MSA Secretary’s Report at 2005 Business Meeting:


The 85th annual business meeting of the Mineralogical Society of America was held on October 18, 2005 at 4:00 PM in the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, UT. What follows is a brief overview of the main actions taken by council and the executive committee, society election results, and other actions since the last business meeting.

As of Sept. 30, 2005, the total membership of the society stands at 2187, which represents a decrease of 87 from last year, mostly among regular members. Please continue inviting your colleagues and especially students to renew their memberships or join MSA. The society offers two options for renewing memberships: either by mail (renewal notices were mailed to everyone in October) or through the MSA website. As in the past several years, members will receive a $5 discount on their membership dues if they renew before December 31, 2005.

70% of MSA members subscribed to the journal in some form in 2005, which is up from last year but less than 2003’s 76%. There appears to be a minor fluctuation among members who choose to renew without subscribing to the journal, which is increasingly chosen by senior members. This year there were 764 institutional subscriptions, a decrease of 27 from 2004, and part of a continuous decline. GeoscienceWorld (or GSW) commenced in March 2005. GSW is a cooperative electronic publishing effort among 22 earth science societies. It includes 28 journals in addition to American Mineralogist and the Reviews and is our entry into more sophisticated electronic publishing than what MSA can provide on its own website. There are now 77 institutional subscribers and GSW finished its first year in the black. Council is actively aware of the dramatic changes from paper to on-line publishing and is working on plans to preserve the Societies publications as well as financial well being.

New Fellows

The society is pleased to announce the following eleven new Fellows of the Society:

Dr. Yong-Fei Zheng
Dr. Donna Whitney
Dr. Frederick J. Ryerson
Dr. Simona Quartieri
Dr. Clark M. Johnson
Dr. Reto Giere
Dr. John FitzGerald
Dr. Randall T. Cygan
Dr. Joel Brugger
Dr. John Brodholt
Dr. Lynn Boatner

The society extends its congratulations to these individuals! Let me remind you that the Committee for Fellows always welcomes your nominations of society members for this particular honor.

Medallists/Award Winners

It is also a pleasure to announce the following Medallists and Research Grant Recipients for 2006:

The Roebling Medallist is W. Gary Ernst

Distinguished Public Service Medal is biennial with no awardee this year

Dana Medal Award recipient is Frank Spear (to be awarded in 2007)

MSA Award recipient is Daniel Frost

2005/2006 Kraus Crystallographic Research Grant recipient is:

Jason Bryan Burt for the study "Theoretical and experimental determination of potential sites for protonation in nominally anhydrous minerals," which will be conducted at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

2005/2006 Mineralogy/Petrology Research Grant recipients are:

Angelo Antignano for the proposal "Rutile, apatite, and zircon solubility in silicate-bearing fluids.: Implications for HFSE and REE mobility in subduction zones" to be carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles

Gregory Dumond for the study "What are we dating?: Linking zircon growth to metamorphic reactions in high-pressure mafic granulites," which will be carried out at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Congratulations to all of the award and research-grant recipients. Council encourages society members to nominate individuals for the various awards; detailed information can be found on the MSA website ( Please encourage students to apply for the Kraus Crystallographic and Mineralogy/Petrology research grants, which provide funding of up to $5000 each. As a reminder, MSA offers the American Mineralogist Undergraduate Award to outstanding undergraduates recommended by faculty members. In addition to providing recognition to deserving students with a certificate, the AMU awardee receives the choice of MSA publications, and a student membership with electronic access to the American Mineralogist. The MSA membership also entitles the students to receive Elements. Details on nominating undergraduates can be found on the MSA website.

Short Courses

The society remains very active in sponsoring short courses. In 2005, there are two courses sponsored with the Geochemical Society:

Low-Temperature Thermochonology: Techniques, Interpretations, and Applications, was organized by Peter W. Reiners and Todd A. Ehlers held just prior to this meeting.

Molecular Geomicrobiology: from Genes to Geochemical Cycles, organized by Jillian F. Banfield, Javiera Cervini-Silva and Kenneth H. Nealson, to be held December 3rd and 4th prior to the Fall AGU meeting.

In 2006 there will be:

Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals is being organized by Hans Keppler and is scheduled to be held in Verbania, Italy in the Fall.

Neutron Scattering Applied to Earth Sciences which is being organized by Rudy Wenk and Nancy Ross and is scheduled to be held prior to the Fall AGU meeting.

Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry is being organized by Nita Sahai and Martin A. Schoonen and is scheduled to be held in conjunction with the Fall AGU meeting.

MSA gratefully acknowledges the financial support that it has received from the US Department of Energy for nine short courses that have been, or will be, held in the period from 2001 to 2006. The support for each short course is generally in the range of $10,000—25,000 and is mostly intended to reduce student registration fees.

RiMG Publications:

The following RiMG volumes are either now on sale or planned for publication in 2005:

Volume #57 titled Micro- and Meso-porous Mineral Phases edited by Giovanni Ferrais and Stephano Merlino jointly published by MSA and the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei is available.

Volume #58 titled Low Temperature Thermochronology: Techniques, Interpretations & Applications edited by Peter Reiners and Todd Ehlers is available.

Volume #59 titled Molecular Geomicrobiology: from Genes to Geochemical Cycles, edited by Jillian F. Banfield, Javiera Cervini-Silva and Kenneth H. Nealson should be available in December.

For 2006 the following titles are in preparation

Volume #60 titled A New View of the Moon edited by Brad Joliff and Mark Wieczorek is somewhat delayed, and may be out by early 2006.

Sulfide Mineralogy and Geochemistry edited by David Vaughan is associated with a session at the Goldschmidt Conference in Melbourne.

Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals edited by Hans Keppler for a short course in Fall 2006, and

Neutron Diffraction edited by Rudy Wenk for a short course in conjunction with the Fall AGU.

Jodi Rosso has settled in as the new editor of Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry Series, for which we are all pleased and grateful.

MSA Lecture Program

The Lecture Program continues to be one of the more visible and most successful endeavors of the Mineralogical Society of America. This year MSA’s lecturers are:

Penelope King, University of Western Ontario, Canada, whose lectures are: Volcanoes in the lab: examining volatiles in magmas using experiments, analyses and fieldwork and Salts on Mars, what are they and how did they get there.

Patrick J. O’Brien, Universität Potsdam, Germany, whose lectures are: From Microscopic to Macroscopic: How what we see in the microscope can be used to explain the formation of the Himalayas and History written in stone: rocks as good, bad and indifferent eyewitnesses of geological processes.

Thomas Sharp, Arizona State University, USA, whose lectures are: Subduction through the transition zone: phase transitions, deep focus earthquakes and the role of H2O and High pressure minerals in meteorites: deep-Earth minerals from the asteroid belt and collisions in the solar system.

MSA sincerely thanks these colleagues for their time and effort in speaking to colleges and universities around North America, and Europe, and anywhere it can be done feasibly. Cameron Davison has picked up the reins from Helen Lang and learned the difficulties of arranging lectures from the field. We also thank last year’s speakers Rod Ewing, John Hanchar, and Bernie Wood.


I would like to ask the audience to please rise at this time to honor those fellows and members of the society who have passed away this year. Please remain standing and observe a moment of silence after the names have been read:

Takaharu Araki (Senior Fellow - 1963)

Charles V. Guidotti (Senior Fellow — 1959)

Michael T. Halbouty (Life Fellow — 1938)

Frederic L. Kadey (Life Member — 1948)

Anyone who would care to write a memorial for submission to the American Mineralogist please contact the Editors.


MSA’s endeavors depend primarily on the volunteer work of its members serving on many committees. Speaking on behalf of the Committee on Committees, let me extend a special thanks to all who take the time to help MSA by serving on these committees. Without your help, MSA could not undertake its many functions to educate, grant money, recognize deserving individuals with awards, and otherwise continue to serve our profession. Those who would like to volunteer their time and effort to serve on a committee are welcome to contact me, the Executive Director, Alex Speer, or the in-coming chair of the Committee on Committees and Vice-President, Barb Dutrow.

New Developments

(a) New Editors:

Council authorized the establishment of a new editor for Letters to expedite the processing of these short manuscripts. We are very fortunate that Brian Chakoumakos, Oak Ridge NL, agreed to serve as Letters editors and is actively carrying out this role.

Lee Groat announced his resignation as Editor of American Mineralogist last Spring, subject to finding a replacement. After solicitation of names suggested by Council and the editorial staff, we were fortunate that George A. Lager, University of Louisville and a top candidate, agreed to serve and has enthusiastically engaged in his editorial training and duties. We all owe thanks to Lee for a job well done and to George for accepting this most important task for the Society.

(b) GeoscienceWorld

As noted earlier GSW was launched in March with a goal of obtaining 140 subscriptions in the first year, which it is more than halfway to fulfilling. Ultimately over 300 will be needed to be viable. Alex Speer is on the Board of Directors of GSW, and past president Doug Rumble is the MSA representative on the GSW Advisory Council. If anyone has questions about what GSW does and how it works, please refer to the GSW web site or ask questions of Don Hemmingway at GSW.

(c) Elements

All of you should have now received 4 issues of Elements, a multi-society magazine designed to replace the society newsletters of MSA and other societies; one more issue should be out before the end of the year. We can all agree that this is a handsome magazine, with very interesting topical articles, and news and opinions worth reading. The board of Editors including Past-President Rod Ewing, Michael Hochella, and Ian Parsons has operated well, which includes Bruce Watson agreeing to replace Rod Ewing in the first rotation of editors (Rod has agreed to continue as an advisor and cheer-leader to the board). Managing editor Pierrette Tremblay has worked tirelessly to produce a quality magazine and to facilitate all interactions with a sensitive and diplomatic touch.

At the Spring Council meeting then Vice-President Valley sponsored a motion to provide a check off in the membership renewal process to send copies of Elements to anyone you may wish (such as a congressman, geology club, or school) at the fulfillment price of $25 each. Examples of Elements can be viewed at the MSA and MAC tables in the exhibition hall, and issues are now available on line for those of you whose copies have been misplaced or never arrived. Moreover, downloadable PDFs of articles and graphics are available for use in classes and seminars at <>.

(d) Move of the Business Office

During July, MSA moved from 1015 18th St. NW, Washington, DC to new offices at 3635 Concorde Parkway Suite 500, Chantilly, VA (this is just south of Dulles Airport and about a ten minute taxi ride from there). The new office combines the old office functions including warehouse space to consolidate back issues of Am. Min., RiMG volumes and other Society publications. The move required not only finding the new space, negotiating a lease and build-out of the space and then moving material, but changing our incorporation, registrations, filling information, and exemptions. Alex Speer and the office team are to be commended and congratulated on carrying out this Herculean task while maintaining MSA functions with minimal interruptions. If you have outstanding problems left over from the move, please follow up on them with the MSA business office.

2005 Election Results

It is a pleasure to announce the results of the Summer 2005 elections which were run, for the first time, on the Web — we hope the process was painless for you. The new President of the Society is John W. Valley, our new Vice President is Barb Dutrow, and in his second term as Secretary is George Harlow. John M. Hughes, Treasurer, remains in office, and the new Councilors are Roberta Rudnick and Simon Redfern. They join the continuing councilors: David London, Mickey Gunter, Ross John Angel and Robert T. Downs. We thank the out-going councilors Barb Dutrow and Rebecca Lange for 3 years of dedicated service to the society (although Barb does not escape-yet). A total of 709 ballots were received (28.5% of those eligible) by the August 1st deadline and is the highest number since 1995 when 713 members voted. You are strongly urged to vote because this is your opportunity to have input into the operations of the society and because each vote makes a real difference in these closely-contested elections. Let me extend a special thanks to all of those who ran for office.


George E. Harlow
Secretary -- MSA