Hidden gems

Halite from Searles Lake in Trona, California.

Head down the hall in McNutt’s first floor and you will stumble upon a hallway dedicated to minerals. First opened in 1904, geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering’s Mineral Museum is an exhibit of gems, gold, fossils and meteor fragments totaling over 3,500 samples from 92 countries.

Pyrite Octahedron from Huanuco, Peru. Donated by Jose E. Arce.

One of the largest collections of minerals in the state, Missouri S&T’s Mineral Museum dates back to the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. After the fair, exhibitors did not want to face the costs of shipping a large collection of minerals back to their original homes. The collection was donated to the care of Dr. George E. Ladd, director of the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy between 1897 and 1907.

Cryloite from Ivigtut S.W. Greenland. Donated by Dr. Hans Pauly.

The collection is laid out in the same way students would learn about the minerals in class. It begins with native elements, moves on to sulfides and then calcites.

Calcite from Cumberland, England. Donated by Edward Lyons.

Visitors can see minerals provided by Charles Laurence Dake, geology instructor at Missouri S&T from 1912-21; Col. John Kingston, a Civil War colonel and later surveyor and geologist; and John Wesley Powell, one of the first USGS surveyors and possibly the first person to travel down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.

Malachite from an unknown location. Donated by donor number 3470.

“The display is a great teaching tool and living lab; each week I send Mineralogy and Crystallography course students here to review,” says Dr. David Wronkiewicz, associate professor of geology and geophysics at S&T. “And it is not just for geologists; nuclear engineering students come down here with Geiger counters to find which minerals are radioactive, ceramic engineers visit to study raw materials and even history students could visit and write a paper about some of the donations we have received.”

Szenicsite from #1 Mine, Inca De Oro in Chile. Donated by Terry Szenics.

Over the decades, the collection has grown thanks to generous donations. The sample of Szenicsite (above), was donated to Missouri S&T by the founder it is named after, Terry Szenics, who discovered it in Inca De Oro’s Mine No.1 in northern Chile.

Artinite Acic Xls from San Benito, California. Donated by Raymond J. Marlotte.

“We do not sell any specimens and very rarely have we traded for a piece that is not currently in the museum,” says Wronkiewicz, who has been curator and “keeper of the keys” for 20 years.

Wulfenite and Quartz from Mammoth-St. Anthony Mine in Arizona. Donated by E.A. Stone.

The display has a black-light display stand that allows students to see minerals glow, a compass pointing to a “false North” due to a meteorite’s magnetic pull, and a mysterious Buddha-like statue with unknown origins.

Amphibole from an unknown location. Donated by donor number 2535.

“My favorite specimen has to be the mud deposit with a preserved yellow jacket in it,” says Wronkiewicz. “It is 30-40 million years old, but the preservation of that stinging insect is clearly displayed.”

Calamine Stalactite from Granby, Missouri. Donated by Col. J. Kingston.

The Mineral Museum is open daily during regular business hours when classes are in session at Missouri S&T. Special guided tours can be arranged by contacting the GGPE department at rocks@mst.edu.

S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy inducts new members

Eleven graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Missouri S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy on April 20.

The academy is an advisory group that was founded in 1954. The group includes graduates and others who have made outstanding contributions to their professions. [Read more…]

41 S&T faculty members honored for outstanding teaching

Forty-one Missouri University of Science and Technology faculty members will receive the Outstanding Teaching Award for 2014-15. The winners will be recognized at a ceremony scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30, in St. Pat’s Ballroom A of the Havener Center.

The Outstanding Teaching Award is given each year to faculty members by the Outstanding Teaching Award Committee, which bases its selections on student evaluations. [Read more…]

Missouri S&T scientists study volcanoes, earthquakes

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, killing 57 people. Missouri S&T researchers are working to find a way to more accurately predict volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, killing 57 people. Missouri S&T researchers are working to find a way to more accurately predict volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology are working to make Americans safer by finding a way to predict natural phenomena that’s been 60 million years in the making. Two geophysics professors at Missouri S&T are studying the North American plate to lay the foundation for predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

For the past 60 million years, the North American plate—basically the whole continent—has been moving southwest at a rate of about an inch a year, says Dr. Kelly Liu, professor of geophysics at Missouri S&T. The shift is a continuation of the breaking of the giant supercontinent Pangea 200 million years ago. As the plate moves, it creates earthquakes and volcanic hot spots, huge mountain chains and gigantic ocean basins. [Read more…]

Missouri S&T researcher bakes asteroids to find water

243_idaA Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher is cooking up something new in the lab – baking meteorites to learn how to produce water and other easily evaporated compounds from asteroids.

[Read more…]

New Orleans’ levee system failure after Katrina has mistaken culprit

katrinaA Missouri University of Science and Technology professor has defined the elements that led to the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and has established a clear sense of responsibility in the levee system’s failure.

[Read more…]

S&T Academy of Mines and Metallurgy inducts new members

Seven graduates of Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the university’s Academy of Mines and Metallurgy on April 16. [Read more…]

Missouri S&T students to study geology of San Salvador

MissouriSTsignature-green-webStudents enrolled in Geology 4841, a geology and geophysics field study course at Missouri University of Science and Technology, will spend nine days in the Bahamas studying the geology of San Salvador Island this May.

[Read more…]

Missouri S&T software design team wins competition

logo_slb_headerA software design team from Missouri University of Science and Technology earned first place in Schlumberger’s North American Ocean Academic Competition. The winning students earned a $15,000 prize, and their software will be made available to Schlumberger customers through the company’s website.

[Read more…]

Missouri S&T reaches finals of software design competition

logo_slb_headerA team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology is one of six finalists in the Schlumberger Information Solutions’ Ocean Academic Competition.

[Read more…]