The following is a copy of a message sent to the members of the House Committee on Appropriations by the former mineral museum curator:
I urge you to pass SB1440 in the House. It is a bill that transfers the money and minerals, assets, and responsibility for the former Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum from the Arizona Historical Society to the Arizona Geological Survey. This bill will tremendously benefit Arizona school children and adults in educating them about the natural resources of Arizona and their importance in their daily lives. Please see http://www.MiningMineralMuseum.com for photos showing the successful museum in 2010.
People who live in the State of Arizona will benefit because:
- School children get free school tours emphasizing the earth science curriculum guidelines;
- Arizona classroom teachers get a free teacher kit with minerals, rocks, fossils, and information to help establish their own classroom earth science center;
This bill is necessary because the Arizona Historical Society has not fulfilled the responsibilities that were given to them in 2010. They have received free rent and a curator salary, but have only a minor exhibit at a different site, in contrast to the requirements of the law passed in 2010. They have had five years to get the museum functional and an Arizona Experience website up and running, but they failed. The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) stepped in and produced the Arizona Experience website. The AZGS has the knowledge, experience (hundreds of thousands of sample cuttings from oil well drilling in the state), and especially the caring and effectiveness in telling the story of Arizona geology and natural resources.
As the retired former curator of the museum (2007-2010), I know that the museum was very successful with hundreds of dedicated volunteers at the former Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum that are committed to educating children about geology and natural science. They donated over 10,000 hours of labor every year when I was curator. These dedicated volunteers and their donated samples and monies are what made the museum wonderful, in spite of the lack of State funds, which only included rent and maintenance and one curator salary. The former volunteers have established a 501(C)3 foundation (Earth Science Museum) that receives grants for earth science outreach activities to school children in various communities. They are very enthusiastic and prepared for the opportunity to work with the Arizona Geological Survey and other groups on the Museum.
I feel confident that, under the direction of the Arizona Geological Survey (who care about educating people about minerals and natural resources), the museum can again be a regular field trip destination for Arizona school children and adults, as well as for national and international tourists.
Jan C. Rasmussen, Ph.D.
Tucson, AZ 85740