The 50th annual meeting of the Mineralogical Association of Canada
The 50th annual meeting of the Mineralogical Association of Canada was held jointly with the Geological Association of Canada, the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, and the Canadian Society of Soil Science, May 15–18, at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The scientific program consisted of five symposia, 24 special sessions and six general sessions, along with ten field trips. Three symposia and two special sessions were financially supported by MAC, mostly to bring in keynote speakers: SM2: the MAC 50th Anniversary Symposium; SM3: Contaminated Granites; SM4: From Cratons to Carats: A Symposium to Honour the Career of Herwart Helmstaed; SS6: Thermochronology; and SS7: Mercury in the Environment. MAC also sponsored a well-attended short course at the meeting: “Mercury: Sources, Measurements, Cycles, and Effects” (coordinated by Michael B. Parsons and Jeanne B. Percival, Short Course Volume 35).
The annual MAC luncheon and award presentations were held May 17 in the Great Hall of the University Club at Dalhousie University with nearly 130 persons in attendance. In particular, the presence of “Digger” H. Gorman at the head table represented the contribution of all former members of the Executive. The Hawley Award, for the best paper in volume 42 of The Canadian Mineralogist was awarded by MAC president Daniel J. Kontak to Axel D. Renno, Leander Franz, Thomas Witzke, and Peter M. Herzig for their paper entitled “The coexistence of melts of hydrous copper chloride, sulfide and silicate compositions in a magnesiohastingsite cumulate, Tubaf seamount, Papua New Guinea” (vol. 42, p. 1-17). The Past Presidents’ Medal was awarded to Anthony E. Williams-Jones (McGill University). The Berry Medal was awarded to Rob Raeside (Acadia University) for his contributions and service to the MAC as short course editor and to Pierrette Tremblay for her long-time involvement with the Association. The Young Scientist’s Medal was awarded to Anton R. Chakhmouradian (University of Winnipeg) who studies alkaline rocks and perovskite-structured minerals and their synthetic analogues.
The Halifax meeting coincided with the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association. Several events were scheduled to celebrate this event. To highlight MAC’s birthday, all registrants were provided with a glossy pamphlet summarizing the history of the Association, the abstracts of our 50th anniversary symposium, and a colourful preview of one of our upcoming special publication, Atlas of Minerals in Thin Section. A selection of prized specimens from the Pinch Collection of the Canadian Museum of Nature was prominently displayed in the registration area and was open to the public for the duration of the conference. A special two-day MAC 50th anniversary symposium was convened by Frank Hawthorne. The 40-minute talks covered many aspects of mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, stable isotopes, and mineral deposit geology. Monday evening was the 50th birthday party. The president and vice president of MAC, the president of GAC, and representatives from the IMA and the German Mineralogical Society (GMS) were ushered to the stage by a Nova Scotian piper clad in full Scottish attire. Vice president Norm Halden read well wishes from two of the 14 mineralogists who founded the Association, E.W. Nuffield and H.R. Steacy. Then glasses of wine were proudly raised in a toast to the founders and birthday cake was shared by all. On Tuesday, Ian Parsons presented a plenary address entitled “Minerals are not just chemical compounds.” This exceptional talk illustrated the importance and relevance of mineral science to a very broad range of issues, from high-temperature petrology, through diagenesis and environmental concerns, to microbial life! On Tuesday evening, councillor and lecturer extraordinaire André Lalonde entertained a full house at the Nova Scotia museum with his talk “Close encounters with minerals.” Thanks to the Halifax 2005 local organizing committee for helping to make this GAC-MAC meeting one to remember!
The annual business meeting took place on May 17 in the Council Chambers, Dalhousie University. President Kontak reviewed the highlights of the past year. 2005 saw the successful launch of Elements – An International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Petrology, which MAC co-publishes along with the Mineralogical Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Geochemical Society, the International Association of GeoChemistry, The Clay Minerals Society, and the European Association for Geochemistry. About 8000 copies per issue are distributed in 92 countries. Issue titles to date are “Fluids in Planetary Systems,” “Diamonds,” “The Geochemical Origin of Life,” “Metals in the Environment,” and “Large Igneous Provinces”. In May 2005, we published Special Publication 8, Mineral Species First Described from Greenland, by Ole V. Petersen and Ole Johnsen. MAC held its first short course outside of Canada in Oulu, Finland, August 6–7, 2005. The short course, convened by Jim Mungall and Markhu Lethinen, was on the theme of exploration for platinum-group element deposits. Short course volume 35 (512 pages) was published for the short course.
The increasing strength of the Canadian dollar has meant decreased revenues for the Association. To partly offset this, the costs of ordinary and corporate membership were increased slightly. Council decided to separate electronic access from print subscription for institutional members. Once again Council decided to wait another year before becoming a part of Geoscience World, so that we could see the full first year of operation. If you are interested in finding out about what MAC does, you are invited to visit our website (www.mineralogicalassociation.ca).
According to the audited financial statements to December 31, 2004, prepared by Joanne L. Dorman, Chartered Accountant (Burnaby, BC), MAC’s equity includes $608,141 in the bank, ($62,690 as cash on hand) and $346,768 in the MAC Foundation. For 2004, MAC incurred a loss of $17,493. The strength of the Canadian dollar has started to make its impact felt on the Association, and your Council has taken steps to conserve money as we expect the full impact of the strong Canadian dollar to be felt in 2005. The audited financial statements are available on the website at (www.mineralogicalassociation.ca/index.php?p=113)
The Association, through the MAC Foundation, awarded its $10,000 graduate scholarship to Jason Mackenzie (University of Victoria). Jason is doing a PhD research project under Dante Canil in experimental petrology. His research seeks to establish how, and at what rate, volatile elements (especially rhenium) are released from a magma during ascent and emplacement. The Association also awarded 14 travel and research grants to deserving students. Your financial support of the Foundation Scholarship and the travel and research grants is greatly appreciated. Please direct any inquires regarding donations to the MAC Foundation to R.H. Mitchell, Chairman of the Board, MAC Foundation, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, P7B 5E1 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The next joint annual meeting of the Geological Association of Canada and the Mineralogical Association of Canada will take place at Université du Québec à Montréal in downtown Montreal, Québec, May 12–14, 2006. The theme for the meeting is “Planet Earth in Montreal” (http://www.gacmac2006.ca). In 2007, MAC will hold its annual meeting in Yellowknife, May 23–25 (http://www.nwtgeoscience.ca/yellowknife2007/index.html). MAC will continue to show a strong presence at the joint annual meeting by sponsorship of special sessions and short courses. MAC will also participate in the Frontiers in the Mineral Sciences” meeting to be held in Cambridge, England, in June 2007.
Hope to see you there!
Standing in for
Andrew M. McDonald