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

Boulder Opal
Courtesy Dick & Mary Pat Weber

Wednesday, January 9, 2019 – Chasing Color; Mining Boulder Opal in Australia

During their year-long “walkabout”, Geologists Dick and Mary Pat Weber visited most of the major opal mining districts of Australia.  Their favorite area was the boulder opal deposits in the channel country of Queensland.  Miners live under primitive and hazardous conditions in a remote area of the Outback, where there are more snakes, lizards and kangaroos than people.

Unique to the region, this opal is found in massive ironstone concretions of Cretaceous age.  Through the generosity of their friends at Broken River Mining, learn how this material is mined and processed in order to bring the world’s most beautiful opal to market.



Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Geology 3656

Lecture by Dr. Aaron Celestian

Celestian collaborates with JPL scientists in a search for signs of ancient life preserved in minerals on Earth. Using non-destructive analytical methods, they measure biosignatures (like beta-carotene) in crystals that are thousands or even millions of years old. Their findings will help assess data from NASA missions to Mars and the icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter, places that may harbor life.   For more info visit:


National Park Service

2018 Fee Free Days on Federal Public Lands

Here are the 2018 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.

2018 Fee Free Days

November 11 – Veterans Day
National Park Service
U.S. Forest Service (11th and 12th)


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 meets at the:

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