Larry Zanko M.S.

Professional Title
Senior Research Program Manager

Larry Zanko is the Senior Research Program Manager for the NRRI's Minerals and Metallurgy Research Group. He has worked in the minerals field for most of his 30+ year professional career. Since his start with NRRI in 1988, he has led or participated in numerous research projects related to the entire spectrum of Minnesota's mineral resource types (ferrous, non-ferrous, and industrial), including environmentally related studies and projects having mineral resource modeling and estimation components.

Research focus areas include mineral waste characterization, transportation infrastructure (construction aggregates and pavements), and beneficial use of mineral-based byproducts generated by mining and other industrial activities, with an eye on their potential for value-added product development and innovative technology uses, and consideration of their potential environmental impact.

Larry regularly interacts and collaborates with public and private sector professionals and academicians in the geological, minerals, transportation, and environmental fields, inside and outside Minnesota.


  • M.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1995
  • B.S. Geological Engineering, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, 1986
  • B.S. Microbiology, University of Minnesota St. Paul, 1986


  • Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Committee (ADC60)
  • Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME)


Google Scholar profile

Featured Research Projects

Developing a durable road repair patch utilizing taconite tailings, the waste rock left over from the iron ore mines on Minnesota's Iron Range.

NRRI News Articles

Lake sediment sampling reveals historical air quality on Iron Range

Media Coverage