News April 2016

Published on Apr 19, 2016


Director | Curator | Store
Events | Science | Support

Directives-Celebrating our Mineral Community

By Barbra Barrett, MMGM Director


At the Museum and More…

MMGM Tours & Talks
April 21, 2016
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Talk: How a Museum is Designed with Jay Paulus, Paulus Design Group—Interpretive Museum
Planning and Design

43rd Annual Rochester
Mineralogical Symposium

April 14 -17, 2016
Radisson Hotel-Rochester Airport
Rochester, New York

MMGM Mineralogical Heritage Awards Banquet
May 6, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River
Newry, Maine

4th Annual New England Mineral Conference
May 6-8, 2016
Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River
Newry, Maine

MMGM Tours & Talks
May 19, 2016
3:00 – 4:30 pm
Talk: The Other Maine Minerals with Duane and Nancy Leavitt

Barbra Barrett-1Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. MMGM simply would not exist had we not drawn from so many in our mineral community; doing so has pushed us to be all that we can be, creating a solid foundation, from which we are building our museum.  This May we will host our 1st Annual Mineralogical Heritage Awards, acknowledging all those, past and present, who have inspired us to strive for more.

MMGM’s Mineralogical Heritage Awards celebrate the sciences and arts integral to its mission: to communicate the significance of minerals in our lives, our planet and beyond. Honorees demonstrate advanced application and significant influence on the science and processes inherent in mining, collecting, crafting, educating and communicating the relevance of minerals.  MMGM plans to host the Mineralogical Awards each year and hope in our inaugural year you will attend.

The Awards Banquet will take place during the New England Mineral Conference on May 6th.  The NEMC conference brings the public together each year and provides a wonderful opportunity for us to collaborate and join forces to celebrate the people who have been and continue to be an integral part of the mineral community. For more information about NEMC, please visit their website at

combinedLike Emerson said, we need people who inspire us to be more, to be better.  MMGM will have plenty of fine minerals from Maine in well-lit display cases that will surely please and excite our future visitors.  However, we must go further and celebrate the people who make it all possible in the first place; those who add depth to the story.  Please help us kick off our 1st Annual Mineralogical Heritage awards by joining us on May 6th. For more information, please visit our website: or simply call us to register at 207-824-3036. I hope to see you there.

Collections-Myles Felch, Our New Assistant Curator

By Carl Francis, PhD

Carl Francis, MMGM Curatormyles2In March 2016 MMGM Geologist Myles Felch was promoted to Assistant Curator. Myles is a Maine native from Union, has a geology degree from the University of Maine, Farmington and interned at MMGM in the summers of 2012 and 2013. Myles then earned a Master’s Degree at the University of New Orleans in Professor Wm. B. ‘Skip’ Simmons’ program of Pegmatite Studies. His thesis, based on Maine pegmatites, focused on the ‘garnet line’, a thin layer rich in garnet—and schorl tourmaline—that underlies the core zone and is a guide to finding gem pockets in some Maine pegmatites. In December 2014 Myles moved to Bethel and began to work full-time at MMGM as Staff Geologist.

myles1-cropMyles is a strong addition to the museum’s intellectual assets and is fundamentally committed to education. He is the force behind developing our grand, two-story diorama that will be our principal means of teaching geology to public school students. He has taken the lead in developing the adjacent “Rocks & Stones” exhibit. He selected and acquired most of the dramatic rocks displayed in front of the museum, a 24/7 exhibit that complements “Rocks & Stones.” In the fall of 2015 he taught sections of Introduction to Geology in the University of Maine’s University College program at Norway and Rumford. As Assistant Curator, Myles’ role is collection development, curating permanent and temporary exhibits, representing MMGM to the professional and amateur geoscience communities, research and more teaching.

Events-April Third Thursday Talk & Rumford Historical Society

By Amy Halsted, MMGM Communications

Amy Halsted

Jay PaulusThird Thursdays Tour & Talks: April 21, 2016 from 3:00-4:30 pm. How a Museum is Designed with Jay Paulus, Paulus Design Group.

Those watching MMGM’s progress and anticipating how its exhibits will tell the compelling story of Maine minerals and gems are in for a treat. Jay Paulus’s Third Thursday Talk will illuminate the superlative nature of the displays and narrative of this burgeoning institute.

dgpJay says, “Going to a museum can teach us, delight us and inspire us; however, the museum process is complicated and a lot of effort goes into a museum exhibit design. As a designer, I learn a lot by understanding the components that make such designs successful. Museum designers are constantly looking for different ways to attract visitors and tell stories.” Jay’s presentation will highlight 10 essential museum design components: motivate visitors, focus content, immersion, patterns, capture curiosity, interaction, a “fun” experience, storytelling, technology integration and layered content.

Rumford Historical Society Presentation: MMGM  Curator, Carl Francis, will speak to the Rumford Historical Society on May 18 at 7:00 pm at the Rumford Town Hall; he will be focusing on Rumford, Bethel and Newry mines.

The Greater Rumford Area Historical Society was founded on March 3, 1970 by two teachers at Stephens High School: Louis Thibodeau and Minerva Anderson. At the time of its founding, there were 11 members; there are now over 60.

The Mission Statement says that “The purpose of the Rumford Historical Society is to collect and preserve any material that may help to establish or to illustrate the history of Rumford, Maine, to disseminate historical information and to arouse interest in its history.”

Rumford Historical SocietyThe Society houses its documents at the Archives Offices, located on the 2nd floor of the Rumford Town Hall. It is open to the public on Thursdays from 9:00 to 2:00. The Town deeded the Lufkin School, located in Rumford Center, to the Society on July 25, 1974 to be used as a museum which houses the Society’s collection of memorabilia of life in Rumford, ME over the years. It is open Saturdays from 9:00 to 3:00 from June through August.

Topics of historical interest are presented on the 3rd Wednesday of September, October, November, April, and May at the Auditorium in the Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. All meetings are open to the public in addition to members and guests.

Treasures-Mining for Kids & Gifts for Mom

By Maggie Kroenke
Maggiestore aprilEducation has become a BIG part of the New England Mineral Conference (NEMC) that is held right in the MMGM’s backyard. Kids come away with enthusiasm and excitement about minerals and field collecting. We have great supplies, books, and games in the MMGM Museum Store that will help young people enchanted from Education Day at NEMC reach for more. We have a great beginner kit of field collecting tools, boxes to put their treasures in and microscopes for all grade levels. Also handy to have around are the kits that feature the different types of rocks and minerals from other parts of the world.

Don’t forget that the same weekend NEMC is held is also Mother’s Day weekend! We’re sure there are a few moms out there who have lugged rocks (sorry, specimens) and driven from mine to quarry and back again. Be sure to browse our jewelry selection and treat yourself to a find all your own!

Hours: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Science-Meteorites and Pallasites Up Close & Personal

By Al Falster, M.S. and Skip Simmons, Jr. Ph.D.


After a complete overhaul of the electron beam components of the scanning electron microscope, we are now getting much better resolution of images. Here are captivating images of meteorite specimens we looked at recently:




Lunar Meteorite

Lunar Meteorite

A backscattered electron image of a lunar meteorite. Backscattered electrons produce bright areas where heavier elements are present and darker areas where lighter elements are present. Shown here are olivine and plagioclase (dark gray to black), pyroxene (light gray, with cleavage traces) and oxides such as ilmenite (bright white).





pallasite 2


A backscattered electron image of a pallasite. The gray to dark gray areas are olivine, the bright white matrix is nickel-iron. The olivine grains show heterogeneity; the slightly brighter areas are more iron-rich. Fractures in the olivine are crosscut by nickel-iron material. Some of the olivines are heavily fragmented and there is also heterogeneity present in the nickel-iron matrix.




Widmanstatten Patter

Widmanstatten Patter

A backscattered electron image of an etched nickel-iron meteorite showing a Widmanstätten pattern, consisting of fine lamellae of kamacite and taenite. The Widmanstätten pattern in meteorites develops as a two-phase intergrowth of kamacite and taenite. The triangular pattern is thought to form by the nucleation and growth of kamacite from taenite during extremely slow cooling of the parent nickel-iron meteorite body. One iron-nickel mineral, kamacite, formed thin layers along the surface of crystals of another, taenite, which contains less nickel. The two minerals differ in their resistance to etching by acid which makes the pattern visible.

Support-Heritage Awards Banquet Sponsorship and Dinner

Save the Date & Dig In!
Join us on May 6, 2016 at 5PM to celebrate our inaugural honorees at MMGM’s 1st Annual Heritage Awards Banquet.
janeStan & Hazel1The banquet will take place in conjunction with the New England Mineral Conference at the Grand Summit Hotel and Conference Center at Sunday River. For more information and to purchase tickets please visit our website at: or call us at 207-824-3036.

frank3We are strengthened by the support we receive from the close knit group that make up our regional mining community. Sponsorship opportunities are available for this special event, interested parties should contact Barbra Barrett at



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Contact us for a membership form or join online at
For sponsorship and funding opportunities, call us, 207.824.3036.

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