Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas from Lake Superior

After days of snow, we had a sunny, cold Christmas day. So, I went out for my first cross-country ski of the season. I didn't last very long, but it was pretty and good to be out. I hope my Maltese friends (and anyone else!) will enjoy the photos. The water you see in the distance is Lake Superior. I'm at McLain State Park, my favorite place of walk or ski year 'round.

The two main ways to take a walk in the woods during the winter are found in the picture of my ski tracks crossing those of a snow-shoe enthusiast.

View of my ski tips--I was cutting my own path for the most part. It's a silly photo.

The rest are just snow scenes.

It was 5F (-15C), and so I was not too inclined to get my hands out of my gloves to take photos. I like to ski when it is warmer, like 18-22F (-8C).

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec in Malta and at Tech

I'm happy to be home in Michigan, but I thought you all might like the photo contrast of Malta and Home!

Dr. Rod Chimner visits Malta

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Dean of Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences (SFRES), sent Dr. Rod Chimner to visit Malta. She and the Rector had discussed the possibility that there might be some research/teaching collaboration on the topic of restoration ecology. Dr. Chimner is our professor in this (and there are many more in SFRES with expertise in this area, but Chimner is the kind who can put the whole picture together). Here's the "official" photo of Chimner giving some information on SFRES and a small gift to Dr. Louis Cassar, the Director of the University of Malta's International Environment Institute.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back in Malta!

I'm back in Malta this week and have brought along a collegue, Rod Chimner, from Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences (SFRES). Rod is a restoration ecologist and is evaluating potential research or educational collaboration with the University of Malta. Dr. Louis Cassar is working with Rod--in fact they are headed out to look at bits of ecosystems over in Gozo.

I'm here to coordinate and discuss the International Masters Programme project. We've had very good meetings and all seems to be coming along well. Classes will begin in Sustainable Resource and Environmental Management and in Integrated Marketing and Communications this coming Sept. [There are still openings for the degree cohort starting this September--both international and Maltese students are welcome!] Check it out:

It is so nice to be back, see my friends, and enjoy the lovely weather of the last few days. Back home at Tech, they had a blizzard followed by quite cold weather. Rod and I, in contrast, got to sip expresso outside in the sunshine. Of course, when I get home to Tech, I'll get to ski and that is wonderful fun and the landscape very pretty. I love how the snow spreads away from the ski like whipped cream and the shades of violet, green, and often pinky colors of the woods, water, and sky.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Arrival of winter in Houghton

I thought I'd chronicle the arrival of winter here--how it changes over time.

One photo is from the middle of the summer, then there are a few from two days ago and two from today. We are just starting to get a bit of snow. If it keeps up, I'll go cross-country skiing later this week. It's not very cold (I know, that sounds strange, because it is already lower than Malta's record low just to snow). In fact, we don't get cold in the sense of the Dakotas or Minnesota. Too cold and it doesn't much snow.

I need to go shovel this white stuff. Good exercise, especially now that I don't walk a dog everyday.

Parade of Nations

Every Fall my community has a Parade of Nations. In this, students and faculty and others carry the flag of their home country (if they come from somewhere else) or the flag of the country their family originally came from. In my case, I decided to carry the Maltese flag in honor of my wonderful experience in Malta. Here is a photo. I don't have any of me actually walking, however, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Talk to Rotary about Malta

Hi everyone,

I gave at talk about Malta at our local Rotary. People seem to have enjoyed it. Two came up later and asked about visiting Malta, so just maybe I'll have helped prompt some Americans to make vacation plans for Malta.

I'm going to a university recruiting fair in Washington DC on Monday. I'll be telling people about the University of Malta's International Masters Programs in Integrated Communications and Marketing and in Sustainable Resource Management. These programs, of course, are also open to Maltese citizens. I hope I can convince a few of the students I meet to take the degrees. We'll see, it's a new experience for me, though I've talked to many prospective students for Michigan Tech.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Misc. photos

Here are photos I've never posted, but like.

Ship: On way to Buckingham Palace
Flowers: On way to beach at Portobello, Scotland
Beach: Scotland
Dog: Malta
Building: Malta

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Edinburgh--Portobella sunset

Edinburgh, is far north (as near as I can tell, its latitude is roughly that of Kodiak Island, Alaska). So it stayed light very late and got light very early. Around 1o:30 pm I walked the two blocks down to the beach from our B&B to catch the sunset. I wandered around for a half an hour or so, but never did see it actually set.

Edinburgh botanical garden

We always try to find a local botanical garden on our trips. I regret that when we were in London, we did not get out to Kew. Maybe next time. But, we did go to one in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh cruise

We went for a cruise so that Don could take photos of famous bridges and I could look at birds, seals, an old monastery, and whatnot. Ok, I liked the bridges, too.


After a few days in London, we flew up to Edinburgh. London was exciting, but I preferred Scotland. What a nice city. We stayed at Abercorn B&B in the Portobello area (sunset pictures in another post).

A few photos-Don in front of our B&B, the rest from the trip to the castle.

London 2--cruise on Thames

London 1

Don joined me in London. We'd been to Britain before, but had never been to London, believe it or not. We stayed at Sanctuary House. Small rooms, but fabulous tourist location and moderate prices for London. We were in sight of Big Ben, Westminster Cathedral. 4-5 blocks from Buckingham Palace, half a block from a tube station, and the New Scotland Yard was around the corner (the one you see on TV all the time--with the rotating sign).

We did a little cruise on the Thames down to the tower bridge.