I started getting interested in rocks and fossils when my mom started dating the man who became my step father.
He was a geologist by education and had at that point started working for a large nuclear energy company in risk assessment and response.
Although he wasn’t a geologist by trade or teaching it in a college, he would go caving with his best friend for years until their bodies couldn’t handle it anymore. I’ll never forget the collection of quartz crystals he gave me after we first met. They were all from caves he had explored personally, and I was mesmerized by the way they would refract light. He taught me a lot about gemstones and he took me to art fairs where there were fossil experts. When it came time to apply to college, I had my heart set on the University of New Mexico because of Albuquerque’s rich paleontological history. I want to dig for dinosaur bones, and there are few cities that have a history in this like Albuquerque. Unfortunately I had to go to a nearby college because of financial reasons, but I never forgot about Albuquerque and its geological sites. I’m taking a vacation this month to Albuquerque to visit the Petroglyph National Monument. There are locations with thousands of examples of prehistoric art, along with bones, tools, and other rare items that are all native to the area. I also decided to go hiking on the nearby Rinconada Canyon Trail. For a geologist like myself, the prehistoric monuments in Albuquerque are some of the most breathtaking locations in the country. If I could find a job at one of the many museums or any of the geological sites, I would move to Albuquerque in a heartbeat.