Since 1884 members of the Rochester Academy of Science Mineral Section have enjoyed collecting and learning about minerals, as well as exploring related geoscience topics.
We are a Charter Member Club of the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies.
Program Coordinator: Jutta Dudley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Treasurer and Mineral Curator: Paul Dudley
Representative to the RAS BOD: Stephen Busschaert
Librarian: Brian McGrath
Apparel: Kathy Henrie
During the academic year 2022-2023, most meetings will be held virtually on Zoom with occasional hybrid meetings when appropriate. Meetings are on the 4th Tuesday of most months. There are no meetings December, April, or June through August. Members are informed by email of meeting events and when there are changes. The RAS Bulletin announces the meeting dates and topics as well.
September 27: Hybrid meeting in Webster. Dr. Fred Haynes will speak about garnet sands.
October 25: Collecting in the Grenville Geological Province is presented by David Joyce.
November 22: Dr. Nick Warner, planetary scientist, will share information about Mars based on the Insight Mission.
PAST MEETING: May 24. Dr. Howard Heitner presented Pseudomorphs, Trickster Mineral Specimens.
The word pseudomorph was first used by Hauy in 1801. In Greek it means “false shape.” A pseudomorph is a mineral that has the external crystal shape of another mineral. The subject of pseudomorphs was first written about in detail by the 19th century German mineralogist Johann Blum. In 1982 they were classified by the mineralogist Strunz. There are various theories of how pseudomorphs form. In some cases the second mineral is similar in composition to the original mineral. In those cases the mechanism is a chemical reaction. In other cases the two minerals are not similar and the mechanism of pseudomorph formation is more complicated. There is still controversy about the formation of some pseudomorphs. The talk is illustrated with pictures of both common and rare pseudomorphs.
Dr. Heitner is a retired chemist and has been an active collector of minerals for 60 years.
PAST MEETING: March 22. Dr. Timothy McConnochie discussed the past and present climate of Mars.. He is a Research Scientist with Space Science Institute (http://spacescience.org) and a Participating Scientist on NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover mission (https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020). See the recorded talk here.
PAST MEETING: February 22. Derek Yoost on Microstructures in Meteorites and their Relation to the Formation of the Solar System. See the recorded talk here.
To see a listing of past meetings and field trips, click here.
The symposium has become a world-renowned gathering of people interested in minerals since 1973. It is held under the aegis of the Rochester Academy of Science in Rochester, New York. Over several days in April, the event features technical sessions, special lectures, workshops, auctions, an exhibit hall, and a dealers hall. Due to the covid-19 pandemic the symposium became a virtual event. That will continue in 2023 but we also hope to meet in person as well.
Peruse the 2022 program: 49th RMS Program.pdf
For past events see:
The next Symposium will be held in Rochester and online April 20-23, 2023. For questions: email@example.com.
We have books, field guides, DVDs and collections of magazines. Most are stored with the librarian, who brings a selection to meetings. Feel free to borrow items you are interested in. Click here for the complete list.
Rocks and Minerals
Samples of Books:
Nature's Garden of Crystals, edited by Vandall T. King
Rockhounding New York - A Field Guide, Robert Beard, 2014
Guide to Bancroft, Ontario District
DVDs of Meeting Lectures:
October 2012: David Joyce, Collecting at the Engineer Mine in British Columbia.
November 2012: Vandall King, Understanding Pegmatites so you can find Tourmaline and its Friends
Field Trips for Snowbirds. Special Issue of Rock & Gem magazine 2013/2014 Snowbird Issue
A summary by Paul B. Dudley, based on a Mineral Section presentation by Dr. David Bailey of Hamilton College in 2007.
by Paul B. Dudley
Garnet is the New York State mineral. The Gore Mountain area in the Adirondack Mts is noted for its garnet amphibolite (a metamorphic rock), which is rich in a variety of garnet types.
by Bob Morgan
A detailed look at the myriad crystal shapes exhibited by pyrite from Huanzala. The beautiful crystals are a feast for the eyes. Enjoy, even if you don't understand the descriptions!
Science Exploration Days
Organized by the Central Western Section of the Science Teachers Association of NYS, this event occurred annually in May at St John Fisher College from 1971 through 2019, halting in recent years due to the covid-19 pandemic. The event featured workshops for students during the day and the exhibit hall was open to the community in the evening. All of the Academy sections were represented in the exhibit hall and in addition, some members gave presentations during the classroom sessions. Volunteers at the mineral table enjoyed giving demonstrations, answering questions, and giving away samples. Perhaps we will do this again in 2023!
Monroe County Winterfest
In midwinter, several sections of the Academy participate in this popular county event at Mendon Ponds Park. Mineral club volunteers display local and NYS minerals along with a poster of the glacial geology of the park. We join with the Fossil and Astronomy section volunteers in the Cobblestone House. See Monroe County's Winterfest webpage.
ADK Outdoor Expo
Another community event in Mendon Ponds Park that the Mineral Section participates in, occurs in the summer. It is organized by the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. We share covered tables and space with Fossil and Astronomy sections along the path to the beach and use our displays to share stories about natural history with the visiting outdoor enthusiasts. See ADK's Expo FaceBook page.
Last Updated: June 28, 2022