Minutes of SD Space Grant Consortium Quarterly Meeting
May 5, 2001 (held during South Dakota Space Days 2001)

A quarterly meeting of the SD Space Grant Consortium institutional members was held at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, 2001 as part of SD Space Days at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City. Consortium members present at the meeting included Director, Dr. Sherry Farwell (SDSM&T), Dr. Dan Swets (Augustana College), Ms. Jan Matthiesen (USGS EROS Data Center/Raytheon ITSS), and Mr. Tom Durkin (SDSM&T). Mr. Kevin Dalsted (SDSU) provided comments afterwards.

Dr. Farwell opened by discussing the potential increase in Space Grant funding if the proposed $28M budget goes through. The Program Initiation Grant (PIG) program was discussed. It was acknowledged that not all PIG projects can be expected to be a success, but several recent PIG projects have produced very good results. We briefly discussed the two new industrial affiliates that came on board in 2001.

The majority of the meeting discussion focused on four action items that are designed to better engage Consortium members in collaborative projects, specifically between Consortium universities, USGS EROS Data Center (EDC), and industry.

Action Item #1: Compile a list of companies and contacts that work with EDC, with which SDSGC could interface.

Depending on the company or individual contact person, the appropriate SDSGC representative could initiate contact to get a collaborative project going. Kevin Dalsted later informed Tom Durkin that SDSU's University/Industry Technology Service (UITS) has a list of SD Manufacturers obtained through the Governor's Office of Economic Development. Kent Rufer, who works for Kevin Dalsted, could develop a list of companies that have connections with the Aerospace Aviation Manufacturing Industry (i.e., by looking at the SIC codes).

Action Item #2: Engage industry by having some ideas of potential projects.

In terms of identifying potential projects, each of the meeting participants should come up with a short list of projects. Kevin Dalsted later suggested that a brainstorming session with industry would be a good way to build upon the short list.

We specifically discussed EROS/university collaboration. A good way to begin the process of listing potential collaborative projects with industry is to focus on EROS/Raytheon projects that have potential collaborative value. Tom Durkin will create a website listing EROS/Raytheon projects that are supplied to him by EROS/Raytheon. A skeleton web page has been created for this purpose and is located at

The list of projects will then be announced to university faculty to solicit interest in collaborative work. The group discussed the value of having EROS/Raytheon scientists give 30 minute presentations on a few of the listed projects to campus faculty via interactive TV (Digital Dakota Network - DDN). A Q&A period and subsequent e-mail communication should follow the presentations. The group will decide which of the listed projects are chosen for presentation via DDN. The Space Grant Consortium will sponsor the presentations.

In discussing the topic of EROS/university projects, the value of collaborative papers (with the goal of producing peer-reviewed publications) was raised. The summer faculty/graduate student research fellowships at EDC provided by the Space Grant has resulted in publications and should continue to be used with that goal in mind. Joint publications create a win-win situation for EDC and the respective universities.

After the process of identifying potential collaborative projects is well underway, Consortium members should present a proposed "South Dakota" project to SD's Congressional Delegation. Congressman Thune's office has offered to help fund such projects. This is an opportunity that should not be passed up. The presentation of such a project should have clearly defined themes and goals.

Action Item #3: Collaborative research. Since we are already a consortium, we should leverage the Space Grant administration already in place to allow for more explicit institutional research collaboration.

Example 1: SDSMT/SDSU faculty may be looking for undergraduate students to work on various research projects. This program would allow for Augustana undergraduate students to fill some such positions. The student could spend a summer or a few weeks at the graduate institution, then work remotely on the project. The graduate school may enjoy a slightly reduced overhead produced from using a "telecommuting" paradigm, but the real benefit would be the exposure to a larger undergraduate student pool and the additional hooks to recruit undergraduate students to attend the South Dakota graduate school. The undergraduate institution would benefit by providing the students a unique experience not available from an undergraduate-only institution.

Example 2: An Augustana faculty could serve as a mentor--or perhaps even the major professor--for a grad student at a graduate institution (committee would still be at the home institution). This would benefit Augustana as we have none of our own graduate students, and we would be exposed to a pool of graduate research assistants. It would benefit the graduate school by off-loading some of the workload from graduate professors and providing a larger pool of research interests.

Furthermore, this arrangement could be expanded for research collaborations between SDSMT and SDSU as well.

Action Item #4: Native American Plan. Devise a plan for involving more of the Native American population in Space Grant Consortium projects and activities. Additional outreach in this area would be beneficial. After the meeting, Dan Swets spoke with Mike Collins of Oglala Lakota College (OLC) about collaborations between OLC and Augustana. OLC has faculty on-staff that Augustana would like to tap, and vice versa. Augustana would like to proceed by starting over the videoconferencing network.

The meeting concluded after approximately 45 minutes.

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