Hibbing, Minnesota


The Precambrian Research Center (PRC) of the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) and the Minnesota Geological Survey (MGS) of the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities hosted the 60th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology on May 14– 17, 2014 at the Hibbing Park Hotel in Hibbing, Minnesota in the heart of the Mesabi Range.  This was the first time that the ILSG has been held in Hibbing. We are pleased to report a very vigorous attendance of 225 registrants, including 57 students.

The organizing committee for the meeting was comprised of Jim Miller of UMD-PRC (technical program, meeting and field trip logistics, and registration) and Mark Jirsa of the MGS (field trip coordinator and guidebook editor, student travel awards, and sponsorships). Amy Radakovich of the MGS helped with the procurement and design of T-shirts and beer glasses. Terry Boerboom, also of the MGS, assisted with the organization of the field guidebook.  Julie Ann Heinz, an executive office administrator at the UMD Natural Resources Research Institute, provided assistance with meeting registration and creating name tags.  During the meeting, a number of UMD students assisted with on-site registration and other institute business.

The two-day technical session held at the Hibbing Park Hotel on Thursday and Friday (5/15 and 5/16) included 30 talks and 35 posters presentations, including 17 oral and 20 poster presentations by students.  The number of student presenters and attendees are both ILSG records.  The meeting opened with a remembrance of Jack Everett and Ernie Lehmann who passed away in August, 2013 and December, 2013, respectively.  Both Jack and Ernie were exceptional exploration geologists who devoted much of their careers to minerals exploration in the Lake Superior region.  Both were long-time supporters of the ILSG, with Ernie receiving the Goldich medal in 2002.  This year’s Goldich medal recipient was Laurel Woodruff of the US Geological Survey.  Laurel was recognized for her long and productive 30 year career with the USGS’s mineral resources research program, mostly in the Lake Superior region and for her scientific contributions and service to the ILSG, especially her serving as meeting chair in 1996 (Cable, WI), 2003 (Iron Mtn, MI), and 2007 (Lutsen, MN).  Laurel was presented the medal at the annual banquet by Bill Cannon, her colleague and mentor at the USGS who received the Goldich medal in 1992.  The evening banquet talk was presented by Dr. Francis M. Carroll of the University of Manitoba - Winnipeg and St. Johns University.  The title of his talk was:  "A Line in the Trees: History of the US-Canadian Boundary from Lake Superior to Lake of the Woods".

The meeting offered six full-day and three Friday afternoon field trips that highlighted various aspects of the geology, ore deposits, and culture of the central Mesabi Range.  Most trips were filled to capacity with a cumulative total of 255 field trip attendees.  Three pre-meeting field trips run on Wednesday, May 14 included: 1) Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Structure, and Mineralization of the Biwabik Iron Formation, Central Mesabi Iron Range  led by Phil Larson (Duluth Metals), Marsha Patelke (UMD-NRRI), Jakob Wartman (Cliffs NR), Michael Totenhagen (Arcelor Mittal), Mark Jirsa (MGS), Steven Losh (Minnesota State University-Mankato), and Peter Jongewaard (Cliffs NR); 2) A Walk in the Park – Neoarchean Geology of Lake Vermilion State Park led by George Hudak (UMD-NRRI),  Amy Radakovich (MGS),  Geoff Pignotta (UW - Eau Claire), and Kelly Schwierske (UW - Eau Claire); and 3) Western Mesabi Range Mining Operations led by Doug Halverson (Cliffs NR), Dan Cervin (Cliffs NR), William Everett (Essar Steel), Kevin Kangas (Essar Steel), and  Joey Nielsen (Magnetation).

Three Friday afternoon trips included:  1) State Drill Core Library – Hibbing, Minnesota led by Dave Dahl, Barry Frey, and other MNDNR staff and Dean Rossell (Kennecott Exploration, Rio Tinto); 2) Hibbing’s Iron Mining and Cultural History led by Henry Djerlev, Bob Kearney, Erica Larson and other Hibbing Historical Society staff; and 3) Mineview from a Canoe led by Mark Jirsa (MGS), Dan Jordan (IRRRB), andDale Cartwright (MNDNR).

Three post-meeting trips were run on Saturday, May 17 and included: 1) Visions of Maturi: The Geology of the South Kawishiwi Intrusion led by Dean Peterson (Duluth Metals Ltd.); 2) The St. Louis Sublobe and Glacial Lake Upham led by Phil Larson (Duluth Metals Ltd.), Alan Knaeble (MGS), Howard Mooers (UMD), and Lisa Marlo (Halcon Resources Corp.); and 3) Geology and Gold Mineralization of the Virginia Horn Area led by Mark Jirsa (MGS), Bill Rowell (Vermillion Gold), Rick Sandri - (Vermillion Gold), and Jason Richter (MN DOT).

Please enjoy some photos of the meeting in our photo gallery.

The student paper committee comprised of  Andrew Ware (PolyMet Mining), Prajukti Bhattacharyya (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), and  Rob Cundari (Ontario Geological Survey had the onerous task of judging 17 oral and 20 poster presentations by students. The committee awarded 4 Doug Duskin Student Paper Awards with a cash prize of $500 each to Amanda Van Lankfelt (U Mass.), Adrian Arts (Lakehead), Monica Karman (Lakehead), and Darcy Jacobson (Michigan Tech.).

To defray student’s expenses for travel and registration, a total of $6400 was distributed to 32 students representing 8 different schools.  This generous aid was provided by the Eisenbrey Student Travel Awards.  Additional student travel support was provided  by funds contributed by 11 meeting registrants (Mary Arthur, Jack Berkley, Karl Everett, John Green, George Hudak, Peter Jongewaard, Steven Losh, Al MacTavish, Gordon Medaris, Michael Mudrey, and Jill Peterman),and several corporations and organizations (Eagle Mine, Teck American, Midwest Institute of Geosciences and Engineering, and GEI Consultants).  Ron Seavoy provided a particularly generous donation to establish and maintain the Joe Mancuso Student Research Grant program.  Three $500 Mancuso research grants were awarded in 2014 to Michael Doyle (UMD), Michael Fedorchuk (UW-Milwaukee), and Sarah Sauer (UMD).

The Institute’s Board of Directors met on May 15, 2014. The meeting was attended by meeting co-chair Jim Miller, Treasurer Mark Jirsa, Secretary Peter Hollings, and board members Allan Blaske (2013 chair) and Al MacTavish (2012 chair). Incoming chair for the 2015 ILSG, Pete Hinz, also attended.  Secretary Hollings took the minutes of the Board meeting that are as follows:

  1. Accepted report of the Chairs for the 59th ILSG, Houghton, Michigan; as printed in the Proceeding Volume (Blaske), and minutes of last Board meeting, May 9, 2013 (Hollings)
  2. Received, discussed, and accepted 2013-2014 ILSG Financial Summary (Jirsa).
  3. Received, discussed, and accepted 2013-2014 report of the Secretary (Hollings).
  4. Approved Jim Miller as on-going ILSG Board member
  5. Approved Dryden as the site for the 61st annual ILSG meeting. The meeting will be hosted by the Ontario Geological Survey with Peter Hinz and Rob Cundari serving as co-chairs.
  6. Discussed and approved renewal of Mark Jirsa as Institute Secretary (end of term 2017). This was later approved by a vote of the membership
  7. Discussed and approved replacing Graham Wilson as the “member from industry” on Goldich Committee (end of term 2017) with Helene Lukey
  8. Discussed student attendance and presentations at future meetings.


We would like to thank the participants, especially the students, for supporting the Institute by their attendance and enthusiasm, the field trip leaders for their hard work, the presenters for their high quality and informative talks and posters, the session chairs and subcommittee members for their important contributions, and the meeting sponsors for their generosity in helping students participate in the Institute.   

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Miller and Mark Jirsa

Co-Chairs, 60th Institute on Lake Superior Geology



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