SD Mines and Ellsworth partnering on anti-pollution

Sitting on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base during ‘Combat Raider 19-2,’ is a C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (Photo by Thomas Karol)

Sitting on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base during ‘Combat Raider 19-2,’ is a C-17 Globemaster III, assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. (Photo by Thomas Karol)

The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, will work with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center on broad range environmental stewardship goals at Ellsworth Air Force Base and at other facilities around the nation.

The agreement uses SDSM&T experts in environmental engineering, hydrology, geology, ecology, biology, chemistry, atmospheric sciences, paleontology and other disciplines to help the Air Force clean up contaminated sites, reduce and prevent future pollution, comply with environmental rules and law, and protect natural and cultural resources at Air Force installations.

The 10-year agreement was signed in June. Details on cooperative projects will be announced as they develop.

This arrangement sets the stage for increasing academic-public-private partnerships that help aid environmental clean-up efforts around Air Force installations, including contaminants such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

“This agreement is a win-win. It boosts top-tier science and engineering research and education at SD Mines while supporting the Department of Defense effort to find the most efficient and innovative solutions to these challenges,” said Mines President Jim Rankin.

Mines will use this partnership in training the next generation of environmental scientists and engineers. “Our students will have opportunities to contribute to multidisciplinary teams in a highly collaborative environment,” said Lisa Kunza, associate professor of chemistry and biology, who is leading the faculty team at SD Mines and coordinating the efforts.

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