Inside Mines

Mines Cycling Club Wins National Title
The Colorado School of Mines Cycling Club rode away with the Division II title at the 2007 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championship held in October in Banner Elk, NC. (more...)




Geller Takes Helm at Geology Museum

The Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum has a new director overseeing its collection of more than 50,000 minerals, fossils, gemstones and artifacts... (more...)

Work Hard, Play Hard
After opening its doors in August, the new Student Recreation Center is getting a strong thumbs-up from students. Brandon Leimbach, director of Recreational Sports, said, "After the initial excitement, you often see a dip in the number of people using a facility like this. We've been seeing our numbers improve as we offer more opportunities to the ommunity. (more...)

EPICS Team Competes in Hawaii
Armed with a model for a lunar habitat, an eight-member Mines EPICS team traveled to Hawaii this fall to participate in a challenge issued by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration System (PISCES). (more...)


In Brief...
Additional news items in brief. (more...)

Mines Cycling Club Wins National Title

The Colorado School of Mines Cycling Club rode away with the Division II title at the 2007 USA Cycling Collegiate National Championship held in October in Banner Elk, NC.

Despite extremely muddy conditions, 12 Mines athletes trounced the nation's strongest Division II teams, claiming 14 top-10 finishes in eight events. Races included men's and women's downhill, dual slalom, cross country and short track.

Prior to the national win, Mines dominated the Division II competition at the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference Finals in Gunnison, CO. Mines riders won all of the individual A-category titles as well as the overall team title.

"Brandon Turman has done an outstanding job leading this team since he took over as president in 2005-2006," said John Howard, director of intramural and club sports. "Almost overnight it became one of the best run clubs at Mines. He's got amazing dedication and passion."

Loaded with bikes and gear, the team drove 25 hours to compete in North Carolina. "It was a personal goal of mine to establish a team with a strong presence in the collegiate cycling world," said Turman. "Placing fifth last year gave us the momentum to capture the title this year. Mines has always had the potential to be at the top of the collegiate ranks. The caliber of cyclists at this school is impressive - maybe it's a Colorado thing."

Team member Melissa Marts relished the opportunity to compete in North Carolina. "Nationals this year was so exciting. I really liked how we all came together. We needed every member of the team to win - everyone had to make sacrifices," said Marts. "We were blessed to have a team thaw was so cohesive and supportive. Everyone pitched in - from fixing bikes to washing each other's mud-soaked clothes so we could ride again the next day."

While enjoying a family vacation in the North Carolina mountains, alumnus John "Tree" Scheve '66 was delighted to stumble across the event. Scheve said, "It was great to watch them. I became their unofficial photographer... I was so impressed with the team. They reminded me very much of my contemporaries when I was at Mines 40 years ago."

Turman is optimistic about the future of collegiate cycling. "It is becoming a much more respected sport," he says. "It can play a big role in the development of future professional athletes - similar to many football and basketball programs."

Mines cycling is a coed club sport that races competitively throughout the region. The club has approximately 70 members, with nearly 35 active racers who compete in mountain, road, collegiate track and cyclocross.

Fore more information, visit www.csmcycling.com.

Geller Takes Helm at Geology Museum

Bruce Geller, the new director of the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, adores rocks and minerals. And this is only fitting, given that he's now responsible for the School's collection of more than 50,000 minerals, fossils, gemstones and artifacts housed at the museum.

"I've collected rocks since I was six years old in Philadelphia," he recounted. "When I was 14, my parents started taking me to mineral club meetings and into quarries on collecting trips. I remember installing a temporary mineral showcase for our high school library." During those years, Geller joined three mineral clubs and read every mineralogy book available at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

After high school, he enrolled at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Although he started as a pre-med student, Geller declared a major in geology after going on a series of geology field trips. He earned a master's degree at Binghamton University in New York and went on to Harvard where he focused on zeolites.

In 1981, Geller came to Denver with Asarco, a silver and base metal mining and smelting company started by the Guggenheims. Shortly after arriving, he compiled a thorough summary of Colorado metal and non-metal mining - "everything from alabaster to zinc," he says."I learned a lot about the history of Colorado mining in those nine months writing the book. Places like Cripple Creek, Leadville and Silverton have classic geology and fabulous mining legacies." After this compilation, he authored a weekly article known as "Rock Rhetoric" for a mining weekly, The Mining Record.

He went on to earn his doctorate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he wrote his dissertation on tellurdie-bearing ore deposits. For most of his 26-year career since graduating, he has worked as an independent mineralogist, primarily for mining companies.

Geller was thrilled when he was chosen to be the director of the Geology Museum. "I love sharing my knowledge about rocks and minerals," says Geller. "People come in with questions about samples all the time. I enjoy interpreting for them - what they are, where they are from, and what geologic conditions might have formed them."

Geller was formally welcomed to the School at an open house in September, attended by well-known geologists and mineral collectors from Colorado, other states and several foreign countries. The international turnout set the stage for a much larger event at the museum slated for September 2008: the sixth International Conference on Mineralogy and Museums. "It will be the first time it has been held in the U.S.," says Geller, who will organize the event that only occurs every four years.

In Geller's first few months at the museum he has formed a Museum Advisory Council and is developing plans for a gift shop. To augment his staff of 12 students, he hopes to build up an active group of knowledgeable volunteers.

Geller's future plans for the museum are ambitious. "I've inherited a great facility and an outstanding collection. Now I'd like to take it to an even higher level, so even more people can enjoy this resource. To that end, I hope to shift our emphasis from the beauty of minerals to the science behind them by introducing more text into our exhibits. I hope to establish our museum as one of the finest in the country," says Geller.

Work Hard, Play Hard

After opening its doors in August, the new Student Recreation Center is getting a strong thumbs-up from students. Brandon Leimbach, director of Recreational Sports, said, "After the initial excitement, you often see a dip in the number of people using a facility like this. We've been seeing our numbers improve as we offer more opportunities to the community." At present, about 800 students and members use the facility Monday through Thursday, with traffic on Friday and over the weekend slowing a bit.

John Howard, director of Intramural and Club Sports, has seen participating in his programs go up across the board. "We had 26 teams sign up for dodgeball this semester. That took us by surprise and we had to juggle the scheduling around. Last year we only had 12 teams," Howard said. He also remarked that indoor soccer was so popular this semester that he is considering running a league in the spring. The IM swim meet in November had approximately 90 participants. And this fall about 900 students made up 60 flag football teams, compared to 55 last year.

With winter approaching, Howard expects to see an even more pronounced growth in IM sports. Basketball is going to be huge. I'm expecting about 400 students to make up about 50 teams - we had 30 teams last year," he said, adding that he has plans to launch a brand new floor hockey league this spring.

Howard is also pleased to see the increase in spontaneous group activities. "There are pick-up games going on all the time in the evening. Even with club sport practices and intramural leagues/tournaments, we keep at least one court open for drop-in play," he said.

Sophomore Lynlee Gerk found a new sport thanks to the Student Recreation Center. "I took a climbing class this fall," she says. "I probably wouldn't have ever started climbing if it weren't for the new Rec Center. I love the sport. I've learned a lot and met new friends along the way."

Beyond organized sports, there is a wide range of activities available to students. Fitness classes such as yoga, kick boxing, step aerobics and circuit training are offered every weekday. The climbing wall is open every evening except Saturday, and the pool is available for lap swimming several times each day. Cardio and weight training equipment can be accessed whenever the facility is open.

During the fall semester, the Student Recreation Center hosted several varsity sports events, including volleyball games and swim meets. More than 30 men's and women's basketball games are scheduled in Lockridge Arena during the winter. And later in the spring, the 2008 Colorado State High School Athletics Association state regional basketball tournament will be held in the facility - an event that will bring thousands of high school students, coaches and families to campus.

The center is also in demand for non-sporting events. Career Day, which this fall included a record 180 companies, was held in the facility. And the School's annual donor recognition event, the Mines Century Society Dinner, took place in Lockridge Arena.

Leimbach notes, "This facility adds an important dimension to student life at Mines. The payoff is huge. We all know that Mines students work hard in the classroom. Now that they have this facility, they have more opportunities to play hard as well, and that's exactly what they are doing."

EPICS Team Competes in Hawaii

Armed with a model for a lunar habitat what does it say on page, an eight-member Mines EPICS team traveled to Hawaii this fall to participate in a challenge issued by the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration System (PISCES) to develop a strategic plan influencing construction and operation of an outpost on the moon.

In fall 2006, an original 14-member team had preceded them with a design that was ultimately selected for this year's round of only three plans. This year's team, consisting of four women and four men from the original team, had refined the original design in preparation for this year's competition in Hilo, HI. The team competed against peers from the University of Colorado and Hawaii Community College.

The PISCES Program was initiated through the leadership program, sponsored by EPICS, which offers students the opportunity to explore leadership skills in an engineering design environment. The projects focus on strategic planning and community planning for upper-level management.

The Mines team addressed design issues for a lunar habitat involving in-situ resource utilization. The team divided the project into three systems: habitation (human support), resource extraction and utilization and power.

EPICS Director Bob Knecht said the group from Mines caught the attention of the audience with its controversial use of lava tubes for the structure of the lunar habitat. "You could have heard a pin drop as Josh and Cassie discussed the advantages of their habitat and the integration of resource utilization to support construction of the habitat. They fielded some contentious questions following the presentation in true Mines spirit," he said.

In the end, Hawaii Community College won the bid with a detailed architectural design of a surface habitat. Mines moved the project forward, developing a network with the CU and Hawaiian teams to collaborate on an integrated research strategy for future PISCES competitions.

Although they didn't win, the Mines team achieved its objective to promote research for its unique design and was invited to co-author a paper for the International Conference on Environmental Sustainability in the spring. Additionally, the group was invited to refine its strategic plan for resource utilization for a NASA competition.

Following the competition, Mines students took a field trip to observe the simulated lunar surface created by the volcanic craters located on the Big Island. When they toured the Thurston lava tube, the team was more convinced than ever that its design was feasible.

In Brief...

Dendy Sloan and Carolyn Koh were featured in the October 2007 edition of Physics Today with an article titled "Clathrate Hydrates Under Pressure."

Neal Sullivan was named director of the Colorado Fuel Cell Center. Sullivan has served as a faculty member of the CFCC and is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering who specializes in solid-oxide fuel cells and experimental diagnostics.

Jorg Drewes was awarded the Outstanding Research Award by the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Water Works Association for his exceptional performance and dedication to improving water quality and treatment processes.

Arthur Lakes Library Director Joanne V. Lerud-Heck was selected for the Arthur Gray Leonard Service Award by the Geology Department at the University of North Dakota. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in the geosciences in research, teaching studies and projects applied to societal needs, teaching, educational development and leadership in conversation of the Earth's resources and environment.

George Saunders '81, a MacArthur Fellow, read from and signed his latest book, The Braindead Megaphone, on campus in October as part of the LAIS Hennebach Lecture Series. Saunders received a bachelor's degree in geophysical engineering from Mines and is currently a professor of creative writing at Syracuse University.

Sustainability expert Hunter Lovins presented "Drivers of Change: The Business Case for Sustainability and Protecting the Climate," as part of the Hennebach Lecture Series. Lovins is the president and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions and co-creator of the Natural Capitalism concept.

The 2008 award recipients of the American Association of PEtroleum Geologists include the following Mines awardees and honorees:

Fred F. Meisner - Sydney Powers Memorial Award, Stephen A. Sonnenberg - Honorary Member Award, Douglas C. Peters - Distinguished Service Award, Cathy L. Farmer and Brian W. Horn - George C. Matson Award.

Paul Sava of the Center for Wave Phenomena and Department of Geophysics was recognized by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists with the Reginald Fessenden Award for his work on wave-equation angle-domain imaging.