RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has raised $1.4 million toward its effort to help meet demands for workers in the region’s oil and gas industry.
The public university in Rapid City announced the Energy Resources Initiative last year and says it will now search for a director.
The effort includes the addition of a minor degree in petroleum systems. The school says it also taps the university’s expertise and research in rock properties, water resources and materials development, and it’s located within 300 miles of energy-rich areas in North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming.
The new director will have broad leadership responsibility for research, teaching, fundraising and more development of the initiative.
The university is also developing a graduate certificate in petroleum systems focusing on graduate level training and oil reclamation service. The ultimate objective of reclamation is ecosystem restoration, including restoration of any natural vegetation, hydrology, and wildlife habitats affected by surface disturbances from construction and operating activities at an oil and gas site. It is the combined process by which adverse environmental effects of surface mining are minimized and mined lands are returned to a beneficial end use. End uses may be open space, wildlife habitat, agriculture, or residential and commercial development.