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Environment, mineral resources, economy, industry, influence, leadership, Montana Tech


Presentation by Leigh W. Freeman. Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring published in 1962 marked the birth of concepts leading to the development of mineral resources with a balance of economic, environmental and social imperatives. Montana plays a special role in this story. It is 'the last best place.' As such it can serve as a bell-weather state for Carson's revelations. Consider: Butte as a poster child for legacy problems resulting from resource development under solely economic imperatives; and Montana as a first-adapter in 1971 of state environmental laws based on imperatives heralded with Silent Spring. What better place is there to educate and develop leaders and incubate the future of resource development in global sustainability?

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Leigh Freeman is an industry-focused entrepreneur with a degree in Geological Engineering from Montana Tech. Last year Leigh served as the mining representative for the National Research Council’s report on Emerging Workforce Trends in the US Energy and Mining Industry. He recently submitted an invited paper to the National Academy of Engineering on The Future of Mining. He founded the BitterRoot Institute, a study group addressing the role of natural resources in global sustainability. Leigh serves with the Society of Mining Engineers on education and sustainability committees. He participates on industry advisory boards at a number of universities including Montana Tech. Currently he is a principal with Downing Teal, a global talent-recruiting company specializing in the resource sectors. In addition, he serves as Chairman and CEO of Blue Sun Energy, a private company commercializing innovative technologies in the alternative fuels sector. His wife Toni is also a Geo-logical Engineering graduate from Montana Tech. They live in Indian Hills, Colorado.