MINERALS AND THE HEALTH OF EARTH AND ITS PEOPLE
British Mineralogist to Deliver Two Lectures at the U Monday April 19
WHO: David Vaughan, president of the European Mineralogical Union and professor of mineralogy and director of the Williamson Research Center for Molecular Environmental Science, University of Manchester, Great Britain. Vaughn is the Mineralogical Society of America Distinguished Lecturer 2004, University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics.
WHAT AND WHEN:
First lecture — “Mineralogy: A Key to Sustaining the Health of Earth and Humanity,” noon Monday April 19, 2004.
Second lecture — “Minerals, Metals and Molecules: Ore and Environmental Mineralogy in the 21st Century,” 4 p.m. Monday April 19, 2004
WHERE: Auditorium (room 110), Intermountain Network and Scientific Computation Center (INSCC), which is the building directly north of the Park (administration) Bldg., University of Utah campus.
ABSTRACT OF FIRST LECTURE: “Mineralogy: A Key to Sustaining the Health of Earth and Humanity.”
Minerals are providers of the essential raw materials for human existence as well as key elements required by living organisms. The pressures on mineral consumption, particularly associated with population growth, are already having dramatic effects on the health of our planet.
In order to gain the understanding needed to determine the risks to our environment of such rapidly growing exploitation, and to ameliorate the damage caused, we need a far greater knowledge of the biogeochemical systems and cycles at Earth’s surface. In particular, fundamental “molecular scale” understanding is required.
The importance of mineralogy in the context of this “molecular environmental science” will be illustrated using examples currently being investigated in Manchester, and concerned with toxic and acid mine waters, arsenic contamination of aquifers, and airborne mineral dusts.
ABSTRACT OF SECOND LECTURE: “Minerals, Metals and Molecules: Ore and Environmental Mineralogy in the 21st Century.”
Metals have been central to human development since ancient times, and play a critical role in the cycling of elements at or near Earth’s surface. Understanding the cycles involving metals is important in studies of ore formation, pollution, and containment of hazardous wastes.
Studies of key stages in the cycling of metals from the breakdown of metal-rich minerals, transport in solution or as colloids, uptake on mineral surfaces, and precipitation, will be illustrated with examples of work done AT THE University of Manchester using state-of-the-art techniques. These include atomic resolution studies of mineral surfaces and their reactivities using scanning probe microscopy, and investigations of the evolution of colloidal precipitates, or of sorption of metals on mineral surfaces, using synchrotron radiation methods. The importance of biofilm coatings on mineral surfaces will also be discussed, and also of relating phenomena at the molecular scale (or nanoscale) to those at field, or even larger, scales.
ABOUT THE LECTURER: David Vaughan is past president of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, former vice president of the Societe Francais de Mineralogie et Cristallographie and current president of the European Mineralogical Union. He chairs the International Mineralogical Association Working Group on Environmental Mineralogy.
His research interests center on studies of minerals, particularly metal sulfides and oxides, molecular scale studies of mineral surfaces including interactions with microbial species, and applications of such studies to problems of Earth resources and the environment.
Educated at the Universities of London and of Oxford, from which he holds the degree of DSc, he has worked at the Canada Centre for Minerals and Energy Technology, Ottawa (1970), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1971-74), and the University of Aston in Birmingham (1974-88). He has also been a visiting professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Florence, and Liverpool University, and is an honorary professor at the Academia Sinica, Beijing, and honorary research fellow at the Natural History Museum, London.
David Vaughan is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, the Geological Society, the Society of Economic Geologists, and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.
The sulfide mineral vaughanite, from Hemlo, Canada, was named for David Vaughan in recognition of his contributions to ore mineralogy.
The research interests of David Vaughan center on fundamental studies of minerals, particularly metal sulfides and oxides, using advanced analytical, spectroscopic and imaging techniques; molecular scale studies of mineral surfaces including interactions with microbial species, and applications of such studies to problems of Earth resources (including mineral extraction technologies) and the environment. He is author or co-author of more than 200 publications in scientific journals and of six textbooks.