One of the fascinating aspects of membership in a mineralogical, gem or lapidary club is having knowledgeable guides to collecting sites. Sometimes we visit quarries, little known road cuts, and other public lands. When permission is available, we may also visit private properties, always respectful of the environment and the rights of others.
Recent MSDC field trips:
West Virginia Corridor H - Professor Shelley Jaye led us in a full-day caravan to explore geology and collect minerals and fossils. A spectacular experience!
Trip to James Madison University's Department of Geology and Environmental Science. Dr. Lance E. Kearns shared minerals, helped us use his sophisticated lab equipment to examine our specimens, and led our explorations of the superb JMU Mineral Museum.
Hands-on exploration of Thin Sections at the geology lab of Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale. Using polarizing microscopes, we examined some of its 1200 specimens -- 30-micron-thick section of a rock. Member John Weidner and others guided us to use the equipment and see these amazing specimens.
Thin Section Field Trip -- March 24 and 31 -- Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College
Polish a rock.
Glue it to a microscope slide.
Cut it off at about a thousandth of an inch.
Look at it through a polarizing microscope.
You are looking at a thin section, a research tool in geology for over a hundred years, and a way to make amateurs like me say “Wow!”
Like to look at some?
Come to the Thin Section Field Day, at the Annandale Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, March 24 and March 31.
More info to follow.
If you plan to come, please RSVP to jfweidner42 at gmail dot com, so we know how many people to prepare for.
Future - TBD - Behind-the-scenes tour of new mineralogical research technology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Mineral Sciences Department.
Collaboration with Other Mineral Clubs
Several DC-area clubs offer a regular schedule of collecting field trips. Many people join several clubs because each has something special to offer.