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Minutes 02 November 2016

Geological Society of Minnesota

Board Meeting Minutes 

2 November 2016


All Board members were present:  John Jensen, Ruth Jensen, Dan Japuntich, Theresa Tweet, Mary Helen Inskeep, Kate Clover, Dick Bottenberg, Becky Galkiewicz, Deborah Nafziger, Mark Ryan


Others present:  Dave Wilhelm, Ed Steffner, Joe Wright, Bill Robbins, Steve Erickson


The Board gave their belated birthday wishes to Theresa.


The Board noted that the Minutes of the previous 2 meetings (August and September) have been approved by e-mail vote.


Agenda approved.


Future board meetings:  9 February 2017 and 11 May 2017


Access to Keller Hall on meeting nights – Based on a request, we reviewed our practices.  The University locks all doors at 7 PM.  The lecture starts at 7 PM.  Our practise is to check the entrance for late-comers at 7:05, 7:10 and 7:15.  We agreed to place signs in the windows of the two entry doors to encourage late-comers to wait for someone to let them in by 7:15.


Lecture attendance:  see Dave's report, attached.


Recording lectures – See Ed Steffner's Recording  GSM Lectures report, attached.  We are experimenting with recording techniques, equipment, personnel and permission.  We plan to record the November 7th and 21st lectures.


Field trips – see Dave's report attached


Membership report – Joanie submitted the following: The renewals are coming in. We now have ~140 members including 32 new members since January.


State Fair – see Dan's report, diagram and photo attached.


Markers – see Becky's suggested do-it-yourself field trips to GSM markers by areas of the state (attached).  Post on website soon, and write a Newsletter article for next May to encourage summer time visits to markers.


Minnehaha Falls markers – Carrie Jennings has developed initial text and graphics for the new, big picture description of Minnehaha Falls. Kate volunteered to review and edit.  The current plan it to install the marker in the spring. 


GSM student outreach –   Theresa reviewed the outreach program that sends College geology students to elementary schools for introduction to geology classroom presentations. She is training additional Macalester students to make these geology presentations.  Last year approximately 15 presentations were given.


Give MN – The GSM page on the GiveMN website has been updated and includes the markers as a project needing financial support.


Holiday Party at the Steffners' on December 10th.  Announcement will be sent out.


Post office box – Mary Helen has started the process of opening a new post office box at the University Avenue post office near campus.  Once mail has successfully rerouted to the new box, the old one in Edina will be closed, no later than October 2017.  The web site and other materials will be updated with the new address.


Financial report – Current uncashed checks will be cancelled after contacting the check recipient.  Mary Helen obtained the final Board Member signature required to update the CD signature documentation.


Motion:   The GSM financial report was approved.


2017 Board members are Mary Helen Inskeep (treasurer), Dan Japuntich, John Jensen, Ruth Jensen, Kate Clover, Dick Bottenberg (President), and Theresa Tweet (Vice President).  Two new members will join the Board:  Dave Wilhelm and Deborah Nafziger.  At present, the office of Secretary in 2017 is vacant.   The Board thanked out-going members Becky Galkiewicz and Mark Ryan for their 4 years of service to the GSM.


Motion:  Dave Wilhelm volunteered to rejoin the Board.  A motion was made to elect Dave to the Board.  Motion passed.


Review of 2016 Top-Level Goals

1.     Install new markers at Minnehaha Falls – a plan and funding are in place to design and install a new big picture marker.  Completion expected in spring of 2017.  The other missing markers will be addressed in spring of 2017.

2.     Develop a GSM marker database and survey the markers – a database has been created and installed on the GSM website.  GSM members have visited some of the markers and updated the location information.  A new approach to helping people find markers will be introduced in spring 2017.

3.     GiveMN – the GSM home page has been updated in time for the November 2017 Give to The Max Day

  1. Videotape a lecture sometime during the 2016 fall lecture series and determine if videotaping is feasible - We did an initial sound and viewgraph recording on 24 Oct. Plan to video tape the lectures on 7 and 21 November and determine our go forward plan.


2017 Top-Level Goals - We will complete the unfinished 2016 goals in 2017.  We plan to establish additional 2017 goals at the February Board Meeting. A potential 2017 goal is to consider giving scholarships.


Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Galkiewicz, Secretary


Attached reports:

·         GSM markers

·         Lecture attendance

·         Field trips report

·         Video Library report

·         State Fair report




GSM Markers -

Do-it-yourself Geology Field Trips in Minnesota

Submitted by Rebecca Galkiewicz


Minnesota has a lot to offer when it comes to scenery and geology.  The GSM is not a tourist bureau, but has helped tourists and citizens understand the geologic wonders.  How?  By erecting 60 geological markers around the state.


The next time you take a trip to the North Shore, along the Minnesota River, the Metro Area, or anywhere else in the state, consider visiting several geology markers along the way, using “Do-it-yourself Geology Field Trips”.  


Here is a list of twelve suggested “Do-it-yourself Geology Field Trips”, covering the entire state.

  • Northwest Corner
  • Brainerd-Lake Mille Lacs
  • Alexandria and Big Stone
  • Minnesota River Valley
  • Southwest Corner
  • Karst Country (Southeast Corner)
  • Mississippi River Valley (from Hastings south)
  • St. Croix River Valley
  • Metro Area
  • North Shore
  • Route 35 North
  • Iron Range


GSM members can provide a helpful service by reporting any marker vandalism and GPS coordinates to the GSM Marker Committee.  We plan to make these DIY Geology Field Trips available to the general public through our website.



GSM Lecture Attendance 2016-2017

Submitted by Dave Wilhelm


Summary of Fall 2016 to date: 4 lectures, 323 total attendance, 81 average attendance 

  • 2016-10-24 (87) Protecting Groundwater: Minnesota’s Primary Drinking Water Source (4 new persons – from website, friend, daughter, recommendation of geologist leading Grand Canyon rafting trip (!))
  • 2016-10-10 81 Shouts and Murmurs: Eavesdropping on Earth (3 new persons – from website)
  • 2016-09-26 (62) “Thar be Fe & Mn in 'dem dar’ hills!" A mining history and geology of the Cuyuna Iron Range (2 new persons – 1 came with acquaintances, 1 person from state fair; same night as presidential debate)
  • 2016-09-12 (93) The Wondrous World of Carbonate Sands (Fall Banquet; includes 6 who did not come for lecture but were heard discussing it afterwards)


GSM Field Trips and Tours Report

Submitted by GSM Field Trip Coordinator Dave Wilhelm


            We have had one excursion since the Fall 2016 Newsletter was issued. On October 1, Randy Strobel led a few GSM members on a tour of sustainable homes (and yaks J) southeast of the Twin Cities. See Vern Schaaf’s report in this issue. 

            Also in this issue, Deborah Naffziger reports on the first half of our four-day July field trip to various sites and facilities on the Mesabi Iron Range; she’ll report on the second half in the next newsletter. Thanks to Vern and Deborah for sharing these trips with the rest of our members.

            I have started summarizing our past field trips on the GSM web site. To date, I have completed this back to 2013. To see these, click “GSM Field Trips” in the left margin of the home page, then click the year. I especially recommend these summaries to new members to learn more about GSM. 

            Recently, I asked members for their interest in a possible field trip to see the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. As of October 29, over 30 persons have expressed significant interest in such a trip, so I will continue planning. If you are interested and have not yet responded, do so immediately to me at, as I will direct further e-mails on this subject only to those who have indicated interest.

            I plan to schedule another tour this winter of the St. Anthony Falls Lab, assuming sufficient interest. We’ll likely do another tour of the Wildlife Science Center this winter, when the animals are more active (to maintain body heat). Two other possibilities that we are investigating are a trip to Chicago to visit museums (need Mary Helen’s input on this) and a March trip to the Lake Mead area. (At Randy’s suggestion, I have started discussion with Tom Hickson.  Members will receive e-mail on these possibilities and any others that arise when there is sufficient detail.

            One other possibility suggested by my friend Suresh is another trip to Theodore Roosevelt N P in September 2017, in conjunction with an astronomy trip being planned by Minnesota Astronomical Society.

            As always, contact me with ideas for other field trips that would interest you.





GSM Video Library

Submitted by Dave Wilhelm

Since August:

·         A few new VL members.

·         At least 18 rentals, including one $3 rental to a non-VL member.

·         No new purchases

·           ~$60 cash; will deposit some soon.

·         4 new reviews from Deborah. (There have been some technical difficulties entering these.)




GSM State Fair Committee Report for November 3, 2016,

Chair: Daniel Japuntich


State Fair Committee: Rebecca Galkiewicz, Dan Japuntich, Debra Preece, Dick Bottenberg, Edward Steffner, Ly Preece, Mary Helen Inskeep, Roger Benepe, Sandra Steffner, Theresa Tweet 




·         The 2016 GSM State Fair Booth was a success.  Everyone showed up on time with very few changes of personnel or times.  The State Fair Committee booth set-up and take-down went flawlessly.  The booth was kept clean and functional.  By the record number of brochures we gave out, I think that our visitors showed a real interest. 

·         Action Items

o   State Fair Booth Staffing will begin at the first April GSM Lecture meeting, as was done this year. (see attached timeline below)

o   The basic open-plan booth design with a smaller (2.5’x4’) reference table will be continued for accessibility and for ease of visitors to walk in. (see figure below)

o   One more large poster will be added to the booth back wall with a picture of a lecture.

o   The stools and chair problem will be addressed with a new, lower folding chair.

o   A free-standing fan will be purchased to free up a folding chair and give more room.

o   The use of front table mini-posters for the Lectures List and the Ordovician/cephalopod was a success and will be continued.  New mini-posters will include: MN Geological Map with MN map flip-side, glacier paths map, smaller Geological Markers map, etc.

o   Children’s books and Geo. reference books will stay on the small reference table.

o   Good idea: tear-off list of recommended geology books.

o   Front table MN fold-out map

o   Agate questions information.

o   New rug

2016 State Fair Booth (next page)

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2016 Booth Design Notes and Suggestions from Volunteers

·         Chair issues (3 Bears Problem)

o   Stools/chairs too high for people with knee/hip problems

o   Lawn chair too low and rickety

o   Folding chair was used as fan stand, not used as chair

o   Solutions: 

§  Buy a standing fan, free up folding chair

§  Two different height new folding chairs

·         Posters and pictures

o   Bring MN Geology map back

o   Perhaps video screen for field trip pictures

o   Posters in back should have large titles over each (ex. Field trips/Lectures/Markers))

o   Add large lecture poster next to marker poster on right on back drop

o   Solutions:

§  MN Geology mini-maps

§  Back large poster titles

§  Large lecture poster

·         People liked the more open booth. Visitors could easily walk in to look at the big rocks

·         People liked the children’s books

·         Front table clutter mess (MN Rocks guessing vs. geological reference questions vs. brochures)

o   Geology books were moved off the left reference table to the front table and stacked there instead of moving them back (Rock hounding recommendations)

o   Good idea: tear-off list of recommended geology books

o   People used the two front table mini-posters – Ordovician Seafloor and lecture list

o   The roadmap markers poster was used for understanding  MN locations, but was big and had to be put back

o   Tripod large rock ID poster often obscured by volunteer

o   Solutions:

§  Tear-off list of recommended geology books

§  Arrange right side reference table for books to get them off the front table

§  Need fold-out MN map for front table

§  Mini-posters (can have flip-side poster- two for one)

·         Lecture schedule mini

·         Cephalopod mini

·         Smaller MN State Geology mini-poster  (Plate3, MN Geology Book)

·         flip side MN map?

·         Need rock ID mini-poster

·         Ordovician Fossils ID mini-poster

·         Glaciers mini-map (Plate

·         Markers map mini-

·         Front table activities

o   MN rocks ID

o   Introducing GSM, while handing out brochures

o   Handling specific MN location geology questions

o   Rockhounding: reference books, agate questions


·         Needs to Facilitate Volunteer Styles

o   Play with kids on rock ID and magnets , interact with parents

o   Lecture about rocks, interacting with very interested visitors, potential members

o   Introduce GSM and hand out brochures

o   Answer specific questions: rock identifications, MN geology locations, where did the glaciers go through

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