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Downloads for 2014 Workshop
Abbreviated Information Circular
Registration Form  

Previous Workshops

2013 MMEW (Hibbing)
Short Course PPT Presentations
Short Course Notes  

2012 MMEW (Winona)
Short Course PPT Presentations
Short Course Notes  
2011 MMEW (Eveleth)
Short Course PPT Presentations
Short Course Notes  


Minerals Education Workshop


17th Annual MMEW

June 17-19, 2014
Southwest Minnesota State University
Marshall, MN

Quick Download
Abbreviated Information Circular
Registration Form

Monday, March 3 - Registration Opens
Monday, June 2 - Early Registration Deadline

(registration fee increases after deadline)

General Information
Workshop Schedule
Short Course Offerings
Field Trips
Tuesday Evening Picnic

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 17th annual MMEW will be held June 17-19, 2014 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN.  On the first day of the workshop, participants may choose among 16 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 that are designed to familiarize participants with the geology, mineral resources and environmental issues of southwestern Minnesota. 

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 the Science and Math Building (#7 on campus map). Events tagged as (SMB) are to be held in the east entrance to the Science and Math Building (near the museum); those tagged as (BAC) are to meet in the Auditorium of the Bellows Academic Center (#6 on campus map); those tagged as (SCC) are held in the Student Center cafeteria (#2 on campus map).  

Tuesday, June 17

      7:30-8:30        Registration, Continental Breakfast (BAC foyer)
      8:30-8:50        Welcome and Introductions (BAC)
      9:00-10:15      Short Course Session 1
      10:15-10:30    Morning Break (SMB)
      10:30-11:45    Short Course Session 2
      11:50-12:30      Presentation by Jess Richards (BAC)
                               Director of the MN Department of Natural Resources, Lands and Minerals Division
                               Talk Title:  The Role of the Department of Natural Resources as Steward of Minnesota's Mineral Resources
      12:30-1:30     Cafeteria-style Lunch (SCC)
      1:30-2:45       Short Course Session 3
      2:45-3:00       Afternoon Break (SMB)
      3:00-4:15       Short Course Session 4
      4:15-4:45       Collect Materials for Resources Box (SMB)
      4:45-5:15       Field Trip Overview (BAC)
      6:00-6:30       Bus from SMSU to Camden State Park
      6:30-8:30       Picnic Dinner and Geology/Hydrology Tour of Park
      8:30-9:00       Bus returns to SMSU

Wednesday, June 18

      7:00-8:00       Continental Breakfast (SCC)
      8:00               Depart SMSU from south entrance of Student Center (#2 on campus map)
      8:30-4:30       Field trip to the Minnesota River Valley (Morton - Granite Falls)
      5:00               Return to SMSU

Thursday, June 19

      7:00-8:00       Continental Breakfast (SCC)
      8:00               Depart SMSU from south entrance of Student Center (#2 on campus map)
      8:30-2:30       Field trip to the Buffalo Ridge/Pipestone/Luverne areas
      3:00               Return to SMSU


The 16 courses being offered during the four short 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

Jigsaw on Heat –
A Lab Activity

Kate Rosok

History of Hydrogeology
Greg Brick

Glacial Geology of SW Minnesota
Carrie Jennings

Crystallography Basics
Cheryl Sill

Session 2

Teaching Plate Tectonics
Stephen Allard

Groundwater Teaching Tools
Jim Lundy

The Sioux Quartzite –
Example of the Rock Cycle

Richard Ojakangas

Rock and Mineral Identification
Karl Everett & Amy Radakovich

Session 3

Place-based Approach to Teaching Earth Science
Dean Moosavi

Sustainability of Groundwater in SW MN
Jim deLambert

Aggregate Resources
Christina Morrison

Mineral Deposits -
How, Where, When, and Why Here?

Jim Miller

Session 4

Mineral Resource Lesson Plan Sharing
Marjorie Ostgaard

Protecting Groundwater instead of Mitigating Mistakes
Bruce Olson

Applied Geology: Assessing and Mitigating Geological Risks
Leif Johnson

Mineral Uses
Ken Reid


       Kate Rosok, Science Teacher, South High School, Minneapolis, MN/Earth Science Director, MN Science Teachers Association
Many of us have taught earth science or physical science and used several standard "heating" labs to look at the specific heat of water, sand, and soil, to understand how earth materials heat and cool, and the effect this has on the atmosphere and temperatures. In this session we will experience a new take on these labs. Additionally we will model one method of differentiation, tiering, as a way to meet all students where they are at, and move them forward.  Come for the labs, the pedagogy, or just good conversation about our practise with other teachers. 

       Greg Brick, Instructor, University of Minnesota
Teaching a subject can sometimes be made easier by finding a historical anecdote, human situation, or segue that students can relate to. In this fast-paced survey you’ll learn the story of groundwater from its earliest roots to the present, providing you with unique perspectives. Topics include hydromythology, the water cycle, groundwater supply, the theory of groundwater flow and well hydraulics, geochemistry, contaminant hydrogeology, and karst hydrogeology. Minnesota examples will be used for illustration where possible. Classroom interactive exercises will be offered. Never before has the history of hydrogeology been formally presented in Minnesota—and rarely elsewhere! (K-12)

        Carrie Jennings,
Research Scientist, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Lands and Minerals Division      
Glaciers shaped southwestern Minnesota, but it can be difficult to get a good perspective on the wholesale rearrangement of the landscape from the ground.   Learn to empower students using a regional shaded-relief image to recognize and map features including: the prominent late-glacial moraine of the Des Moines lobe; the windswept area that lay beyond the ice; the difference in landforms created by glacial retreat versus stagnation; the major meltwater streams flowing away from the last ice mass and how those rivers are different in form and origin from the spillway of glacial Lake Agassiz.

     Cheryl Sill, Science Teacher, Cooper High School, Robbinsdale, MN
Do you want your students to LOVE studying about minerals?  Come to this class for a brief synopsis of mineral systems, focussing on the crystallography of the mineral families.  I have a fun "paper" 3-d construction activity to get started and then a super-fun "Crystallography" lab that can be completed over the weekend from evaporties.  Beautiful crystals for the students to see crystal shapes through a hand-lens.  You can also use this to reinforce good lab skills. 


     Stephen Allard, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geology, Winona State University
Plate tectonics is the underlying theory that explains many of the features on our planet. This short course will present the basic principles of plate tectonics in the context of the evidence that supports this theory. Examples of problem sets using real-world data, e.g.: Volcano and Earthquake characteristics and locations, will be presented, and sources for additional data your students can research and interpret will be discussed. Ideas for how to incorporate problem sets that can teach the  theory while applying essential skills used in science, such as pre-algebra -level math, graphing and plotting, and map reading will be included.

      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. 

      Richard Ojakangas, Emeritus Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
The Sioux Quartzite, a 1,700 million-year-old quartz sandstone, has had a long history.  This presentation will highlight some of the work necessary to decipher the history of any sand, using the Sioux as an example. This is a many-step process.  First, extensive fieldwork must be done to view sedimentary structures that will help determine the environment of deposition.  Was it deposited by water in rivers or the ocean, or by wind in sand dunes? Rock samples are then studied in the laboratory.  Thin slices of rock (thin sections) are prepared for study under a petrographic polarizing microscope to determine the different types of sand-sized minerals, including different quartz types that are present.  This helps determine the type of source rock and the abrasion history of the original sand.  An abraded  overgrowth of quartz cement beneath a later overgrowth of quartz cement indicates derivation of that grain from  an older sandstone. Heavy minerals (with a density > 2.9) are separated, as these are commonly indicative of certain source rocks, as well as abrasion history. So, a sedimentologist has to be a real detective, one who must pursue all leads to solve the mystery.  It’s a fun game!

     Karl Everett, Consulting Geologist, KE Consulting, Duluth
     Amy Radakovich, Geologist, Minnesota Geological Survey, University of Minnesota
Geology session on rock and mineral identification at a level designed for elementary and middle school teachers to instruct students on the basic principles and science associated with observing rock and mineral properties.  Course outline includes a lecture on the mineral and crystal properties, basic mineral and rock classification categories and rock cycle, and a hands-on mineralogy laboratory session designed to assist teachers to instruct and educate students and provide resources for the identification of various rocks and minerals.  Course instructors include a Professional Consulting Geologist with over thirty-years experience and a Geologist with the Minnesota Geologic Survey, both with experience instructing teachers and students on fundamental geologic principles.


      Dean Moosavi, Instructor, Dept. of Sciences, Rochester Community and Technical College
A Place-based Approach to Teaching Earth Science will introduce teachers to an effective means of getting students engaged in learning key geoscience content with a personal connection and investment while simultaneously addressing critical thinking, observation, writing and communication skills contained within the standards. The techniques described allow teachers to recast their Earth science content into serving a student research project which can last from a few weeks to an entire school year as needed. In this project students develop individual case studies related to a real place of interest to them and use the geoscience content of the course as a means to develop a thorough description and analysis of the place, how it developed in the past, how it continues to evolve naturally and the role that humans have in relation to the place. The technique can be adapted for use at any level but is especially useful for middle school, high school and introductory college level students.

     Jim deLambert, Senior Hydrogeologist, Liesch Associates, Inc., Minneapolis
In the land of 10,000 lakes few people realize the challenges of developing drinking water supplies in the southwest portion of our state.  Due to a unique set of hydrogeologic conditions, identification and development of sustainable groundwater supplies is a daunting task.  This course will provide an overview of these conditions and how they control the availability of groundwater.  We will then examine groundwater development trends, including the role of rural water systems, environmental issues and permitting related to groundwater development.  The City of Marshall, Minnesota and Marshall Municipal Utilities will serve as our real-life example  as we look at how they have struggled to meet the demand for water almost since the water and electric utility was founded in 1894.  Marshall currently uses two wellfields to meet demand and is undertaking a major public works project to bring water to Marshall from a third wellfield located more than 20 miles away. This course will provide background on water supply issues and challenges in Southwest Minnesota; a look at typical water supply aquifers, including drill cuttings and formation samples; and an analysis of aquifer utilization from a sustainability standpoint.

      Christina Morrison, Land Use and Permitting Coordinator, 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.

     Jim Miller, Associate Professor, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Minnesota Duluth
A common question asked by people who would rather not have mining in their backyards is "why do we have to mine it here; why can't we mine it over there?" The basic answer to this question is "because it probably isn't over there". This course explores the unique geological circumstances of how, where, and when various types of mineral deposits formed on Earth over geological time. Using the geological map of North America, we will develop a lab exercise that assess the potential for various types of ore deposits based on geologic setting.


     Marjorie Ostgaard, Earth and Space Science Teacher, Marshall High School, Marshall, MN
This will be a fun session geared to sharing ideas for teaching about earth science with a special emphasis on mineral resourcs and uses.  We are soliciting for 6-7 "road-tested" lesson plans to be formally presented (10 minutes per presentation). Lesson plans not selected for formal presentation, may nevertheless be distributed to participants and posted on the MMEW website.  If your lesson plan is chosen, you will receive a $15 discount off your workshop registration.  With imagination lessons plans can be modified to various class levels.    The session will be lead by Marj Ostgaard who teaches at Marshall High School.  She has taught middle school earth science for 7 years and high school earth & space science for 13 years. The deadline for submitting lesson plan proposals to Marj ( is June 2.

    Bruce Olson,  hydrogeologist, Minnesota Department of Health (retired)
Three quarters of Minnesota’s population obtains their drinking water from groundwater. Furthermore, many people’s livelihoods rely on ground water and it is used extensively for crop and animal production, manufacturing, and mining.  Many of our lakes, rivers, and streams are sustained by ground water and the quality of life that we enjoy in the Land of 10,000 Lakes would not be possible without an abundant supply of high quality groundwater.  As the state’s population continues to increase, so will our reliance on groundwater.  However, we have not always treated this important natural resource properly and contamination or misuse has created supply and quality problems in some areas.  Correcting past mistakes is often very expensive and requires long time periods, that is if corrections are even possible. This workshop provides a basic understanding of the adverse impacts that historical land and water uses have had on Minnesota’s groundwater resources and what can be done to prevent future mistakes.  Low cost classroom activities are discussed that can help tomorrow’s leaders understand what everyone can do protect groundwater resources. 

      Leif Johnson, Geologist, Barr Engineering, Minneapolis
How do geological risks affect modern society?  Earthquakes and volcanoes may come to mind as real world examples of how geological forces can affect individuals’ lives.  However, there are many more subtle examples of geological forces causing damage either by a catastrophic event or some slow process that requires mitigation to prevent damage.  This session will present real-world examples of geological processes causing damage and what tools are used to mitigate risks. Why do people build homes in flood plains?  Why did that home get crushed by a landslide?  Will the massive volcano under Yellowstone wipe out the U.S.?  Where do earthquakes occur in Minnesota? These are some of the questions that will be analyzed during this session.  The attendee will leave with an understanding of how a geologist sees natural hazards in the world. 

     Ken Reid, Emeritus Professor, Mineral Resources Research Center, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
The fact that every material thing we take for granted in life is either made from minerals or depends on minerals for its production and/or transportation is not commonly recognized or understood. Examples of common everyday items will be traced back to their mineral source to show how modern civilization is totally dependent on mining. Materials available from The SME Minerals Education Coalition ( and Caterpillar Inc ( will be discussed and portions of DVDs and CDs covering documentaries and class demonstration projects will be discussed and shown, time permitting.


Two days of field trips will be held on Wednesday, June 18 and Thursday, June 19, 2014. Both trips will depart from and return to the circle drive outside the SMSU Student Center (see campus map). Departure times for both days will be at 8AM. The Wednesday trip will return at 5PM and the Thursday trip will return at 3PM to allow participants to get a head start back home.

Trip 1: Precambrian and Glacial Geology and Mineral Resources of the Minnesota River Valley

Wednesday, June 18

On this day, we will visit several places of geological interest in and near the Minnesota River Valley (MRV). On this trip, we will introduce you to the origin and history of the Precambrian metamorphic and igneous rocks that crop out along the MRV, and also to the materials and landscape features that resulted from deep weathering of those rocks in pre-Late Cretaceous time and from fluvial erosion during late-glacial time.

Trip 2: Precambrian and Glacial Geology and Mineral Resources of the Pipestone-Luverne Area

Thursday, June 19

On this trip, we will visit localities between Marshall and Luverne that emphasize the evolution of the southwestern Minnesota landscape as developed through glacial, periglacial, and fluvial processes. We will visit exposures of the Sioux Quartzite at Pipestone National Monument and Blue Mounds State Park. Near Luverne, we will visit aggregate mining operations by the Northern Con-Agg Sand and Gravel Company

Map of Southwestern Minnesota showing field trip route and locations.


On Tuesday evening, participants are invited to a picnic dinner and geological expedition through Camden State Park just south of Marshall. Participants are welcome to drive themselves or can take a bus that will transport up to 60 participants. After the meal, participants can explore the glacial features of the park, which includes exposures of up to 3 glacial till sheets exposed in the cutbanks of the Redwood River. 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. 


In addition to a picnic on Tuesday evening, registered workshop participants will be provided with continental breakfast in the Student Center Cafeteria (see campus map) each morning (7:30 to 8:30AM on Tuesday morning and 7:00 to 8:00AM on Wednesday and Thursday mornings).  During the short course day (Tuesday), morning and afternoon snacks and a lunch buffet will also be provided near the entry area to the Science and Math building (near the museum, see map). 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.


Air-conditioned Dorm Rooms at Discounted Rates

Thanks again to generous donations from the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota, Mining Minnesota, and Aggregate Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, we are able to offer a discounted lodging options. Participants may register for up to three nights lodging in an air-conditioned dorm room in Sweetland Hall at a rate of $15/night/person (half the normal rate). Each dorm room has two bunkbeds and shares a bathroom with an adjacent room. Each participant will have their own room, though you may request to share a room someone else understand that cost is per person, not per room.

Sweetland Hall is located the southwestern corner of the SMSU campus (see map).

Other Nearby Lodging/Camping Options




Phone #


Comfort Inn

1511 E. College Dr.Marshall, MN, 56258

$77/$83+tx (ask for "MMEW rate") (507) 532-3070

Ramada Inn

1500 E. College Dr.Marshall, MN 56258


(507) 532-3221


1406 E Lyon St, Marshall, MN 56258


(507) 537-9424

Travelers Lodge 1425 E College Dr, Marshall, MN 56258 $59+tx (507) 532-5721


Phone                          #Address

Camden State Park (507) 865-4530 1897 Camden Park Road, Lynd, MN 56157

Garvin Park, Lyon County

(507) 532-8214

Entrance at junction of Highway 14 and US Highway 59, Marshall, 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. 

Sorry to report that we will not be able to offer graduate credits from UMD this year. We will look into finding another college who will provide them in the future.


Registrations for the MMEW workshop will be accepted beginning on Monday, March 3rd.

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 only by check made out to: University of Minnesota Duluth-MMEW
(sorry, credit card payment is not available this year).

Submit a completed registration form by Monday, June 2nd to be assured course preference

<click here to download a registration form>

Soon after June 2nd, 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. 


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 2014 workshop as of February 2014* 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:

Southwest Minnesota State University

Precambrian Research Center at UMD

MN Department of Natural Resources

UMD Natural Resources Research Institute

Minnesota Geological Survey

MN Department of Health

Winona State University

Tiller Corporation

Liesch Associates

Barr Engineering

KE Consulting  






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


 Northern Con-Agg Sand and Gravel Company



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 their roles.

Name  Affiliation Committee
Hannah Friedrich MN Department of Natural Resources CoChair
Jim Miller UMD - Precambrian Research Center CoChair, Instructor
Julie Heinz UMD - Natural Resources Research Institute Registration
Barb Lusardi Minnesota Geological Survey Curriculum
Dave Southwick Minnesota Geological Survey (ret.) Field Trip
Carrie Jenning MN Department of Natural Resources Field Trip, Instructor
Cheryl Sill Cooper High School, Robbinsdale Resources, Instructor
Steve Allard Winona State University Instructor
Greg Brick University of Minnesota Twin Cities Instructor
Jim deLambert Liesch Associates Instructor
Karl Everett KE Consulting Instructor
Leif Johnson Barr Engineering Instructor
Jim Lundy Minnesota Dept. of Health Instructor
Dean Moosavi Rochester Community College Instructor
Christina Morrison Tiller Corp Instructor
Dick Ojakangas University of Minnesota Duluth (ret.) Instructor
Bruce Olsen Minnesota Dept. of Health (ret.) Instructor
Marj Ostgaard Marshall High School Instructor
Amy Radakovich Minnesota Geological Survey Instructor
Ken Reid University of Minnesota Twin Cities (ret.) Instructor
Kate Rosok South High School, Minneapolis Instructor
Tim Alcorn Southwest Minnesota State University Space Coordinator
Emily Deaver Southwest Minnesota State University Logistics
Loren Wiger Southwest Minnesota State University Logistics 
Tom Dilley Southwest Minnesota State University Logistics
Lauri Varpness Southwest Minnesota State University Catering














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

     – Hannah Friedrich (615-259-5953)

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

click on image to download pdf of campus map


  Minnesota Center for Mineral Resource Education