From the President


Mark Ivan Jacobson

Welcome FM members and visitors,

The past quarter (Oct to December 2017) has seen several successful FM activities. The Pacific Northwest Chapter held their annual symposium on October 13-15; the Pennsylvania Chapter held their annual symposium (November 4th); and the New Mexico Mineral Symposium, with financial assistance of the National and Colorado Chapter was held (November 11th). There were other exciting mineral symposia not associated with FM, notably the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Mining and Mineral Symposium and the Yale Mineral Symposium.  I am sure there are others, which I will learn about.

The FM national webpage was converted to wordpress and moved to a new host server in September, thanks to the diligent efforts of Bill Besse. With the webpage in wordpress, progress has been made at populating the individual page tabs with more information and data. This includes but is not limited to expanding the historic FM newsletters backwards in time, documentation of past educational winners, best article of the year awards, and future and past mineral symposia in the USA. The speaker program for the Tucson Symposium (Feb 2018) and dates of the Midwest Chapter symposium (March 2018), PNW Chapter and Pennsylvania Chapter are already on the webpage.

My hope is that our symposia webpages will include abstracts from symposia where the abstracts are not available elsewhere, if the sponsoring organization is willing to let FM National post them. The populating process is slow – it will take several years. The goal is to have the website function as a resource about mineral symposia and what historic meetings have taken place and insure that the proceedings if they were created are not lost to future mineral collectors. Symposia proceedings usually don’t manage to find a home in a library.

The other advantage of converting the FM webpage to wordpress is that other FM members, with skills no greater than being able to use WORD software, can add data and contributions to the FM webpages. If you would like to assist, email me and we will work this out. I do not want to be nor should I be the only person populating these pages.

The other tasks have been finding new directors and officers to elect, and meeting places in Tucson for the annual general meeting and FM business meeting. With the loss of retiring volunteers and searching for new volunteers, the National society is working to stabilize our current activities and do a better job communicating those activities. Synergies with Mindat are still to be discussed, especially regarding state locality indexes. Some interesting activities may result.  If you want to be involved, call or email me. We are also in need volunteers to setup, staff and breakdown the FM National booth at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. Nelson Shaffer after many years of service retired from that task.

As president, my focus continues to be strengthening and documenting our current and past activities – symposia, some with FM sponsorship with or without financial contributions, documentation of mineral localities via publications and encouraging mineral and mineral locality exhibits at shows and museums. The FM chapters add mineral-geologic field trips to the mix. Adding new activities requires new volunteers, which I strongly encourage.

Mark Ivan Jacobson
President, Friends of Mineralogy