SURF invites public to laboratory update with executive director Mike Headley

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Headshot of Mike Headley in front of a green background with the text "Deep Talks: Going with the (air)flow"
Photo by Adam Gomez


LEAD, SD— On Thursday, April 20, “Deep Talks: Going with the (air)flow” will take audiences behind the scenes of the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, South Dakota.

Mike Headley, SURF laboratory director, will share an update on facility and experiment progress over the past year. Then, SURF team members will dive into one aspect of operating America’s deepest underground science lab: directing airflow throughout 370 miles of tunnels, drifts, and shafts.

“We have so many talented staff who are doing amazing work at SURF each day,” Headley said. “We’re excited to share some of the behind the scenes work at SURF that’s advancing world-leading science.”

Headley will be joined by Jason Connot, Andrew Brosnahan, and Ashley Armstrong, who will talk about underground airflow at SURF. Connot, underground operations engineer, and Brosnahan, facility engineer, will dig into the nuts and bolts of tracking and directing underground airflow. Armstrong, science education specialist, will use a hands-on activity to help attendees conceptualize how air travels through hundreds of miles of drifts, ramps, and shafts at SURF.

The Deep Talks lecture series is sponsored by Crow Peak Brewing Company, RCS Construction, Northern Hills Federal Credit Union, Edward Jones, and Chuck and Jolene Lichtenwalner. 

How to attend:

Deep Talks is held at the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, 160 W. Main Street, in Lead, South Dakota. The event begins at 5 p.m. MT with a social hour that includes a Crow Peak Brewing Company beer tasting (must be 21 and older to drink) and light refreshments. This social hour will coincide with the Lead Area Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Mixer at the Visitor Center. The presentation will begin in the Visitor Center classroom at 6 p.m. MT.

Want to attend virtually? The presentation will be livestreamed on this webpage starting at 6 p.m. MT:

Sanford Underground Research Facility is operated by the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (SDSTA) with funding from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Our mission is to advance world class science and inspire learning across generations. Visit SURF at

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