The March 2015 Arizona Geological Society dinner meeting at the Sheraton Tucson Inn and Suites was a great success with more than 125 members and guests attending a presentation by Senator Harrison Schmitt; one of only twelve humans who have set foot on the Moon and the only geologist to have done so.
Audience Listens to Presentation on Lunar Geology
The Arizona Geological Society thanks Senator Schmitt for an evening that we will never forget. Many of the attendees made this event a family affair by bringing their children to meet and hear this important figure in America's space program.
J. D. Mizer and his daughters meet Senator Schmitt
Over a period of approximately an hour, he took us on a virtual field trip to the Valley of Taurus-Littrow, which is located along the southeastern rim of the Mare Serenitatis Basin. During his presentation, he described a number of geological features that were observed during his 72-hour visit to the lunar surface as well as the results of more than forty years of scientific research on samples and data collected during the Apollo 17 Mission to the Moon.
Senator Harrison Schmitt Describes His Visit to the Valley of Taurus-Littrow
It is interesting to note that many of the geological features observed on the Moon are very similar to those commonly found on Earth, while others are less commonly preserved here due to the dynamic forces that have shaped and continue to shape our planet.
Senator Schmitt concluded his remarks with a brief observation that lunar resources make the Moon an ideal stepping stone for future human exploration, utilization and settlement of space.
In January 2002, the University of Arizona’s Dept. of Geosciences (UA) acquired the Waldemar Lindgren Ore Collection from Harvard University. AGS and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society played a pivotal role by jointly providing ~$25,000 for curating and transport of the collection to Tucson.
For 12 years the collection has been secure in a shed off campus in Tucson. The Lindgren Ore Collection – at a glance:
· 19 shrink-wrapped wood pallets (see picture)
· ~ 840 boxes of minerals and rocks
· ~ 10,000 hand specimens in individual trays
· Assorted paperwork and perfunctory catalog listing the 840 boxes, generally by location.
· Many samples have much more specific locality and specimen descriptions written on labels in the bottom of individual trays.
AGS Exec. Com member Bruce Walker shepharding 19 pallets of boxes of rocks and minerals that comprise the Lindgren Ore Collection
What to do? The Lindgren Collection has been gathering dust for the past 12 years. It appears the time is right to revisit with our UA and TGMS colleagues, how we can leverage the collection to benefit science and the general public.
A representative example of sample information from the colleciton. Before arriving at Harvard the collection was curated by the Economic Geology program at MIT
The AGS Executive Committee will hear a proposal at February’s Executive Committee meeting to form a sub-committee to explore what options exist for the Lindgren Collection. That sub-committee should comprise representatives from UA Geosciences, AGS Executive Committee, TGMS and other interested parties.
We’ll keep you informed going forward. In the meantime, if you have ideas or thoughts for curating or displaying the collection, please reach out to one of our AGS Executive Committee members with the details.
Last month’s AGS newsletter recounted some of the history of the Lindgren Collection. In January 2002, AGS and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society (TGMS) joined forces to deliver the collection to the University of Arizona (UA) Geosciences Dept, from Harvard, where it faced an uncertain future.
Four of the 840 boxes comprising the Lindgren Colleciton
AGS is taking the lead in collaborating with UA Geosciences and TGMS to revisit the collection and deliberate on its future. On Thursday, 19 Feb, AGS Executive Committee and AGS members met in executive committee to hear Mark Barton (UA Professor of Geosciences) discuss the university’s position on the Lindgren Collection. In the following discussion, AGS members weighted in with their opinions and concerns regarding the collection.
Subsequently, AGS Treasurer Alison Jones made a motion to form an advisory committee, to explore options for the future of the Lindgren Collection and make recommendations to the Executive Committee by May 2015. Members of the Lindgren Advisory Committee will include AGS, GMS and UA personnel.