The Magazine of the University of Minnesota Duluth
The first 50 years of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 420 will be celebrated during an October 1-2, 1999 reunion. This reunion of current and former Det 420 alumni, staff, and Angel Flight members, will be held in conjunction with the 1999 UMD Homecoming weekend. Centered on the UMD campus, the reunion will also include golfing, a North Shore tour, and football. As we go to print, AFROTC has received about 175 responses for the reunion. Pilots, nurses, officers, and possibly a two-star general alumnus will be returning for the events.
AFROTC's purpose is to select and train student citizens who possess the character, intelligence, desire, and sense of duty to become Air Force officers in service to their country. There are elective courses carrying college credit applicable toward graduation and an aerospace minor is available through UMD's College of Science and Engineering.
Paul Zwilling, a UMD junior, is the Commander of the Arnold Air Society (AAS) organization and in charge of the AFROTC 50th Reunion celebration. He said the mission of the Arnold Air Society is to get cadets in the community to present a positive image. They leap headfirst into community service, stocking the food shelf, cleaning roadways in the adopt-a-highway program, and serving meals at an area homeless shelter. They have taken charge of this reunion as another project.
Let's jump on board the Blue Heron research vessel with Elise Ralph, assistant professor, Department of Physics. Ralph has recently been awarded the McKnight Land Grant Professorship. This award honors Ralph for her extraordinary accomplishments and work within her field.
The McKnight Land Grant Professorship award is used to help promising individuals accelerate in their profession at a important time in their careers. The recipients of the professorship hold chairs for two years. They are awarded $23,000 of research grant funds both years, and during the second year they receive research leave and summer support.
Ralph received her Ph.D. in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution joint program in oceanography. Her current position, specializing in the field of physical limnology at the University of Minnesota, began in 1997. Ralph came to UMD with strong credentials in physical oceanography which transferred smoothly to physical limnology. Because awareness of the importance of large lake ecosystems is continuing to increase at the same time the University of Minnesota is building the Large Lakes Observatory (LLO), the program is becoming a national leader in limnology, the scientific study of the life and phenomena of lakes.
Besides teaching physics, Ralph spends much of her time conducting LLO research on Lake Superior. As author of the proposal and associate coordinator, she is playing a key role in a five-year, major study of the coastal dynamics of the Keweenaw current in Lake Superior. The KITES project, Keweenaw Interdiscipli-nary Transport Experiment, requires her to spend weeks at a time at sea taking measurements and using technological equipment to find data. Ralph is excited and determined to explain the dynamics of currents and how they are affected by the weather and in large lakes around the world. The study tracks how the near-shore current effects change in nutrients and pollutants each year. The Keweenaw current may be the strongest and most visible lake current in existence.
Preliminary results from the five-year study she is working on with the LLO and Lake Superior have already been published in Newsweek, August 1998, giving deserved attention to her work and to the University.
Besides her teaching and dedication to her LLO study, she received a grant for an additional monitoring program she will begin this summer on Lake Superior. Ralph has also taken on research on Lake Issyk in Kyrgystan in Asia.
Roy O. Hoover, professor emeritus of history at UMD, recently published A Lake Superior Lawyer, the first in-depth biography of Chester A. Congdon. Congdon is the resourceful lawyer and businessman who built the UMD historic estate, Glensheen, as his family home in the early 1900s. The home was later transferred to the University of Minnesota by Chester Congdon's heirs.
In April 1999, Hoover's A Lake Superior Lawyer won the Biography Division Minnesota Book Award from the Minnesota Center for the Book.
Because Congdon was so influential, this book is as much about the economic and political history of Minnesota as it is about Congdon's life. Hoover takes the reader from Congdon's childhood as the son of a Methodist minister in Rochester, New York, to his influential adulthood in St. Paul, and Duluth, Minnesota. Congdon was an accomplished lawyer, serving as Assistant U.S. District Attorney for eleven years before entering private practice in Duluth. He was active in state politics as a legislator. Congdon's entrepreneurial reputation grew in step with his political stature, as he developed ore-rich mining lands in Minnesota and Arizona and established the first extensive irrigation system in Washington state. Hoover looks at Congdon's life from many angles, offering insights into his personal and family life to put the finishing touches on a complex portrait of a dedicated man of vision. To order the book, send $14.50 ($12 plus $2.50 shipping and handling) to Glensheen, 3300 London Road, Duluth, MN 55804.
Major agreements have been made with UMD and six Northeast Minnesota Community Colleges regarding college courses and credit transfers that hundreds of college students in the area go through each year. The agreements are called "2+2" Transfer Agreements and are going to ensure a "seamless transfer" to UMD from the following six colleges: Fond du Lac Tribal Community College, Hibbing Community College, Itasca Community College, Lake Superior College, Laurentian Community and Technical College District (Vermillion Community College, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College), and Rainy River Community College. Students will be able to use these agreements as advising tools, and help to begin planning from the day they start at their community college.
-- Katie Srenaski