Smith College trip for mineral ID, 2/18/17

The members of the CVMC got a special treat today and got to go to college for an early season field trip to Smith College in Northampton MA. Professor John Brady opened up his entire geology department to the members of our Club for some mineral identification that we don't normally get at the Club level. The 18 Club members started their day with some class room time with discussion on what equipment was available at Smith and how it was used. We discussed how minerals form, how they get their individual shapes, different methods of testing and the use of polarizing microscopes and filters in looking at minerals. Club members were encouraged to bring their unknown minerals to be tested and identified. We began with visual analysis and moved to more technical methods from there which included x-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy (S.E.M.) The members all were instructed on how to prepare their own SEM samples and we given as much hands on opportunities as possible with the testing of their minerals. While the majority of the tests we performed were conclusive giving solid results there were a couple that only posed more questions. John was such a gracious host that he sacrificed over 5 hours of his Saturday for us and utilized hundreds of thousands dollars of Smith College equipment for our enjoyment. As far as this rock hound is concerned, our Club's alliance with Professor Brady and the availability of trips like this are priceless gifts!!!!

Andrew Brodeur/Trip leader

3 Sets of photos below by Andy
1 - Classrom time
2 - X-Ray Diffraction lab
3 - SEM lab

1 - Classrom time

 

2 - X-Ray Diffraction lab

 

3 - SEM lab