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10 February 2011
Tucson, Arizona


Board members present:  Virgil Lueth, Anna Domitrovic,  Jamie Newman, Jean DeMouthe, Terry Ottaway, Tony Kampf, Katherine Dunnell

2:05 pm called to order by President V. Lueth

VL went over the agenda for the general meeting. This includes the budget report & committee reports (the usual stuff).

Collections committee will discuss changes at the U. of Arizona museum and Bob Downs, curator, promised to come and speak about it.

Membership is going to drop non-paying people from the roster and web site. Int'l members still having trouble with transfer of funds.

DeMouthe brought up the difficulty in getting participation from SMMP members for exhibits at Denver and Tucson, and suggested giving up the mystery-rock case.

Nothing new in Best Practices, and there is 1 applicant for the research grant.

Some people have requested that SMMP meetings be held later in the day. Maybe starting with board at 3:30, general from 4 to 5, and program from 5 to 6.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45


Meeting called to order at 3:01 pm by President Lueth.

Lueth welcomed members and guests, and asked everyone present to sign the attendance log being circulated during the meeting. No verbal introductions were made.

VL called for a vote on the Denver minutes, which was moved, seconded, and unanimously approved without corrections.

Domitrovic gave the treasurer's report. As of 1 February, there was $2080 in the checking account, $1101 in the business savings and $4717 in the money market account. Interest rates are very low and we get little interest from any of these accounts.

AD asked for dues, and presented a printed membership list for people to check for errors. She also reported that non-paying former members who had not paid dues in 3 years or more had been dropped from the roster and web site. Dues can now be paid using PayPal, and there is a link on the SMMP web site for this service. You do not have to be a member of PayPal to make a payment. The treasurer's report was unanimously approved.

Lueth reporting for the Collections Committee asked if anyone knew of collections or museum positions that are in danger of being eliminated. No suggestions were made. He mentioned that changes were being made at the Univ. of Arizona museum in Tucson, and introduced Bob Downs, the curator.

Downs reported that 2 years ago, he was made curator of the mineral museum of U of A. Then the State decided to close the museum or to dispose of collections. Local collectors contributed to sustain the collection staff, two of whom quit or retired. Mark Candee, part-time mineral dealer, was hired as curator. There are about 20,000 specimens, 2,000 of which are on display. There are lots of duplicates. The decision was made to sell specimens to fund an endowment to support the museum. A Board was created and museum policy document written by Violet Wolf and Carl Francis from Harvard. It was decided to sell duplicates and low-end specimens. No accessioned or display specimens were to be deaccessioned. There was a gift of $750,000 from Freeport McMoRan, $600,000 of which went into the endowment. Specimens to be sold were distributed among four dealers on consignment, with a target income of $1.6 million. Anticipated estate gifts are to fund a curator/professor position.

Discussion followed Downs' statement. There was an article in USA Today about the museum.

DeMouthe described the two SMMP cases in the public exhibit: "mystery specimens" and "unexpected specimens from California.She suggested that the mystery specimen displays be discontinued, since it was very difficult to get the membership to participate. She reported that Russian Minerals would be the Denver theme in 2011, and asked for suggestions. The only one made was for "red minerals," which was discarded as a bad joke.

SMMP Europe: no report

The date and time for the SMMP meeting in Tucson will in the future be Thursday afternoon, with the board meeting at 3:30, general meeting from 4:00 to 5:00, and program from 5:00 to 6:00.

Gail Spann issued an invitation to SMMP members to attend a social immediately following the meeting at a nearby restaurant. She said the Spann family would like to sponsor this event every year.

Kampf reminded people about the list server and urged them to use it for communicating with their colleagues.

Williamson reported having problems with getting access to the web site. It was thought that the continued presence of the old web site on the LACM server might be causing this. Kampf said he would take care of that.

Renate Schumacher spoke about the MM7 meeting, which will be in Dresden, Germany in August 2012.

Carol Francis spoke about the "All That Glitters" exhibit at the San Diego Museum of Natural history, to which Harvard had contributed specimens.

Dona Dirlam of GIA spoke about the upcoming GIA symposium and mine tours to be held over Memorial Day weekend.


Attendance: There were 48 people present, with 29 institutions represented, from 8 countries (US, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, Russia, France & Italy)

Election: Nominated were Julian Gray, Bruce Geller (outgoing board member), Penny Williamson (outgoing board member) and Terry Ottaway (outgoing board member).  Elected were Gray, Williamson and Ottaway.

A general election was held, and the elected board members chose this year's officers (see below). Board terms are from February to February, with elections always held at the Tucson meeting. Board members' terms are for three years.

Virgil Lueth president 2009 - 2012
Penny Williamson vice president 2011 - 2014
Anna Domitrovic treasurer 2009 - 2012
Jean DeMouthe secretary 2010 - 2013
Tony Kampf board member, webmaster 2010 - 2013
Katherine Dunnell board member 2010 - 2013
Julian Gray board member 2011 - 2014
Terry Ottoway board member 2011 - 2014
Jamie Newman board member 2009 - 2012

Meeting adjourned at 3:52 pm


The general annual meeting was followed by an interactive program on pricing of minerals. A number of dealers had provided specimens that came with labels but no prices.  The audience was asked to examine all the specimens, and to try to determine retail values based on their experiences and mineral knowledge.  At the end of a specified time, the values were revealed and a discussion followed.  This exercise was suggested and supervised by Penny Williamson.  It was generally agreed that this was very useful and interesting.

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