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Minutes 11 February 2016

Geological Society of Minnesota

Meeting of the Board of Directors

Minutes – 11 February 2016


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


Other members present:  Dave Wilhelm, Alan Smith, Joanie Furlong


Minutes of the August meeting were approved in December by e-mail vote of Board members.


Agenda – approved


Future Board meetings scheduled for

·         19 May 2016 (New date)

·         11 August 2016

·         3 November 2016 (New date)


Treasurer's report – The first 6 months of the fiscal year, net income has been $2896.98.  Mary Helen has switched funds to a 12-month CD with a better interest rate.  Dave and Mary Helen will determine the amount of funds that were previously earmarked for the video library. This to be based on the fees received by the video library.


Motion:  The Treasurer's Report was approved.


Every time there is a change in Board officers, the account signers must be changed.  The bank requires the current and previous treasurers and the current and previous presidents, along with others who have check-signing responsibility (Steve Erickson) to make the change with all present at the bank.  This will happen once Sherry is available.


Updates to the GSM Manual and Operations Guide – Mary Helen will send the manual and guide to all board members and encourages people to read them and suggest changes.  We should consider whether an operations guide is needed.  The by-laws have been updated.


Membership report – Joanie reported that all but 43 of the 2014-2015 members have renewed.  With new members joining, membership currently stands at 172.


Membership dues – We discussed whether the dues should be raised.  The dues are quite low ($10 per year for students, $20 per year for individuals, $30 for families) and haven't been raised for years.  Current dues support labs, field trips, and speakers, with people paying extra for field trips as necessary.  At present, income and expenses are about the same and the Society has CDs in reserve.  We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  After discussion, we decided not to make any dues changes at this time.


Lecture attendance – Dave keeps track of attendance for each lecture.  He reported that average attendance this year is 96, whereas the average was 73 last year.


State Fair planning – Dan expects to talk with State Fair organizers in March.  He suggests that the booth emphasize the lectures, to increase interest and attendance.


Holiday Party – Sandy Steffner wrote that the party was well-attended and an enjoyable experience for all.


GSM web-site – Alan is looking at potential updates, including a new layout for the web-site.  Joanie suggested using PayPal as a way of receiving dues from members.  Alan and Mary Helen agreed to further investigate the feasibility, considering web-site implementation and usage fees.


Posting lecture notices – When the speaker schedule changes, the University bulletin boards need to be informed so they can be changed as well. Becky has been covering this activity.


Field trip plans

·         St. Anthony Falls lab this spring

·         Washington County recycling site

·         Swede Hollow walk with Greg Brick

·         Eagle Lake Observatory, tentatively 10 June

·         Tour of the Geological Survey building in April

·         Croatia – planning on hold due to political problems in that country

·         Chicago museums – tentatively in the fall

·         Omnitheatre movie on national parks this spring

If there are plenty of spaces available on a planned trip, we can publicize to a wider audience.


Marker project – Becky is collecting information about each marker and Alan is working on a database design.  The goal is to put Marker information on the website so members and the public can access and use it to visit markers.  Dan reports that the Minnesota Historical Society has given permission for us to use data from their book “Minnesota History along the Highways”.  The Marker Committee plans to publicize the marker database at the Spring Banquet and recruit members to visit markers and bring back photos and GPS coordinates.  Joanie suggested entering the GSM markers on geocaching web sites. 


Minnehaha Falls Marker Replacement – We currently have $3000 available for this effort. Vandals have removed 10 markers (probably for the metal) that need to be replaced. Not all were initially installed by the GSM, therefore we plan to work with the Minneapolis Park Board to determine a path forward with their participation.


Spring Banquet is on track for 2 May at the U Garden Chinese Buffet.


Web site questions – Through the GSM web-site, the public can ask questions about geology.  Theresa researches the answers and responds, then reports activity to the Board.  For "Rock and Mineral Identification", she first asks the individual to come to either a GSM Lecture or Lab. There, a GSM Board member, GSM member or participant can attempt identification. If that is not an option (such as over the summer months), she recommends either taking it to a well-established Rock Shop or the Science Museum of Minnesota for their Item I/D. Program. Also note, if the answers to questions are beyond her immediate resources, she goes to Harvey for assistance.


Macalester College – Theresa works with Jeff Thole of the geology faculty to train students to do geology presentations at schools.  This is a benefit to school children and teachers, and to college students considering science education as a career.


Facebook – Theresa and Mark maintain the Facebook page.  Theresa posts new information regularly.  Mark adds articles, as well as refreshing the wall paper and profile pictures. Theresa reported that activity is good.


Next newsletter – articles due by April 30 for May publication.


Video library – Dave has put all the titles on the on-line catalog.


Donations to the GSM – Theresa plans to update the GSM profile page on GiveMN, to increase visibility and to encourage donations


Goals for 2016 – Beyond the usual activities, Dick asked if there are some goals the Board wants to accomplish for this year.  We decided to:    

·         Update the GSM profile page on  GiveMN, to increase visibility and to  encourage donations

·         Create a database of GSM markers on the website and make available to members and the public

·         Install new markers at Minnehaha Falls



Meeting adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,

Rebecca Galkiewicz



·         Field Trip plans

·         Video Library summary

·         Spring Banquet

·       Lecture Attendance FY 2015-2016


GSM Field Trip Plans

St. Anthony Falls Lab, Minneapolis

Organizer: Dave Wilhelm

When: March/April 2016 (weekday, probably 4 PM) (one or more as demand dictates)

Length: 1 hour

Maximum participants: 12 each

Contact: Barbara Heitkamp

Washington County Environmental Center, Woodbury

Organizer: Joanie Furlong?

When: March/April 2016 Saturday PM or Tuesday 5:30 (one or more as demand dictates)

Length: 1 to 1.5 hour

Maximum participants: 25 each

Contact: Adam

Swede Hollow, St. Paul

Organizer: Greg Brick

When: Spring/Summer 2016 (Saturday/Sunday PM)

Length: 2 hours

Maximum participants: unlimited

Eagle Lake Observatory, Norwood-Young America

Organizer: Dave Wilhelm

When: Friday, June 10, 2016 evening/night

Length: 1.5 hour lecture on Mars, followed by viewing of telescopes and the sky (especially Mars)

Maximum participants: unlimited

Contact: Minnesota Astronomical Society (Suresh Sreenivasan)




GSM Video Library Summary

February 11, 2016:

Unique titles: 243

New titles since previous Board meeting: 0

Rentals since previous Board meeting: 19

Cash on hand: $51

Miscellaneous: Online library updated to include all titles. Plan to purchase new titles in next month.




Geological Society of Minnesota (GSM) Spring 2016 Banquet at U Garden


Contact: Dave Wilhelm

-          e-mail:

-          home phone: 651-739-2790

-          cell phone: 612-810-4989

-          web site:


Date: Monday, May 2, 2016

Times: Food service to start at 5:00 PM.

Video/audio presentation to start at 7:00.

Completion around 8:30, no later than 8:45.


Expected attendance: 60-80 persons (FYI: 65 attended our fall banquet on Sept. 15)


Menu: Buffet @ $10.95 + tax & tip, pay at end, one check per table

Buffet includes hot tea and water, other beverages extra

Ordering from the menu at the posted price is also an option.

Checks not accepted as payment. (We’re encouraging cash payment.)

Facility charge: $120, payable by GSM check the same day

Equipment U Garden to supply:

-          projector screen,

-          projector,

-          VGA cable connection from presenter’s laptop to projector,

-          sound system,

-          wireless lapel (or hand?) microphone,

-          podium



As much as possible, lights should be dimmed and shades closed to provide darkened room during the presentation.

U Garden Contact: Spencer Ung

-          e-mail:    

-          web site:

-          phone: 612-378-1255




GSM Lecture Attendance


Summary 2015-2016 to date: 9 lectures, 871 total attendance, 96.8 average attendance

2016-02-08      104      Iceland: a Cold Geological Hot Spot (~11 new persons –recommendations from friends and family)

2016-01-25      112      Where Diamonds Come from and Where They Are Going (~10 new persons –recommendation from friend, e-mail, U of M Events calendar, alumni newsletter (U of MN?), MN Mineral Society)

Summary Fall 2015: 7 lectures, 655 total attendance, 93.6 average attendance

2015-12-07      133      A Tour of the Solar System (~20 new persons – Many of these from Minnesota Astronomical Society, to which the announcement was forwarded; recommendations from friend/spouse)

2015-11-23      87       A Slippery Slope: Towards Better Understanding and Prediction of At-Risk Hillsides (4 new persons –recommendations from members)

2015-11-09      87       An ‘In-Depth’ Look at Oceanography (3 new persons – 1 from state fair, 2 from classroom recommendation)

2015-10-26      104      Groundwater/Surface-Water Interactions: How Aquifer Water Balance Controls Streamflow and Lake Level (~15 new persons (!) –from state fair, from web sites, from friend recommendation, some kids with their dad, a teacher from Minneapolis South High with ~5 students)

2015-10-12      94        Climate Change in Our Backyards (4 new persons –1 person from state fair, 2 from class recommendation, 1 from both of these)

2015-09-28      85        How Geologists Work With Deep Time (3 new persons – 1 couple from online, 1 person from state fair)

2015-09-14     65        Paleontology of the National Parks of the Colorado Plateau (Fall Banquet; 5 new persons – 4 from state fair, 1 came with her dad)