Welcome to the MAS’ New Website

Yoosuf, Abby, Emma, Nicholas and Anette at Comet Ping Pong (Yes, that Comet Ping Pong. I checked – no basement.)

Welcome to the new Microanalysis Society website.  Our previous site was 10 years old and had served us well but it was time to move on.  The web had changed.  More people are accessing sites from their mobile devices.  Secure HTTP (HTTPS://) has gone from being a nicety to a requirement.  There are the new European privacy requirements.  Finally, only a few people understood the Plone content management system that we used to administer the old site and the host company was getting unreliable.  For these and many other reasons, it was time to move on.

So welcome! Here we are. Thanks to the hard work of the Computer Activities Committee, we have a entirely new website.  Anette von der Handt, Emma Bullock, Yoosuf Picard, Abigail Lindstrom and Nicholas Ritchie got together at the Carnegie Institute of Washington for a weekend of intense weekend of website development (and a beer or two.)  During two long days of effort over 100 pages of content were ported from the old site to the new.  We carried over the important relationships with our Affiliated Regional Societies and the International Societies.  We carried over our formative documents. We carried over our society awards and the winners.  We carried over the event calendar.  We added some new content too.  There are new resources pages.

But we aren’t finished. The new site will continue to evolve over time to reflect the changing needs of the MAS membership. To that end, we encourage suggestions for new features and improved functionality.

In designing the new site, we tried to focus the needs of the membership.  We designed the navigation to bring forward the most used and useful parts of the site.  Now we can keep track of the numbers of people (anonymously) visiting the site and the pages they visit.  Try the site on your smart phone or tablet. Now that more people are accessing the web through mobile devices, it was important that the site will automatically reformat to fit your device.  Dan Ruscitto and the Social Media Committee is reinvigorating our Society’s social media presence.  Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MicrobeamSoc) or on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/microbeamanalysis).  How can we serve you better?

As the members of a great, member driven society, this is our site. It becomes richer and more useful when we the members submit content. Send us your microanalysis-related images, articles and links of interest.  Together we can make the MAS a better, stronger and more vigorous professional society. Onward and upward!

Nicholas, Anette, Emma, Yoosuf & Abby
The MAS Computer Activities Committee

New President’s Address

Rhonda2Every two years at the end of the Wednesday night Business Meeting during the M&M meeting, a new President of the Microanalysis Society takes over the gavel and beads of office. This year in Baltimore it was my honor to receive those ceremonial tokens from Masashi Wantanbe. When I joined MAS in 2005, the thought of one day leading the society was not even remotely on my mind. I joined because I was asked, by two colleagues whom I knew and respected as experts in materials analysis. Like many in the microscopy community even today, at that time I was honestly a little confused about the different roles played by MAS and our sister society, MSA. But my colleagues needed a new addition to the MAS tour speaker roster, and they thought FIB-enabled coordinated TEM and SIMS analysis of supernova stardust was just the thing to interest the local societies. So I said, “Yes.”

Thirteen years later, the role of MAS in the microscopy and microanalysis community is much clearer to me. MAS is first and foremost a community of problem solvers. We are diverse in our backgrounds, with degrees in materials science, geology, physics, chemistry, biology and more. We are diverse in employment sector, hailing from universities, industrial laboratories, national labs, and commercial vendor corporations. We are united by our common goal of solving materials problems through microanalysis. Our wealth of expertise was prominently on display at this year’s M&M Plenary session, where for the first time MAS inducted society Fellows. There we honoured 28 Legends who, over the first fifty years of the society’s history, pioneered the methods we now all rely on for our microanalysis solutions: WDS, EDS, XRF, SIMS, EELS, FIB and more. Imagine for a moment trying to solve a problem in catalysis, or microelectronics, or art conservation, or planetary materials or pharmaceutical development without applying at least one of those techniques. The ability to obtain answers and provide solutions for materials problems across so many disciplines and applications is exactly our strength and purpose as a society.

Looking to the future, the prospects for the Microanalysis Society over the next fifty years are strong. Our membership numbers are growing (over 550), and our financial position is robust (over $500K in assets). This year MAS leadership will focus on providing even better value to our current and future members. We will expand popular initiatives, such as the Meal with a Mentor Lunch, which brings senior society members to together with student members to discuss microanalysis career options over lunch following the M&M Plenary Session. We will modernize our member communications with more extensive social media outreach, a modern website, and easier “one-stop-shopping” member renewal on the joint MAS-MSA member portal. I hope that each member finds more ways to be engaged with MAS that fit their individual goals and expertise, whether through contributing to micronanalysis-focused symposia at M&M, participating in a Topical Conference (QMA-2019!), applying for a Goldstein Scholar Early Career Fellowship, or even serving as a host and mentor to Goldstein Scholar. MAS is a society of problem solvers, and each member is part of the solution. Thank you to all those who have contributed to making MAS as vibrant a community as it is today. I look forward to seeing you in Portland next summer, if not before.

Sincerely,

Rhonda M. Stroud
MAS President

Recommend Excellent Papers for MAS Best Paper Awards

Dear M&M Attendee:

On behalf of the MAS Awards committee, let me first thank you for your participation in the upcoming annual meeting in Baltimore. Now allow me to ask for you assistance. Each year, MAS recognizes outstanding contributions by scientists at the M&M Meeting through four Outstanding Paper Awards. These are:

  1. The Castaing Award for Best Student Paper
  2. The Birks Award for Best Contributed Paper
  3. The Cosslett Award for Best Invited Paper
  4. The Macres Award for Best Instrumentation/Software Paper

With your help, the best papers presented this year in Baltimore can receive the recognition that they deserve. If you see a particularly excellent paper please tell us about it at the following link:

http://www.microbeamanalysis.org/forms/m-m-paper-awards-submission/m-m-paper-award-recommendation-form

Your participation is vital to our selecting the very best papers at M&M each year, and we thank you for your valuable input. It would also be helpful if you could being this request to the attention of other attendees and may have additional suggestions for worthy candidates.

Thank you very much for your input,

 

Andrew A. Herzing, Ph.D.
MAS Awards Committee Chairman
E-mail: andrew.herzing@nist.gov

Goldstein Scholar Winner – Will Nachlas

NachlasWill Nachlas, a postdoc in the Department of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University, received a Joseph Goldstein Scholar Award to pursue research into the development of trace element mineral standards. Will used the Goldstein Award to visit the Northeast National Ion Microprobe Facility (NENIMF) at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) to collect measurements using the Cameca IMS-1280 secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS). In collaboration with researchers at WHOI, Will used the SIMS to test the trace element compositions of a series of synthetic crystals grown from high pressure-temperature crystallization experiments.

SIMS is the premier technique for high spatial and mass resolution quantitative analysis. This method enables concentrations to be determined at the parts per million level from micron-sized regions of solid samples. However, quantitative measurements using SIMS rely on matrix-matched standard materials that contain the analyte of interest at multiple different concentrations. With new developments in trace element-based petrologic techniques, there is increasing demand for standard materials suitable for instrument calibration. To this end, Will has been working to synthesize crystalline material with specific, homogeneous trace-level concentrations that can be distributed to the community for use as trace element mineral standards. However, this effort began as a “side project”, and it was delayed by lack of funds needed to acquire the SIMS data. With support from the Microanalysis Society through a Goldstein Scholar Award, it became possible to acquire the data necessary to advance this research.

The Goldstein Scholar Award provides an excellent opportunity for early career scientists to pursue self-directed research and foster collaborations as an independent researcher. The ability to craft a research proposal to support individual research efforts is an empowering and motivating experience. With funding support provided by a Goldstein Award, Will was able to complete a major component of the necessary analytical work to move his work towards publication. Preliminary results of this research, including measurements obtained on the ion probe at WHOI, were recently presented in an invited presentation in session A09 – Standards, Reference Materials, and Their Applications in Quantitative Microanalysis at the 2017 Microscopy & Microanalysis meeting in St. Louis.

Catch up with FIGMAS

Dear Microanalytical Community,

In the summer of 2018, the Focused Interest Group on MicroAnalytical Standards (FIGMAS) will celebrate its 2-year anniversary. Time for us to look back at the past and onto the future! Our primary goals remain unchanged: building a strong community-based database that would list all available information possible on standards and reference materials used by the microanalytical community (SEM, EPMA, LA-ICP-MS, SIMS, etc.), and preparing the terrane for the reference materials of tomorrow. In the following I would like to update you on news and events around FIGMAS activities.

 

Web-database

First, we have been working on a web-based interface that would not only list all this information, but also enable users and members of our group to enter new standards information or to suggest an update. This web interface at http://figmas.org is still in development, and the webmaster (hum… myself) apologizes for taking so long to finish it. I promise to get back to it soon! We also invite you to send your information on standards and reference materials. A forum has also been opened on FIGMAS to allow members to discuss their experience with reference materials, their preparation and maintenance, etc.

 

Survey and round-robin

Second, we need to evaluate the needs of standards for the next century, and to facilitate the creation of synthetic materials or the (re-)collection of natural ones. A survey has been running over the past month among our members to dress a list of potential candidates for a “new standard”, and you will soon have the opportunity to vote for one or more of the suggested materials / minerals. With the help of John Fournelle and Gareth Seward, we are preparing a round robin to permit testing your laboratory performances and evaluating a couple “surprise” minerals… More will be revealed later this year if all goes as planned.

 

Pre-Meeting Congress at M&M 2018

Let me take here the opportunity to remind you of our Pre-Meeting Congress X61 at the Microscopy & Microanalysis 2018 meeting in Baltimore (MD) on Saturday August 5th. This PMC, the first of its kind organized by FIGMAS, consists of a one-day meeting combining invited talks, round-table discussions, and poster presentations from contributors. The attendees will learn about and discuss best practices for standard-less and standard-based methods, and for choosing appropriate standards and reference materials for quantitative analysis by EPMA, SEM and other in situ techniques. An overview of speakers and some more information is available at http://figmas.org. We will also have a poster session, and everyone is encouraged to show their research on standard compositions, synthesis or sample preparation. Deadline for abstract submission is JUNE 1st.

 

Update on FIGMAS membership

Our list of members has been growing consistently, up to a point where it became the largest Focused Interest Group with 73 paying members from 57 difference academic institution at the end of 2017; 31 members have already renewed their membership in the first couple months of 2018. It confirms the interest (and concerns) of the community about standards and reference materials in terms of quality, availability, material creation, etc. It could also be a side-effect of being the first Focused Interest Group approved and supported by both the Microscopy Society of America and the Microanalysis Society. In any case, this venture would have never been possible without you, and we sincerely thank YOU for your support.

 

FIGMAS Business Meeting at M&M 2018

We will have again a FIGMAS business meeting at the upcoming M&M meeting. It will take place on Tuesday, June 7th at 12.15 PM.  We will inform you about the exact location when we know more.

 

Upcoming FIGMAS-elections and transition of leadership

At the end of this year, I will leave the leadership of FIGMAS to Anette von der Handt. I am convinced Anette will do an excellent job, and FIGMAS will be in very good hands. I wish her success in this endeavor! On my end, I will remain webmaster of the website and of course in close contact with the community. As a consequence, a ballot will be organized to nominate a new leader-elect and a secretary-treasurer during the FIGMAS business meeting on Tuesday August 8th at noon. Owen Neill is standing for re-election to the secretary-treasurer position, while we are also accepting other nominations. FIGMAS members can nominate a suitable candidate using the form available in the member section of the FIGMAS website (https://figmas.org/login.php). It has been a great honor and pleasure to meet all of you, and to serve for the community. Long live FIGMAS!

 

Yours truly,

 

Julien M. Allaz, FIGMAS leader 2017-2018