C.R. “Cap” Beesley C. R. “Cap” Beesley is an internationally known gem consultant and gem sciences specialist. Currently, he serves as President of Analytics, a research and development firm focused on consulting in gem related fields. He is also Chairman of Gemcore’s, Gemstone Standards Commission, a non-profit educational organization that is dedicated to developing consumer protection programs for gemstone buyers and collectors.
Formally, Cap was president and founder of American Gemological Laboratories (AGL), a New York based, international gem testing facility, specializing in the determination of country of origin, gem enhancement detection, and the quality assessment of ruby, emerald and sapphire. During his time with the laboratory, Cap served for more than 10 years as the primary gem consultant to the United Nations Minerals Branch, establishing gem laboratories, training facilities and teaching gem courses at the University of Peshawar in Pakistan, the University of Kashmir and the Geological Survey of Malawi, Africa.
Previously, he was a senior staff member of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), where he was responsible for implementing GIA’s 6-month resident program on the East Coast, while simultaneously developing the model for their first colored stone grading course. Currently, he is honored to serve on the Leadership Council for Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History and as Chairman of the Museum’s Mineral and Gem Advisory Board.
Mr. Beesley is also a Research Associate in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona.
Cap has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the University’s Museum Project since 2017.
Bruce Bridges Bruce Bridges is the son of Campbell Bridges, the discoverer of the vivid, pure green variety of garnet known as tsavorite, and the person to bring the first variety of blue zoisite, known as tanzanite, for identification to the United States. Campbell Bridges was also Tiffany & Co.'s official consultant geologist on Tanzanite.
Bruce has been intimately involved in the gem industry since childhood, working side-by-side with his father. Growing up in Kenya, he has completed extensive fieldwork in the Taita/Taveta region of Southern Kenya. As the President of Bridges Tsavorite, Bruce carries on the family tradition of three generations as gemstone miners and dealers in Africa. The family business is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with its sales distribution headquarters in Tucson, Arizona. The company is proud to maintain its fully integrated operation, which includes every aspect from; mining, sorting, grading and cutting, to marketing and sales.
Bruce has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management, as a double major in Business Finance and Business Marketing. He was also a varsity athlete for the University of Arizona Wildcats for the duration of his tenure at Arizona. Bruce is currently the Vice President of the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and an Executive Director of the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA).
He was appointed to the Museum Board in 2017.
Debra Colodner Debra Colodner joined the staff at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as Director of Education in 2006. In 2012 she became Director of Conservation Education and Science, a hub for research, education and conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region. She now oversees the Museum's interpretive and educational programs, conservation science and outreach, and the non-living collections, including an esteemed regional mineral collection.
Debra has more than 20 years of experience in environmental research and education. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where she focused on the use of ocean sediments as indicators of past climate change. She has a B.S. in Geology and Geophysics from Yale University, where she won the Penfield Prize in Mineralogy. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where she continued her research on ocean sediments, studied hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the ocean, managed a new research lab, and began her teaching experience.
Debra has adopted an interdisciplinary and research-based approach to education, attempting to incorporate research on how people learn and best teaching practices into designs for programs and exhibits. She used these ideas when she led a team of faculty in the design of Columbia University's Earth Semester program at Biosphere 2 Center, an interdisciplinary immersion in Earth Systems Science and Policy for college students from around the country. She ran this program for 5 years, during which it served over 500 students and gained national recognition.
Following Biosphere, Debra moved to Flandrau Science Center at the University of Arizona, first as their Education Director and then as Associate Director. At Flandrau, she managed educational programs and spearheaded development of the educational philosophy and exhibits approach for a new science center to be built in downtown Tucson This project afforded the opportunity to interact with and learn from leaders in museum education from around the world.
At the Desert Museum, Debra has helped to increase financial support for the Museum’s science and education programs by building new partnerships with individuals, businesses and foundations, and has worked with department staff to expand cultural programming and research through collaborations with community partners. She has successfully led teams in winning support from federal, state, corporate and private foundations.
Debra joined the Museum Board over 10 years ago.
Richard Graeme Richard Graeme, a native of Bisbee, Arizona, has been a collector and student of the minerals from this classic locality since 1950, and worked as an underground miner at Bisbee for a dozen years. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Geological Engineering and continued to work in Bisbee as the Resident Geologist. The mineral Graemite was named in his honor in 1975, as the discoverer of this the type material in 1959.
Professionally, Mr. Graeme, now retired, has served most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Lumina Copper SAC, and Vice-President and General Manager of Gold Fields La Cima, both located in Peru, and as Vice President and Country Manager of Gold Fields Venezuela. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Head of Operations for Gold Fields Ghana, Ltd., located in West Africa.
He was also Vice President of Operations for Sharon Steel Natural Resources based in Denver and later Vice President of Operations for Golden Queen Mining Company in Mojave, California. Before that Mr. Graeme was the General Manager of gold mines in California, New Mexico and Nome, Alaska as well as a coal mine in Utah and a copper mine in New Mexico. In all, he worked in the mining industry for 55 consecutive years.
He is a member of the Society of Mining Engineers.
Mr. Graeme has been on the Advisory Board since its inception in 2007.
Paul S. Harter Paul S. Harter is a native Arizonan who graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in business administration (1970) and law (1973). His legal career has revolved around civil litigation, government contracts and mining activities. He continues to actively practice law in the Phoenix area. In 1992 he was elected to the Madison Elementary School District Governing Board where he served for twelve years, including nine years as its president.
His interest in mining and minerals was fostered by his grandfather, a mining engineer who graduated from the University of Utah. Family trips always focused on mines, minerals and geology in Arizona and Utah. His great uncle was the noted author A. B. Parsons. The combined mentor influence and proximity to the great copper mines of Arizona afforded him the opportunity to visit and explore these properties in the 1950’s. Paul first competitively exhibited at the Arizona State Fair in 1958 and has continued to do so. Between 2011 and 2015 he served as the Show Chair for the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. In concert with Bryan K. Lees, he co-authored the chapter in American Mineral Treasures on the Sweet Home Mine. He also serves on the Board of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. His collection focuses on minerals of Arizona, with other smaller sub-collections.
He is honored to be a part of the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum Advisory Board because he believes this institution will afford its visitors the opportunity to observe and learn about the marvels of nature and what has been created, both below and above its surface. This museum is the cornerstone to learning the mineral and gem history of not only Arizona, but of the world and indeed the universe we all inhabit.
Paul has been a member of the Advisory Board since 2016.
Evan Jones Longtime mineral collector and dealer Evan Jones lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is the son of Bob Jones, well-known author of numerous articles about mineral collecting and mineral museums. Evan started collecting minerals at age 9, and with his father visited museums, attended mineral shows, went on collecting trips, and visited numerous mineral dealers.
A graduate of the geology program at ASU in Tempe, Arizona, Evan has been a full time mineral dealer since 1986 and is currently co-owner of the fine mineral dealership Unique Minerals, Inc. His collection of Arizona minerals is considered one of the finest in the world. Evan has attended every Tucson Gem & Mineral Show since 1981 and has won several prestigious awards, including Walt Lidstrom, Miguel Romero and Dick Bideaux trophies. He helped organize the "Arizona Mineral Treasures" Arizona Centennial exhibition at the 2012 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, organized the recent supplement to the Mineralogical Record magazine "Mineral Collections in Arizona", and is a founding member of the Arizona Mineral Minions group.
Evan has written articles for Mineralogical Record, LAPIS and Mineralien-Welt magazines and given talks around the country on Arizona and Mexican minerals, mines, mining, and history.
Evan has been on the Board since 2013.
Robert Lavinsky A collector from the age of 12, Dr. Robert Lavinsky first started participating in mineral shows at the age of 14. He initially planned a career in molecular genetics and received his doctoral degree from UC-San Diego, but his passion for minerals led to a career change. He realized the potential to move the mineral world online and as a result, www.iRocks.com went online in 1994 and became one of the first comprehensive fine mineral websites. Since then, he has been a full-time dedicated mineral dealer and educator.
By loaning specimens, consulting on displays, and curating, he has collaborated with numerous museums including the Yale University Peabody Museum, Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Dallas' Perot Museum, Midland Petroleum Museum, Cranbrook Institute of Science, and several prominent museums in China. He has been a long-time supporter of the UofA’s big data RRUFF Project, the Mineralogical Record, and other mineral publications.
His sponsorship of several film projects (Mineral Explorers, & The World’s Most Precious Treasures), books (The Lindsay Greenbank Collection of Classic Minerals of Northern England, The Miguel Romero Collection of Mexican Minerals, China Crystalline Treasures: The Mineral Heritage of China) have helped expand mineral awareness and popularity, and each August, Dr. Lavinsky and other co-sponsors host the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium (www.DallasSymposium.org) featuring world-famous mineral experts and engaging social events.
Rob recently opened a 20,000 sg. ft. gallery in Dallas, Texas, and has been active in helping with Government-associated mineral shows in China and has a gallery in Shanghai. He is particularly active in helping young collectors become more interested in both the hobby of collecting, and the science of understanding, minerals.
A new mineral, Lavinskyite, was recently named in his honor.
Rob joined the Board in 2017.
John Lucking After receiving his early education in Arizona, Dr. John Lucking received his bachelor’s degree from The American University in Washington D.C (1968), an MBA from Arizona State University (1969 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University (1981).
His work experience includes several years each at General Electric, Phelps Dodge Corporation (now Freeport McMoRan) He joined Valley National Bank (now Chase Bank) where he was Chief Economist, Manager of Strategic Planning and Investor Relations He served as a trustee of the Aquila Municipal Trust for many years and was Chairman of the Board of Trustees before his retirement in 2017.
Lucking has been a contributor to several regional Economic forecast panels as well as the Economic advisory panel of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. He has also served on the boards of several organizations such as the New Mexico and Arizona Land Company, The Economic Club of Phoenix and The Arizona Economic Round Table. He is currently a board member and Investment Committee member of the Northern Arizona University and the Honor Health Foundation.
John has been an active mineral collector for over 60 years. He is an active field collector and has been an investor in several mineral exploration companies. He and his wife, Pit, have travel extensively to both cultural and mineralogical destinations on all continents and in a large number of historic localities.
John has been a Board member since 2009.
Robbie McCarty Robbie McCarty grew up in Tucson, attending local schools and graduated from the University of Arizona with a BA in Education. She spent her 37-year teaching career in California with the Fountain Valley School District. While she taught every grade from 2nd to 8th, Robbie spent most of her time with 7th and 8th grade math and science classes. When computers arrived, that became her challenge, learning all she could, writing grants to purchase computers for her school, and developing curriculum appropriate for middle school students. She mentored other teachers in the district and made presentations at local, state and national conventions. She left the classroom for the district office to provide technology training for teachers, curriculum development, and one on one support for teachers and students at all of the schools.
In the early 1970's Robbie and husband Bill fell in love with minerals and began on their life-long collecting journey. After realizing that they could not have one of everything, they took the advice of their mentors, Wayne and Dona Leicht, and narrowed their focus. They picked Arizona Miniatures, learning not only about the vast array of minerals from Arizona but the mining and history of the state as well. Minerals from their collection have been included in various publications such as American Mineral Treasures and the Mineralogical Record. Their calcite from Ray Arizona won best Arizona Calcite at a TGMS Show. A large part of her collection is on display at the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum.
Robbie has been on the Board since 2013.
Peter Megaw Peter K.M. Megaw, Consulting Geologist and President of IMDEX/Cascabel and co-founder of Minera Cascabel and MAG Silver, has 40 years involvement in Mexican geology and is well-known in the Mexican mining industry. He has been a frequent speaker at international academic and technical symposia. His Ph.D. work at the University of Arizona was an exploration-focused geological/ geochemical study of the Santa Eulalia Ag-Pb-Zn District, Chihuahua and Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRDs) in general. He has published extensively on CRDs in both geological and mineralogical journals and books. He and his team are credited with the significant discoveries at Platosa, Durango; Juanicipio-Fresnillo, Zacatecas; and Cinco de Mayo, Chihuahua. Peter was awarded the Society of Mining Engineers 2012 Robert M. Dreyer Award for excellence in Applied Economic Geology and the Prospectors and Developers of Canada’s Thayer Lindsley Award for significant international discoveries.
Peter has been a passionate mineral collector since first setting foot in Santa Eulalia in 1977. He moved to Tucson in 1979 and quickly joined the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society™, serving in most roles (except Treasurer) over the years. He took on the job of Exhibits Chair for the Tucson Show in 1984, a job he has kept for most of the last 30 years, giving him the opportunity to visit most of the world’s major mineral museums with a special eye for helping select what they should bring to Tucson for exhibition.
His mineral collecting focuses almost exclusively on minerals of Mexico. He won the Desautels Trophy in 2006 for the Best Case of Minerals at the Tucson Show…a case of Mexican Minerals. He has also three times been awarded the Romero Trophy for the best Mexican specimen on exhibit. His mineralogical writings have been rewarded: he was the first recipient of the FM Student Paper Award in 1985 with his paper on the mineralogy of the East Camp of Santa Eulalia; in 2003 he was co-recipient with Tom Moore of FM’s Best Paper in Mineralogical Record award for their article on the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango Mexico; and he received the 2010 FM Best Paper in extra Lapis award for his article on “The Geology and Genesis of (most) Collectible Smithsonite”. He has written for Mineral News since its inception and is a consulting editor and occasional author for Rocks and Minerals. He is photo-moderator for submissions on Mexico to Mindat and co-moderator of the FMF Mineral Forum, often with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
A combination of the above led him to be awarded the Carnegie Mineralogical Award in 2009.
Peter was appointed to the Museum Board in 2017.
Gene Meieran Chairman After leaving MIT with an ScD in Materials Science in 1963, Dr. Eugene Meieran retired from Intel in 2009, as a Senior Fellow, their highest technical position. He worked on process control, material analysis, materials quality, and strategic manufacturing initiatives in his 47 years in the industry. For several years, he was responsible for all Far East and Caribbean assembly plant quality and reliability functions.
Gene founded the Electronic Materials Symposium, which sponsors an annual meeting to discuss materials and processing technology for the industry. He has published about 60 technical papers and received three international awards and two Intel Achievement Awards for his contributions. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Purdue University in 2004, the same year he received the prestigious Carnegie Medal for his contributions to the mineral hobby. He was elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1998. In 2010, he was awarded the Founder’s Award by TGMS.
Gene has been an active mineral collector since 1948 and has participated in numerous TGMS exhibits. He co-founded the American Heritage Mineral Award, helped co-found the Dallas Mineral Symposium with Rob Lavinsky, and was the originator and organizer of the 2008 American Mineral Treasures TGMS exhibit in 2008. Many of his Afghan and Pakistan specimens are on exhibit at the University of Arizona Museum. He has won several mineral awards, including the Lidstrom and Desautels awards. contributed articles to the Mineralogical Record and was largely responsible for the donation of the two exceptional, large topaz crystals on display at the Smithsonian. He was a participant in the Sweet Home Mine rhodochrosite collecting project managed by Bryan Lees, along with John Lucking and Marty Zinn.
Gene is currently President of the Board of Directors of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals in Hillsboro, OR, as well as Chair of the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum, to both of which he has contributed significant specimens from his collection. He has also donated to the Smithsonian Institute, Harvard Mineral Museum, and Seaman Museum.
The mineral Meieranite is named after him.
He considers the task of leading to the establishment of the Old Pima Courthouse as new home for the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Collection as his most important responsibility. He spends much of his time with his wife Rosalind in Portland, OR.
Les Presmyk Les Presmyk was elected to the Gilbert, Arizona Town Council in 1999 after serving on the Gilbert Planning Commission for four years. He served three terms as Vice-Mayor during 12 years on the Town Council. Mr. Presmyk has been an active member of the Gilbert community since 1990 and after leaving Town Council in 2011 he continues to serve on various boards and commission, including the Veterans’ Day committee and as chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board. He is active in mining and mineral education and has served as a mentor at the Pappas School for Homeless Children. Mr. Presmyk holds a BS degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Les has served as President of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona and chairman of the Flagg Mineral Foundation. He is active in TGMS, currently serving as Vice President, and has been the Competitive Show chairman for 32 years. Les is an active collector, and has a major collection of world-wide sphalerites and Arizona mineral specimens, many of which have been on display at the University of Arizona Museum. He started collecting at the age of 10 in 1962. He has written articles for Rocks and Minerals and the Mineralogical Record, along with co-authoring Collecting Arizona – State of Mines, Legacy of Minerals.
Les and Paula, his wife of 42 years, have exhibited at numerous shows, especially Tucson and Denver, winning the Desautels and Lidstrom trophies, AFMS national trophies at Denver and Ventura, along with the Hamel trophy. Les was instrumental in the Arizona exhibits for the 2008 American Mineral Treasures and the 2012 Arizona Centennial cases at the Tucson Show. He is a frequent lecturer and presenter at various clubs in Arizona, along with the Arizona, New Mexico and Dallas Symposiums, and other venues in Washington, Monday and Ohio. Les and Paula recently transported and exhibited over 650 specimens from their collection to Springfield, Massachusetts as the special exhibitors at the East Coast Gem & Minerals Show in August 2017.
Les recently retired as the Principle Engineer from Salt River Project. He continues to do specimen preparation, collection appraisals and as a dealer of minerals, fossils and gems through De Natura, the company he and Paula founded in 1977. Les is the recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 2017, recognizing his significant contributions to the mineral and earth sciences community.
Les has been a Board member since its inception.
Dr Alexander G. Schauss Dr. Alexander Schauss is President and CEO of AIBMR Life Sciences, a scientific and FDA regulatory consulting company, with office/staff in six states. He is a Certified Food Scientist, Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and member of the American College of Toxicology, American College of Nutrition, American Chemical Society, International Society of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, and American Society of Nutrition. He is a Research Associate at both the Bio5 Institute and the Department of Geoscience at the University of Arizona.
His life-long interest on the effects of minerals and trace elements on brain function and behavior began when as a child he volunteered for eight years in the Department of Geology and Mineralogy, American Museum of Natural History in New York under the supervision of the late-Dr. Frederick Pough. Alex’s book, Minerals, Trace Elements and Human Health is one of 23 books, 38 chapters, and 185 papers he has authored in the scientific literature, primarily in the fields of nutrition and botanical medicine. He is known for two review papers on the renal toxicity of an organic germanium compound consumed by humans. He recently co-authored a paper on the morphology of an unusual diamond in Diamond: The Ultimate Gemstone.
Since 1967, when the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® was first held in a Quonset hut south of the airport, he has attended 48 shows through 2019 and for over two decades has served as a quality judge at the show. A noted collector of thumbnail mineral specimens, he is the recipient of numerous awards earned at regional and national American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) shows, and the Richard H. Pearl Trophy at the Denver Gem and Mineral Show, as well as, the Ed McDole Trophy and Paul Desautels Trophy for best mineral case exhibited in competition at the TGMS show.
A Trustee of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Alex is a board member and past-President, and current Vice President, of the national non-profit, Friends of Mineralogy, founded in Tucson in 1970, and a Life Member of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona, Fellow of The Mineralogical Record, and member of the: Mineralogical Society of America; Arizona Geological Society; Tucson Gem & Mineral Society; Pinal Gem & Mineral Society: and, Flagg Mineral Foundation.
In 2017, Alex was instrumental in having Wulfenite identified as the official Arizona state mineral.
Alex has been a Board member since 2013.
Shelly Sergent Shelly Sergent, a Phoenix resident, is the Collection Manager of the Somewhere in the Rainbow gemstone and jewelry collection, which had been on display at the UA’s Flandrau Planetarium and Science Center’s main floor until the end of the year 2018. In 2013, the collection was the subject of a feature article in The New York Times. The mission of the collection is to bring hands-on education, understanding and appreciation of fine colored gems and artisan crafted jewelry to museums, retail stores and educational facilities dedicated to enjoying and appreciating the rarity, beauty and value of these gems and master artisan’s works.
Shelly is also a Curator of Boutique Gem Sourcing and a Professional Member of the American Gem Trade Association.
Shelly spent 35 years in the jewelry industry, starting at age 16 as a holiday season giftwrap girl for Zales Jewelers. She quickly realized her passion for fine gems, design, and first-class client services, and learned the business of the jewelry industry by climbing the ranks from giftwrap gal to sales, service, philanthropy, and management. She has been a featured guest presenter with JTV, keynote speaker for many industry events, and travels extensively sharing gem and jewelry passion with guests and museum attendees here and abroad.
Shelly was appointed to the Museum Board in 2017, as part of the Board and Museum’s expansion to emphasize the importance to the Gem and Mineral Museum’s expanding interest in the science and technology of gems and gemology.
William H. Wilkinson Dr. William H. Wilkinson retired as Vice President Exploration, Africa, for Freeport-McMoRan Inc. in Phoenix, AZ in November 2015 after nearly 25 years. He was responsible for project direction, reconnaissance and acquisitions throughout the continent which lead to a major discovery. He has nearly 38 years of experience in mineral exploration and has worked in base and precious metal exploration in 25 countries on five continents. Will has also worked in the southwestern United States for Anaconda, Duval Corporation, Westmont Mining and Phelps Dodge prior to Freeport.
Will received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, with a three-year break for service in the U.S. Army. He received his Ph.D. degree in geosciences in 1981 from the University of Arizona. Will was the 2009 President of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), is a Distinguished Member of SME, a charter Registered Member of SME, a member of the Board of Trustees for the SME Foundation and an Honorary member of AIME. He is a Certified Professional Geologist of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, is a Senior Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, and is a member of the Mining Foundation of the Southwest (Board of Governors), Mining and Metallurgical Society of America (Councilor), and the Arizona Geological Society. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the Department of Geosciences and on the Board of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, both at the University of Arizona.
Will has been an avid mineral collector since the fourth grade, which provided the impetus to study geology and explore for new mineral deposits.