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TGMS General Meeting

  • Tucson Gem and Mineral Society 3727 East Blacklidge Drive Tucson, AZ, 85716 United States (map)

FOR: TGMS Members and open to the public!  (Doors open at 6:30p.m.)


GUEST SPEAKER: Dr. Robert Downs - is the professor of mineralogy in the University of Arizona Geosciences Department.  He has been a mineral collector since he was eight years old; a Canadian who started collecting in British Columbia.

After graduate school at Virginia Tech and a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Robert came to the U of A in 1996.  His research is focused on characterization and identification of minerals, especially with miniaturized equipment, developed with NASA.

Robert currently is an investigator on the Mars Rover Curiosity, as well as instrument development for missions to Jupiter’s moon, Europa, the asteroid belt, and our moon.  He also is heavily involved with the science of the evolution of minerals through time and the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere.  He is a builder of databases and big data analytics and his RRUFF database has now recorded over 660 million hits.

Robert worked in mineral museums at the University of British Columbia, the National Collections of Canada, and Virginia Tech, and is now Curator and Director of the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum.

LECTURE TITLE: “The New University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum”

The University of Arizona just signed a lease with the Pima County government to locate its new gem and mineral museum in the old Pima County Courthouse, with the anticipated opening in February, 2020.

The museum will be expanded from its current 3500 sq. ft. in the Flandrau Science Center on the U of A campus to 20,000 sq. ft. with five times more display space, a gem and mineral community center, lab and storage facilities.  

An overview of the vision and community involvement will be presented.

Refreshments served.

For more information, contact the TGMS office.

Earlier Event: April 21
TGMS April Rock Swap & Potluck
Later Event: May 9
TGMS Educational Class