Mr. President, members of the society, and guests. It is an enormous honor to be the recipient of the 2010 MSA award. The impact of the award is truly felt when one glances at the list of prior MSA awardees. Receiving the award was a great surprise because I am not a traditional mineralogist, although, of course, who is? Thus I would like to express deep gratitude to the mineralogy community for welcoming an enthusiastic newcomer, and for all of the individuals who have generously shared with me their knowledge and expertise.