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HIGHER EDUCATION NOTEBOOK: Educators head west for oil and gas tour

Professors are getting an up-close and personal look at the oil fields in western North Dakota this week.

Fifteen North Dakota University System professors and five administrators are touring a coal mine operation and an operating oil rig near Belfield, and the Dakota Prairie Refinery under construction north of Dickinson. Participants will also hear from industry officials.

“They’re there to learn a little bit more about the energy industry,” Petroleum Council spokeswoman Tessa Sandstrom said. “There are many jobs in the oil and gas industries. Being educators in those fields, they can find out first-hand what it’s like and take that back to students.”

The tour is being held by the Lignite Energy Council and the Petroleum Council, which have sponsored similar tours for high school educators in the past.

“The feedback we’ve gotten has been very good,” Sandstrom said in reference to the high school tours. “For them, it’s about trying to take a lot of lessons back to the classroom, focusing not just on oil and gas but how we can get students interested in math and science.”

The tour will conclude today.

Other news

  •  UND has announced the launch of “Learning and Development,” a rebranding of the “U2-University within the University” professional development learning function. The new program aims to provide opportunities for staff to participate in professional and personal development sessions, including courses and mentoring services designed to build and retain talent within the university.
  •  UND summer undergraduates will present their research at the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience poster session from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday in the Vennes Atrium of the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Students participated throughout the summer with mentor scientists from the Department of Biology, the Departments of Pathology and Basic Sciences and the Center for Rural Health.
  •  The 2014 Ox Cart Days celebration will kick off with the annual ice cream social from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 13 on the UMC campus mall. Free ice cream will be served, along with music by the Woodpicks.

More info: Share higher education news at; include “Higher ed notebook” in the subject heading. To see more regional higher education news, visit the websites of UNDUniversity of Minnesota-CrookstonNorthland Community and Technical CollegeMayville State University and Lake Region State College. Herald Staff Writer Dani Meyer contributed to this column. 

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson is the higher education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of South Dakota's Mass Communication program and is originally from Watertown, S.D. Contact her with story ideas or tips by phone, email or Twitter, all of which are listed below. Examples of her work can be accessed here.

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