The Nittany Lion looks out from a 
Central Pennsylvania doubly terminated quartz crystal.  Artwork © John Passaneau.
Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.
State College, Pennsylvania

Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies logo

American Federation of Mineralogical Societies logo
Your local non-profit mineral, gem and rock club
generally meets the third Wednesday of each month, August through May.
For Spring 2024, we are meeting at Boal Hall
(Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 East Pine St., Boalsburg PA 16827).
Google Map:
All are welcome to attend our meetings!
Parents must provide supervision of minors.

Mineral collectors and rockhounds, earth scientists and dinosaur lovers will all enjoy our activities.

Site Search Site Search
Field Trips Junior Rockhounds Meetings Minerals Junior Education Day

NMS will have a table at Rhoneymeade Arboretum and Sculpture Garden's Arbor Day Festival 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27th, to inform attendees about our club's interests and activities as well as local geology. The festival has a great variety of activities and learning opportunities concerning trees, art, and nature. Admission is free, and all are invited!

April 17th meeting:
A Geologist's Trip to Antarctica
by Dr. Charles E. Miller, Jr.

Boal Hall (Boalsburg Fire Hall),
113 East Pine St, Boalsburg PA 16827

Google Map:

   7:00 to 7:45 p.m.: Social “hour” with refreshments.
   7:45 to 8:00 p.m.: Announcements, door prizes
   about 8:00 p.m.: featured program

The event has free admission and free parking (lot just east of Fire Hall along East Pine St. - see map link above), and is open to all; parents/guardians must provide supervision of minors. Bring your friends and share an interesting evening.

This month’s talk focuses on the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and Antarctica. The Falklands are probably best known for the 1982 Falklands War between Argentina and Great Britain. South Georgia Island is less familiar to many but is integral to this talk. It is the graveyard of most icebergs from Antarctica’s northwest quadrant and is a major factor in the 1914-1917 Imperial Transantarctic Expedition.

Antarctica is a polar desert, receiving less than 10 inches of precipitation a year. Despite aridity, a continental glacier covers about 98 percent of the surface. This freezing began approximately 36 million years ago. In places, the ice is 10,000 feet thick, depressing the crust more than half-a-mile, with some areas now below sea level.

An illustrated article will be in the upcoming April issue of the NMS Bulletin.

Some online presentations of interest:
From NMS:

How to Study an Asteroid: Penn State's role in NASA's OSIRIS-REx Mission (video)
Dr. Kate Freeman's presentation: NMS April 2023
See also this news story.

Geode Night - The Journey of the Mexican Geode, Las Choyas Geode Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico (video)
Jeff Smith's presentation: NMS March 2023

A Modernized Stratigraphic Framework: Revising and Reconciling Stratigraphy Across Pennsylvania (video)
Hailey Filippelli's presentation: NMS February 2023

Flintknapping 101 (video)
Ken Burton's presentation:
NMS September 2022

Show and Tell (video)
presentation by NMS members and guests:
NMS August 2022
Photos of Jim Garthe's rock spheres and their custom metal holders are at Sphere-handout-1.pdf.

Pennsylvania Caves: A Geological Overview (video)
Dr. William B. White's presentation:
NMS May 2022

Land and Geology of Pennsylvania, "A Portrait of our Commonwealth" (video)
Dr. Robert Altamura's presentation:
NMS April 2022

Applied Paleontology (video)
Dr. Charles E. Miller, Jr.'s presentation:
NMS February 2022

The Seven Metals of Antiquity That Forged the Modern World (video)
Paul Fagley's presentation:
NMS January 2022

Iris Agates and Cantor Dusts: The Textural Complexity of Agates (video)
Dr. Peter Heaney's presentation
NMS September 2021

Show and Tell (video)
presented by the members
NMS August 2021

"Evolution" of a Fossil – Arthrophycus alleghaniensis: The story of the "Jointed Seaweed" (video)
Paul Fagley's presentation: NMS May 2021
Also see photo: variety of diameters of Arthrophycus

Start to Finish: The Process of Mining to Selling New Mexico Thundereggs (video)
Lori Lytle Coleman's presentation: NMS April 2021
Some related links:

Gembone: Gem Dino Bone (video)
Daniel Bontempo's presentation: NMS March 2021

Caves and Karst: The Crossroads of the Geosciences (video)
Dr. George Veni's presentation: NMS February 2021
Some related links:
IYCK website,
National Cave and Karst Research Institute website,
Karst Information Portal,
International Union of Speleology website,
UIS Facebook page,
UIS Twitter account,
and/or the new
UIS Instagram page.

Dinosaurs of Pennsylvania: What we know about them and their neighbors (video)
Dr. Steven E. Jasinski's presentation: NMS January 2021

Spherical Structures in Rhyolite (video)
Daniel Bontempo's presentation: NMS December 2020

Making the Case for Celestine as the Pennsylvania State Mineral (video)
Dr. Peter Heaney's presentation: NMS November 2020

Jeri Jones' Zoom Rock Room: Weekly Zoom geology presentations, mostly related to Pennsylvania. Go to and click on 'Zoom Rock Room' at top of right-hand column, where you can regsiter to be included.

The staff of the Penn State Earth & Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery is actively adding interesting material to their Facebook page while the museum is closed. Several posts were added for Earth Science Week (October 11 - 17) and National Fossil Day. They also have several videos on their YouTube channel:
The Obelisk:
Pyrite disease:

National Fossil Day October 14, 2020
Earth Science Week October 11-17
The National Park Service's National Fossil Day was Wednesday, October 14. National Fossil Day was right in the middle of Earth Science Week, October 11 - 17, 2020, celebrating the theme "Earth Materials in Our Lives." Educational materials are available.

As of December, the EFMLS web site has a video of a Bob Jones presentation, Wulfenite - My Favorite Mineral. Go to and scroll down a couple of screens to find it.

Watch a professionally recorded story of dinosaur fossil excavation in Colorado.

As of October, videos of the 2020 Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium are still available by following the links at

We have a new online video presentation for summer 2020, thanks to Dr. Andrew Sicree:

Nicolaus Steno, the most important scientist you've never heard of (the father of mineralogy, crystallography, geology, and paleontology).
It is in two parts on YouTube (improved audio clarity in this presentation); to view it, use each of the following links:
Part 1 Part 2

Our May 2020 program by Dr. Sicree is still available:
Fluorite: The Fourth Mineral
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Weekly Junior Rockhounds Meetings have been postponed. We continue to monitor the situation. Watch this web site for any updates.

With thanks for many of these to AFMS April 2020 Newsletter and Three Rivers Gem & Mineral Society of Fort Wayne Indiana's The Strata Data newsletter.
Smithsonian Scroll down to see the tips before starting a tour.
Yale - Peabody Museum of Natural History Via Rock & Gem magazine web site (thanks go to them); scroll down to find the image that links to the tour.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology - Mosasaur at Museum of Geology Scroll down to 'YouTube Playlist"
Houston Museum of Natural Science Dinosaurs!
Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks & Minerals
Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) Curator's Pick Gallery Curators choose their favorite specimens. Hosted by Mindat.
SMMP Wulfenite Gallery
Geology of the National Parks Penn State GEOSC 10 virtual field trips
American Southwest Virtual Museum
Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules Click on Displays at upper right
Davidson Institute of Science Education, of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, has links to several more museum virtual tours worldwide, including natural history museums.
Podcast of GEOL-101 type lectures (podcasts #1 to 28). Videos linked from the web site also; all by Nick Zentner of Central Washington University.

For additional current news see our NMS Bulletin (link at top of sidebar at left).

T-shirts in Galapagos Blue and Texas Orange
NMS has in stock T-shirts in Galapagos blue, Texas orange (both shown here) and royal blue.

A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day
A station at our Minerals Junior Education Day

Celestine crystal cluster 2020: CELESTINE: Pennsylvania State Mineral?
See also Nov. 2020 Bulletin.

Collecting in a quarry
Collecting crystals in a quarry

Five different posters
We have NMS posters for sale!

©2024 Nittany Mineralogical Society, Inc.      Main page last modified 11 April 2024      webmaster