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Minerals Education Workshop


16th Annual MMEW
June 18-20, 2013
Hibbing Community College

Abbreviated Information Circular
Registration Form
Syllabus for UMD Course
Registration Form for UMD Credits

May 21- Lodging Scholarship Discount Expires (details)
June 3 - Early Registration Deadline
June 27 - UMD Course (EDUC5570) Credit Registraton Deadline (details)

General Information
Workshop Schedule
Short Course Offerings
Field Trips
Tuesday Evening Event
Meals and Lodging
Certification and Credit
More Information
Campus Map


The MMEW is a three-day workshop for K-12 Earth science educators and pre-service teachers that offers short courses and field trips focused on the geology and mineral resources of Minnesota. The upcoming 16th annual MMEW will be held June 18-20, 2013 at Hibbing Community College.  On the first day of the workshop, participants may choose among 17 different short course topics taught by professional geologists, academics, government scientists, and K-12 educators.   Many of the courses introduce curriculum ideas for various grade levels. The second and third days of the workshop will involve field trips and mine tours that are designed to familiarize participants with the geology, mineral resources and environmental issues of the western Mesabi Range. 

Participants will receive a variety of resource materials including rock and mineral samples, lesson plan ideas, posters, maps, videos, and other useful information.   Upon completion of the workshop, attendees will be provided with a certificate of participation listing contact hours.  We are looking into again being able to offer graduate credits through the University of Minnesota Duluth with the submission of a lesson plan in addition to full workshop attendance.


The tentative schedule of events for the three-day workshop is listed below.  All short courses will take place in Buildings F and G. Events tagged with an (CCC) are to meet in the Commons/Cafeteria area of Building C; those marked (Thtr) are to meet in the Theater located in Building F (see campus map).  

Tuesday, June 18

      7:30-8:30        Registration, Continental Breakfast (CCC)
      8:30-8:50        Welcome and Introductions (Thtr)
      9:00-10:15      Short Course Session 1
      10:15-10:30    Morning Break (CCC)
      10:30-11:45    Short Course Session 2
      11:50-1:20      Lunch Buffet (CCC)
                                Presentation by Tony Sertich,
                                Commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB)
                                Talk Title:    TBA
      1:30-2:45       Short Course Session 3
      2:45-3:00       Afternoon Break (CCC)
      3:00-4:15       Short Course Session 4
      4:15-4:45       Collect Materials for Resources Box
      4:45-5:15       Field Trip Overview (Thtr)
      6:00-6:30       Bus to Hill Annex State Park (Calumet)
      6:30-7:30       Picnic Dinner
      7:30-9:00       Fossil Hunting/Museum Tour
      9:00-9:30       Bus returns to HCC

Wednesday, June 20

      7:00-7:30       Continental Breakfast (CCC)
      7:30-8:00       Safety Training by US Steel (Thtr)
      8:30-10:00     UMD-NRRI Coleraine Mineral Research Lab
      10:30-1:30     USS KeeTac plant, mine and reclamation area (Keewatin)/Lunch
      1:45-2:45       MN DNR Core Library (Hibbing)
      3:00-5:00       HibTac Mine (Hibbing)
      5:15               Return to HCC

Thursday, June 21

      7:00-7:30       Continental Breakfast (CCC)
      7:30-8:30       Safety Training/Operations overview by Essar Steel (Thtr)
      9:00-10:30     Essar Steel Plant Construction Site (Nashwauk)
      11:00-1:15     Magnetation Plant / Lunch (Bovey)
      1:30-3:30       Hawkinson Aggregate (Grand Rapids)
      4:00                Return to HCC


The 17 courses being offered during the fiveshort course sessions are described below.  Click on the short course title to see a description of the course. On the registration form, participants are asked to identify their first and second choice of courses for each session.







Session 1

Rock and Mineral ID
Rick Ruhanen

Glacial Geology of the Arrowhead
Larson & Mooers

Mesabi Range Geology & History
Mark Jirsa

Workforce Training at HCC
HCC faculty

Heavy Equip. Simulator
HCC faculty

Session 2

Plate Tectonics & the Rock Cycle
Jim Miller

Groundwater Quality Teaching Tools
Jim Lundy

National and State Science Standards

Mining-related Careers
Mo Benda

Heavy Equip. Simulator
HCC faculty

Session 3

Population and Natural Resources
Dick Ojakangas

Duluth Complex- Geology/Ore/Environ
Phil Larson

Taconite Mining Sequence
Jeff Price

Laurentian Vision- Mineland Reclamation
Dan Jordan

Heavy Equip. Simulator
HCC faculty

Session 4

World’s Oil & Climate Change
Dick Ojakangas

Successful Non-ferrous Mining
Paul Eger

Aggregate Resources
Christina Morrison

Economics of Mining
Rick Sandri

Heavy Equip. Simulator
HCC faculty


       Rick Ruhanen, Geologist, MN Department of Natural Resources- Lands and Minerals, Hibbing (retired)
Minnesota has a varied geologic history with rocks from billions of years old to several tens of millions of years in age; but they all generally are made up of a small group of minerals out of the 2,000+ known. In this class you will learn to identify common rock forming minerals using simple tools found in your home. Bring along a specimen to challenge the class!

       Phil Larson, Senior Geologist, Duluth Metals Ltd.
       Howard Mooers, Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
The landscape of northeastern Minnesota is largely a product of the retreat of the last Laurentide Ice Sheet about 13,000 years ago. The familiar lakes, hills, wetlands, and even the bedrock outcrop of the Canadian Shield owe their current form to the interaction of glacial ice, sediment, and meltwater. This course will provide an overview of the glacial history of northeastern Minnesota. We will discuss the major landforms associated with deglaciation, including end moraines, eskers, outwash plains, glacial lakes, flutes, drumlins, and pannukakku. We will discuss what new high resolution digital topography tells us about when and how these landforms formed, and how they compare to modern glacial and periglacial environments. Maps, slides, and hands-on samples!

        Mark Jirsa,
Senior Scientist, Minnesota Geological Survey            
The Mesabi Iron Range is considered a world class mining district, based on the amount and value of ore produced, and on the duration of production–in this case a longevity of more than 120 years.  Although use of iron in the region likely predates European settlement, the first “scientific” discovery of iron-bearing formations was made in 1865 by State Geologist Henry H. Eames.  Individual ore deposits were discovered shortly thereafter, and iron shipments from the range began in 1892.  Since then, nearly 400 separately named mines have operated within the 100 mile-long district, and production continues today in a global market that is hungry for metals.  This presentation gives a geologic mapper’s perspective on the rich history of discovery, mining, evolution in geologic understanding, and map portrayal of the Mesabi Iron Range.

     Hibbing Community College Faculty
An Education That Works!  Hibbing Community College provides the first two years of a four-year degree as well as career programs relevant to today’s workforce needs. Each year more than 2,000 students benefit from HCC’s classes and programs.
HCC works closely with business and industry to ensure its career programs provide students with the skill sets necessary to be successful in their chosen career as well as the practical knowledge and preparation employer’s demand.  Through Advanced Minnesota/Customized Training mining companies’ current workforce continue their education from apprenticeship/trainee programs and upgrading of skills needed for today’s ever changing technology. Workforce education plays a vital role in HCC’s mission as a community college by providing local communities with a nimble and responsive resource for educational and training needs.
Some of HCC’s popular career programs include:

  • Automotive Technician
  • Diesel Mechanic
  • Electrical Maintenance
  • Industrial Systems Technology
  • Heating and Cooling Technician (NEW Fall 2013!)
  • Truck Driving (CDL)

To find out more about the options available at Hibbing Community College, and to explore the career pathways that interest you, please visit in person or online at

     Hibbing Community College Faculty
For those learning how to operate mining heavy equipment, the Immersive simulators are the closest you can get to the real thing. Only nine colleges in North America have this type of simulator and now the Advanced Minnesota, Hibbing Community College and Industry Partners’ (Cliffs Natural Resources – Hibbing Taconite, Essar Steel of Minnesota and JoyGlobal) partnership is one of them. This state of the art simulator demonstrates what it’s like to operate a mining haul truck. The 180° screen simulates the actual landscape of mines like Hibbing Taconite. A special cap with attached sensors allows the machine to monitor where the driver is looking. The technology is impressive, but more important might be what it does for safety and production. By putting students (and the incumbent workforce) in the simulator before they train in the real trucks makes them better prepared for operating the expensive and potentially dangerous equipment. Participants will have the opportunity to take a “test drive” in the simulator!


      Jim Miller, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geological Science, University of Minnesota Duluth
Rock cycle diagrams graphically portray the recycling of earth materials and the dynamism of the Earth driven by plate tectonics. This class introduces a couple of fun ways to get students to really understand what the rock cycle is demonstrating and how one can travel the rock cycle through plate tectonic events. One way is to introduce the Rock Cycle Game which has students collectively put the rock cycle together by placing earth material and earth process terms in their proper sequence on a blank rock cycle diagram. Another is to use the rock cycle and plate tectonic processes to create a story telling game about the global travels of a piece of earth material as it makes its way around the rock cycle and the plate tectonic globe. These activites are best suited to middle school students who know the three basic rock types, how they form, and the fundamental principles of plate tectonics.

      James Lundy, Geologist, Minnesota Department of Health
A liquid, water is not strictly a mineral, but we extract and use it every day to keep our bodies healthy and alive. People only live where there is enough water, and Minnesota is a watery place. But what’s in the water is as important as how much there is. Do you know what’s in the water you drink? Would you want to drink “pure” water? Get tools for presenting the hydrologic cycle, and groundwater movement through clay, sand and gravel. Learn what we know about nitrate and radium in drinking water wells of Minnesota. Discover how the mystery of TCE in drinking water was solved, and what was done to fix it. 

     Course Cancelled

      Mo Benda, Program Director, Iron Range/UMD Graduate Engineering Education Program
Minnesota has a wealth of minerals needful for our way of life – finding and gathering these takes the expertise of many skilled people.  Often, we only think that mining is about digging and sorting, but it’s much more!  From heavy equipment operators to high tech computer systems, mining engineers, geologists, environmentalists – the list is plentiful!  In this session, we will offer interactive (and fun) guides you can use with your students to help them learn about and be able to decide if any careers in this awesome field interests them.  Unearthing potential in your students is what we’re all about!


3A) EARTH'S POPULATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES: Geological and Biological Aspects
      Richard Ojakangas, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
Population is Earth's BIGGEST problem!  Other problems cannot be solved without solving the exponential growth of population.  "SPACESHIP EARTH" is in BIG trouble!  We reached 7 billion people in 2011, and may reach 9 billion by 2045.  The ideal population that would best provide a decent lifestyle for every person on Earth is 2 to 3 billion. Population and poverty feed on each other. Worldwide education, especially of women, is a key to controlling Earth's human numbers.  Food, water, energy, waste disposal, environment, and ALL resources are affected by Earth's burgeoning population.  "SPACESHIP EARTH" is desperately in need of a WHOLE EARTH THEOLOGY! 

      Dean Peterson and Phil Larson, Duluth Metals Limited, Duluth MN
The development of copper-nickel-palladium-platinum deposits in northeastern Minnesota has been a topic of interest and debate for the past several years. The questions range from basic (Why here? Why now?) to complex (Aren’t the deposits low grade? What will sulfur do to the environment?). This course will provide an introduction to the geology of the Duluth Complex and the Cu-Ni-PGM deposits it hosts. We will discuss what makes the Duluth Complex and its mineral deposits geologically unique, and of global economic significance. Finally, we will discuss the geological aspects of the environmental challenges that have to be met before any of these deposits are developed. Maps, slides, and hands-on samples!

      Jeff Price,
Geologist, Cliffs Natural Resources, Eveleth, MN
Most everyone has heard of mining, but do you know what is involved in making this happen from start to finish?  This course will focus on the steps in the mining sequence using taconite surface mining as the example.  We will tour the mine through a PowerPoint presentation then we will split up in groups for a fun-filled exercise. 

     Dan Jordan, Mining and Minerals Program Supervisor, and Jim Plummer, Laurentian Vision Partnership Coordinator, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board
The Mineland Reclamation Division was established to reclaim approximately 90,000 acres of land in northeastern Minnesota that have been affected by iron ore mining.  The reclamation work includes eliminating dangerous areas, establishing vegetation and reforestation, repairing and preventing erosion and dust problems, creating recreational areas and restoring wildlife habitats on abandoned minelands.  While individual taconite mine sites throughout the Range had been regraded and replanted for over forty years, no large-scale effort focused on the planned reshaping of mine sites for common economic, aesthetic, recreational and natural resource goals. Today, the Laurentian Vision Partnership, a coalition of mining, business, government, education, professional, and community interests, is tackling that challenge.


     Richard Ojakangas, Emeritus Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
We burn carbon-bearing fossil fuels--coal, oil, and natural gas in power plants, various industries, and especially for transportation.  This has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by 37 percent, from 275 ppm to nearly 400 ppm since the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe in the late 1700s. This has caused the greenhouse effect of global warming, with the CO2 content and the temperature rising together.   Indeed, 2012 was the hottest in U.S. history.  In this class, we will discuss the causes and effects of global warming (is it real?) as well as alternative energy sources that could turn the tide.

     Paul Eger  environmental engineer; Global Minerals Engineering, formerly with the MN DNR
Horror stories from historic metal mines are easy to find – but are there any examples of successful operations?  What are the industry and regulators doing to prevent and control the potential problems from the proposed copper nickel mining in Minnesota?  Can we really have jobs and environmental protection?  Join us as we discuss the latest control technologies and show examples of successful non-ferrous mines.  

      Christina Morrison, Tiller Corporation, Maple Grove, MN
Aggregate mines can be found in every county of the state.  Sand, gravel and crushed stone are locally produced construction aggregate resources that are essential to everyday life. This session will highlight the sources and uses of construction aggregates and how to incorporate backyard geology into the classroom by exploring the hands-on science behind a high-quality construction aggregate deposit. Students will have the opportunity to fill out their own exploratory boring log by analyzing the materials encountered during construction aggregate exploration.

     Rick Sandri, President of Vermillion Gold & Managing Director of StoneBridge Analytics, a natural resource consulting firm
Economics?   The Dismal Science?   Really?  Actually, it is truly exciting and useful to understand the how and why mining takes place and the global need for minerals and materials.  This session will provide a broad perspective of supply, demand and prices.  An example of development and operation of project will be presented so as to better understand the mining sequence.  A short game of Risk-Reward will be played (the winner has a chance to earn real $$$).  The course will be example driven (no calculators are necessary) and real world oriented, and the only background required is --- An Inquisitive Mind!


Two days of field trips are designed to familiarize participants with the geology, mineral resources and reclamation of the western Mesabi Range. Transportation for the field trips will be by coach bus. Box lunches will be provided to all participants, as will all safety equipment necessary to enter the mines (hard hats, safety glasses, orange safety vests). Trips will leave from and return to the Hibbing Community College campus.The trips will include visits to:

UMD-NRRI Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory - tour of mineral processing research conducted by Uof MN lab

Keewatin Taconite (US Steel) - tour of processing plant, mine and reclamation areas

MN Department of Natural Resources Drill Core Library - repository of millions of feet of drill core from around the state

Hibbing Taconite (Cliffs Natural Resources/US Steel) - tour of geologic strata and natural ores of the Biwabik Iron Formation

Essar Steel - tour of a new open pit mine and state-of-the-art concentrating and pelletizing plant under construction

Magnetation - tour of new plant that uses a novel mineral reclamation process to extract iron ore concentrate from waste

Hawkinson Construction - tour of modern aggregate operations near Grand Rapids

Map of the Western Mesabi Range showing field trip locations.


 On Tuesday evening, participants are invited to a picnic dinner and fossil hunt at the Hill Annex State Park in Calumet.  A bus will be available to transport up to 60 participants. After the meal, participants can explore the park museum and, with the help of park naturalists, hunt rock waste dumps containing Cretaceous-age fossils (shark’s teeth, clams, plant imprints, and various shallow marine organisms).  The meal and activities are free of charge to workshop participants.  Family members and guests are also welcome, but will be charged $10 for adults and $6 for children (under 12) for the picnic dinner. 
Mine pit at Hill Annex State Park            Waste piles of Cretaceous overburden     Conveyor on mine pit wall


In addition to a picnic on Tuesday evening, registered workshop participants will be provided with continental breakfast in the Commons area of Buiding C from 7:30 to 8:30 on Tuesday morning and 7:00 to 7:30 on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  During the short course day (Tuesday), morning and afternoon snacks and a lunch buffet will also be provided in the commons area. During the field trips on Wednesday and Thursday, box lunches and beverages will be provided.  Please indicate on the registration form if you prefer vegetarian options.


Thanks to generous donations from the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, Mining Minnesota, and Aggregate Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, the cost of lodging at the Hibbing Park Hotel has been discounted by $20 per night. The Hibbing Park Hotel is located just three blocks from Hibbing Community College (see map).

To recieve this discount, make your reservation before May 21st and ask for the "MMEW Discount".

Contact information, prices (excluding tax), and locations for the Hibbing Park Hotel and other nearby accommodations are given in table and map below. To get the rates listed, be sure to ask for the "MMEW Rate".




Phone #


Hibbing Park Hotel

1402 E Howard St, Hibbing, MN $37*+tx by 5/21
$57+tx after 5/21


Chisholm Inn & Suites

501 Iron Drive, Chisholm, MN 55719

$65+tx room
$79+tx suite


Super 8 Motel

1411 E 40th ST (Hwy 37 and Hwy 169), Hibbing, MN

$64.79+tx 2p $59.00+tx 1p


Mitchell-Tappan House B&B 2125 4th Ave E, Hibbing, MN $75-100+tx 218-262-3862
* To receive this scholarship discounted rate, you must make reservations before May 21st


Phone                          #Address

McCarthy Beach State Park 218-262-1350 7622 McCarthy Beach Road , Side Lake, MN 55781

Mesaba Co-op Park (Campground)


3827 Mesaba Park Road, Hibbing, MN


At the end of the workshop, all participants will be given a certificate acknowledging their participation.  The number of contact hours will be listed as 24 for full participation in the short courses and two days of field trips. 

Additionally, participants may register for two graduate credits from the University of Minnesota Duluth for the course: Educ 5570 - Exemplary Models for Science Education, Sec. 001* (16th Annual Minnesota Minerals Education Workshop-Conference on the Geology and Mineral Resources of the Western Mesabi Range).   Tuition and fees for the two credits is $202.  The registration form must be submitted with payment by June 27, 2013.   In addition to fully participating in the workshop, registrants for the course are also required to develop a lesson plan on a topic related to what was learned at the workshop (see syllabus).

                     Download:            Course Syllabus                      Course Registration Form

*Note that although the course number is the same as prior years, the section number is different to reflect the different content of the course.


Registrations for the MMEW workshop will be accepted beginning on Thursday, March 7th.

Total registration fee is $40 and includes:
           - all course materials (course PPT notes, DVDs, posters, rock and mineral samples, and more!)
           - coach bus transportation for field trips and a field guidebook
           - 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and Tuesday dinner
Payment can be made by check or credit card.

Submit a completed registration form by Monday June 3rd to be assured course preference.
                               <click here to download a registration form>

Soon after June 3rd, registrants will be informed of their short course schedule and be given other information to prepare for the workshop.  Registrations will be accepted after this date for up to a total of 90 participants, but registration costs will increase from $40 to $55 and applicants run the risk of not getting into the courses they have chosen. 
Remember that lodging scholarship discounts at the Hibbing Park Hotel expire after May 21.


The reason that the registration costs for this workshop can be held so low is because of the generous contributions by minerals-related industries, professional associations, and individuals to the Minnesota Center for Minerals Resource Education, which oversees the operation of the MMEW.   Contributors to the 2013 workshop as of February 2013* include:

Aggregate Industries

Northeast Technical Services

Alan Geiwitz

North Shore Mining – Cliffs NR

Anderson Lubricants, Inc

P&H Mining Equipment Inc

Brian McCabe

Rendrag, Inc.

Bryan Rock Products

Richard Backstrom



Dom-Ex, LLC

Scott Bullock

Graham Ford

Security State Bank Foundation

Industrial Lubricant

The Saint Paul Foundation

Intex Corporation


Kelsey Capital Mgmt

Unimin Corporation

Malton Electric Company

United Taconite, LLC

Marine Tech

W.P. & R.S. Mars Co.

Martin Marietta Materials

William Dean Travis

Minnesota Section S.M.E.

Wissota Sand & Gravel Company

*A more complete list of contributors will be distributed at the workshop.

In addition to financial support, many governmental agencies, academic institutions, and companies allow their staffs to contribute time to the planning and production of the workshop and often cover their expenses.  These include:

Hibbing Community College

Precambrian Research Center at UMD

UMD Natural Resources Research Institute

MN Department of Health

Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board

MN Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota Geological Survey

Tiller Corporation

Duluth Metal Ltd.

Cliffs Natural Resources

Vermilion Gold  

Finally, we want to thank the private companies and public organizations are providing tours of their facilities for the field trips. These include:

US Steel

Cliffs Natural Resources


Essar Steel

Hawkinson Construction

MN Department of Natural Resources

UMD-NRRI Coleraine Minerals Research Laboratory


Since its inception in 1997, the MMEW has relied upon individual geoscientists from academia, industry and government to volunteer their time and expertise to what we all believe is an important and valuable endeavor.   Listed below are the volunteers who are contributing to this year’s MMEW and the roles they have played.

Name  Affiliation Committee
Jim Miller UMD - Precambrian Research Center CoChair and other stuff
Marsha Patelke UMD - Precambrian Research Center CoChair, Resources, Special Events
Julie Heinz UMD -Natural Resources Research Center Registration
John Heine UMD -Natural Resources Research Center Volunteer
Barb Lusardi Minnesota Geological Survey Curriculum
Mark Jirsa Minnesota Geological Survey Instructor
Mark Severson Teck American Field Trip
Dick Ojakangas University of Minnesota - Geological Sciences Instructor
Mo Benda University of Minnesota - Chemical Engineering Instructor
Jim Lundy Minnesota Dept. of Health Instructor
Devon Brecke U of Wisconsin-River Falls Curriculum
Dean Moosavi Rochester Community College Instructor
Cheryl Sill Theif River Falls H.S. Resources
Lee Schmidt Hamline University Promotion
Craig Pagel Iron Mining Association Field Trip
Julie Elkington Cliffs Natural Resources Field Trip, Special Events
Barry Frey MN DNR-Lands and Mineras Field Trip
Jeff Price Cliffs Natural Resources Instructor
Phil Larson Duluth Metals Ltd Instructor
Rick Sandri Vermilion Gold Instructor
Paul Eger  Consultant (formerly MN DNR) Instructor
Karl Everett Consultant Volunteer
Chuck Corwin Cohasset H.S. Volunteer
Rick Ruhanen Consultant (retired MN DNR) Instructor
Christina Morrison Tiller Corp Instructor
Mary Brandt Hibbing Community College Instructor
Rick Mayerich Hibbing Community College Instructor
John Bright Hibbing Community College Instructor 
Trent Janezich Hibbing Community College Instructor
Cynthia Pogorels Hibbing Community College Meeting Logistics
Dan Jordan Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board Instructor


About workshop content:
      – Jim Miller (218-726-6582),

     – Marsha Patelke (

About registration and lodging:
      – Julie Ann Heinz (218-720-4272),


  Minnesota Center for Mineral Resource Education