Curious about the world under your feet?

Join with us to explore

the earth's 4000+ minerals and how they came to be!


Mission of the Mineralogical Society of the District of Columbia (MSDC)

  • To learn together and further knowledge about mineralogy and earth sciences
  • To share the pleasure of collecting minerals
  • To welcome you to explore these interests with us

Who We Are

  • We're rockhounds, professional mineral scientists, mineral collectors and enthusiasts, and people with new interests in minerals and earth sciences.
  • We're from DC, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs, and points beyond.
  • You're always welcome!

What we do:

  • Since 1942, we've met at the Smithsonian Institution to discuss all facets of earth sciences and hear  from experts in many related fields.
  • We sponsor or join with other local clubs for field trips.
  • Our monthly newsletters offer diverse articles at all knowledge levels.
  • We support mineral sciences by volunteering at the Smithsonian and elsewhere and by finding other ways to expand interest and knowledge.

When and Where

  • 1st Wednesday of every month except July and August.
  • At the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC.
  • 7:30 p.m. in the Constitution Avenue lobby. A security officer leads us to our meeting room, so please be on time.
  • December time and place may vary.

Next meeting – everyone welcome! Wed., May 3, 7:30 PM --

May 3rd Program – Geology of the National Capital Region

Washington DC is a complex place rich in history, and we are not talking about politics.  A series of geologic events has shaped the National Capital Region.  Behind the landforms we see, there is a billion plus year story of tectonic forces – rifting and mountain-building, continental plates drifting and colliding , faults and shear zones, volcanism, metamorphism, erosion, etc.  Geologically, the National Capital Region has long been and continues to be a work in progress. 

Our speaker this evening is Scott Southworth, a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geologic Survey, who will talk to us on the geologic processes that have shaped the region.   Scott received his BS from James Madison University and his MS from the University of Maryland.  His main areas of research interest include geologic structures and history.  He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and is the Project Chief and Principle Investigator of the Appalachian Blue Ridge Project (APRP).  The ABRP is an ongoing comprehensive effort to clarify the complex structural, metamorphic, and geomorphic evolution of the Southern and Central Appalachian Blue Ridge Province.  The project is collaborative, involving multiple USGS Regions, State Geological Surveys, and academicians from seven universities, and involves detailed and regional-scale mapping, geochronology, petrologic and petrographic analysis.  Scott is the author of numerous professional journal publications and an accomplished lecturer, field trip leader.  He serves as a science advisor to the National Park Service and has provided internship training to numerous undergraduate and graduate students from multiple universities throughout his career.    

Please join us in taking Scott to dinner on May 3rd before the club meeting.  We will be meeting at 6:00 pm at Elephant & Castle Restaurant, 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, about 2 blocks from the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) where our club meeting is held.  If you cannot make it to dinner, we will meet in the NMNH lobby at 7:30 pm and will then head up to our meeting room for Scott’s presentation.

Want to know more about any of this?

  • Email us at thompson01 at erols dot com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

  • Check the MSDC newsletter.

  • Visit a meeting any time!