Educational Short Courses

Short Courses are developed specifically for the minerals professional. These courses provide professional development that is part of the path to a successful career. Take advantage of the short courses offered in conjunction with the SME MN Conference and enhance your career trajectory.

All courses include:

  • Course material
  • Coffee breaks
  • 4 PDHs


Monday, April 15th, 2024

12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Cost: $80

Process Modeling: Introduction and Case Studies

Gooseberry Falls 3

This course serves as a primer to the applications of process modeling relevant to process development in both the design and optimization stages. The course is planned to begin with an overview of the basics for process modeling and then progress to multiple case studies presented by process modeling software companies. Within the training information displayed will be utilizing both METSIM and JKSimMet process modeling suites for use in mining and mineral processing applications.


Weiguo Xie, Associate Professor, Swenson College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota Duluth

Professor Xie started his teaching and research career when he was awarded his PhD in 2002 at UMIST, Manchester, UK. Previously, he worked as a Research Fellow at City University of London (2003 - 2005), Research Associate at the University of Manchester (2006 - 2011), Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia (2011 - 2016) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter in the UK (2016 – 2019). He also had one-year work experience in 2006 as a Senior Software Engineer of CFD at CDAJ UK Ltd. His expertise is in mathematical modelling, simulation, optimization, measurement and control in chemical engineering and minerals processing. He is a member of IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers) in the United Kingdom, and a member of SME (Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration).

Alex Holtzapple, Managing Director, Metsim International

Alex Holtzapple is the current president of METSIM International LLC. Metsim International (MSI) was formed in July 2018 from the core group that has owned and operated the METSIM® software since its first version was offered commercially in the early 1980s. Boasting a diverse team in ownership and management, MSI and METSIM® are prepared for longevity despite fluctuating world markets. Our focus is to continue to build upon an already sturdy foundation, providing industry-leading software solutions and professional support from our international process engineering team. Adhering to the METSIM® culture, our customers can be assured that program development will aim to provide additional tools to the mining and minerals market without forcing end-users to “relearn” our software packages with each update. Furthermore, our customers’ insight and suggestions for improvements will always be welcomed.


Environmental: Tribal Sovereignty & Engagement

Split Rock

This course will provide an enlightenment of Native American Treaties in Minnesota, tribal leadership perspectives, and a panel discussion, all intended to create meaningful discussion on tribal sovereignty.


Doug Thompson, American Indian Studies Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota

Douglas Thompson joined the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota Duluth in the fall of 2020. He teaches courses for the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) program, the Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship (MTRES) program, and the Tribal Administration and Governance (TAG) program. He is from the Redbone community of southwestern Louisiana. Prior to joining the American Indian Studies team at UMD, he served in various roles as an environmental attorney, Tribal advocate, and freelance writer on Tribal sovereignty and Treaty Rights. Mr. Thompson also teaches the law of Sovereignty and Treaty Rights at the Leech Lake Tribal College and natural resources law at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Previously, he taught administrative and natural resources law at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He received his B.S. in Wildlife Conservation from Louisiana Tech University in 1989, M.A. in Natural Resource Economics from Auburn University in 1991, J.D. from Syracuse University in 1994, and L.L.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona in 2011. His research interests include Tribal natural resources management and restoration of Tribal lands. Douglas is passionate about supporting usufructuary rights, and advocating for environmental and social justice.

Panel Moderator: Veronica Parsell – Senior Cultural Resources Specialist, Barr Engineering

Veronica has 16 years of experience in cultural resources management, including Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), related state and federal cultural resource laws and regulations, and agency and consulting party coordination. Throughout her career, Veronica has directed projects involving large tracts of public and private land as well as linear corridor projects throughout the Midwest and Upper Midwest. Veronica enjoys educating clients and colleagues about how cultural resources fit within the larger project picture, including project timelines, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and regulatory triggers for Section 106 of the NHPA. She also exceeds the standards of the U. S. Secretary of the Interior’s professional qualifications in both prehistoric and historic archaeology, as defined in 36 CFR 61, Appendix A.

Diane Osceola, Community Liaison – Enbridge Energy

Wabegonaquay (Women who walks among flowers) aka: Diane Osceola lives in Onigum, MN, of the Wolf clan. She is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. She has been blessed to be surrounded by culture and traditions with the honor of being mentored by medicine people from the Blackfeet Blood Nation, the Ojibwe and Lakota. Diane’s career history is as diverse as her life. She was a commercial union carpenter and marketing rep for the Minnesota State Lottery, during which time she attend college at night and received her BA degree from the 1st All Native based college (Native American Educational Services –NAES, Chicago, IL) in Minnesota. The month she graduated, Indian Gaming started in MN, and thus began her 25+years in the HR world of Indian gaming both nationally and internationally. She worked in Minnesota the majority of the time, but also in Edmonton, Alberta and Idaho before coming back home to Minnesota, where she worked for the Leech Lake Band as the director of the Twin Cities Office, eventually serving as the tribal chairwoman. A little over 4 years ago she was presented with the opportunity to work in the energy industry as a Community/Tribal Liaison covering the Leech Lake reservation. What better way to learn, share and educate her people and the communities on energy while being a cultural resource and connection for the non-natives to enhance their understanding of traditional Anishinaabe ways of life. The Creator has guided her life to be where and when she is needed the most.

Roland Hill, Board President, Red Lake Band of Ojibwe

Roland Hill grew up and resides in Aitkin, Mn. He started working with his father at Simon’s Body Shop painting his first car at age 15. Cars and racing stock cars was a passion shared with family, but his father encouraged him to get out of the auto body business, complete college and go do “something easier”. Roland worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service for 3 years and in 1992 he joined Grand Casino Mille Lacs as a community liaison and eventually became Vice President of Marketing. In 2002, Roland left Grand Casino and started his entrepreneurship and fun ventures. Roland has a Bachelor Degree in Marketing from Concordia College in St Paul. Over the years, the true passion for building bridges between Indigenous People and their community neighbors became evident. From that passion, Roland decided to make his livelihood in putting people around the table for business reasons. His network stretches over several Tribes, regions and industries, including real estate, gaming, energy, insurance, automotive, non-profit, education, mining, outdoors and philanthropic organizations. As a proud member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, he spends ample time within the Red Lake Nation Community. In 2022, Roland was elected to the Aitkin School Board. Roland also serves on the University Of Minnesota Crookston’s Campus Advancement and Advisory Board and is a Director for Long Lake Conservation Foundation in Aitkin County. He’s past board president for Red lake Incorporated and Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce. Roland has been married to his wife Kay, (Edina Realty Realtor) for 33 years and together they have two sons, Kylan, (MnDNR Conservation Officer) and Kinzer, (Aitkin County Forester). Roland and Kay are enjoying being first time grandparents to their grandson Simon Hill. Roland’s passions are the outdoors chasing whitetails on the Rez and fishing Lower Red Lake for the famous Red Lake Walleye.

Cody Meyer, Tribal Liaison, Talon Minerals

Cody has served in the Michigan Army National Guard for over 9 years and enlisted when he was 17 years old. He has deployed in both state and federal emergencies. In 2020 Cody was elected to the Marquette City Commission. The Commission, elected Mayor Pro-Tem in November 2021, and at 25 years old he was elected Mayor of Marquette in November 2022 making him the youngest Mayor in Marquette's history. Cody was re-elected to the Commission in November of 2023. Prior to joining the Talon team, Cody has been with Flagstar Bank working as a Relationship Banker and Certified Lender. In this role he volunteered as the branch community lead and served on Flagstar's National Native American ERG Leadership team, where he was designated as the leadership teams Community Liaison. Cody earned his Bachelors in Public Administration from Northern Michigan University, where he also served two terms as the student body President. While still a student at NMU, Cody served as the Vice-Chair of the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. He was recognized as the NMU Veteran of the Year (2019) and the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student of the year. (2020) Cody and his family are enrolled members of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Cody serves as Regional Tribal Liaison for the Michigan Anishinabek Caucus.

‘Nazhike-awaasang’ Bradley E. Harrington, Director of Tribal Relations – Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Nazhike-awaasang (Misizaaga’iganing Ojibwe), comes from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe located in Central Minnesota. Born and raised on the Mille Lacs Indian Reservation, he spent time learning from his grandparents about Ojibwe Life. He is a lifelong student of Ojibwe language & culture and has studied at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, Central Lakes College, UMD, UofM Twin Cities, Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona Tucson and the Native Governance Center. He has received certification from the Native Nations Institute, the Blandin Foundation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and White Bison/Wellbriety. He has facilitated activities at the Tribal/State Relations Training relating to Ojibwe Language & Culture, Treaties and Federal Indian Law. In the summer of 2017, he was sworn in as the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and began rebranding the local Tribal DNR to incorporate cultural knowledge and language as a Natural Resource. He currently serves as the Director of Tribal Relations for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources where he coordinates the Tribal Consultation process. He also runs a small business called Wenji-bimaadizing Media that oversees websites, podcasts, merchandise production and video production as well as the Ojibwe Language Website/App He is a parent of Ojibwe immersion students and works in the community as an advocate for immersion education. He performs Ojibwe Ceremonies in many communities in the region. He has Fasted twice for 4 days each seeking guidance to serve the Anishinaabe People. He has performed Traditional Healing for the past 2 years under the guidance of Mikinaak from Red Lake. He is also a 2022 Bush Fellow with a focus on Organizational Leadership and Technological Resources for Language and Culture. When he is not working in the tribal government as an advocate for Anishinaabe rights to language, education, spirituality and harvest, he spends time with his family.

Closing remarks: Ms. Cathy Chavers, Tribal Chairwoman – Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

For over thirty years, Cathy Chavers has served the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, focusing on health care before shifting her career to politics. In 2008, she kicked off her political career as the District I Representative of the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Council (BFRTC) and in April of 2016, she was elected Tribal Chairwoman. Cathy has had the honor to hold seats on various committees, forums, and Councils. Currently, she is the first female President of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT), the Bemidji Area Representative for the National Indian Health Service (IHS) Budget Forum, and a Member of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council (MIAC), Results First, and the St. Louis County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Board. One of her goals as Chairwoman is to be an honest and accountable leader to the Tribal members of Bois Forte. She aspires to provide positive direction for economic and workforce development while incorporating more culture and language back into the Reservation. Growing up in Orr, Minnesota, she is one of four daughters of Daniel and Doris (King) O’Connell. She has been married to her husband Ed for over 40 years and together they have two boys, Eddie and Tim. Cathy has been blessed with seven grandchildren, one great grandchild, seven dogs, and one bearded dragon. In her spare time, she enjoys being active and spending time outdoors. Cathy continues being an avid volleyball and sports enthusiast – still cheerleading and supporting community athletes.


Fugitive Dust: Mechanics, Mitigation, Modeling, & Moving Forward

Gooseberry Falls 1
• Summary of dust generating mechanics, soil conditions and types, and meteorological conditions.
• Best management practices for proactively mitigating dust generation.
• Modeling and forecasting approaches to fugitive dust mitigation and application.
• Understanding the larger impacts of adopting fugitive dust mitigation practices in permitting requirements and sustainability initiatives.

Instructor: Allison Serakos – Environmental Scientist – Barr Engineering Co

Allison helps clients solve complex problems in air, water, and climate programs. Her project work involves assessments related to GHG emissions and climate change, GHG reduction strategy development, air dispersion modeling, meteorological data analysis, and forecast model development. Before joining Barr, Allison completed her Master of Science in Land and Atmospheric Science with a focus on upper atmospheric and climate dynamics.



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