University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Last updated: Friday, 21-Feb-2003 19:45:53 CST

Aug. 8, 2003

UW-River Falls Professor Chosen for Prestigious Award

UW-River Falls geology Professor William Cordua will be honored at the 2003 Midwest Federation Convention and Show.

The Midwest Federation of Mineralogical and Geological Societies selected Cordua as an honorary award winner for 2003. He is one of six winners of this prestigious award in the entire country. He was nominated by area gem and mineral clubs.

The source of his nomination is typical for Cordua, who has been particularly collaborative in his work off campus. This year he also wrote the CD script for a geological tour of Pierce County, which the tourism council Pierce County Partners in Tourism is releasing this month.

Cordua said of the award and his other projects, "I'm not used to so many good things happening to me at once. This month has been very busy."

Along with receiving a plaque at the 2003 Midwest Federation Convention and Show in Cottage Grove, Minn., he will be responsible for selecting two graduate students in geology to receive a $2,000 scholarship per year for two years.

Students selected must show significant financial need and good credentials.

Cordua said that since UW-RF does not have a graduate program in geology, he selected two students from the University of Minnesota.

At the convention, which is open to the public, Cordua will have a booth set up for free rock and mineral identification. He will also give a talk about the beautiful and rare minerals found in the Flambeau copper mine in Rusk County, Wis.

"The minerals found in the mine are not just minerals only a geologist would love. They have neat shapes, intense color, and beautiful combinations."

The convention and show takes place Aug. 15-17 at the Cottage Grove National Guard Armory. For more information, go to

The Pierce County Partners in Tourism recently released a tour CD of Pierce County's unique geological features. Cordua worked on the script for the CD for many years. UW-RF Geography Professor Charlie Rader worked on the maps that accompany the CD.

Cordua often is contacted often for his expertise in minerals. Besides working on the CD script, he was recently interviewed for an article about gold prospecting by a reporter from a Milwaukee newspaper.

The CD is an audio tour designed for people to listen to during self-guided auto tours. The tour starts in Prescott, makes a circle around the county, and ends in Prescott. Included with the CD is a geological and relief map of the county, a synopsis of the geological and cultural history of the county, biographies of the contributors, photos, and a listing of each track on the CD.

Cordua said the tour CD is unique because there are very few tours that are not in book format, at least in the Midwest.

Partners tourism Coordinator Susan Amman hopes this CD will bring more visitors to Pierce County and teach the public about the geological and cultural history of the area.

"The tour is directly related to what Pierce County is all about: nature, recreation and relaxation. Our tag line is 'Explore our Backroads' and this tour does exactly that. Visitors explore the roads that are not only significant to our past, but are what Pierce County is today."

For more information about the tour CD, visit



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