Highland gifts mapping technology to Ontonagon
ONTONAGON - Geological engineers from Highland Copper demonstrated to the Ontonagon Area Board of Education Monday the application and advantage of the ArcGIS system, a collaboration between the mining company and the OASD.
Tony Geglio and Eric Shepek, engineers with the mining company, explained how the software and technology applied to mining and to a myriad of other professions as well. The men were introduced by Dave Anderson, Highland's Director of Environmental Affairs for the Keweenaw, Copperwood and White Pine operations.
The system will use publicly available data to create professional looking maps and Geglio demonstrated how this was achieved.
The men gave several examples of how this application can be done in a classroom. He explained upper grade level projects could map recreation trails, hunting areas and the best route for water trails. Younger students could create a map detailing the historic route of pioneers. The engineer suggested the instructors "walk before they start," but said the application is very easy once the students are introduced to it.
Anderson said Highland Copper is active in conservation and scholastic programs, and the collaboration between the school and the company with the ArcGIS is one demonstration of the involvement with the community.
Superintendent Jim Bobula said the project could later involve an internship opportunity for a student.
Anderson said that both Geglio and Shepek are Michigan Tech graduates and the company employs from 15 to 22 geological engineers, all from the area.
Anderson said it will be a couple of years before construction of the White Pine Mine, but construction "still looks favorable." He said a decision on such construction is expected by 2017.
School board members expressed gratitude in Highland Copper's interest in the school and making available such a valuable learning tool.
In other action, the board:
-Adopted the school calendar which begins Sept. 8 with the high school staring daily at 8:05 a.m. with dismissal at 3:30 p.m., and grade school at 8:10 a.m. and dismissal at 3:05 p.m.
-Set substitute staff pay rate at $78.75 for teachers and $119 a day after 10 consecutive days for the same teacher, $9 per hour for substitute support staff and $13 per hour for substitute bus drivers.
-Set student kitchen workers at $5 per hour.
-Determined elementary lunch prices will remain the same as last year at $2 per day, $2.70 for junior and senior high students, and $3.85 for adults.
-Approved the lease with the Gogebic Ontonagon Community Action Agency for the Head Start classroom at $6,800 per year.
-Accepted the bid of Twin City Dairy, of Hurley, Wis., for dairy, and Bimbo Bakery in St. Paul, Minn., for bakery products.