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Arizona Experience Sponsors

We are pleased to recognize the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation as the presenting sponsor of the Virtual Arizona Experience.

Freeport-McMoRan Foundation (http://www.fcx.com) is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. Freeport is the world’s largest publicly traded copper producer and has a dynamic portfolio of operating, expansion and growth projects in the copper industry. Freeport is also the world’s largest producer of molybdenum and a significant gold producer.

When Phelps Dodge merged with Freeport-McMoRan in March 2007, it carried with it a history dating from 1834. Phelps Dodge began business as a New York City-based mercantile company, taking its name from the founding partners: Anson Phelps, a one-time saddle maker, and his son-in-law, William Dodge, a merchant in dry goods. At first it traded American products to England in exchange for copper, iron, tin and other metals. After growing into an accomplished mercantile and metals company, the company entered mining in 1881 by investing in the Detroit Copper Mining Co. in Morenci, Arizona. Eventually, Phelps Dodge quit the import-export business altogether in 1906.

Over time, Phelps Dodge developed copper deposits in Arizona and New Mexico, ultimately obtaining mines in Chile and Peru as well. Known for innovations in productivity, the company was among the first in the industry in the early twentieth century to convert to open-pit mining from the conventional underground method. Phelps Dodge also occupied a leading role in the industry in developing the methods used to process ore. In the mid-1980s, it was the first to use solution extraction and electrowinning on a large commercial scale. In addition, Phelps Dodge was among the first in the industry to incorporate global positioning satellite systems into its operating practices.


The Helios Education Foundation is supporting development of educational materials and tools on the Virtual Arizona Experience website through a generous grant to the Arizona Centennial Commission.

Helios Education Foundation (http://www.helios.org) is the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The Foundation’s community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Scholarships. Since inception in 2004, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars in education-related programs and initiatives across both states.

The goal of the Foundation is to increase the number of young adults successfully completing postsecondary education with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete in a global economy… leading to an improved quality of life.


Microsoft Research is co-sponsor of a new contest aimed at encouraging and helping Arizona K-12 teachers to use the content and software tools in Virtual Arizona Experience for classroom teaching and lesson plans. Details of the contest are under development and will be announced in coming weeks.

Microsoft Research (http://research.microsoft.com) is dedicated to conducting both basic and applied research in computer science and software engineering. Researchers focus on more than 60 areas of computing and collaborate with leading academic, government and industry researchers to advance the state of the art. Microsoft Research has expanded over the years to eight locations worldwide and a number of collaborative projects that bring together the best minds in computer science to advance a research agenda based on their unique talents and interests.


We acknowledge Esri for a generous in-kind contributions of software and technical assistance from conception through launch.

Esri (http://www.esri.com) is the leader in Geographic Information System (GIS) software development. Esri is built on the philosophy that a geographic approach to problem solving ensures better communication and collaboration. GIS technology leverages this geographic insight to address social, economic, business, and environmental concerns at local, regional, national, and global scales.