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 field trip and meetings – everyone welcome!
Mar. 7 meeting - Garnets with John Weidner
March 24 and 31 - Thin Section Field Trip
- 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 jfweidner at gmail dot com, so we know how many people to prepare for.
April 4 - Recent Smithsonian mineral and gem acquisitions with Dr. Jeffrey Post, head of the Smithsonian Mineral Sciences Department and gem collection
May 2 - Poland's Wieliczka Salt Mine with Denise Nelson
June 6 - Dr. Lance Kearns of the James Madison Geology and Environmental Science Department -- topic not yet announced
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!