News Releases

SD Mines students receive $50,000 geological modeling software donation
Release Date Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (Aug. 12, 2014) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has received more than $50,000 worth of software donations from Leapfrog, a leader in 3D geological modeling software, for use by the student chapter of the Society of Economic Geologists.

Kelli McCormick, Ph.D., instructor, Department of Mining Engineering & Management, says Leapfrog Geo and Mining products will be used to model ore deposits for evaluation and mining purposes, providing students with access to commercial-grade technology.

Geared toward the mining, hydrogeology and geothermal energy industries, Leapfrog’s software takes raw drillhole data and creates surfaces using interpolation. The software is also fully dynamic, meaning any new drillhole information that becomes available can be loaded, and the models will update automatically based on the rules with which they were built. In addition, its impressive processing power allows users to model highly complex geology, while the software’s evaluation component duplicates models to test various hypotheses, improving geological understanding.

Leapfrog Promotion Manager Toni Stenhouse explained that the time saved by using the technology will allow geologists to “focus on doing what they do best, interpreting the geology.”

Economic geology students, who study mineral deposits and the geologic processes leading to their formation, stand to gain invaluable, real-world experience with industry-standard software.

“Exploration geologists and mine geologists use this program routinely, and it will be beneficial for the economic geology students to learn the program as they may have to know the program when they enter the workforce,” McCormick said.

Stenhouse said that’s the end goal for Leapfrog, as well, to ensure students entering the workforce are up to speed with the latest technology, leaving them fully proficient in the use of Leapfrog to give them a head start in industry.

“We are approaching well-respected schools, known for preparing highly capable, world-class geologists. South Dakota School of Mines & Technology most definitely fits this profile,” said Stenhouse.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,020 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at