmy believes, “…medical research can continue to transcend, and the impact can be harvested through effective communication to diverse audiences.”

Congratulations to this amazing GRCC alumnus, and to our science department for helping Fahmy get started!

GRCC seismometer records last Friday’s Anchorage earthquake

At 8:29 a.m. this past Friday, November 30, a magnitude 7 earthquake sent Anchorage residents scurrying out of buildings and under desks. Six minutes later, GRCC’s seismometer picked up the primary waves that traveled from Alaska to Michigan at a speed of over 13,000 miles per hour. There are preliminary reports of damage in Alaska’s largest city and the surrounding communities. A Tsunami warning was issued and then canceled later in the day.

A screen capture of the GRMI Seismic record of the magnitude 7 earthquake in Alaska on Friday morning, November 30, 2018. Two red arrows in the lower right corner of the image indicate arrival of the P-body wave and the surface waves.

The image above shows GRMI’s seismic record of the magnitude 7 earthquake in Alaska on Friday morning, November 30, 2018. The two red arrows indicate arrival of the P-body wave and the surface waves.

Calkins Science Center at GRCC hosts a seismometer (GRMI) that is part of the MIQuakes network, a group of high schools, community colleges and universities in Michigan that host seismometers designed to record earthquake activity both locally and worldwide. The stations are sponsored by IRIS – Incorporated Research Institutes in Seismology and MESTA – the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association.

If you are interested in or other earthquakes recorded by the GRCC seismometer, you can find them on the MIQuakes website.

GRCC Science Talks to tackle the Sun, species conservation in new lecture series

A new series of presentations on a variety of scientific topics begins this academic year. This lecture series is called ‘GRCC Science Talks.’ These lectures are free and open to the public. There will also be light refreshments available. Here are the first two presentations that may be of interest to you and your students this fall 2018 semester:

Unlocking the Sun: Spectroscopy in the 1800s

  • Who: Dr. Lauren Woolsey
  • When: Monday, September 17, 2018, at 3:45 p.m.
  • Where: Calkins Science Center (CSC) Auditorium (Room 348)
  • Description: Have you ever wondered how we know what the Sun is made of, even though it is far too hot for humans to visit? The story of how we discovered the chemical makeup of our own star combines chemistry, physics, and astronomy in a tale of mystery, far-flung expeditions, and unexpected discoveries. After an overview of spectroscopy for general audiences, GRCC Assistant Professor, Dr. Lauren Woolsey will take us through the secrets of the Sun from this turning point in science history.

Species Conservation: How We Got Here and What Can Still Be Done

  • Who: Dr. Greg Forbes
  • When: Monday, November 5, 2018, at 3:45 p.m.
  • Where: Calkins Science Center (CSC) Auditorium (Room 348)
  • Description: An examination of the reasons that animal and plant species are endangered today, the current status of species worldwide, nationally and in Michigan as well as some possible strategies to save some of these species as well as humanity. Dr. Forbes is an evolutionary biologist and a certified wildlife biologist with research experience

We look forward to participating in these events with you and our students. Please email Tim Periard (timothyperiard@grcc.edu) with any questions.

Physical Sciences Department recognizes Sam Johnson, Katie Schumann, Christopher Klap

The Physical Sciences Department would like to congratulate their winners for student of the year in physics, geology, and chemistry. From left to right: Sam Johnson for excellence in physics, Katie Schumann for excellence in geology, and Christopher Klap for excellence in chemistry. The student winners were presented their their awards at the GRCC Student Leadership Banquet on March 29, 2018.

Sam Johnson, and Katie Schumann hold awards and Christopher Klap holds a certificate.

 

GRCC In the News, 3-13-18

Chinese satellite falls toward Earth; odds of a Michigan landing ‘very, very small’

March 12, 2018; FOX 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Chinese space station dropping closer to Earth could possibly land somewhere in West Michigan. The odds are incredibly small, but it has been enough to catch people’s attention.

… Dr. Lauren Woolsey, professor of astronomy and physics at Grand Rapids Community College, has been watching the path of the Tiangong-1. She says you’re 10 million times more likely to be struck by lightning than to see any sort of debris from the satellite.

Downtown museum and brewery partner on Beer Explorers class

March 12, 2018; Grand Rapids Business Journal

There’s a class downtown this week for beer enthusiasts who are interested in learning about hops.

… Students from Grand Rapids Community College will direct the class in a tasting session.

Southern grads Mooney, Nocco excel at NCAA indoor track meet

March 12, 2018; Press of Atlantic City (Pleasantville, N.J.)

… Softball

… Monica Brignola (Lacey) singled, scored three runs and drove in one in Ocean County Colleges 16-0 win over Grand Rapids Community College in the first of two games Friday. In the second game, an 18-9 loss to Henry Ford, she went 3 for 4 with two runs.

GRCC seismometer picks up Alaska earthquake

GRCC’s seismic station (GRMI) in Calkins picked up the magnitude 7.9 earthquake in Alaska on Tuesday morning. The earthquake was located at a depth of 25 km below the sea floor, southeast of Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska. A tsunamic warning was initiated for much of the west coasts of the U. S. and Canada but was cancelled a few hours later. The fault that generated the earthquake was not of the type that usually triggers a damaging tsunami. More information about the earthquake can be found on the U. S. Geological Survey’s website. The figures below show the dramatic trace of the earthquake on the GRMI record. The second image is the pulled record of the earthquake and clearly exhibits the P wave (a seismic body wave that moves through the Earth) and the L wave (a high amplitude wave that travels on the surface of the Earth). The waves arrived at the GRCC station about 7 and 23 minutes, respectively, after the earthquake in Alaska, a testament to the speed of seismic waves!

A readout of GRCC seismometer shows the Alaska earthquake.

Trace of M7.9 Alaska earthquake on GRMI

A readout from the GRCC seismometer shows the P and L waves from the Alaska earthquake.

Pulled seismogram of M7.9 Alaska earthquake showing the relative arrival of the P and the L waves.

 

 

GRCC In the News, 1-22-18

Morningstar sworn in as first female captain in Kentwood Police Department history

Jan. 19, 2018; MLive

KENTWOOD – Stephanie Morningstar, formerly a Kentwood Police sergeant, was sworn in as a captain earlier this month, becoming the first woman in the department’s history to hold that title.

… On top of her duties with the department, she also is an adjunct professor at the police academy at Grand Rapids Community College.

After growth spurt, Blandford prepares to focus internally

Jan. 21, 2018; mibiz.com

Unlike many public and for-profit companies, nonprofits sometimes need to pump the brakes in their quest for growth.

… Board of directors: Bill Dangl, Dangl Financial Services LLC; Bill Faber, Grand Rapids Community College; Ryan Podvin, Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital; Justin Remmelts, Remmelts Marketing; Mary Jane Dockeray, Blandford Nature Center; Sara Armbruster, Steelcase Inc.; Andy Beachnau, Grand Valley State University; Linda Brunzell, Wolverine World Wide Inc.; Shavon Doyle-Holton, Inclusive Performance Strategies; Laurie Gardner, community volunteer; Pat Gelderloos, 20th Circuit Court; Bryan Harrison, Amway Corp.; Randy Hansen, Grand Rapids Public Schools; Susan (Susie) Meyers, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP; John P. Schneider, Clark Hill; Zachary Verhulst, TowerPinkster

GRCC seismometer records deadly Mexico earthquake

It’s been a busy week for seismometers. This morning, at 12:49 a.m. Michigan time, GRCC’s seismic station (GRMI) recorded a magnitude 8.1 earthquake (see red arrow in image below) off the Pacific Coast of Mexico. See the United States Geological Survey’s shake map below for location of the main shock and shaking intensity. This was the largest earthquake ever recorded on our station. Preliminary reports are that there are casualties and building collapses in communities closer to the earthquake. Mexico City appears to have sustained little damage or injuries thanks to strong building codes (since the devastating 1985 earthquake) and an early warning system that gave residents about 40 seconds to move to a place of safety. See the New York Times article for updates on the impact and the USGS website for additional information about the earthquake and aftershocks.

A red arrow on a seismometer reading shows when an earthquake occurred in Mexico.

 

GRCC seismometer records Idaho earthquake, North Korean explosion

This past weekend, the GRCC seismic station in Calkins, GRMI, recorded a flurry of events. Most prominent was a magnitude 5.3 earthquake in Soda Springs, Idaho, just before midnight on September 2. Small aftershocks and more events in Soda Springs were recorded in the following 24 hours. Another notable event is marked by the red arrow on the image below, this coincides well with the timing of an explosion in North Korea, recorded by seismometers around the world. For more information about this event and others, go to the USGS’s website.

A red arrow points out the moment an explosion in North Korea was recorded on GRCC's seismometer.

 

GRCC seismometer records Montana earthquake

On July 6, 2017 GRMI, the seismometer in the geology lab of Calkins, recorded a magnitude 5.8 earthquake near Helena in western Montana. Buried in the seismic trace of the larger earthquake were two aftershocks, one measuring 4.9 and the other 4.5 in magnitude. In the seismogram, we can see many aftershocks associated with the magnitude 5.8 earthquake. This swarm of earthquakes occurred as the result of strike-slip (horizontal) faulting along the Lewis and Clark line, a broad zone of faulting about 400 km in length, and up to 80 km wide that extends from Helena, Montana southwest into eastern Idaho. Other notable events from the Lewis and Clark line include the August 1959, magnitude 7.2 Hebgen Lake earthquake, the largest historic earthquake in this region. The Hebgen Lake earthquake triggered a massive landslide that resulted in more than 28 fatalities, mostly in campgrounds around the lake. Fortunately, this most recent quake caused only minor damage and no reported injuries. For more information about the earthquake visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s website.

Readings from GRCC's seismometer on July 6 show a lot of activity on the 40-minute mark.

GRCC In the News, 5-16-17

A dozen summer camp ideas for the Grand Rapids area

May 15, 2017; MLive

School for West Michigan students will end some time in June, depending on the district, charter, or faith-based school. Here are some of the more affordable summer camp options, including some free programs. Slots are filling up fast, so get your applications in.

… Free GRCC Forensic Chemistry Camp

Grand Rapids Community College wants to provide West Michigan-area high school students, who have an interest in science, the opportunity to use analytical instrumentation to find the perpetrator of a simulated arson crime. The free camp, limited to 24 students, will be held at the Science Center Monday, June 26, through Friday, June 30 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Visit the website for application details.

Dirty Dining: Target 8 tests find potentially hazardous buffet

May 15, 2017; WOOD TV

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The buffet at Oriental Asian Buffet is a big draw, with steam tables offering up everything from frog legs to salmon to crab rangoons.

… Restaurants must keep hot food at least 135 degrees, something (William) DeHaan stresses to his class at Grand Rapids Community College.

2017 Heritage Hill Tour of Homes includes 7 private homes, 4 public buildings

May 15, 2017; MLive

A restored 1874 Italianate mansion; an 1882 “stick style” house with working gas and electric light fixtures, an 1875 Gothic cottage with an elegant winding staircase and a 1909 Amberg house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright are on the list this year for the Heritage Hill Tour of Homes.

… Tickets the weekend of the tour are $25.00 and are sold at the GRCC DeVos campus, 435 East Fulton. Free shuttle bus transportation for the tour route is provided.

Forensic science chemistry camp runs June 26 to 30

High school students will use sophisticated technology to solve a simulated arson in GRCC’s free forensic science chemistry camp.

The Physical Sciences Department, in collaboration with the National Science and Perrigo foundations, offers the free summer camp to high school students. They will get the chance to use gel electrophoresis, infrared spectroscopy and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

This summer’s camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday from June 26 to 30.

While the camp is free, enrollment is limited to 24 students, and spots are expected to fill up quickly. An application can be found here. Applicants will be notified about camp acceptance by email within one week of program coordinators receiving the camp application.  Detailed camp information will then be sent to attendees.