Carnegie Museum of Natural History

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Carnegie Museum of Natural History
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February 12, 2010


Carnegie Museum of Natural History Announces the Winner of the 2009 Carnegie Mineralogical Award

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…. Carnegie Museum of Natural History has announced the 2009 Carnegie Mineralogical Award winner, Peter K. M. Megaw, PhD, of Tucson, Arizona. The award will be presented by Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History Samuel Taylor, PhD, on February 13 at the acclaimed 2010 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

The Carnegie Mineralogical Award was established in 1987 by Carnegie Museum of Natural History and underwritten by the Hillman Foundation. The award honors outstanding contributions in mineralogical preservation, conservation, and education, and is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the fields of mineralogy, lapidary art, and geology.

"Dr. Peter Megaw has contributed to the sciences of geology and mineralogy in so many ways and for several decades; it is hard to single out one contribution for praise above the others,” said Collection Manager of Minerals and Gems Marc L. Wilson. “I have the utmost respect for Dr. Megaw. He is a consummate professional."

Megaw has long been a leader and innovator in the fields of mineralogy and geology. He co-founded the geological consulting firms Minera Cascabel and MAG Silver, and is consulting geologist and president of their parent company, IMDEX, Inc. His collecting focuses almost exclusively on Mexican mineral specimens. He joined the prestigious Tucson Gem and Mineral Society in 1979, serving as president in 1984, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1999. He has acted as Exhibits Chair for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show every year since 1984; in 1994, he participated as Show co-chair.

Extensively published in geological and mineralogical journals, Megaw is a frequent lecturer and speaker at academic and technical symposia all over the world. Megaw has contributed articles to The Mineralogical Record, Mineral News, extraLapis, and Rocks and Minerals, joining Rocks and Minerals in 2009 as consulting editor. He also contributed the chapter on Mexican specimens to The F. John Barlow Mineral Collection. In 2006, Megaw and his family started acquiring the American Philosophical Society’s mineral collection—including specimens that may have been collected by the Lewis & Clark expedition—and in 2009 donated the entire collection to the Smithsonian.

Several other awards have recognized Megaw’s contributions to the fields of geology and mineralogy over the years. He was the first recipient of the Friends of Mineralogy (FM) Student Paper Award in 1985 with his paper on the mineralogy of the East Camp of Santa Eulalia. In 2003 he was co-recipient, with Tom Moore, of FM’s Best Paper award for their Mineralogical Record article about the Ojuela Mine, Mapimi, Durango, Mexico. Most recently, Megaw won the Desautels Trophy in 2006 for “Best Case of Minerals,” awarded at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.

Megaw received his PhD from the University of Arizona, where his graduate work was an exploration-focused geological/geochemical study of the Santa Eulalia Ag-Pb-Zn District, Chihuahua, and Carbonate Replacement Deposits (CRDs) in general. Megaw enjoys working on his gem and mineral collections with his wife, Allison, and 16-year-old daughter, Lauren—a budding collector in her own right.

Previous recipients of the Carnegie Mineralogical Award include:
2008 Frank Hawthorne
2007 Jeffrey A Scovil
2006 Richard C. Whiteman
2005 June Culp Zeitner
2004 Joel A. Bartsch
2003 Dr. Eugene S. Meieran
2002 Dr. Terry C. Wallace
2001 Dr. Wendell E. Wilson
2000 Dr. F. John Barlow
1999 Sterling Hill Mining Museum
1998 Robert Jones
1997 Bryan Lees
1996 Dr. Cornelis Klein
1995 Marie Huizing
1994 The Mineralogical Record
1993 Dr. Cornelius Searle Hurlbut
1992 Dr. Carl A. Francis
1991 Dr. Miguel A. Romero Sanchez
1990 Paul E. Desautels
1989 Dr. Frederick Pough
1988 John Sinkankas
1987 The Tucson Gem & Mineral Society

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2010 Carnegie Mineralogical Award. Private mineral enthusiasts and collectors, educators, curators, mineral clubs and societies, museums, universities, and publications are eligible. For a nomination form, go to or contact by mail Marc L. Wilson, Section of Minerals and Gems, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-4080, by phone at 412.622.3391, or by email at


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,