FAQ's involving the FMS Annual meeting in Oct. 9-11 with the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Friends of Mineraloghy symposium

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Frequently Asked Questions about the 2015 FMS Annual Meeting and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy Mineral Symposium.

1. What is the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Friends of Mineralogy (PNWFM)? It is one of seven chapters of the Friends of Mineralogy in the USA.  The Friends of Mineralogy (FM) is an organization: Dedicated to the advancement of serious interest in minerals and related activities. We are collectors, professionals, and curators who share a love of mineral specimens and desire to promote understanding and appreciation of mineralogy.  The Friends of Mineralogy web site is: http://www.friendsofmineralogy.org/ 

2. Is the PNWFM related to the FMS? No, the PNWFM and the Fluorescent Mineral Society, Inc. (FMS) are separate organizations.  The PNWFM holds an annual professional two day mineral symposium, including a Saturday evening dinner at the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso, Washington.  The 2015 dates are October 9-11.  For more information about the PNWFM go to: http://www.pnwfm.org/  

3. Why do we care about the PNWFM symposium?’ The FMS will be holding its annual meeting in combination with the PNWFM symposium which will be featuring fluorescent minerals. 

4. What is a professional mineral symposium?  The PNWFM symposium is a weekend of meetings at which experts are invited to give talks or demonstrations on specific topics related to the theme of the symposium.  The 2015 theme is, “Northeast USA Minerals and Fluorescent Minerals”, with fluorescent minerals from all over the world.  Speakers, usually professionals, typically give seven approximately one hour presentations Saturday morning through Sunday noon.  Silent mineral auctions are held throughout the symposium.  Saturday evening activities include a banquet, followed by a live mineral auction.   The symposium features four mineral dealers, plus ten or more satellite dealers in the hotel rooms.  In 2015 the schedule includes two additional meetings sponsored by the FMS, one on Friday evening and one on Saturday afternoon. 

5. What is the theme of the 2015 PNWFM symposium? The theme is “Northeast USA Minerals and Fluorescent Minerals”.  Fluorescent minerals can be from anywhere in the world, not just the Northeast. 

6. Has the PNWFM ever had fluorescent minerals as a theme before? No this will be the first time.  However, there have been fluorescent mineral displays in past symposia, most notably in 2001 where the theme was, “Rainbow of Minerals”. 

7. Who are the speakers and what are their topics? The PNWFM speakers and specific topics have not yet been finalized.  Program details will be announced later.   There are typically they are 3 - 4 speakers. We do know that one of the speakers is an expert on fluorescent minerals.  Stay tuned. 

8. What is planned for the two FMS meetings? Friday evening meeting will be a time for attendees to get to know one another.  The meeting could also include a short business meeting.  Plans for other activities are not complete at this time.  The Saturday afternoon meeting will include a Show N’ Tell, where attendees can describe unusual or unique specimens.  Other planned activities are a free door-prize drawing (where everyone gets something), and presentation of an award for the best fluorescent mineral display.  Other activities are still in the planning stage. 

9. What makes this FMS meeting different from other FMS meetings? This is the first formal annual meeting of the FMS that has been held outside of Tucson.  It is the first time being held in conjunction with the PNWFM symposium.  This will provide lots more time to socialize between symposium talks and to visit the mineral dealers than a typical meeting that lasts just a few hours.  Moreover, this schedule offers the opportunity to hear world class speakers talk on subjects related to the symposium theme.  Finally, there will be ample time to shop (or trade) for fluorescent mineral specimens from the main mineral dealers or the satellite dealers.  

10. What does it cost to attend the PNWFM symposium?   The 2015 registration fee has not been determined, but in 2014 is was $65.00.   The registration fee covers the costs to bring in the featured speakers, the hotel facilities, and other symposium expenses.  The registration fee also includes the Saturday evening banquet.  For 2015, the PNWFM is giving a 50% discount on the registration fee to anyone putting in a fluorescent mineral display.  On the registration form you may also purchase a buffet lunch at the Red Lion Hotel on Oct. 10th for an additional fee.  The registration form will give you the option to join the PNWFM.  Annual dues are $15.00.  PNWFM membership is not required unless you wish to be a satellite dealer (see Questions 20-22 below). 

11.  Can anyone display fluorescent minerals at the PNWFM symposium? Anyone who registers for the PNWFM symposium can enter a display, including one on fluorescent minerals; membership in either PNWFM or FMS is not required.  The PNWFM is giving a 50% discount on the registration fee for anyone that puts in a fluorescent mineral display.  A special room has been set aside for fluorescent mineral displays.  Interested persons should contact Don Newsome at [email protected] or at (425)-228-9988 to obtain more detailed information about displaying fluorescent minerals. 

12. When is the setup and tear down times for the displays? The setup time is anytime Friday, Oct. 9th.  For the fluorescent displays they should be set up before 7:00 PM when the first FMS meeting starts. The tear down time starts at noon on Sunday, Oct. 11th when the symposium ends.

13. Can minerals specimens be shipped to the Red Lion Hotel? You can ship specimens to the Red Lion providing that you are registered at the hotel, you let them know a shipment is coming, and that the shipment does not arrive more than 3 days before you do.

14. Will the PNWFM registration form also handle a room registration at the Red Lion Hotel? No.  The PNWFM registration form only covers the symposium registration.  You must contact the Red Lion Hotel directly to make a room reservation (see Question 15).  

15. What does it cost to stay at the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso, Washington? The PNWFM gets a special discount rate for the weekend of the symposium, October 9-11.  The 2015 rate is $86.00 per night plus tax, double occupancy for two queen sized beds (slightly more if there are more than two per room).  The PNWFM registration form will contain instruction for obtaining the special symposium rate and your reserve a room once the form has been released.  (Hint: Do not call the Red Lion (800) reservation number or use the internet.  But call the local Kelso number (360) 578-4017 which takes you to the front desk, and then say that you are with the “Friends of Mineralogy” to get the discounted rate).   

16.  Am I required to stay at the Red Lion Hotel? You are not required to stay at the Red Lion Hotel, but the accommodations are very good, and most attendees do.  There are several motels in the area including a Motel 6. 

17. Am I required to eat at the Red Lion Hotel?
No, but it is convenient to do so.   There are several restaurants, including fast food, within walking distance of the hotel.  There is a Safeway store about one mile away is the Three Rivers Mall shopping center.  The symposium registration form will offer the option to purchase a buffet lunch at the Red Lion Hotel on Oct. 10th for an additional fee. 

18. Where is the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso located? The Red Lion Hotel is on the east side of Interstate 5, exit 39, the main freeway between Portland, OR and Seattle, WA.  The Hotel is about 115 miles south from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle and about 48 miles north from Portland International Airport in Portland.  The address is: 510 Kelso Drive, Kelso, WA  98626.  The local phone number is (360) 636-4400.  It is right next to the freeway.   

19. What about bringing an RV to the PNWFM symposium? Parking at the Red Lion is free for cars, trucks, and vans.  However, you cannot park an RV overnight in the Red Lion Hotel parking lot.  It would be necessary to make other arrangements. 

20. What is a satellite dealer?  A satellite dealer is someone who has registered with the PNWFM to sell or trade minerals during the symposium and has requested a special room at the Red Lion Hotel for this purpose.  The rooms of satellite dealers are located together and will be prominently marked.  Satellite dealers are generally expected to have their rooms open during the symposium hours except during presentations.   

21. What is required to become a satellite dealer?  First, you must register for the symposium (see Question 10).   Second, you must reserve a room at the Red Lion Hotel (see Question 15).  You must request a room in a special block of rooms reserved for satellite dealers. Third, you must register as a satellite dealer.  The current fee is $25.00 payable to the PNWFM. Fourth, you must donate one (or more) minerals or other items to the PNWFM for their auctions. A call for satellite dealers will go out several months before the symposium.

22. Are there any restrictions on what I can sell as a satellite dealer? There are no unusual restrictions (obviously no drugs, guns, or bombs) on what can be bought or sold.  Fluorescent minerals would of course be of interest to FMS members.  Each satellite dealer will be responsible for collecting and paying his own Washington State sales taxes.  The 2015 Washington State sales tax rate for Kelso, Washington is 8.0% 

23.  Will there be any field trips? The full schedule for the symposium from Friday evening until Sunday noon does not allow any time for field trips.  Moreover, all known outstanding fluorescent minerals locations (open to the public) require a few hours’ drive from Kelso, Washington.  Therefore, “field trips” will have to consist of lamping the specimens offered by the many dealers. 

24.  What other things can I see or do in the Pacific Northwest? The Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is only 35 miles away, that’s the volcano that erupted in 1980.  The Johnson Ridge Observatory at the end of Spirt Lake road is just outstanding and well worth going out of your way just to visit. Go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, Oregon, is only 64 miles away.  The Rice Museum is the most outstanding mineral museum in the Pacific Northwest if not the whole west coast.  Among others, the museum has an outstanding automated fluorescent mineral display.  Go to: http://ricenorthwestmuseum.org/   Other natural highlights include Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic National Park, just to name a few.  And of course Portland and Seattle offer most sights and activities that you can take in during your visit.  The list is almost endless.


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