Following is an excerpt from our bylaws:
The objectives of the Club shall be to: sponsor activities and promote interest and education in; mineralogy, lapidary, geology, paleontology and related subjects.
How are these subject areas defined?
There are differing definitions, but the following brief descriptions are a fairly good answer:
Mineralogy: The study of crystal structure and physical (including optical) properties of minerals. Specific studies within mineralogy include the processes of mineral origin and formation, classification of minerals, their geographical distribution, as well as their utilization.
Lapidary: Lapidary (the word means “concerned with stones”) is an artist or artisan who forms stone, mineral, gemstones, and other suitably durable materials (amber, shell, jet, pearl, copal, coral, horn and bone, glass and other synthetics) into decorative items such as engraved gems, including cameos, or cabochons, and faceted designs.
Geology: The science comprising the study of solid Earth, the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which it evolves. Geology is also a hobby for those who enjoy collecting various rocks, minerals and/or fossils.
Paleontology: The study of prehistoric life. It includes the study of fossils to determine organisms’ evolution and interactions with each other and their environments (their paleoecology). As a “historical science” it attempts to explain causes rather than conduct experiments to observe effects.
What are “related subjects”?
Fossils: The preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past. The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record. Occasionally, the Club will make a field trip to specifically search for fossils.
Collecting: Many Club members collect rocks, minerals, fossils and other items obtained through field trips, buying, and trading; this allows members to collect items from all over the world.
Meetings: How-to meetings and classes are held to educate and instruct members on how to identify and find rocks and minerals, lapidary, earth science, gems, minerals, mining, equipment, and to display materials and member collections.
Equipment: Can range from simple gold pans to rock saws,cab making machines, to metal detectors, GPS, and how to use equipment for best results, personal safety, and to extend the life of equipment through proper usage.
Field Trips: Important for members to actually see, feel, and learn about the earth, and to get materials for their collections. The fresh air and scenery are a big bonus. Guests are invited to join us to get to know us, learn about our earth, and to get started on their collections.
Socialbility: Social aspects are important for rockhounds to talk and learn from each other at meetings and field trips. Even if members elect to only attend meetings, they will learn something at every meeting.
Finally, there are aspects of running the Club such as our business and general meetings, committees, hosting, programs, websites, Facebook, and other volunteer opportunities, picnics, holiday party and more – all related to rockhounding, of course.