The Meteoritical Society Newsletter

November, 2000

A report of Society activities during the past year compiled by Ed Scott, Secretary

  • President's address
  • New Council
  • Meteoritics & Planetary Science
  • Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
  • Society Awards and Honors
  • Planetary Sciences Best Student Paper Award
  • Annual Meetings
  • Finances
  • Other committees and activities
  • Constitutional changes


    Michael J. Drake

    It's been another great year for the Meteoritical Society! Mini Wadhwa, Andy Davis, and colleagues did a wonderful job of organizing and running the Chicago meeting and associated functions. Chicago was revealed as a vibrant, elegant city.

    As always, there are special people and families who provide generous help to the Society. The Barringer family has continued its support of graduate student travel, the Barringer Medal, and the Barringer lecture, which was given by Torrence Johnson. The Society is extremely grateful for this generous support.

    Speaking of medals, this year's medallists were Guenter Lugmair (Leonard Medal), Ralph Baldwin (Barringer Medal), and Meenakshi Wadhwa (Nier Prize - and chocolate medallions!) Congratulations to Guenter, Ralph, and Mini! In Rome, the awardees will be Harry McSween (Leonard Medal), Sasha Basilevsky (Barringer Medal), and Larry Nittler (Nier Prize), again well-deserved recipients of our prestigious awards.

    There will be further changes in Officers of the Society. It is my great pleasure to announce that Gero Kurat assumes the office of President, Gary Huss Vice President, and Tim Swindle Treasurer of the Meteoritical Society. David Kring has graciously agreed to serve as Deputy Treasurer.

    As you are aware, this year was the first since the 1970s that we had a contested Presidential election. After some reflection, the Society concluded that the election process worked as intended. My congratulations to the unsuccessful candidates, Thomas Bernatowicz and Joe Goldstein. The Society is honored to have three such outstanding candidates.

    All Societies rely on the advice and counsel of members who serve on our various committees, and our Society is no different. My personal thanks and the thanks of the membership go out to the numerous committees that are responsible for the smooth functioning of the Meteoritical Society.

    The Council made a major decision this year, to turn Meteoritics and Planetary Science into a monthly journal effective January 2001. While this move will increase costs, it raises MAPS to the first rank tier of monthly journals. My guess - and it is only that - is that more libraries will subscribe to MAPS once it is a monthly journal, more than compensating for increased costs.

    I want to extend my personal thanks to the Council, which has been extraordinarily thoughtful and insightful in managing the Society's affairs. The two Treasurers of my term, Larry Grossman and Greg Herzog both did a sterling job of managing the Society's finances. And the Secretary, Ed Scott, managed the day-to-day operations of the Society with quiet competence, and kept the President from making too many mistakes or omissions.

    So let's look forward to a great year and I hope to see most old friends and colleagues and meet new ones at the next meeting of our Society in Rome in 2001. And my best wishes to our new Officers and Councilors. I have great confidence that the Society has a great future in their hands and yours.


    Gary R. Huss will be the next Vice-President of the Meteoritical Society. Congratulations to Gary and many thanks to Joe Goldstein for agreeing to stand for election. The vote was very close: 209 members voted for Joe Goldstein, 224 voted for Gary Huss. There were also four late votes, one for Goldstein and three for Huss. Thanks to all those members who voted and to Greg Herzog who prepared the ballots and assisted with the election.

    The Council for 2001-2 will be

    	President	Gero Kurat		(Austria)
    	Past President	Michael J. Drake	(US)
    	Vice President	Gary R. Huss		(US)
    	Secretary	Ed Scott		(US) 	2nd term
    	Treasurer	Timothy Swindle		(US)
    	Councilors:	Adrian Brearley		(US)
    			Pat Cassen		(US)
    			Christian Koeberl	(Austria)
    			Timothy McCoy 		(US)	2nd term
    			Marc Norman		(Australia)
    			Uwe Reimold 		(S. Africa)	2nd term
    			Sara Russell		(United Kingdom)
    			Meenakshi Wadhwa	(US)
    It takes almost two years to elect a new Council and the process starts again in the spring. A new Nominating Committee will be proposed by incoming President Gero Kurat to nominate members to serve on the 2003-2004 Council. The Committee needs suggestions from members before June 1 of next year. If you would like to suggest people for the new Council or you would like to offer your services please email me at I will pass on all suggestions to the new Nominating Committee when it is appointed.


    Editor's Report
    Derek Sears

    Meteoritics and Planetary Science for the 21st Century

    The Society's main journal, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, will go to monthly publication next year, thus consolidating its position as one of the premier journals for publishing planetary research. A great many members of our community - the Society's officers and councilors, the journal's Associate Editors, authors and reviewers - have worked hard to build up the journal over the last decade. When this decision to go monthly was made it was a tribute to all their efforts and a statement of confidence in the future.

    Meteoritics and Planetary Science is almost unique among planetary science journals in that it is owned by the people who write, review and read the journal. It is not owned by one of the commercial publishers who has, for many years, gouged our community. The cost of journal subscriptions to libraries is horrendous, and the profit margin being made by the for-profit publishers is among the largest in the commercial world. One expert on scientific publication recently referred to the situation as intrinsically unstable. We are very proud that Meteoritics & Planetary Science is non-profit, and run by colleagues. Our libraries pay the actual costs of the journal. No publishing executives or share-holders grow fortunes on the backs of Meteoritics & Planetary Science's authors, reviewers and editors.

    The Editorial Office of Meteoritics & Planetary Science will make good use of the opportunities going monthly presents for nurturing the journal and for better serving the community that owns the journal. We have come a long way since its foundation in 1953 (1938 if you include the journal's precursors). Meteoritics & Planetary Science is about to take a very large next step, and furthermore there are great many exciting improvements we can make.

    First, starting in January 2001, Meteoritics & Planetary Science will offer web-based submission, review and tracking of papers, using simple user-friendly procedures. Meteoritics & Planetary Science already has the shortest processing times for papers in the field. These procedures, together with the change to monthly publication, will reduce processing times even more. We currently aim to publish 75% of papers within eight months of submission, and this time will now be reduced to seven months.

    Second, a great many changes will be made to the journal to make it easier to read. The font size will be increased, figures will be larger, layout will be simplified and the paper quality will be improved to enable better reproduction of figures. We estimate that the modest increase in material costs will be off-set by the savings caused by simpler formatting.

    Third, and probably the most important change, we plan to appoint six new Associate Editors in the areas of asteroids and comets. This is an exciting time for our journal, but it is an even greater time for our field. Not since Chladni and Howard convinced the scientific community that rocks actually fell from space have the opportunities been so great. Meteorites afford unique opportunities for new insights into the nature and history of the Moon and Mars, and the primitive stuff of the solar system and its precursor materials. History was contrary with the lunar samples, in that missions brought samples to Earth before we realized that Nature had. For the Mars and asteroidal meteorites sample return missions are hovering on the horizon, two hundred years after the meteorites first entered our laboratories. Our understanding of the cosmos around us, and of what meteorites have been trying to tell us for two centuries, will advance in leaps and bounds when we have sample returns from Mars, comets, asteroids and even the solar wind. The Meteoritical Society and Meteoritics & Planetary Science are uniquely placed to be at the spear-point of that exploding understanding. For this reason, it is essential that the Editorial Board of Meteoritics & Planetary Science, which is its team of Associate Editors, is ready to meet the subject as it continues to evolve from "meteoritics" to "meteoritics and planetary science".

    I am grateful to Council, for supporting my great many pleas for change in Meteoritics & Planetary Science and for so thoughtfully responding to my reports, to a team of associate Editors I have come to regard as respected friends rather than colleagues, to our crucial but under-appreciated reviewers, and to an office staff that works so diligently. Most of all I am grateful to our authors, who continue to trust us with their work. Being a very small piece of presenting their work to their community of peers is enormously rewarding.

    Gift Library subscriptions

    Uwe Reimold

    Because of the generous support of the Barringer Crater Company and Gerry Wasserburg, it has been possible, for several years, to support a number of deserving institutions in former Warsaw pact countries with donations of library subscriptions to MAPS. However, journal costs continue to grow and we should seek additional funding to help support these subscriptions and any future requests from libraries in other parts of the world. Council formed a subcommittee that included the present and incoming Treasurer, the incoming Vice-President, the Past- President, the Editor and the Managing Editor, to make recommendations for soliciting and managing donated subscriptions and the required funds. At its next meeting, the sub - committee will recommend to Council that the Society (1) establish a Donation Fund for the sole purpose of subsidizing gift subscriptions to worthy libraries, (2) maintain existing library subscriptions to the CIS and ex - Warsaw Pact countries, (3) consider future requests from other regions of the world on a case-by-case basis - these will be considered by the Treasurer and the MAPS Editor, with advice from the President and Secretary as required, and (4) maintain existing arrangements for solicitation and management of all donated library subscriptions. There will be a line on the annual renewal forms for Society membership, and any members who would like to make a contribution to this Donation Fund are invited to submit their gift (clearly marked as MAPS Library Donation) together with their membership fees.


    Since the Meteoritical Society jointly sponsors GCA with the Geochemical Society, members can purchase GCA at a reduced rate for their private use. For 2001 the member rate is $122, for student members the rate is $61.

    Elsevier makes abstracts and full text articles from Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta available online to those at institutions that have a library subscription to GCA. Interested investigators may visit the Elsevier homepage or proceed directly to the GCA homepage.


    The Meteoritical Society has three major awards:

    The Leonard Medal honors outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. It was established to honor the first President of the Society, Frederick C. Leonard.

    The Barringer Medal and Award recognize outstanding work in the field of impact cratering and/or work that has led to a better understanding of impact phenomena. The Barringer Medal and Award honor the memory of D. Moreau Barringer Sr. and his son D. Moreau Barringer Jr. and are sponsored by the Barringer Crater Company.

    The Nier Prize recognizes outstanding research in meteoritics and closely allied fields by young scientists. Recipients must be under 35 years old at the end of the calendar year in which the Council selects them. The award honors the memory of Alfred O. C. Nier, and is supported by an endowment given by Mrs. Ardis H. Nier.

    A new award will be given next year for the best planetary science paper submitted by a student and published in 2000. More details are given below.

    Leonard Medal

    The 2000 Leonard Medal was awarded to Günter Lugmair for his extensive and fundamental contributions to meteoritic, lunar, and terrestrial isotope geochemistry and the chronology of the early solar system. The citation for Lugmair was delivered in Chicago by Robert Pepin and will be printed in Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

    The Leonard Medal for 2001 will be awarded in Rome to Hap McSween for his extensive, outstanding petrologic studies of Martian and asteroidal meteorites and for lucidly communicating the importance of these studies to broad audiences.

    Barringer Medal and Award

    The 2000 Barringer Medal was awarded to Ralph Baldwin in recognition of his pioneering work in demonstrating the critical role of meteorite impact in shaping the Earth and Moon thus helping to establish the study of meteorite impact phenomena as a new discipline in planetary science. The citation for Baldwin was delivered in Chicago by Bevan French and was published in the September 2000 Supplement to Meteoritics & Planetary Science with Baldwin's acceptance address.

    The Barringer Medal for 2001 will be awarded in Rome to Alexander T. Basilevsky for his outstanding scientific contributions in field and remote studies of impact craters and the comparison of craters on the Earth, Moon and other planets.

    Nier Prize

    The 2000 Alfred O. Nier Prize was awarded to Meenakshi Wadhwa for her outstanding studies of trace elements and isotopes that further our understanding of the Martian meteorites. The citation for Wadhwa by Ghislaine Crozaz appeared in the September 2000 Supplement for Meteoritics & Planetary Science (p. A10).

    Next year in Rome, the Nier Prize will be awarded to Larry Nittler for developing a new technique of isotopic imaging with the ion microprobe and using it to discover presolar oxide grains and to isolate presolar SiC grains from supernovae.

    Award Committees

    The members of the Barringer Medal Selection Committee this year were Alexander Deutsch (chair), Tom Ahrens, Friedrich Hörz and David Kring. In 2001, Fred Hörz will chair the committee and Boris Ivanov will replace Deutsch.

    The Leonard Medal Committee, which nominates awardees for the Leonard Medal and the Nier Prize, was chaired this year by John Wasson, and the other members were Elmar Jessberger, Urs Krähenbühl, and Ghislaine Crozaz. Next year Gregory Herzog and Hiroko Nagahara will replace Wasson and Crozaz, and Elmar Jessberger will be the new Chair.


    Members are strongly urged to nominate candidates for the Society's awards. Lists of previous award winners are available at the Society's website Society members including members of the Council may submit nominations to the Chair of the appropriate Medal Committee or to the Secretary by January 15, 2001. Members of the Council and the Medal Committees are ineligible for consideration for the awards during their terms of office.

    Nominations for the Leonard Medal and the Nier Prize should be sent to Elmar Jessberger, Planetology Institute, Wilhelm Klemm Str. 10, 48149 Münster, Germany; fax: 49 251 833 6301.

    Nominations for the Barringer Medal should be sent to Fred Hörz, Planetary Sciences, SN2, NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058.

    Nominating letters for the awards should include (a) a biographical sketch of the candidate; (b) a summary and evaluation of the accomplishments of the candidate and the importance of the candidate's work, (c) a list of publications covering the work to be considered for the award. One or more seconding letters in support of the nomination are required for the Leonard and Barringer Medals and strongly encouraged for the Nier Prize.

    Nominations for the Nier Prize should also include the candidate's birth date, and five reprints or copies of the relevant publications that must have been peer-reviewed and accepted for publication. If the research was performed and published with a research advisor or with multiple authors, a statement must be included that describes the nominee's leading role in the research.


    Members who have distinguished themselves in meteoritics and allied sciences may be elected Fellows by the Council. Every two years the Council elects no more than 9-10 new Fellows (<1% of the Society membership) from a list prepared by the Leonard Medal Committee. Nine members were elected Fellows at the Council meeting in Chicago: Sachiko Amari, Jean-Louis Birck, Alex Deutsch, Bruce Fegley, Jitendra Goswami, Monica Grady, Yukio Ikeda, Sasha Krot, and Jim Papike. Warmest congratulations to the new Fellows of the Meteoritical Society.

    Planetary Sciences Best Student Paper Award
    Dan Britt

    Introduction-The Meteoritical Society and the Planetary Division of the Geological Society of America are jointly sponsoring a "Planetary Sciences Best Student Paper Award" beginning in the year 2000. The award is for undergraduate and graduate students who are first author of a planetary science paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal during the calendar year. The prize includes recognition by both Societies, a plaque, and a cash award of $500. Topics included under this award are asteroids, comets, craters, interplanetary dust, interstellar medium, lunar samples, meteors, meteorites, natural satellites, planets, tektites, origin and history of the solar system. Additional details and nomination guidelines will be available on a Student Award web page linked to the Meteoritical Society page.

    Eligibility-This award is limited to undergraduate and graduate students who are the first author of a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal during a specific calendar year. The first author must have been a registered student at a degree awarding institution at the time the paper was submitted to the journal. Papers published during the year 2000 are now under consideration for the award.

    Nomination and Selection Process-Papers will be considered for consideration by nomination. Full members of the Geological Society of America, full members of the Meteoritical Society, or full members of any of their associated societies may make nominations. Nominations should include the name of the student, the full citation of the paper, the name and address of the University the student was attending at the time of paper submittal, and a brief description of why this paper is among the best. Nominations may be sent to either the Chair of the Student Paper Selection Committee or the Secretary of the Meteoritical Society by January 15, 2001. If you have questions please contact Dr. Dan Britt, Chair, Student Paper Selection Committee, Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Tennessee, 306 Geological Sciences Building, Knoxville, TN 37996; phone: 1-865-974-6008,


    2000 Chicago
    Meenakshi Wadhwa, Andrew Davis The 63rd Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society was held in Chicago on August 28-September 1, 2000. The meeting was held at the Hotel Inter-Continental and was jointly hosted by the University of Chicago and the Field Museum. The hotel is located in the center of downtown Chicago and the city showed itself well, with clear skies, clean and flower-decorated streets and spectacular architecture. There were 324 abstracts or invited papers, a new record, of which 190 were presented orally, 110 presented as posters and 24 as print-only. Two special sessions were held, on Presolar Grains and on Current and Future Missions. The total registration was 398, including 357 members and non-members and 39 guests. Naturally, many Americans attended the meeting, but 133 full registrants represented 18 other countries.

    The meeting opened with a reception Sunday evening in Stanley Field Hall at the Field Museum, under the watchful gaze of Sue, the Museum's recently unveiled spectacular Tyrannosaurus Rex. Two parallel scientific sessions were held at the Hotel Inter-Continental through the week. On Tuesday evening, everyone was bussed to the University of Chicago for an outdoor barbecue, which was followed with a poster session. On Wednesday afternoon, there were a number of excursions. At Argonne National Laboratory, visitors toured the Advanced Photon Source, the Intense Pulsed Neutron Source and Mike Pellin's laboratory. At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the world's most powerful accelerator was toured. Alfred Anderson of the University of Chicago led a geological tour of Chicago building stones. Another group went to Oak Park, which has many houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. 120 people went on an architectural boat tour along the Chicago River. Another 120 people went to Wrigley Field for a baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres, where the Cubs won and Sammy Sosa hit two home runs. Wednesday evening's ceremonies began at the Field Museum, where the Leonard Medal, the Barringer Medal and the Nier Prize were awarded to Günter Lugmair, Ralph Baldwin and Meenakshi Wadhwa, respectively. This was followed by the banquet, held at the Adler Planetarium. A new addition was built at the Planetarium a couple of years ago, consisting of a glass-enclosed ring around the old building. We enjoyed a buffet-style dinner with a spectacular view of the Chicago night-time skyline. Music was provided by Chas. "Truck" Parham and the Rhythm Is My Business Orchestra. The evening finished with fireworks (just a coincidence) from the end of Navy Pier across the water from the Planetarium.

    Some of the high points of the meeting picked up in the press were reports on the Tagish Lake meteorite and new results from the NEAR-Shoemaker mission to the asteroid Eros.

    The meeting was supported by meeting support grants from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation, funds from the Field Museum and the University of Chicago, and donations from Cameca Instruments, JEOL, Oxford Instruments, Micromass and Pallasite Press. With a very generous donation from the Barringer Crater Company and some additional support, travel awards were provided to 19 students from 10 countries. Our projectionists were students from the University of Chicago and volunteers from the Field Museum. Finally, the meeting could not have been held without the enthusiastic and professional help of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, who prepared and mailed announcements, handled electronic abstract submission and registration, helped to organize the Program Committee meeting in Chicago, printed program booklets, staffed the registration desk and even brought along things like timers, laser pointers and thousands of push-pins for posters.

    Rome 2001
    Guy Consolmagno

    The Meteoritical Society is invited to attend the 64th annual meeting of the Society, to be held at the Vatican's Gregorian Pontifical University on September 10-14, 2001. Though holding Vatican extraterritorial status, the University meeting site is in fact in the heart of Rome's historic city center, just two blocks from the Trevi Fountain and a short walk from the Forum, Colosseum, and Pantheon.

    The meeting sessions will be held in two large university-style lecture halls, located on either side of a large covered atrium, open to a skylight three stories up, which is ideal for posters and coffee breaks. We intend to have ample time for poster sessions during the meeting days. We plan to run the meeting on a timetable to match the rhythms of Roman life, with sessions in the morning and evening, and long afternoon breaks for pranzo and reposo (the big meal of the day, followed by a pleasant nap).

    Hotels: Rome lives on tourists, and has a large number of delightful small hotels. Rather than having one large hotel serve as our center for housing, we have arranged with Kuoni to be our agents for finding whatever level of housing suits your needs and budgets. Our web site will link directly with them, and they will be happy to answer all your travel questions.

    Field trips: In addition to Rome's obvious historical and cultural attractions, we are also planning science oriented pre- and post-meeting field trips. One possible trip would take in Siena (site of the historic Siena fall and repository of the Italian Antarctic meteorite collection), Florence with its History of Science Museum and Galileo home, the famous K-T boundary section in Gubbio, and the Massignano Impact Structure. Another trip might encompass Mt. Vesuvius and its associated volcanic and historic sites. Wednesday day trips could include a choice of trips to the Vatican Museum, Vatican Gardens, the archeological excavations under St. Peter's, Tivoli, Ostia Antica, or the Vatican Observatory's headquarters (and meteorite collection) in Castel Gandolfo. We also hope to arrange for seats at the Wednesday Papal audience.

    Travel Grants: Student travel grants will be provided to offset the cost of attending the meeting. More information will be provided shortly concerning these grants.

    For more information, please see our web site or contact: Guy Consolmagno SJ, Specola Vaticana, V-00120 Vatican City State, email:; or Vatican Observatory Research Group, Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA; email:

    2002 Los Angeles
    Paul Warren The 65th meeting of the Meteoritical Society will be held in the DeNeve Plaza conference-accommodation facility on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, from July 21-26, 2002. UCLA is located on the attractive west side of Los Angeles, amidst the affluent communities of Beverly Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood and Westwood. The Getty Center Museum is just 3 km northwest of the campus, the Pacific Ocean (Santa Monica Beach, Venice Beach) 8 km southwest, and Wilshire Boulevard's Museum Row, including the La Brea Tar Pits, is 8 km east. The Los Angeles entertainment industry, center for much of 21st century world culture (like it or not!), is concentrated in the nearby communities of Century City, Hollywood, Burbank, etc. Farther afield, but still within 1-2 hours drive distance, are such attractions as Disneyland, the scenic Malibu to Santa Barbara coast, and portions of the San Gabriel (3000 meter) mountains. The southernmost Sierra Nevada, including groves of giant redwood trees, can be reached in about 4 highway hours.

    DeNeve Plaza, opening in stages from mid-2000 to mid-2001, will feature a 430-seat lecture auditorium and, across a lobby, another large meeting room. Technical sessions will be held Monday morning through Friday noon, with the exception of Wednesday afternoon, when some type of excursion, perhaps to the Getty, will be arranged. Poster displays will probably be set up in the lobby area, and left up for most of the week.

    Four DeNeve residential buildings offer a total of 600 air-conditioned rooms, all with daily maid service and hotel-style amenities: private bathroom, cable TV, etc. Anticipated rates, including breakfast in DeNeve's upscale cafeteria, are $99.50 for single occupancy and $58 per person for double occupancy. Thriftier participants may save about 40% in a regular dorm (no private bath, no air conditioning). Those bringing families might prefer a "suite" located a pleasant 500 meters walk from DeNeve. The suites lack air conditioning. All residential guests have complimentary access, via a short walk, to UCLA's Olympic-quality recreational facilities: swimming pools, tennis courts, etc. Parking for rental cars will cost $6 per day.

    For participants who insist upon staying in a "real" hotel, we will arrange group accommodation at the Westwood Doubletree Hotel, where rates will be inflation-adjusted equivalents of $129 for single occupancy and $139 for double occupancy, including free stays for accompanying children and complimentary shuttle service to UCLA.

    UCLA also operates a frequent shuttle service between the campus and Westwood Village. An attractive feature of the West LA region is the diversity of world, especially Asian, cuisines that are very authentically represented by moderate-priced local restaurants. Of course, this culinary advantage is a by-product of the area's marvelous ethnic diversity.

    UCLA is 18 (highway) km from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Los Angeles automobile traffic can be a headache, but in midsummer roads are generally less congested. LA is also notorious for air pollution, but this problem has been substantially reduced over the past two decades. Moreover, thanks to prevailing westerly breezes, smog is invariably lower in the UCLA area than in the downtown and eastern sections of the LA basin. Temperatures are moderated by the Pacific Ocean. For 21-26 July, UCLA daytime highs average 24.7°C (76.5°F), 5°C cooler than downtown Los Angeles. The highest temperature on record since 1955 is 33°C (91°F). Diurnal temperature variation is great: early-morning lows for 21-26 July average 16.3°C (61°F). Julys are practically rain-free.

    For further information, please contact:

    Dr. Paul H. Warren, Institute of Geophysics & Planetary Physics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1567; email, phone 310-825-3202, fax 310-206-3051.

    So, dudes, we are looking forward to seeing you in 2002. Later.

    Other Meetings

    2003. Institute for Planetology at the University in Münster, Germany

    2004. Brazilian Center for Physics Research, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Barringer Invitational Lecture

    The Barringer Crater Company established the Barringer Invitational Lecture to be given at Annual Meetings of the Meteoritical Society. Clark Chapman gave the first Barringer Invitational Lecture in Johannesburg in 1999. This year's Lecturer was Torrence Johnson whose title was "The Moons of Jupiter: Discovered by Galileo, the Man - Explored by Galileo, the Spacecraft."

    Guidelines for the selection of Barringer Invitational Lecturers were given in the last Newsletter. The organizing committee of the Annual Meeting selects the Barringer Lecturer upon consultation with and consent of the President of the Barringer Crater Company. Candidates selected will be speakers of unusually broad scope with outstanding speaking skills, who may or may not be affiliated with the field of meteoritics. It is further intended that the Barringer Invitational Lecture offer the opportunity for members of the Meteoritical Society to hear from a speaker whose comments may be provocative and challenging to the field. The topic of any Lecture will be on a subject of interest to all members of the Society and should not be limited to technical discussions on meteoritics or related fields.

    Please send suggestions for possible speakers to the meeting organisers with a copy to Drew N. Barringer, Barringer Crater Company, P.O. Box 698, Decatur, Georgia 30031-0698, USA. Telephone: (404) 378-9641, fax: (404) 378-7035; e-mail:


    Treasurer's Report
    Gregory Herzog

    As of July 1, 2000, the Society had total assets of $505,466 distributed as follows:

    Endowment funds: $297,844
    Cash accounts: $120,636
    Special purpose accounts (Nier fund and Elsevier royalties): $86,985

    Royalties from Elsevier for the publication of Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta have continued to arrive. We have not, however, passed all these funds to the endowment as in previous years. Instead, we have used a portion of them to make up MAPS deficits for 1998 and 1999 and to pay other costs associated with the publication of GCA and with the operation of the Treasurer's Office. We are glad to report that MAPS seems likely to run close to balance for 2000.

    The number of members enrolled in the Society was 940 on September 14, 2000. That number includes 7 life members, 109 retired members, and 107 student members. Of the total of 940 members, 531 members are from the US. The next five highest member countries are Germany (110), Japan (92), United Kingdom (48), France (44), and Switzerland (34). For those interested in demographics, the rankings of these countries in numbers of members per million of population are Switzerland (4.8), US (2.1), Germany (1.4), France and the United Kingdom (0.8 each), and Japan (0.7).

    Many members of the Society made generous gifts during the period between November, 1999 and June, 2000 and we thank them all. We would like to acknowledge especially the extraordinary gifts of the Barringer family (including Drew Barringer and Anna Southgate), and of William Welbon.

    Substantial gifts from the following members have had a large impact on society finances and activities.

    Evans H. Burn, William A. Cassidy (in memory of Paul Barringer, Bob Dietz, and Paul Pellas), Ghislaine Crozaz, Paul S. DeCarli, Henry Price Deyerle, Jr., Bevan M. French, Joseph I. Goldstein, William Greenberg, Roderick W. Leonard (for the Leonard medal endowment), Thomas Presper, Philip G. Rust, Jr., Calvin L. Shipbaugh, G.J. Wasserburg (for gift subscriptions for colleagues in foreign countries who cannot afford to acquire the journal), and J.T. Wasson.

    The Society relies on and appreciates greatly the support of all members and owes a vote of thanks to the following:

    Edward Anders, Charles E.S. Arps, Rudolf Auth, David Barber, F. Begemann, John Berkley, Milton Blander, Giuseppe Bonino, H. W. Bottcher, Robin Brett, Alfredo Brogioni, Vagn F.Buchwald, Roy S. Clarke, Jr., Herbert Csadek, Michael R. Dence, Donald K. Dickson, Edmond Diemer, Arthur J.Ehlmann, Takaaki Fukuoka, Michael J. Gaffey, Billy P. Glass, David P. Gold, R.B. Hargraves, George E. Harlow, Dorrit Hoffleit, Robert Hutchison, Eugene Jarosewich, Anthony J. Jeffries, Lindsay Keller, Truman Kohman, Hans Kramer, L. Lindner, Guenter Lugmair, Charles A. Lundquist, Kathleen Mark, Kurt Marti, Ursula Marvin, Bryant Mather, Hap Mcsween, Daniel J. Milton, Barbara L. Narendra, John D. Obradovich, Akihiko Okada, Minoru Ozima, Herbert Palme, Robert O. Pepin, Leigh F. Phillips, Katherine Ponganis, Martin Prinz, George W. Reed, Jr., Robert C. Reedy, Gerald L. Rowland, Sara S. Russell, Jack Satkoski, E. R. D. Scott, S. Fred Singer, Paul P. Sipiera, Jr., Rudolf Sipkema, Lawrence A. Taylor, James Underwood, Michael A. Velbel, Robert H. Weber , George W. Wetherill, Laurel L. Wilkening, and Walter Zeitschel.

    You should receive next year's (2001) dues statement from me within a few weeks. There is a small increase in the dues for 2001: the rate for members will be $98 and for students, $49. I would greatly appreciate your prompt response. Sending reminders takes time and effort; and by paying dues late you risk suspension of your subscription to Meteoritics and Planetary Science and/or to GCA.

    The Society is fortunate that Tim Swindle of the University of Arizona will soon become the treasurer.

    If you renew before December 15, 2000, please send the materials to me (Greg Herzog).

    If you renew after December 15, 2000, please send the materials to Tim Swindle.

    The relevant mailing information will be on the renewal form. If you have any questions about your dues or membership status, the easiest and fastest way to reach me is by email, ( Tim Swindle's email address is


    Nomenclature Committee
    Tim McCoy, Chair

    The Nomenclature Committee continued with another active year. Members of the committee for 2000 are Tim McCoy (Chair), Marina Ivanova, Brigitte Zanda, Adrian Brearley, Jörn Koblitz, Mini Wadhwa, Dietmar Weber, Dave Kring, Makoto Kimura, Jutta Zipfel, Ralph Harvey, Yangting Lin, Monica Grady (Catalogue Editor), Jeff Grossman (Bulletin Editor) and Gero Kurat (Society Vice President). A sincere thank you to all the members of the Committee, particularly Jeff Grossman, who bears the lion's share of the work.

    The discovery of new meteorites continues to be extremely active. Meteoritical Bulletin No. 84 announced 1341 new meteorites (see report from Jeff Grossman). For the first time in 20 years, we have revised the Guidelines for Meteorite Nomenclature. These new guidelines should help in clarifying the naming of meteorites from a number of new collection areas. In the same vein, the Committee approved naming conventions for Saharan meteorites and selected regions of Oman, both of which have seen an explosion in the number of recoveries.

    At our annual meeting in Chicago, we bid farewell to Marina Ivanova, who has served with distinction for 7 years, and elected Jitendra Goswami as her replacement. Gary Huss will take Gero Kurat's place as the incoming Vice President. We see no signs that the tremendous number of recoveries from Antarctica and Africa is abating and look forward to another active year in 2001.

    Meteoritical Bulletin
    Jeff Grossman (Editor)

    The Meteorite Nomenclature Committee, recently expanded by the Council to 15 members in order to improve the geographic diversity of its membership, approved 1341 new meteorites for Meteoritical Bulletin no. 84, published in the latest supplement issue of Meteoritics & Planetary Science. The chart below documents the extraordinary growth in recent years of the number of non-Antarctic meteorites being recovered, especially in Africa.

    As a result of this growth and the great demands it places on the Editor's time, the Nomenclature Committee appointed Jutta Zipfel ( to serve as Associate Editor of the Bulletin, in charge of Saharan meteorites.

    The Nomenclature Committee has also recently approved the first revision of the Guidelines for Meteorite Nomenclature since 1980. Changes to the Guidelines include rules for naming meteorites of unknown provenance, requirements for type specimens, and many issues related to naming meteorites from dense collection areas. The revised Guidelines are posted on the There are currently ~300 subscribers.

    Society Web site

    Paul Benoit has continued to update the Society's web site. We are very grateful for his service to the Society. The site now contains the minutes of Council meetings, lists of past and present Committee and Council members, links to other meetings of interest, and other useful information for members.


    During the election of the next Council, several members wrote suggesting that the election procedures be modified so that the Nominating Committee provides two nominees for each council office. It was suggested that the Society is now large enough that elections for officers should be held routinely. At its meeting in Houston, the Council discussed many possible ways of changing the election procedures and set up a sub-committee to solicit the opinions of members and reexamine the Society's constitution, which has not been changed since 1992. Changes to the constitution require a ballot of all members and the approval of at least two-thirds of voting members.

    We thank the many members who have written in response to our request for advice. Twenty-four members sent especially detailed and thoughtful letters that were read by the members of the current council and the new council. Needless to say, we received much conflicting advice but a large fraction of members felt strongly that the current method of electing officers should be retained. The council agreed that no major changes should be made at present.

    The Council therefore focussed on the numerous minor issues that came up during these discussions. Can the election procedures be made more efficient? How should the constitution be changed to permit business and voting to be conducted via email? How should the goals of the Society be updated to bring them into line with the current interests of the Society? Although these issues generated almost as much discussion, there was overwhelming support on the Council for making several small changes to update the constitution. The proposed changes are discussed in detail below and the full Constitution with the proposed changes is attached.

    Please send your ballot on the proposed amendments to the Secretary before March 1, 2001.

    Summary of proposed revisions:

    Elections (Article 3.3)

    a) Changes are proposed to permit members to vote and make nominations by electronic mail provided that the secrecy of the ballot is preserved and the security of the current system is not compromised.

    b) The deadline for appointing the Nominating Committee is advanced from May 1 to April 1 to allow more time for the Nominating Committee to do its work. The membership of the Committee is increased from five to six to allow better representation of the membership. The wording that specifies how the President selects the Committee members and chair is modified to conform to current procedures. Members are proposed by the President following consultations with other members of the Executive Committee prior to approval by the Council.

    c) Only candidates for contested positions on the Council are listed on the ballot.

    Bylaws (Article 5.2)

    Changes are proposed to permit proposed amendments to the Bylaws to be sent to Council members by electronic mail. Current language seems to require an actual "mailing" of the amendments to the members.

    Goals (Article 1.2)

    The current goals of the Society do not accurately represent the interests of the members. Article 1.2 lists specifically as areas of interest the investigation of meteors, micrometeorites, impact features, tektites and planetary surfaces but does not mention asteroids and comets, for example. Various modifications were discussed including the addition of topics listed on the front cover of Meteoritics and Planetary Science. However, most people favored simpler wording and the inclusion of education as well as research. The Council concluded that there is no simple and concise way to describe all of the Society's interests and approved the following wording unanimously. "The purpose of this Society shall be to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other extraterrestrial materials that further our understanding of the origin and history of the solar system."


    Proposed additions in italics; proposed deletions in brackets


    1. The name of this Society shall be THE METEORITICAL SOCIETY.

    2. The purpose of this Society shall be to promote research and education in planetary science with emphasis on studies of meteorites and other [samples of] extraterrestrial materials that further our understanding of [and their relation to] the origin and history of the solar system. [Additional areas of interest include the investigation of meteors, micrometeorites, impact features, tektites and planetary surfaces.]

    3. This Society, in its membership and activities, shall be an international organization.


    1. Those persons who joined this organization on or before August 22, 1933 shall constitute the charter members of the Society. The charter members and such other persons as may subsequently be elected to membership shall constitute the members of the Society. Persons interested in furthering the purpose of the Society may, on application, be elected to membership by the Council.

    2. Members who have distinguished themselves in meteoritics or allied sciences may be elected Fellows by the Council. Fellows shall be elected in even-numbered years. The number which may be elected during an even-numbered year shall not exceed one percent of the current membership of the Society, rounded to the next highest integer.

    3. Bylaws shall be adopted to regulate the nomination and the election of members and Fellows and any matters pertaining to them for which this Constitution does not expressly provide.


    1. The Officers of the Society shall consist of a President, the immediate Past President, a Vice-President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer who shall discharge, in addition to the duties specifically assigned them by this Constitution and Bylaws, all the duties customarily pertaining to their office.

    2. The Council of the Society shall consist of the Officers and eight Councilors. The Council shall be charged with the administration of all the affairs of the Society for which the Constitution or the Bylaws do not otherwise provide. The President and the Secretary of the Society shall be respectively the chairman and the secretary of the Council; together with the Treasurer, they shall constitute a standing Executive Committee to act, ad interim, upon all matters affecting the welfare of the Society that, in their judgement, do not call for submission to the entire Council; but all the transactions of this Executive Committee except those expressly authorized by the Constitution or the Bylaws shall be reported to the Council at its next following meeting.

    3. An election of Officers and Councilors of the Society shall be held each even-numbered year. Nominations for Officers and Councilors shall be prepared by a Nominating Committee of [five] six members. The members and chair [which] shall be proposed by the President following consultations with other members of the Executive Committee and approved by Council prior to [May 1] April 1 of each odd-numbered year and shall hold office until the close of the next election.

    For each office to be filled in a given election, the Nominating Committee shall nominate one candidate whom it has verified to be qualified and willing to serve in that office. The slate so nominated shall be mailed to all members of the Society before December 1 of an odd-numbered year. A nomination for any specific position may subsequently be made by [petition, signed by] at least 3% of the Society's members in good standing who shall verify that the candidate is qualified and willing to serve in that office. [The petition] Nominations by members must be received by the Secretary no later than February 15 of the even-numbered year.

    If no candidates are nominated other than those nominated by the Nominating Committee, the Secretary shall be empowered to declare these candidates elected by affirmation. If other candidates are nominated, then a ballot shall be prepared listing the names of [all] candidates for contested positions and mailed to each member of the Society in good standing before April 15 of the [current] even-numbered year. These ballots, if returned to the Secretary by June 15 in [a signed and sealed envelope] a way that allows the secrecy of the ballot to be preserved and identifies the voter as a member of the Society, shall be counted. The new Officers and Councilors shall take office on January 1 of odd-numbered years.

    4. The Vice-President shall automatically accede to the Presidency upon the end of the President's two-year term, or earlier if the office of the President should be vacated. The Council shall appoint one of its members to fill a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency; if a Vice-President appointed by the Council accedes to the Presidency, he shall succeed himself only if nominated by the regularly constituted Nominating Committee and elected by the membership of the Society.

    5. The term of the Council shall be two years in length.

    6. No person shall hold simultaneously more than one position in the Council. The President shall vote only when necessary to break a tie.

    7. No person who has been elected to and has assumed the office of President shall ever afterwards be eligible for that office, nor for the office of Vice-President. No person who has served two terms as Councilor, or three terms as Secretary or Treasurer shall be eligible for the same position until the expiration of four years after the end of his last term in office.

    8. Vacancies in the position of Secretary, Treasurer or Councilor shall be filled by appointment by the Council.


    1. The official journals of the Society shall be

    a. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, sponsored by the Society alone, and

    b. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, which is also sponsored by the Geochemical Society.

    2. The Council shall appoint an Editor for Meteoritics and Planetary Science who shall serve at the pleasure of the Council.


    1. This Constitution may be amended only at the proposal of the Council and by mail ballot. A ballot for each proposed amendment shall be mailed by the Secretary to each member of the Society in good standing. In order that it be adopted, each proposed amendment must receive at least two-thirds of all votes cast.

    2. The Council may enact, annul and amend Bylaws as appropriate and necessary for carrying out the Society's business. Any proposed amendment of the Bylaws shall be [prepared in written form and circulated] mailed to the Council at least one month before a regular meeting. It shall then be deemed adopted if it receives the votes of two-thirds of the entire Council. Council members unable to attend may submit their votes in advance of this meeting.