Getting Ready (with a little geology thrown in)

Setting up the LiDAR scanner at the top of the No. 4 rock pile. (Photo by S. Gohman)

I just returned from the Cliff site (before the rain hit) after spending all day out there with faculty and students from the Forestry and Surveying departments at Michigan Tech. We were utilizing LiDAR technology in order to make 3-D scans of two locations, the No. 4 Shaft and rock piles, and the stamp mill’s boiler house. I hope to have a post up soon dealing with what all went on during the day. There is a lot of post-production work to be done so an in-depth post on LiDAR, its uses for the project, and any images from the scans may not be available for awhile.

On Thursday, April 29th, Dr.’s Timothy Scarlett and Sam Sweitz met with me to discuss the schedule for the upcoming field school at the Cliff Mine. Beginning on May 10th, the field crew (comprised of 7-10 students and faculty) will begin documenting the mine site, however the first week will mainly be dedicated to instruction. Students will be instructed in mapping (triangulation, pace and compass), measured drawing, and surveying techniques on-site by Dr.’s Scarlett, Sweitz, myself, and Michigan Tech Industrial Archaeology PhD candidate, Tim Goddard, an expert in Global Information Systems (G.I.S.) mapping.

Lectures are also being scheduled with topics such as 19th century mining technology, aboriginal copper mining, and Keweenaw geology already confirmed, and collaborations with other summer courses at Michigan Tech, like Dr. Bill Gale’s Copper Country History class, are also in the works. Students can also look forward to field trip opportunities to Copper Harbor and Fort Wilkins, the Delaware Mine, as well as other locations important to the copper mining history of the Keweenaw.

Next week, I’ll organizing the tools and supplies necessary for the site’s documentation so we can hit the ground running come May 10th. Pencils, graph paper, tape measures, rakes, and brush clearing tools are just as important as GPS and surveying equipment.

There is a lot to do and only a week to do it. The posts may drop off a bit from here on until May 10th when the field school begins. But don’t worry, there will be plenty of news to share in the coming weeks and months. For starters, feel free to click the link to a video lecture on Keweenaw geology given by Dr. Bill Rose of Michigan Tech’s Geological & Mining Engineering & Sciences Department.


About Sean Gohman

Currently a PhD Degree seeking student in the Michigan Tech University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

2 responses to “Getting Ready (with a little geology thrown in)”

  1. Andrew says :

    It’d be great to see more photos of the project as they become available. Could you add another page to the blog and install a gallery plugin?

    • Sean Gohman says :

      As the project moves forward we will have time to take more photos and then possibly create a gallery. For now there isn’t much to show as we’ve only just begun and most of the structures are too obscured by leaf litter and trees. Once we clean off some of these we will get pics of them on the blog I promise.

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