Meetings

Guests are always welcome at our meetings!  They are held on the first Wednesday of the month (excluding holidays) at 7:30 PM, currently online.  We look forward to resuming our in person meetings at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center (map below).  The format includes an educational presentation, followed by refreshments, and a short business meeting. 

Our Pebble Pup meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month (excluding holidays) at 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM.

Due to the February 2022 early morning fire at the Durley Park Art Center, our classes will be canceled until repairs are made. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 – 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Online Meeting – “The Birth And Demise Of The U. S. Zinc Mining Industry”

In 1853, the small mining towns of Friedensville and Bethlehem, Pa., became the centers of commercial production of high-purity zinc oxide in the U. S.  Early mining of the surface ore was relatively easy; however, deeper mining was fraught with dangerous conditions and an immense inflow of water.  Dealing with these challenges required a unique mix of practical Cornish mining skills and American engineering and manufacturing expertise.

Retired mining engineer Mike Kaas will discuss the history and challenges of mining Friedensville ore, which lead to the end of the U.S. zinc mining industry.  Kaas has serves as the past Director of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), as a docent at the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural History Museum, Geology, Gem, and Mineral Hall, and is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Mining Hall of Fame.

The Public is always welcome to join our meetings!

How to join the Zoom meeting:

As always, wearing headphones to prevent microphone feedback is encouraged.  

https://zoom.us/j/97874018410?pwd=VjZOSFNyRXZkaVZUcXVwYzhVaTRwQT09

Meeting ID: 978 7401 8410

Passcode: 798987

Dial by your location

+1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 978 7401 8410

Passcode: 798987

Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adhkTJZbdX

The Gallery has reopened!  The Gallery adheres to UCLA Masking requirements.  The Gallery will continue to host virtual lectures and past lectures can be viewed on YouTube.

May 15, 2022 – 2:30 p.m. Online lecture

Fossil Meteorites – A Record of the Asteroid Belt’s History on Earth
Lecturer: Dr. Philipp Heck, Field Museum

A wealth of information on the asteroid belt comes from the study of meteorites that were collected on Earth’s surface. Meteorites are rock fragments from asteroids and planets that were ejected during impacts. Since Earth’s formation meteorites have arrived on our planet and some of them remain preserved as fossils in sedimentary rocks. In this talk, I will explore with you what fossilized meteorites can tell us about the history of the Solar System, in particular the asteroid belt. Why should we bother searching for meteorites underground if we can find them conveniently on Earth’s surface? Meteorites today are rare but were they always as rare? How different are the meteorites that arrived on Earth in deep time compared to more recent falls? I will address these and other questions and present highlights from my collaborative research on fossil meteorites.

Registration:   https://ucla.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqduyupj0vGd3S0_52FsbHTbPjYr0sZQUj <https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fucla.zoom.us%2Fmeeting%2Fregister%2FtJEqduyupj0vGd3S0_52FsbHTbPjYr0sZQUj&data=04%7C01%7C%7C17d66f7430a643094ae208da1a55dae6%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637851253301948244%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000&sdata=%2BKWaCXmVU%2F1bXkZnYYzYA5TCng1YuIY4f678sBWiyA8%3D&reserved=0>

Link to UCLA Meteorite Gallery’s You Tube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ucla+meteorite+gallery+lecture+series

For more information visit: https://meteorites.ucla.edu/

December 2, 2020 – “Excavating a Fossil Sea Cow on Santa Rosa Island”

Join Dr. Jonathan Hoffman, Dibblee Curator of Earth Science at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (SBMNH), for a look at the excavation and preparation of fossils from ancient seas and what we’re learning from them. Recent reports of fossil sirenians, or sea cows, from Channel Islands National Park have extended the fossil record of these unique marine mammals. In 2017 and 2018, the SBMNH excavated the skull and skeleton of a potentially new species of sea cow on Santa Rosa Island. The fossils from that excavation also include mollusks and crabs that give researchers clues to what the environment was like millions of years ago and how the Santa Rosa sea cow fits into the story of sirenian evolution as they spread around the world.

November 4, 2020 – “Minerals And The Future Of Energy Sustainability”

Aaron J. Celestian, Ph.D. has spent a great deal of his career finding ways to safely separate toxic elements from the environment that are remnants from our energy production, such as nuclear, fossil fuel, and battery. Being able to selectively lock these elements inside molecular holes in crystals, and safely store them in the crystals for the long-term away from living organisms, is a significant advancement. This work is still ongoing, yet newer discoveries have opened the door to using these same minerals to extract critically needed elements from otherwise toxic environments. Celestian is currently looking for new minerals that can selectively absorb these crucial resources, or design new ‘minerals’ when known species do not work.

October 7, 2020 – “Fluorescent and Unique Minerals of Franklin New Jersey”

Geologist Sandy Zucker will discuss the history and geology of this world famous, unique ore deposit and mineral locality, highlight some of the rare minerals found here, or only found here, and take you on a visual tour of the dazzling fluorescent mineral displays found in the mines of Franklin and Sterling Hill.

July 1, 2020 – Rare and Unusual Gemstones of California

California is an extraordinary state for rockhounding.  Geological forces have created one of the widest varieties of rocks and minerals found in any state.  Known as the ‘Golden State’, California has named Gold as its state metal, Serpentine as the State rock and Benitoite as the State gemstone.  This talk will feature benitoite, lapis lazuli and vesuvianite.  Our presenter will be Geologist Walter Lombardo of the Nevada Mineral & Book Company.

June 3, 2020 – “Magical Obsidian of Davis Creek”  7:00 p.m.

We will “open” our doors at 7:00 p.m. to allow our Members to socialize.  We will begin the meeting at 7:30 p.m.  Terry Wilson will show us colorful obsidian collected on the 2018 CFMS trip to Davis Creek, California. Her talk will outline the trip itself, the various types of obsidian found in the area, and include tips for working with obsidian. Terry has exhibited rainbow obsidian in the last two Ventura County Fairs, cabochons showing the cat-eye effect with rainbow obsidian, and rainbow obsidian in the rough, respectively.   Missed the meeting?  See the recording.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vIRNbley7E

National Park Service

2022 Fee Free Days on Federal Public Lands

Here are the 2022 fee free days offered for recreation sites under the management of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.  While many parks, facilities and services associated with these agencies are free, some require a fee. Recreation fees, authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, enable federal land management agencies to reinvest in the management of various recreation sites.

2020 Fee Free Days

January 17 – Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 16
 – Start of National Park Week / National Jr. Ranger Day
August 4 – Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act
September 24 – National Public Lands Day
November 11 – Veterans Day

Death Valley National Park Fossil Thieves

$1,000 Reward – Death Valley National Park

Fossil Thieves stole several fossilized footprints, which had been left in a lakebed by mammals and birds, were missing. Now, Ryan F. Mandelbaum reports for Gizmodo, the National Park Service is asking for the public’s help in identifying a group of backpackers who may have information on the ancient tracks.  In a statement, the National Park Service released the photos of three men who might have witnessed the crime or have knowledge about the disappearance of the footprints. Investigators are offering an award of up to $1000 “for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible,” the statement reads. According to Mandelbaum, investigators are planning to interview visitors who frequented the Park at the time of theft, in the hopes that someone will be able to provide valuable clues.

Destroying—or pilfering—the property of national parks is prohibited by law. “It’s illegal to collect fossils, rocks, or anything else in National Parks,” Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds said in a statement about the fossil thefts. “The purpose of National Parks is to conserve the landscape and everything it contains for the next generation. I ask that visitors come and enjoy all there is to see, and to leave it unimpaired for others to enjoy.”

The National Park Service has asked anyone with information about the stolen fossils to call the Investigative Services Branch at 1-888-653-0009.

The Oxnard Gem & Mineral Society looks forward to holding our in person meetings at the:

Oxnard Performing Arts Center
Thousand Oaks Room
800 Hobson Way
Oxnard, California 93030