Lignite Energy Council sponsoring its annual teachers seminar

Jun 17, 2014

The Lignite Energy Council is again sponsoring its Lignite Education Seminar.

As Prairie Public’s Dave Thompson reports, it gives teachers a chance to learn about the state’s coal and power generation industries.

Owen Owens is a teacher in Surrey.

“I teach earth science and geology.”

Owens was introduced to his fellow teachers as someone who is very knowledgeable about coal – something he says is a little bit of an over-statement.

“Not super-knowledgeable, but I’ve spent a lot of time in Wyoming. I’m familiar with a lot of the sub-bituminous mines in North America.”

But he’s not as familiar with lignite. So that’s what he’s hoping to learn.

“How they mine it, generate it, produce it, what environmental controls they have, what they’re doing in the future about global warming – things to that effect.”

Jennifer Luckee teaches in Minneapolis.

“I teach actually health – high school health.”

Luckee says she’s also hoping to learn how to incorporate lignite coal into her lesson plans.

"Hopefully I will learn that. I don’t know much about lignite, which is why I came. The whole energy – the different types of energy that we have here, so that’s what I’m hoping to learn is how can I incorporate that.”

Luckee says she was encouraged to sign up by a friend from Beulah, Colleen Dailey.

“I’m a counselor – a K-12 counselor.”

Dailey came to learn as well – but she has a different reason.

“Some of our kids will be heading into the energy workforce. So this is good for me to get some additional information.”

Dailey says there will be a number of good-paying jobs in the industry – as people are retiring.

“Especially in my area – I know that DGC right now has a lot of retirements and turnover. And so – also with Butler Machinery. So they’ve been talking to us about getting our kids trained and sharing us where the programs are available for our students.”

The teachers will take tours of lignite mines and power plants. The seminar lasts through Thursday.