Human Impact on the Environment class explores the North Woods

Posted on May 16th, 2017 by

GEG-230 Human Impact on the Earth students

Students of GEG-230 The Anthropocene (Human Impact on the Environment) and Professor Jeff La Frenierre took a weekend field trip on May 12-14 to see firsthand some of the ways in which Minnesotans have impacted their environments, and how these impacts are being managed to provide necessary resources in a more environmentally-sustainable manner. On Saturday, we visited the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine operated by Hibbing Taconite, one of the largest open pit iron mines in the world. Highlights included observation of pit operations, examination of a vegetation remediation site, a tour of the machine shop (including a visit to the cab of one of the company’s house-size dump trucks, and visit inside the processing plant where ore is converted into iron pellets for shipment to steel mills. On Sunday we toured the University of Minnesota’s Cloquet Forestry Center, which has been a site for sustainable forestry research since 1909. Here we walked through a

The Hibbing Taconite machine shop.

variety of habitats, including recently logged areas, a stand of aspen generated after a 1982 logging operation, and an old-growth red pine grove that dates to 1824. We spent two nights camping at Savanna Portage State Park, where we were serenaded each morning by loons and trumpeter swans. There was even time for some fishing, hiking, and – of course – s’mores!

Cloquet Forestry Center


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