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NEWSLETTER

Volume 13, #1                       January 27, 2010
__________________________________________________________________________

Inside:
SMMP Tucson Meetings
Tentative Tucson Agenda
President's Message
SMMP Tucson Exhibits
Meeting Minutes
Attendance & Donation Survey

2010 Elections
Best Practices Project
SMMP Research Grants
IMA General Meeting
Gallery News
SMMP Affiliations
SMMP List Server

Paying Dues

Board of Directors

President

Virgil W. Lueth (12)
New Mexico Bureau of Mines
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801
, USA

Past Pres. & Webmaster
Anthony R. Kampf (10)
Natural History Museum
of
Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
90007, USA

Vice President
Jamie Newman (12)
Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @ 79th St.
New York, NY 10024

Secretary
Jean F. DeMouthe (10)
California Academy of Science
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
, USA

Treasurer
Anna M. Domitrovic (12)
6118 W. Lazy Heart Street
Tucson, AZ 85713
, USA

Bruce Geller (11)
Colorado School of Mines

13th and Maple St.
Golden, CO  80401
, USA

Terri Ottaway (11)
Gemological Institute of America
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008
, USA

Jeffery E. Post (10)
Dept. of Mineral Sciences, MRC-119
National Museum of Natural History
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC 20560
, USA

Penny Williamson (11)
School of Geosciences
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522 Australia

TUCSON MEETINGS

Date: Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010
Place: Tucson Convention Center
Crystal Ballroom
Board Meeting: 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Membership Meeting: 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Program: 4:00 - 5:00 PM

GEMS AND MINERALS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA
Dudley Blauwet, dealer, adventurer, and athlete from Mountain Minerals International, Louisville, CO, will give a slide/talk presentation on Vietnamese Gems and Minerals.
Bill Larson, consummate dealer from Pala International will present a talk on Burmese Gems and Minerals.

TUCSON EXHIBITS
Unexpected Gemstones
F
aceted stones, cabochons, beads or carvings made from materials normally not used for gemstones.
Mystery Specimens
Specimens for you need an identification or locality.
Please contact Jean DeMouthe
if you are planning to participate in our society exhibit at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.

* * *

TENTATIVE TUCSON AGENDA 

  1. Call to Order (Lueth)

  2. Introductions

  3. Approval of the Denver Meeting Minutes (Lueth)

  4. Treasurer's Report (Domitrovic)

  5. Membership Report (Domitrovic)

  6. Collections/Curators Committee Report (Lueth)

  7. Education Committee: Tucson 10 and Denver 09 exhibits, (DeMouthe)

  8. Best Practices Initiative (Lueth)

  9. SMMP Europe Report

  10. New Business

  11. Board of Directors Election

 

* * *

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

Greetings from the Land of Enchantment (just east of Arizona),

I am watching the current legislative sessions, probably like you; to see how deep budgets cuts will go this year. We have been under a hiring freeze since last year and now there is talk about pay cuts. Some state employees have been required to take unpaid furloughs. Its not unemployment, but it still is unsettling. Abstract thoughts like "tightening the state's belt" become real when you are on the wrong end of the belt. No museums are threatened with closure in New Mexico but I'm not sure that holds for all museums in this recession ravaged land.

Convincing those with the purse strings that museums are important is why I am interested in attendance and donation figures among our membership. It seems many politicians view museums as easy targets for cutting. But, during hard times I believe they are accessed more but probably receive less in donations. Our own attendance has increased significantly over the last two years (5%) and our symposium set a record for attendance last fall with an over 40% increase from 200 to 287. During that same time, our donations have stayed fairly level. What is happening at your place? By compiling this information, I believe we can point out to our "decision-makers" that museums are more important during hard times and should be treated with a kind hand at budget slicing time. Besides, I have not noticed the prices of specimens going down lately!

Finally, as you make preparations for the trip to Tucson, check your collections for pieces that would fit in the SMMP exhibits. Jean DeMouthe puts in significant time in preparing our very well received cases. Please make her job a bit easier and take the time to find something to contribute.

Looking forward to seeing you all in Tucson,
Virgil Lueth, President

* * *

SMMP EXHIBITS - TUCSON 2010

Mystery Specimens: What are they, where are they from?

Unexpected Gemstones: Gems or carvings made from materials not usually thought of as gems.

The TGMS proposed that SMMP present two exhibits this year. We agreed on a theme topic at Denver last year "Unexpected Gemstones." The other may be beneficial to our collections titled, "Mystery Specimens." How many pieces reside in your collection with incomplete locality or even identification information? Perhaps you don't believe a locality label for that particular piece. Bring them out and the entire mineral collecting community can provide their opinions and perhaps solve a museum mystery for you.  

* * *

MINUTES OF THE DENVER MEETING
September 2009

Click on the link above to view the minutes.

* * *

ATTENDANCE AND DONATIONS SURVEY

We would still like information on your attendance and donations activity over the last 5 years. The recession has provided the opportunity to evaluate museum activities during an economic downturn. Send your numbers to Virgil Lueth (vwlueth@nmt.edu) or bring them to Tucson. A presentation of the results will be forthcoming in the fall newsletter. Thanks to those who have provided information.

* * *

2010 Board of Directors election

Three board member terms will be expiring this year. Please be prepared to nominate candidates and vote. Board members whose terms expire this year are:

Anthony Kampf      Jean DeMouthe     Jeffrey Post

Note that the term expiration dates of the board members are provided in parentheses in the sidebar.

* * *

BEST PRACTICES PROJECT

 "Best Practices" documents are posted on the SMMP website at:

http://www.agiweb.org/smmp/rept-practices.htm

We are actively looking for more volunteers to author other best practice documents.

* * *

SMMP RESEARCH STUDY GRANTS

Awards are to support curatorial research and methodologies that address one or more of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) mission statement goals: 1) foster recognition of mineral science collections as essential scientific, educational and cultural resources, 2) promote support for growth, maintenance and use of collections and exhibits and, 3) advance museum practice through cooperation in the development, review and dissemination of information. Amounts vary up to a maximum of $1000 per grant. Grant awards determined by SMMP Board of Directors. Grant applications and more details are posted on our website. http://www.agiweb.org/smmp/support-SMMP.htm

Grant proposals are due: August 1, 2010.

* * *

INTERNATIONAL MINERALOGICAL ASSOCIATION
2010 GENERAL MEETING

Budapest, Hungary - August 21 to 27, 2010

Dear friends and colleagues,

We would like to invite your contributions to the General session MH110G: "Mineral Museums and Historical Mineralogy", which is organized in the framework of the forthcoming IMA2010 meeting in Budapest (August 21-27, 2010).

Contributions to this general session are welcome from all fields of museum-related research, management and educational activities, as well as historical mineralogy that are not covered by the specialised sessions proposed for IMA2010 within the "MINERAL MUSEUMS AND HISTORICAL MINERALOGY" theme. The session will be a place of reunion of curators, researchers and conservators in mineral museums, of mineralogy historians as well as for all scientists that feel themselves connected to these topics to meet and to discuss their recent results.

For additional information, registration and abstract submission, please, visit the IMA2010 official site (http://www.ima2010.hu) as well as the webpage of the theme, including two other specialized sessions (http://www.ima2010.hu/?my_view=nice&p=sp3hm).

We would like to remind you of some of the relevant upcoming deadlines:

January 31: Early bird (reduced rate) registration closes; Early bird grant application closes
March 6: Abstract submission closes; Grant application closes
April 23: Abstract acceptance confirmation
April 30: Normal rate registration closes
 
The convenors of this session would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous and fruitful New Year! We look forward to meeting you in Budapest!

With best friendly wishes,
Dana Pop (dana.pop@ubbcluj.ro)
Dmitry Belakovsky (dmz@fmm.ru),
Renate Schumacher (R.Schumacher@uni-bonn.de),
Lydie Touret (lydie.touret@ensmp.fr)

* * *

GALLERY NEWS

Montana Tech
During the past year the Mineral Museum at Montana Tech has acquired a large and spectacular cluster of smoky quartz crystals from a pegmatite near Butte.  We have also added five new well-lit exhibit cases.  We have devoted one of these to Northern Michigan copper and another to Bisbee specimens. Within the next year we plan on adding more new exhibit cases.

Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
New Gallery:  http://www.rom.on.ca/news/releases/public.php?mediakey=aloc3ml6sz

* * *

SMMP AFFILIATIONS

American Geological Institute (AGI)

Natural Science Collections Alliance NSCA)

Although the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals maintains no official ties with the Commission on Museums (CM) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), the Commission resolved at its December, 2000, meeting in Melbourne, Australia, to support SMMP's efforts in uniting mineral museum professionals worldwide.

* * *

SMMP LIST SERVER

You are encouraged to interact with your fellow SMMP members via our list server:

smmp@listserv.nhm.org

Please remember that when you reply to an email sent via our list server, you will be replying to the sender, although you have the option of copying the membership.

Tony Kampf processes additions to and deletions from the list server. That way we limit the list to our membership and if a member decides that they want to be dropped from the list, Tony will know whether to send them the SMMP Newsletter by snail mail. Note that you are only able to send via the list server from your email address that is on the list server. This should be the same one that is used in our on-line roster.

* * *

PAYING DUES

SMMP dues are $10.00 U.S., payable to Anna Domitrovic, treasurer, 6118 W. Lazy Heart Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. Any directory changes or additions should be sent to Tony Kampf. In Europe, dues can be remitted to Peter Davidson, National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, SCOTLAND.

To make paying your dues easier (especially for non-US members), a PayPal account has been established and installed on our website. You can use your credit card or your own personal PayPal account. Just go to our Dues webpage.

Note that you can check your dues payment status on the SMMP on-line roster. The year shown in the last column indicates the last year for which you have paid. If you are delinquent, please remit your dues payment as soon as possible.

Remember to renew your membership. If you are planning to pay dues at the Tucson meeting, help Anna by filling out a membership application with your dues payment. Do it beforehand and save time at the meeting!

 

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