Alternate careers in geology? The collector's market for rocks, minerals, and fossils

The natural history market has existed since the 1800's and recently has become extremely popular as crystal and fossil collecting has taken off. This talk will explore the history of commercial natural history, how the field has changed, and what the future holds as the auction market begins to look at natural history as art more than science.

I grew up in upstate New York in the United States and I've been collecting minerals and fossils since I was a kid. I went to Princeton University for college and got a bachelors in geosciences, with a specialization in mass extinctions. Over the past few years I've been in a variety of industries including selling rocks and minerals, and as a natural history consultant at an auction house. I've kept a toe in the sciences by contributing to paleoentomological research, mostly via interesting fossil insect specimens I find in amber. In 2018 I published a young adult book entitled "The 50 State Fossils, a guidebook for the aspiring paleontologist" which won a silver medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards. In 2020 I published "50 State Gems and Minerals". I'm currently a graduate student in Geospatial Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University.