The Meteoritical Society Newsletter

(November 1997)

A report of the business carried out by the Society over the past year, compiled by Monica M. Grady, Secretary



Dieter Stoffler

My predecessor Hap McSween passed on the duties of the President of the Meteoritical Society to me in January this year with a very kind letter in which he said "I now gleefully pass the torch to your capable hands. I look forward to watching you in the hot seat." Indeed, I didn't get burned so far and I think it is the merit of Hap who has done such a wonderful job in leading the Society and not only keeping it in an extremely healthy condition but also strengthening its position as a leading scientific society in the field of solar system science. Generally, I am convinced that the Meteoritical Society can look into the future very optimistically for a number of quite obvious reasons.

The membership of this wonderful Society who can be proud of receiving membership support by the most eminent scientists in the fields of meteoritics, planetary science and cosmochemistry, continues to develop on a very high level of some 800 to 900 members. We also have a good fraction of very enthusiastic students and hobby meteoriticists as well. The support of the Society for students and young post-docs has been improving over the past years through travel funds and through the establishment of the Nier Prize, which is now in its second year. These efforts are undoubtedly our best investment into a prosperous future for the Society.

The Society's financial situation is good and stable. Just one indication of this is the growing funds of the Meteoritical Society Endowment established during the last presidency. Also the past Annual Meetings succeeded in leaving a noticeable profit for the Society. On the other hand, the present financial situation was only to be achieved by moderate increases of the membership fees and subscription rates of the Society's scientific journals. This could not be avoided for obvious reasons. My personal request to all members is: Please help to find donors for the Endowment Fund!

The journals of the Society, first of all Meteoritics & Planetary Science , are at the forefront of the Society's activities and interest. MAPS, through the admirable guidance and devotion of the Editor, Derek Sears, continues to climb up to the level of an international top class journal in the general field of solar system and planetary science. Last year 83 papers with 954 pages were published and the tendency toward a further increase is obvious. This prompted the Editor to propose an increase to monthly issues. I think we should enter a thoughtful discussion on this matter considering financial, editorial and quality aspects. The development of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, jointly managed by the Geochemical Society and our Society, is of some concern since the subscriptions rates have been rising distinctly whereas the number of cosmochemistry papers has been declining for some time. Also, a somewhat confusing and painful discussion arose as to whether the journal should be split into a geochemistry and cosmochemistry part. I am sure that the founders of the journal would not be pleased by such an action and we better hope for an increase of high-quality cosmochemistry papers in "our" GCA! I am convinced that we find support of this hope by the Editor Karl Turekian.

The future of the Society, to a large extent, lies in scientifically attractive and well-attended future Annual Meetings. We are very pleased to see kind of a flood of invitations coming in the past months with options for meeting places well into the year 2003. The plans for the next half decade look very exciting: Dublin on the green island of Ireland is hosting us next year, and in 1999 we are going to pioneer a meeting in Africa (Johannesburg). Chicago will have the privilege to lead us into the next millennium and a year later, 200 years after the discovery of the first asteroid Ceres by the Italian astronomer Piazzi, the Vatican Observatory in Rome is a serious candidate for hosting the Society. Universities of Southern California have invited the Society for the 2002 meeting, and colleagues from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are tentatively considering to pioneer a meeting in South America, and last but not least, my successor at the University of Münster, Germany, issued a definite invitation to the capital of Westphalia in 2003.

My report should not finish without commemorating three very outstanding members of our Society who passed away during and shortly before my presidency: J. Paul Barringer, Paul Pellas and Eugene M. Shoemaker. Paul Barringer, a true and most distinguished "grand segnieur" of our Society, has been, for many decades, one of the Society's closest friends and strongest supporters. His devotion and support survives in the award that bears his name, the Barringer Medal. Paul Pellas, who has most vigorously helped to transform our Society into a truly international organisation, will stay in our memories as a charming French colleague, as an unprecedented personality in meteoritics who fought for the scientific truth with all his energy and with restless devotion, and as a connoisseur of fine cuisine and exquisite wines. Gene Shoemaker, bearer of the Leonard and Barringer Medal Awards, impressed our scientific community by his most extraordinary career as geologist, planetologist, and astronomer and by his intuitive genius in pioneering terrestrial im-pact crater research, lunar geology and the flux of asteroidal and cometary bodies in the solar system. His monumental achievements will stay with us for ever.


A new Council takes office in January 1999. A Nominating Committee has been appointed to propose a slate of officers and councilors for the 1999-2000 term: Glenn MacPherson (Chair), Tammy Dickinson, Gary Huss, Christian Koeberl and Ross Taylor. The biographies of the proposed officers and councilors will be mailed as a separate document. According to the Constitution of the Society (Article 3.3, amended March 1993), members have until 15 February, 1998, to nominate further candidates. If no further nominations are received, the proposed candidates will be declared elected; otherwise a mail ballot will be conducted.


Treasurer's Report: Joseph I. Goldstein

The balance sheet for 1996, given below, shows the Society to be in a healthy financial position. The royalties from Pergamon (Else-vier) Press for the publication of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta continue to accrue. We have a total of $99,028.12 through the end of 1996, an increase of $23,346.78 from the first of the year. These funds constitute the majority of the Society's Endowment Fund.

Balance Sheet

1996 December 31

Bank balance 12/31/96	$55,966.36
Money Market Account	$28,974.74
Total  12/31/96	$84,941.10
Bank balance 1/1/96	$63,609.98
    (excl. Pergamon, Elsevier)
Net gain, Jan.-Dec. 1996	$21,331.12
Net Capital as of 12/31/96	$84,941.10
As of June 30, 1997 our Net Capital is $91,935.89 and the endowment for the Nier Prize is valued at $57,134.00.

We have arranged to accept payment for 1997 and future society dues by Visa or Master Charge as well as by check. This change was prompted by the numerous requests from non-US members for this convenience. This arrangement has been viewed very positively and is a new service to our members.

The current number of members paid for 1997 is 854, essentially the same number of members we have had for the last few years. This number includes 85 student members and 27 retired members. Of this total, 511 members are from the US. The next five highest member countries are Germany (102), Japan (84), France (47), United Kingdom (44), and Switzerland (31).

We are very thankful to the following members who have made a substantial impact on society finances in the form of gifts. The following members gave major gifts of $100 or more this past year: William Cassidy, Ghislaine Crozaz, Bevan French, Harry McSween, Leonard Roderick, Thomas Rodman, Calvin Shipbaugh, Anne Southgate, Richard Southgate, Robert Walker, Klaus Keil, Shigekazu Yoneda, Candace Kohl, Akihiko Okada, Ann Welbon, William Welbon, Charles Hohenberg, Gerald Herfurth, Philip Barringer, William Berg, Evans Burn, Robert Nichols, John Wasson, and Sherwood Chang.

The following members also gave donations: Paul Benoit, Gregory Herzog, Douglas MacDougall, John Morgan, Alan Rubin, Eugene Shoemaker, Carol Velsko, Kenzo Yagi, Alfredo Brogioni, Anthony Jeffries, Bradley Meyer, Daniel Milton, David Lindstrom, David Gold, Dieter Stoffler, George Harlow, Gregory Herzog, H. Bottcher, James Underwood, Jr., John Ter Haar, John Philpotts, Joe Goldstein, Lee Plansky, L. Linder, Marilyn Lindstrom, Nicolas Kuzin, Oliver Roskam, Osamu Okano, Paul Decarli, Robert Hutchison, Robert Pepin, Robin Brett, Takaaki Fukuoka, Truman Kohman, Young Park, William Welbon, John Reynolds, Robert Reedy, Roy Clarke, Jr., Lawrence Taylor, Edwin Thompson, Milton Blander, Alfredo Brogioni, Richard Dietz, Billy Glass, Roderick Leonard, Gunter Lugmair, Ursula Marvin, Robert Nichols, Jr., and Noel Eberz. Almost all of the money from these gifts will be transferred to the Endowment Fund.

Special gifts were given in memory of Paul Barringer: William Cassidy, Thomas Rodman, Anne Southgate and Philip Barringer; in memeory of Paul Pellas: Candace Kohl, and in memory of Bob Dietz: William Cassidy.

Next year's (1998) dues statement will be sent before the end of the year. The Treasurer would appreciate your prompt response; late dues payment often result in temporary suspension of your subscription to Meteoritics & Planetary Science and in some cases, GCA. If you have any questions about your dues or membership status, the easiest and fastest way to reach the treasurer is by e-mail, (


Editor's Report: Derek Sears

Our journal is having a record year for submissions. After five years of steady growth in the submission rate, we have seen a solid 15 papers per month this year, enough to fill a decent-sized issue every month. During June, we received 32 papers, a large proportion from Europe. Clearly, MAPS is satisfactorily fulfilling a major need for our community and this is a tribute to everyone working so hard to nurture the growth; authors, reviewers, associate editors, the Publication Committee and Council.
Early next year, I plan to present a case to Council that MAPS goes to monthly publication. I see this as the last major step in taking our journal from a somewhat parochial society publication bravely brought into being in the fifties to the premier journal in small body planetary science and a major player in modern planetary science research. It will cost about $12,000 to take this step, this being the cost of mailing and binding six extra issues a year and printing their covers. It is about 8% of the journal's annual budget. What we will gain is a doubling of the journal's ability to do its job. We double our presence in the community, and we double in visibility and stature. We make the journal more appealing to planetary scientists, astronomers, astrophysicists and others who are used to publishing in monthly journals, and to the librarians who think of monthly journals as being next in importance after weekly journals.

However, going monthly is a big step and members of Council will need the support and confidence of their colleagues in order to take it. The journal has come a long way and is almost at the levels we all want to see. However, the last few steps in many journeys are the most difficult and often it is during these last few steps that there is a loss of nerve.

Electronic Publication

MAPS on-line at the journal offices' home page (http://www.uark. edu/meteor) provides access to the current year. Abstracts of articles and table of contents pages can be accessed. More routine information about the journal (ordering information, etc.) is also provided. In addition to this, a new service will soon be available for back issues. Full articles will be accessible, approximately one year after publication. This service will be provided (at no cost to the Society) by ADS Abstract Services (of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA), who already provide such a service for several other journals in the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, geophysics, etc. (e.g., Astrophysical Journal). The service is public; there are no passwords or requirements for society membership. You can try them at http:// adsabs.harvard. edu/ads_abstracts.html. The details of when this service will start, delay between publication and availability, and how far the back issues will go have not yet been worked out but are expected to be settled shortly.


The Leonard Medal: Otto Eugster (Chair)

The 1996 Leonard Medal was awarded to Dr. Ernst Zinner, from the Washington University, St. Louis, USA. Excerpts from the nomination documents:

Zinner is a world leader in a new research field: study of pristine interstellar grains from primitive meteorites. Using the ion microprobe, he discovered in these grains huge, up to 1000-fold, isoto-pic anomalies in C, N, Mg, Si, etc. These point to specific stellar sources (carbon stars, super-novae), provide new insights into nuclear processes in stars, and have built bridges between meteoritics and astrophysics.

[Zinner] brought it [the ion microprobe] to bear on the newly available interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), finding the first evidence for large D/H ratios in some of the particles that con-firmed their extraterrestrial origin.

Zinner also deserves to be honoured for his extraordinary technical skill and unselfish service to the research community.... Zinner's formidable experimental skills are balanced by a keen analytical mind and firm mastery of theory.

The 1998 medal will be awarded to Dr S. Ross Taylor.

Members of the Leonard Medal Committee were: Otto Eugster (Chair), Elmar Jessberger, Jim Papike, John Wasson and John Wood. Nominations for Leonard medallists are encouraged and may be submitted to John Wood (Leonard Medal Committee Chair in 1998), prior to January 15 1998. His address is: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60, Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA (Fax: 1 617 495 7001). Nominations may also be submitted to Monica Grady (Meteoritical Society Secretary; Fax: 44 171 938 9268).

The Barringer Medal: Billy Glass (Chair)

The 1997 Barringer Medal was awarded to Dr T. J. Ahrens. Excerpts from the nomination documents:

A geophysicist by training with a strong background in thermodynamics, the basic interests of Tom Ahrens focus on the behaviour of geological materials at very high pressures. He applies this knowledge to an exception-ally wide range of topics in geosciences, ranging from im-pact processes, to collisional fragmentation events, planetary interiors and core-formation, and the evolution of planetary atmospheres. He is one of the most broadbased, planetary scientists, as well as a leader in the understanding of the Earth's mantle and deep interior.

...singular advances in meteoritics are among Tom's contributions, for example in examining mechanisms by which SNC meteorites could have been transported to Earth. Few have applied the principles of physics to better advantage in meteoritics than he has. Recognizing that impact-related processes are of central importance to the field, it is worth acknowledging Tom Ahrens' key role as the leading researcher in shock-wave phenomena within the broadly-defined discipline of meteoritics.

The 1998 medal will be awarded to Boris Ivanov

. Members of the Barringer Medal Committee were: Billy Glass (Chair), Alex Deutsch, Bevan French, and Richard Grieve. Nominations for Barringer medallists are encouraged and may be submitted to Bevan French (Barringer Medal Committee Chair in 1998), prior to January 15 1998. His address is: 7408 Wyndale Lane, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA (Fax: 1 202 357 2476). Nominations may also be submitted to Monica Grady (Meteoritical Society Secretary; Fax: 44 171 938 9268).

The Nier Prize

The initiation of the Nier Prize for young scientists was an-nounced in the May 1995 issue of Meteoritics. The award honours the memory of Alfred O. C. Nier and is supported by an endowment given by Mrs Ardis H. Nier. The prize-winner is proposed by the Leonard Medal Committee; the award winner for 1997 is Dr Tim McCoy from the Smithsonian Institution. Excerpts from the nomination documents:

..nominate Tim for his outstanding work on the evolution of the acapulcoite-lodranite parent body....Tim has studied essentially all known acapulcoites and lodranites and, in fact, has identified several new ones which either were previously unknown or classified incorrectly. He has defined the classification parameters of the acapulcoites and lodranites, so that these rocks can now be readily distinguished from each other and from other meteorite types. He assembled further convincing evidence that the acapulcoites and lodranites formed from chondritic precursors which, however are different from any known chondrite type.....he has very neatly tied down the thermal history of the acapulcoite-lodranite parent body.

The 1998 prize-winner is Dr. Gopalan Srinivasan.

Nominations for Nier prize-winners are encouraged and may be submitted to John Wood (Leonard Medal Committee Chair in 1998), prior to January 15, 1998. His address is: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 60, Garden Street, Cambridge Massachusetts 02138, USA (Fax: 1 617 495 7001). Nominations may also be submitted to Monica Grady (Meteoritical Society Secretary; Fax: 44 171 938 9268).

Instructions for nominating individuals can also be found in Meteoritics (1995) 30, p. 803.


1997; Hawaii: Klaus Keil

We had 320 "professional" participants (members, students, etc.) plus 85 registered guests, for a total of 405 participants. There were actually more people there, but quite a number of guests did not register. A total of 204 talks including the 2 medal talks were presented orally, and we had 58 posters. Seventeen student travel grants and 1 grant for a scientist from an eastern European country were awarded. The session entitled "Current Mission Results" was dedicated to the memory of Gene Shoemaker, and the session en-titled "Ordinary Chondrites" was dedicated to the memory of Paul Pellas. There was an unguided field trip on July 20 to the Haleakala Volcano on Maui; a guided field trip on July 23 to the youngest lava flow on Maui from about 1794, and a guided post-meeting field trip on July 26-27 to the Volcano National Park on the Big Island.

1998; Dublin: Ian Sanders

You are cordially invited to the 61st Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, to be held in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland from Sunday 26 to Friday 31 July 1998. Trinity College is Ireland's oldest university (founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I) and it occupies a picturesque 14 ha walled campus with gracious historic buildings, cobbled squares, trees and open spaces set in the heart of the city of Dublin. Sessions will take place in the university's Arts Building, just a step away from the bustle of the city-centre with its many shops, pubs, restaurants, banks, museums and theatres. Dublin is well-served by air, with frequent connecting flights from London and regular flights from major European cities and from New York, Boston, Chicago and Atlanta. During the summer months, the weather is unpredictable. It is usually dry but it can be cool, wet and windy. Temperatures are normally 15-25 °C.

The annual banquet will take place on the Thursday evening in the Great Hall of the Royal Hospital at Kilmainham (built 1680) three miles from the university. A variety of social and cultural activities with an Irish flavour is being planned for other evenings and for the Wednesday afternoon.

Scientific programme: Oral sessions will be held Monday morning to Friday afternoon, except for Wednesday afternoon. Posters will be presented on Monday evening and will remain on display throughout the week. The sessions are expected to cover a wide range of topics, including accretion and differentiation of primitive materials, chondrules and associated objects, impacts (early and late), presolar and interplanetary dust, Mars, and chronology of the early solar system. Oral and poster contributions on any aspect of meteoritics and planetary science are invited.

Accommodation: Rooms have been reserved within the university. The rooms are clean and functional, and range in style from "superior" compact, single and double en suite rooms, to "standard" rooms where shower and toilet are shared between adjacent private rooms. The latter have a distinctive charm (they are genuine Georgian rooms) and they are perfectly comfortable. Standard double rooms have space for children on folding beds. All rooms have facilities for light catering. The price per person (including breakfast) is between 30 and 38 Irish pounds (child on folding bed 10 pounds). One Irish pound is currently worth about 1.5 US dollars. Hotels close to the university generally cost 50 to 80 pounds per person. How-ever, two new hotels located 15 minutes walk away are each offering 40 rooms at 57 pounds per room (up to 2 adults and 2 children, no breakfast) on a first-come first-served basis until 1 April 1998. Details of these and of other accommodation (including student hostels) will be posted on the web site and included with the second announcement in January. Dublin is a popular holiday destination during the summer. Early booking of flights and accommodation is strongly recommended.

Guest activities, excursions and DIY touring: Cultural and social activities in and around Dublin are being arranged, including visits to the Guinness brewery, to exhibitions, museums and art galleries, and to a 3000 B.C. megalithic tomb. After the meeting, two separate 5-day trips (Saturday to Wednesday) will sample the geology, scenery and life of the rural west of Ireland, including archaeological and historical sites, pubs, soft- and hard-rock geological sections, and scenic walks. Each trip will be limited to 20 people and will cost not more than 250 pounds including transport by bus and friendly bed-and-breakfast accommodation. For those wishing to make their own arrangements for touring in Ireland some suggestions for itineraries and general information will appear on the web site and in the second announcement. Note that early Au-gust is quite busy because it coincides with school holidays in the UK, so a preconference, mid-July holiday might be preferable to a holiday after the meeting.

	Contact:	Dr. Ian Sanders
	Department of Geology
	Trinity College
	Dublin 2, Ireland
	Tel:	3531 608 1252
	Fax:	3531 671 1199

1999; Johannesburg: Uwe Reimold

The 62nd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa 11-16 July, 1999, at the University of the Witwatersrand. This meeting is jointly organized by staff of the Departments of Geology at the University of the Witwatersrand and Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg. Besides the scientific sessions, it is planned to have a mid-conference outing to the Pretoria Saltpan Crater. Field excursions will take place both prior and after the conference week and will include tours of the Vredefort Dome, the Bushveld Complex, and the Barberton Mountain Land. Strong interest in trips to the Cape Peninsula and to the Roter Kamm impact crater in Namibia has been recorded and pos-sibilities to arrange these trips are being pursued. Special symposia on Desert Meteorites and Impact Breccias have been proposed.

Any enquiries about this meeting should be directed to the Chairman of the Organising Committee, MetSoc '99:

	Contact:	Dr. Wolf Uwe Reimold
		Department of Geology
		University of the Witwatersrand
		Private Bag 3, PO Wits 2050
		Johannesburg, RSA
		Tel. 	27 11 716 2946
		Fax 	27 11 339 1697
Future Meetings

Invitations have been received from the following locations:

2000 Chicago (University and Field Museum)
2001 Vatican Observatory, Rome
2002 Universities of Southern California
2003 University of Münster