Minutes of the meeting of the Council of the Meteoritical Society

September 9th, 2001 at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.


Present: Gero Kurat, President; Tim Swindle, Treasurer; Ed Scott, Secretary; Mike Drake, Past President; Gary Huss, Vice President; Councilors: Adrian Brearley, Christian Koeberl, Marc Norman, Uwe Reimold, Sara Russell, Mini Wadhwa.

Guests: Derek Sears (MAPS Editor), Frank Podosek (GCA Editor), Guy Consolmagno (2001 meeting organizer), Frank Kyte for Paul Warren (2002 meeting organizer), Elmar Jessberger (2003 meeting organizer), Rosa Scorzelli (2004 meeting organizer), Dan Britt (student paper award), Hazel Sears (MAPS Managing Editor).

Absent: Pat Cassen, Tim McCoy (who voted by proxy on some motions).


1.      Introductions etc.

The meeting was called to order at 1.10 pm by President Kurat who welcomed the Council members and guests to the meeting. 


2.  Minutes and matters arising

The minutes of the last two meetings were approved.  One issue arising from the minutes of the March 11 2001 meeting concerned the eligibility of council members for medals (item 10).  Ed Scott emailed the council on August 1 to clarify this issue (Appendix 1).  There was unanimous agreement that members of council cannot be considered for a medal during their term of office but may be awarded a medal during this period.  Thus members of the 2003-4 Council who are not members of the 2001-2 Council may be considered for a medal in 2002 that will be awarded in 2003.


3.  Society Meetings

2001 Rome

Guy Consolmagno and Dan Britt reported that the Rome meeting would break previous records in having more oral and poster presentations than any other: 221 oral presentations and 201 posters.  458 people had pre-registered for the meeting and another 100 were expected to register at the meeting.  More than a third of the budget came from grants and sponsorships.  As a result, the registration fee was one of the lowest among recent meetings.  A small profit of ~800 Euros was anticipated and would be used to pay the Gregorian University for many unbilled services.


2002 Los Angeles

The 65th annual meeting will be held in the DeNeve Plaza conference-accommodation facility on the UCLA campus.  Frank Kyte reported that the organizing committee will be composed of Paul H. Warren (Chair), Gero Kurat (ex officio, President of the Society), Gregory W. Kallemeyn, Frank T. Kyte, Kevin D. McKeegan, Alan E. Rubin, John T. Wasson, and Edward D. Young. The program committee members are: Don Burnett – Caltech (chair), Frank Kyte – UCLA, Laurie Leshin – ASU, Kurt Marti – UCSD, Kevin McKeegan – UCLA, Dimitri Papanastassiou – Caltech, Alan Rubin – UCLA, Paul Warren – UCLA.  The council approved the members of both committees.  Rooms in DeNeve will be $102 single and $119 double per night including breakfast. The Barringer lecturer has not yet been appointed.  It is expected that NASA and NSF will contribute to the meeting expenses.  Dave Kring has agreed to lead a field trip to Barringer Crater.


2003 Münster   

Elmar Jessberger proposed that the Annual Meeting in Münster in 2003 be held on July 28 to August 1 and these dates were approved by the Council.  The meeting will be held in a renovated lecture hall across from the Schloss that belongs to the University.  One hall has 808 seats, one with 198 seats and two with 120 seats.  A banquet site that seats 350 people has been selected.  Student accommodations costing ~$50 per night will be located 5-10 minutes from the meeting site. Field trips will be organized to the Nördlinger Ries Crater and to Wattenmeer or open pit coal mining near Aachen.


2004 Rio de Janeiro                         

Rosa Scorzelli noted that July was expensive in Rio and suggested two dates: August 22-27 and Aug 29 to Sept 3.  She distributed a questionnaire at the council and business meetings requesting responses from members. Several council members favored an earlier date.  About 300 people were expected to attend.  Hotel rooms in two 5 star hotels near the beach with conference facilities would cost about $170-180 single and $185-190 double in August.  Students could share for $30-40 in nearby hotels. Help would be needed with the program committee.  Council members noted that we have few members in South America and Gero Kurat offered to help locate new members.

(After the meeting Rosa Scorzelli was asked by many people to avoid if possible holding the Annual Meeting close to the IGC meeting on 20-28 August.  She notes that August 1-6 or 8-13 appear to be a better dates for the Rio meeting. E.S.)



Two invitations for the 2005 Meteoritical Society Meeting have been received.  Hap McSween, Larry Taylor, and Dan Britt invited the Society to meet in Knoxville, Tennessee in July.  Timothy Jull, Timothy D. Swindle, David Kring, and Michael J. Drake proposed to hold the 2005 or 2007 meeting in Tucson in early September. 

Motion: The Council accepts the kind invitations to hold the 2005 and 2007 Annual Meetings in Knoxville and Tucson.  The organizers should decide which site holds which meeting.  (Proposed Swindle, seconded Brearley.) Motion approved: 7 in favor, 2 abstained.

(After the council meeting it was decided by the two groups that the 2005 meeting would be held in Tennessee and the 2007 meeting would be in Tucson.)


4. Secretary’s report

a) Nominations Committee Report

The report from Greg Herzog who chaired the Nominating Committee had been emailed to Council members prior to the meeting (Appendix 2).  Other Committee members are Don Bogard, Mitsuru Ebihara, Katharina Lodders, Francois Robert, Rainer Wieler, and Dorothy Woolum.  The Committee nominated the following people for the 2003-4 Council:

Vice-president:  Herbert Palme

Treasurer: Kevin McKeegan

Second term Councilors: Adrian Brearley, Christian Koeberl, Sara Russell, Meenakshi Wadhwa

First term Councilors: Addi Bischoff, Trevor Ireland, Hideyasu Kojima, Mike Zolensky.

[Note added in Jan ‘02: The Nominating Committee selected Guy Consolmagno to replace Hideyasu Kojima who withdrew because of Antarctic field duties during 2003-4.]


b) Bylaws and rules for the Nominating Committee (Appendix 3)

Ed Scott noted that the Council was fortunate that this item had not been discussed at the last meeting as there had been extensive email among council members in April that resulted in many improvements to the proposed Bylaws and rules for the operation of the Nominating Committee. Greg Herzog, the chair of the Nominating Committee, also helped considerably to improve the Bylaws and rules.


Motion The Council approves the proposed changes in Article 1 of the Bylaws and the adoption of the Rules for the operation of the Nominating Committee (Appendix 3).  (Proposed: Drake, seconded: Swindle). Passed unanimously.


Motion: The Council is entirely satisfied that the Nominating Committee’s slate of candidates for the 2003-4 Council were selected in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws and Committee rules and authorizes the Secretary to submit this slate to the members.  (Proposed Swindle, seconded Brearley.)  Passed unanimously.


President Kurat thanked Greg Herzog and the members of the Nominating Committee for their careful work.


5. GCA Editor’s Report (Appendix 4)

Frank Podosek reported that in 2002, GCA intends to provide electronic access for individual society member subscribers.  In addition a scheme will be devised to provide authors who are not subscribers with complimentary temporary electronic access to GCA.

Podosek proposed that GCA should publish abstracts from the Goldschmidt Conference starting in 2002.  The major costs in publishing the abstract issue are already part of the conference organization costs or will be absorbed by Elsevier. Elsevier approves the plan.

Motion: The Council approves the plan to publish Goldschmidt Conference abstracts in GCA.  (Proposed Drake, seconded Koeberl.) Passed unanimously.


6. Proposed new publications committee.

Scott outlined a proposal to establish a new publications committee to oversee MAPS.  In recent years, the Joint Publications Committee of the Geochemical and Meteoritical Societies has focused its efforts on GCA and has not been able to advise the Met Soc Council on MAPS, which has grown in size.  Proposed changes to Articles 7 and 8 of the Bylaws have been drafted but need further work (Appendix 5). The council discussed the mechanism for appointing committee members.


Motion.  The Council approves in principle the formation of a new Society Publications Committee to oversee MAPS as proposed, pending adoption of the necessary Bylaws.  The Joint Publications Committee of the Meteoritical and Geochemical Societies will continue to oversee the publication of GCA.  (Proposed Reimold, seconded Swindle.) Passed unanimously.


Action: Scott to contact Mike Hochella, GS President, to ensure that the necessary changes in the Bylaws of the Geochemical Society are made.


7. MAPS Editors report (Appendix 6)

            Derek Sears reported that the transition to monthly issues had been a great success and electronic publishing measures were proceeding well.  Bids from three printers including the present printer, Allen Press, had been obtained.  In view of current printing problems and the lower bid from Sheridan Press, Sears recommended that a new contract be made with Sheridan Press to begin in January 2002.  It is expected that this contract will soon be signed.  Reprint costs should be approximately 30% lower next year.

            Abstracts for the 2001 Supplement were formated by the Editorial Office in Arkansas rather than bythe LPI as in previous years.  Despite the record number of abstracts (444 cf., 302, 260, 309, 235, and 324 in the past 5 years) and the large number with figures (~43%). the Supplement was produced on schedule.  Sears recommended that the abstract guidelines should be reexamined.  Koeberl suggested that print only abstracts be reduced and urged that program committees establish stricter standards.  The merits of figures in abstracts were debated but no consensus emerged.

Action: the Publication Committee should be asked to draw up new abstract guidelines in consultation with the MAPS Editor.

            The number of manuscripts submitted electronically has risen and now averages 60%.  Electronic publication of preprints (Prelude) is working well: preprints are posted within 30 days of acceptance.  Library access by IP recognition will be available soon. A flyer about advertising in MAPS had been sent out but Hazel Sears estimated that it would take several years to produce results. 


8. MAPS Supplement Committee (Appendix 7) 

            The Committee chaired by Gary Huss with Tim McCoy, Christian Koeberl, and Tammy Dickinson considered three options for the publication of the abstracts for the annual meeting and the Meteoritical Bulletin.  1) Retain the existing Supplement. 2) Launch a new journal to contain the abstracts, Meteoritical Bulletin and President’s Newsletter.  3) Discontinue the Supplement, ask the LPI to put meeting abstracts on a CD-ROM, and publish the Bulletin solely on the website.  The Committee’s report (Appendix 7) contains a detailed analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each option, plus comments from the MAPS Editor, a summary of LPI support for Meteoritical Society Annual meetings, and results of a survey of members about the MAPS Supplement.

            The Committee concluded that option 3 was not in the Society’s interests.  A new journal (option 2) posed significant financial and logistical uncertainties and there was no guarantee that libraries would accept and shelve a new journal.  The Committee was not convinced that the reputation of MAPS is significantly hurt by continuing the current Supplement and noted that GCA planned to start publishing Goldschmidt Conference abstracts.  Although options 1 and 2 both have merit, the Committee favored option 1, continued publication of the Supplement.

            Derek Sears outlined in his Editor’s report how material in the Supplement (abstracts, Met. Bull., Supplement papers and the newsletter) could be published as a house journal with two issues a year that would be mailed to MAPS subscribers. He presented detailed budget estimates and concluded that the modest extra costs could be covered by the sale of the Supplement to meeting attendees.  He argued that MAPS would benefit from publishing only peer-reviewed articles and offered to edit the new journal.  The effects of publishing abstracts in the MAPS Supplement on the journal’s ISI impact rating factor were discussed.


Motion: The Council accepts the recommendation of Gray Huss’ committee that the abstracts and Meteoritical Bulletin should continue to be published in the MAPS Supplement. (Reimold, seconded Wadhwa.) Passed: nine in favor including 1 proxy vote, one abstention.


Motion: The Publication Committee be asked to investigate how MAPS impact factor is affected by inclusion of abstracts in the Supplement. (Scott, seconded Norman.) Passed: ten infavor, one abstention.


9. Treasurer’s Report

            Tim Swindle presented a report for the period, July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2001 (Appendix 8).  He explained his report and recommended a small increase in the dues for 2002. The student rate is currently half the member rate and it seemed advisable to maintain this relationship. Koeberl noted that changes in exchange rates relative to the US dollar have caused hardships for some members. The council discussed Swindle’s recommendation not to transfer the Elsevier royalties for GCA, which are currently in the Prudential GCA account, to the Endowment Fund.  It was decided to use the Elsevier funds to subsidize the dues for one year because of the strong dollar.

Motion: the Council approves raising dues for 2002 for members from $98 to  $110 and for students from $49 to $55 (Koeberl, seconded Norman.)  Passed unanimously.

            Swindle reported that as of August 14 the Society had 966 members (vs. 944 at the end of 2000).   This is 10-15% higher than a decade ago.  Signature authority for the investment accounts are being changed because of Lipschutz’ resignation from the Investments Committee.

Motion: The Treasurer and one member of the Investments Committee designated by the Treasurer shall have signature authority over the Endowment Funds. (Drake, seconded Koeberl.)  Passed unanimously.


10. Investments Committee Report (Appendix 9)

                   McSween’s report noted that Klaus Keil had replaced Mike Lipschutz (other members are Drew Barringer, Tamnmy Dickinson, Joe Goldstein and Tim Swindle).  Drew Barringer and Tim Swindle will have signature authority over the investment accounts.  $2000 for a public education program by Alan Hildebrand to increase meteorite recoveries in Canada were approved by the Committee and the Executive Committee of the Council.  The funds will come from Bill Welbon’s gift to the Society.  Disappointing losses in the investments mirrored losses in US portfolios.


11. Leonard Medal Committee Report

            The chair of the Leonard Medal Committee, Elmar Jessberger, presented the Committee’s report, which had been mailed to all members (Appendix 10). The other Committee members for 2001 are Krahenbuhl, Keil, Herzog, and Nagahara.

Motion: The Council accepts the recommendation of the LMC that the 2002 Leonard Medal be presented to Don Bogard. (Koeberl, seconded Reimold.)  Passed unanimously.

Motion: The Council accepts the recommendation of the LMC that the 2002 Nier Prize be presented to Dante Lauretta. (Koeberl, seconded Russell.)  Passed unanimously.


Jessberger reported that following discussions among Committee and Council members, members of the Society attending the Rome meeting would be invited to sign a poster that will be framed and presented to Tosh Mayeda in Chicago.  The poster is worded as follows, “At their 64th Annual Meeting, Members of the Meteoritical Society honor Toshiko K. Mayeda for her many important contributions to Meteoritics; Rome, September 2001.”  Members that sign will be invited to make small anonymous donations to cover the cost of framing and shipping the poster.


11. Report of the Barringer Medal Selection Committee

            The Barringer Medal Selection Committee composed of Fred Hörz (chair), Tom Ahrens, David Kring, and Boris Ivanov proposed to the Council that the Barringer Medal for 2002 be awarded to Bevan M. French. Their report (Appendix 11) had been circulated to Council members before the meeting.

Motion: The Council accepts the recommendation of the Barringer Medal Selection Committee that the 2002 Barringer Medal be presented to Bevan M. French. (Swindle, seconded Brearley.) Passed unanimously.


12. Best Student Paper Award (Appendix 12)

            The report of the Best Student Paper Award Committee was emailed to Council members on August 30.  The members for 2001 are I. Gilmour, E. Jessberger, M. Lindstrom,  D. Britt (chair), M. Rutherford and J. Zimbelman. The Committee’s report, which was presented by Britt, recommended that Natasha Johnson of Wash U. be named the winner for 2001 for being the first author on the paper "Water on Venus: New Insights from Tremolite Decomposition" by Johnson and B. Fegley Jr., Icarus (2000) 146, 301-306.  The committee also recommended that Barbara Cohen of Univ. of Tennessee be granted an honorable mention for her paper,  "Modeling of liquid water on CM meteorite parent bodies and implications for amino acid racemization," which was co-authored by R. E. Coker, in Icarus 145, 369-381

Motion: The Council accepts the recommendation of the Best Student Paper Award Committee that the 2001 Best Student Paper Award be awarded to Natasha Johnson. (Proposed Norman, seconded Drake.) Unanimously approved.

Johnson will be attending the GSA annual meeting in Boston Nov 5-9, and will be presented with the award (a check for $500 from the Meteoritical Society and a framed certificate from the GSA) at the Planetary GSA Division meeting on Nov 7.


13. Other business

            a) Meteoritical Bulletin.  Sara Russell reported that the transfer of editorial duties for the Meteoritical Bulletin from Jeff Grossman was progressing well.  The next issue of the Bulletin will be edited by Russell, Monica Grady, Jutta Zipfel, and Jeff Grossman.

            b) Oral histories. In her written report to the Council (Appendix 13), Ursula Marvin described the progress she has made preparing oral histories from Leonard Medal winners for publication in MAPS (see 2001 Supplement).  She hopes to prepare several more interviews in 2001 and 2002 using funds from the Endowment that were previously authorized by the Council.

            c) Archives. Roy Clarke reported (Appendix 14) that the archival material in the Smithsonian Institution is now partly organized by topic and date but he is not yet able to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of the collection.  Clarke reminded officers and committee chairs to keep hard copies of documents for the Archives as well as computer files.

The meeting ended at 6.30 p.m.


Ed Scott, Secretary; 1/02



1. Eligibility of council members for medals.

2. Nominations Committee report.

3. Bylaws & Rules for Nominating Committee.

4. GCA Editor’s report.

5. Proposed new publication committee.

6. MAPS Editor’s report.

7. MAPS Supplement Committee report.

8. Treasurer’s report.

9. Investments Committee report.

10. Leonard Medal Committee report.

11. Barringer Award Committee report.

12.  Best Student Paper Award Committee report.

13.  Oral histories: Ursula Marvin

14. Society Archives: Roy S. Clarke, Jr.