|Web-Account Since||11/05/2006 00:44:02|
|Last Online||06/07/2013 20:42:53|
|Last Updated||06/07/2013 20:45:24|
Just adore those jewels from the heavens since 1976 while a geology major at the University of Wyoming. Became interested in meteoritics in the summer of 1977 based on a advertisement for graduate school at either Arizona State U or U of Arizona, but decided to travel the world as a US Marine (and actually retired in 2000). First meteorite adventure occurred in 1980 as a logistics officer on a six month stint in the Mojave Desert (29 Palms). Never did find 29 palms but did discover a strange very magnetic "rock" that flunked the scratch test and streak test but had these thumbprints. Spent days thinking about the source because it did not fit in with the local geology! (I have that specimen in storage shed with thousands others in Laramie, Wyoming. TBC)
In 1990 I taught a physical geology course for civil engineers and developed a final research / project component; My principal area is analytical chemistry/geochemical science applications. No engineers took the bait for investigating an iron meteorite found near Meteor Crater (in 1977). (They certainly enjoyed projects in the 2000s especially when relating meteorites to material science, thanks also to a colleague I nicked named Dr. Iron (alias Dr. Pat Ferro)).
Bought my first meteorite from this fellow named Bob Haag in 1992 and actually coaxed a few chemistry majors to analyze the Meteor Crater iron suspect. Had no idea that both specimens matched analysis (actually thought Sam mixed up the analysis). Then it dawned on me: Haag's Canyon Diablo IA coarse octehedrite matched the suspect found near Meteor Crater. Geez the nickel, cobalt and copper composition statistically matched but my suspect had more graphite (streak test).
Being heavily immersed in the military reserve, family and curriculum development at a small engineering college on the Wabash River in Indiana (not Purdue U. but Rose-Hulman I.T.) there was no time for meteoritics. In 2002, a friend suggested looking at eBay's selection of meteorites, especially suspects, for student projects and research. Some nice specimens were purchased and studied.
Then in 2004, a friend convinced me to apply for a NSF Fellowship (because our colleagues from seven different colleges/universities brainstormed one late Friday afternoon and generated ideas for a $10 md grant proposal). I decided to work at U of Tennesse, Chattanooga and investigate iron meteorites using inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy: Purchased some iron meteorites from New England Meteoritical Laboratory and this gentlemen also hooked me on other classes of meteorites. Thanks to Russ Kempton and our converstations while waiting for local bus transportation, I commenced working on chondrites from Wyoming and Indiana. But Al Mitterling hooked me on this achondrite from Indiana called the Lafayetter stone: Sacrificed $400 for 20 mg. Dr. Steve Symes, a colleage of Dr. Derek Sears, motivated me to pursue investigating meteorites. Dr. Gretchen Potts provided instrumental resources. I was now hooked to pursue meteoritics in my spare time (teaching undergraduates is my primary passion!).
My most notable eBay experience involved the purchase of some chondrite fragments in a vial that Mike Farmer acquired from a European museum via a trade. An Indiana collector decided to sell the meteorite: Mark Bostick provided some sound advice and I vigorously pursued this fall because he nor anyone else I conferred with had observed any for sale in over a decade. With 23 seconds to go I tried to frantically place an astronomical bid. I coveted that Rochester! But I was using dialup and failed miserably. Bummer. But failure brings success and after writing the seller, a whole new universe with numerous contacts and friendships flourished (unless we were competing for the same meteorite).
Second most memorable eBay experience occurred in January 2009 before the Tucson show. Dr. Nelson Shaffer, Indiana Geological Survey convinced me to do more prospecting for meteorites! I was the only bid on a suspect meteorite (ordinary stone chondrite according to Marlin Cilz). Was successful in acquiring a lot of 13 slices amounting to 125 grams. Unlucky? Not by any means. Had a fabulous time being a "field geologist" and being a "prospector." Met with Jon Todd in the summer of 2009 and scoured the hillside for more (beyond his 4.2 kg, 1.6 kg and other finds) about 23 miles outside the booming metropolis of Greybull, Wyoming. Population 1847 plus or minus 20. Wyoming hospitality is still fabulous in small towns! (Watch for those exciting rattlesnakes...but the owls were awesome...and the dinosaur tracks were exciting...). We did not find too much with our magnetic sticks (and I left my Minelab Explorer at home right by the door!). After suggesting that he only found about 1/3 of the original mass after impact, Jon found additional substantial fragments, such as another 1.17 kg crusted fragment, four inches deep, where I was exactly sitting the summer before. I found additional notable fragments but Jon Todd is the original finder. (Have another Montana find but have not determined the exact location! And I have clues for five other Wyoming / Montana suspects, but no research dollars on hand this summer. Sonny Clary gives sound advice!!) Oh, many thanks to Patrick Herrmann and Dr. Addi Bischoff, Jon Todd's chondrite was classified as the Hyattville L6 S3 W1. (Still trying to establish if this was a "fall" based on some testimonies from folks near and around Greybull...tbc.)
In my spare time, when not teaching general chemsitry classes of 200+ or mentoring students, this novice is working on pamphlets (maybe books) on Indiana and Wyoming meteorites and R chondrites. (Not quite addicted to Alabama nor Ohio meteorites...)
Thanks to all those who have helped me spend my refereeing and odd jobs money on meteorites. Many of which are proud and professional members of the IMCA!!! Those starry gemstones are priceless.
Geochemist, meteoritist, and educational consultant