The GEMHUNTER - Author, Martial Artist, Artist, Rattlesnake Wrangler & More
I had no idea what I wanted to do in college, and more or less accidentally found geology due to a recommendation by my brother that Geology 101 was an easy General Ed credit. So I took a class from Dr. Robinson (who, by the way, looked more like a trilobite than a person) and was hooked. Over the years, I discovered I enjoyed creating geological maps, talking to groups about rocks, kicking rattlesnakes, exploring for mineral deposits, searching old mines, finding gold, and found I loved to write. How many people end up in professions and jobs they love? I was blessed in this respect. And being at the University of Wyoming for 30 years, I also had the opportunity to teach martial arts - my other professional love in life. When I had spare time, I sketched - a relaxing hobby. What I lacked in money (the State of Wyoming paid a pitiful salary), I made up in accomplishments because I loved what I was doing.
But I almost didn't get these opportunities - and this was because of my lottery number for the Vietnam draft was below 30, and my poor parents were told by my high school councilor that I was not college material and they should consider a military career for me. Where do they get these people? Me in the military? I have never been good at following orders.
Anyway, I ended up mapping more than 1000 square kilometers of complex geological terrain - nearly all within Precambrian basement - the types of rocks most geologists avoided because these were crushed, folded, melted, recrystallized, crunched, overturned, and body slammed - sort of like what government does to us when they tell us they're helping us.
I mapped more than 3 dozen underground mines, mapped one of the largest gold deposits found in the 20th century, talked to hundreds of groups and ended up presentingmore than 400 formal talks and lectures on geology and prospecting, met hundreds of rattlesnakes (I include my boss in this category), and published more than a thousand abstracts, maps, articles, professional papers and books. And yes, the last State Geologist (the snake) I worked for at the University told me I didn't know how to communicate (not bad coming from someone who had his secretary access and read his email to him every morning - again, where do they find these morons?).
Books on Amazon
Articles in the Prospecting & Mining Journal
I believe I was successful because I did what I loved to do, I never attended staff meetings, and I worked mostly alone. I also learned to use affirmations (positive, goal-setting thoughts) when I was a teenager, I had parents who believed in me even when it seemed I was heading in the wrong direction, and I was obviously blessed by God.
The above photo was taken at Gold Fields, Arizona with my son (who is also a geologist) Eric.