Colleagues and friends, ladies and gentlemen:
Thank you, Rod, for the kind words. Thank you, Mineralogical Society of America, for this honor. I accept this award on behalf of what Elements stands for: an extraordinary feat of collaboration among scientific societies, now numbering 17. Many, many people have had a hand in building Elements to what it is today, nine years after its launch at the 2004 meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA), and I wish to acknowledge their contributions. First, Elements has been blessed with dedicated principal editors: Rod Ewing, Mike Hochella, Ian Parsons—the founding editors—Bruce Watson, Susan Stipp, David Vaughan, Hap McSween, and the current editorial team made up of Georges Calas, John Valley, Trish Dove, and the newest on the team, Gordon Brown. Then there are the members of the Executive Committee, charged with the financial oversight of Elements, under current chair Barb Dutrow and past chair Peter Treloar. There are also our 80+ guest editors, 500+ authors, reviewers, society news editors, features editors, and our loyal advertisers—it would take a long time to list you all by name, but I thank each of you for your contribution to Elements.
There are a few special individuals I would like to share this medal with:
Rod Ewing—Elements was his idea! Rod has the amazing gift of persuasion. I was one of the toughest critics of his idea, but he always answered thoughtfully and respectfully, until I came on board. I thank Rod for trusting me, as I had never run a magazine before. Rod has the gift of time management: he is an extraordinarily busy scientist; still he always made time for the many, many phone calls and emails we exchanged in the start-up year and anytime I needed a sounding board.
Tom Clark, my husband, who volunteered from day one to do the copyediting. Elements has benefited tremendously from his attention to detail at all steps.
Michel Guay, our talented graphic artist, who is responsible for Elements’ unique look.
Alex Speer, who took Elements under his wing. Having MSA as the publisher of record and overseer of the financial aspects has made it possible to be a lean-and-mean operation.
Ian Parsons and Mike Hochella, two of the founding editors—Ian spearheaded this nomination and Mike was the one who, in his role as president of MSA, phoned me to give me the good news one year ago.
Producing Elements has given me tremendous satisfaction on many levels. Each issue has its own story, its drama. Like the many readers who told us in a recent survey what were their top-five issues, I too have my favorites but it was hard to only pick five.
The most memorable for me has to be our first issue, Fluids in Planetary Systems (volume 1, number 1). In April 2004, we had our first editorial meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to “create a magazine”—Rod Ewing’s opening words to our meeting. We planned to launch the inaugural issue 6 months later at the GSA meeting. Everything had to be decided: layout, reference style, printer, etc. There was a heady sense of excitement. We did not know what we were really asking when we invited Robert Bodnar to be the guest editor of that inaugural issue! We had some anxious moments, but the issue was ready in time for distribution at the GSA meeting that fall.
The issue that surprised me the most was Atmospheric Particles (volume 6, number 4). I did not expect much from such a topic, but the problems are so far ranging and I was fascinated. Working with Reto Gieré was a great experience.
Our Fukushima issue (volume 8, number 3) is one I am very proud of. We published it just a little over one year after the nuclear accident. The special session held at Goldschmidt 2011 was a timely building block that Takashi Murakami and Rod Ewing used to put together the content of that issue. In spite of pressing reports to write and a shortened timeline, the authors all came through.
The Serpentinites issue (volume 9, number 2) published earlier this year displays my favorite cover. It was serendipity that I would be visiting an Inuit-carving exhibit while working on that issue. And there I must salute the extraordinary collaboration of the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver and the curators I contacted by email for supplying pictures and a Parting Shot article. I love the gleeful bear on the cover. It represents pretty much how happy I am about Elements.
Continental Crust at Mantle Depths (volume 9, number 4) is the issue I am most excited about at the present time. I find it amazing that looking at some weird little inclusions under the microscope could have led to a whole new subfield of research. Working with Guest Editor Jane Gilotti was a dream and made my job easy. I am especially proud of the interview with Christian Chopin.
In closing, I make a plea to all of you who nurture students and young professionals. Do not despair of those students who do not follow the traditional path. Instead of being disappointed, perhaps you might think they will play a special role at a later date. I have had a rather nontraditional career, swayed by my heart and not my head. In 1980, I left a secure government job to freelance while I mostly raised my children. This is a period where I stretched my wings—opening a daycare in my town, volunteering as a breastfeeding counselor, then becoming involved at the national and international levels with that organization. This is where I had my first brush with publishing. Then in the 1990s, I returned to work part-time as an outreach coordinator at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique in Québec City. I had found my niche. In 1994 I received a phone call from my former thesis supervisor, Peter Roeder, asking me if I would join the Mineralogical Association of Canada’s newly formed outreach committee. Thus began my long involvement with that society. All these varied experiences prepared me for what has been the best job of my life.
Thank you again for this award, which I accept on behalf of Elements’ family.