MSA SecretaryÕs Report at 2008 Business meeting:


The 88th annual business meeting of the Mineralogical Society of America was held on October 7, 2008 at 4:30 PM in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. 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 that was on October 30, 2007.




Our current membership is 2,595, which is the highest it has been since the mid-1980s. This is largely a result of a record number of student members: 741. One reason for the increased number of student members is they are joining the society to obtain the member price for the Dyar & Gunter textbook, Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy, which has been adopted in several universities & colleges.


New Fellows


The society honored the following ten members by elevating them to fellow status based on their scientific contributions:


Daniele Cherniak

Patrick Cordier

Herta Effenberger

Kiyoshi Fujino

Robert W. Luth

Masanori Matsui

Annibale Mottana

Enver Murad

Philip Peter Nabelek

Lidunka Vočadlo


Medalists / award winners


It is a pleasure to officially announce the 2009 medalists. They are:


Roebling medal: Alexandra Navrotsky

Distinguished public service: Robert M. Hazen

Dana medal (for 2010): Jillian F. Banfield

MSA Award: Thomas Trainor


Andrew Wall was the receipt of the 2008/2009 Kraus Crystallographic research grant. His project is ÒAssessing Cu isotopic fractionation in Cu-(Fe)-S minerals using time-resolved synchrotron X-ray diffraction.Ó


The 2008/2009 Mineralogy / Petrology recipients are:


Christopher Fisher, whose project is ÒTesting the use of synthetic minerals as isotopic reference materials: an example using hafnium zircon.Ó


Dongbo Wang, whose project is ÒInvestigating a new pathway to carbonate mineralization and implications for Mg:Ca paleoenvironmental signatures.Ó


MSA congratulates the medalists and award winners, and encourages our members to nominate worthy candidates.


Short Courses


The Mineral Inclusions and Volcanic Processes short course currently has over 180 registrants, making it the Òmost attendedÓ short course ever. The course is organized by Keith Putirka and Frank Tepley and will be held on December 13 to 15, 2008 at the Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco, California. Also, there are two other short courses that are Òin the worksÓ for 2009. After some minor issues have been resolved, final details for these courses will be announced.


Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (RiMG) publications


Two new RiMG volumes were, or will be published during 2008. They are Volume 68 ÒOxygen in the Solar SystemÓ and Volume 69 ÒMineral Inclusions and Volcanic Processes.Ó The latter is associated with the short course as described above.


Also during 2008 the following three RiMG volumes were posted to GeoScienceWorld: Volume 47 ÒNoble Gases,Ó Volume 48 ÒPhosphates,Ó and Volume 51 ÒPlastic Deformation of Rocks and MineralsÓ


American Mineralogist


We welcome Dana Griffen as a new editor replacing George Lager. Also, Jenny Thompson will be replacing Bob Dymek. Our society owes a major debt and large ÒthanksÓ to Bob for his ten years of editorial service.


Monographs / textbooks


The Dyar & Gunter textbook, Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy, is enjoying brisk sales and adoptions in mineralogy courses. Also, as noted above, the book is helping to increase MSA student membership. Currently two new monographs are under review; hopefully by the 2009 business meeting, these monographs will be either printed or in-press.




Element continues to be, by all measures, a glowing success. In 2008 the following eight new issues appeared:


ÒSupervolcanoes, ÒPhosphates and global sustainability,Ó ÒDeep earth and mineral physics,Ó ÒPlatinum-group elements,ÓÒGeological sequestration of carbon dioxide,Ó and ÒNanogeoscience.Ó


MSA Lecture Program


The following three lecturers, along with their talk titles, have been selected for the 2008/2009 MSA lecture series:


Donald Dingwell

            Explosive volcanism: a materials catastrophe

            Flow of magma: solving a rheological puzzle

Jennifer Jackson

            Diamonds, iron, and X-rays: views into earthÕs interior

            The behavior of iron-bearing mineral assemblages in earthÕs lower mantle

Bruce Marsh

            History of geologic exploration of Antarctica

            Magma in the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear repository

            Magmatic mush column magmatism: McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica




Over the past year MSA and the Geochemical Society (GS) have developed an official agreement detailing MSA involvement with the Goldschmidt meetings held in North America. With the agreement in place, MSA will have more involvement with these meetings. MSA will also be an active participate in the 2009 Joint Assembly, The Meetings of the Americas, sponsored by CGU, GAC, IAH-CNC, MAC, AGU meeting in Toronto, ON, Canada. Lastly, GSA is interested in MSA having more active participation in GSA regional and national meetings. Currently a dialogue is underway on how this might be achieved.




The following members of our society have recently passed away. Anyone wishing to write a memorial for submission to the American Mineralogist, please contact one of the editors.


John T. Alfors (life fellow – 1960)

G. Christian Amstutz (senior fellow – 1953)

Roy A. Bailey (senior fellow – 1954)

William L. Brown (senior fellow – 1959)

Stanley H. U. Bowie (life fellow – 1950)

Joan Robinson Clark (fellow – 1953)

Sankar P. Das Gupta (senior member 1965)

Marion L. Jackson (life fellow – 1950)

John L. Jambor (fellow – 1960)

Thomas S. Lovering (life fellow – 1935)

Edward J. Marcin (life fellow – 1947)

Francois Peringeat (life fellow - 1954)

Jean N. Protas (senior member – 1968)

Michel P Semet (member - 1969)

Robert F. Shurtz (life member – 1949)

Toshio Sudo (life fellow – 1950)

George S. Switzer (life fellow – 1931)




Much of MSAÕs work is done by our committees and those who volunteer to serve on them. Details of the MSA committees can be found at our web site <> and those wishing to serve should contact John Brady (; John is this yearÕs chair of the committee on committees. MSA has decided to create a new committee dealing with Computer Databases, and John is the chair of that committee as well.


New Developments


Those members who subscribe to the MSA listserve saw a flurry of activity in regard to recent changes in mineral nomenclature by the IMA. MSAÕs response to concerns raises over changes in nomenclature was to draft a letter and send it to the current president of IMA.


During our fall meeting in Houston MSA has decided to create an ad hoc committee to define ÒasbestosÓ and to make a general policy statement dealing with the geological occurrences of amphiboles, in an attempt to educate the public in terms of what is and is not considered to be asbestos.


2008 Election Results


It is a pleasure to announce the results of the 2008 elections that were held on the web for the fourth time. Nancy Ross was elected as president, John Brady as vice president, Darrell Henry as Treasurer and Penny King and Marc Hirschmann as councilors. Peter Heaney moves from president to past president, and I remain as secretary.


Finally we owe a debt of gratitude for those who are stepping off council. Simon Redfern and Roberta Rudnick are leaving after serving three-year terms as councilors. John Hughes is stepping down after performing an excellent job as our treasurer for four years (i.e., the society investments are now $2.2M and they were $2.0M when John started). Lastly we owe the biggest ÒthanksÓ to Barb Dutrow who leaves council after serving as vice president, president, and past president. Immediately before that she served as a councilor for three years. So Barb is stepping down after seven years of consecutive service! It should also be noted that she served a four year term as secretary back in the late Ô90Õs – so Barb thanks so much for the 11 years from all of us!



Mickey E. Gunter

Secretary, Mineralogical Society of America