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(revised 03/12/2014)

Distinguished Lecturer Program Description

The Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) offers schools that normally do not have the opportunity to hear talks about recent advances in mineralogy to chose among several topics offered by distinguished Lecturers.  MSA pays travel expenses of the Lecturers if the host institution is responsible for local expenses, including accommodations and meals.  Since its inception the Lecture Program of the Mineralogical Society of America has proven to be a great success.  The varied and interesting lectures presented by MSA Distinguished Lecturers have been appreciated by students and faculty at many colleges and universities worldwide.

Beginning with the 2000-2001 Program, MSA expanded to include 3 lecturers, one of whom resides in Europe, and Lecturers were given in Europe as well as North America.  Because MSA membership is increasingly international, we now encourage all colleagues to request lecturers outside MSA's traditional geographic venues.

MSA Distinguished Lecturers for 2013-2014

Linda T. Elkins-Tanton
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington, DC USA
 who will offer lectures on

Five great mysteries from the first 10 Myr of the solar system.


Volcanoes and the Great Dying: The end-Permian extinction.

Nita Sahai
Department of Polymer Science, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio USA
 who will offer lectures on

Silicate Mineral Implants Direct Stem Cells to Promote New Bone Formation


Did Mineral Surface Chemistry Drive Evolution of Bacterial Extracellular Polymeric Substances?

Richard Wirth
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam, Germany
 who will offer lectures on

Nanoinclusions in minerals and rocks: small particles tell big stories.


FIB-TEM: Exploring Earth Materials with ions and electrons.

MSA Distinguished Lecturers for 2014-2015

Betheny Ehlmann
Department of Geological and Planetary Science, California Institute for Technology, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA
 who will offer lectures on

Aqueous Environments during Mars' First Billion Years: Mineralogic Clues from Orbiting Infrared Spectrometers.


Roving Mars with Curiosity: Geochemistry and Mineralogy at Gale Crater.

Colleen Hansel
Dept of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA USA
 who will offer lectures on

Making and Breaking Minerals: Microbes as Single-Celled Geochemists


Microbial and Geochemical Synergy in the Biomineralization of Manganese

Lutz Nasdala
Institute of Mineralogy and Crystallography, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
 who will offer lectures on

Micro-spectroscopy: New opportunities to explore non-destructively minerals and their internal textures.


Natural radiation damage in minerals: What can we learn?

Instructions to request an MSA Distinguished Lecturer

The 2013-2014 Lecture Programs are currently filled.

The 2014-2015 Lecture Program is now available for requests. It is designed to run from late September 2014 through April 2015. Requests received before May 4, 2014, will be given priority.  Late applications will be considered on a space-available basis. 

In making your request please include 

(1) airport proximity from, and travel time to, your institution, 
(2) the name of a contact person at your institution for the months of May and June (when Lecturer schedules will be assembled), 
(3) contact e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and 
(4) flexibility on Lecturer preference. 
(5) schools outside the U.S. should indicate the end date for spring-term 2014 classes. 

Please note that because of travel and schedule constraints it is normally not possible to satisfy requests for tightly constrained dates such as seminar days.

If your institution is interested in requesting the visit of a MSA Distinguished Lecturer for 2014-2015, please contact the Lecture Program Administrator:

Dr. Timothy W. Grover 
Castleton State College
Dept of Natural Sciences
Jeffords Center
233 South St
Castleton VT 05735-0001

e-mail: tim.grover@castleton.edu
Tel: +1 (802) 468-1289
Fax: +1 (802) 468-1170

Past MSA Distinguished Lecturers

  • 2014-2015 - Betheny Ehlmann (1) The Earliest Aqueous Environments on Mars: Insights from Orbiting Infrared Spectrometers and (2) Roving Mars with Curiosity; Colleen Hansel (1) Making and Breaking Minerals: Microbes as Single-Celled Geochemists and (2) Microbial and Geochemical Synergy in the Biomineralization of Manganese; Lutz Nasdala (1) Micro-spectroscopy: New opportunities to explore non-destructively minerals and their internal textures and (2) Natural radiation damage in minerals: What can we learn?
  • 2013-2014 - Linda T. Elkins-Tanton (1) Five great mysteries from the first 10 Myr of the solar system and (2) Volcanoes and the Great Dying: The end-Permian extinction; Nita Sahai (1) Silicate Mineral Implants Direct Stem Cells to Promote New Bone Formation and (2) Did Mineral Surface Chemistry Drive Evolution of Bacterial Extracellular Polymeric Substances?; Richard Wirth (1) Nanoinclusions in minerals and rocks: small particles tell big stories and (2) FIB-TEM: Exploring Earth Materials with ions and electrons
  • 2012-2013 - Julia A. Baldwin (1) Metamorphic phase diagrams and geochronology: You can’t have one without the other and (2) When the continental crust gets really hot: the petrology of ultrahigh temperature metamorphism; Matthew J. Kohn (1) How to become a fossil: a geochemist's guide and (2) Making the Himalaya: oozing, squashing or sliding?; Hans-Peter Schertl (1) A time machine for rocks: Cathodoluminescence microscopy of metamorphic and magmatic minerals and (2) How do mountains form? The critical evidence from small-scale petrological observation
  • 2011-2012 - Ethan F. Baxter (1) Making a long Story Short: Evidence for Brief Pulses of Metamorphism, (2) Garnet: Tree Rings of Crustal Evolution, and (3) Multiple Paths, Multiple Sinks: The Untold Story of Noble Gas Thermochronology; Sumit Chakraborty (1) How long do geological processes last? -The long and the short of it and (2) What does the hop of an atom tell us about the motion of tectonic plates?; Nancy Ross (1) Crystal Chemistry in the 21st Century and (2) Exploring Hydrogen Environments in Minerals with Neutrons
  • 2010-2011 - David Dobson (1) How Juicy is the Earth’s Inner Core? Reconciling Mineral Physics and Seismological Observations and (2) Deforming the Earth: Runny Solids in the Deep Mantle; Craig E. Manning (1) In Deep Water: New Insights into Geologic Fluids in the Deep Crust and Upper Mantle and (2) How Efficient is Earth's Volatile Recycling Program?; Terry Ann Plank (1) Are the Oceans Shrinking? The Subduction Zone Water Cycle and (2) Hot and Cold Slabs: New Constraints from Mineral-Fluid Thermometers
  • 2009-2010 - Katharine Cashman (1) Bubbles and Bangs: When are volcanic eruptions explosive?, (2) A Tale of Two Eruptions: Mount St. Helens 1980-1986 and 2004-2008 and (3) Hill of Fire: A modern look at the 1943-1952 eruption of Paricutin Volcano; David London (1) Gem-Bearing Pegmatites: Nature's ‘Fancy’ Rocks and (2) The Experimental Foundations of Igneous Petrology; Bruce Yardley (1) Mineral-fluid interactions and their consequences for the rheology of the continents and (2) What controls the chemistry of crustal fluids?
  • 2008-2009 - Donald Dingwell (1) Explosive volcanism: a materials catastrophe and (2) Flow of magma: solving a rheological puzzle; Jennifer Jackson (1) Diamonds, Iron, and X-rays: Views into Earth's Interior and (2) The Behavior of Iron-bearing Mineral Assemblages in Earth's Lower Mantle; Bruce Marsh (1) History of Geologic Exploration of Antarctica Magma in the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Repository and (2) Magmatic Mush Column Magmatism: McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
  • 2007-2008 - Lukas P. Baumgartner (1) There is more to metamorphic petrology than phase diagrams: rates! and (2) How to assemble a proper intrusion and its contact aureole; Daniele J. Cherniak (1) Diffusion in minerals - from dinosaur teeth to the early Solar System and (2) Diffusion in zircon and other accessory phases - insights into Earth history; Steven D. Jacobsen (1) Water cycling in the deep Earth: are the oceans just the tip of the iceberg? and (2) Unfamiliar landscape in the deep mantle: properties of Earth materials at very high pressures and temperatures
  • 2006-2007 - Jane A. Gilotti (1) Diamond and coesite: forcing a new paradigm for continental collisions and (2) Clues to high pressure melting of metasedimentary rocks deep in the heart of mountain belts; Tim K. Lowenstein (1) Tracking changes in the chemistry of ancient seawater: Mammal blood, Salt, and Sea Shells and (2) High pCO2 in the Eocene Greenhouse world from Green River Na-carbonates; Stephen W. Parman (1) The history of the Earth written in helium and (2) Squinting at the Archean: komatiites and the thermal evolution of the Earth
  • 2005-2006 - Penelope L. King (1) Examining volatiles in magmas using experiments, analyses and fieldwork and (2) Salts on Mars: what are they and how did they get there?; Patrick J. O'Brien (1) From microscopic to macroscopic: how what we see in the microscope can be used to explain the formation of the Himalaya and (2) History written in stone: rocks as good, bad and indifferent eyewitnesses of geological processes; Thomas G. Sharp (1) Subduction through the transition zone: phase transitions, deep focus earthquakes and role of H2O and (2) High-pressure minerals in meteorites: deep-Earth minerals from the asteroid belt and collisions in the solar system
  • 2004-2005 - Rodney Ewing (1) Impact of nuclear power on the environment and (2) Minerals and the safe immobilization and disposal of plutonium; John Hanchar (1) Simulating 100 million years of radiation damage in six years: Experiments on plutonium-doped minerals and (2) Trace elements and isotopes in accessory minerals as a window into crustal processes; Bernard Wood (1) The Earth under pressure: Minerals of its deep interior and (2) Square pegs in round holes: Why and how trace elements enter minerals.
  • 2003-2004 - Bradley Hacker (1) Antipodal Fates of Continental Crust: Ultrahigh Pressure and Ultrahigh Temperature Metamorphism and (2) Why Subduction Zone Earthquakes? A Deep Relationship with MetamorphismJill Dill Pasteris  (1) Minerals: They Do a Body Good and (2) and Broadening our View of Minerals: Importance of Natural, Biological and Synthetic 'Minerals' ; David Vaughan (1) Minerals, Metals and Molecules: Ore and Environmental Mineralogy in the 21st Century and (2) Mineralogy: a Key to Sustaining the Health of Earth and Humanity.
  • 2002-2003 - Thomas Armbruster (1) Natural zeolites: From structure to applications and (2) From construction kits and building blocks to complex mineral structures:  How mineralogists learn what children knew for centuriesMickey Gunter  (1) Health effects of inhaled dust: Idaho farmers, Libby miners, and New York firefighters and (2) The future of polarized light microscopy: Dim, bright, or extinct? ; Robert Hazen (1) Life's Rocky Start: Possible roles of minerals in the origin of life and (2) Emergence: Minerals and the rise of complexity on the Archaean Earth.
  • 2001-2002 - Robert Bodnar (1) The search for water and life in the solar system: Are we alone? and (2) Experimental geochemistry in a bottle: The use of synthetic fluid inclusions to teach and understand basic geochemical and petrological principles; Catherine McCammon (1) Diamonds are not forever:  How compositional zoning in garnets can tell us why and Oxidation-reduction in the Earth:  What old cars and the lower mantle have in common; Roberta Rudnick (1) Origin of Earth's enigmatic continental crust and (2) When young rift meets old continent:  Xenolith studies from the Tanzanian craton
  • 2000-2001 - John Holloway (1) Mid-Ocean Ridge Black Smokers: Biogeochemical Cauldrons on the Seafloor and (2) The Upside-down World of Subduction Zones: Cold Slabs to Explosive Volcanoes; Rhian Jones (1) From stardust to asteroids: Meteorites and their record of solar system formation and (2) Martian meteorites: A sneak preview of samples from our neighbor planet; Ian Parsons (1) Self-organization in crystals: Feldspar weathering, and the origin of life and (2) Twelve orders-of-magnitude: How nanoscale features of minerals solve problems on the kilometer scale: the Klokken intrusion, South Greenland
  • 1999-2000 - Michael Hochella (1) Mineral-environment interfacial processes:How the solid earth talks to the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphereand (2) Nuclear andMiningwastes:A scientific and societal look at lessons we have (and haven't) learned and Tracy Rushmer (1) Cracks, fractures, and flow:Magmatic journeys through the Earth's crust and (2) Earth's core: The great unexplored inner space
  • 1998-1999 - Donna Whitney (1) Petrology and global warming: How igneous and metamorphic processes change world climate and (2) Garnet Tectonics: What small grains reveal about large mountain belts and  George Guthrie(1) Mineralogy in the Lung: Geochemical mechanisms of mineral-induced disease, and (2) London bridges falling down? Mineralogy may hold the key, and (3) Discovering the mysteries of fine-grained materials: TEM and XRD of opal and clay.
  • 1997-1998 - David Bish (1) Mineral evolution in low-temperature environments, (2) The critical role of mineralogy in radioactive waste isolation, and (3) Better living through mineralogy: minerals and our environment and Carol Frost (1) The Archean Wyoming Province: nucleus of North America, and (2) Yellowstone Underground: granites and crustal growth.
  • 1996-1997 - Rosalind T. Helz (1) How do we see into magma chambers? and (2) Glass Geothermometry: Using glass composition to quantify volcanic processes and Mark Ghiorso (1) Modern approaches to understanding magmatic evolution through computer modeling, and (2) Energetic simplicity: a thermodynamic tale about the rock forming minerals.
  • 1995-1996 - William Carlson (1) The Cheshire Cat's Grin: How metamorphic minerals record the tectonic evolution of the Llano Uplift, Texas, and(2) Rocks from the inside out: computed x-ray temography as a new petrologic tool and  Peggy O'Day (1) Chemistry at the interfaces of minerals, water, politics and the environment, and (2) Using molecular tools to decipher surface reactions in model and natural systems.
  • 1994-1995 - Jillian Banfield (1) From rocks to soil: chemical weathering and clay formation in the near-surface environment, and (2) Complex polytypism, regular interstratifications, defect microstructures, and layer silicate reaction mechanisms in serpentine-chlorite , and Peter Heaney(1) From atoms to agates: a fresh look at fine-grained silica, and (2) Looking at phase transtions with the electron microscope.
  • 1993-1994 - John Brady  (1) Why Walden Pond is an imperfect model for a lava lake, and  (2) Marble-hosted talc deposits in SW Montana: Evidence for deep circulation of Proterozoic sea water and George Rossman (1) Using technology to modify the color of gemstones, and (2) The Global reservoir of H in anhydrous minerals.
  • 1992-1993 - Jane Selverstone (1) Petrologic constraints on the tectonics of the eastern Alps, and (2) Fluid migration in subduction zones: inferences from high-pressure metamorphic rocks , and Sorena Sorensen(1) Metamorphism, metasomatism and migmatization in a paleo-subduction zone, and (2) Aquitectonics of ancient arc crust: a 100 Ma history of alteration in the High Sierra, and Alexandra Navrotsky(1) What minerals are in the Lower Mantle?, and (2) Earth Materials, environment and the role of mineralogy.
  • 1991-1992 - Barb Dutrow (1) Dynamic fluids in metamorphic rocks; Monitoring metamorphism with tourmaline, and (2) Toward a solution of the staurolite enigma, and David Veblen (1) Rock-forming minerals at 1,000,000x: can we see atoms yet?, and (2) From mud to the mantle: an electron microscopic view of reactions in minerals.
  • 1990-1991 - Darby Dyar (1) Troubles with geothermometry: the Fe3+ dilemma, (2) The new crystal chemistry of biotite, and (3) Metasomatism in the mantle: the xenoliths’ story, and Harry McSween(1) Chondritic meteorities and the origin of planets, and (2) Implications of aluminum-in-hornblende barometry for granites of the southern Applachian orogen.
  • 1989-1990 - Edwin Roedder (1) Ancient fluids in crystals, clues to the geologic past, (2) A potpourri of recent fluid inclusion studies; and Fluid inclusion analysis - methods and limitations, and (3) Nuclear waster disposal - where do we put it? , and Mary Ellen Cameron(1) Petrogenesis of Tertiary calc-alkaline volcanics of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico,  (2) Field, mineralogical and geochemical aspects of Tertiary alkaline intrusions of west Texas, and (3) Chemical and structural variations in apatite minerals: relevance in geological, health and material sciences.

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