MSA Secretary's Report at 2006 Business Meeting:


The 86th annual business meeting of the Mineralogical Society of America was held on October 24, 2006 at 4:30 PM in the Philadelphia Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA. 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 August 30, 2006, the total membership of the society stands at 2308, which is up 121 from last year and the highest since 1993. Please continue inviting your colleagues and especially students to renew their memberships or join MSA. The society offers two options for renewing memberships: electronic renewal notices were sent in early October for renewing online, paper notices will be mailed to those who do not renew online before November to return by fax or mail. As of this year, non-student members will receive a $5 discount on their membership dues if they renew before Halloween (October 31, 2006) rather than December 31, as in the past few years. The new membership category of sustaining member or fellow has enticed 14 of us to join at this level - we look forward to seeing this number grow in the future.

69% of MSA members subscribed to the journal in some form in 2006, about the same as last year. There is a continuing trend of members purchasing electronic version only. This year there were 689 institutional subscriptions, a decrease of 65 from 2005, and part of a continuous decline. However, 38 were lost to the electronic-only version of the journal posted on GeoscienceWorld (or GSW). As you should now be aware, GSW is a cooperative electronic publishing effort among many earth science societies and includes over 28 journals in addition to American Mineralogist and the RiMG Volumes. Council is actively aware of the dramatic changes from paper to on-line publishing and continues on sustaining the Societies publications and financial health.

New Fellows

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

Dr. Maria Franca Brigatti
Dr. John Clemens
Dr. David Cole
Dr. Eddy DeGrave
Dr. Larissa Dobrzhinetskaya
Dr. John Hanchar
Dr. George R. Helffrich
Dr. Greg Hirth
Dr. Peter Kelemen
Dr. Falko Langenhorst
Dr. Rebecca A. Lange
Dr. Hugh O'Neill

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 2007:

The Roebling Medallist is Gordon E. Brown, Jr.

Distinguished Public Service Medal is Marie Huizing

Dana Medal Award recipient is Thomas Armbruster

MSA Award recipient is Richard John Harrison

2006/2007 Kraus Crystallographic Research Grant recipient is:

Ms. Siobhan Wilson for the study "Quantifying uptake of atmospheric greenhouse gases in hydrotalcite-group minerals," which will be conducted at the University of British Columbia. 2006/2007 Mineralogy/Petrology Research Grant recipients are: Emily Pope for the proposal "Fluid stable-isotope signatures in hydrous alteration minerals" to be carried out at Stanford University of California and Philip Skemmer for the study "Rheology and microstructural evolution of experimentally deformed orthoenstatite" which will be carried out at Yale.

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 receive their choice of a MSA publication (monograph or RiMG volume), and a year's 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 2006, there are three courses sponsored with the Geochemical Society:

Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals, organized by Hans Keppler and Joseph R. Smyth designed as a novel mixed series of chapter-author presenters and volunteered oral and poster presentations held October 1-4 in Verbania, Italy.

Neutron Scattering applied to Earth Sciences, organized by Hans Rudy Wenk and Nancy Ross to be held December 7-8 prior to the Fall AGU. Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry, organized by Nita Sahai and Martin A. Schoonen, to be held December 8-10 prior to the Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco.

In 2007 there will be:

Fluid-Fluid Equilibria in the Crust is being organized by Axel Liebscher and scheduled to be held in Germany next August.

Paleoelevation: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Constraints is being coordinated by Matt Kohn and is scheduled to be held in conjunction with Fall GSA meeting in Denver.

Amphiboles is being organized by Frank Hawthorne and Roberta Oberti collaboratively with Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and is scheduled to be held in Italy in October.

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 primarily intended to reduce student registration fees.

RiMG Publications:

An impressive number RiMG volumes are either now on sale or planned for publication in 2006:

Volume #60 titled A New View of the Moon edited by Brad Joliff and Mark Wieczorek published in June.

Volume #61 Sulfide Mineralogy and Geochemistry edited by David Vaughan was published in July.

Volume #62 Water in Nominally Anhydrous Minerals edited by Hans Keppler and Joseph R. Smyth was published in August,

Volume #63 Neutron Diffraction edited by Rudy Wenk is due out in November, and

Volume #64 Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry, edited by Nita Sahai and Martin A. Schoonen.

For 2007 the following titles are in preparation:

Volume #65a Oxygen in Solar System: Terrestrial planets, asteroids, meteorites organized by John Jones (scheduled for February 2007)

Volume #65b Oxygen in Solar System: Early Solar System, comets, and outer planets, coordinated by Glenn MacPherson (scheduled for March, 2007)

Volume #66 Fluid-Fluid Equilibria in the Crust is coordinated by Axel Liebscher

Volume #67 Paleoelevation: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Constraints coordinated by Matt Kohn

Volume #68 Amphiboles, coordinated by Frank Hawthorne and Roberta Oberti

Jodi Rosso, the series editor, is handling the Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry Series superbly, for which we owe her a debt of thanks and gratitude.

MSA Lecture Program

The Lecture Program continues to be one of the more visible and most successful endeavors of the Mineralogical Society of America. The 2006-2007 MSA lecturers are:

Jane A. Gilotti, University of Iowa,, USA, whose lectures are: Diamond and coesite: forcing a new paradigm for continental collisions and Clues to high pressure melting of metasedimentary rocks deep in the heart of mountain belts.

Tim K. Lowenstein, Binghamton University, USA, whose lectures are: Reviving ancient organisms in crystals: Jurassic Park or Fantastic Lark? Tracking changes in the chemistry of ancient seawater: Mammal blood, salt, and sea shells, and High pCO2 in the Eocene Greenhouse world from Green River Na-carbonates.

Stephen W. Parmen, Durham University, UK, whose lectures are: The history of the Earth written in helium and Squinting at the Archean: komatiites and the thermal evolution of the Earth.

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, the program administrator is handling the lecture series admirably. We also thank last year's speakers Penny King, Patrick O'Brien, and Thomas Sharp.


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:

Lawrence V. Blade (Life Member - 1953)
Ernest G. Ehlers (Fellow - 1955)
Eugene C. Robertson (Life Fellow - 1947)
Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr. (Life Fellow - 1937)
G.D. Robinson (Life Fellow - 1944)
Louise S. Stevenson (Life Member - 1939)
E. Volkmar Trommsdorf (Fellow - 1981)
Wilfred R. Welsh (Member - 1975)

Anyone who wishes 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 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, Peter Heaney.

New Developments

(a) New Editors:

The Handbook of Mineralogy has been without an editor since the death of Dick Bideaux in 2005. After discussion with various MSA members, Barb Dutrow, the Publications Director, identified Frank Dudas as a qualified and willing candidate. The Executive Committee appointed Frank for a 3-year term effective August, 2006. We look forward to revitalization of the Handbook. MSA has acquired the URLs www., and . We are looking forward to new developments.

On other editor news, George A. Lager has settled in as new editor of American Mineralogist with veteran Bob Dymek and American Mineralogist Letters editor Bryan Chakoumakos. We are indebted to our editors for their contribution to the health and high status of the American Mineralogist.

(b) GeoscienceWorld (GSW)

GSW has surpassed its goal of obtaining 140 subscriptions in the first year, with a total of 181, including a consortium in China, which would have a very significant impact. Ultimately over 300 are needed to make GSW 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

I hope you are as pleased and excited by the issues of Elements that have been published. This year, 4 issues have come out so far, the last being President Valley's product on "Early Earth." "Glasses and Melts" by Grant Henderson and "Environmental Aspects of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle" by Past President Rod Ewing are next in the series. We owe many thanks to the creativity and hard work by the contributors, editors, and, particularly, managing editor Pierrette Trembley and her team.

I remind you that gift subscriptions of Elements (perhaps to your congressman, a geology club, or school) cost $25 each. These can be purchased anytime during the year or ordered via a checkoff during your membership renewal. Downloadable PDFs of articles and graphics in Elements are available for use in classes and seminars via the MSA website or via

(d) Business Office News

The Business office is now operating smoothly in its new office space in Chantilly, VA. Council held its spring meeting there and were pleased to see the new space and meet the MSA staff who are so important to our activities. Effective this year, the business activities of the Clay Mineral Society are carried out in the MSA Business Office, and negotiations are underway for managing the membership lists and dues collection of the Meteoritical Society. These actions provide income and application of MSA-developed management tools.

2005 Election Results

It is a pleasure to announce the results of the summer 2006 elections which were run, for the second time, on the Web - we hope the process was painless for you. The new President of the Society is Barb Dutrow, our new Vice President is Peter Heaney, and in his second term as Treasurer is John M. Hughes. George E. Harlow, Secretary, remains in office, and the new Councilors are Jean Morrison and Klaus Mezger. They join the continuing councilors: Roberta L. Rudnick, Simon A.T. Redfern, Ross John Angel and Robert T. Downs. We thank the out-going councilors Dave London and Mickey Gunter for 3 years of dedicated service to the society. A total of 898 ballots were received (39.8% of those eligible) by the August 1st deadline and is the highest number since 1986 when 967 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