Collection Assistant, Section of MineralsDebra Wilson

Where did you train for your job?

I have a B.A. degree from Grand Valley State University but most of the knowledge for my career came from hands on training by immersing myself in the mineral collecting hobby, going to gem & mineral shows, volunteering at the museum, collecting in the field (known as rock hounding), and learning from other mineral enthusiasts.

What has surprised you about your career? Is it like you imagined it would be? 

I wanted a career where I could be creative and use my artist skills so I got my degree in Advertising/Public Relations and Art thinking this would be a good path to take. When I was introduced to minerals I was first drawn to them because of their beauty and started to photograph them. As I learned more and more about minerals I became intrigued with their science and history as well as their beauty. The photography, developing exhibits, producing graphics and labels for the exhibits satisfies the creative urge in me but I thoroughly enjoy the scientific aspects of the job as well.


Read more about her career!  Mineralogist