The Sixth Annual Micromounters Winter Gathering Report

Thank all of you who participated, and especially our hosts
Ed and Martha Cunningham,
and the speakers who gave such informative talks.

Following is Henry Barwood's email report about the gathering:

The 6th annual Winter Micromount Gathering took place February 22-24. There were 19 attendees and 18 scopes set up.
The event got underway on Thursday, February 22, when about half the group arrived early and set up scopes in the meeting room. There was a lively session until nearly midnight of viewing minerals, swapping, discussing localities and pouring over the tables of give-away's.

Ed and Martha Cunningham host the meeting at the Advent Christian Village Conference Center .
This is a wonderful meeting place right on the banks of the Suwannee River with lodging and food all in the same building. As always, Ed and Martha arranged lots of snacks and beverages for the group.

Friday morning, February 23, some of the group of went on a field trip to the PCS (Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan) phosphate operation near White Springs. We were given a tour of the facility by Mr. Bob Wolfe of PCS and then taken to an area where fossil bones and teeth could be collected. Everyone managed to find at least a few nice shark teeth and other fossils.

After an excellent lunch buffet, the group returned to the Conference Center to continue the meeting. The remaining participants arrived throughout the afternoon and each new arrival stimulated more discussions and viewing of microminerals. As on Thursday, the session did not break up until near midnight.

Saturday morning, February 24, began the actual "meeting". After breakfast, Julian Gray introduced the program and Henry Barwood started off with a presentation on the phosphate minerals found at the Williams Prospect and Two Bit Pegmatite in Coosa County, Alabama.

Bob Stevens then presented a program on the minerals of the Benjamin Prospect near Cragford, Clay County, Alabama. This interesting prospect was worked for gold and Arsenic minerals and has some unusual arsenate microminerals.

Earl Guertin then gave a report on the present status of the Morefield Mine at Amelia, Virginia. He showed slides of the underground operations as well as the minerals.

The group enjoyed a nice lunch provided by Ed and Martha, including lots of homemade goodies (such as deviled eggs by their daughter-in-law).
After lunch Julian Gray gave a presentation on the conversion of the Weinman Mineral Museum to the Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum.
This huge expansion will incorporate the old mineral museum into a magnificent new facility that will host the annual SEFM Symposium beginning in 2008.

Interspersed with the talks was lots of micro viewing and other activity.

The last talk was by Jason Smith who gave a PowerPoint presentation on the minerals found at Girard, Burke County, Georgia. Don Reems loaned Jason his mounts to photograph and Jason did his usual superb job of photography. This is a very unusual locality and hosts at least one new mineral species.

After the programs were over, the meeting continued until well into the evening. Lots of "little" discussions broke out about Mt. Ste. Hilaire, Arkansas syenite minerals, Graves Mountain, etc. For those who have never attended this meeting, it is one of the very best! Make plans to attend next year, the last weekend in February (2008)!

Henry Barwood
Associate Professor of Science, Earth Sciences
Department of Math and Physics
Troy University
Troy, Alabama

When contacting the Village Lodge for reservations make sure that they know that you are with the Micromounters.

Visit the Centers webpage.