September 2023 Business Meeting Summary

by Andy Thompson, MSDC Secretary

Apparent meteor over Winchester, Virginia on 9/3/2023. Photo courtesy of Twitter user Jon Rohrbach, @JBoooogz1.

Kenny Reynolds, MSDC President, welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave a special thank you to Kathy Hrechka, Ken Reynolds, Dan Teich, and Shawn Nelson Schmitt for their extraordinary support for the club’s wonderful, enjoyable outdoor summer picnic which was attended by over 40 people. That gathering was the first in-person club event held since the beginning of Covid in March of 2020.

He also invited first-timers to introduce themselves. Paula, an MSDC member, said this was the first time she was able to attend our monthly Zoom meeting and shared how as a child, her discovery of “rubies” and fossils helped her become hooked as a collector. She expressed a strong interest in field trips and members made various suggestions for her to explore, including working with our sister clubs in the area.

Approval of Minutes

Kenny then called for a motion to accept the minutes of the June business meeting as published in the September newsletter. A motion to approve was made, seconded, and passed unanimously. He then called on the board members for their reports.

Secretary’s Report

Andy, the club’s Secretary, shared that we currently have 302 subscribers for our club’s YouTube channel. These are people who requested and are now sent notices of the availability of the most recently posted MSDC monthly program-related video. The channel now features 22 geology and mineralogical presentations which are available to the public for no charge, and thereby supporting our club’s mission of promoting mineral education.

Treasurer’s Report

John Weidner, MSDC Treasurer, reported that the club’s finances are in good shape. The annual membership dues cover most of the club’s yearly operating expenses, but not the larger, annual grants given to the Smithsonian’s Department of Mineral Sciences and to a college student for the support of an educational summer research.

Vice President’s Report

Cindy, Vice President for Programs, announced that MSDC’s October 4th Zoom program presenter will be Abigail Nalesnik who will share her research findings on the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. Abby, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Delaware, has been doing original research related to the Kilauea volcano and earlier has worked with information developed by her colleagues in the Smithsonian's Department of Mineral Sciences.

Editor’s Report

Ken Rock, Editor of MSDC’s Mineral Minutes, provided some of the results of the software which tracks which of the newsletter’s features readers most frequently opened. At the top of the list are the "Prez Sez..." column, as well as the announcement of the upcoming monthly meeting’s presenter and topic. Also, for this past month, several of the member’s stories received a large number of clicks. Ken encouraged all members to consider submitting their own story of how they got started collecting minerals or any other piece they might want to share.  He noted as an example, that "Miner Mike" Kaas’ story will be published in the upcoming October edition of Mineral Minutes.

Ken also reported club members have found it very easy to submit their annual dues directly from a link in the newsletter and that the secure, online payment method helps those wanting to renew by allowing members to automatically renew their membership ($20 for individuals or $25 for families) if so desired.

Geology in the News

President Kenny Reynolds then asked if any members saw interesting media reports. That evoked a slew of geological news items ranging from a meteor fire ball recently seen passing through the DC sky, discoveries of large white diamonds, and, the discovery of unusual microscopic metallic  spherules from an interstellar meteoric visitor. For more information on the later, click on the link below:

Harvard professor Avi Loeb finds fragments in ocean that may be alien (

For more information on the fireball visible in the sky over DC on September 3rd, see Did you see it? Meteor caught on camera streaking across DMV skies | WJLA

Photo of the apparent meteor in Clarksburg, MD taken at 9:23 pm on Sunday, 9/3/2023. From a video shared with WJLA news by Steve Olsen.

Members also reported neighboring club’s mineral shows taking place in the upcoming weeks and the GLMS Montgomery County club holding an auction at the end of September which includes about 200 flats of rocks and minerals.

With no further news to discuss, Kenny called for and received a motion and vote to close the September business meeting. At that point he called on Cindy to introduce the evening’s presenter, geologist Tim Rose, MSDC’s sponsor and liaison with the Smithsonian.