MSA Secretary’s Report at 2007 Business Meeting:

The 87th annual business meeting of the Mineralogical Society of America was held on October 30, 2007 at 4:30 PM in the Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO. 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 September 30, 2007, the total membership of the society stands at 2363, which is up 55 from last year and the highest since 1992 (2414). 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. Members will continue to receive a $5 discount on their membership dues if they renew before Halloween (October 31, 2007) rather than December 31. The new membership category of sustaining member, fellow or life fellow is now up to 25 – we look forward to seeing this number grow, as it represents an important additional contribution toward the future of MSA.

62.4% of MSA members subscribed to the journal in some form in 2007, slightly less then last year. There is a continuing trend of members purchasing electronic version only. This year there were 645 institutional subscriptions, a decrease of 44 from 2006, and part of a continuing decline. However, this does not include 229 subscribers through GeoscienceWorld (or GSW). Council is actively aware of the dramatic changes from paper to on-line publishing and continues to focus 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. Bryan C. Chakoumakos
Dr. Matthew J. Kohn
Dr. Mark David Welch
Dr. David W. Mogk
Dr. Ru Y. Zhang
Dr. Daniel E. Harlov
Dr. Giancarlo Della Ventura
Dr. Lawrence M. Anovitz
Dr. Helen Lang
Dr. John Rakovan
Dr. Raymond Joesten

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.

Medalists/Award Winners

It is also a pleasure to announce the following Medalists and Research Grant Recipients for 2008:

The Roebling Medalist is Bernard W. Evans
Distinguished Public Service Medal is not awarded until 2009, but the field of potential awardees has been expanded to include Organizations as well as Individuals
. Dana Medal Award recipient is Ronald E. Cohen
MSA Award recipient is James Badro

The 2007/2008 Kraus Crystallographic Research Grant recipient is:

Daniel R. Hummer for the study “Nucleation and growth of titanium oxides,” which will be conducted at the Pennsylvania State University.

The 2007/2008 Mineralogy/Petrology Research Grant recipients are:

Jennifer Bernadette Wright for her proposal titled “Measurement of metamorphic kinetics through combined high resolution X-ray computed tomography (HRXCT), electron microanalysis (EMPA), and Sm-Nd isotopic dating” to be carried out at Western Washington University, and

Olaf Jakub Borkiewicz for his proposal titled “Formation of precursor calcium phosphate phases during crystal growth of apatite and their role on the uptake of heavy metals and radionuclides” to be carried out at Miami University, Ohio.

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 2007, there have been three courses co-sponsored with the Geochemical Society:

Fluid-fluid Equilibria in the Crust: Petrology–Geochemistry–Economic Potential organized by Axel H. Liebscher, Technical University of Berlin, and Christopher A. Heinrich, ETH Zentrum, held with the Goldschmidt meeting in August in Cologne, Germany.

Paleoaltimetry: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Approaches organized by Matt Kohn, University of South Carolina to be held October 26-27 prior to the GSA meeting. Amphiboles, organized by Frank Hawthorne, Univ. Manitoba, and Roberta Oberti, Univ. Pavia, to be held October 29-31 in Rome, Italy at the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

For 2008 Council has approved:

Minerals, Inclusions and Volcanic Processes organized by Keith Putirka, Cal. State, Fresno, and Frank Tepley III, Oregon State, to be held prior to Fall AGU, December 13-14, 2008.

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 2007. 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

A number RiMG of volumes are now on sale:

Volume #65 Fluid-Fluid Equilibria in the Crust, Axel Liebscher and Chris Heinrich, editors
Volume #66 Paleoaltimetry: Geochemical and Thermodynamic Approaches, Matthew J. Kohn, editor
Volume #67 Amphiboles, Frank C. Hawthorne, Roberta Oberti, Giancarlo Della Ventura, and Annibale Mottana, editors
Volume #68 Oxygen in the Solar System, edited by Stephen Mackwell and Steve Simon (expected in December, 2007)

For 2008 the following titles are in preparation:

Volume #69 Minerals, Inclusions and Volcanic Processes, edited by Keith Putirka and Frank Tepley III.

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 Monographs

A contract with M. Darby Dyar, Mickey Gunter and Dennis Tasa to publish their new textbook Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy was finalized this year, and the textbook is for sale at the MSA Booth. Part of the profits will be accrued to MSA. List price is $90 including interactive graphics available on an accompanying DVD.

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:

Daniele J. Cherniak, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, whose lectures are: Diffusion in minerals – from dinosaur teeth to the early Solar System and Diffusion in zircon and other accessory phases – insights into Earth history.

Steven Jacobsen, Northwestern University, USA, whose lectures are: Water cycling in the deep Earth: are the oceans just the tip of the iceberg? and Unfamiliar landscape in the deep mantle: properties of Earth materials at very high pressures and temperatures.

Lukas Baumgartner, University of Lausanne, Switzerland, whose lectures are: There is more to metamorphic petrology than phase diagrams: rates! and How to assemble a proper intrusion and its contact aureole.

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 Jane Gilotti, Tim Lowenstein, and Stephen Parmen.


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:

Peter Almendinger (Member – 1989)
Alan W. Bernheimer (Life Member – 1930)
Arthur Hagner (Life Fellow – 1936)
Harold C. Helgeson (Senior Fellow – 1969)
Vernon James Hurst (Senior Member – 1955)
Alfred A. Levinson (Life Fellow – 1959)
Leonard A. Morgan (Life Fellow – 1930)
Louis Moyd (Life Fellow – 1939)
Frederick H. Pough (Life Fellow – 1930)
Edwin W. Roedder (Life Fellow – 1939)
J.-P G. Saheurs (Life Member – 1967)
Werner F. Schreyer (Life Fellow – 1958)
Kurt Servos (Senior Member – 1953)
Hugo Strunz (Honorary Fellow – 1958)
Ernest E. Wahlstrom (Life Fellow – 1934)

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, Nancy Ross.

New Developments

(a) Editors: Frank Dudas has admirably picked up the reigns as editor of The Handbook of Mineralogy, having appointed a board of associate editor responsible for different groups of minerals, imported the files from Dick Bideaux’ database, and started making progress for the web version of the Handbook. The URLs include www., but the site is only in a draft layout stage now—Gordon Nord is starting to load up the volumes as I speak.

George A. Lager is coming to the end of his term as editor of Am. Min., and we hope to have an announcement soon of his successor who will start next Fall. Otherwise, Bob Dymek and Letters editor Bryan Chakoumakos continue. We are indebted to all our editors for their contribution to the health and high status of the American Mineralogist.

(b) GeoscienceWorld: GSW continues to gain subscriptions, 229 at the end of the 2nd quarter of 2007 from 181 last Fall. Alex Speer is on the Board of Directors of GSW and will be replaced by past president Doug Rumble in the near future. Rod Ewing will replace Doug as 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 enjoying and consuming Elements. This year, 4 issues have come out so far, the last “Frontiers in Textural and Microgeochemical Analysis” by guest editors Dougal Jerram and Jon Davidson. “The Critical Zone” via Sue Brantley and “Medical Mineralogy and Geochemistry” is due in December. We owe many thanks to the creativity hard work by the contributors, editors, and, particularly, managing editor Pierrette Tremblay and her team.

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

(d) Outreach, IMA Approved Mineral List: In conjunction with IMA, Bob Downs has made available and downloadable a listing of minerals approved or grandfathered by the CNMNC. By going to the RRUFF website one can access the list and download it for use as part of a database or a list of approved mineral names. Notice has been published in Rocks & Minerals and will be out soon in Elements.

(e) Position Statements: The Council has approved a new policy to permit MSA to adopt position statements. The action was taken in response to a request from the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals for MSA to take a position on the preservation of collections of geological samples held by academic institutions and museums. As MSA had no policy on or methodology for position statements, one was drafted and approved at the recent Council Meeting. So, look for a new page on the MSA website to see and comment on this position statement. We hope this action will enable the Society to enhance its goals and value to members and the society at large.

2007 Election Results

It is a pleasure to announce the results of the summer 2007 elections which were run, for the third time, on the Web – we hope the process is becoming familiar. The new President of the Society is Peter Heaney, our new Vice President is Nancy Ross, and the new Secretary is Mickey Gunter. John M. Hughes, Treasurer, remains in office, and the new Councilors are Peter Burns and Carol Frost. They join the continuing councilors: Roberta L. Rudnick, Simon A.T. Redfern, Jean Morrison, and Klaus Mezger. We thank the out-going councilors Ross John Angel and Robert T. Downs for 3 years of dedicated service to the society. A total of 1,047 ballots were received (45.2% of those eligible) by the August 1st deadline and is the 4th highest number since the first election in 1920, only the years 1982 (1,149 ballots) and 1966 & 1967 (1,069) were higher. 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.

At this point I bid you a fond farewell, as this is my last presentation of the Secretary’s report. I have greatly enjoyed my work for MSA, with the members of Council and MSA staff. I encourage you all to become more involved with our Society to gain this sense of fellowship and participation. However, I must admit I don’t really look forward to compiling my last set of Minutes.

George E. Harlow
Secretary – MSA