Geology and Geological Engineering

Dr. Colin Paterson
Economic Geology - Exploring for Mineral Resources
Research Teaching People News & Links Publications CV

Meet the team

My research team uses mineralogical, petrological, structural, and geochemical analysis to develop descriptive and genetic models of a variety of types of ore deposits. Many of these deposits are in the Black Hills uplift of South Dakota. The Black Hills is known for rare element pegmatites associated with the Harney Peak granite batholiths, a variety of gold deposits ranging in age from early Proterozoic to Cenozoic, and a new rare earth element prospect in the Bear Lodge of Wyoming.

Current Projects:

  • U-Pb baddeleyite crystallization age for a Corson diabase intrusion: possible Midcontinent Rift magmatism in eastern South Dakota - Kelli A. McCormick, Kevin R. Chamberlain, Colin J. Paterson, 2017 - Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, v.55, p 111-117 )
  • Completed Projects:
    • Paul Woods, MS 2015 Characterization and Distribution of Breccia, Whitetail Ridge, Bear Lodge, WY: Implications for emplacement of carbonatite and REE mineralization.
    • Rachel Pate, MS 2016 The Study of Gabbroic Intrusions, Wakonda, Clay County, South Dakota: What is Their Potential for PGE (Ni-Cu) Mineralization?
    • Tony Gesualdo, MS 2016 Structural analysis of the Marigold Gold Deposit, Nevada.

    Faculty Associates:

    • Dr Alvis Lisenbee, Emeritus Professor, Geol/GeoE, SDSM&T
    • Dr Ed Duke, Professor, Geol/GeoE, SDSM&T
    • Dr Zeynep Baran, Assistant Professor, SDSM&T
    • Dr Kelli McCormick, Lecturer, Mining Eng and Management, SDSM&T

    Former students:

    • Rachel Haley (MS 2016) Instructor, Austin Peay University, Tennessee
    • Paul Woods (MS 2015)
    • Andrew Armstrong (MS 2013) Newmont Corp., Elko, NV.
    • Chris Pellowski (PhD 2012) Instructor, SDSM&T.

    For prospective students

    Dr Paterson retired as a fulltime faculty member in May 2014 - however, he will be staying on as Emeritus Professor and Curator of Mineralogy for the SDSM&T Museum of Geology. He continues to pursue ore deposit research but will no longer be advising graduate students
  • Prospective students can contact other faculty in the department for future research projects and support.
  • A graduate student in ore deposits should ideally have experience as an intern with a mining or exploration company. The elements of a good researcher in ore deposits are:
    • Self-motivation
    • Strong analytical skills
    • Knowledge of chemistry, mineralogy, petrology, and structural geology
    • Creativity
    • Effective written and oral communication skills

contact: Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, 501 E. Saint Joseph St., SDSMT, Rapid City, SD 57701
phone: (605)394-5114 / fax: (605)394-6703 / email: