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Dan Wiitala, BS ’86 Michigan; MS ’89, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Dr. Robert Taylor, advisor, applied geophysics) has been practicing as a professional geologist in the field of hydrogeological consulting continuously since 1989. His career started with Barr Engineering Company in Minneapolis and focused on groundwater contaminant transport investigations and remediation from which he built a successful consulting practice centered on legacy mining environmental impacts remediation in the Upper Great Lakes basin (Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan). That practice has evolved into a science and engineering consulting firm established in Marquette, Michigan (North Jackson Company) in 1998 that specializes in groundwater/surface water resources evaluation; water supply well and systems design; and environmental impact assessment and permitting (wetlands, streams and large quantity groundwater withdrawals); and web-based environmental monitoring database management and remote, automated hydrological data acquisition. North Jackson Company has been consulting on predictive hydrology, monitoring and data management services to the Eagle Mine copper-nickel project in Marquette County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 2002, and also on numerous iron mining projects in Michigan and Minnesota. Dan is a licensed professional geologist (P.G.) in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
A chance run in with Kacey Lohmann at Kerrytown markets while attending parent weekend at Michigan in fall 2012 resulted in the opportunity to provide a guest lecture titled “Anatomy of a Mine” to Dr. Adam Simon’s Geo 380 class on mining, economics, and the environment, where he has returned as a guest speaker for the past 4 years – including hosting a mining panel for the Geoclub in 2015. Dan currently Chairs the Alumni Advisory Board Subcommittee for Professional Employment hopes to help motivated Earth and Environmental Sciences students get connected to job opportunities in their chosen fields.
Dan has also taught hydrology as an adjunct faculty to Northern Michigan University Department of Geography, and stays active as a volunteer cross country skiing coach in Marquette. He resides on a Lake Superior beach front in Marquette with his wife Debby (Michigan BA ’86; MSW ’87) and their 3 children (Ellen, Michigan BS Biochemistry, ‘16; Mike, Michigan Engineering Sophomore; and Eli).