A New Mineral Is Named for Priscilla Grew, Professor Emerita at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

There are approximately 5,700 minerals that have been identified worldwide. Of these only 100 or so are named for women.

Now there is one more. A newly discovered mineral will be named in honor of Priscilla Grew, a professor emerita of geology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The new mineral, priscillagrewite-(Y), is a member of the garnet group, rich in zirconium and yttrium. It was discovered in pyrometamorphic rocks in the Transjordan plateau, close to Amman, Jordan. Researchers Irina Galuskina and Evgeny Galuskin of the University of Silesia discovered the garnet and decided to honor Dr. Grew in part because in 1966 she obtained the first images of oscillatory zoning of manganese in a garnet.

Professor Grew is a senior fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America. She retired from teaching in 2015 but remains active at the University of Nebraska as the coordinator for the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, under which Native American human remains from past university archaeological collections are returned to tribes through a complex federal process. She is a 1962 graduate of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in geology at the University of California, Berkeley

“I am greatly honored to have a new garnet from Jordan named after me by a team from Poland and Israel,” Professor Grew said. “It makes me realize once again the tremendous debt I owe to the geology program at Bryn Mawr, how it directly led to my garnet research at Berkeley, and to my involvement in international geoscience. As far as I know, I am the first Bryn Mawr graduate to have a mineral named after me.”

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