From the President



Welcome members. I have been re-elected as president of the society and I am excited about serving again. We are starting 2021 with high expectations, lots of organizational work to get done and high hopes for a post pandemic 4th quarter. Our first organizational change is to transfer to a new National Treasurer, Dr. Bruce Bridenbecker of Southern California.  We will be shipping financial records to him from Gloria Staebler, the previous treasurer in Arvada, Colorado, and also completing the bank changes of signature authority. I will also be obtaining the National historical records from 1970 to the present day from Gloria Staebler. After sorting and indexing into a finding aid, these records will be transferred to a public archive repository in the Tucson area, the foundational home of our organization. Prior to the transfer of the historical records, those FM newsletters not yet digitized will be scanned and added to those already available online.

Our other significant organizational change will be the revision of our bylaws and operating procedures. These documents, which guide our decision-making processes, were written prior to our current capability and need for virtual meetings. The revisions will add virtual meetings and combinations of physical and virtual meetings plus the already in-the-bylaws email and mail-ballots to voting. After the FM national board of directors (12 elected plus 8 chapter representatives) revises and approves the changes, the entire membership will be required to vote on them. We will also be proposing at the board meeting that we install a paypal option for paying national dues ($11 per year) on our website. This will voted on both by the board and the membership.

In our March 2021 newsletter we are also announcing the reinstatement of the FM National mineral symposium during the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® in February, with co-sponsorship from the Mineralogical Society of America and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society. The announcement includes the details on this symposium, along with a call for papers. We will publish updates about the symposium as planning decisions are made and speakers reply. This will also be the first symposium where we will try to broadcast the presentations live, so we can reach a broader audience.

            The new Virginia Chapter, with Thomas Hale as President and Alex Venzke as Vice-President,  continues to be active with once a month zoom lectures. Both the Pennsylvania and Pacific Northwest chapters were successful in holding virtual symposia last year. The advantage of virtual lectures is that physical location no longer limits the speaker pool.  

The quarter page ad for Friends of Mineralogy in Rocks and Minerals and Mineral News will be updated for every issue, an activity that Erin Delventhal is coordinating for now. This will be a good space for chapters to advertise their upcoming symposia, both live and virtual.

As the educational display committee, Jessica Robertson, Erin Delventhal, and Virgil Lueth are working to create a better set of definitions and criteria to use for judging institutional and non-institutional displays. The original educational awards were first given structure by Bob Jones and later by Al and Sue Liebetrau, who judged Tucson show cases for many years. These awards were later renamed the Kay Robertson educational awards in honor of one of the early 1970 FM members.

Erin Delventhal will be taking over as official webmaster of the national website. I  currently also have access to the add changes to the website, but I would be thrilled to have additional people also volunteer to help revise, correct and add data to the FM national website. If interested, email me via .

With these organizational changes and planned activities, as Covid recedes, and meeting and field trip activities increase, FM will be well prepared to communicate our enthusiasm and mineral talents to a larger audience. I look forward to spending more time with the chapters later this year.

Mark Ivan Jacobson