AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 55, Number 2
IN THIS ISSUE
by George Loud Conservation & Legislation Chair
ALERT - Baucus Lives
Once again, your letters are urgently needed. A new bill reminiscent of the old Baucus bills has been introduced as HR 2974 by Congressman James P. McGovern (D - 3rd District MA). The complete text of the bill can be accessed through www.house.gov. At the House of Representatives home page, scroll down to the entry under the heading with the bust of Thomas Jefferson and click on "Bill Number." That will bring up a search screen and on that screen, under the heading "2. Bill Number:" type in "HR 2974". Near the top of the next page, far right, click on "full display", which will bring up the full text of the bill. Having reviewed the bill, please send your comments to your own congressman and to Congressman James V. Hansen (R-UT), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, at the following address:
The Honorable ___________
In view of the current problems with delivery of mail to federal officials (the Anthrax tragedy) I suggest that you e-mail your representatives through the web site at www.house.gov/writerep.
I personally find a number of things objectionable in the bill as introduced. Firstly, it perpetuates a lie. Section 2 entitled "Findings" states: "(10) Some paleontological resources, including all vertebrate fossils, are rare and should only be collected under permit." My own personal experience in fossil collecting, although limited, belies that statement. As a teenager I collected bone fragments of Pleistocene mammals and Eocene shark teeth and an Arkansas, more recently, I have led youth groups along the shores of the Potomac collecting fossil whale bone and shark teeth. While all of the fossils I collected at these two sites are vertebrate, none would justify the expenditure of federal dollars for their curation. The most in-depth study to date on the subject of fossil collecting on public lands, undertaken by the National Research Counsel with public funding, resulted in the 1987 report "Paleontological Collecting" and is in agreement with the views expressed here. At page 18 the report stated "Finding another Pleistocene bison bone in Idaho or another Carboniferous fern leaf in Illinois adds little to paleontologic knowledge."
In any debate, the party who best frames the issue wins. At public hearings where the issue has been aired, spokespersons for the Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists (SVP) invariably attempt to frame the issue in terms of a more or less complete articulated dinosaur skeleton in situ. However, discovery of such an articulated skeleton is definitely not a typical collecting experience and, indeed, is a rarity. Such fossils can be better protected by regulations specific to sites where such fossils are known to occur, rather than lumping them with common sharks teeth and fragments of bones of Pleistocene mammals.
I have enjoyed watching youngsters pick up whale bone from the shores of the Potomac, treasure it, carry it to their school for show and tell, and experience an awakening of intellectual curiosity. If not picked up and treasured, these fossils disintegrate shortly after their exposure by erosion. At various sites along the Potomac shore, one can watch as wave action actively disintegrates the whale bone. The shores of the Potomac do not represent the only environment in which fossil bone disintegrates shortly after exposure. In his book "Tyrannosaurus Sue" Steve Fiffer quotes Sue Hendrickson regarding her discovery of the fossil Sue: "But I was thinking, Wow! It was so cool that the vertebrae were going mostly into the hill so it looked like the potential for more. Usually you find the last little bit of bone and there's nothing more [because it has eroded]." Fiffer also describes the stabilization of exposed dinosaur bone with glue prior to removal of the bone from its resting place. HR 2974 would make the vast expanse of public land a hunting preserve for a privileged few at the expense of permanent loss of most fossils to erosion.
My second objection to the bill has to do with the rather draconian penalties that would be imposed upon an individual for a violation of the act. "If the sum of the scientific or fair market value of the paleontological resources involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources exceeds the sum of $1000.00 this person shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a Class E felony." [My emphasis.] The bill would further provide for forfeiture of "all vehicles and equipment of any person that were used in connection with the violation." In view of the fact that each Land Manager would be empowered to close any area under their jurisdiction to the collection of all fossils, including invertebrates, an individual, with no knowledge as to whether or not a given area is so protected, would be prudent to avoid fossil collecting altogether. The net effect of the bill, should it become law, would be to cast a chill over fossil collecting in general, the direct opposite of the recommendations of the National Research Counsel in the aforementioned 1987 report entitled "Paleontological Collecting", which concluded: "In general, the science of paleontology is best served by unimpeded access to fossils and fossil-bearing rocks in the field." and "The science of paleontology will be advanced by eliminating much of the unnecessary complexity of the present (and proposed) regulation of fossil collecting on public lands."
The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) dissented from that report and is still dissenting. Its most recent and vocal dissent being represented by this bill HR 2974.
A third objection to the bill is that, while section 9(d) makes an exception for possession of a "paleontologic resource" (there's that word "resource"*) which dates from a time prior to enactment, it is less than clear as to where the burden of proof would lie in any attempt to invoke that exception as a defense.
The prohibition against "false labeling" found in section 9(b) is also objectionable (and laughable). It provides: "A person may not make or submit any false record, account, or label for or any false identification of, any paleontological resource excavated or removed from federal lands."
With regard to an almost identical "false labeling" provision in the 1994 Baucus Bill, in this column published in the May 1994 AFMS Newsletter I wrote: "Pity the poor collector or curator, amateur or professional, who mistakes a Psittacosaurus bone for a Chasmosaurus bone. If the bone came from federal lands, the unfortunate misfeasor would be a criminal. Three wrong labels and your out? Those with poor eyesight would be well advised to take up a different hobby or profession. The bill in its present form has the potential to decimate the already thin ranks of vertebrate paleontologists.
My final objection relates to the prohibition against resale, even of fossils the amateur is allowed to collect without permit. What other collector can legally own items which cannot be sold? Why should fossils be different from minerals, gold nuggets, coins, etc. found on public lands? The amateur fossil collector should be free to dispose of his collection through the same channels and in the same manner in which other collectibles, including items legally collected from Federal lands, are marketed.
Paleontology is referred to as a "gateway science" because it is often the first hands on experience one has with any science. It was for me. Thomas Jefferson was an amateur paleontologist and had fossils collected from public lands on display in his home. This country needs more citizens with Jefferson's intellectual curiosity, not less. Unfortunately, the net effect of HR 2974 would be detrimental to the growth and development of scientific curiosity.
*At page 16 the 1987 report "Paleontological Collecting" stated "Fossils specimens cannot be called a "resource" in the usual sense of the word. Unlike some mineral resources, the supply of specimens of most fossils species is effectively inexhaustible.
from Marion Zenker, ALAA Legislative Liaison
Please contact your Members of Congress with your request that he or she not support this Bill - there is as yet no companion bill introduced in the Senate - so you can only refer to HR2974 - the House Bill at this time. However, your Senators also need to be placed on alert since the people who wrote the House Bill are actively seeking a Senate Sponsor to introduce in that chamber. We know that Harry Reid of Nevada and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota have both been approached to act as Prime Sponsors in the Senate so reaching those Senatorial offices is urgently needed at this time.
HR 2974 CONCERNS
Here are my primary objections to the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act introduced as HR 2974 by Prime Sponsor James McGovern of Massachusetts on 2 October 2001.
It is not possible to write good law when you begin with false premises. This Act states that "all vertebrate fossils, are rare" which is on its face a false statement for those who understand that vertebrate fossils include every shark tooth, every mouse, squirrel, snake, bird or fish bone that has ever been preserved. Paleontologist, Dr. Charles Love, estimated years ago, that in just one-half mile of the Green River Formation alone, there are enough fossil fish specimens to provide two to each man, woman and child who live on this earth.
Following from this false premise, this Act states that the collection of any vertebrate fossils on federal lands can be legally carried out only under permit and then states further that all fossils collected under permit remain the property of the United States - the Federal government. Given that all U. S. museums already have more material than they have staff or monies to house, curate or exhibit, where are these fossils going to be housed.
This requirement of ownership also leads me to ask: How much money are taxpayers willing to pay to provide for the housing, accession and curation of all the vertebrate fossil material on our more than half a billion acres of Federal Land - let alone to pay for the enforcement of an Act which assumes that every fossil shark tooth and fish bone should be housed in an "approved repository". It seems a very relevant question when the majority of these resources can be collected, preserved and made available for exhibit and research by amateur and private, professional fossil collectors and paleontologists at no cost to the taxpayer and often in ways that generate tax dollars rather than spending them.
This Act also states that "nothing in subsection (a) (under prohibited acts) shall apply to any person with respect to any paleontological resource which was in the lawful possession of such person prior to the date of the enactment of this Act." However, unless each person who has any vertebrate or rare invertebrate or plant fossils in their possession prior to the enactment of this Act can provide unassailable proof of where, when and by whom those fossils were collected, this Act's passage would open the door to many false accusations and charges by law enforcement damaging reputations and even destroying many small businesses.
The inclusion of the right to seize not only fossils that are deemed to be collected illegally under this Act but also "all vehicles and equipment of any person that were used in connection with the violation" is especially frightening. This provision ensures that enforcement officials have the capability of creating financial ruin for individuals and businesses (even if your business was not actively involved in fossil collection). Unless every fossil in your possession was collected at the same time from the same site, you can be charged under this Act with multiple violations which also vastly escalates the amount of the fines that can levied and the prison time to which you can be sentenced.
To contact me you may use any of the following. My email address is <email@example.com> My phone number is 605-574-4289 and fax number is 605-574-2518.
from Carol Brown, AFMS Show Committee
Last issue you were introduced to the beautiful Victorian Seaport of Port Townsend, Washington. This issue you will be introduced to some of the nearby scenic areas.
Port Townsend is noted for it's many summer festivals. All summer long there are programs put on by Centrum Arts and Creative Education. They host the Blues Festival, Jazz Festival, Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Readings and Lectures, Summer Chamber Music and an Orchestra Concert. These are complemented by the Jefferson County Fair, Wooden Boat Festival, Kinetic Races, Film Festival and more.
Port Townsend is about 40 miles from another seaport, Port Angeles, Washington. This is where you can catch a ferry to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for a visit to such wonderful places a Butchart Gardens and have High Tea at the Empress Hotel.
You can visit Anacortes, Washington, take a leisurely ferry trip around the San Juan Islands and spend a day in scenic Friday Harbor.
It is only 40 miles from Port Townsend to the Naval Museum at Keyport, and just a couple of hours to the Space Needle in Seattle. For those of you who wish to see the mountains there are side trips into the Olympic mountains, over to Mount Rainier or visit Mount St. Helens to see the lava beds created by the big eruption in the 1980's. Port Townsend is surrounded by water, so there are all types of waters sports for you to take a part in from beach combing, fishing and sailing, to kayaking.
If you are coming in your RV, which we suggest you might want to do, plan on a tour around route 101 all the way to the tip of the peninsula and the Macaw Indian village. There is so much to see in this part of the country, that you will want to make this your vacation, not just a trip to a gem and mineral convention. You can always plan on rockhounding on your way up and on your way back.
For those of you who might wish to rent an RV and stay at the fairgrounds, there is a local RV dealer who can accommodate your needs. The dealer will move the RV onto the fairgrounds and have it set up and waiting for your arrival. There are limited RV's available and you may contact the Show Chairman for information. Make sure you inquire about what is supplied with the RV when you make your reservations, so you can come fully prepared.
Make your plans now to attend the 2002 Convention and show in beautiful Port Townsend, Washington. Please remember that this is our busy season and room availability is limited. You must make your reservations now. For more information on the Show and local attractions, contact our Show Chairman, Bob Sahli at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (360)732-4678.
July is the height of the tourist season in Port Townsend and so we urge you to make your motel reservations immediately. Here is a listing of some of the motels and hotels in the area, along with their rates and phone numbers. When calling the Harborside Inn, be certain to indicate that you are with the AFMS/NFMS convention.
by Steve Weinberger, AFMS President
Take a look at the rope diagram* below. It expresses the interrelationships between the AFMS, regional federations, districts (areas, regions, states, etc.), clubs and individual members. The drawing shows that the basic and forming strand is the club member. He or she is the one who makes things happen in the hobby.
The intertwining as you progress through the thicker strands shows the support mechanisms in place to provide such services as insurances, contest help, advice, information, materials, and recognition of members.
If you picture this now as a communications cable, such as a telephone line, you can see that the flow of information goes both ways. The ultimate goal is to provide as much information as possible to the individual clubs and their members. To this end, I have modified the focus of some AFMS committees.
The Public Relations Committee this year will gather information on special programs and events which clubs are doing. Our chairman, Barbara Fenstermacher, will share these ideas with everyone so that if clubs are interested, they have a source for new and interesting projects or ideas.
Please put the committee chairman, Barbara Fenstermacher, on your list of exchange bulletins, or send her clippings of your club's successes - especially unique ones. She will then share your ideas via the AFMS Newsletter. Barbara's address was in the November issue of AFMS News or you can get it from the AFMS website.
Another committee whose focus will now include service to club members is the International Relations Committee. Chairman Jack Nelson will continue to list noteworthy international events such as major shows and museum exhibitions, but in addition he will serve as a resource for those who want to exchange materials or ideas with other hobbyists throughout the world. Jack has been doing this for quite some time via e-mail and has numerous contacts.
So you can see that as one of my major themes this year, communication for all is a vital process not only for keeping us informed, but also for the sharing of information and ideas which are so necessary for the effective operation of our clubs.
*The diagram is the creation of Dale Miller, South Central Federation District 1 Vice President and member of the Arlington Gem & Mineral Club.
from Ron Carman, President-Elect
When I first joined my local club and then began to hear about the federations and the AFMS back in the seventies, I naturally wondered what it was all about. I remember hearing about federation shows as early as 1974 (when the first set of Mineral Heritage stamps came out) and of course these things called "national shows". I even remember going to my first national show in Austin in 1976, when it was SCF's turn in rotation to host the national (or AFMS) show. Since it was reasonably close to me, I thought it might be worth while to go and even take an exhibit. I didn't do so well in competition, but that is when I really began to learn about the various federations and the American Federation. I also heard the question asked and have heard it asked many times since: "What does the Federation do for me?"
There are probably nearly as many answers to that question as there are persons who try to answer it and they are all varied. I can only speak for myself, and to me the federations do the same thing for the clubs as the clubs do for their members. I remember in June of 1976 I began to meet members not only from the other clubs in the SCF, but also from all over the country, since this was a national show. It also prepared me for the next year, when the Houston club hosted the SCF show and also bid on the AFMS show for 1982. Since then I have been to many federation shows all over the country, and I am always delighted by the many fine rockhounds (lapidarists, faceters, old fossils, etc.) I have met from all over. What I said in last month's newsletter is true: I never met one I didn't like! There is a real camaraderie in this hobby that is unlike any other I have seen. Wherever I go, I can always find friends in the federation. Is your club planning a field trip? If so, invite some nearby clubs - they will likely reciprocate in turn. It's also nice each year to have the annual gathering of "the gang" as I call them when I go to the AFMS convention. Something else I have also noticed is that newcomers are made to feel welcome at the federation level as soon as they show up! Maybe it is because it's good to have more help to do the endless stack of work involved in operating the federation, but everyone is made to feel at home right away.
Another real selling point in South Central at least, is that member clubs can purchase liability insurance for a considerably lower rate if it is done federation-wide. Since the insurer is covering a large group of people on the same contract, the per-person cost is reduced, which saves the member clubs an amount of money more than equal to their federation dues. A monetary savings like that is certainly an incentive to stay with the federation.
These are just some of the things the federation has done for me. How about you? If you can think of anything more, let me (and other members) know!
By Jack Nelson, Chairman
Greetings, all. When President Steve Weinberger asked me to serve as chairman of this Committee, I thought it would be a good chance to help in getting our AFMS members talking to their counterparts in countries around the world. For about five years, I have been exchanging minerals and information with micromounters (my hobby) and others who have similar interests in our hobby. Though E-mail and the Internet have spread so far and wide, traditional means of contact by telephone and regular mail can still offer excellent ways to further our hobby with others with similar interests in foreign lands or even here in our own country.
In future reports to you, I will try to provide some more specific information that you should find useful in your searches for items for your collections or even for your businesses. We will also provide notice of important conferences, symposia and gem/mineral/fossil shows in locations outside the United States. This will help your planning and coordination if and when you travel to other countries.
So, till next month, if you would like to ask us or tell us something that you think other AFMS members would like to know, please let me hear from you. My e-mail is <email@example.com.
from Regina Aumente, Public Relations Coordinator
Members of the mineral, fossil, and lapidary community in Denver Colorado, were significantly impacted by the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show was scheduled to begin on September 14th. Vendors, exhibitors, and visitors from all over the world were in Denver or en route when, suddenly, the world was no longer quite the same. Many exhibitors and visitors could not get to Denver due to airport shutdowns.
As the nation's attention was riveted on the events in New York and Washington, a gem and mineral show no longer seemed quite relevant. Cancellation of the show was considered and rejected. Too many people had put in hundreds of hours of work, traveled thousands of miles, and spent large sums of money to make the show happen.
In view of the tragedy, the organization did not feel it was right to just go on as if nothing had happened. The members of the Denver Show Committee, with the consent of their parent organization, the Greater Denver Area Gem and Mineral Council, decided to donate all proceeds from admission receipts to a charity to help the victims of September 11th. Martin Zinn, organizer of the Colorado Fossil Expo, also agreed to donate his share of the admission receipts, and Danny Duke, of the International Gem and Jewelry Show, provided an additional $1,000 for the fund. As a result of this agreement, $25,637.15 from admissions and individual contributions was donated to the Liberty Fund of the American Red Cross on October 11, 2001.
The Greater Denver Area Gem and Mineral Council is a non-profit organization of ten mineral, fossil, gem, lapidary, and bead hobby clubs in the Denver area. The organizations have a combined total of 1400 members. The members of the Council sponsor and produce the annual Denver Gem and Mineral Show. Proceeds of the show are normally used for donations to education and research in the earth sciences and lapidary arts.
from Bonnie Glismann, Chairperson
I can't believe that 2001 is just about over. Did your club send in a nomination for Club Rockhound of the Year? I'd love to be able to report in December 2002 that every club in every region had an individual or a couple nominated for recognition. It's a lofty goal, but we can attain it! Send your nominations, along with your reasons (50 words max.) for the nomination to your regional federation ACROY chairman. These good folks will forward your nominations to me for printing in your federation newsletter and in the AFMS newsletter.
Jake Kramer is the St. Lawrence Co. Rock & Mineral Club"s AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year. This past summer Jake took two weeks off of work to be the guide for the EFMLS annual field trip, North & South of the Border. He is also the club field trip coordinator and is involved in the New England Field Trip Alliance. He is the newsletter editor and secretary. Jake set up the club website which has consumed much of his time over the last two months. The club also presented Jake two plaques this past August during the club's Annual Show honoring him in appreciation of the many hours of service to the club and for his participation at the club meetings.
Bernie Emery has been nominated as the AFMS Rockhound of the Year by the Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society (MD). He has consistently shown himself to be fully dedicated to the people and mission of the society. In addition to his long period of service on the club's Board, he frequently organizes the club's fund-raising auctions, always energizing the buying spirit of the crowd with his personality. For the past several years has very competently managed the club's annual rock swap event at Goucher College in Towson, an annual event eagerly anticipated by many loyal patrons (buyers and vendors alike). Bernie's dedication to promoting the educational, artistic, and social dimensions to our unique field certainly merit special recognition with this award.
The Lower Bucks Rock and Mineral Club"s nominee for AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year is Ralph Thomas. Ralph has held a number of positions in the Club and has been the one person in who has held it together since the early 1970's. Through years of declining membership, his own poor health and against all other odds, Ralph has believed in the group, promoted it and put in endless hours on the Club's behalf. For over 30 years he has been willing to share his expertise with young and old alike. We call him Mr. Ultraviolation (name of our Fall Show), but we would like you to call him Rockhound of the Year.
Don Sommerfield has been nominated as the AFMS Rockhound of the Year by the Southwest Florida Gem, Mineral and Fossil Club. He has been a member of the club and program director for many years. He has all the speakers and demonstrators lined up 6 months in advance. He has arranged several field trips in an area where that is hard to do. He arranges our Christmas luncheon with a guest speaker. Don also demonstrates cab cutting every January in the club's booth at the Frank Cox Gem and Jewelry show in Ft. Myers.
Dave Millis, of the Che-Hanna Rock and Mineral Club in Sayre, PA, has been nominated as the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year. Dave is the Field Trip Chairman and does an excellent job of setting up trips throughout the summer. His contributions are too numerous to list, talks to clubs, schools, and various groups on mineral collecting, wire wrapping, and soapstone carving, etc. He is always spreading the fun of our hobby.
The North Shore Rock and Mineral Club of Massachusetts is honored to nominate John and Margaret Stewart as AFMS Club Rockhounds of the Year. Married for more than fifty years, they have spent the majority of their lives working, collecting, teaching and mentoring within the field of geology and mineralogy. John, retired instructor and Curator of Boston University's rock and mineral collection has served as an officer, committee chair, as well as a current and longtime member our executive board. His work in the planning and operation of the annual club show is vital to its existence. Margaret, ever present at all club functions, quietly assists in anything that needs to be done. Her gracious demeanor as a host and teacher clearly is an example to everyone. John and Margaret also founded the club's micromounter group in 1972. They have hosted the group ever since and are always teaching, always mentoring.
South Central Federation
The Austin Gem And Mineral Society selects Adolph Krchnak as their 2001 Rockhound of the Year. Adolph is a do everything, get it done type guy. If it needs fixing Adolph will fix it. If it needs to be built Adolph will build it. If it needs to be done you can count on Adolph to be there and work on it. We do appreciate Adolph and all that he does for the club.
John Simonson was chosen as Waco's rockhound of the year for 2001 in recognition of his tireless efforts to promote our club and our hobby. John and his wife Maria Ann have been members of the Waco gem and mineral club for about three years. He has served for one year on our board of directors. He is also our club's 2001 president. John regularly drops whatever he is doing when a member asks for his help. In the past year our club has had two members undergoing dialysis and therefore unable to schedule regular times. John has been available to them to assist them in the club's shop whenever called. John has been instrumental in finding a new location for our club's meetings. The Carleen Bright Arboretum at 4401 Bosque Blvd. Waco Texas (stop by if you are in the neighborhood on the first Monday of the month. Presented by Mary Muller
Joe and Lee Beasley - Ark-La-Tex Rockhounds of the year! Joe and Lee have been active in club activities since joining the club. Joe is the show dealer chairman, has served as president of the club and an active supporter of all club activities. Joe was the first club member to ask to be a member of the Chipalottas. He was instrumental in equipping the new club shop and has volunteered to oversee the opening of the show, determining how to charge for use of equipment and will teach classes as he is qualified. Lee has served right along with Joe. She has coordinated the show dealer setup supper for many years. She has always pitched in whenever the club was involved with eating - such as the Christmas meeting. Lee has provided the coffee at our regular meetings for many years. Joe and Lee have recently traveled to the east coast to take a qualifying course in display judging (but will have to take one more series of classes to be certified). They go to just about every show in the area - Jackson, Leesville, Tyler, Texarkana, etc. They support the club in every way and are very deserving of being named Rockhounds of the Year.
Wanda Funk has been a real asset to our club, the Gulf Coast Gem & Mineral Society. Whenever there is a job to do and no one else will take it Wanda will say "I guess I can do that". She has been guest book chairlady for many years and is the perfect lady to greet visitors and new members with her winning smile. She has headed the committee to prepare the Set-up supper for many years - even after she said she could not longer do it, she pitched in and helped. When her husband Don was unable to bring his favorite rock to the show to put in a case, she helped him get it there and saw him set it up. We need more Wanda Funk's in this world. submitted by Donna Roethler
The Williamson County Gem & Mineral Society selects Bill Medord for our 2001 Rockhound of the Year. Bill Medford is a do everything type guy. Vice President, Show Chairman, Corresponding Secretary, Phone Committee Chair, Membership Chair, Location Coordinator; in other words, Bill is into everything and does everything. Without him we wouldn't function. submitted by George Browne
The Jacksonville Gem & Mineral Society wishes to nominate Charles Broome as our Rockhound of the Year. Charlie's tireless efforts have provided us with wonderful field trips and fantastic cookies and homemade breads at our holiday parties. Charlie's participation in club shows goes beyond normal efforts. His "hands-on" specimens and "give-away" items for kids are always a hit with the public and responsible for a growth in club membership. Thanks Charlie!
by Mel Albright, Safety Chair
Looking for rocks? There's a gleam in your eyes. Doing some soldering? There's a gleam in your eye. Driving into the sun? There's a gleam in your eye. Enjoying the scenery? There's gleam in your eye. Boy, look at that fluorescent stuff! There's a gleam in your eye.
Have you thought about what your eyes receive as you follow your hobby? The answer is radiation, of course. Most of that radiation is in the visible light range and gives us no problems if it isn't too strong. But, some is infrared, some ultraviolet A and some ultraviolet B. The infrared is of wavelength longer than we can see. The ultraviolet is of wavelengths shorter than we can see.
But, radiation is all around us as we follow our hobby. The first source is the sun. We all know not to look straight at it. But, sunlight is reflected from any surface other than pure black and pure black radiated infrared when heated.
Infrared energy hurts us by heating tissue. Your eyes are one place. Infrared re-radiates as heat - Dern that tool's hot! Although eye damage is more probable than skin energy, both are possible with visible as well as infrared. These rays can be focused by your eye lens so they cause retinal injury - up to blindness. IR also comes from UV lamps, resistance heaters, and flames (including welding and soldering)
Ultraviolet hurts us causes biological chemical reactions that injure us. A sunburn - eye problems - sensitivity to light - These are some of UV's effects. UV comes from the sun, of course. But it also comes from welding, plasma torches, gas discharge lamps ("black" light, mercury lamps, germicide lamps, welding and soldering torches, and the like). Too much UV can also blind you. Dangerous visible energy may come from the sun, or from welding and soldering flames. The Commission International d'Eclairage (CIE) International Lighting Commission classifies radiation as follows: The numbers are wave lengths in nanometers. 100-280, far UV or UV-b (actinic); 280-315, Middle UV or UV-a (actinic); 315-380, Near UV, black light; 38-780, visible light; 780-1400, Near IR; 1400-3000, intermediate IR; 3000-10,000, far IR; and over 10,000, microwaves.
"Infrared (IR) energy produces harm by heating tissue. Ultraviolet (UV) energy can cause injury by triggering chemical reactions in proteins and other biological molecules. This is termed photochemical injury. UV can also cause harm by heating tissue. Visible light can cause injury by heating, but visible energy with wavelengths below 550 nm can also produce photochemical injury. Although eye injury is more serious than skin injury, the skin and eyes are equally vulnerable to all wavelengths except those between 400 nm and 1400 nm. Energy with wavelengths between 400 and 1400 nm entering the eye can be focused by the lens and reach the retina at the back of the eye; therefore, retinal injury, which can lead to partial or even total loss of vision, is a serious concern at these wavelengths." Source: <http://www.llnl.gov/es_and_h/hsm/doc_11.02/doc11-02.html#26.8>.
For all radiation - there are safety glasses which will protect your eyes - actinic glasses for UV (see glass-blowing), sunglasses for visible, and darkened glasses for strong visible and IR. IF you are going to have much exposure, be sure to buy and use this safety equipment. Sun-block also protects the skin against UV.
FINALLY, laser light is extremely dangerous to your vision. Avoid being around them if you can. If you must be around lasers, there are safety glasses designed for that. Use them.
by William Klose, AFMS Chair
We in the AFMS have been blessed by a SAFETY MANUAL that has stood the test of time for over 30 years, because it was so well written. But like all time tested documents, it needs to be brought into the twenty first century by revision of existing chapters with new data and procedures, and the addition of some new chapters that deal with items touched upon in many of the different chapters, but that should also be considered in their own right, like hand and power tools. I have accepted the task of chairing an AFMS SAFETY MANUAL COMMITTEE, that includes the Safety Chairpersons of the other Federations, to investigate a Safety Manual Revision. Some discussion in the past on revising the manual, or even having a manual, considered the liability the AFMS could shoulder if some one was hurt, and it was suggested that maybe it would be wise to use a national Safety manual such as the Red Cross's. A preliminary investigation of some of the National Safety Manuals finds a lot of very good information, but many of the things we do as rock hounds are not included, and much is unrelated to our hobby. In order to provide proper training in field trip, shop, and rock show safety, we must have a manual tailored to our field of interest, one with which we can train our new members and reeducate our established members in safety, in order to keep us all healthy and injury free.
In the past 30 years, a great many excellent safety articles have been published in the various Club and Federation Newsletters, many of the more recent of which are now available on the AFMS web site. In addition to reviewing these articles and National Safety Manuals and web sites for appropriate data to add to the AFMS Safety Manual, it is also important to obtain input from the members of the Clubs on things that they would like to see added to or improved in the Manual. The more input, the better the final product, and the better we can all do to keep our members healthy and safe. Please solicit input from your members, field trip chairmen, shop instructors, and others who provide safety training in your club, and forward to your Federation Safety Chairperson, for consideration. Some suggestions already submitted are to make the Manual loose leaf and 8-1/2 X 11" to make changes easier and have small pocket versions with only the appropriate sections for field trips or shop safety, etc.. How about adding some of those great cartoons that have appeared in the EFMLS Newsletters over the years to spice up the Manual? Add safe practice lists as an appendix that can be laminated and placed in the shops? Perhaps the addition of lesson plans for the instructors would be helpful? What are your thoughts?
You can reach me at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or write me at PO Box 28; Noxen, PA 18636-0028.
Have a safe and wonderful holiday and New Years Season.
from Kathy & Bob Miller, AFMS Chairs
As AFMS and MWF Junior Chairmen we had the privilege of working with the Future Rockhounds of America group, the "Dirt Devils" this fall in Rice Lake, WI. These youth were enthusiastic, very knowledgeable in earth sciences and willing workers at the Future Rockhounds of America booth and their own special sand panning for children.
If your club wishes to start a Future Rockhounds of America juniors club or you have an individual junior (who is also eligible) be sure to contact your regional Junior Chairman for a membership form.
We are also pleased to inform the AFMS that the Future Rockhounds of America membership has now 17 clubs and 250 members throughout the United States. These juniors are the future of our hobby. Let's keep it building!
...About the Lillian Turner Award Lillian Turner of Bethesda, Maryland gives an award each year to the outstanding Junior who exhibits at the Annual AFMS show. The Junior can be from any Federation or Society, but must be exhibiting in competition at the current show.
The Host Society or Show Committee will select the Outstanding Junior be determination of the best competitive Junior exhibit. The award will be a $100 Series "E" Bond, to be presented at a ceremony during the show.
Do remember it is not the amount of money that should make this desirable, but the honor of receiving it. Now is the time to be thinking of entering your exhibit for 2002 in Port Townsend, WA.
We wish everyone a blessed holiday season.
from Steve Weinberger, President
As promised last month, here is a listing of the people who have agreed to serve as Regional Federation committee representatives on the AFMS committees. Contact your Regional Federation President for contact information for them.
AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year
AFMS Club Publications
AFMS Conservation & Legislation
AFMS Education / All American
AFMS Junior Program
AFMS Lewis & Clark
AFMS Program Competition
AFMS Public Relations
AFMS Uniform Rules
AFMS Ways & Means
AFMS Scholarship Foundation
by Brenda Hankins, AFMS Chair
Listen quietly and you can almost begin to hear the ripples of the Mighty Missouri lapping up against the keelboat! We are not there yet, but we do have a plan in hand! The Work Plan is presented here so that each Federation may be advised of the details and may make decisions concerning the assignments best suited to that Federation. Specific assignments accepted will be communicated to the AFMS Chair through the representatives from the regional Federations.
OVERVIEW OF PROJECT
Project Goal: to produce a traveler's guide to the rocks, minerals, and fossils along the Lewis and Clark Trail
NOTE: First option for all Trail Assignments will be given to the Federation in which the assignment is located. Priority for other assignments will be on a first come, first served basis.
Journal Assignments (Due April 1, 2002): The Federation/Club/Individual completing a Journal Assignment will use Gary Moulton's publications of the Journals of Lewis and Clark to determine what rocks, minerals, and fossils members of the Expedition actually reported in their journals. Those sections of the journals describing the rocks, minerals, and fossils seen by the Expedition, used by the Expedition, or discussed by the Expedition should be reported.
Trail Assignments (Due September 1, 2002): The Federation/Club/Individual completing a Trail Assignment will be responsible for describing what the Expedition probably saw and what the tourist may see traveling the Trail based on the National Park Guide The Lewis and Clark Trail. Numbers in parentheses for the Trail Assignments indicate the NPS historic marker numbers that represent the geographic area to be covered by that assignment. Any information about the rocks, minerals, or fossils that may be seen from the site of the historic marker should be included in the descriptions of the assignment area; the Federation/Club/Individual will determine what other information along that section of the route should be described.
Activity Assignments (November 1, 2002): The Federation/Club/Individual completing an Activity Assignment will take the information developed from the Trail Assignments and develop at least three paper and pencil activities related to what was under foot in the area. Two or three different types of activities of interest to be both younger and older travelers should be included. Each activity should be one that could be completed by the family as it travels through the area.
Story Line: The AFMS Chair will write the story line of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and weave it into the materials developed by the Federation/Club/Individual. Wording from those contributing will be adapted to flow throughout the document. All contributors will have an opportunity to review the edited draft and make recommendations for changes.
Communication: All Federations/Clubs/Individuals cooperating on the project will use computer technology for submitting and reviewing assignments, unless a special request for another form of communication is made. Submissions and subsequent reviews will automatically be circulated to all project team members. Team members are encouraged to review and, where appropriate, provide feedback to one another and the AFMS Chair. Those who are working in the same geographic area or on the same type of assignment will be helpful reviewers for one another.
Working with and through the local clubs, the Federations will accept assignments and indicate the name of the club and the individual who will lead the completion of that assignment. The AFMS Chair will communicate with the Federation representative, club president, and individuals who have accepted assignments. Information kits will be sent to the individuals who will be completing the assignments.
ASSIGNMENTS AND TIMELINES
Journal Assignments-Due April 1, 2002
Trail Assignments-Due September 1, 2002 (Federation with First Option Listed)
Activity Assignments-Due November 1, 2002
John "Jack" Hanahan, noted for his dedication and love of the mineral hobby passed away on October 28, 2001 in Charlotte, NC. He was 77 years of age and had been in failing health for a number of years.
Jack received both his BS and MA degrees in education from the University of Tennessee and then taught geology, Spanish and geography at Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. At the time of his death he had been associated with the College for 50 years.
He is well known for his professional contributions: as curator to the National Science Museum in Charleston; as an active member of the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies, where he served as Rules Chairman and as National Uniform Rules Chairman for the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies; as President of the Southern Appalachian Mineralogical Society in Asheville, North Carolina; and as founding member of the Friends of Mineralogy. He also received recognition for his active work with the Smithsonian Institute and Colburn Museum in Asheville, North Carolina, and for authoring many articles on minerals and their localities. Jack worked with Hugh Morton and John White to establish an exemplary collection of North Carolina minerals at Grandfather Mountain, near the mountain home where he spent many cherished summers. His studies in Spanish led to many trips to Mexico and Spain, where he conducted tours for students at the University of Madrid.
It is suggested that those wishing to make memorial contributions in Jack Hanahan's memory do so to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation, % of your regional AFMS Scholarship Coordinator.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go
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